More than 40 elementary school teachers and instructional support staff participated in activities associated with fire training, as part of their professional development day.
Kennedy-Powell Elementary School staff went to the Temple Fire Training Center for four hours to participate in several team building activities, including putting out a car fire, connecting a fire hose and aiming it at a target. In addition, teachers climbed a ladder and rappelled from a three-story building.
Temple Fire & Rescue Public Information Officer Thomas Pechal said the principal’s son attended the junior fire cadet program in the past.
“She realized the impact that it made in his life and she wanted to offer her teachers that same opportunity of doing some team-building activities,” Pechal said.
First-grade teacher Lori Sims said her team worked together to make things happen just as firefighters do.
“Daily, we are putting out fires in a different way, in the classroom. The support we have as a team, as a grade level team or as a campus, it’s very important to help us be successful in the classroom,” Sim said.
Tanner Wilson who teaches from kindergarten to 5th grade at Kennedy-Powell said he also learned valuable lessons from working as a group.
“Working with my peers can mean that we all have strengths and weakness. We have to take all of those things and melded together to make it for the end goal that we have for the year,” Wilson said.
Fifth-grade teacher Erin Morris said she also had the opportunity to work with staff members that she doesn’t interact with often.
“It was a big step to bringing us together and working together and just building that family,” Morris said.
Pechal hoped the group had fun while learning more about the job of a firefighter on a daily basis.
“My hope is that when those teachers walked out, they had a better understanding of the importance of working together to accomplish that goal. In this case, the students, to help them to succeed,” Pechal said.
This is the first time the Temple Fire Department has conducted team building exercises for teachers.
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