This post is a bit of a flow on from yesterday's one about belonging. Today was swimming sports day and I fronted up in my red hat and t-shirt ready to help out and cheer on my team. The best part of this day is seeing the students outside of the classroom. The second best part whether you are new or not is interacting with colleagues who you may not have had the chance to chat to yet.
There's always the staff member who goes to great lengths to dress up and promote their team and kids take great delight in seeing and interacting with their teachers and support staff outside the classroom. It's just a wonderful day for all if the kids are mostly behaving, the weather holds up and everyone pitches in. It can also be wonderful even if the weather turns foul or some of the precious ones don't do the right thing. There's much to learn about everyone just by being there and taking part.
I learnt the name of my team, which other staff members are also in my team and I also learnt a lot about what my new school's values. We can never underestimate what can be seen in these public events. We often remind students they are on show on these days and I'm wondering if we realise we are also on show. There were a number of parents and grandparents at this event and it had the feel of a community event. I loved all of this and it added to my experience of belonging. There may not have been a huge turnout as is often the case but this didn't seem to matter so much.
These things can always be improved but for now it was enough that the weather was beautiful, my students said hi, I chatted to some more colleagues and, yes, my new team won. Go Red.