President’s Monthly Musings: “Champion Communications”

From PTA President Keisha Green

Champion. What makes one? This is a question that’s heavily analyzed during this time of year. As I sat, waiting in anticipation of last night’s big game, I pondered this question myself in light of the 4Cs identified within the Superintendent’s Strategic Plan. Although I know Ms. Hutchinson has mentioned the 4Cs, I realize that not all of you may recall what the Cs entail. The 4Cs are learning competencies identified as important skillsets to master for future workforce demands.

I propose that becoming a champion, whether in sports, the arts, stem fields or the humanities, is the 5th, unspoken C, the ultimate GOAL for our 21st Century learners.  Joyner’s PTA calls great plays in our efforts to support this goal and offers both monetary support and manpower to improve the lot of our students. Let’s muse on how becoming a Super Bowl champion is analogous to accomplishing mastery of the 4Cs, as well as identify the programming in place at Joyner that offers support for all 5Cs.

1. Collaboration– In football, as in life, no team can reach the pinnacle of success with a sole star and no supporting cast. Accomplishment becomes difficult within a homogenous setting.  Diversity of experiences and talents makes for a stronger team. Odyssey of the Mind, for instance, is an initiative that’s heavily supported by our PTA. The program calls for a group of students to collaborate on a long term problem and to address a “spontaneous” or never-before-seen challenge in a competitive setting. A team that’s made up only of individuals capable of long-term planning is crushed just as much as a football team full of quarterbacks and no offensive linemen.

2. Creativity– In football, as in life, creativity keeps things fresh and inspired. Who knew that a “dab” would become a national phenomenon or that once upon a time, instant replay didn’t exist. According to Albert Einstein, “Creativity is intelligence having FUN.” The PTA supports not only Odyssey of the Mind, but also Science Olympiad, which is a series of events intended to integrate science and creative concepts. Children partner in challenges such as, “Super Sleuths,” “Science Sketchers,” and “Backyard Biologists.”  Let the games begin!

3. Communication– In football, as in life, lack of communication leads to lack of progress. Players must understand plays called and signals thrown. The PTA supports Battle of the Books, a competition in which students read a number of books from different genres. Different genres of books provide the ultimate exposure to the intricacies of communication and make for a stronger understanding of people and their worlds.

4. Critical Thinking– In football, as in life, an inability to engage in “forward” thinking tends to leave your team behind. One team must anticipate another’s plays, just as in business and science individuals must consider the needs of an ever evolving citizenry.  It’s now hard to imagine life sans Facebook and Twitter. Our PTA not only sponsors Science-Go-Round, our renowned experience of hands-on learning and demonstrations, but we also sustain cultural arts residencies throughout each school year. These experiences enrich our students’ thinking and make them stronger players for the future.
5.  Champion! As we’ve reflected upon these skills, I do hope that you’ll join me in my assessment that not only are the JYJ teachers and administration promoting the 4Cs, but also that the PTA is offering quality programming to nurture our students’ future success. Your support, whether monetarily or through manpower, makes this happen for our 21st century learners.
Let’s STILL Keep Pounding!!!

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