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PITW #162: Get Your Daily Starfish

December 7, 2011

 

By Jo Reddick, Corps Member Proudly Serving at Broadmoor Middle School

Like the little girl on the beach, seek to make a difference in a specific and measurable way each day – and circle up at day’s end to share and document your “Daily Starfish.”

It’s hard to recognize a “Daily Starfish” when there is so much work to be done. It’s hard to see the difference you make, when your students are so far behind. But a difference is made every time you say hi, every time you even step into the room. I often get frustrated that I’m not doing my job because my students aren’t necessarily catching on the first [or second, or third…] time. I often feel like I’m failing them, that I can’t give them anything they need. And then, they reassure me that my role in their life is necessary, and appreciated. This is shown in many different ways of course. Whenever a student raises their hand to ask me a question, I know that they are engaged, they are trying, and they know that I will support their urge to learn. Every time a student yells “Ms. Jo!” from across the courtyard, or comes running up to give me a hug after lunch. I know that they are excited to see me, I know that my presence has added some positivity to their day. Every time a student draws me a picture, or writes me a thank you note, I know that they want me to know that I am appreciated.

Every time a student rushes to show me a good grade on an assignment I know that they are proud of themselves, I know that they want me to share that moment with them. I know that they believe that I had at least a little to do with that grade. Whether it be that I helped them understand a concept, or helped motivate them to try harder, I was there.

I kind of went off on a tangent huh? I meant to tell ya’ll about this one kid that I work with, and how, even though he didn’t get a 100% on his last test, he did a lot better than he did on his first test. He also drew me this awesome flower and he always wants me to come to his football games [basketball season starts soon and he already told me he wants me at those games too]. Oh, and he gave me a DVD of one of his games. His grades aren’t perfect, but he’s asking more questions now, and he knows I’m there to answer them. He’s trying harder, his confidence is higher. He is the perfect example of a starfish story.

 

 

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