Ruth Ayres, a Choice Literacy contributor, hosts a weekly meme on the web called Celebrate. We have been trying to share the spirit of celebration in our staff development sessions. We now begin our sessions by celebrating what is happening in classrooms. It is amazing how taking the time to stop and think about the positive things that are happening really changes the energy in a room. It is easy to get caught up in all the stress and the list of things that need to be done. When we begin our learning together by focusing on what is going well, it changes our mind-set.
Ruth Ayers reminds us that celebration is “an intentional choice. It’s a choice that makes a difference.” We are making the choice every day to remember to celebrate, to share the moments in classrooms that are making a difference, and to tell the stories of our students that live within us long after the day is over. Celebrating is filling us and the classrooms we have the privilege to join with positive energy, joy, and hope.
Here are some of the charts we have created with schools.
This is a simple whiteboard we compiled during one of the first weeks of school. “No one is crying” is certainly cause for celebration in many kindergarten classrooms in September!
Sticky notes and chart paper are good for posting the celebrations anywhere in the school and moving responses around to find categories of joy:
We post these in the school so teachers have a visual reminder of all the things that are going well. We have heard from many teachers that this has inspired them to use the same process with their students.