As we enter the home stretch of the 2014-2015 school year it is clear that we ask our teachers to do more now than ever before. Our teachers must make sure that every student in the their classroom grows academically by the expected amount. Using data analytics we measure student growth and by proxy we are able to measure teacher effectiveness.
In order to make sure all students are growing our teachers focus on explicitly teaching the standards and utilizing formative instructional practices in their classroom to provide each student with clear targets and actionable feedback on their progress. In these ways teaching has become a science. However, because each of our students is a little human being we know that our students have the best opportunity to learn and grow when they have a positive relationship with their teacher and other trusted adults in the school community. We also know that in order to motivate each of our students not only should there be significant relationship, but it helps if school is fun! (Is fun really still allowed in public schools? In Worthington: YES!)
In each of our 19 schools our school staff, often in partnership with our PTA’s and other parent groups, work hard to help school be a place of smiles, laughter and fun. One of my favorite examples of this in action is at Granby Elementary.
“The Swamp Things” is the name of the Granby Elementary staff band. That’s right, they formed a band. It started as a fun way to welcome the kids as the buses arrived on the last day of school (Fun Day) in 2013 with a Fun Day song and another instrumental. The band members are fluid. Anyone willing to pick up a cowbell or tambourine is welcome to participate!
The band I saw perform last weekend at the Bike Fest event consisted of Rick Armstrong (drums), Tyler Hollinger (guitar & vocal) & Parker Norvell (guitar, drums, & vocal), Kate Walker (cowbell & jingle bells), and Principal Patti Schlaegel (tambourine). Now, there is no need to worry about any of them quitting their day jobs. (Once you see the video, you’ll know why…) The kids love it and that’s all that matters!
If you’re out and about early, the next concert for “The Swamp Things” will be Thursday, May 28 @ 7:30 A.M. We’ve got a cowbell or washboard tie with your name on it!
In all of our Worthington Schools over the next few weeks you’ll see hundreds of examples of smiles, laughter and fun. Take a picture and post them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. (Or send them to us at email@example.com) Use the hashtag #wcsfun to remind our community that school is a place of growth, relationship and fun. That’s just the way it should be!
Trent Bowers, Assistant Superintendent