“He saved my life.” This is the comment from a student of retiring teacher Colonel Wayne Wilbanks, AFJROTC instructor at Wylie East High School. Colonel Wilbanks has this effect on kids and this is why his program and students are among the highest achieving in the United States. In my opinion, this deep loyalty isn’t about ROTC, it’s about relationships.
A similar retirement is occurring hours from here in a little town called Ralls, Texas. I was the high school principal in this community and English teacher Kathylyn Sedgwick taught me one of the most valuable lessons learned as an educator, if you love kids AND SHOW IT, hearts can be won, kids will have hope they will achieve in the classroom and live better lives.
When kids know that teachers care it makes all the difference in the world. We take this VERY seriously in Wylie ISD. For this reason, every student in every Wylie ISD classroom in grades 5-12 will take a quick and anonymous online survey each period. The survey asks two simple questions:
Does my teacher care about me?
Why or Why Not?
The idea behind it is to let teachers know how much kids appreciate them and perhaps identify the behaviors that are most effective for reaching the hearts of our students. It has been really impactful for the teachers who served in the pilot for this survey last year. Here what they have to say about what kids say about them.
We want every classroom to have a Wayne, Kathylyn or one of the great teachers from this video behind the teacher desk. We are doing our best to achieve this. I love your kids and so does our faculty and staff. We want them to feel loved, because it’s the Wylie Way.