Celebrate Student Success, No Matter What!
Look, I know that this entire school year has been tough for everybody; teachers, administrators, students, and families. I would like to thank every principal, teacher, counselor, custodian, front office administrator, and coach for how you handled the implementation and administration of public health protocols throughout this school year. With this reality in mind, I hope that everyone reading this would agree that it has never been more important to celebrate student success. This entire school year, I've noticed social media posts from parents of Harrison County (MS) School District students who share pride in their child's achievements. Shalon and I celebrate our kids no matter what, but you can imagine how disappointed I was when I found out that McRae's school was not providing any sort of year-end recognition for students grade 1st through 5th. My exact thoughts were "Y'all ain't did sugar honey iced tea all year and now you ain't gon celebrate the kids at the end of year either? WTH?!" or something like that.
But anyway... This has definitely been a year of growth for McRae, a kid who learns new concepts easily. In certain subjects, he fluctuated between A's and B's throughout the year because there were topics that he had to work to understand and master. In the end, he raised those B's to A's and I believe that hard work deserves to be celebrated at school too!
So, here's a list reasons compiled by a former higher education professional/DJ/T-shirt pimp, which support my position on the importance of celebrating student success.
- By celebrating student success, students are reminded that their teachers and principals value and appreciate their work.
- School awards are examples of real success. It gives teachers an opportunity to show other students "it can be done, and here's proof!"
- It helps to motivate your learners. When delivered effectively, praise gives your students the drive and motivation to continue doing great work! However, knowing you should give praise and doing it well are two different things.
- Celebrating the accomplishments of your students builds their confidence. This confidence builds itself into achievement and results in big wins for everyone!
- By rewarding effort and perseverance you yield a powerful motivational tool. Highlighting that it’s effort that spurs achievement teaches your students the value of hard work and encourages them to put the effort in.
It's not luck, good genes or other people, it's the work you put in. And it feels good for someone to recognize the work you put in. But in this case, we gotta celebrate McRae and all his schoolmates anyway because his school dropped the ball. Those little certificates go a long way. I think next year, I'll offer to sponsor the honor roll and perfect attendance certificates! Problem solved, right?
How do you celebrate your student's hard work and achievement?