Discovering methods to inject enjoyable into studying is essential even in the very best of instances, however in a yr the place educators have confronted quite a few crises, doing so goes a lot additional to lift spirits and enhance faculty tradition and engagement. .
For principal Quentin Lee of Childersburg Excessive College in Talladega County, Alabama, efforts to open doorways and construct relationships with college students and lecturers have typically discovered the band’s former director making humorous music movies. When his COVID-19 themed parody of MC Hammer’s “Can’t Contact This” went viral and gained consideration from CNN, Hiya America and Inside Version, the world received a imaginative and prescient of the management model that its faculty group has developed to like.
“Simply because we’re adults doesn’t imply we’ve got to cease being inventive,” Lee not too long ago advised Ok-12 Dive, including that he finally desires to amplify the voice of educators as they face the various challenges dealing with colleges. “This piece of creativity has been capable of open the world to the issues I’ve to supply in my viewpoint and my purpose. My prayer is that I can assist encourage different educators to do all this and extra. for his youngsters. “
Over the course of our dialog, Lee detailed the significance of discovering methods to attach with college students, the crucial function of authenticity in management and much more.
DIVE EDUCATION: How has your thought course of been about constructing and sustaining faculty tradition, particularly on this previous yr when it looks like every part is simply completely in a state of disaster?
QUENTIN LEE: It’s all again to the household. I solely keep in mind my experiences after I was in class and the way I felt. Highschool and highschool was a really unhealthy expertise for me. I don’t really feel related to any lecturers. It was a horrible expertise.
I at all times mentioned if I turned a instructor, I’d by no means let any scholar hear my emotions in my class. And as a principal, I positively don’t need that to occur. So I’m working onerous to construct these optimistic scholar relationships and in addition to construct relationships with lecturers.
Usually, we name our faculty “household” as an alternative of our faculty’s “school” as a result of that’s how we function. We beloved one another. We help it. As a household, you generally disagree, however you at all times love one another. It went past that. We empower our lecturers to ascertain these relationships with our college students.
We’d not have been capable of succeed as a lot as with COVID-19 with out having these optimistic relationships already constructed and put into operation. Our college students did the work due to the expectation they knew of being on campus. I feel it was key – it simply actually establishes a tradition of expectation, success and love and acceptance, so everybody feels supported, and everybody is aware of that they’re positively group gamers and have a job within the largest image of all.
And simply be clear. Now we have groups to make all our selections, and we search for what will probably be in the very best curiosity of our college students and be certain that we embody their security and our mission and our values. That’s how we make selections. I feel the method has positively allowed lecturers to purchase in, as a result of they know that they don’t seem to be simply lecturers however truly leaders right here on campus.
You’ve gained numerous consideration for movies like your “You Can’t Contact This” parody COVID-19. How vital is it to inject slightly enjoyable and humor into the day to assist preserve college students and workers engaged, and in addition simply to humanize you and different educators?
LEE: I giggle most likely 10,000 instances a day. Laughter is certainly a drugs for the soul, and my college students know that after they come round, they’re all enterprise, however they know they’re going to have a very good giggle. We’ll discuss every part we have to discuss, however I’ll break a joke or discover humor and I’ll simply share that have.
I can’t inform you what number of instances, earlier than COVID, youngsters have to surrender a part of their lunch time to come back sit in my workplace and discuss or have a dialog. It’s simply part of it.
I prefer it !!! ???????????? Say howdy to Dr. Lee pic.twitter.com/2ohVRypuAe
– MC HAMMER (@MCHammer) August 4, 2020
That video is without doubt one of the many movies we usually make. I wish to make simply humorous movies, to joke about ourselves and make the children decrease themselves a bit, but additionally simply to lift consciousness. With everybody coming again to highschool, we need to do one thing the place we are able to go on the CDC pointers however put a enjoyable spin on it.
The opposite factor was that we wished to supply a possibility for fogeys to speak to their youngsters about what it was like after they had been rising up. MC Hammer is an icon for a lot of, and it was positively a speaking level as a result of a few of our youngsters knew the identify, however didn’t know the legend behind Hammer. And many individuals had been capable of relive their music and fogeys had been capable of share their experiences with their youngsters.
How did the mother and father react while you posted these movies?
LEE: The mother and father are virtually ready for him. “It is simply Dr. Lee.” They giggle, as a result of they know I’m going to do one thing bizarre and loopy. Coming dwelling, particularly right here on our campus, is a enjoyable time. I like to decorate. I’m bald, however normally after I get dwelling, I get my hair glued simply to get some kick out of the children.
They know I at all times do one thing enjoyable to attach with youngsters, and it’s sort of an expectation they usually prefer it so much. They’re very supportive. They’re very proud.
What do you assume is a very powerful factor to bear in mind, or maybe essentially the most difficult factor, to stroll the road between having enjoyable with related issues but additionally being seen as a severe boss? Is it a matter of authenticity?
LEE: It’s an exquisite line. The principle factor is that I lead with my coronary heart, and let folks know with the relationships I’ve fashioned that I’m a servant. So I don’t need to ask any of my lecturers to do one thing I’m not prepared to do. I clear up, I wash the strain – I do all this as a result of it’s my coronary heart, and that’s my function.
With the relationships I’ve constructed with my college students, I perceive that I can minimize with them a second and minimize them fairly onerous the subsequent. Simply share my expectations with them. At the moment, even throughout COVID-19, our attendance price is 98% for our faculty. It is rather good through the center of a pandemic to have such a excessive attendance price, however the expectation is that college students will come to highschool.
We’re on a mixed-race (hybrid) mannequin, so they arrive half the time, however they know they’re coming into an setting the place they’re supported and challenged, they usually prefer it. They need to make their lecturers proud. They need to make their mother and father proud. It solely goes again to the connection piece.
I feel what attracts the road is that individuals can see that this isn’t a present. It’s about who I actually am. Authenticity is valuable. Everyone knows when somebody does simply one thing for the present, and that’s not the case right here.
I do it as a result of it’s my life’s work. That’s my mission. I don’t have the time to be faux. If there’s one thing we have to handle, we’ll have these conversations and transfer on. However simply doing every part we are able to to fulfill the wants of kids, that is a very powerful factor.