Free Back-to-School "Star Student" Bulletin Board August 07 2009

Here's a free template for you to print out and use as a bulletin board. 

Read the article below for ways to introduce the bulletin board during morning circle time.

When I taught 2nd grade, my students loved to look up on the wall and see their faces in the stars on the "Star Student" bulletin board. 

Star Students

I remember telling my students that they were the future scientists, spiritual leaders, doctors, teachers, artists, architects, car or space ship mechanics, mothers and fathers of the world. Many careers will exist in the future that we may not even be aware of now.  Our children will create these careers.  It's a remarkable thought. During our morning circle time, as we welcome our students, we are looking into the eyes of the future.

I reminded all of my students on a regular basis that they have gifts and talents they need to share with the world. They have no right to keep their gifts and talents a secret, because with these gifts and talents they will bring light and love to the world. Over time, they will learn more about themselves and will discover their gifts and talents. 

For example, if Suzie loves to cook and she has created a delicious recipe for chocolate cake, she can share her recipe and baking skills with the world as a baker. Think of all the people that will smile while eating her delicious cake. Well, if Suzie also loves to study mechanical engineering and she designed a solar powered automobile, she could make an amazing difference in the world by sharing her idea. Her gifts and talents as a mechanical engineer would make an impact on decreasing global warming! 

Yet, what if Suzie didn't have the self confidence to share her idea?  On the other hand, what if she did?

What if she felt it wasn't good enough or always felt she wasn't finished, so she kept her invention to herself? What a tragedy that would be.

That is why it's so important for us to build up self-esteem and explain that the children need to share their gifts and talents. The world needs their ideas. We don't need to worry about being perfect. We need to focus on doing what we love to do while making a positive difference in the world.

So, as they looked up at their beautiful faces in the stars every morning, they remembered how important they are. 

They loved to hear this! Who wouldn't?

Yes.  I knew it was my job to help my students gain strong academic skills.  Yet, my career as a teacher was deeper than that.  My goal was to help my children grow healthy self-esteem and good character, too.

I wanted the stars in their hearts to shine into the future.

I realized that I was looking into the eyes of the future, and my time, energy and devotion would last a lifetime in the hearts of my students.

Character Development - Creating Stars (not Black Holes) in Hearts

What if Zack loved to design computer programs? Yet, Zack was often excluded in the classroom. He felt an anger (like a black hole) swell inside of his heart through the years, and as a young adult he started developing computer viruses as a way to vent his anger.  What if his teacher way back in 2nd grade never said a word while the other kids called him names? What if those words haunted him through high school as the students taunted him? As an adult, he could still feel the pain and it swelled inside of him as an angry black hole, so he used his computer talents to cause confusion, pain and disaster...  computer viruses.

On the other hand, Zack's 2nd grade teacher noticed his computer genius and she asked him to use Kid Pix to develop an end of the year slide show. His peers admired him and often posed for photos as he compiled a photo album for the project. Zack didn't have anger and pain in his heart. As an adult, he used his computer talents in many ways, including developing anti-virus software. It's amazing what a teacher can do for a child.

I bring this up, because it's not just about teaching academics.  It's about teaching children to care for each other.  We need to teach our children good character (honesty, caring, sharing, love, forgiveness, etc.), so they can use their wisdom to make a positive difference in the world. 

Without good character knowledge can be dangerous. 

Without healthy self-esteem knowledge can be wasted.

Wisdom evolves from healthy self-esteem, good character and knowledge.

All people have a need to feel loved, cared for and respected.  This star banner is a useful reminder for teachers and students.  It helps us remember what's really important... 

Helping our children develop the self-esteem, good character and academic skills to make a positive difference in the world. 

They are all "Star Students" and we have the perfect opportunity to help our students shine.

Future Projects - Memory Book

One of our huge end of the year projects was to make a memory book.  The students pasted their star photos on the cover of the memory books.  Towards the end of the year, I'll share the memory book template with you.