It was decided to “fly” the ASB Director position at my school. As the current Director, I decided to reapply for it. All of this is public knowledge. I want to continue being the Activities Director and I think I’ve done a good enough job to continue.
This is my fourth year as Activities Director. I have steadily improved the program and my performance. I have not always been perfect, but, then, mistakes are often great ways to learn. Thomas Edison didn’t walk into the lab, fire up some tungsten and call it a day because he had perfected the light bulb. I think he probably blew up a few before it worked right.
Since taking over in 2007/2008, I have implemented The Jersey Awards and The Silver Apple Awards which recognize staff and faculty who have made a difference for students. We do these awards in front of the whole school at Homecoming and Prom, respectively, to remind everyone that making a difference is what we do. Speaking of Homecoming, I also started the parade with the clubs. At least, there wasn’t a parade at Homecoming that I remember, beyond the princesses riding around the track. The last couple of years, clubs have created floats, or just made some signs, and marched around the track. It’s very cool display of school pride.
We started the Class of the Year competition in which the students of each class, like 2011, 2012, and so on, compete for points in weekly lunchtime games, spirit competitions at rallies, dress up days and attendance for the month. The winning class gets their name on the Class Cup and a party thrown at the end of the year. I believe this has the potential to strongly enhance school spirit because, in theory, everyone at the school can take part and has a stake in the outcome. I mentioned weekly lunchtime games. This is new from my ASB as well. We play music every day at lunch and make announcements about what is going on, too.
We started the Welcome Back Dance this year. And, we have tried to increase the number of dances we have. The Friday Night Fever dance, the Overtime dances after football games, the Class of the Year party, all of these are new activities to the school.
I added the “Copper” level to Renaissance rewards so that students that showed progress toward a high GPA could be recognized. Anyone that achieved at least a .5 improvement in the term GPA from one to the next could take part in the Renaissance rewards.
In order to increase transparency in our student government, I moved the twice weekly business meetings to be held after school instead of during class periods and have pushed the Class Officers to hold monthly “Town Hall” meetings, to communicate with their constituents better. I have also pushed to have consistent, monthly Club Advisory Panel meetings in which the ASB President meets with club presidents in order to better meet their needs and let them know what’s going on.
Speaking of transparency, I have implemented the use of Twitter and Facebook to communicate with the student body. We have encouraged students to follow our Twitter account and we use it to both make announcements and reminders to students but also to communicate directly. Lately, I have answered many student questions about Prom, Graduation, ASB Elections and so on. I feel that this is a huge step because we all know that teenagers, and increasingly everyone else, have their faces glued to their phones and it’s easy to get Twitter by text on phones.
Financially, we had an awful year last year. Many things that happened weren’t directly under my control. However, I nonetheless strove to increase revenue and decrease expenses. I cut $5,200 out of expenses for Homecoming, for example, and cut our Renaissance expenses by $4800 while, still, I think, maintaining a similar level of performance for those activities. Some students have told me that this last rally was our best so far. We got tons of compliments for the SuccessFest t-shirts. I ran four different student fundraisers, did three Cat Bite Nights and one book fair this year to pay for graduation. Plus, my ASB students sold Smencils, Fruit Snacks and Rice Krispies to raise funds, too.
In addition, I feel that I have improved many activities already in place such as Orientations for the student body, pep rallies, Renaissance rallies, posters and publicity for ASB activities, online ASB elections, and organization of officer job duties.
Finally, beyond all of that, I recently achieved certification by the California Association of Directors of Activities (CADA) as a Master Activity Advisor. For the last two years I have formally studied Student Activities and worked with mentors who are retired Activity Directors, teachers, and administrators to gain a comprehensive understanding and knowledge of the issues surrounding ASB. I studied dances, rallies, communication with stakeholders (staff, faculty, students), working with administrators, legal and financial issues, school spirit, growing positive school culture, anti-bullying measures, and much more. I believe I have the educational background given to my by the foremost training ground for Activity Directors to be a successful ASB Director going forward.
Why am I writing all of this? Because it’s my blog. No, you can’t vote for me. Heck, your opinion probably doesn’t even matter. Sorry, just keeping it real. But, it’s on my mind a lot and, honestly, I like this job. I like teaching in general and will be happy as long as I get to keep doing it. But, I believe that I’m doing a good job, will continue to do a good job and deserve to continue what I started. If not, well, I’m not a free agent. I am employed to do a job and, frankly, I’m happy to have a job. People have a right to make a change if they see fit. Maybe I’m missing some important part of the puzzle and there’s a good reason to go in a new direction. That could happen. In any case, I am a teacher and that’s what I do, regardless of my assignment. I’ve taught Drama, English, ELD, and, lol, Math Topics. I’ve taught Freshman and Junior English and even two weeks of Senior English. I will always be happy to carry out the assignment given me. Teaching has the potential to be an amazing job with life changing possibilities. It’s difficult, but life affirming. You can’t beat that.