Our Greatest Teachers

So over the past couple of years we have made it a top priority to ensure that students have a stronger and more impactful voice in all aspects of our school organization. One example of this priority can be seen in our current curriculum committee structure. Several students are now an integral part of this committee and honestly, it might just be one of the best decisions that we have ever made as a leadership team. Listening to students engage in really important conversations around assessment, growth and feedback models, and student agency has already had a transformative effect on us as a team and community, and I always leave these conversations impressed, inspired, and with a much richer perspective on what is actually best for students and student learning. 
The latest curriculum committee meeting last week reminded me of a post that I shared six or seven years ago, where I talked about the beauty and wisdom of our students. You see, If you really think about it, it’s children (from 3 year olds up until our graduating seniors) who are in many ways our greatest teachers. As educators, most of us got into this amazing profession because we wanted to make a positive impact in the lives of kids. We wanted to play our part in shaping and inspiring their individual futures, as well as the future of our world, and you know what, we do this everyday. Teachers work incredibly hard and they are easily my favorite adults on the planet, and they deserve to be recognized way more than they are but here’s the thing…it might just be that the best part of being a teacher, and the true secret behind why we love it so much is that we probably get more out of this vocation then we put in. Here’s what I mean…
When I think about how much I’ve given to kids over the past 25 years or so, all over the world and all across the grade levels, I honestly don’t think it adds up to what my students have given to me. If I think of all the incredible life lessons that I’ve learned over the years, and all of the magical moments in my life, and the best belly laughs, and the person and leader and father that I’ve become, it’s mostly because of what I’ve learned from children. I’ve learned from their innocence and honesty, their willingness to shake off mistakes and to try again, their ten-foot tall and bulletproof approach to life, their ability to live truly in the present, and how they absolutely exude and represent all of the things that go into making a beautiful life…it’s all just so magical. Educators get a chance to learn from kids every second of every day, and this learning inspires us to live this way ourselves, and to be this way for others…it absolutely has done that for me over the years. 
I don’t think we recognize enough the immense and immeasurable and beautiful contribution that children give to our lives, and the positive effect that they have on us as adults. I think we all too often see ourselves as the keepers of the knowledge, and the ones who are going to make everything okay in the world but we might just be getting this backwards.With that in mind, I think that every school in the world should plan a student appreciation week for next year, much like our annual teacher appreciation weeks, where we spend 5 days (not nearly enough) doing nothing but thanking, celebrating, and recognizing all that our students give to us! It wouldn’t be hard at all to plan, and it would be super fun to get creative with it, but the message would be the right one to send. Field days, pizza parties, teachers serving kids breakfast and lunch, giving kids loads of time to research and share their passions during the day, and a beginning and end of the week assembly to bookend this incredible week…it’s crazy that we haven’t been doing this all along.
So, as we’re planning next year’s calendar, let’s take a second to think about who really and truly needs to be celebrated in our communities…the kids! Just like I suggested several years ago, let’s set aside some time to give them what they deserve. We don’t do this enough and there’s no better time to start than now. Have a wonderful week everyone and remember to be great for our students and good to each other.

Quote of the Week…
Education is not just about putting information in. We have forgotten that it, in fact, begins in the child’s heart – Vince Gowmon

Inspiring Videos –
Inspiring Caregivers
An Anonymous Act of Kindness
10 Things That Made Us Smile This Week
On the Road – Inspiration

Related Articles – 
Life Lessons We Can Learn From Children
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Children Are Our Greatest Teachers
10 Life Lessons

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