Written by June Henke, MHS Librarian
What is school spirit? To me, it is more than cheering for the school’s athletic teams to beat their rivals. School spirit is the positive attitude students and teachers have about their school. School spirit helps bring different groups of students together and unites a school. Research shows that students who feel connected to their school are less likely to drop out or receive bad grades.
Supporting or being a member of an athletic team is a great way to show school spirit, but there are other ways. Students can show school spirit by playing in the band or participating in drama. They can join and actively contribute to a school club, honor society, or academic team. Becoming involved in student government, students can take a leadership role in school life and lead by example.
School spirit and school pride go hand in hand. According to Webster’s Dictionary, “pride is the pleasure or satisfaction taken in some act, accomplishment, or possession.” When we are proud of something or somewhere, we want it to look its best. School pride can be demonstrated by cleaning up after oneself or picking papers and other trash off the floor and parking lot. Pushing chairs in to tables in the cafeteria, computer labs, classrooms and library, straightening rows of desks, and reporting vandalism all demonstrate pride in a school. These are just some of the ways; I’m sure you can think of others. When a person is proud of something they speak positively about it; they don’t run it down.
There is a cheer that goes, “We’re proud of our team. Yes, we’re proud of our team. Hey, hey, hey.” Repeat ad nauseum. My recollection is that you most often hear this cheer when the athletic team is losing. Yes, parts of our school are old. Yes, the parking lot is rutted and crumbling. Yes, many of our textbooks are falling apart. Yes, many of our classes and classrooms are overcrowded. Yes, there are policies and procedures with which students and teachers don’t agree. And the list could go on.
But there is much to be proud of at MHS. We have fully qualified and experienced teachers who take their jobs seriously. We have a growing number of clubs for students to engage in. We have a high level of technology throughout our building. We have a low level of violence and students feel safe. We have a satisfying selection of readable novels in our library. We have a school newspaper that allows students, and teachers to communicate with the school at large. We have a school website that provides information to students, parents, and the community. And athletic teams, win or lose, that represent our school throughout the state.
The chorus of my high school song went like this:
We are proud of all that is Seton,
To be shaped in the role of right,
Of our motto of “Light and Grace to Do”,
Her colors scarlet, gold and white.
Are you proud of all that is MHS? What does the Blue and Gold mean to you? Is school spirit and pride limited to football season? Not that that isn’t part of it, but in my opinion, it is not all of it!
Last week was Homecoming Week. School and class spirit were encouraged through participation in “dress up days”, banner competition, powder puff football and homecoming court. All of these activities are designed to help students feel connected to their school. The Blue and Gold Assembly, the football game and the dance gave students and teachers the opportunity to be part of the MHS community. We know our “Fight Song”, but do we know our school song? Now the festivities are over, let’s not forget the pride we have in our school. Let’s continue to feel connected to our school community, showing respect for our facility and grounds, teachers, other students and ourselves.