[Vision2020] PE teacher brings GQ Club to Moscow's Lena Whitmore Elementary
moscowcares at moscow.com
Thu Feb 21 01:57:53 PST 2019
Cheers to Colin Briggs . . . for a reason to smile.
Courtesy of today’s (February 21, 2019) Moscow-Pullman Daily News at:
PE teacher brings GQ Club to Moscow's Lena Whitmore Elementary
Student club focused on teaching young boys to be gentlemen enters its third year
When Colin Briggs joined Lena Whitmore to teach physical education in fall 2015, he was the only male teacher on staff and immediately saw an opportunity to do more.
Starting that first year and each of the years after, Briggs, 28, has led the Genuine Quality Club, encouraging male fifth-graders to aspire to their higher selves.
“I want to do more than just be the PE teacher — I want to give them the skills to be a good person,” Briggs said. “These ideals and these expectations of what it means to be a gentleman can be carried through the rest of their life.”
Each Tuesday, Briggs said GQ members wear a tie to school and about once a month the group has lunch together and discusses what it means to be a good person.
This past Tuesday, during their second meeting of the year, each child signed a list of 10 member expectations. The list included items such as demonstrating “respect for the rights and property of others,” and a pledge to “begin each day by showing someone appreciation” with either a compliment, handshake or hug.
When the group reached the ninth item on the list — “we will never hit others,” — GQ member Kelton Clark, 10, elaborated.
“It’s more than ‘we will never hit others,’ it’s ‘we will never lay a hand harshly on anyone ever,’” he said. “It’s more than just hitting.”
Briggs said when he arrived at Lena Whitmore, there were few opportunities for students to learn and practice leadership skills outside of student council. He said ideally, students will learn to embody the lessons imparted at GQ meetings and lead their classmates by example.
“I like learning to be my better self with my friends — I feel like that motivates me a lot more,” said 11-year-old Theo Becker. “I feel like when we’re all doing it together, we motivate each other — and we’re all doing it together, so we can share our ideas.”
Briggs said it’s never too early to start teaching children lessons in integrity. He said the group’s core tenets of honesty, integrity and accountability translate into skills that will aid these children throughout their lives.
“Right now, their ideals toward other people are shaping — it starts before school happens,” Briggs said. “When you’re younger than 5 years old, you’re already starting to figure out how you’re going to treat other people.”
With most of the students headed to middle school next year, Briggs said the club can help them to build skills to gracefully transition from being the oldest students in the school to the youngest. He said even starting in fifth grade may be a little late for some of these lessons, but it is always good to reinforce these ideals of personal accountability at any grade level.
“If we wait until high school to talk to — not just boys but everybody in general — on how to treat each other with respect, then we’ve waited too long,” Briggs said. “These ideals and these expectations of what it means to be a gentleman can be carried through the rest of their life.”
Colin Briggs, center, talks with fifth-grade boys during a meeting of the Genuine Quality Club on Tuesday at Lena Whitmore Elementary School in Moscow. Briggs is the club’s director and the school’s physical education teacher. (Photo courtesy of Geoff Crimmins, Moscow-Pullman Daily News)
Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .
"Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
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