Stuart's Spectacular Students

This is dedicated to my amazing students. The goal is for each and every one of them to feel unstoppable by the time they walk out of the classroom door for the final time in May. This chronicles their journey; their own Chronicles of Self-Actualization.

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

You Guys Are Making Me Sick


(*Although my posts are all intended to be uplifting and positive and have picture media releases for all students, some anonymous person(s) have gone to others causing a problem and I have been asked not to post any more pictures of students in order to protect me from losing my job.

That is too bad, and I argued for keeping them for the wonderful stories they tell, but in the end said "I wouldn't", and I will kill myself keeping my word once given. It's one of the few important things I am in complete control of, doing what I say I'll do.

I'll work on finding a solution to the problem over the summer, but until further notice, no pictures or even first names will be published, no links to outside blogs, and all blogs set to private where possible. And, I will choose in the meantime to focus on the "sick" success of the students v. letting this latest challenge make me sick.

As a substitute for the pictures, I have found some of the 5th grade banquet where two other teachers (hidden by masks) and I performed as the Jonas Brothers to their song, "Kids of the Future".

I also found one picture of my son by himself, and I understand why he's as full of life as is his father. We both tend to push the envelope a little too far for the comfort of others, but much to the joy of the universe. We both do what supposedly can't be done....Brosden, who doesn't like school, grew by well over a year on the same tests mentioned below.)

Thank you students of Room 208. This is for you:

One morning last week as I came down the hall and around the corner to my classroom, I saw my class sitting on the floor reading quietly. Looking up at me with their happy smiling faces, I made my way through them towards the door, and said in my best pretending-to-be-angry voice, "You guys are making me sick".

I looked back at them as I opened the door, and said, "I am getting sick-and-tired of you succeeding at ridiculous levels. The national test results just came in and your scores were unreal. Get in here so we can celebrate!"

I had just come from a morning meeting (of which I was on time for, thank you) where we were handed the results of the national reading and math tests. Although not seen as challenging as the state tests (of which the results are late in arriving, no thank you) these national tests are the last two in two long weeks of testing, and it's challenging to get them to give their best when they're sick-and-tired of being tested.

Many, many students scored in the top 20%, 10% and even 1% of the country, truly the best of the very, very best.

I was looking at the score of a child who didn't score so high, and perhaps with my face indicating I was wondering if I failed this student, the principal told me to look at the student's scores from last year.

When I did, she had grown 3 years in reading and 2 in math!

I began comparing all students' scores, and when the principal came in the file room to see how much the growth was I said, "You're right! Her scores are sick. They're all sick!" Some students had grown by as much as 4.5 years academically based on their scores.

If they're not at the top of the country, they sure as heck-fire are getting there! They have PROVEN that IT IS POSSIBLE to change the reality of your life....because they have done it....and if they continue this rate of growth, will become the best of themselves too!

And they have shown us all that WE CAN ALL DO IT! Whatever it is......beginning with the thoughts we think and feelings we feel.

Throughout the year their thinking and belief systems were constantly challenged by such controversial and envelope-pushing declarations as:

"The rich get richer and the poor get poorer, and for the most part.....they deserve to.....because they do the things that either make them richer or poorer.

The truly wealthy save and invest their money to make more...and the truly impoverished spend more than they make. If you want to be richer, start spending less and start investing more.

The same goes for the strong get stronger and the weak get weaker, due to their habits of mind and body. Who do you usually see exercising? ....Those already in shape! The fit burn more calories than they consume......While those out of shape continue to eat more calories than they burn off.

And undoubtedly true is that the smart get smarter and the dumb get dumber! Yes, I said 'dumb'.

Look, quit complaining how unfair the world is. Look at yourself honestly in the mirror, and if you don't like what you see....CHANGE IT by CHANGING YOU!

If you are among the lowest thinkers/performers in the class, you have to start thinking and performing the most. But who are the ones who participate the most in class, speak up when they don't understand, and put the most thought in their homework?.......The already 'smart' ones, because it's safe. They KNOW they're smart.

Who are the ones who do this the least?...The 'dumb' ones, because it's scary. They've been given little EVIDENCE that THEY ARE smart, so they try to be smart less and less often.

But if you don't like being classified as dumb, then stop doing dumb things! Face your fears! I don't see you as dumb or a failure, so it's time to stop failing and doing dumb things. You are not allowed not to believe in yourself any longer!

If you are not one of the best students in class then YOU WILL learn to give THE BEST EFFORT. You will do MORE than what's required, recognize where EVERYONE around you is better than you are and SEEK THEM OUT as teachers, and ASK MORE QUESTIONS than anyone else in class.

And YOU WILL develop your own gifts and TEACH us!

In a phrase, YOU WANT MORE?............DO MORE and GIVE MORE!

I thank all of them for giving themselves their best, and becoming more than they were. They have all DREAMT BIG, DONE BIG, and BECOME BIG......and made the world better in the process, a process that will have a powerfully positive ripple effect throughout the world in the years to come.

And finally, I thank them for showing us the way we adults can do it too.

In the innocence and purity of children, a truth and beauty can be found; one that shows adults the way home again........Home again to our own truth and beauty.....our own innocence and purity.

From the day we are born to the die we day, the universe is constantly trying to welcome us back home.....and giving us opportunity-after-opportunity to develop the inner strength to get there.

With each challenge comes a gift of growth waiting to be unwrapped.

As Enigma's song Return to Innocence says,

"Don't care what people say,

Just follow you're own way,

Don't give up,

Use the chance to return to innocence."


  • At 7:12 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    That`s to bad because i had a student in your class and I enjoyed watching the pictures and watched their motivation and their success and see their expressions it wont be the same but please keep on writing. WE should protest

  • At 7:03 AM , Blogger sandria said...

    These pictures are awsome "Kevin". You are a great singer.

    I really miss school!!??

  • At 2:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hey! That's so upsetting that u can't post pics or write the names or ur students down on here. :( That's so great though that they did so well! ^_^ I hope to see u soon!

  • At 2:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hey! That's so upsetting that u can't post pics or write the names or ur students down on here. :( That's so great though that they did so well! ^_^ I hope to see u soon!

  • At 11:41 AM , Anonymous Hunter said...

    I just wanted to say hi. and i didnt no it was your birthday! i would of came here then ah well happy late birthday. junior high seems so scary...

  • At 5:12 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    rofl wow u look like u were havin the time of ur life out there playing the guitar.

  • At 1:49 PM , Blogger sandria said...

    HI!!! This is Sandria!!
    I just got my placements in the mail for southwest and I got all advanced classes.This year was really fun and a great way to teach. Give my luck to the next years class. Also how are you doing with your masters?? TTYL


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