You have to give respect to get it!
Be the best you can be!
Play by the rules, be a winner!
Giraffe heroes stick their necks out for the common good!
The gymnasium at Rockcave Elementary School is papered with inspiring banners, all ending in ballooning exclamation points. I was particularly drawn to the talking giraffe urging kids to stick their necks out for the "common good," which was kind of quaint in our "me first" society. Cool. Continuing to browse the banners, waiting for the kids to arrive and the assembly to start, I noticed a white board with hand written directions. Reading from the bottom up, it said
and the first line, which I read (from across the room) to say, "Warm up Joy."
I wasn't sure what a coffee grinder was but I know a sprint and a windmill is pretty self explanatory -- but what about this "warm up joy?" How cool is that? Not only has this school NOT followed the current trend to cancel gym class for phonics drills, but they are encouraging JOY.
Joy! Just the word lifted my spirit through the gym roof.
It didn't even bother me too much when I realized I had misread the white board and what it actually said was "Warm up Jog." Didn't matter, the subliminal message stuck.
If I did not go into elementary schools, if I did not talk to elementary school children and hear their writing and see their pride and excitement, if I just read and believed the reports on children that I read in the newspapers, the reports from the greedy testing companies with feeder, scripted programs sold to schools to support their tests and the published achievement (or lack of achievement) numbers, I would believe those reports and never experience the daily, private, joy of kids learning together.
So, here's the question -- how do we slip more uplifting subliminal messages into our stressed out, over-tested, underfunded schools?