The school in which I teach is Hyde Leadership School. Hyde is organized differently from other schools, so it is important to examine our unique characteristics. Hyde is a character based magnet high school. Our focus is on character development. We place an emphasis on students’ effort over their achievement. Students’ learning is centered on self-analysis and the development of their unique potential. While at Hyde, students are guided through the process of self-discovery. When a student is acting out, instead of focusing on eliminating the misbehavior, the student is forced to examine their underlying attitude. It is Hyde’s belief that inappropriate forms of behavior are just symptoms of a problematic attitude. The belief is that if a student’s character and attitude are as fully developed as they need to be, then the achievement will naturally follow.
The Hyde Leadership concept is based on five guiding principles: humility, conscience, truth, destiny, brother’s keeper, and five guiding words: leadership, courage, concern, integrity and curiosity. The different subject curriculums are meant to encompass these words and principles. The purpose is to give students several opportunities to find their strengths and different venues for them to show their strengths.
Hyde Leadership is a small high school, with 200 students. Our statistical breakdown is similar to that of most New Haven Schools. The majority of our students are black. Most of our graduating seniors are accepted to college; however, many do not have the academic or coping skills necessary to be successful.
This curriculum will draw together the main focuses of our school concept, character development and basic academic skill improvement. By examining Maya Angelou, students will be able to examine some coping strategies of a successful, strong individual. They will also have the opportunity to practice their reading and writing skills.
The Maya Angelou curriculum will be taught in our mandatory PM Program. It will be taught to a mix of ninth, tenth and eleventh graders. The group will be comprised of students with special needs, students in regular education and students with English as a second language.