Elliott's elementary school focuses on a different character trait of being a good citizen each 9-week period. As part of that effort, at the conclusion of the period they recognize two students from each class who have done a good job demonstrating that particular trait. This 9 weeks it was respect, and Elliott was the male student recognized in his class for being respectful.
Katie and Ian and I got to attend an assembly today where they recognized all the kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade students the school recognized for being respectful. I've never had a son win the Heisman Trophy or the Nobel Peace Prize, but I can't imagine it's any more satisfying than watching your son be recognized by his teachers for being respectful. I told Elliott that I have high hopes for him, but if the only awards he ever receives are for being respectful to people, I'll be as proud as a dad can be.
The encouraging part about the assembly was seeing so many of Elliott's friends and baseball teammates also be recognized for being respectful. A lot of people claim kids today aren't as respectful as they used to be - many days I am that a lot of people. But the truth is most kids still are good kids, and there are still schools full of good teachers and administrators dedicated to growing not only educated students, but good citizens.
I applaud Henry Clay Elementary School for recognizing the importance of character development in our students. I'm very grateful for Elliott's teacher, Ms. Hoggan, who cares just as much about how her students treat one another as she does about their reading and writing skills.
And, oh, I'm very proud of Elliott.