What do you worry about when you are starting a new job, going to a new school, or even just going back to school after a summer break? Are you excited, perhaps even a little nervous? These are the feelings that we all experience: teachers too. So, this year, Crefeld addressed the transition back to Crefeld for a new school year head on. Using both inside and outside resources, we spent several days in intentional team building activities so we could become stronger as a community, get to know one another a little better, and help lessen those first days jitters.
It started on the first inservice day when the faculty and staff reported back to work. We put aside student scheduling and setting up classrooms for the day and after a quick, get to know you exercise in the theater, we headed to Plymouth Meeting Mall, divided into three teams, and spent the morning rotating through three different “escape rooms.” Then we headed to lunch. This was a perfect way to have all the new and returning faculty and staff to become better acquainted with each other.
Then, on the Tuesday before the first day of school, we hosted a new family orientation on campus. New students had an opportunity to meet each other, meet their teachers, and get to know their way around the campus. While the students were having some fun, the parents were in “Crefeld 101” with me.
Each academic team (7/8, 9/10, 11/12), working with elective teachers, spent the first three days of school doing fun, team building exercises. Some students participated in a scavenger hunt at the Philadelphia Art Museum, others hiked in the Pine Barrens, another group worked on campus with an art therapist, and some built Adirondack chairs. The goal of this initiative is to build a stronger school culture. We celebrated our first week of school with the traditional whole school BBQ on Friday.
With our first day jitters out of the way, we are ready for the challenge of the new school year!