Who do you consider to be a champion? What characteristics make them champions? In terms of an athletic champion one immediately thinks of devotion to practice and to the players around him or her, focus on the fundamentals, persistence even the body hurts and the brain is tired, courage to grow through adversity, and the willingness to take risks in order to better oneself. In order to become a champion, one has to embrace these ideals and train with the mindset that he or she can become a champion by doing these things day in and day out. I believe the same can be said for students in the classroom.
Here at Myers Elementary School, we want each one of our students to become “Champions of Learning.” So, we encourage them to “Think Like a Champion.” We’ve taken Notre Dame University’s “Play Like a Champion” mentality and adapted it to fit the school setting. To help them understand what it takes to become a champion of learning we communicate using catchy phrases that students hear and chant each day.
“Contribute” – Champions give completely of themselves in order to better themselves, but more importantly to better the people around them. Michael Jordan contributed daily during his illustrious basketball career and because he did, he made himself better and the players around him better. We emphasize the same here in the classroom. Each day our students are reminded that their job here is to CONTRIBUTE. We want them, in fact we demand them, to give completely of themselves and to this thing called learning. And in doing so, we let them know (and they experience firsthand) the satisfaction that comes with making themselves better, their classmates better and their school community better.
“Be Nice. Work Hard.” – Champions of learning are students who naturally show kindness and compassion to each other. They look for opportunities to offer a helping hand or a word of encouragement. They also know that nothing comes easy, but rather they have to work hard and put forth an honest effort in order to be successful. Our students come to learn through experience that being nice and working hard give themselves and their classmates opportunities to experience success in school and in life. Students who are nice and work hard in school become “Champion Citizens” who are respected, admired, and employed.
“Learn It Today, Remember it Forever.” – Athletes who are champions become this because as they pay attention to the skills they need to know how to do, learn from their mistakes, and remember BOTH experiences forever. When athletes learn their sport and remember it always, they put themselves in a position to be extremely successful because they use this knowledge to outsmart and outplay their opponents. Students who can learn one day and remember every day after that put themselves in a position to be champions in the work force and in society as a spouse, parent and citizen.
“Knowledge is Power, Power is Freedom.” – Students who retain the knowledge they learn in school empower themselves to become what they want to become and increase their likelihood of living a good life. With this power, they have the freedom to choose their career choice and the knowledge to navigate life’s challenges.
We believe in our students, and we want them to become “champions.” So, let’s get to training.