Wow! I am so proud of my students! I have no cares saying that to anyone! It’s a great feeling! It’s a great feeling that I challenged my students…hold on, let’s get this straight…they challenged me and my family…and they did an amazing job! My school is holding their annual canned food drive. I discussed with my class how important it is to serve others and be grateful for the blessings they have in their lives, especially during this time of Thanksgiving. I felt that they understood the message and then I asked them how the canned food drive went for the class last year. They explained to me that the class brought in a total of 72 cans last year. Now, understand that they had 28 students in their class last year. 72 isn’t a bad amount, but it did seem surprising.
That brings us to the challenge. I told my students that my last school had a canned food drive and that my class of 16 dominated the collection. I also mentioned that my family really likes to help out and they donate generously to my homeroom. That’s when one kid asked “Can we challenge your family?” I said “sure!” Now it was on! Now they wanted to beat my family! Each day they would ask, “When is the food drive starting?” This was back in September and October. The canned food drive started in November! They wanted to be a part of this experience!
As the food drive started, it didn’t take long for the students to surpass last year’s total of 72 cans. They passed that in the first week…and they only kept increasing their total! Going into the second last day, the 5th grade (students and family combined) had a total of 409 cans. The breakdown of students v. family was 205 to 204! This competition has been close the entire drive! Going into the last day, the students have collected 243 items! I have been so proud of my students!
What makes me so proud of this class? Yes, the dramatic increase in their collection is something that I am proud. Their willingness to give to others is what I am even more proud about! What I am most proud of is that they came together as a class and made themselves a better community. They worked together as a group and saw how each of them adds value to the class. They grew in an understanding of how to appreciate each other and build on the greatness that each one of them has. That’s what makes me proud!
Teachers need to share these proud moments! Teachers need to tell the stories that make them proud of their students! We cannot hide these stories! We need to celebrate our students! We need to celebrate the joys that they bring us as teachers and a community! I am proud of my students! I am proud that I have seen them grow and become a stronger group of students that want to help out each other and their community! I am proud that they have made me a better teacher!
While we need to show that we are proud of our students, we also need to thank our students for being in our class. Many times students have no choice in where they are, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t thank them. Each day a student will give us a moment to be thankful. We need to express our gratitude to them. Share that we appreciate all that they do to make us better! They are the reason why we do what we do!
Be proud of your students and thank them! I am proud of my students and I can’t thank them enough for making me better!