Friday, November 21, 2008

Tis the Season for TRADITIONS!

One of the things that makes our school so unique are the many traditions we have established and continue to embrace each year. Some are academic in nature and others are just to promote a feeling of fun and family. There is always something happening here - and yes, it is work - but each and every one are so worth it. They help shape a culture, define expectations and draw together a large and diverse faculty and student body into a high performing and highly successful learning community.

The really great thing about the folks here is that they also tend to help these traditions evolve over the years into some of the coolest things I have experienced as an educator. The memories that are created for each other and for our children will last long past that report card grade or FCAT score.

Today our Kindergarten team celebrated their annual Pow Wow which is the final celebration of a really in depth study of our native ancestors. They have learned about how many different groups of these native americans lived, what they ate, wore and how they celebrated their beliefs. This was our eleventh Pow Wow and I must say it has really become one of the most powerful and meaningful learning traditions we celebrate each year. It is amazing for me to look back at how we did it that first year and compare it to what happens today - WOW! Today's event is just one of many great traditions that are right around the corner for us. Check out dayle timmons' blog post for our new learning leaders to see what fun lies ahead for us. You can also click here to see a list of all the wonderful traditions we enjoy throughout the year.
Sorry, I'll have to wrap up my post now - the next tradition calls. Each year before the massive teepee is taken down I am summoned out by the Media team. Each year I lay inside it, stare up at the stories told on it's walls and reflect on the thankful children who have shared their gratefulness inside it today and give thanks for this beautiful school and for the rich and rewarding traditions that make it feel like a home.



Anonymous said...

I CANNOT wait for my little one to be joining the Chets family next year as a K student. She is going to love this tradition! KS

Anonymous said...

Today reminded me a bit of Disney World. As I got out of my car, I could hear the Pow Wow music playing and could see the enormous teepee. I can't wait for Joey to experience this next year. Our third graders talked all about their Pow Wow as they went to lunch and passed the Lenape tribe. They remember vividly their day. You K and Resource teachers are the best! We're lucky you are willing to do all the extra work.
-Karen Morris

Suzanne said...

I am always astonished by this event. The hard work and sweat equity of the Kindergarten Teachers, Paras, Parents, and our amazing Resource Team-- to pull off such a HUGE event with our youngest learners is incredible. I want to thank you all for making this one of the most treasured memories of our children. Still today, I can pull out my middle schoolers pow-wow outfit and drum. I still remember his name-- Little Bear. And it was just as amazing for my first grader last year, Shining Moon, who will cherish those memories, too. Thank you all for making it possible. It truly takes a village to raise a happy child.

Jenny said...

What an amazing day it was! I'm so thankful that I took a "Mommy Day" to be with my little "Squash Blossom" throughout the event. She and I had a fabulous time, and BOTH of us are VERY thankful for all the hard work the kindergarten and resource teachers, parras, parents, and other people, devoted to preparing for this tradition. Tears came to my eyes many times throughout the day, from the moment the first class was introduced (which wasn't even hers) to the morning ceremony, to the small moments of gratitude in the teepee "Peaceful Waters" passed the talking feather. It was simply amazing! Thank you, Chief Jumping Frog, for creating and nurturing such a great tradition! No other school can match it!!!

Julia Lewis said...

The day was absolutely fabulous and well worth all the time and effort. One of our students asked, "when is our next Pow Wow?" I had to let him down gently that it only happened once. I feel lucky to be at a school where this many people come together to make an event like Pow Wow happen. :)

Mrs. Wallace said...

This was my very first POW WOW grand finale. I've been behind the scenes in the past when my little one was in kindergarten but was not able to attend the main event. Although it was cold, my excitement took over.

It was also great to hear the fifth graders reminisce about their personal experience when in kindergarten. And for those that are new to Chets, it was still exciting to hear their friends share with them their stories combined with maybe just a hint of envy. I somewhat share that feeling of wishing I went to CCE during my elementary days.

A huge THANK YOU and GREAT JOB to all that have helped make this event such a special tradition that included music, dance and so much more... found memories!

~ Patricia Wallace

Ms. S-R said...

After so much prep work, this was well worth it! To see the excitment on the faces of my kids was priceless! I would do it all over again.

Anonymous said...

There is not a moment of DA's Pow-Wow experience that is not remembered fondly by all of us. Tracy and I both took the day off 5 years ago, and we built chickees, dressed in Seminole garb, and generally had a blast.

Seeing Miss Suzy was kind of sad though, as DA is now as tall as Miss Suzy (not saying much huh?), and she only has one more go round, before she's off to the great unknown.

Nobody does it like CCE!



The Lipsky Team said...

Pow Wow was awesome again this year! Thank you for inviting the fifth grade. Next year I will not place my students down wind of the fire and Moe's fire extinguisher. :)