Today at school, we got to be a part of one of the most touching acts of kindness and compassion I have ever seen; a gesture that will significantly change the lives of many deserving children, and have a ripple effect that will inspire a generation of compassionate agents for change. And it was all initiated by third grade students.
Here at Sexton Mountain, we have monthly “golden awards”. Each month, the classes that best demonstrate our school rules of safety, respect and responsibility are awarded a golden award for behavior from each of our specialists, and at lunch. Each class works very hard for this honor, and gets to keep the golden book, or shoe, or lunchtray all month, as a symbol of pride, and reinforcement for their efforts.
This morning, Mr. Pfaff’s third grade class won the golden tray, for excellent behavior in the lunchroom. The representative from Mr. Pfaff’s class walked to the front of the assembly, and instead of taking the golden tray, she took the microphone. She then explained to all the students and teachers of Sexton Mountain, that their class had decided that if they won…they wanted to give us their award instead. They have noticed how hard our students are working, and how well we follow the rules at school. They asked their teacher what they could do to show us how proud they are of us. Mr. Pfaff and his students talked about the golden awards, and they decided that if they won…they wanted to give their award to us.
A student from our class and I walked to the front of the assembly to receive our gifted award. When we brought it back to the classroom, the students were so excited about our award. We talked about how our friends in Mr. Pfaff’s class saw what good friends we are, and gave us their award. The kids cheered, shouted “we did it!” and oohhed and ahhed out our golden tray. It is displayed proudly in our room. I know that they realized that this was a different day, a different assembly, that this was special, and they were proud.
The students and staff of this school are beyond amazing. Later, in the staff room, another teacher shared with me how his class discussed this gesture, and asked what they could do to. They were suddenly abuzz with all the ways they could show us they care. “Saying ‘hi’ in the halls”, “Playing with them at recess”, “Telling them they’re doing good” are some of the few ideas this second grade group was excited about. This act from Mr. Pfaff’s third graders did not end at the assembly. This will positively inspire so many Sexton Mountain eagles to be agents of change in their community and will reinforce to the students in the SRC how included they are in their school.
I am so thankful to work in a building that looks to inspire, excite and unite our children, even when times are tough. The fact that these students felt empowered give to us in this way shows what fantastic leadership they have from their teacher, and what a loving, inclusive climate looks like for a classroom and school.
Thank you to every student, teacher and family at Sexton Mountain, and a very special thank you to Brian Pfaff and his third graders. You are going to change the world.