Today, Fran and I visited our granddaughter, Simone Lorraine, in her first grade classroom. It was a wonderful experience. We saw a masterful young teacher at work. She was energetic and dynamic with a totally positive approach to teaching. It is obvious that she really loves her students. She perceives teaching as a special vocation. She accepts it as a great responsibility and a magnificent privilege.
The whole hour we were in the classroom she constantly encouraged, affirmed and nurtured the children. These are the types of thoughts she expressed. “You can do it!” “Oh! Yes!” “Great job!” “You just gave me a WOW!” “You are awesome!” “Now you are flying!” “You are getting better-by-the-minute!” The more we heard her – the better we felt. She was absolutely up-lifting!
The couple of times a student broke a rule or behaved in a way that was not appropriate the correction was firm but caring and in no way diminished the spirit of the errant child. There was a glow in the classroom – a warmth. You could feel a sense of quiet security. It was simply a wonderful place to be – a wonderful place to learn and grow.
When we first entered the classroom a large bulletin board caught our eye. Posted on the board was a picture of each child in the class. Under each picture was an index card with hand written notes. The notes were posted by the teacher and classmates. These jottings listed positive comments about the child that included contributions they had made to the well-being of the class. “You were thoughtful today.” “Thanks for the cookies.” “You are a great reader.” “Thanks for apologizing to Peter.” “Great smile.” “You are awesome.” “You sing prettier than a bird.” “Now you are soaring.” “Great job on your arithmetic.” “I am glad to know you.” “You are really special.” “Lisa here, glad UR my friend.”
Each card was almost filled with these affirmations and comments. There was not a negative thought on the board. Laced through out the note-card messages was this expression. “You helped us soar through awesome today.” The heading at the top of the bulletin board is posted in 12 inch letters that read – SOAR THROUGH AWESOME!
That unique expression has been playing in my mind ever since I heard it. I can’t seem to shake it. I am trying to wrap my head around it and fully comprehend what it means or could mean. This much we do know, today we saw a gifted teacher telling young developing minds that they have the potential to fly through and beyond that which is awe-inspiring. She is planting in their minds that they have the potential to achieve the unique – the incomprehensible – the awesome. She is nurturing a collaborative environment where they share, and consistently support and encourage one another. She is assuring them that there are no limits. She is challenging them to dream big and SOAR THROUGH AWESOME!
Well, you can guess where we are going with this. We have set the stage and can’t miss the opportunity to encourage you to do some soaring. Are you dreaming a big dream for your life and your Watkins Business? Are you ready to set aside limitations and achieve the inconceivable? Are you preparing yourself to excel. Are you, like our wonderful young teacher, reaching out to help others become the best they can be? We know 24 first graders who “soar through awesome” everyday. We bet you can, too!