Celebrating a Culture of Respect and Appreciation

The high school I have spent the last two years working in has a fairly diverse student body. There are a variety of ethnic groups, sure, but even more than that, there are SO MANY amazing groups of kids who are celebrating what they love. There are sports and activities and clubs for everyone, and if there is not an organization where you feel you belong, you are more than welcome to create one! Oswego East not only respects and celebrates the different interests of the student body, but the students themselves respect and celebrate one another. It truly is an amazing culture of kids.

This year, we decided to begin using a school hash tag, #oewolfpride, as a way for students to share all of the wonderful things that make them unique. Reflecting back on the Tweets and Instagram Pics that students have shared this year, I am amazed all over again at just how awesome our students are, not only at recognizing their own accomplishments, but at celebrating their peers. Here are some of my favorites:

athletes compliments souts teachers

I also really appreciated this anonymous Twitter account, created by a student in the school. “OECompliments” sent out daily compliments, like the one below, to random members of the students body. How awesome is that?!



Some of my favorite moments from the year came out of school wide celebrations of respect and appreciation. Our Hate Free at OE club encouraged students to dress in red and observe a day of silence in respect of LGTB youth. The outpouring of “red shirt selfies” and “Day of Silence” pledges on Twitter and Instagram that day (from staff and students alike!) was incredible.

dayof dayofsilence


Even though I knew I was in an amazing school, with unique, awesome kids, it was not until #oewolfpride did I truly understand just how talented, loving, caring, and special our student body is. Following the # allowed me to celebrate athletic victories with them even though I was home making dinner for my kids, watch them travel over spring break, get a sneak peek at their prom dresses, ooh and aah at how old they looked in a cap and gown.

Allowing students to help tell the story of “Oswego East” this year was truly eye-opening. What might you learn about your kids by inviting them to share?

Published by Kristen Mattson, Ed.D.

High school Library Media Specialist with a passion for instructional technology, curriculum, and problem based learning. Join my PLN @DrKMattson on Twitter.

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