I’m not quite sure I’m “smarter than a 5th grader” as I watched them work on complex math including order of operations and other math skills that are preparing them for Algebra. I was very impressed with the young lady who neatly wrote out her steps all around her paper. I told her my children would have erased their work despite my telling them over and over how it important it is to show their work, something my own teachers stressed again and again.
The students’ work was displayed throughout the building – some was writing, some was math, some included the student’s pictures. There was a display of a competition between classes to encourage students to win a “gold” or “silver” medal as they progressed to more difficult skill levels. And there were a few “teacher” works displayed – an “I’ve been mugged” picture that I noticed on several doors. The principal informed me that this was a morale booster for teachers. This was something I thought was great…being a teacher myself, I know how frustrating some days can be. I told the principal that I will never forget what it felt like to go to my mailbox and see a full-sized candy bar from the Student Council there – just because. That candy bar, though a small gesture, made a huge difference in my day. Their “mug” morale booster is a “pay it forward” mug filled with goodies to brighten a teacher’s day. Being a teacher is difficult and sometimes feels like a thankless job. But these Harris Elementary teachers seem to have it right…they not only keep their students focused and engaged, but they support one another to make Harris a great place to be.