School sports fans showing school pride
Outside the Classroom

Do We Have Enough School Pride?

I happened to be in the Denver airport just before the kickoff of the NFC Championship game between the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos. As you might imagine, everywhere I looked there were folks wearing Denver Broncos gear. As I looked around the airport, I noticed that it wasn’t just travelers who were decked out in orange. Even places with uniform policies like the United Club had employees dressed to root for their hometown team. It was great to see so much pride on display. But then I began to think bigger about this display of hometown pride.

…Students who take on new challenges in our neighborhood schools are just as compelling a story as a Tom Brady – Peyton Manning rematch.

Each of us lives in a community with at least one school. Every day students go into our neighborhood schools to tackle new challenges. Our schools aren’t factories where students do the same task over and over. Each day builds on the day before and challenges our students to become better, stronger, faster, until they reach their Super Bowl—graduation day. That’s when we tell them that they have mastered all we can teach them at that level. They earn their proverbial Super Bowl trophy.

I would argue that students who take on new challenges in our neighborhood schools are just as compelling a story as a Tom Brady – Peyton Manning rematch. But every day, these same students leave school and go back to their neighborhoods and homes with little fanfare.

If we believe that donning the colors of our favorite major sports team in some way helps connect us to others with the same passion or may in some small way contribute to an on-field win, then why can’t we show the same level of pride in the successes of our neighborhood schools?

Wouldn’t it be great if next time your neighborhood school had a musical performance, culminating athletic event, art show, academic challenge event, science fair—you name it—you donned the school colors, honked your horn, and high-fived your neighbors to celebrate the success of our greatest resource, our students?

About the Author

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Stacy Hawthorne

Stacy Hawthorne, Lead Strategist at Hawthorne Education, works with schools and districts across the United States as they design and implement technology-rich educational models. She started her consulting work with Evergreen Education Group, authors of the annual Keeping Pace report and a trusted consultant to some of the largest school districts in the country. Prior to her work with Evergreen, Stacy conceived and implemented a successful blended learning program as Technology Integration Coordinator for Medina City Schools in Ohio. Her passion for student-centric and technology-rich learning models grew from her experience as a classroom teacher.

Additionally, Stacy is the Past-President for ISTE’s Administrator professional learning network. Stacy was awarded the Silver President’s Volunteer Service award in 2015 for her efforts. Stacy was a contributor to iNACOL’s Blended Learning Teacher Competency Framework that was released in October of 2014 and a researcher for the 2014 Keeping Pace with Digital Learning and 2015 Proof Points projects.