The Impact of Fishlosophy at the Porter County Career and Technical Center

By: Rachel Meeks Last Updated: September 29, 2014

1studentnwi-pcctc-fishlosophyRachel Meeks is's #1StudentNWI representative at the Porter County Career and Technical Center. This month, Rachel wrote on the Fishlosophy approach the school takes in promoting positive relationships, strong team work, and a drive to learn.

If you took the time to swim over to the Porter County Career and Technical Center, you would find the guidance counselor, Mrs. Kelli Ellis running around with a fish on her head. If you looked around the Career Center, you would see fish everywhere. One may think that something seemed a little fishy about what was going on here. To avoid the confusion and clarify any questions about the mysterious fish, this article is going to stream the facts and details of Fishlosophy and the impact it has at the Career Center.

When school starts up every year, there is always that awkward time frame when you have to get readjusted to being in a learning environment and meet new people around you. As if that isn’t awkward enough, a few days after this transition, Mrs. Ellis comes marching up the stairs in a fish hat. Just when you think you know all the surprises about the Career Center, she pulls one out of her sleeve. While some are intrigued by her astonishing accessory, others are a little uncomfortable. Even though she looked like a fish out of water, what she had to tell was very brilliant and her presentation helped set the mood for the rest of the school year and will help make everything go swimmingly.

In her presentation about Fishlosophy, you learn that there are four main functions. These parts include; “Be There, Play, Make Their Day, and Choose Your Attitude.”

“Be There” means exactly what it says. Know when people need you and be grateful that in hard times they seek you. By taking the time to set aside distractions such as cell phones and TVs, you are able to be fully present with a person which is the best way to display respect.

“Make Their Day” consists of using simple gestures of thoughtfulness. This can be anywhere from saying thank you to complimenting someone. Not only does the other person feel good, but you feel good as well.

PCCTC-Fishlosophy-2“Play” is the fun function because it is more of a mindset. Yes, there is a time and place to be silly and a time and place to be serious, but as long as you enter each task with an optimistic outlook and a positive attitude, you will find it much more enjoyable. You can be enthusiastic about what you are doing and even throw in your own creative ideas.

The last one, “Choose Your Attitude,” is probably the most important function. If you wake up and decide you are going to have a bad day, chances are, you are going to have a bad day. However, if you wake up and tell yourself that no matter what this day holds you are going to make the most of it, I promise you your day will be a lot better. By sharing these Fishlosophy functions, the Career Center is promoting positive relationships, strong team work, and a drive to learn.

Fishlosophy also helps focus on the good in the school and rewards those that are trying to make a difference in their community. So often in the media we see negative things that teens are doing and rarely see the good that is also occurring. Fishlosophy promotes the idea that wearing a fish hat and being kind to people, is a lot cooler than having a negative attitude and wearing name brand clothes.

When asked about Fishlosophy, Mrs. Ellis’s answers showed her deep passion for what Fishlosophy means to her and the positive environment it brings to the Career Center. She said that when she started Fishlosophy, her goal was to create a positive environment in which students wanted to learn and teachers wanted to teach. She added that her favorite function of Fishlosophy is “Make Their Day,” because it encourages students to perform random acts of kindness on purpose.

“The students want to learn and by creating that mindset the teachers are just as excited to teach," Ellis said. "The energy is positive and everything goes swimmingly.”

This goes to show how much the Career Center cares about the environment that the students are in. By providing the best atmosphere to work in, the Center is providing the best education for its students.

Personally, my favorite part is “Be There.” This past week, Morgan Township High School has been struggling to get back to “normal” after losing a beloved classmate. The passing of Cameron left us all a little stunned that someone as kind and loving as him could be gone from our everyday lives so quickly. We had to learn to help each other, even if that meant crying on each other’s shoulders. By being there for one another we are making the most of each and every day and get each other's backs. Thanks to the support from our home school and the faculty at the Career Center, slowly but surely we are healing. Being there means everything, especially when everything isn’t there.

Fishlosophy is a great concept that should be taught everywhere. Again, this goes to show how the Career Center is always one step ahead and is always preparing students for a brighter future. Now I challenge you to spend this next week being there, playing, making someone’s day, and choosing your attitude. I guarantee that you will feel better about yourself and have a deeper appreciation for the people around you. If anything, it’s worth a try, especially if you learn some awesome fish puns! If you don’t feel better after applying this process to your life, let minnow, because I guarantee you it will be a whale of a good time!

To those at Morgan Township and to those who are having a hard time, I leave you with this quote:

“Just keep swimming, what can we do but swim?” -Dori