Today, we made them smile...
A few weeks ago, I asked our teachers to nominate students for the district Character Counts Program. As part of this program, each school would recognize one student who demonstrates tremendous character. Each principal would read a few testimonials about each student and then present that student with a certificate at the Board of Education meeting.
After I asked our staff for the nominees, the district decided it was time for a change and they replaced the Character Counts Program with another opportunity to showcase the amazing learning experiences occurring in each school. But I had already received nominees for the Character Counts. So what was I to do?
I created certificates for each nominee that included their name, the reason for the award, and then both the teacher's signature and my signature. I could have announced their names over the announcements or even called home with the great news about their child. However, I decided to try something a bit different.
I drove to each of the student's home and presented them with their certificate at their house, with their families and neighbors witnessing it all. I wanted them to know how proud of them we are and how much it means to be a student full of great character. I wanted them to know we are glad they are a part of our school family. I wanted them to know they deserved the extra bit of praise.
What I will never forget is the smiles on their faces when they opened the door and saw their principal there to present an award to them. The smiles on their faces were full of surprise, excitement, joy, and pride. Our school community was able to make them see their great choices do not go unnoticed; rather, their good choices are celebrated!
My challenge to you is simple - what will you do as a teacher, administrator, or coach that will make your students smile this year? I would love to hear how you plan to bring smiles to your students' faces in the comments below.