Tuesday, May 13, 2008

And the Award Goes to...

Today was my favorite day of the year at St. Clair TEC - Awards Day. They put a big white tent on the front lawn of the school and we all head outside to honor the students. Awards are given for perfect attendance, Academic Achievement (All A's), Overall Outstanding Student and Most Improved Student. The first two awards are easy - it's just the numbers, but the second two are much harder to pick. Why? Well I have a special spot for all of my students (not all of the time - but all of my students.) So it's hard to pick one over another - this year in my morning class - I relied on grades to pick my overall outstanding - which meant I had three - three seniors who got all A's all year. Then there is my most improved - this student has come a long way. I better say we have come a long way. At the beginning of the year - we didn't see eye to eye at all - everything was a battle - but he is a smart kid that had a lot of ambition. Then towards the end of the year - with a little help from SkillsUSA (our student organization) we finally met on the right page. I look forward to him coming through my doors every morning.

In the afternoon - my overall student was a bright junior girl who too had all A's this year. She was a dead ringer for the award - most of the students had picked her - so why disappoint. My most improved student is a senior - who last year won my in class - Church Mouse Award (more in class awards to be discussed shortly.) She was so shy - she would run away from me when I talked with her. This year, she is talking to me more and getting a little sassy.

So now on to my in class awards. I am one of those people who likes to honor everyone for outstanding achievement in my classroom. We have a lot of fun through the year - so this is my chance to reflect with my class.

For instance I give out an AM and PM version of the Bathroom Pass Super User - yes the kid with the most bathroom passes for the year. Then there is Nutrition award for the student that eats the most junk, The Armenian of the Year (well because he's Armenian and I'm Armenian so we celebrate) there is the Save Early Save Often Award - for the girl that lost everything in a competition because well she didn't save - Least Likely to Get in Trouble - The Front Row Award (for my shortest kid in class) - The Negotiator - The Instigator - The Honorary Holladay Award and the list goes on and on. Believe it or not it takes me a long time to come up with an award for everyone - I put a lot of thought into it. I print them out on official certificate paper with a gold star. The students usually enjoy them - maybe I enjoy them the most. But I had one kid ask if he could put it in his portfolio - I said go ahead. Overall it's a really fun day at St. Clair TEC - but it makes me a little sad - we are getting to the end of the year and I will have to say goodbye to another group of seniors. And it turns out after two years and two and half hours a day - you get to know these kids pretty well and like they too (and have them trained) but my juniors will become seniors next year and then I will start all over again with the training.

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