It's getting close to 180 Awards season. It's time to start thinking about which of your wonderful students you may want to nominate!
When considering who you'll pick, you want to examine the obvious: Lexile growth, powerful personal stories, grades, improved confidence, increased effort. These things show the powerful impact you've had on your students. And powerful results in any of these categories could help your chances of winning! (Check out the links at the bottom for more specifics:)
But while having one of your students win would be totally awesome! It's important to remember the power the nomination itself has on our students.
Put yourself in one of your student's shoes...
You've struggled with reading all your life. You've been embarrassed about it, scared to read in front of people and petrified that one of your classmates will make fun of you. Years of frustration have left you feeling like you're not smart. You've started to think that theirs nothing you can do about it. You feel like you're not good enough and you think you never will be.
And then one of your teacher's nominates you for a reading award... a national reading award with really incredible prizes! They ask you about the staggering progress you've made. They ask you why you think you've learned so much. They ask you about the obstacles you've overcome and how you managed to overcome them. They ask you to tell your story and they tell you that your story could help change someone else's.
Think about the impact that would have on the way you view yourself. And think about the impact that shift could have on your future.
It's Worth Your Effort...
Nominating students for the 180 Awards is extra work piled onto an already hectic schedule. But go through the little exercise above and you'll quickly realize that the process is well worth the effort. Whether they win or not, your students will get tremendous benefits from being nominated. It can solidify the idea that hard work gets rewarded, increase their confidence, and inspire their classmates. It can be the push that keeps them going when life's later challenges make them think about giving up.