Community as a Lifestyle at MHS
As a second year teacher at Milton Hershey School, I continue to learn new things about the school.
I have learned that community is not just a word here on campus – it’s a lifestyle.
We build community in so many different ways, whether in the classroom or in the student home. As a teacher, I have the opportunity to build a small community within the walls of my classroom. My students look to support one another, whether it is through helping with a project, working as a team to complete a task or simply listening to what the other has to say.
In my classroom we seek to encourage one another through celebrating one another’s successes. Community is also built through the connection I make with my students outside of my classroom. I will often go to student homes for dinner. Sometimes, I will connect with my students through attending ball games, concerts and even taking them out for a day visit. We interact not because it is required, but because it is a natural reaction to all that we have been blessed with.
The second thing I have learned is that the phrase “we are a family” is not just for the students, but also for all who work and live at MHS.
Last year, I wrote a letter to my students explaining what family means to me and how they fit into that picture. Family to me is about loving each other no matter what our differences may be. It’s about standing up for and supporting each other no matter what. Family is an unbreakable bond that lasts beyond childhood or in my students’ cases, a year in my classroom. When I see my previous students they often start by saying, “Miss Dykes, let me update you on our family members.” It warms my heart that I have been blessed with my own family as well as a family that now includes 34 students and all of my fellow staff members.
I strive to keep that family connection with my previous students and will continue to do so for each group of students I have the privilege of teaching!
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