While I strive to make every day an awesome day, sometimes I find myself chained behind my desk trying to get the scads of paperwork done. I’ll often find just about any excuse to get up and go; but this was no excuse. This was something very, very special. All of the winter concerts are a blast, but when other teachers get involved and get to show off our students in other talents, it brings more in.
The EAGLE program at Waterford Elementary School is the gifted and talented program that is at a crossroads. While they do a myriad of activities during the years, I have recently asked for a more curriculum aligned path so when the students start another school district in 7th grade, they are on the same level and have had similar backgrounds. While the big push has been STEAM and the MakerSpace movement, the teacher delved into something not done at WES before; a living wax museum. Students in grades 4-6 took on a variety of roles ranging from Patrick Henry to Jimmy Hendrix. Each student had a short bio to remember and had a information board and costume to go with it.
Neat? An understatement. Powerful? Not strong enough. Neither is the word ‘fun’. It has been a long time since I’ve seen so many parents, teachers, family members, and even fellow students in awe. The social studies teacher in me was doing cartwheels; the Superintendent in me couldn’t be more proud of the students and their teacher.
I think the EAGLE teacher summed it up very well: “Many things I do with the students forces them out of their comfort zone. This is one project that certainly tests their limits. When you were in the other day, you witnessed a rehearsal, a time to practice and stumble. They also know that I would be honest, critical, and sincere. They needed support and comfort to try something they never did before. My students have built a trusting rapport with me. They know I will guide them to new challenges, while keeping a safe place to grow, experiment, and sometimes fail. I don’t know if you area aware but some of the students have special needs and still have great academic talents. They learn to embrace their uniqueness and conquer their disabilities. I think they knocked it out of the park as well. Thank you for the kinds words, I will pass it on to them. It means a lot to this group that their work is appreciated. I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of kids. The year isn’t over yet, just watch what we will accomplish.”
Students learned something new; so did teachers and parents at that. Soar EAGLES, soar.