Smells Like Tween Spirit

photo 3Usually the quad is filled with smiling students and fun activities. It’s the place we have music and games at lunch, and picnics for both students and staff under the noonday sun. Today, it was filled with garbage.

Rubber gloved and wrist deep in banana peels and bread crusts, sifting through juice boxes and granola bar wrappers, our ASB students brought their industriousness (and scrunched noses) to an Earth Day audit of garbage and recycling on campus.

Their plan is to revamp recycling at Diegueño, bringing new energy and focus to sustainability and good earth stewardship. Working with a fantastic teacher, who did her best to stay upwind, the students were engaged in a lesson that transcended the regular classroom.

photo 5This real world learning is an important part of education. Sometimes it’s easy to see in action: students creating our school’s yearbook, actually making something that will live on for decades in cedar chests, brought out fifty years from now to bring smiles of memory.

Sometimes it swings: our student band marching in the annual holiday parade, bringing cheer to a whole community.

Sometimes it’s inspirational: the students who led our campus tours for incoming families, particularly the intrepid group from our Dual Language Immersion program who translated beautifully, were walking examples of the greatness that can come when students are given a chance to do something meaningful and real.

photo 4The two years students spend in middle school should prepare them to engage with the greater world of their own community and beyond. The thoughtful and thorough work of our ASB students did just that, and the rewards will benefit both the kids and our school.

I’m proud to work at a school that values learning both inside the classroom and beyond the schoolhouse walls. I’m inspired by students who embrace this social consciousness, and teachers who nurture and support them as they find their voices and build their knowledge.

And for any who find themselves in the quad surrounded by garbage and recycling, it’s a good life lesson to figure out a way to get upwind.

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