Taking Time to Celebrate

Today I graduated for the third time, this time with a Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice - Digital and Collaborative Learning.  With my fellow graduates I enjoyed celebrating our success in learning alongside other Unitec graduates who'd also completed their current course of study.  So why am I blogging about this?

Firstly to acknowledge that what myself and those who also graduated, have done, is awesome!  We do deserve a pat on the back and a grand ceremony as well as time to enjoy our success.  I'm really happy my employer was able to give me a day to do that, and I know not all graduates would have been able to take up the opportunity to celebrate like this.

I had a few conversations today about the importance of celebration.  Most of these centred around celebrating because we'd put a lot of work into getting our qualification.  This was especially important because this particular qualification was done while most of us were also working full time.

It got me thinking about how much time we give our learners to just enjoy their success before we move onto the next thing.  Also how often do we as teachers stop and celebrate our achievements during the year?

As a classroom teacher I did try and make sure that celebrations were limited to things that actually needed celebrating, I wasn't keen on giving Johnny a sticker for sitting up on the mat when I new he was capable of doing that without the sticker.  I was however very keen to give Mia praise, certificates and stickers when she moved up a reading level that I knew she'd been working really hard at and was something that wasn't going to come easily.  I was also keen to celebrate success with Bob as he finally manage to give others a chance to share their ideas when working in a group by thinking first before speaking something we'd been working hard at for weeks. (names changed to protect children's identities)    However looking back I don't think I spent enough time just allowing those children to bask in their achievements, to take a breath, look at what they'd done, puff their chests up and say - Yeah!  I'm Awesome!  Something to think about if I jump back into a classroom again.

There are hundreds of different ways of celebrating here are just a few...
Blog posts - check out the celebrations post in 20 days to BlogTastic
Class Dojo - A great way to share even little celebrations with parents on a regular basis
Weekly certificates - Caught being good, Student of the Week, General classroom certificates
Digital Badges - a great way to show student and class achievements long term on blogs, websites, social media etc.  I've used Credly in the past - easy to setup and use with students
Pinterest board filled with student celebration ideas

I'd love to hear how you celebrate with your students in both digital and physical forms.