R/W Week 2018: Teachers react to Red/White Week


Maddie Gamertsfelder’s newly painted poster lies in the hallway, ready for use in decorating. Photo by Jenna Putt.

Maya Joshi

Red/White Week is a time for the whole Manual community to fly the red and white flag and show their spirit. However with all the elaborate costumes, discussed and encouraged activities and bright hallway decorations, one has to wonder if it interferes with the main purpose of Manual.

Ms. Margaret Mattingly (English, J&C) has been teaching for 22 years. This is her sixth year experiencing Red/White Week. “I do always inform my students about what’s going on during Red/White Week, and try to make sure everybody knows what’s going on,” Mattingly said. Mattingly is among the number of teachers who believe that Red/White Week is actually more conducive towards learning than harmful.

“I don’t really have any behavior problems or anything in class,” Mattingly said. She isn’t alone.

“People do their best to stay mindful in the class,” Ms. Patricia McKim said, a science teacher for almost the past two decades at Manual. McKim’s been teaching for 31 years, and she enjoys Red/White Week almost as much as the students.

“I participate and when I can I try to incorporate jokes and so forth into the lessons,” McKim said. Other teachers react in different ways.

“I used to decrease homework and do all that,” Mr. Joseph Crain said, a literature teacher at Manual for the past 17 years. Some teachers do make the call to reduce students’ workload, however a few of them don’t have that option.

“I found that I just couldn’t when I started teaching all APs. Because I used to do more all in-class stuff,” said Crain. Homework, however, doesn’t stop the Red/White Week spirit from showing itself in students and teachers alike.

“They’re pumped up about the week, we’re all pumped up,” McKim said. On Tuesday, she matched her football jersey with another teacher’s for Dynamic Duo day. Mattingly also dressed up, and happens to be an avid Disney fan.

“Of course I participate,” Mattingly said, wearing Mickey Mouse ears. Of course, there is a reason for Red/White Week here at Manual other than the costumes.

“It’s a positive thing in terms of boosting the morale and camaraderie among the students and their pride in being a Ram,” McKim said.

“It usually makes kids more enthusiastic,” Crain said about students in the classroom during Red/White Week. “I don’t have any issues with behavior.”

“I think the kids are in a better mood during Red/White Week,” Mattingly said, over the laughing of her class as they work.

“The students are really well behaved in terms of minimizing the disruption in class,” McKim said. “I see it as a positive thing that we do the things that we do here at Manual.”