By Mike Schuh

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Educators are always looking for ways to be more effective in the classroom.

A school in Howard County, Oakland Mills High, has gone so far as to ask students to help redesign their work space.

The school was cutting edge when it was built. The only problem is, that was 44 years ago. The $12,000 cost for the upgrade was paid for with grant money.

For most of Mrs. Sweigert’s students, English is not their native tongue, so high level math can be a challenge.

“This design supports language learners because it allows for students to work in smaller groups and that’s very helpful for someone with limited language proficiency,” says Maha Abdelkader, ESOL Program Coordinator for HCPS.

WJZ’s Mike Schuh was there when the students saw their new classroom for the first time.

New sit down and stand up desks, small work areas, projectors and white boards everywhere, including desk surfaces.

“I feel very empowered as a teacher that I now have tools to help further facilitate their learning,” Mrs. Sweigert says.

And the students agree.

“It used to look bad in here,” says freshman Jaelan Matthews. “Not it look, it look cool.”

And as any parent or teacher will tell you, if the kids feel like they’re doing something cool, they’ll do it better.

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