I love Jimmy Durante’s song, “Make Someone Happy”. Our goal as teachers is to make our students “happy” and excited about learning. There are many ways the faculty and staff at Woodlake Elementary School create a “happy” environment for our students. On September 23, 2015, Channel 13 came to film one of my school’s greatest tools for building a positive school community- our morning meeting. Every day, our school-wide morning meeting begins with the “Pledge of Allegiance” followed by the school singing a patriotic tune like “You’re a Grand Old Flag” or “This Land is Your Land”. We recognize birthdays and then a third grade student will share the cafeteria menu for that day.
Next, Ms. Parker, our principal, and the teachers share the daily announcements. My favorite moments are when students are recognized for accomplishments that take place in and out of school. From trophies earned in sports to praises for aWESome work in class, I love to see the pride in the students’ eyes as they are acknowledged.
Each Wednesday, a class puts on a skit to serve as a reminder for our positive behavior expectations. This week, Ms. Kennedy’s class presented a song about “Classroom Rules” to the tune of “We Will Rock You”. I can’t wait to see how Ms. Whittington’s class shares “Playground Safety” next week.
The time leading up to our morning meeting is also extremely special. I have the pleasure in leading the students in songs before the school day begins. Our morning playlists includes our school songs and the theme song for the year, “Everyday Heroes”. We also do songs that include African drumming patterns while rapping about character traits and seasonal tunes. Without a doubt, the most requested song is Johnette Downing’s, “Feliciana LeRoux”.
Just as Durante sings, “Make just one someone happy and you will be happy too”, our morning meetings and sing-a-longs bring me such joy as we start each day on a positive note.
How will you make someone happy today? Please share your ideas on my Facebook page- Kelly Stomps 2016 Louisiana State Teacher of the Year or on Twitter @Kelly Stomps.