I have been outlining, writing, reading, rereading, editing, and thinking about the presentation I will be giving at the beginning of August when I go back to school. I am in charge of presenting to my fellow coworkers about the conference I went to in June at Ron Clark Academy.
If you have ever gone. You know, it is not something easily summed up in words. I can not just stand and lecture about this event. I also know that teacher time is precious- we never seem to get everything done. I know that we want to leave a professional development with happiness in our heart and immediately usable information. The worst trainings are those that are boring, stressful or don't apply to you as an educator or person. I want the staff to leave me feeling happy and ready to take on some of the ideas I will discuss. So, how will I go about this? I have thought and thought about it.
I feel the only way to present this information is to do it RCA style. BIG.
I am working on arranging some kind of live music. I want the staff to hear live music as they enter the training. Music is a huge part of RCA and it should be a part of my training. I don't want to just play some music on my computer! It needs to be live. So...I am working on organizing that.
I want to show the staff I care. Because I do. I want to make them feel special and cared for and supported- part of a school family. One way I know how to do that is with pictures. At RCA, there was a section of pictures that just made me gasp. It was so lovely. I won't tell you what it is yet (I think some coworkers may read this and I need it to be a surprise). I want to show everyone they matter and are listened to. Relationships are a huge part of RCA. It is the biggest reason for their success. I think many, if not most of the public schools out there need that sort of camaraderie and love.
I will also be asking my principal and the instructional coach if we may start houses. Houses like the ones at RCA but with a STEM twist (as my school is a STEM school). We shall see what they say. If it is a no this year, I will do it in my classroom and invite anyone else to join in if they wish. By the way, the picture below is not a hint. It's fun pictures I saw on the wall at RCA. :)
|The Houses at RCA|
I want to bring the fun. I have some games planned that will involve various RCA concepts. The games are versions that can be played in the classroom but with different information. I will post pictures of the games after we have done them. I have some exciting ideas for the games. Tehe!
Below is a picture of a giant Jenga game with an academic twist. I used that idea in my classroom this year and it was a big hit. I did not do a giant version though as I was worried about big blocks falling on the little firsties in my class.
I want there to be food. Since RCA knows how to throw a party, I want to incorporate that into what I am doing. I am working on getting donations from an area restaurant or something of that sort.
|The Great Hall dining area at RCA|
I want to remind everyone to fuel themselves. Just like the airline flight attendants tell us, we must put on our face mask before we may help those around us... we need to keep ourselves healthy so we have the energy and ability to help others.
I do not do this very well. It is a BIG problem for me. I know many teachers run themselves so hard that they burn out. I want to encourage myself and my fellow coworkers to care about their well being. I have a plan to start an incentive program this year. I will have a checklist that will involve 3 parts. There will be a health section, family section and educator section. For various activities, the teachers will earn points. The points will be translated into raffle tickets. The tickets will allow those who participate to win fun prizes (some of which I already have gathered). I will continue to gather various kinds of donations for the teachers to earn with their work on balancing their teacher lives to be more healthy and reasonable.
In the educator section of the program that I will propose, it will include ideas like adding cheers and chants to the class, trying a room transformation, doing something out of the ordinary/surprising, standing on tables, etc. So when the teachers try these new and different ideas, they earn points!
I need this program to learn how to balance! I am always trying to be fun and challenging in the classroom. I spend a lot of time thinking, researching, and creating an exciting learning environment. But my family needs me to come home sometimes! I need to learn how to balance time. Working hard in school AND getting home to play with my kids or help my husband with dinner. I miss too much family time.
I will be the one running the program so that I can not break the balance I intend to have this year!
Well, those are the basic ideas behind what I intend for the presentation. I will post pictures in early August to show how it went.
Have a great weekend!