Far too often as educators we get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of teaching, testing and analyzing data. It feels like we will never catch up on the endless amounts of paperwork, meetings and planning. We are continuously working on tedious tasks, major projects and participating in ongoing training in an effort to help our children close academic gaps.
While all of this work is essential for student success, at East Elementary, we have learned it doesn’t matter how many meetings we attend, how much work we complete, nor how perfect the lesson plan, until our children know first and foremost that we care about them as individuals. So, this year we took time to put aside the paperwork and meetings for a few days in order to go out to spend time with the children in the communities in which they live!
Staff packed up bikes, jump ropes, balls, lots of fun activities, snacks and drinks and hit the road to a few different neighborhoods in our school zone. The level of surprise, excitement and appreciation our children exhibited when they saw their Cobra teachers, administrators and other staff knocking on the doors, asking them to come out to play, was more rewarding than any test score we have ever celebrated.
After spending time sharpening the saw with our students in their neighborhoods, we could not decide who enjoyed these days more, the students or the staff. We wanted our children to know teaching is much more than helping students remember academic facts in the classroom. We spent time running, jumping, playing and getting fit! We all shared and learned a valuable lesson on these days by taking time out to do what counts most …build relationships.
What improvements have you seen at your school?
As a staff we have seen an improvement in the relationships that we have with our students. It has really shown the kids that we care about them outside of the school walls.
How did students and adults work together as a team?
At each site the staff and students worked together as a team and went out into the neighborhoods to find more kids to come play. The students had a great time getting to play and enjoy the staff.
How did you accomplish your goals?
We had a plan as to where we were going. There was a sign-up for staff that wanted to come. We made sure we had enough games and fun things for the kids and staff to do. We also had to make sure we had snacks and drinks for everyone.