Adrian Cronauer is perhaps best known for providing the news and commentary on the radio during the Vietnam War.
Captured in the hit movie Good Morning, Vietnam starring the late Robin Williams (pictured right), Cronauer made it a point to deliver the news in style. Rather than the rule-driven pattern of delivery that was standard in military radio during that time, Cronauer brought imagination and enthusiasm, as well as a spark of light to the day-to-day demands of the war.
On a similar note, our morning assemblies at Lawrence (occurring Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) strive to bring innovation to communicating important news to our student body. Rather than having our morning announcements read over the PA system (sometimes sounding more like the Peanuts teacher’s trombone-like drone, “whaah wah wah whaaah wah”), students are brought together in the gym for 10 minutes of Lawrence imagination and enthusiasm.
Newsworthy information such as upcoming events (days off, assemblies, dress down days, etc.) are shared along with targeted topics geared towards shaping our school climate. In this case, climate does not refer to the weather, but rather the way our building “feels”. We strive to make Lawrence feel like a warm, friendly and inviting place for our students.
This school climate is often driven by the way people treat each other in the building. For instance, how visitors are greeted; how teachers treat students and fellow faculty; how students treat teachers, and – most importantly – how students treat each other.
Using an edutainment style (educating and entertaining at the same time), topics such as embracing differences, the importance of including others, how to handle disagreements, as well as many others are shared with the student community and thus defining the climate expectations. For example, this year’s group of students have already adopted our new Lawrence School Cheer. At the start of each assembly, three questions are posed and the kids respond in unison with the answer:
Who are we? Lawrence Lions!
Why are we here? To learn and achieve!
How do we do it? With respect!
So “Good Morning, Lawrence!” Today’s weather forecast is warm and sunny!
Bill Musolf joined Lawrence in June 2007 as the Dean of Students at the Lower School campus. He has been in education since 1993, serving as a school psychologist and elementary guidance counselor. Bill received his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from The Ohio State University, and completed both his master’s and Education Specialist degrees at Michigan State University. He can be contacted at email@example.com.