As I reflect on the 2011 year, there were a lot of BIG things that happened in my life. My daughter turned two, I started a new position at work, my stepfather passed away, and I learned we were going to be blessed with a second child. While all of these events taught me important life lessons, it was a collection of little things that happened throughout the year that brought me the most smiles, and at times, the biggest disappointments.

 Some of my favorite small moments happened when I read to my daughter before bedtime each night when I got the chance to see how much she was growing and learning every day. I also have a special collection of memories from my Bible study sessions where a wonderful group of women bonded together and watched the power of prayer in action. At work, I treasured the encouraging emails and notes from colleagues that always seemed to come at just the right time when I needed a confidence boost or just needed a good laugh. And of course, there were the hugs and smiles from students when I was running from one meeting to the next that reminded me to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life.

 Our Lower School has certainly had its fair share of BIG things happen this year as well:

  • Transitioned to a full day Kindergarten program;
  • Renovated our pre-Kindergarten/Kindergarten building and added a third section of pre-Kindergarten;
  • Said goodbye to some of our beloved veteran teachers and welcomed new talented faculty members;
  • Launched a new spelling program in fourth and fifth grade;
  • Implemented a new phonics program in Kindergarten and reading workshop in fifth grade;
  • Increased and improved our use of technology to enhance communication, teaching, and, learning;
  • Received professional development about writing workshop from expert Katie Wood Ray;
  • Visited by nationally acclaimed author Jeff Kinney.

 The list above is a small sampling of the Lower School’s BIG accomplishments so far this school year, but I would be willing to bet it is also a collection of LITTLE things happening every day here at Ravenscroft that are making the biggest impact on your children’s lives.

 Here are just a few LITTLE stories that have been shared with me that I know made a BIG difference for the children and parents involved:

 One of our students had been struggling with a poor choice she made in the past and finally got the courage to admit her mistake and apologize to the teacher involved. Later that day, the teacher slipped a short note into the student’s backpack telling her how proud she was of her for admitting her mistake, and how much she had learned from their conversation. When the student read the note, a powerful impression was left on this little girl’s heart and a mistake became a meaningful learning experience.

 Walking through the hallway, two parents passed their daughter’s swim coach and inquired about how she doing. The coach stopped what he was doing to recount in great detail the progress their daughter was making as if he was her personal coach. They were amazed by the attention the coach gave to them and their daughter’s progress, and they realized how lucky they were to have such an amazing coach and caring teacher working with their daughter.

 A fifth grader rushed up to me as I passed through the fifth-grade center and excitedly told me I had to go look at “the wall.” Posted on the bulletin board was a small piece of white paper with a handwritten note from Mrs. Folsom about the positive character traits he had been showing in class. This young man was filled with pride, and he made a point to show me that his mom and dad had even signed the note and said how happy they were to hear about his good behavior. The note gave the parents and student a boost of confidence just when he needed it most.

 One of our third graders, who had been having a few tough days at school, rushed home to show their mom the Marvelous Musician sticker that she had received from her music teacher. The student was beyond excited to be recognized for her efforts in class and thrilled to have something positive to share about her school day. What the student didn’t know was that her teacher had already taken the time to write her mom an email sharing all about her enthusiasm and spirit in class that day. Both mom and daughter ended their day renewed and ready to face the days ahead with a more positive attitude about school thanks to that small sticker.

 We are so fortunate to have faculty and staff here at Ravenscroft who take on BIG tasks each year, but who also do LITTLE things on a daily basis that positively impact the children and adults they work with.

 As we reflect on 2011 and begin the New Year, I hope you will take the time to remember the LITTLE things that made a BIG difference in your lives.

 Do you have any LITTLE stories to share that made a BIG difference in your lives this year?

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