So I am back at school for the 2014-15 school year. We began with two days of staff development and team building, followed by two days of Listening Conferences with parents telling us all about their children in preparation for the new school year. Tomorrow the students will come. This post is about those first two days of professional development.
We began our first day with a morning meeting just like we do each day with our students. Then the staff was placed into random groups and given a box and told to find a location to work with our team. When we opened the box we found fedoras, sunglasses, t-shirts that said "RAKtivist" and a link to this video:
Our team chose to visit a local senior living center and sing a few songs to any residents we could find for our RAK - Random Act of Kindness. After arriving at the center we set up in the lobby and sang our songs. I think the few residents there really enjoyed our song as you can see in these videos (taken by me while still trying to keep singing). We loved the woman who danced to our songs with her walker.
After we sang our songs an employee came and asked if we would sing again for the Memory Care Unit. Of course, we agreed. One of the nurses filmed us so we had the "proof" of our RAKtivism to bring back to school.
Needless to say, we had a wonderful day. The purpose of this day was to give teachers a chance to experience what we want our students to experience - service learning. We all had a choice of what acts to carry out. There were lots of great ideas. Some people delivered treats to our transportation department, others visited a local hospital, and much more.
The senior living center really wants us to come back and visit again. We are all trying to think through the details of providing this type of experience for our students.
The second day of our two staff development days had the whole staff going on a hike. This time we wore t-shirts that said, "Think Outside. No Box Required." During the hike we had some time for some solitude and reflection - just like we ask our students to do, along with lots of relationship building.
Do you see why I love my school?