GIT UP and GET Teachin' !
There are times I get challenged on the "fun stuff" we do at school. People sometimes want to know - WHY are you doing that? What is the educational value of dancing and singing and making videos?
This year, the day before school started, while the staff at lunch, we threw on a few videos of THE GIT UP (see a few examples below) - it's a viral dance craze that lasted about a month this summer - of course I'm late to the party but that's because I'm an old man.
Then the next day, when the kids showed up, the teachers took 5 minutes and danced to the GIT UP.
It was silly. It was fun. It was uncomfortable :) Half of the kids watching didn't even know what do do or how to react. Not to mention the kindergarteners who, on their first day, were just completely shell shocked from all the lights and sounds. I'm sure they thought we were crazy. Looking on many of their faces, they didn't look like they even understood or liked the crazy display of dance and adult hijinks.
So why even do it?
I think it's to create memory.
While, much like a teenager who is being forced to participate in family game night, some of the teachers may protest or grumble a little at the time, they all remember it. They all smile a little when we talk about this time and that - remember when Mr. Long got the dodgeball right in the face? Remember when Mrs. Gramble rapped the entirety of Rappers Delight? They remember. It adds a little spice to the blandness of life.
Life can get pretty repetitive. Even in jobs where the day to day is never the same, there becomes a certain rhythm to them. Teach a phonics lesson. Go to lunch. Teach a Math lesson. Go to PE. Remind them the expectation is to not talk while you're talking. Tie some shoes. Get ready with backpacks. Remind them the expectation is not to cut each others hair. Go home.
The special days add a little zest. They keep you from going insane like a hamster on a wheel. We want our teachers to LIKE THEIR JOBS. The more fond memories they have of teaching, the less they will contemplate quitting the professional altogether at 9:00 on a Sunday night.
And while the kids don't always seem particularly impressed by the antics (some really love it though :) And the older kids grumble and act like it's not cool. It's still creating memories.
Kids come back after leaving and often say "I miss this school!" That alone is a pedigree that we're doing something right. But I have never had a kid come back after going on to middle school and say - "I miss this school. Remember when we learned about fractions?"
No they always say "Do you still do videos? Do you still do lip dubs? Remember when we had the color run? Remember the talent show?"
I believe a school's job is to prepare a student for life - academically and also socially. One of the bigger hurdles we have to face is just getting our kids to STAY IN SCHOOL when the get older. Not enough of them finish High School. And even those who do, not enough of THEM go on to College or Trade School.
We want them to WANT to keep learning. I believe the fonder the memories of school and education they have, the more likely they will stick it out later in life. The way to REMIND them that SCHOOL IS FUN is to HAVE SOME FUN once in awhile. (of course, we teach 95% of the time - we really only sprinkle in fun stuff about an hour or two a month, if that. Small price for a larger investment in the future :)
So if you've got a minute - dance. Look silly. Make them laugh. Make the MEMORIES. One great memory can make all the difference.
Check the quick video from the first day of school below. These teachers GIT IT!