This year, Inverness Elementary School students are focusing on being “Everyday GREAT” by showing Grit, Respect, Empathy, Adventure, and Teamwork. Teachers are receiving professional development on these characteristics and passing on the training to their students throughout each month in a variety of ways.
One new initiative the school began implementing this month is Inverness Crew, where every teacher in the school meets monthly during the school day with a group of multi-age students (kindergarten through third grade). The crews will stay the same each year, with new kindergartners replacing outgoing third graders.
The purpose of the Inverness Crew program is to foster ongoing positive relationships at school between students and teachers and between older mentors and younger students. Crew leaders will also be able to check in on their students throughout the month by celebrating successes and encouraging them to continue being “Everyday GREAT.” A few highlights during this month’s Crew meetings were students sharing their interests with each other, collaborating on group projects, and learning other crew members’ names.
“I loved meeting new students who I normally would not meet until second grade,” said Anna Frances Walker, a teacher at IES. “Now I am able to recognize more faces in the hallway!”
Students also overwhelmingly support the idea of the Crew meetings. One student said his favorite part was meeting lots of new people and getting to dance with a kindergarten teacher. Another student said she only knew one other person in her group, so she met lots of new friends.
Future ideas for Crew meetings may include discussion of the GREAT characteristics, service projects for the local community, and ongoing team building activities to continue building relationships throughout the school.