Becoming a Team

Playing Games before Breakfast

The mist was still rising off of John Jay’s Contest Field as one hundred seventh graders took over the turf. One of the teachers rolled a few balls onto the field, which acted as bonding agents between students. One group picked up a volleyball and started bumping and setting in a circle, while other students gathered at the penalty line and started passing and shooting a soccer ball into the net. Nearby, a group dressed in John Jay Wolves jerseys found a football and began throwing passes.

The games stopped as mysteriously as they started when students noticed that parents were serving bagels on the bleachers!

Team-Building Games

Creating bouquets ... and friendships

Creating a sense of small

The Bagel Breakfast was one of many relationship-building programs threaded through the first two weeks of John Jay Middle School—purposeful gatherings that ranged from classes creating sunflower bouquets together in the school garden to students playing team-building games on Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES Challenge Course. Relationships will continue to be supported throughout the year by HomeBase activities led by peer leaders and counseling center staff.

“One of the main tenets of middle school philosophy is creating a sense of small,” said David Ley, one of the teachers of Team Grit. “There are about 250 kids in each grade, but only one-hundred kids on the team. The Bagel Breakfast gave them a chance to have a good time with the ‘family’ they will be with over the next year. It also gave the team teachers a chance to mingle with the students and begin to build relationships with them.”