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edu180atl: steve nowack 11.7.11

Today, I realized my students function well as the teachers for life and learning. In my eighth grade English classroom, we started a new vocabulary idea this year entitled “Word of the Week.” In short, we choose a word for the week, and every time students use these words anywhere they place their name on a Popsicle stick that is placed in a bucket. We then periodically select one winner from all of the entries, and that winner selects their prize. My students often choose finite items with immediate gratification.

This morning, I informed one of my students that her name was drawn. She was excited and mentioned that this was the first time her family had won anything! I then inquired as to what she was going to choose for her prize, and she immediately proclaimed, “I would like to donate my winnings to the middle school charity.” I was floored.

I do not know that I would have thought this way as a middle-school student.

I am not sure this would have been my first instinct as an adult.

This young girl taught me a valuable lesson about what true charity looks like. It is pure and unadulterated. It has no motive.

So today, I realized that as long as I am willing to learn, my students can always show me a new way to look at the world, and I believe this is a truly important part of education.

About the Author: Steve Nowack (@stevenowack) teaches Middle and High School English at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School while juggling basketball-coaching duties with an entertaining family of five.  Open to collaboration, he feels like there is always something new to learn in the world of education.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Steve:

    What a lovely thought! Students can teach us a great deal if we are open to it. You were open to this young lady’s insights. My guess is that she has learned as much from you and you have from her. Isn’t that the point.


    November 7, 2011

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