Celebrating Students’ Achievements
Posted by krystalmills
Yes, school is at an end for most of us – just around the corner again for some. Regardless, at the end of my school year, I made a mental list of some things that I’d like to tackle and do a better job of next year. I’m getting lots of tips and ideas from my summer reading to implement in the fall – which is great. Something else, though, that I’ve done a better job of in years past, is to celebrate students’ learning and achievements. It’s one of those things that I kept “meaning to get around to” this year. Now here we are. July, and I’m disappointed in myself that I didn’t follow through on what I meant to do.
I know how important it is to truly step back with students, parents, family members and staff and really applaud all of the hard work that students have done. Two years ago (when I was VERY pregnant, actually) I had a publishing party to celebrate the writing of my grade sevens. Many had gotten published that year in one of two anthologies. We decorated the room, I took in treats and we sent out invitations. All students had someone come in to support them that year. It was wonderful. Students read their pieces aloud to the group and I cried (only partly due to the pregnancy hormones). It was a beautiful thing and one of my proudest “teacher moments”.
I know in my heart that there are reasons as to why things didn’t go quite according to plan this year. This was a challenging year. My most challenging yet. I won’t get into the details and I’m not about to rant – although I could;) Oh boy, could I! We’ll just say that taking on one more task, such as inviting parents in to celebrate students’ work and planning such an event, was not at the top of my to-do list.
Anyhow, next year will be better! I know that, because at the end of this school year our grade 5 teachers got it right. They had been doing a book club with their students entitled, ”Have You Seen Art?”. The students were very engaged during this unit and the way that the unit was finally wrapped up was through an art gallery of the students’ work. Parents, family members and staff and students were invited to the art show. It was just awesome! The students had worked with various mediums and got to choose which pieces of artwork were to be formally assessed. Students were on hand to explain the exhibits in the gallery and they did a wonderful job. They were so engaged and so proud. And rightly so! To see all of their work displayed around the classroom was proof positive that we (I) need to make sure not to neglect that ever-important final step of sharing work – whether that be artwork, Science Fair projects or writing. It’s not enough to just share with the class – which is what I did this year. We need to really make it authentic and invite in family and other guests so that students feel as important as they are!
So, thank you to Mrs. MacIsaac and Mrs. Deagle for getting it right this year and giving me the visual reminder that I needed to make sure that I get it right next year.
A GREAT art site to use in the classroom (thanks for that too, Mrs.MacIsaac)!
About krystalmillsI am a Grade 7 teacher in Prince Edward Island. Lessons From The Middle shares lessons from the classroom, and occasionally from my life as a mom of two young boys. The goal of this Canadian teacher blog is to share middle school lessons, activities and ideas from my classroom and to collaborate with the wonderful online community of teachers out there as well! Thanks for stopping by! Find me on Facebook Twitter Pinterest Browse my TPT Store Browse my TN Store
Posted on July 4, 2012, in End of The Year, General Teaching, Home and School Connections, Middle School, Reflecting About Teaching and tagged art gallery, celebrating students' work. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.