Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What 5th/6th Graders Reminded Me About Succeeding

     I have a few family members and friends that are teachers.  Usually, during the school year I hear the "horror stories"  of teaching 30+ kids for 8 hours, 5 days a week.  This year, a friend of mine who taught a split level class room of 5th and 6th graders was pleasantly surprised on how well behaved her students were throughout the school year.  She is known to be a strict teacher by student standards, so I though it would be generous to offer up a pizza party to the class.  Like all great educators my friend (Ms. E) wanted her students to write me letters on "Why they deserve a Pizza Party".  A week later, I received 30+ letters from the class and I was FLOORED.  Not having been in an classroom environment in over 12 years, I was reminded some of the basics in succeeding the most simplest of goals.

Here are some of the statements these group of kids made in their letters (and my comments on what I got out of it):

  •  "Now, when Ms. E gives us math packets or literacy work for homework its not as hard as was in the beginning of the year" -CJ.   
    • Progress is seen over the 9 month period, students see improved results and defined goals.  While trying to achieve any goal we need place holders that shows us where we are, where we are going, and if we are on the right path.
  • "Although it may have taken some tears and struggles, I am very grateful for my above grade level performance and knowledge." -MG  
    • Hard work is expected.  Just do it and focus on the long term goal.
  • "From my beliefs as a whole, our class has grown a ton.  But only for the reason that we have a great teacher.  She has helped everyone get over there struggles and challenges."  - EM 
    • The help of a mentor, coach, or teacher's support is with consistent positive feedback & criticism is crucial.  The teacher not only shows the next step, but gives guidance to help you overcome challenges.
  • "We have learned lots of new things this year.  On all of them we worked harder and kept trying" -MB  
    • It is easier to be motivated with others with the same goal. By surrounding yourself with others makes it easier to achieve, i.e. a mastermind group or classroom.
  • "The class and I laugh a lot and some of our stress goes away.  We can share, laugh, live, learn, and smile."  -LL  
    • Be open minded to learn, and have fun!  Kids "have to" go to school but make the best of it.  Take the opportunity to enjoy challenges and grow as person when learning or taking on new goals.
  • "Our teacher, Ms. E, gave us tons of homework, which I am thankful for because it helped me learn."  -OB   
    • Gratitude for the experience; hard work does pay off, be grateful to those that helped, and to yourself for achieving your goals.
Needless to say the students got their Pizza Party.  I was extremely impressed with the letters, and grateful for the reminders through their letters.  It goes to show with the right environment, guidance and hard work towards your goals makes success inevitable.

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