Tomorrow is Field Day. If you went to school in America, have elementary school kids, or work in an elementary school you understand how great this day is. Field Day is a day where students celebrate movement. It may be through games, physical challenges, or competitions. Some teachers set it up as a mini Olympics, others showcase games and events they have done in their class during the year, and others just set up games that will engage the students. It doesn’t matter how it’s set up. All that matters is that for one day students get to enjoy being a kid without the cognitive overload that sometimes is heaped upon them.
My field day is set up so that classes travel to together and engage in games and physical activities. There is a blue team and a gold team but we do not keep score. I am not against keeping score I just don’t see the need for it. I have run my field days previously with a score and found that when I compare the days keeping score added nothing the event. Why bother with keeping points, arguing who finished first, or putting added pressure on students who did not willing sign up for whatever challenge their class arrived at?
Field Day brings me great joy for two reasons. The biggest reason is that my 6th graders run the events. They are the oldest students at my school. They have earned the right and the responsibility to run, what many consider the greatest day of school. (myself being top on the list) I love to see them step up and help their younger peers succeed. They also get a small taste of what it is like to be a teacher. Their judgement calls are questioned, they have to give clear directions, and they have to manage groups of students. Many of them tell me at the end of the day my job is not as easy as I make it seem.
The second reason I love this day is that the entire community is invited. By entire I mean anyone and everyone can show up. People bring chairs and hang out. Grandparents get to see their grandchildren having a blast. Parents see their cherubs dirty and smiling. Board members see what a school looks like where everyone is involved and has a desire to see children succeed. This day is full of fun and minimal if any discipline issues.
Field Day is a day of cooperation, fun, physical activity, learning, teamwork, responsibility, respect, caring, trust, and so much more! How often do we allow our students to get active and focus on the things that kids love while still being able to learn?
Q1: What was your favorite day of school as a kid?
Q2: What did it feel like to wake up on that day?
Q3: What is your favorite day of school now? Why?
Q4: How do you create days that the students will love?
Q5: If you could create a staff day what would it look like?