In January of 2017, the 5th graders and Ms. Rakaczky were talking about the upcoming 8h Grade vs. Faculty Basketball Game. Ms. R was describing her level of basketball talent and said that she probably wouldn't even make a basket in the game. The kids immediately called her on it and said, "Ms. R that is NOT a growth mindset!" Before the big game, one of the 5th graders made a sign: "Miss R. All you need is one basket, just one!" Every year since, that same student has shown up in Ms. R's room on the day of the Big Game, retrieved the sign, and held it up to encourage her teacher.
So this year, those same former 5th graders who have been reminding Ms. R to have a growth mindset about basketball were actually playing in the game against the faculty. As usual, the student that made the sign in 5th Grade stopped by Room 208 on the day of the game, retrieved the sign, and handed it to a 7th grader to hold during the game. In the 3rd quarter, Ms. R, after years of trying, finally scored her first basket, and the whole Ulam Sport went wild, especially the 8th graders. Of course, this led to the need to finally tear the sign in half and pose for an awesome postgame photo to commemorate the occasion.
This story is really what CDS is all about. Genuine affection for a teacher, a humble teacher who can laugh at herself, kids channeling a core value of the school, kids connecting past experiences to the present, and kids and teachers having a lot of fun together. And, as you can see, the exclamation point at the end of this story is a photo with big smiles and lots of blue and gold.
I feel lucky to work at a school where these stories are all around us, in every classroom, on the playground, at Tefillah, in the lunchroom, and on the basketball court. The love that our students have for their teachers and for this school is because our teachers come to work every day and joyfully pour themselves into these amazing kids.
This story is just another reminder of what makes CDS such a special place!