Friday, 19 May 2017

Taking the time to celebrate

During the busy school year, we seldom have time to reflect on where weve been and what weve accomplished. Too often we get bogged down in the day-to-day pressures of our schedules and endless lists of what needs to get done.

As part of our year-end to do list here at BrightFish, we send out a survey to educators who have used our programs during the school year. Its wonderful to hear from teachers how their students are enjoying reading for the first time and improving their word fluency and comprehension abilities. These are major milestone for kids who have never had success in reading.

Of all the inspiring stories from the year, three amazing students stand out for rising to the very top of our national points board. Points are part of our extrinsic reward system, but behind the numbers are students whove put in a lot of effort and care into their work. In BrightFish Reading, the more activities you complete and the higher your accuracy, the more points you earn. Its probably not surprising that students consistently rate the points system as one of their favorite parts of the program. The points can be redeemed for games, which are valued rewards, but having a tangible recognition of your work and how far you have come can be even more powerful motivators.

Behind those students are the wonderful teachers who really dig into a technology to make it work for their kids. Bringing in a new tool to use in the classroom on top of everything else thats going on involves change and, frankly, more work. Perhaps its also not surprising that the kids who made it to the top of our national standings were supported by teachers who embraced the tools, asked a lot of questions and devised their own creative strategies for keeping students focused and engaged. For software developers, those educators are considered gold for their ability to bring our programs to life and help us improve.

Next week classroom celebrations are starting to take place as the 2016-17 year winds down. As you recognize your students for their achievements big and small, take time to enjoy the moment and reflect on how much was accomplished this year.