My husband and I always encourage newly married couples to play the following game: Count how many times people ask, “So how’s married life?” EVERYBODY asks newlyweds that question, but it seems so strange. Do the questioners really expect the couple to say anything but positive, gushy, lovey things. I feel like the same game could be played by North teachers and students. Count how many times random community members ask, “So how’s the new building?” I’m not sure what people expect us to say to such a broad question. I do, however, have the sneaking suspicion that some people hope they’ll get an inside scoop of negative gossip because they are often surprised by my stock answer. I state the unexpected benefits of our new digs. In the year that we’ve resided in our new home, there has been a visible change in school spirit. Students are proud to go to school here, and they openly support the Huskies. This is a far cry from what I found when I first arrived at North in 2004.
I genuinely enjoyed my high school experience, and most of my small-town classmates did too. Everybody went to football games. Everybody took part in spirit days. Everybody knew (and sang) the school song at pep assemblies. That being said, I was in for a rude awakening when I began student teaching at North and found that school spirit was virtually non-existent. My first year teaching, I even had a student get upset because he unintentionally wore green on a spirit day. He was embarrassed that his classmates might think he had school spirit! I was dumbfounded and disheartened by this lack of pride.
I am thrilled to see that this is no longer the case in our school. As I stood outside my classroom door last Friday, I only saw a handful of people who were not wearing North shirts. Now, I know a big part of this is because they want to wear t-shirts instead of their polo’s, but the fact that so many of them HAVE spirit wear is amazing to me. Kids who once seemed angry at the world… well, some of them are still angry, but they sure do look less hardened when they’re wearing an “I heart Huskies” shirt.
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and the National Honor Society. : )
The increased school spirit goes beyond t-shirts though. The air seems lighter than it did a year ago. Kids are *gasp* smiling when they walk through the halls. It’s cool to go to ball games again. Good grief… it’s even cool to want to don the hot, sweaty mascot uniform. Kids from all walks of life are coming to me because they want to represent their school as Blazer. We couldn’t pay kids to want to do that just a few short years ago. It’s crazy!
As I said before, I enjoyed my high school experience, and I’m glad to see so many kids building similar memories at North High School. Life is easier when you’re happy, and it’s easier to be happy when you’re proud of something. I am glad to see our Husky Nation making such a positive name for themselves.