#WeAct – Gratitude for making a difference

Although it’s a day late, from the suggested post date, I had to write about it. Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a Farewell and Appreciation Ceremony for some of the students at one of my sister schools. However, I will not be going into the details and various events of the day, but will be highlighting one specific event and in this post one specific colleague.

Melissa is my teaching teaching partner, which if you are not familiar with my school, in a classroom populated by students with severe emotional and behavioral issues combined with DSM-IV coding. Our setting is an elementary setting even though the pair of us specifically trained in Secondary education. One of our sister schools, where the ceremony was to take place, is has students of an older population; however we rarely see and interact with these students as we are off site.

Melissa volunteered to assist in the coordination and activities of the ceremony, which we all know is an undertaking when you are within the school and know the students that are being celebrated. So you could imagine what was required of her not being at the school and not knowing the students. Needless to say Melissa displayed almost an equal amount of passion in this as she shows in her daily teaching and with her own students.

So yesterday, both classes at our school piled into our bus and drove to the other school. The presentation was great, the events engaging and the students both ours and those from the other school appeared to enjoy themselves and the recognition that they were given. One of the comments that we exchanged after the day’s activities were:

“Today’s celebration was awesome – student run and student focused!  I applaud that!  The atmosphere this afternoon was so real and so positive.   As the Brightbank kids were individually recognized and loved by the staff, I was so aware of the fact that for some of those children, this might be the closest “family” that they have.  The “I wish someone would have told me” activity was such an amazing closure – to see staff, kids, guests and parents be so open and take such risks speaks volumes about the relationships and trust in your school.”

I would like to personally thank Melissa for her dedication, motivation drive and energy not only in her role in yesterday’s activities but also in her passion to education and dedication and devotion to her students. On a side note I would also like to thank her for all her assistance to myself and my learning as an educator. Melissa here is a shout out to you for the way you ACT and the difference that you make in our schools and to our students.


4 thoughts on “#WeAct – Gratitude for making a difference

  1. Awesome tribute, Shawn. The both of you are to be saluted for your effort and determination with your students. You have helped them learn appropriate and exemplary social boundaries, and we over at CFL love it when you bring them. We almost feel like big uncles and aunties to these boys and girls. And your gentle but firm way with them gives them the boundaries they require to know their limits.

  2. Awww. Shawn! Way to take my breath away. As you know, I just love celebrating success, no matter who is doing it or how big or small it is. Thanks for being such a great work partner, it makes celebrating that much easier.

  3. Thanks so much Todd, I have also noticed the amazing relationship that you have with your students. It is great to see the work that you are doing at CFL. It is also apparent that you are ensuring the students you work with success, where at other times and in other situations they haven’t found some. I have only participated in a few graduations and farewell celebrations over the past few years, it was a moving experience and not only highlighted the students and their achievements but also all the hard work that you and the team at CFL are doing. Thanks again for the comment.

  4. Pingback: Distributed (Student) Leadership « The Principal of Change

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