My daughter has really enjoyed the different approaches each teacher has brought to the curriculum: one teacher was really into sports and technology, using those to bring science and other subjects to life. Another was really into art and drama, and each year got the kids involved in the annual school play. My daughter wasn't happy with the idea of being on stage last year, so was involved in back-stage work, which she enjoyed. This year, she'd like to audition for the play. Big step forward in confidence! This year, her grade teacher has created tribes, and uses those tribal loyalties to motivate the kids to focus on improving their homework, team-work, attention skills. Great bonding moments in the class! The teachers are very enthusiastic, full of ideas, and always happy to talk to parents. We get an email at the end of each day from her grade teacher, telling us of any general class info, plus the homework for that day.
There have been times that I have remarked "I would love to go back to the 7th grade!" The teachers, while certainly adhering to the curriculum make learning fun, an adventure and give it real world applications and relevance. We have never had our kids say "why am I learning this?" Not that they don't complain - the do! About homework, tests etc. If they didn't, I would be concerned. Whether it is teaching the real world complexities of geo politics by creating a universe of planets that makes trade, immigration and defense issues interesting to music where the choir is learning a top 40 hit - the teachers are continually looking to find ways of keeping the students engaged. Our kids are challenged. Rewarded with success and encouraged to not give up when they fail.