A Great Example of Collaboration and Appreciation!


This past Monday, our high school students took part in an after-school Hispanic Heritage Celebration designed by our wonderful Spanish teacher,  Jo Chacon. Students, working individually or in small groups, studied a variety of topics related to Hispanic culture and presented their projects in front of fellow students, teachers, parents, and community members.

The choir performed. There were salsa dance lessons. There was some really tasty food. There were games. And, there were booths set up all along our hallways with beautiful displays and very knowledgeable student presenters. I was pleased to see many students using their netbooks to show off PowerPoint presentations and Animoto videos. It was, in short, a great display of student work.

Behind the scenes, however, was a great display of teacher collaboration. Jo didn't do this all by herself. There were cross-curricular connections made and her fellow teachers really pitched in to help make this project possible.

Jo sent out an email yesterday thanking four particular teachers that were especially helpful. In her haste to send it out, she sent the email out to the entire high school faculty. She later emailed the faculty telling them it was not her intention for all to see the email, but I told her I loved it! Her inadvertent public affirmation of these teachers showed great collegiality! What a wonderful world it would be if we could all find the time to work together like this more often to design engaging work for our kiddos.

With Jo's permission, I am posting her "accidental" public thank you here (making all the more public!). Names have not been changed. These great teachers deserved the credit!

Dan, the choir was outstanding as always; your arrangements are always so well done. Adding the explanation before Las MaƱanitas was a stroke of genius & the addition of the accompaniment was just that extra touch that made it a little more special.  Thank you for always being so willing to have the choir perform; I know it takes a lot of preparation time.  You really have a way of bringing out the best in your choir students.   
 
Mary, I know the fashion marketing girls have been making bracelets for the past few weeks (with a little whining thrown in).  Having the opportunity to market and sell them was a new experience for them, and maybe it will inspire them to come up with some new ideas.  Your tables looked so inviting, and honestly, I thought the bracelets looked great.  Thank you for always being willing to go the extra mile, and thank you for all your support and help.  You are my rock!
 
Rita, thank you for the artwork which made the foyer so festive, for inspiring the door decoration painting which almost took first place (2 points made the difference), and for constantly offering to help.  You don't know how much that means to me.  Your creativity and calming influence are always inspirational both for me and the students.  And, I loved the way you questioned (Student Name Omitted) about Diego Rivera.  He was so close to just skipping the entire event. Then you taught him about fresco & he blossomed into a great presenter!
 
Nancy, thank you for taking over the setting up of the tables 8th period yesterday along with Mary.  When I seemed to be pulled in too many directions at one time, you stepped in and got it done.  It's comforting to know I can always count on you! Last night,  I was thinking about the first year I was in charge of prom & how much time I spent in your room asking question after question.  I don't know what I would have done without your wealth of knowledge and patience.  Interestingly, almost 10 years later, I'm still relying on you!  :D
 
It's a pleasure working with the four of you!
 
Jo

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