As some of you in our Brighton Park Family know, we recently changed our school motto to "SOAR", which is a term we can use around the school to remind our students of their intentions in behavior and academics. In our school, Brighton Park Eagles:
- Show respect
- Own their actions
- Are ambitious and are
- Ready to learn
In an effort to enhance these characteristics and the message we're wanting to convey in the community and within our school, Principal Haas assembled a team consisting of teachers and staff members that have been trained in Social-Emotional learning to brainstorm effective strategies, including yours truly!
It was within these meetings that we quickly began to realize that SOAR looks a little different in each area of the school. SOAR in the classroom may mean different behavior and require different levels of effort in the cafeteria, or at recess, or even in the P.E. gym.
My main goal has always been, and will probably forever be, effectively and efficiently preaching SAFETY to my students. This should be refreshing to you, as a family member or parent; we all know that accidents can happen, but it's my job to prevent them from happening as much as possible.
This is where "Show Respect" and "Ready to learn" factor into my efforts. By keeping our hands and feet to ourselves, showing good sportsmanship, watching with our *EYES* (as I have my students shout), and listening and following directions, my students are showing respect. When their shoes are tied, they're on task and focused, they're ready to learn.
My students have a good amount of sportsmanship and competitive spirit in them, and I LOVE it. From Kindergarten to Eighth Grade, I'm teaching them all about having good spirit while playing sports and other recreational games; let's just call that "Character development". I add a challenge to the class, or to individuals, quite often, offering them a chance to be more ambitious. This is where we can see real effort in these students!
Eventually, someone gets a little too competitive, and a conflict arises. I created the Conflict Corner for situations like this, where students can go with their classmates to workout their challenges, and Own their actions. By following some simple guidelines, my students get to work on their problem-solving skills that not only follow them throughout the school, but also at home.
These are just a few short examples of how we're implementing and applying the new school motto into the P.E. gym. We have seen less behaviors and more problem-solving and positive attitudes in the gym this year -- we're off to a WONDERFUL start!