06/10/2005: Motivational Teaching...
Behind Every Grad… by Thomas Friedman (NY Times) is a story of some “meat and potatoes” inspirational motivation for teachers:
”You don't expect to learn much at a graduation ceremony - especially if you're the commencement speaker. But I learned about a truly important program at the Williams College graduation last Sunday.
Every year, in addition to granting honorary degrees, Williams also honors four high school teachers. But not just any high school teachers. Williams asks the 500 or so members of its senior class to nominate the high school teachers who had a profound impact on their lives. Then each year a committee goes through the roughly 50 student nominations, does its own research with the high schools involved and chooses the four most inspiring teachers.
Each of the four teachers is given $2,000, plus a $1,000 donation to his or her high school. The winners and their families are then flown to Williams, located in the lush Berkshires, and honored as part of the graduation weekend.
On the day before last Sunday's graduation, all four of the high school teachers, and the students who nominated them, sat on stage at a campuswide event, and the dean of the college talked about how and why each high school teacher had influenced the Williams student, reading from the students' nominating letters. Later, the four teachers were introduced at a dinner along with the honorary degree recipients.
"Every time we do this, one of the [high school] teachers says to me, 'This is one of the great weekends of my life,' " said Williams's president, Morton Owen Schapiro. "But it is great for us, too. ... “
Sounds like an excellent program of inspiring teachers to be the best and earn the accolades and $$ for doing a well-done job. And how many students have been motivated by those "Exceptional" teachers who go above and beyond in the efforts. Awards and praise have some meaning when they are connected to this kind of merit program.
Karen on 06.10.05 @ 05:45 AM CST