Every day, all day long, we teach, reflect on, and show habits of character. We set goals with students and reflect on how they've grown in perseverance, integrity, responsibility, cooperation, compassion, and curiosity and creativity. We discuss how to change our behavior for the better and use habits to teach them how their actions affect others. Our students work these habits all day long, at home and at school. When a student embodies a habit of character in all that they do their teachers nominate them as Light Leader and we honor them as a school. This is one of the most special things that we do at DAA, and everyone looks forward to our Light Leader ceremonies.
This year our Light Leader process was made even more special. Two of my students came to me and asked if their crewmate could be made a Light Leader. In the past, Light Leaders have only been nominated by staff. They were adamant in their decision - they explained and defended their nomination to me, the other teachers, and Ms. Kyle. For weeks they kept this a secret, watching her and finding more and more examples to show she deserved to be a Compassion Light Leader. They wrote short speeches about her and practiced while the rest of their crew was playing at recess or working in art.
On the day of the ceremony, these two students got up in front of the whole school and celebrated their crewmate. They introduced her as our newest Light Leader, helped her put on her cape, and led her around while the rest of the school cheered her name. As a teacher, it's so special to see students taking ownership of school traditions and celebrations. We push them to own their learning and growth, and to see them so invested in their friends and the school was such a wonderful moment.