How many of us have trophies laying around the house? Either from our own well spent youth, bowling night with the boys, or even our own children's sporting mementos, we all have them someplace. Let's face it, after the relative moment of "IN YOUR FACE BABY!" the trophy on our shelf really doesn't get much play after that.
#1 has a bunch of old soccer trophies, and a few participant trophies from grade school events, metal ribbons, plaques of faux marble and walnut proclaiming success at spelling or 7th grade science, etc. His wife on the other hand has accumulated a zillion (yes, a zillion and I am not exaggerating a bit) trophies. She also has all the academic ribbons, medals, and trophies, but she was really good at sports. She was a gymnast; and at one time was on world tours for the Olympics doing exhibition gymnastics to promote the Olympics and Jr. Olympics. She was a cheerleader (grade, jr. high, high, and college on scholarship) and also did childhood sports. She has won numerous events as a choreographer and also as a coach for high school cheerleading and the list goes on. In essence, she kicks booty and has a gaggle of golden figures collecting dust in the garage.
Well #1 and his wife (and man! Do I need to come up with better names for the offspring and their spouses and children or what?) Any who, they have a new home. A home BTW they are both wanting to look very nice, no trophy rooms to be had, what to do? What to do?
She has a FANTASTIC idea. She, my little smarty pants daughter in law, is also the head educator for the preschool in her district for children with severe physical and mental disabilities. Her idea is to take all of those glorious reminders of their past triumphs down to the local trophy guy and have the name plates removed. The name plates are flat and easily stored in a scrapbook. New name plates will be made:
Best Smile and Attitude 2006
Most Improved Small Motor Skills 2006
Best "Best Friend" 2006
Best Mathematician 2006
Most Improved Language Skills 2006
etc. and so on. (I am making these titles up, she will have better ones I am sure.)
At the end of the year every student in her program will receive a trophy. Some will have young soccer boys shooting for the goals, while others will be girls bent over backwards, and even a few overly excitable cheerleaders with pompons raised in one hand. Some of these trophies will stand taller than the child in their wheelchair or walker. Some of the trophies will never be held by the recipient because the weight will exceed the little arms' strength. A few will be "loving cups" or punch bowls that will more than likely hold chunky cars or dolls. But every child in that preschool will receive a real trophy from a teacher who knows what really matters; that her students receive recognition for the strides they make while in her care.
Miss #1 LOVES her students like they were her own little kids. She lives to see their personalities grow along with their abilities. She understands that within each imperfect body or brain lay a perfect Spirit that hears her loving instruction and feels the warmth in her touch and voice.
This is a great idea. She is a super teacher. "Teacher of the Year!" in my book. Someone, give that gal a trophy!