Life can often be like those crazy mosaic pictures that are made up of a thousand tiny pictures. When you just glance at it, it looks like anything you’ve seen before…the Statue of Liberty, a famous portrait, the president. But when you look closer, the picture you think you are seeing is actually made up of hundreds of tiny little pictures. These pictures are often the ones that tell the story of the bigger picture.
From April 4th to April 11th, ECS had to extend their school days by an hour to make up for time lost during snow days. We chose to add 30 minutes on to the beginning of the school day and 30 minutes on to the end of the school day. In this time, we did something that kids in school rarely get to do…we orchestrated a full-school project that involved students in pre-kindergarten through 8th grade across three campuses. In short, it was awesome. In fact, the whole project that we were creating was to a parody song called “ECS is Awesome,’ so you know it was awesome.
Over those six days, a glance at our school in the morning and afternoon could produce the thought that we used our extended time to simply make a video together. But if you look closer at the hundreds of tiny little pictures that make up the bigger picture, you’ll be amazed at what took place.
Each of our 5th-8th grade classrooms were partnered with a PK-4th grade classroom to create a collaborative video with choreography that some students and I will produce over the next few weeks. Watching 8th graders lead 4th graders, 5th graders lead kindergarteners, and everyone in between, was truly a work of art. The learning that happens through being a genuine team of students, staff, and family is different than any historical battle you could learn about. It is the kind of learning that breeds leaders, wonder, and creativity. It meant being able to watch the value of relationships play out across the entire school.
We are meant to be collaborative beings. In Genesis 1:26, God says, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” God exists in relationship – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Why should we expect to be any less? It makes perfect sense that we find satisfaction in being with and working with others. It’s in our DNA. We are collaborative beings.
This experience we had to celebrate our school and each other, through creative and exciting partnerships, was one of the most special things I’ve had the good fortune of witnessing in my career. I saw a 5th grader spending time praying with my son. I heard 6th graders talking about how excited they were to do another project with the kindergarteners. There were teachers working on getting their classrooms together again at the end of the year because they had experienced the health of collaboration. I’m excited for you all to see the finished product! But more importantly, I want you all to know how amazing the process was in order to have a product. ECS is, indeed, awesome.