“We’ve got spirit, yes we do! We’ve got spirit, how ‘bout you?”
School spirit connected to athletics is legendary. Cheerleaders for sports, pep rallies that encourage students to root for their team to win, mascots, songs that audiences cheer……..we have all experienced, seen, or heard these long-standing traditions of schools and sports.
But, what about the other disciplines in education? What about academics being celebrated as a school? How can your school not just acknowledge academic achievement, but “pump up” students to strive for excellence in other areas besides athletics? Below are a few ideas for schools:
- Make learning FUN! Develop lessons that are hands-on instead of direct instruction..
- Display student works in classrooms, hallways, common areas, etc. Show that student academic achievement is prized!.
- Hold student rallies on occasions of academic success. Celebrate those accomplishments as a school!.
- Recognize teams that are not athletic and their accomplishments – for example: debate, music (instrumental and choral), journalism, writing contests, etc..
- Showcase academic awards in display cases in the school. These can be trophies, ribbons, certificates, etc. attained through academic competition. Examples could include: spelling bees, debate competitions, science club inventions, broadcasting plaques, state competitions of all kinds that offer awards, music concerts and battles that involve place-standings, etc..
- Make announcements that congratulate participants and winners regardless of the discipline involved..
- Take pictures and interview participants for school news, and pass news on to local community news leaders..
- Encourage students to cheer for all achievements. Talk about other awards in class. Share stories of previous students, or even your own, that highlight academic excellence..
- Encourage teachers, administration, and staff to attend a variety of school competitions, not just sports..
- Support student achievement in the classroom – TALK to the student about their experiences. Let them share, even brag a little. Let them know that you noticed and cheered for them..
- Don’t ignore the accomplishments of athletes, rather, give equal time to academic accomplishments..
Explore the many ways your school can organize a Unity Day. Go the RaceBridges Resource Bridge Builder: Unity Day.