This morning, I read Why Teachers Matter on Edutopia and the paragraph below resonated with me:
When you really think back about your best teachers, they were the ones who connected with you. They might have been classroom teachers, after-school coaches, parents or principals. They patted you on the back, knew your name and made jokes with you. They were human beings offering encouragement and building confidence, saying things like, "I know you can do this. Come on."
After reading the article, I thought back to the first official professional development day for our current WJHS teaching staff (June 3, 2013).
We started that day with a simple activity. Each teacher was asked to identify who their favorite teachers were and list the reasons why/how those teachers impacted their lives.
While sharing out, some of the same themes described above emerged. Our favorite teachers connected with us. They encouraged. They built confidence. They helped us uncover and develop our passions. They had a relationship with us. We felt like they taught for us.
The next step in our professional development day was to reflect and ask ourselves, “Am I being that kind of teacher for my students?”
Then we asked, “How can we develop a school wide system of operation that keeps the focus on what’s best for students?”
These discussions led to the creation of The Wildcat Way which is how we do business at Washington Jr. High.
Year one of The Wildcat Way has been a HUGE success because our staff is filled with teachers that strive to adhere to our CORE beliefs, Focus on Excellence, and build quality relationships with our Wildcats- the students that we impact daily.
Thank you WJHS teachers and staff. Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!