One week ago, the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township held its opening day for staff. Any person who worked in the school district was in attendance at Ben Davis High School to get pumped up for the school year.
I worked for Wayne Township for five years as a 7th and 8th grade English teacher. Then, I left to try two different roles in education, English as a New Language teacher and elementary & secondary Literacy Coach. This year, four years after I left, I returned as an elementary Library/Media Specialist.
Since I was a former Wayne employee, I knew opening day was going to be exciting and I knew the unexpected could happen. I remember the year when Wayne Township Superintendent Dr. Butts sang, “Feeling Good.” I didn’t even know he could carry a tune. Typically, staff members sit with their school, although this is not a requirement. When I was a middle school English teacher, I never sat with my school during opening day. I don’t like huge crowds. I would always sit on the bleachers close to the floor and close to the exit. When I returned this school year, I decided I would actually sit with my school and my school decided to sit close to the front. I sat next to the aisle because I really don’t like to be packed in close to people and I like feeling some open space around me.
Halfway through opening day, that’s when this wonderful moment happened. Dr. Butts had two new administrators come to the stage. He shared they wanted to introduce themselves to the district through dance. When the music started playing all of the administrators in the district came out of the bleachers and started dancing and I started recording. Later, I tweeted the video and posted it on LinkedIn; I didn’t think much about it. The next morning WTHR contacted me and asked if they could use my video. I agreed and then a few hours later, two national news outlets contacted me and asked for permission. Since I posted the video, the comments have not stopped.
I’m an education writer and I missed the significance of my video. I missed the importance of the moment I captured. There is a fierce education battle happening and the narrative is constantly negative. Every time you turn on the news, there is another terrible education story. This video allowed people to get excited about school and get excited about students learning. We need more of this.
I’ll leave you with this: How are you helping improve the education narrative?
Also, check out some of the comments posted in response to my video.
Loved the energy and the teachers not being afraid to be vulnerable and put themselves on display for a laugh of encouragement from their students. Great job teachers.
You are going to be a famous writer one day or maybe a news reporter.Aunt Sue
Thanks! I was in Detroit about a week ago at the National Association of Black Journalists. I will be writing about the experience soon.