On the Spot: Campus introduces Fish Philosophy, Cowboy GRIT to encourage sense of community (with video)


Shriya Vanparia

Principal Laura Springer has implemented the Fish Philosophy and Cowboy GRIT at Coppell High School to create a positive environment on campus for building relationships. Graphic by Shriya Vanparia.

Laasya Achanta, Staff Writer

With the start of the new school year, many changes have arisen physically at Coppell High School, from the fresh coats of white paint to the new carpets of D hall. One of the biggest changes though, comes from the shift in mentality of the students and staff members of CHS.

The inspiration behind the positive mentality comes from the fish market at Pike Place Market in Seattle. Here, the fishmongers enjoy their work environment and look forward to coming to the market every day by following four maxims: Be there, Choose your attitude, Make their day, and Play – all encompassed into the “Fish philosophy.” 

Additionally, the acronym Cowboy GRIT – gratitude, respect, integrity, and trust – incorporates the characteristics faculty and students are working to integrate into their classrooms.

“We didn’t have GRIT or the Fish Philosophy at all last year and it’s a really conscious program that we have already allocated much time to,” Business Law teacher Bruce Stewart said. “It’s a definite improvement and everyone is excited about it, in the teachers perspective, and it’s being pushed down to the students as well.”

By employing the techniques of the Fish Philosophy and Cowboy GRIT, faculty members hope to liven up the atmosphere of the school. 

 A week into school, many classrooms have taken the Fish Philosophy and Cowboy GRIT ideologies and have started to implement them into their daily activities. 

“With the Fish Philosophy, it’s been a challenge to find ways to allow students to work, collaborate, and engage with each other through class. Through discussion, students are able to converge and share out ideas and be able to help each other. If one of the students is left behind, then the students within that group are able to find ways to help catch up that one person,” AP Government teacher Bybiana Houghton said.

Likewise, CHS senior Isha Agarwal found her AP Calculus BC has started to focus on building relationships between each of the students in her class.

“In class we filled out a worksheet that what we should do in our classroom to help each other. So if someone’s having a bad day, how do we incorporate ‘play’ or ‘makes someone’s day’ to help them. That creates an atmosphere where everyone is supportive towards each other and a place where I’m not afraid to go and ask questions,” Agarwal said.

One of the goals of implementing Cowboy GRIT and the Fish Philosophy is to impact the students’ lives and help them carry these characteristics throughout their lifetime.

“Think of implementing the philosophy like teaching a person how to fish,” Stewart said. “You teach a person how to fish and they take that skill with them for life and they hopefully pass it on. It contributes to making the cause much more broad and as a result it touches more people than it did before.”

The Fish Philosophy and Cowboy GRIT reiterate familiar concepts of treating each other with respect and displaying kindness in hopes of encouraging these ideas to be put into action- ultimately in order to bring life to the CHS 2019-2020 motto, #CHSHome. 

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