Award Winning but Tear-Inducing Students. So happy I could cry!

I did nearly cry today.  It’s approaching endgame with my students.  I do feel genuinely attached to them, I’m sad to think that our time together will end, and I might not find out the next chapter in their stories.   It’s not that every session has been great, far from it, but overall we have shared quite an adventure together, and I will certainly remember them.

congratulations

For the last session of the week I decided to do something on awards.  The premise was really simple, and I was looking forward to it.  Basically, I wrote on the board lots of encouraging words like ‘congratulations’, ‘well done’, ‘bravo’, and wrote up ‘Award Winning Students’ at the top.  The early part of the session was to get them to think of any award ceremonies they could.  Absolutely none apparently. So then I moved on to any awards they might have won. To my delight, early on they thought of ‘Best Paper Aeroplane’ because ‘I got a gold medal’.  Though disappointingly not the balloon blowing competitions….

So I gave them a list of suggested awards – some of which were fairly pedestrian, some of which were designed with them in mind:

  • Best Attendance
  • Most Enthusiastic Student
  • Best Artist
  • Best Presentation
  • Best at Wiggling their ears
  • The Kindest Classmate
  • The Sweetest Smile
  • The Best Singer
  • The Best Dancer
  • The Bravest Student
  • The Loudest Voice
  • The Best at Making Paper Aeroplanes
  • Best at Saying Tongue-Twisters
  • Best at Raising One Eyebrow
  • Best at Doing Press-Ups

I went through the list, then gave them a register of each student in the class, and they had to come up with an award for each student and choose one for themselves.  They could choose from the list or think of their own.  They did to some extent, though went for more serious options than I’d have liked in the first group, the second group got the hang of it rather more.  Additions included:

  • Invisible Student Award (for the student that never comes)
  • Most Annoying Student (which made me laugh, but I did not allow)
  • Most Infectious Laugh (I had to help with the vocabulary for that, but genius award)
  • Best Marketing Presentation
  • Best at Using Excel

Then in pairs, I got them to work on a gap fill exercise where they had to give an award to a classmate, and then accept an award.  The point being they could act on fabulous acceptance speeches.  I modeled it first.  Honestly, I’m not sure they got all the vocab, but they did get the essence of it, and participated with enthusiasm, if some confusion.

So the presenter had to come up and say something along the lines of

I am delighted to announce the winner of the (name of award) Award

It goes to .(name of winner)….    They deserve it because………………………………..

Let’s give them a big cheer!  (encourage everyone to shout and clap)

Congratulations!

and then the winner had to say something along the lines of:

Hello, everyone.  Wow, thank you so much for this amazing award!

I feel really honoured to have won it.  It means a lot to me that I can now say I am the winner of the (name of award………………………………………………..) Award

I’d like to thank everyone who has helped me achieve this.  (who can you thank, what will you say?  …………….)

I feel really proud.  This is the proudest day of my life.  I am so happy, I could cry.  I will treasure this award for ever!

Thank you all.

(Now take a bow, and sit down!)

It worked pretty well.  But the main joy was from the second group. They’d all finished their presentations, and there was still about 6 minutes to go.  Curses.  We were told early on that it’s OK to start a bit late, but you shouldn’t really finish more than a couple of minutes early as that is perceived as dismissive.  I know, weird, but I do get it.  I try always to finish bang on 8.00 p.m. and to date have always achieved this. What to do in the last few minutes.

Just as I was wondering if I’d get away with just getting them all to take a bow to rapturous applause, one of the students leapt up and announced he had to give a final award….

I was a bit taken aback, but my it was gloriously.  Spontaneously and unprompted, he announced that the award for ‘funniest moment’ should go to me, the teacher.  Because I always make them laugh, they laugh everyday in my lessons and it makes them happy.  I was genuinely flabbergasted!  But not los for words.

With some considerable sincerity I gave a completely over the top acceptance speech.  Grasping each of them by the hands in turn as I explained that I could never have won this award without them, and indeed bursting with pride as I stated my thanks.

I think though the end bit was actually true.  I will sob when final farewells come, even if some of that will be with relief!  It’s been a long 12 weeks.

I feel really proud.  This is the proudest day of my life.  I am so happy, I could cry.  I will treasure this award for ever!

 

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