On Tuesday, fourth grader Bethany Cox arrived at the Siesta Key Campus ready to push up her sleeves and act as the Head of Lower School for the day. The unique opportunity offered at Banyan Ball gives students the chance to step into each division head's shoes to experience what it is like to keep the school running smoothly. Click here for photos of her day.
Head of Lower School Mrs. Jessica Banks designed Bethany's schedule to mirror her typical day. She began by reviewing her timeline, getting organized, and preparing for the meetings and room visits she would have throughout the day. After her initial preparation, she assisted Mrs. Druehl with attendance and reviewed the menu with Chef Tina, before visiting Ms. Aberle's and Mrs. Ulrich's classrooms. She helped teach lessons, interacted with the students, and was a special guest reader for the kindergarteners.
"Bethany was a natural with the younger students," said Mrs. Banks. "All of the adults who interacted with her were impressed by her ‘teacher-like’ qualities throughout the day!"
As they learned about the role she had taken on, students approached Bethany to ask for special privileges. Mrs. Banks explained how in the role of Head of Lower School, she first listens to everyone and then makes decisions that are best for the whole group. Bethany took this to heart and carefully listened all day before making final decisions based on what she had heard, learned, and discussed with others.
As the day progressed, Bethany participated in a strategy session with Mrs. Banks and Dr. Rose, learned about the importance of campus security from Officer Steve, and hosted a lunch meeting with friends. She also toured a prospective family with the Admissions team, checked on the progress of the Book Fair set-up, visited second and third grade classrooms, and worked on notes for this week's Assembly.
"The day was designed to give Bethany the feel of how I spend my day," said Mrs. Banks. "Although her schedule was set, there were adjustments made along the way—which is the reality of how a day often goes. I had such positive feedback from the teachers who worked with her...my hope is that this experience will give her the chance to recognize her special ability to connect with people that she might not have known she had."