We have a class at my school called “Pirate Connections.” Our mascot is the pirate so basically it’s a class about making connections with the students, or acting a mentor in a way, to the same group over their four years in high school. This started at my school when I was a first year teacher and it has grown in great ways already in three years. The counselors and the Pirate Code team lead the class by providing teachers with lessons that we “teach” every other week during a short thirty minute chunk of time shared with club time. Although I enjoy the class and think it has great potential, I just feel that it’s not living up to its goals because the time is too short and too infrequent to really make those deep connections with students. So, I was brainstorming about it and decided to propose a few changes to the administration.
This was my first experience trying to make a proposal, but I really wanted to enact some change. As much as I love my school, I think that one great difficiency lies in the fact that the whole staff never get together to discuss or propose solutions to anything. In my opinion, schools operate like any other organization in that there are people, systems and procedures in place that need to be evaluated and modified based on external factors. In this case, I think that the adoption of the Pirate Connections class was great but now that it’s been running there hasn’t been any sort of evuation or training to improve it.
I presented my proposals to the admin this week after some hesitation, but surprisingly they were received warmly. In fact, they were excited and wanted to implement one of them as early as next semester. It also got the ball rolling toward presenting at the School Improvement Meeting so that another change can possibly take affect after getting feedback from parents, students, and teachers at the meeting. Though the process might be slow and arduous, I’m glad I took this first step. I think too many teachers don’t stand up when they’re dissatisfied and they might not be the only ones feeling that way. It is crucial to problem solve and reassess the way school is run these days, because so many systems in place are simply archaic.
I hope that this brings about some form of positive change, however small. I’m glad I’m involving myself in the decision making process regardless of the outcome.