A group of teachers at Rutland Middle School in Kelowna has put together a creative video with its students.
Teachers Renae Graham, Andrew Butterworth, Carla Parker, Shannon Ward, and Agnes Gagliano came up with the school-spirit idea to make sure students feel welcome and to give them a sense of belonging.
Normally around this time of year, Rutland Middle School would have an in-person orientation for students that will be joining the school in September.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the school will be doing a virtual orientation for future students.
Students and staff in the entire school participated in the “mannequin challenge,” something that went viral on social media not long ago. The challenge consists of everyone freezing in their favourite mannequin pose while a camera walks through the school offering viewers a virtual tour.
“We wanted to showcase our community. We wanted to show off our school spirit and our collaboration in our classes,” Butterworth told the Capital News.
He added that students were engaged in the process and excited about the video. “It brought everyone together,” he continued.
He added that graduating from elementary school and heading into middle school can be an intimidating process for students and the teachers hope the video will ease some of the new students’ nerves.
Rutland Middle School is often viewed as ‘old school’ because it’s quite literally one of the oldest schools in Kelowna (built in 1949), but the teachers say inside it has new school vibes – as displayed by the video.
“We wanted to show that the Kelowna community what we’re all about,” said Butterworth.
“…with teachers who care about their students,” trailed Graham.
“These ideas, given the circumstances, are important for kids to feel welcome and engaged at school,” added Butterworth.
The teachers added that these playful ideas are important for kids to feel welcome and engaged at school, especially during the pandemic. The video will be played through zoom during the new student orientation.