My extended practicum was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. However, this was not because of the planning, teaching, or critiquing. During my practicum, three grade 12 students were in a horrible accident. This left two students in critical condition and one on life support. Right away we as teachers came together not only to support the students, but to support each other as well. Unfortunately, matters only got worse. Half way through the day, news spread that the parents of the boy who was on life support decided to terminate the support. This obviously caused devastation through out the school.
Although, many of us had a close relationship with not only the student, but his family as well, we had to stay strong for the students. Many of the teachers were having a very rough time trying to continue on with the education process, but they knew that this was what was best for the students. This was when I truly saw how much the teachers at J.L Crowe care about their students. It would have been easier for the teachers to check out completely and deal with their own pain. However, they knew that in order to be role models for the students, they had to be strong for not only the students, but the community as well.
Furthermore, even though this tragedy was extremely traumatic, it brought the teachers closer with their students. Nothing tests a relationship more then a tragedy. We as teachers had to talk to our students when they were at a point of extreme emotional distress. Although, there is absolutely nothing that I could say to a student to make the grief process any easier, but being just a presence in the school gave the students comfort.
I was never so proud to be part of J.L Crowe then I was during this horrific event. The students and teachers supported each other, which was an amazing thing to be apart of. Having to watch my students cry over their lost friend was one of the hardest things I have ever had to witness. Yet, watching how the school supported the community, students, and teachers was a truly heart warming experience.
PS. The image above is from the Trail Daily Times. The students created bracelets with the phrase “sup Nol” on them. This was their way of honoring a fallen friends. This phrase was something that everybody said to Nolan and had a special place in the hearts of his friends.
Hoops for Hearts was one of the best days of my practicum! This day was organized by Terry Jones and his team. The idea behind it is that money is raised for the hospital and the students are able to take a day out of traditional education and spend the day being active and having fun with their fellow students.
Students and teachers were given the option to play basketball, volley ball, or ultimate frisbee. They were then given the task to come up with a team name, uniform, and raise money for the hospital. The best part of this was hearing the reaction from the students! Hoops for Hearts day was one that they seemed to look forward to from the very beginning of the year! When I was first introduced to my students back in October, they immediately told me about Hoops for Hearts day. The good cause behind this day of fun was defiantly not ignored. What i heard from the students was “and its for a good cause Ms. Fresu!!!!”.
Mr. Jones and the rest of the staff put emphasis on the need to help out institutions within our community. We never know who might need a little more support from our local hospital, and the students understood that. Not only did this promote unity for the community, but the teachers were encouraged to make teams with students who normally would not participate. Seeing the look on those kids faces was something I truly never will forget. Even if they lost every game these students in particular were having a blast. Teachers who made these teams were true role models for students, and often I saw more kids being open to adding those who they normally would not have to play on their teams! It was in this small act of kindness that I saw the true reason behind Hoops for Hearts day. Not only did it promote community awareness, but it promoted school unity. This day was not created for the kids who were already on sports teams. No! this day was created for those who have never been on a team, so that they could experience that truly unique feeling of teamwork.
Yet, the benefits of this exciting day did not stop there! Students got to play against teams of teachers. You can trust me when I say that their is nothing a student loves more then winning against a teacher. This promoted two things. 1) it allowed for students to get to know their teachers on another level and 2) it provided an outlet for teachers to have fun with their students and their co-workers. Therefore, this is not only an artifact that shows promotion of social responsibility so students can make positive contributions to society, but also shows the development of appropriate supportive relationships.
I have never had so much fun playing sports! Even though I am pretty sure that I am the absolute worst at volleyball, I wouldn’t take back a single minute!!