With students having winter break in the forefront of their minds and a shortage of enthusiasm on the part of some, Cardozo Middle School Special Education Teacher and Leadership Advisor Melissa Werner organized a “Deck A Door” competition to get kids engaged. The friendly competition involved students and staff in each class creatively decorating their classroom door in a specific theme. The sixth grade classes had an Elf theme, seventh grade had the Grinch theme, and eighth graders had “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
“It is important for CMS to engage in such activities because it truly is a team-building competition for staff and students,” said Werner. “It helps build relationships between the staff and students by working together towards a common goal.”
The teacher’s assistants in the office got involved in the fun as well decorating the door in a very creative presentation of the Nightmare Before Christmas. For their efforts they were given candy canes and the judges picked their creation as their favorite.
During lunch and in their spare time students and staff worked on the doors that had very elaborate decorations. The sixth grade level had several doors with the elf theme including one that had #sELFie on it, another door that if you knocked twice the class would sing a song and another that had a teacher’s face for the elf door decor. The seventh graders had a very artistic Grinch door presented by the art class.
“It was incredibly heart-warming to see all the students working with the teachers during their free time to create their masterpieces,” stated Werner. “I heard students and staff laughing together or encouraging one another on what a great idea or drawing they created.”
The eighth grade class won the competition overall for their ingenious creations of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” with one door decoration taking up half the hallway. The eighth grade class will receive an early brunch and cookies as the prize. The eighth grade teachers will receive an extra prep class and Mr. Diaz or Mr. Bizzini will teach one of their classes.
“Students were really excited to get involved and help out their teachers,” added Werner. “The majority of the staff was enthusiastic about decorating their doors too. I did see a lot of students and staff after school on Thursday working really hard to get their doors ready for judging Friday morning. I also saw some staff members helping out other staff members on their team by making sure their door were decorated, so they could earn as many points as possible.”
There were four judges: two counselors, Mrs. Ramirez and Mr. Dinh and the ELD Coordinators, Mrs. Montez and Mrs. Romero. The doors were judged on specific criteria including craftsmanship, creativity, and visual impact. This past Friday morning the judges visited each door that was decorated and gave them an excellent, good, or decent rating.
“Overall, I think this was one of the best years we have had since we started the Deck A Door Competition,” expressed Werner. “Our judges were fantastic and all the doors looked great. Our school looks extremely festive for the holidays right now.”