School Culture

My 13 year old son is so much of an inspiration to me! Without trying, he made a comment during a family discussion a few weeks ago leaving me speechless. My son basically told me he felt neglected because I had not attended all his basketball games. This was stated in response to a discussion about our family time. When he said it, I simply paused and told him he was exactly right. It was if a horse kicked me taking my breath away! How do you explain to a 13 year old your too busy with school business to attend all his games? You don’t! I didn’t try because in his mind he believes my focus should be family and supporting him-he was absolutely right.

How many school staff attend athletic or extra-curricular events to show support for students? Students might not say anything or thank us for attending but they do know we are there and really appreciate it. In many schools the staff will not attend events for numerous reasons. I am sure staff have family and other priorities preventing them from attending most events.

When students see there teachers watching and cheering for them, they feel supported. Support outside the classroom is so special because it promotes the relationship between the two that can potentially carry over in the classroom. When I attend concerts, games or competitions, the students realize and know I care about them. The same applies when teachers attend. What if we all attended just to see how much the school culture might change in a positive way!

I would be willing to bet if all or at least a majority of a schools staff attended events to support students the school culture would change in a profound way. The big question is how do you get the staff to attend? If staff members have family, they could make the event a family affair. As a principal with two boys, we do it quite often. All I can say is pick some events and go. You would be amazed how the students respond to your presence.

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