Why School Pride Isn't Just for Students
As I was walking through the halls of my school today, getting ready to pick up my students, a strange feeling coursed through me. I was looking at the bulletin boards of various classes when it hit me like an electric shock. I realized how proud I was of my school, and it felt great.
Yes, my school has its issues. My job is often exhausting, and sometimes frustrating. But much of this has to do with my own personal growth as a teacher, as well as systemic problems with education. Meanwhile, as I looked at the work displayed on various bulletin boards, I saw a common thread amongst the classrooms that reflected a cohesive vision of what we do in our school.
What I saw reflected a genuine commitment to critical thinking and real learning, rather than rote tasks. I saw number stories written based on a social studies unit, persuasive posters, math investigations, and dioramas. There was an extraordinary variety of products from different classrooms, and each of them showed creativity and higher order thinking.
As our school gets further into test prep mode (six weeks to go!) this realization of pride was somewhat unexpected, but incredibly welcome. It was a reminder that while there's certain necessary evils our school has to abide by, we have a clear overarching idea of what we're trying to accomplish.
I've been a part of a school community without a clear mission I believed in. When I first realized that was the case, it was completely demoralizing. Realizing today that I am part of a community where everyone is working toward a meaningful education for our kids was a tremendous feeling. It's a feeling that will push me to work harder and teach better. More teachers should be so lucky.