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Student Surprises!

October 11, 2012

Life at Merrydale Elementary brings a lot of surprises. It has come to the point where I am never surprised when a surprise pops up, but the surprise still surprises me.(Have I lost you yet?) What I’m trying to say is that every day, my students come to school with a new skill, tidbit of knowledge, or attitude. I never know what to expect.

In order to encourage good behavior, Merrydale uses a program called PBIS (Positive Behavior Incentive Support). Each month, the school holds a big celebration for the students who consistently model PBIS expectations. These celebrations have been no exception to the “surprise Miss Emma” rule. The PBIS celebration for August was a sock hop. Close your eyes and imagine a sock hop. Did you see poodle skirts and saddle shoes? …Yeah, that didn’t happen. Now, close your eyes and imagine The Wobble. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with the dance, the image in your head might have been something moving back and forth unsteadily, like mine was!) Good news! Both images were correct!

We had our “Sock Hop” celebration in two parts. First, kindergarten through 2nd grade gathered in the auditorium/gym to dance. They didn’t quite understand the concept of a dance, so my team mates and I danced and acted silly to encourage the kids to do the same. I spent most of the time with the kindergardeners. Many of them literally wobbled around like penguins. A lot of them jumped up and down (and on each other in the process), and a few of them attempted to break dance. All of them wore gigantic smiles on their faces. After the little ones returned to their classrooms, 3rd through 5th grade arrived to the celebration. This group had a ton of energy, which is perfect for a dance! I enjoyed watching my students have fun dancing with their classmates. At the end of a long day of class, they had an opportunity to talk to their friends, have fun, and show off their talents! Obviously a sock hop is never complete without doing The Wobble… and that is exactly how we ended the event.

I love participating in PBIS celebrations at Merrydale because they give me an opportunity to get to know my students outside of the classroom. After the sock hop, I can now add “crazy-awesome dancing skills” to the list of surprises by my students.

(The September PBIS celebration was a popsicle party. After that one, I can add “size of mess that can be created by just one popsicle” to my list. )

I can’t wait to see what surprises my students have in store for me in the future!
love and happiness,

Emma Sullivan, Corps Member proudly serving at Merrydale Elementary

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