Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Joy of a Student's Victory

This blog is like an old friend to me in some ways. I've used it for a variety of purposes, but my first intention was to use it as a reflection tool. I hold a firm belief that all educators should reflect every week. I helps to maintain a vision, and keep goals in check.

One of my goals is for all of my students to pass the yearly CRCT test. I desire this goal, because I want all my students to feel the glory of victory, and not defeat. I do not focus on this goal due to worry over my annual teacher evaluation, or the school's success. Yes, that is great, but that is not what motivates me. What motivates me is seeing the proud, happy, bright eyed face of a twelve year old, who after weeks of worry, learns that he won his prize-- a passing score.

This victory happened for one of my students this week. The students in my lower "remedial" group were taking a SRI test to assess their Lexile reading level. Sixth grade students should be at an 800 Lexile level or above to be considered on grade level. Well, this young man scored around a 150 in August, and was visibly upset. However, I encouraged him, and he did not give up. As a teacher, he was one of those I just clicked with, which helped. He wanted to work hard, and gave it his all everyday. Each time he took the SRI test, his score increased until finally, now in March, he scored on grade level at 805.

I always tend to make a big fuss when my students do well. So, when he showed me his score, I grabbed his hand, and patted the top of it with my other hand, and exclaimed, "I am so proud of you! I am so proud of you!" He smiled, trying to look cool, but his eyes sparkled, and throughout the day, I noticed he seemed to be walking on air, almost skipping. I told other teachers, and they congratulated him, too. This young man may be changed forever. This one victorious year may push him into an entirely new direction.

My student's victory this week gave me the courage to carry on. It demonstrated the heart, the desire, the will, and the fortitude that all true educators must hold dear to bring out excellence in every student. The power of a positive and effective teacher cannot be underestimated.

In May, I want to see all of my students floating on air as they skip down the 6th grade hall feeling confident and happy that they accomplished great things this year. I want them all to be victorious!

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