I think I have officially overextended myself. Besides teaching a section of Sports Literature, a section of English 10 Fundamentals, 2 sections of English 10 College Prep, and 1 section of English 10 Honors, I have added the following to my schedule:
1. Organizing the Staff vs. Seniors Volleyball Game (Dec. 3)
2. Organizing the Faculty Scholarship Raffle (Nov. 23)
3. Advising the Sophomore Class and their t-shirt sale
4. Organizing the 3rd Annual Food Drive (Dec. 4-21)...which might be the death of me considering our local grocery stores have all bailed on allowing our students to collect food at their locations.
But lest this become a pity party, let me express the importance of all four events.
The Staff vs. Seniors Volleyball game is the first of three such events (basketball and softball come later). Our students, as with any students, enjoy the opportunity to watch us interact with them in a non-academic environment. For a brief time, they will see us working together, laughing together, and ultimately giving of ourselves to them, for their benefit.
The Faculty Scholarship Fund is yet another opportunity for the staff to join together to benefit our students in a quasi-academic manner. I will always remember the way my previous school's faculty enjoyed this event. There is an importance to connecting with each other outside of the Data Teams and other crap we endure.
The Sophomore Class t-shirt sale will allow our students to show their unity. A few weeks ago the faculty wore their recently purchased Staff t-shirts on the same day. Our students couldn't stop asking "Why are you all dressed the same?" We were able to demonstrate to them the importance of community. Schools need community builders. Simple t-shirts can start that process.
Now, the food drive is the most important of all these events. I started this school wide event in my second year at this school and did so because of the awe inspiring experience of participating in Cascade High School's food drive. That school had the most generous, compassionate student body and faculty. I knew my new school needed that. In two years, we have collected 11,000 food items and donated to to 25 local families. But as with last year, we are facing a broader community that doesn't share our values. Grocery stores like Price Rite, Stop and Shop, and Wal-Mart are hiding behind corporate policies and hindering our ability to collect food at their locations. It baffles me that others don't see the value of teaching high school students the importance of giving. We will see what comes of this food drive. I am praying that something will work out and that the progress we have made will not get halted by nearsighted corporations.