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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Friday, June 11, 2010

An Amazing Education

School is over and somehow this year has produced tremendous growth among the students again, even though there were four times as many students to work with and 1/4th the time to work with them.

This has to be further proof of the incredible ability of what human beings are capable of and of what education can be for every student involved, when heroic effort is spent of how they all can be reached instead of our thoughts and energy spent on how difficult or impossible it is to reach them all.

The impossible is possible within.

My math class this year was made up of those who scored among the lowest in the school in 4th grade. Their reality at the beginning of this year was they were the worst of the worst. On an online math program this year they finished as the number one 5th grade class.

They finished as the best of the best.

One year CAN make a complete difference in someone's life, when growth is focused on one day at a time.

What should amaze us even more is that they didn't stop there.

It doesn't matter where you start but where you finish, and this is where they finished:

#1 5th grade class in the school

#1 K-5 class in the school

#1 K-8 class in the district

#2 K-8 class in the county

#7 5th grade class in the state of Florida

#8 K-8 class in the state of Florida

#38 5th grade class in the entire United States

38th best 5th grade class in the entire country after being the worst 4th grade class in the school. This is really amazing! Truly remarkable! Even on the last day of school I was criticized by a fellow teacher for believing too much in the abilities of children. Completed projects needed to be cleaned up and even on the last day we were still working on a final project, a collaboration between my reading, science and social studies classes, making a life-size replica of the front of the Parthenon as a gift to the new students next year.

The Parthenon was dedicated to Athena, the goddess of wisdom and heroic effort. I want to make it even more clear to next year's students exactly what I expect out of them. So as they enter the classroom and go past the columns they are reminded they are here to give heroic effort this day, and to bravely find the hero inside of them.

Why would anyone go through all this effort? After the accomplishments of the math class alone, why would anyone not?

Just as brave and brilliant people of the past have proven that man can govern himself, the color of one's skin doesn't determine his ability, humans can fly even though they weren't born with feathers, and the world isn't flat............all I'm trying to do is prove that there is remarkable growth waiting to happen inside each and every student who comes through our doors.

And it can't just be an intention......It has to become an accomplishment. Their lives are depending on it!

These students have proven that "It is what it is" and "How they are is all they are" ISN'T true. Our worlds that exists within us ARE NOT flat.

What we see when we look in the mirror, at a test score or paycheck, at a failed relationship or project......isn't all there is to us. There are worlds to discover within us that even though we haven't seen their existence yet, if we would have the courage to take chances and venture out into the unknown of what could be, we will discover new worlds of ability in us that we never knew existed.

Where you and I finish is only determined by our bravery to dream and do big, and our resulting ability and brilliance as we become bigger in the process.

So to these students

I give them the award

Of bravery and brilliance

That will keep their lives moving forward

May we adults learn from them

And accept this human truth

That as we parents and teachers give them superhuman effort

We help them become super human beings.

~ Thank You Sand Lake Elementary Math Class of 2009-2010

You are proof that man can grow and create new worlds of reality

And of how amazing parenting and education can really be

~Thank you for your heroic effort this year.

You HAVE found the hero within you!

Mr. Stuart

June 11, 2010


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