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WSIL Weather Academy visits Vienna

VIENNA (WSIL) -- Because of concerns about the COVID-19 coronavirus, the WSIL Weather Academy has been put on hold, but we still have a few previous adventures to share with you.

Our Storm Track 3 meteorologists recently traveled to Vienna to teach students about their favorite topic - the weather.

In return, school officials shared what they are most passionate about.

"Our whole goal is to build relationships with these students. I'm a believer if you don't build a relationship with a student, then you're not getting everything out of them that you could," explains building principal Adam Hanks.

Hanks says that building relationships with students and working on their social and emotional learning helps the students in more ways than one.

"That leads to kids wanting to score their best for that teacher and for themselves. A lot of these students, no one is going to care if they're on honor roll. No one is going to care if they bring that A, and they put it on the fridge. We have to be those people that do care, that are like, 'Hey, if you can't put it on your fridge, put it on my blackboard."

Junior high science teacher Desiree Walter says students will work hard when you give them a reason to. "If you spend that time with them and help get to know them, and show them that you are a person that cares about them and want to build a relationship with them, then they'll do anything for you," states Walter.

Walter says there's one great way to show students that you care: "Just being a part of kids' lives outside of the actual classroom so you can be in the classroom and form relationships there, but showing them that you're not just in the classroom. You don't live there all the time, you're an actual person and forming those relationships outside of 'I'm just your science teacher.'"

"I want the actual top-top. I mean, we want the best out of them, and we want the hardest workers, but they're not going to work hard for you if they don't feel like they know your dog, and they know your cat, and they know what you like to do on the weekends. So you've got to build that."

Students say the effort from school staff makes the building feel a little brighter.

"I'll walk down the hall. He knows I love to read. We will high five and talk about our day and just go on through the day," says eighth grader Alivia Ming.

"They try to help us with certain things, so lets say you didn't get your homework done, they would help you figure that out," adds eight grader Alex Garcia.

"I'm not here just to make you do things and get on to you all the time. I'm here to guide you, and if you build that relationship with them, they'll do anything for ya," explains Walter.

Hanks says it all boils down to one basic principle: "What we're trying to do is when everyone walks in this building, you're looking for the good in the person. You're not looking for what are they doing wrong, what are they doing right? You're looking for the good."

The Weather Academy will continue to share some of their previous adventures for the next couple of weeks, but all upcoming visits have been canceled until further notice.

Jacie Brianne

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