My Moment – Day 42 – Life Sized Heroes

If you have not gotten a chance to read my blog about my #oneword for 2016, check out Enjoy the Moment.

As I mentioned in my blog, my #oneword is a call to action for me to be mindful of the moments that make up my day. The moments at home, the moments at work and the moments that happen in between.

I received a text message today from a 3rd grade teacher that read, “You need to come check yourself out down here. The girls out did themselves.” The 3rd grade students were working on people they admire and who possess hero qualities. 

Of course, I did my best to make my way down to the 3rd grade hallway to see the work our students had done. There, standing next to Albert Einstein, sharing a hallway with Clara Burton, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Ruby Bridges was Me! 

Look closely at the detail these children put into their heroes. There are two specific details that I love about their version of me. Well, actually three. Normally when students draw pictures of me, they fail to get the hair right. They love to remind me that I do not have much on the top of my head. In this case, I believe they nailed it! The two details that really got me…and I mean really got me were my “daily planner” and the notebook I am carrying in my hand.  

Look closer at my daily planner. These young ladies broke my day down and did it well. They included morning announcements, conference times, a school assembly and were kind enough to let me have a snack before leaving at 1:00PM. A day ending at 1PM. Love it! Notice the notebook in my hand? What you cannot tell from the picture is what is written in the notebook. The handwritten notes, in the notebook, are letters from students, sharing the kindest of words, about me. The honest notes from students nearly brought me to tears.

The most humbling part of the moment I had in 3rd grade today? These girls consider me and their teachers heroes. When I look up the word hero, it is defined as: a person, typically a man, who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. What an honor. I associate the word hero in my life with my parents, grandparents and other people who have influenced me and helped in molding me into the person I am today. The idea that students hold me in the same regard reminds me how awesome our responsibility truly is.

I do not wake up in the morning to be a hero. I wake up in the morning to be a positive influence in the lives of our teachers and our students. I wake up in the morning to encourage and inspire teachers and students to be the greatest version of themselves. I wake up in the morning to be the one who can listen when teachers and students need someone to do just that…listen. A life sized hero? Never in my wildest dreams.

What we must realize as educators is that our students do see us as heroes. Students do admire us. They grow up wanting to be us. They see us as courageous. They see us as being noble and they see being a teacher as an outstanding achievement. We make a difference in the lives of our students, each and every day.

At the end of the day…we are all life sized heroes!

What was your moment today?

My Moment – Day 16 – Be Kind

If you have not gotten a chance to read my blog about my #oneword for 2016, check out Enjoy the Moment. 

As I mentioned in my blog, my #oneword is a call to action for me to be mindful of the moments that make up my day. The moments at home, the moments at work and the moments that happen in between.

Familiar with the Kind Campaign? We had the opportunity to have the @kindcampaign come and visit our female students in 3rd and 4th grade this past fall. If you are not familiar, check out their webpage: and then see what you can do about bringing the message to your campus. As I shared, last fall, we had the opportunity to expose our girls to the message behind the kind campaign and the motto “You Can Sit With Us”. In the moment, you hope it is impactful, but ultimately, you do not know how impactful. It’s the results over time and how well we do as adults in keeping the message alive in our students, that truly measure the impact. 

Every other month, I host a Self-Manager Party, honoring students who have earned a particular badge level within our campus wide system. Each party we get together and host a “project” or a focus that supports being kind. 

Our first gathering, shortly after the Kind Campaign Assembly, students worked together to create buttons with the message, “You Can Sit With Us” and served as ambassadors of our Kind Campaign at Sigler Elementary.  I still see buttons pinned on backpacks, binders & lanyards reminding students about the power behind being kind. 

Before the holidays we had another Self Manager Party, celebrating the spirit of kindness. Students wrote kind messages to teachers across the building and handed out “kind canes” not candy canes, to teachers who have been making a difference in their lives. I was humbled by the excitement students demonstrated in simply writing a positive note of thanks to a teacher/s who they appreciate. 

Both of those activities were powerful displays of students being kind and kept the momentum going in regards to the work we had started earlier in the semester, but both were products of adult ideas, impressed upon students. Would the students take ownership of this idea? 

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been receiving mentions on Twitter from teachers on our 3rd grade team, indicating a group of girls were continuing the conversation, on their time, led by students, with zero teacher involvement. I was intrigued. Last week, two of these young ladies approached me, interested in talking with me about their ideas. Unfortunately, I was not able to speak with them in the moment, but I was able to schedule a time to speak with them today. 

While I was looking forward to this date on my calendar, they were not only looking forward to it, but growing their support and planning how they would spend their time with me during our meeting. According to their teachers, this group of ladies spend their recess planning their acts of kindness, recruiting students to join the cause and brainstorming how their acts of kindness can positively impact others. They meet at the same spot on the playground, at the same time, every day. You can see…they were ready for our meeting today. 

While I was expecting to meet with a team of two or three 3rd grade students, I walked into the conference room surrounded by a much larger team. These young ladies, had an agenda, scripted notes and the dream of spreading kindness not only throughout our campus, but throughout the world. 

We had an amazing conversation in which they shared their goals and I shared what they need to think about in order to take the next step. These ladies are on to something. The world can use more kindness and so can the students at Sigler Elementary. Can there ever be enough? I am excited to see where this group of girls takes their dreams and I am excited to see how it positively impacts the Sigler Community. I am proud of each of them and proudly express my membership in the Kind Campaign for Boys and Girls at Sigler Elementary. (This is what the girls called the group today. The name may change over time, but the cause remains the same… Be Kind.) 

What was your moment today?