Last Wednesday night, I attended an AVID awards night.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with AVID, it stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. “AVID targets students in the academic middle -- B, C, and even D students -- who have the desire to go to college and the willingness to work hard. These are students who are capable of completing rigorous curriculum but are falling short of their potential. Typically, they will be the first in their families to attend college, and many are from low-income or minority families,” according to www.avid.org.
Each year at , AVID holds an awards night for teachers and students. They take a night to reward students for their hard work and they recognize teachers they determine are “super-stars.”
I was asked to attend the ceremony because the students had written a speech and they were going to present me with an award. The Student Union was packed with students and their parents. Along the wall stood the teachers that would be dubbed “super-stars” that evening. Among them were some of my favorite colleagues who I love and respect and would agree with the “super-star” title.
The students gave speeches about each teacher, explaining why in their minds they are “super stars.” They were really fantastic speeches. Then, they called us up and presented us with our award. With the award came a Starbucks gift card! The award was lovely, but honestly the gift card is what really did it. It’s the little things.
As teachers, we are often overworked and underpaid. Nothing new to tell about that story. But what most people don’t know about teachers is that it’s the little things that make us really happy. A silly Starbucks gift card will send us to the moon. That extra gesture was so thoughtful. I’ve already used my card and it brought a smile to my face when I used it knowing that students were the ones that gave it to me.
Each class of AVID students (freshmen to seniors) select teachers. The awards went to: