Monday, May 23, 2011

A Million Bucks

Two more days of school, and they should be a lot of fun. Tomorrow we practice for our 8th grade promotion ceremony in the morning, and in the afternoon the 8th grade gets together to watch the end of year slide show. Each kid makes a slide in technology class. The slide is meant to be a representation of who they are as they leave middle school and a chance to say goodbye to their friends and teachers. The technology teacher includes pictures taken throughout the year, and this year he asked the teachers to bring in baby pictures for a then and now kind of thing. The slide show is a very cool event.

We started a new incentive program with the kids this year. They earned points for positive behaviors, and then every so often we had auctions where they could bid for prizes. It was quite successful, and after the slide show, we're going to have our final auction.  One of the prizes will be the chance to throw a pie in my face, and oddly, I'm pretty excited about it. 

Wednesday is promotion, and that's always a bittersweet time. While there are certainly kids I'll be happy to see go, there are plenty of kids I'll miss. I'll probably write about these next couple days in more detail later.

Last Wednesday we had our annual 8th grade barbecue. This is a night where we honor our top students. The kids with the top 10 GPAs are invited, along with a number of Student of the Year recipients. The kids bring their families, and it really is a beautiful night. We honored 38 kids this year, all of them quite amazing people. Each teacher prepares a little speech about their Student of the Year, and things can get very emotional. Teachers tear up, parents tear up, kids tear up, it's very cool. It's the kind of night where a Dad jumps out of his seat and rushes to hug his son in front of a cheering crowd. It's hard not to be moved.

My Student of the Year was a kid I wrote about back in January. Let's call him the Quickwrite Kid. I think I knew even then that he would wind up being my choice. I started my speech with a funny story about my man, and then I told the story of the Quickwrites, just one of many ways my man made our school a better place this year. After my speech, I turned to give my man a congratulatory handshake. He wasn't having it and moved in for a hug. I'm not gonna lie, I got a little choked up.

As a teacher, I'll never make a lot of money. Driving home last Wednesday night, that didn't matter, I felt like a million bucks.                


  1. Oh gee whiz ya big palooka, now you've got me tearing up.
    Good on ya Tim, great post.

  2. its too bad the people in charge of education are so far removed from moments like that.
    congrats on finishing a good year!

  3. Thanks Munk. The end of year stuff with the kids always gets to me.

  4. You're right on. Thanks Tara.

  5. What a great school. Those lucky students have teachers who really care. I know it makes a difference in their lives.

    And I love that you made Munk cry. :P

  6. Thanks for all that you do, it is obvious that you are making a difference.

  7. What a wonderful story. Congratulations to your little friend, and also to you for making such a difference in his life. Great post!

  8. Excellent job teacher.
    P.S. Be prepared for pie to go up your nostrils. It's a little disconcerting.

  9. Squilla's AuntMay 24, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    I just spent the day in the Library of Congress at an event celebrating principals and teachers and schools and getting kids to read. Your story was the perfect cap to my day.

    Enjoy tomorrow and know that your work - that daily grind of hard toil threaded with a few moments of pure joy - produced results and will have a long legacy.

    And then relax. You've earned it!

  10. Aw, Tim, I welled up just reading this. You've got a good thing going on there. Sounds like it's a pretty wonderful place to work/teach. We had our Jr. High honors night last week, and it is a special time. These kids work so hard, and deserve a special night to recognize their effort and enthusiasm. As do the teachers.
    The pie-in-the-face, though, is beyond the call of duty. Your teach, Teach. (And I'll bet whoever hits you with one is going to feel bad!)