"Yessir" "No, ma'am"
Trip Start Jan 01, 2010
57Trip End May 14, 2010
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That's what we've found here in Texan schools.
Good, helpful people in general, really.
First of all, let me fill you in on what schools are like in Texas (according to our experience). In these small towns, where the next town is over 40 minutes away, there is one school campus called an ISD, an Independent School District. There are simply three main buildings, one each for elementary, middle school, and high school. That's it--all concentrated and convenient.
So, theoretically, it's pretty easy to find the school for our job (as long as Google Maps has aclue where the address is, and if TomTom even thinks the road exists).
On the East Coast, we would find our school, and stand outside the locked front door at 6:30 in the morning until we could knock loud enough to get a custodian's attention.
In Texas, the doors are unlocked. Kinda nice. And then, we've been met by the principal of the school every time. I don't think we've yet encountered a custodian. The principal has always been the one to make sure we're all set. Must be something about southern hospitality. In Lenorah, the principal even ran out to our van, just before we were about to drive away after school, and offered us (more) water bottles or soda for the road. Nice folks here. It's encouraging to see that the administration here is respectful, observant, helpful, and accommodating. Naturally, the students will follow suit. It's expected of them.
And, indeed, the students have been great help.
Whether they're middle school or high school, one of the first things you'll notice about the kids is their language of respect. I've been "sir"-ed, and Kelsey has been "ma'am"-ed more this week than our entire pre-Texan life.
And I often work with the kids in setting up the screens for the assembly. And I can tell you that two Texan students are more productive and helpful to me than 5 or 6 East Coast kids. Sure, they're still kinda slow and non-emotive in the early morning set-ups (what teenager isn't), but even so, and then especially in the afternoons, you couldn't ask for a better working crew. They follow instruction, they respect us and our equipment, they even show a little bit of common sense here and there.
So, that's my bragging session on Texan students.
It all reflects our theory about thedirect relationship between the attitude of upper-level school management and the culture of respect among students. It's finally nice to see it operating positively.