Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Favorite Things

Some of my favorite things are things I cannot acquire but that happen on their own. Yesterday, Em came home bouncing, smiling, very proud of herself. She quickly pulled out her homework assignment sheet and showed me a note her math teacher had written on the bottom of the page, "Emily was a Math Superstar today! =)" She was SOOOO excited about this! I asked her if this is something everyone gets, and she replied nobody had ever gotten it before. I asked if this came with some kind of reward or prize, and she said no. I have to admit, I was a bit puzzled by the lack of luster I perceived in this "amazing event" that had her squealing with delight. So, I just asked her how she pulled off this one time performance, and she said, "By working carefully, quietly and paying attention." Wow! She then told me that her teacher had come up to her at the end of the day, while all the students were lined up, pulled out her folder and homework sheet, wrote on it and congratulated her. Everyone wanted to know what the teacher wrote, and after she read it to them, one of her friends congratulated her.

It seemed so unimportant of a thing, but what a difference this made for her. It was a great reminder to me as a teacher, and more importantly as a parent, that praising our kids alone is great, praising them in front of others is a boost and just praising them, without any kind of physical reward, is sometimes more meaningful than getting a pencil or a sticker or a treat. This child was on cloud 9, and that is really one of my favorite things.

This morning at the bus stop, the girls were talking about the play Kt is in Thursday and Friday. It's our very first play and a very big deal. Kt first asked if she could be in it with her friends and told me she was hoping they would just choose her to play a tree!! In other words, she had no interest in acting or the play itself, she just wanted to participate in this with her friends. We had a little chat about her responsibility to her cast, following through on a commitment and understanding that while it may not be important to her to do well, it would be important to others that she do well. She has done amazingly well, memorized all her lines and is even singing two solos!! She just told me that today, and when I asked her to sing them for me, she said she wanted them to be a surprise tomorrow night. Now my interest is really sparked!! I love it when my kids are proud of their accomplishments.

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

Sooo cool for Em!