What happens when 5th graders run the classroom: A SOLE in action
Two students in Mr. J’s class laugh as they teach themselves about Mercy Otis Warren and the American Revolution. Photo: Natasha Scripture
Eleven-year-olds running a classroom? That could sound outlandish to some elementary school teachers, but not to Joe Jamison, or “Mr. J” as he is affectionately called by his fifth-grade students at Lawrence Intermediate School in central New Jersey.
“I learn from my kids,” says Mr. J, as he dips his hand into a Philadelphia Eagles football helmet — otherwise known as the “helmet of fate” — and pulls out the name of the next group of students to give a presentation on Mercy Otis Warren, an American playwright and poet, not to mention one of the few female propagandists of the American Revolution, which Mr. J’s class is studying.
There is a feeling of excitement in the small classroom, decorated with inspirational quotes and bright educational paraphernalia. The kids sit at…
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