Monday, August 17, 2009

A Thrilling Beginning to a New School Year

Chets Creek was wrapped in a whole new theme, Orchestrating a Symphony of Student Success, as teachers returned for their first day of work. Decked out in full garb, according to their grade's given genre of music, teachers met for a fun kick off to a new school year. Colleagues gathered in the lobby for a team photo, fun Name that Musician game, and a continental breakfast. And, as they found their seats for the performance in our fully decorated dining room, opening curtain call brought a thunderous applause. Why? Because the principal, Susan Phillips along with her administrative and office staff introduced themselves with a skit and rendition of MJ's Thriller dance!

The day, always greatly anticipated by all, was about building relationships with our teammates. There were plenty of team building activities including theme related games which held gift cards for the winners. One of my favorite being Most Original Song created by our talented Kindergarten Team--I WANT TO GO HOME! Principal Phillips even had a drawing for six shiny new ipods! Now that's what I call a spectacular start to a new school year!
But, the day wasn't solely about team building and having fun (although that is one of my favorite perks), it was also about the relationship we need to create with our students. About how important the connection with us is for them to truly embrace their learning. Through building relationships, scaffolding learning, and never giving up on them, they can experience true success.

Susan shared our data story, showed us a video clip, and read to us from a piece of children's literature. All of which tied perfectly into our theme of Orchestrating a Symphony of Student Success. We know that each note needs to be played but that we also have to look at the entire composition to make sure that this year's performance is a grand success.

I loved the way she ended the day with a slide show set to song playing of the beautiful faces of our most struggling students. It is our passion to reach each and every one of them this year no matter how much scaffolding it takes for them to scale the wall.

I walked away from the dining room after the performance feeling valued as a professional, honored to be back and working in such a tight knit community of learners, and ready to conquer any challenge. I also left laughing and exhilarated because of the memories we had just created. Enjoy this slideshow of Melanie's photos from the day, and the video clip of a portion of the First Grade Teacher's Skit. And remember, "No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it." H.E. Luccock

First Grade Skit Opening Day of School from Suzanne Shall on Vimeo.


dayle timmons said...

There's just nothing like coming back to school on the first day at the Creek! It's fun! It's hysterically funny! It's inspirational! It is such a great way to start the new year. The only thing I feel bad about is that every teacher all over the country does not get to their start the year the way that we do!

CB and the Sunshine Band said...

Our first day back was magical in so many ways. I wanted to echo your thoughts about the slideshow of our most struggling students. I think that portion of the day was most meaningful to me. They are the reason we do the work that we do! oy you have a video of our dance! hehe. :)

Stacey said...

That's a fantastic theme!

Michelle Ellis said...

Love the video, I didn't realize someone taped it.

Anonymous said...

The day was amazing, and this thing we do is all about how we interact with people on all levels. So, team building experiences are always a great investment!

I love my job!