My Leadership 10 class is finishing off our weekly Google Meet class. At this point we have been out of school for two months.  At the end I give them what I call the five minute free for all.  Everyone can unmute their microphones and say whatever they want.  It can get a little chaotic but a lot of fun.  Then Meera decides to balance a pillow on her head.  Within seconds everyone on the screen has a pillow on their head too.  Good clean fun. This reaffirmed what I know to be true. 

School Culture Matters!  Connection Matters! 

What have kids been missing from school?  They miss the people, the activities, the traditions, their friends.  The stuff we teach is vital and necessary.  But it is the connections and memories which they will look back on when they think about High School.

This spring Centennial sold more Grad Hoodies than any high school in Canada through the https://www.spiritwearcanada.ca/ online store. The number was more than double what we would typically sell out of the school store. The owner asked me how we did it. I explained how we promoted through Instagram letting grads vote for the design they liked and then invited them to order. It was an effective campaign and a good design but I think the answer is deeper. Most of our Grad events were cancelled. They were craving the connection. My CSLA buddy Maddie Campbell said “It’s because students are engaged at your school”. Simple but profound.

Activity Idea for the future. Virtual Spirit Week

I got the idea from a teacher in Sacramento listening to the School Culture By Design Podcats http://www.learningforliving.com/podcast/2020/4/14/episode-55-virtual-spirit-week-with-alumni-guest-kristin-patten My Student Leaders planned and promoted the week. We invited Alumni and former staff to participate and had a great response. We also had a Leadership miracle – the pizza made it to the winner’s house each day and we got pictures back.

Resources

Must See Video – Heather McGhee – Racism has a cost for everyone – I will be sharing this video with my students in the fall. Two of my favorite ideas: 1. I don’t lose something when someone else’s life improves. 2. Don’t drain your pool to keep other people out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaCrsBtiYA4&t=7s

Great Book for Students – Stamped – this book is written for Young Adults and talks about racism and anti-racism – a timely read for these days and very accessible for youth (and older youth like me) – I read it and give it two thumbs up

Great Book for Teachers – written by a Canadian!! – “Students aren’t seeking attention, they are seeking connection.” This is also a timely book for teachers. We don’t know what we will be facing with students in the fall. Mental health may be a much bigger issue. I appreciate the Canadian perspective and examples.

Summer is almost here! Hang in there everyone

Brent

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