THIS IS US – Wonders of Willowbrook:  Our 1718 Story,   Week 1/Season Opener

This week teachers took on the task of defining mission, vision, and collective commitments for Willowbrook.  It all started with WHY?  Why do you choose this work? Why does purpose matter? Why come to this building daily?  Why is this important work?  Why?

Perhaps to those untrained for this work, the “why” is inexplicable.  To them being in a classroom of 22-30 students for six and one-half hours each of 180 days is incomprehensible.  Holding the responsibility for the learning, behaviors, emotions, relationships, dreams, and hearts of those students is unfathomable.  It’s perplexing to  them so they often state, “I couldn’t do what you do.”

The joy of starting the school year is an exciting time for both staff and students.  All have hopes and dreams of what the year will bring and what will be accomplished;  which is why the staff can answer the “why.”  Staff give their hearts, minds, and souls to creating learning environments that will build student confidence, teach them perseverance and grit, grow their curiosity into a continuous thirst for knowledge,  and lead them to success on many levels.

Incremental stepping stones along the path to success are cause for celebration and bring much joy to students and staff alike (which is another part of the “why”).  This week many joys of success stepping stones could be seen and heard including:

  • A confident girl take the responsibility of being the first to assist with announcements.
  • A young man take awhile to calm himself, but ultimately leave for the day with a smile.
  • Kindergarten students who are already into the “routine of school.”
  • A proud ELL student lead the Pledge and Respect Code with a loud, confident voice.
  • A building full of students who demonstrated appropriate listening skills & answered questions with thoughtful responses as the principal read to them.
  • Students and teachers process through the schedule’s stumbling blocks with calm & grace.
  • Students learn or practice collaborative strategies they will use to solve problems and engage in learning tasks.
  • 80+ students with wide smiles due to backpacks filled with supplies by community volunteers.
  • Staff and parents in the initial stages of working collaboratively to devise a plan of learning which fits the needs of a student.
  • A brand new teacher set up her first room and share the effervescent enthusiasm that comes with beginning a career.
  • New staff to the building learn about the district and start to build professional relationships.
  • Students who come with bright smiles and are self-assured in greeting staff every morning.

WHY is this work so important to us that we spend hours far beyond the school day on behalf of students?  To better understand, stay tuned to find out more about the joys and successes of each week!  If you are a parent reading this, please find some time to reflect on the week with your child, give them some positive feedback within the framework of a growth mindset, remember to tell them how they are a “wonder,” and share how much you love them.

The season opener of THIS IS US: The Wonders of Willowbrook was a hit!  Stay tuned for the continuing episodes of our 1718 story!