There were three days left in the school year, and final grades had already been turned in. Benjamin Feinberg’s 8th grade algebra students at Luther Burbank Middle School in Highland Park were looking forward to graduation and officially becoming high schoolers. But despite these kids having no tangible reason to stay engaged in the lesson plan and work hard, there they were on a June afternoon, each with laser-like focus as Feinberg worked his way through the day’s 84-minute class, the students learning simply for learning’s sake.
“I tell them ahead of time that I am going to keep teaching as if nothing is happening, so that they know it is coming” even though it’s the end of the term, Feinberg said. “And then I do that. They just keep learning. I find that totally works. Kids want to learn and they want to be ready for high school.”
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