Datil Elementary: A School in Progress
Datil Elementary School is a rather unique school, which in my opinion is a school that is not far removed from the school(s) of yester year. I first started teaching at Datil Elementary in the Fall of 1984, right after the Halloween carnival. I taught here for about three years and then moved about for some time, while teaching in other school districts, honing in on my profession.
Back then, there was an enrollment of about 35 students with three full time teachers, a cook, custodian, and a school secretary. Yes, Datil was a thriving rural ranching community with many families that were long time residence whose families had been in this area for generations, and still are to this day. Then, along came the resettlement of many new families who have chose to now reside in the Datil area and have helped in keeping the school tradi- tion and spirit alive.
Yet, compared to today’s enrollment of 13 students, two teachers, and a split time cook/custodial position, Datil still remains “a school in progress.” What not with keeping the students of this four room school house active, motivated and in keeping current with today’s educational challenges. Datil students, parents, and the community, in general, are to be commended in keeping this small school alive with the “tradition, spirit and pride” that this school has always held in high regards.
I am very “Proud” to mention that although small, those students of our small rural school are to be commended for their hard work and efforts they have put into this “Great” school. The students of Datil Elementary were able to rise to the challenge of the newly instilled state PARRC testing assessment, which rates our students and schools throughout the state of New Mexico. Datil Elementary Coyotes were able to take our school from a C rating to a B rating for the 2015-16 school years!
Although this is a grand accomplishment, it is the belief of our staff here at Datil Elementary that our students are “more than a score”. In saying this, my intentions are that learning still has to be instilled with fun and not just the day to day rigor of learning without the “Art of Teaching “being brought to these students and made to be enjoyable for them.
Thus, this year, we the staff have brought back an enthusiasm for learning within our school. With and through the support of our administration, we now have an Art class taught once a week by a true art teacher, Ms. Marilynn Lyons. We have also brought back into our learning curriculums project based curriculums, which allow students some hands on activities that make learning fun and more meaningful. One such class is a Science lab, held every Tuesday, with actual science experiments that the students perform and keep a written Science journal.
We are proud of the students here at Datil Elementary and they are all to be commended for their hard work and efforts in earning a state B rating for our school. Now the efforts are to keep that B, and work to earn an A!
Teaching is not a lost ART, but the regard for it is a lost tradition!— Jacques Barzon