Weekly Tribes – 2014 Certificate Ceremony of Appreciation

This is a fun and heartfelt event you might want to consider for the end of the year.  Typically, many schools honor students for achievement, citizenship, attendance, and other stand-out performances.   Many students attend these assemblies and go unnoticed for their unique, and candid personal qualities.

In my class of 7th and 8th graders, we created our own certificates and ceremony.  To make sure all students were included, I divided the class list into little strips of names and passed out three names to each student – this meant making some duplicate class lists, so that each student was ‘guaranteed’ to receive three certificates of recognition.  Then we brainstormed a few likely entitlements…’always helpful’, ‘great jokes’, ‘truly friendly’.  Don’t brainstorm too many, because those that are ‘brainstormed’ are not eligible for print on a certificate; the class decided that using a brainstormed item would be insincere and ‘fake’.

I gave the students a few days (including some class time) to make the certificates.  We also spent some time discussing how the quality of the certificate had some impact on the thought and sincerity behind it.

The results were not only touching, but the students presented certificates to one another, one at a time, and the class was genuinely touched and spontaneous in their whistles and appreciative applause.  Lots of big smiles.  Everyone was included and influenced in this moment of community.