Of all my many daily duties, jobs, and tasks, my FAVORITE one is my main role: being Dean of Students in Grades 5&6! I think that title can easily come with a ‘negative connotation’ of trouble. I often say that I’m not just the Dean of Discipline, but the ‘The Dean of Fun!’ At my school in Atlanta, one of our norms are to #HaveFun. What is school if you don’t have that type of environment? As a middle school team overall, we are working hard to make sure our students are engaged and enjoying their time with us. These are the precious years…
One of my duties are to plan socials. We have one in the fall, which is Sky Zone, and one in the spring when we go to Stars and Strikes bowling alley. These are two events where we meet in the evenings, teachers and administrators, and jump around/bowl with our students. They are able to see us outside of the norm, and enjoy some time together.
The main goal is to yes, #HaveFun, but to also tap into one of my other deep passions in education: Building Positive School Culture. For instance, every Monday I have a ‘Monday Morning Meet-Up.’ During this time we have certain goals:
- Pray together
- Say the pledge
- Scripture/quote of the week
- Life Skill of the Week
- Study Skill of the Week
- Athlete of the Week
- Joke of the Week
- Manner of the Week (Manners still matter! More to come here soon in its own BLOG post…stay tuned!)
Then at beginning of that month, we celebrate and give locker magnets for each birthday during that time frame (pictured above), and we have cake the following Tuesday. Being in middle school, there are still so many opportunities where we can enjoy each other. As we stress over lockers, schedules, grades, coupled with belonging, drama, and discovery of ones true authentic self, there needs to be moments to escape from those intense times.
In middle school we also take class trips to Space Camp in Huntsville, AL (Grade 6) Boston, MA (Grade 7), and Washington, DC (Grade 8). I look forward to hopefully blogging about those experiences as well. Taking class trips are another great way to connect and build culture outside of standard school learning space, and take it to the next level! #Fun2.0!
So my questions to you now my fellow builders of school culture are:
- What activities can you share that you do to promote fun and school culture?
- How do you delegate and navigate fun in your school?
- Who is the heartbeat and the help meat of school culture?
- Where does school culture go from here?
That’s all for now folks! Hope to chime in soon with another post on one of my favorite topics of all time…creative a positive, warm, welcoming, and productive environment in our schools overall.