Staff at Spectrum Community School have started an initiative to increase respect for others and the building.
A group of five teachers banded together last spring to form a new initiative they’ve dubbed SpecRespect.
The goal is to promote citizenship, service and community at their high school. The program is being rolled out school-wide, recognizing and rewarding students for, among other things, helping others and keeping their school clean.
Gord Thatcher, one of the original members of the SpecRespect team and a teacher at Spectrum for more than 20 years has been around long enough to see the school go through “several different phases.”
“I’m one of the old guards here,” said Thatcher. “I’ve put a lot of time into the school, so sometimes you get into a bit of a rut yourself.”
This was a huge inspiration behind SpecRespect and something a lot of the teachers at Spectrum can relate to. Thatcher talks about a “good vibe” that has been missing the last few years at Spectrum. SpecRespect is Thatcher’s way of doing something about it. He recognizes that it won’t happen overnight but thinks that so far “it’s been a really good startup.”
The student population, while having some doubts, seem to think it is a good idea.
“It’s well-intentioned, I’m not sure the way they’re marketing it is effective,” said Grade 12 student Tori Schroeder. “There seems to be a lack of school spirit so restoring that is going to be a big job.”
This type of reaction was a reoccurring theme among students, however, younger students seemed to be more optimistic.
As of now, SpecRespect has put up posters with slogans such as “Keeping the School Green and Clean” and “Embracing Diversity.”
They plan to continually role out new platforms and listen to feedback from the community.
“It’s a great school to begin with but we want to make it even better,” Thatcher said.
– Ethan Badr is a Grade 12 student at Spectrum Community School and a member of the Spectrum Philanthropy Club.