Ludesto, California (TWP)
At Ludesto Middle School, students no longer go to 1st hour or 2nd hour, but instead they are ushered in to Motivate and Map hours. A recent school board decision to change the names of the hours has been met with both resistance and support.
The name changes, according to board president Solomon Gwert, are loosely based on the steps in the Steven Covey book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens. “The teachers in the district were all given a free copy of the book to read and study over the summer break, and we implemented this change when school started.”
The other class periods are called Manage, Master, Meditate, Meet, and Manifest. “They aren’t a band-aid,” said Gwert, “but we do think they will help students reevaluate the way they think about going to their classes.”
Eighth grade computer teacher Carol Dietrich said, “I would prefer we try to change the way the periods are set up than to just change their titles.” When prompted, she added, “We’re operating on a 100-year-old-system that doesn’t work. Class for 50 minutes, 5-minute break, class 50, break 5, class 50, break 5, and on and on. Renaming the class isn’t going to change that.”
Jason Hunt, 9th grade English, quoted Thoreau when asked what he thought of the change, “Beware of enterprises that require new clothes.” Hunt failed to elaborate on the point.
However, some teachers, such as Brenda Frampton, who helped come up with the names, said that they are excited about having a new way of looking at schoolwork. “Students can easily memorize these new names, and they are verbs, if you didn’t notice. The verb can become internalized and then the student can actually begin manifesting that way of being in the world. Oh see, I just said ‘manifest,’ class period 7.”
The names of the hours all begin with “M” in order to work them in with the school mascot, the Mustang, said Gwert. “To say ‘Mustang Map’ instead of 2nd hour is just a no-brainer improvement in my books,” Gwert said.
Concerned parent Trixie Washington said she agrees with the overall concept but would like to see 5th period changed from “meditate” to something more appropriate, as, she said, “It implies some new-age philosophy that just isn’t in keeping with this community’s population.”