Thursday, January 15, 2009

A New Meme - 5 Things That Make My School Unique

I really enjoyed doing the "7 things" meme and reading everyone else's responses, so I decided to get the ball rolling with an educational meme about schools. I have found that each school I have worked in has a unique culture. Some of the things that create this culture are big, some are small and some you'd barely notice. Through this meme I thought we could reflect on those things that make our schools unique.

The general format for a meme is to 1) mention the person who tagged you 2) write your response 3) tag someone else. I want this meme to be flexible, so there is only one rule: "If the shoe doesn't fit, change the shoe". If you want to change the number of things, change it. If you want to change the wording, change it. If you don't want to tag anyone, don't. Take it and make it your own. (Feel free to pass this paragraph along)
Here are the 5 things that make my school unique:

1. Last year we got a brand new gymnasium for assemblies, PE lessons and any other purpose we dream up. The principal arranged for a fitness instructor to run sessions for teachers one afternoon a week at a minimal cost to teachers.

2. In the colder months we have a soup day once a week. Teachers who want to participate go on a roster and bring in a soup to share with the staff. Nothing beats hot, homemade soup on those cold wintery days.

3. Our Building Services Officer goes above and beyond normal janitorial tasks. If you want something special made - a display bookshelf for the library, tinkering station for kinder, or a presentation stand for the unveiling of a plaque - he will do it for nothing more than a "please" and "thank you". He drives a mini and is known to make the sound "mee-meep" as he walks past a classroom. The kids respond with a chorus of "mee-meeps" before getting back on with their work.

4. Our classrooms have very few walls. If you were to walk through my school you would see that it is VERY open plan. Some people worry about the noise level and high distractability, but I've been amazed by how well the students have adapted. It's a great set-up for teachers as it encourages teachers to team teach and allows for flexible groupings of students for differentiation.

5. We have a VERY dedicated staff. The teachers at my school give 110% and then still manage to give a little bit more when something special arises. Because everyone is learning, collaborating and challenging themselves, there are more programs and diverse opportunities for students as well. It's a very dynamic learning environment.

Now, because I want to give the meme a good chance to get started, I'm going to tag 10 people, but I hope that you don't all copy me! As I said earlier, do what fits for you. I tag:


  1. Hi, Penny! Your school sounds like a dream! Such an encouraging and nurturing climate. Just reading about the soup day makes me feel warm & cozy! My response will be forthcoming soon. Since I don't have a school per se and instead travel among 14 middle schools (grades 6-8), I'm going to tweak the meme and give it a different kind of approach. Thanks for starting this! This is an intriguing idea for a meme; I can't wait to read the variety of responses and find out about the features of schools around the country & around the world!

  2. Do you have a copy of "the rules" like there were on the 7 things about me meme? Is it OK to jump the gun and do a "5 things" before someone officially tags me? You tagged 10 people to get a head start. Will the "rules" say to tag 5 other people to write about their 5 things? Just thinking technical here for a moment. :-)

  3. Lots of people are asking me if they can respond even if they weren't tagged. YES please do. No rules. No need to wait. One way you could do it so it's still connected to this one is to write your own post on your blog and then leave me a comment with the link. Then everyone can come and read your post too.

  4. I enjoyed learning about your school which sounds awesome. The best part I liked is that you seem to really enjoy where you are which is wonderful. It is so much easier to teach when you are happy. I liked the soup idea too. When I was in school, I had the last period of the day for planning and the last Friday of every month I would have a tea party for anyone available at that time. I supplied the tea but asked for people to bring goodies. It was a great way to bond with others from different departments and everyone seemed to look forward to it. Thanks for sharing about your school.


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