I've spent the last two weekends at weddings, celebrating with friends and family from near and far. It's been fabulous, though exhausting (last weekend was in Vermont, this one is in California wine country) . My feet hurt from dancing and my eyes are heavy with lack of sleep from laughing and talking late into the night. I've spent time with friends I haven't seen in years and with those I just met two days ago. Flowers, wine, music, love. Wonderful.
It's made me realize that we need celebrations in our lives. Or, specifically, that I need to work more celebrations into my classroom. Weddings are an insane amount of work for the people throwing them, but the work is worth it for the sense of community and hope that come out of them. Same thing with classroom celebrations, I think. I need to do a better job of acknowledging kids who go above and beyond, as well as everyone who does what they're supposed to do. My grade level is hopefully going to piloting a way to do some of that, but I can do it my room too.
What does that look like? I'm not 100% sure. I've got a few ideas so far, like doing publication nights periodically where kids could present their work to audiences of family and friends, or having students of the week for each period. That might be a lot to keep up with, but I'm betting I could keep it fairly simple, and I'm hoping it would be meaningful for the kids.
What do you think? Any other ideas for ways and things to celebrate in an eighth grade Language Arts classroom?