Activities Creates Community

I felt like I was in a Ray Bradbury novel, hallway after identical hallway, a sterilized and uniform production of doors and rooms each identical to the next.  While traversing the hospital wings to see my wife I was walking through the new wing of the facility with artwork of grape vines, vineyards and farmers.  As I crossed over in to the old wing of the hospital, I came across the white washed walls and sterile rooms that seemed to lose all color.  The most interesting room I passed was the “Nutrition Center.”  Immediately visions of tubes and needles popped into my head.  A maniacal looking chair waiting to receive an unlucky patron and then nourish them in an uncomfortable manner.  This got me thinking, how much does our environment affect how we perform or how we feel?  After these few days in the hospital, and from previous experiences, environment plays a big roll in what we do and how well we do it.  Think about a student who walks in to a teacher’s room.  There is nothing on the walls, no pictures, no indication of personality, just play beige walls that are found in any classroom in America.  Juxtapose that with a teacher who has up photos and posters that display a bit of his/her personality as well as student work posted up widely across the available wall real estate.  It does not take a lot of experience or research to know that teacher number two will be much more successful.  Teachers that create a welcoming environment build a stronger relationship with their students and will have better performance, and results, from the students.

As an activities director, extend this idea out to he school.  As activities directors we have a responsibility to make kids feel welcome on campus.  From the first orientation to the day of graduation, we work to have kids excited to show up and learn.  Now I know it is not solely our responsibility, but we do a lot to create a sense of community on campus with rallies, dances, lunch time activities and other social events.  In doing so, we create opportunity for our students to feel connected to the school at large, and in being connected, kids will perform better in their studies.

While I know “Nutrition Center” is a fancy and highly scientific way to say “Break Room,” it goes a long way to set the wrong mood for eating.  As the year ends, remember to keep up with activities and look forward to next year as your work helps to set the tone for how kids feel about their school and can greatly affect how they perform in the classroom.  Your hard work and planning creates a community for leadership so leadership can create a sense of community at your school site.

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~ by cadaleaders on May 21, 2010.

One Response to “Activities Creates Community”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mary Jane Smith, Matthew Soeth. Matthew Soeth said: New Blog Post: Leadership Creates Community http://bit.ly/djlGsy […]

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