Tell about a time when you felt most alive or excited about your involvement with Cecil Floyd this year. What made it an exciting experience? Who else was involved?
Looking back, my favorite day of this school year was Veterans Day. It was the day I saw kids come together with an understanding that positive things matter, no matter how small. It began in the classroom with a couple of short video clips that defined Veterans Day, gave the holiday’s history, and showed people appreciating the service of our military. In the discussion that followed, students felt the impact of the holiday, but it wasn’t until after our visit to the third grade music program that I saw the whole thing culminate. I wrote:
Rather than dismiss directly to our classroom, Hoggatteers made their ways to the back of the auditorium to briefly greet the veterans in attendance. As we have worked on this since the first day of school, this was a natural opportunity for students to use their skills in a real setting. They did not hesitate to approach the older gentlemen, look them in the eyes, and firmly shake their hands, while declaring, "Thank you for your service."
One of the gentlemen was visibly touched by the gesture. Eyes glossy, he graciously accepted our appreciation. The ladies with him smiled through the whole experience. I could read their lips as they told the veteran how "neat" it was that fourth graders were so respectful. They truly appreciated this simple gesture, and the students noticed. In fact, this veteran commented to Principal Hennessey that when he came home from Vietnam, he was met with nothing but protests. [Then] School Board President Anne Sharp also made the observation that students were meeting the veterans with full eye contact and firm handshakes. What a rewarding end to our day!
I was wondering if I could have a copy of one or two of the pictures that you took at Cecil Floyd school at the wonderful performance that the 3rd grade put on. My father (A Vietnam Vet) was moved to tears and choked up after shaking hands with so many wonderful young people as they “Thanked him for his service”. Later, when he was able to speak he said that was the best day of his life. And it made him glad that what he did wasn’t for nothing.