I was in the gym early this morning watching the 8th grade students build their sleds together, with duct tape and cardboard. They were laughing, working, and trying to push the limits of naughtiness. It was wonderful!
Our head engineer approached me and said “When do they stop playing?” I responded with, “I don’t think they do,i think we just stop giving them the opportunity”.
Here at SAMS we want students to work hard, but we also want them to play hard. It is just the kid version of our vision to create a school committed to authentic learning in a caring environment.
But…sometimes it is hard to let kids, who look like mini adults, play. It is especially hard to do this the cold months before spring break.
Starting the end of January all the way to spring break is a tough time in a middle school. It is cold, kids don’t get outside, and they are grumpy. The same holds true for the adults in the building. We are cold, short fused, and somewhat annoyed at the grumpiness of the puberty driven middle school students! And this is exactly why, here at SAMS, we engage in our “Sledding Day” activities.
Here at SAMS we have “Work Hard Play Hard” days, like Sledding Day because:
1. If you don’t work hard, we still care about you, without lowing our expectations. We give you a “work hard room” to finish your work or to learn the essential material.
2. If you want to push the boundaries, we understand, we know you are trying to find your way in the world, and we are here to help guide you.
3. If you want to sing and dance, we give you a stage to perform.
4. If you want to work with friends, and even new friends, we give you some cardboard, duct tape, and a sledding hill to have fun.
5. Bottom line, we know kids want to have fun and to play. We also know, they want to work hard, so why not let them do both and name it.
Thanks to our staff who worked so hard to make sledding day successful. And, for letting themselves see that it is also OK to play as an adult.