I begin each day appreciating God’s creativity as I drive to work. Clouds are my favorite especially if accompanied by a beautiful sunrise. If the sky is clear then the trees draw my attention. I’m amazed at the intricacy of each individual leaf, or the beauty of a flowering Mulberry. On both sides of our avenue they line up like sentinels and it is pink as far as the eye can see (or to the end of the street). I appreciate the character of gnarly twisted branches and the rustling sound of palm leaves as a breeze brushes over them.
In the school district where I work, we have a program titled “Character Counts”. I felt this was important to reinforce these mannerisms, so I started posting “Mrs. Chambers Word for the Week”. Each word represents an attribute we encourage our students to demonstrate in their daily lives.
Students enjoy participating in a small activity where they define the word and use it in a sentence. Of course, I bribe them with a small token when they have completed the task.
Some struggle with the definition, even with the use of a dictionary. It is amazing how many kids don’t know how to use a dictionary. Anyway, this gives me an opportunity to talk with them and explain the importance of the word.
1. They learn a new word
2. They learn how to use a dictionary
3. They receive a free gift
I thinks this is a win, win, win situation.
Last week the word was Appreciation. I personally enjoy demonstrating this attribute. There are so many ways to show appreciation, in either giving to or receiving from. For example – greeting each student with a smile as they place their returned books on the counter or a thank you from a student when you hand them their new treasure, chock full of adventures or crazy antics. They can hardly retain their excitement as they clutch the books tightly in their hands and head back to class.
The best time of the year is when new kindergartners come to the library for the first time. Their appreciation is evident as their wide eyes take in the magical place filled with dragons, frogs and books. I’m privileged to witness as their imagination buds and grows into a true love of ready.
These are just a few examples, but ones that can make my day. You don’t have to search far to find something to appreciate. You just have to look.