If you have not gotten a chance to read my blog about my #oneword for 2016, check out Enjoy the Moment.
Concessions, prizes, fitness stations, Sphero mini-golf, used book fair, candid family pictures, a blinking welcome sign, classrooms full of theme park rides, experiences and games designed by students, teachers with the deepest desire for students to succeed and a building full of parents who understand the importance of being present for their children. I am not sure we had room for anything else. Tonight included all of the above as we opened Siglerland. Just look at the crowd that gathered before parents and students made their way down to the classrooms.
It was just an idea. An idea that started by asking, “How can we do this different?” Open house is a tradition in elementary schools across the country, but the activities, student work and overall feel for open house does not need to be traditional. Make it different.
Earlier today a teacher asked if this “different” turned out the way I wanted it to. Honestly, I did not have a baseline of what my expectations were. I wanted it to be different. I wanted it to be student centered. I wanted it to be fun and engaging for our parents, families, students and teachers. Had we accomplished that? I thought so. Would we do it different if we had to repeat it? Somethings, yes. We learn through the process. So, did tonight turn out the way I wanted it to?
Tonight turned out the way WE wanted it to for three reasons.
1. Students were proud of what they created. Students were proud to bring their parents into the school they attend daily. Students were proud of the process they were able to share leading to an authentic learning experience.
2. Teachers embraced the idea of doing something different. It started as an idea. The difference between a good idea and one that never happens are the people that make it happen. In this case, it was the mindset of teachers. Teachers who did not get caught up in “how it looked” but focused more on the process and the potential students can reach when given the time, opportunity and experience.
3. Parents who recognize the importance of what their students and teachers are doing. We had a full house! Attending open house is a choice. Yes, we advertise, we encourage parents to attend, but we cannot make them. Parents, grandparents, relatives and siblings turned out in droves to experience Siglerland. The comments that were shared with me from grandparents, parents and children help answer the question I was met with earlier today.
Did Siglerland turn out the way I wanted it to? Yes! I know that because the feedback received, the smiles on parents and students faces and the sense of accomplishment on each of the teachers faces as we all realized we did this!
It’s the moment. It’s the moment at the end of the night, when the building is quiet. It’s when the building is empty and the families, students and teachers have left for the night. It is the moment when I am left standing in the middle of the building realizing the success WE; teachers, students and families had during Siglerland that warms my heart. It is the moment in the eerie silence that I am reminded once again, I am one #proudprincipal.
Thank you teachers, thank you parents and thank you students for making #Siglerland and huge success!
Check out some images from Siglerland by clicking here.
What was your moment today?