Tying Us all Together

Schools are created to be a tremendous learning environment. Schools teach math, science, reading, and so many other great subjects. But my favorite thing to teach is life. I LOVE preparing my kids for the future, for things they will experience in their lives, and I do this by equipping them with opportunities to encounter real life events.

One of those life events is preparing for an interview. I want my kids to see this as a part of their future. I want my kids to know that joining the workforce is a huge step in getting older. And whether they are interviewing at the local burger joint or interviewing over Skype for their dream job, part of this interview means looking great. First impressions are important and sometimes a power tie can make a big difference.

Before leaving for break I brought in a bag of my dad’s old ties. Every student, no matter their gender, was handed one and step-by-step we learned how to tie one together. Watching YouTube tutorials, pausing it every 4 seconds to make sure we were all on the same page, and being incredibly patient, by the end of the class period, every kid had successfully tied their own. For nearly every kid, this was their first experience adjusting the festive piece around their neck. Clearly….

Some kids were resistant to the idea. They swore up and down they would never apply for a job if they had to wear a tie. They don’t like being “fancy.” I get that, I love a good pair of sweatpants, but I also understand and emphasized the fact that even places like TGI Fridays is a place that servers wear one.

Most kids loved the idea. They had this extreme sense of self-confidence as they picked up the skill quickly. Some kids that normally take a step back in situations like this totally stepped up and helped their peers who were ending up with huge silk knots. They patiently taught their friends the correct steps and would smile ear to ear as their buddy would persevere and get it with their help.

This was a heart-warming activity that proved that kids crave things like this in school. Students love when teachers invest in things besides fractions and photosynthesis. In fact, as the holidays approached I had countless kids tell me they wanted to wear a tie to their upcoming Christmas service, holiday dinner, or New Year’s Eve plans. Most of my students don’t have their own tie and they were desperate to find a way to get one before their big event. So with that in mind, I offered up a “rent a tie” program where kids took one home for the holidays and rocked that necktie.

My heart is happy knowing that kids found value in this activity and it will forever tie us all together.

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