Shhh, Wildwood Middle School Staff Surprises Students
Wildwood Middle School students sure didn't see this celebratory event coming Friday afternoon for the first week of the 2012-2013 school year. Score one for character education! View VIDEOS AND PHOTO GALLERY.
Friday brought a high-energy, first-time event to a progressive Rockwood School District middle school.
When Allison Klouse became the new principal at Wildwood Middle School in June, she said teachers and staff asked her about new ways to honor and acknowledge the students.
"We wanted to celebrate the kids, and so this summer planned what amounted to a surprise social hour for them to end their first week of school this year," she said.
"We decided a short Friday afternoon party would be one way to say 'thank you for a great week.'"
Klouse said through character education work, they knew they wanted the event to be intrinsically motivating—not just a "you will get this if you earn it" approach.
So, with no warning, eighth graders were ushered into the Wildwood Middle darkened gym late Friday afternoon to see a disc jockey with a spinning disco ball. When students started taking seats in the bleachers, the disc jockey announced: "This is no assembly; come on out and dance."
Students appeared to have a hard time believing their ears, but after a few seconds, realized they could actually run around and enjoy themselves.
Student Jessie Minnch said the music was "a little girlie, a bit one direction," but also shared she had a great time in-between bouncing up and down off the floor. Another dancing friend, Ellie Bennett said the party was really fun.
With the eighth graders dancing the gym, that left the whole outside of the school for the seventh and sixth graders, who immediately split themselves up into like-minded groups to do the following:
- Walking around the track
- Talking in small groups
- Dance routines
- Running the track
- Somersaults and hand springs in a very pleasant, perfectly sunny summer afternoon
Music being played in the gym also was piped outside so the entire student body, teachers and staffers could enjoy it. The last song of the party played by the disc jockey? "Glad You Came," by the band The Wanted.
The event was meant to bolster character education elements at the school, whcih include: responsibility, respect, perserverance/effort, caring, cooperation, integrity/honesty, courage, patience and self-control.