I had the pleasure of being in the room while Mrs. Alvarado gave out her second term Kindergarten awards. The room was filled with parents but it was the children who took center stage. She seated her kiddos so that they could see the smiles on their parents faces and so that the parents could watch the action. One of the best things about the Awards Ceremony in Mrs. Alvarado's classroom is that every child leaves feeling good about themselves and every parent leaves feeling proud and hopeful. There is something to celebrate about every child every nine weeks and Haley makes sure that every child feels like they are special. Whether a child made all E's or has simply done the best that she can, she knows that her teacher is very proud of the progress. Haley also makes sure that the children know that their job is to lift up their friends. She makes sure that they clap for their peers' accomplishments and that they give lots of high fives to each other. Students who don't get a certain award are taught to wipe their foreheads and simply say, "No sweat!"
A couple of children each nine weeks are chosen for the coveted "Soaring Eagle Award" which school-wide is the award given for outstanding accomplishment in a nine weeks. In Haley's class these students are also highlighted but certainly the bigger message is that each child feel proud of his own accomplishments and pledges to work harder in the next nine weeks and to support his friends in this nurturing learning community. Congratulations, Kindergartners, on your second nine weeks as learners! A job well done!