Putnam City Schools has an amazing tradition of bringing the entire teaching staff together just before a new school year starts called Convocation. Our Foundation has a booth there so we can welcome everyone back and give them a little love. The place really has the feel of a family reunion since it has been a while since the teachers have seen each other, but they’ve certainly talked, because many of the schools are sporting matching shirts.
The program includes our superintendent Dr. Fred Rhodes offering his thoughts on the upcoming year, a speech from our district teacher of the year, and a presentation of the negotiated agreement by the leaders of the Putnam City Association of Classroom Teachers. This is all interspersed with displays of our talented students in music and drama.
This year Dr. Rhodes focused on the reasons why he believes in public education, and toward the end of his remarks, he shared this video http://standup4publicschools.org/. Of course I cried when I saw it, but maybe I’m a softie.
Then our teacher of the year and state teacher of the year finalist Shari Gateley inspired us all with her call for teachers to be every day advocates. Building on the momentum our teachers started with weekly sign waving at various street corners, Shari asked the teachers to continue supporting their schools and students within the four walls of the classroom in powerful ways.
The music was impressive -- kicked off by the district’s middle school honor band. I didn’t even know we had a middle school honor band! It is comprised of children from all five of our middle schools, most of whom have only been playing their instruments a few years. One little guy had a bass saxophone bigger than himself!
It all culminates with a performance by one of the drum lines. Everyone loves a drum line, and ours are exceptionally talented. But this year, they brought out ALL 3!! They even played a cadence together. This made me cry again.
We are ready! Bring those kids on!