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Bammy awards

Blog 2015
Really Good Reason #4: Paying It Forward
Written by Errol St.Clair Smith
Friday, 11 April 2014 03:32

I was inspired today by Nicholas Diaz  in his blog post about paying it forward.”  I’m inspired because Nicholas really slam dunked the spirit of the Bammy Awards!  I’m talking one of those Michael Jordan, take-off–from-just-inside-half-court-fly-over-few-heads-swoosh-roar type dunks.

Today Nicholas wrote,   “My spirits were recently lifted and my passion rekindled as I was nominated for a Bammy Award in the Elementary School Principal category.”  But it’s what Nicholas did next that really sums up the spirit of the Bammy Awards. Nicholas went on to write,” Feeling inspired, I am now nominating several deserving educators to spread the amazing Bammy movement.  Take a moment out of your busy schedule and nominate an educator today! You would be amazed to know what a difference your positive feedback can do! So what are you waiting for? Pay it forward!”

Wow!  He totally got it!  It’s about “WE” not me.  Today Nicholas landed on my list of the big WE people in my PLN.  He joins the ranks of people like Brad Currie, Tom Murray, Vicki Davis, Angela Maiers, Lisa Nielsen and others who really get the WE thing. People who don’t just horde accolades, but share and give them lavishly.  On my bucket list, there are a few hands that I would definitely like to get a chance to shake... Nicholas Diaz, you are now one of them. Kudos to you. Sound effects: thunderous applause!

 
Really Good Reason # 3: See What's Going on Below the Surface
Written by Errol St.Clair Smith
Thursday, 10 April 2014 00:00

Wow! I just got an email from an Academy member about a woman she nominated. The nominee wrote a
personal note saying that she was in tears....

The range of sentiments and emotions we're getting from people who are being nominated now ranges from disbelief and astonishment to tears. The most common response is "honored," followed by "humbled,"  but the ones that move my heart from my chest to my sleeve express transparent, overwhelming emotion. The feelings of redemption expressed are so palpable, I can almost feel their tears of joy on my skin.  These underscore a deep truth that I suspect we all know but are burying deep inside.

The mask we all wear that projects, ”I'm okay, I don't need no stinking award" is shattered by the responses that are streaming in. In this era of deep discouragement that is driving many educators from the field, the Bammy Awards feed emotions that are being starved in the current climate. Valid emotions, like the desire to know that the work we are doing not only matters to us, our students, and mom and dad, but is broadly appreciated and respected. The desire for affirmation that we count, that our work counts, that our voice counts.  That we are okay, doggoneit!

As I watch the responses coming in, I’m increasingly convinced that the only way anyone can truly understand what is going on here is to see it for themselves. That's why I'm inviting you to see for yourself right now. Identify five people you know who you are making significant contributions to the field of education and nominate them for a Bammy Award. I am confident that you will be amazed by at least one of the responses you receive. Why?  Because deep down inside validation matters, even if  (on the surface)  we make believe it doesn't.

 
Really Good Reason # 2: Who Needs a Bammy Award?
Written by Errol St. Clair Smith
Monday, 07 April 2014 22:33

Within five seconds of pushing the button announcing the opening of the 2014 Bammy Awards season, I was reminded of why working on this annual initiative can be so rewarding and fulfilling. William Chamberlain was the first to make a nomination this year. (Thanks,Will!  Big ups to you, Will.) His nominee is Paul Bogush, an educator who was not on my radar screen, but who apparently is doing some pretty amazing things with lesson plans. Paul has an exceptional blog and is being followed by some of the educators I deeply respect. So I decided to drill down on Paul and the more I read the more impressed I became.

I discovered that Paul is truly doing some leading-edge work with his students, his school and his community. I found this on his Linked in profile: Paul is “one of the pioneering content teachers to blog full time with all students, video conference with students and business leaders from across the world, podcast, use Google apps, Wikis and Twitter, live broadcasting of class activities, Genius Hour and 20% time, and publish student work with their real names.”

He also received grants to acquire technology to record the oral history of the town’s senior citizens.There’s much more, but we’ll let you discover that on your own.

As we worked this year to further refine our definition of the ideal Bammy Award honoree, two phrases emerged that really said it all: world-class collaborator and world-class contributor.  If it takes a village to educate a child, then those who are master collaborators, who reach beyond the walls of their classrooms and buildings to engage with educators around the world and who make contributions above and beyond their job descriptions, are role models for the 21st century educator.

I was sufficiently inspired by just reading about Paul’s passions and contributions, thrilled to have discovered a gem (thanks again, Will) and delighted as I mused about how many more people might learn about Paul as a result of his nomination. “We’re doing meaningful work,” I thought. “This is really cool!” But then I saw the post from his wife and it took me to a whole new level.

The sentence that grabbed me was, [Paul is] “continually developing himself as a person and a teacher - and then creating and sharing with educators worldwide. Award or not, Paul Bogush will continue on - changing lives each day - but, a Bammy would provide encouragement and affirmation for when he finds himself swimming alone in the current riptide of ‘reforms.’"

Over the years we’ve bumped into a pretty pervasive notion in the education community, which holds that educators don’t need validation or affirmation. It’s a curious position given that most every educator I know is adamant about the need to validate students (and they go to great lengths to do so).  Candidly, I’m not sure at what point human beings stop needing affirmation but my gut tells me the answer may be never. What I do know is that the people who live with our educators see what they go through and when Paul’s wife tells me that a Bammy Award would provide him affirmation when he really needs it, I believe her and am inspired and encouraged that the Bammy Awards can indeed make a difference in the lives of educators.

 

 
Really Good Reason # 1: Bammy Nominated and Proud
Written by Errol St. Clair smith
Monday, 07 April 2014 00:00

Reading Starr Sackstein’s post this morning titled, Bammy Nominated and Proud put smiles on every face in the room here today. I can’t confirm this scientifically, but I’m pretty sure that my dog Simba was smiling as well. As Starr described in high definition how she sleepily arose, reached for her phone and discovered that she had been nominated for a Bammy Award, it was like watching a friend open a birthday present and receive a truly special gift. As I dashed through her very brief post, one thing jumped off the page: being nominated for a Bammy Award was a very pleasant surprise that made her day.

I’m convinced that most people have no idea just how awesome the gift of affirming others can be and, more importantly, how much joy it can bring to us when we affirm and validate others. If we really understood this, I believe we would do it more often.  As I read through some of the comments being posted on Starr’s profile I can’t help but think how nice it is to see people publicly saying the sorts of things that we normally reserve for when people leave the job or leave this life. Why do we wait? Where is it written that we can’t affirm each other until we get to the end of the game?

Changing the Game

I’ve been following Starr for a few months now, and where I come from we would say that “Starr has got it going on!”  She is reflective, thoughtful, collaborative and proactive. Starr has "21st-century educator" written all over her. We’re proud to be connected to Starr, proud to learn from her and proud that she’s proud to be a Bammy Award nominee.  There, I said it, and I didn’t die, get demoted or lose any stature. In fact, it felt really good!

Whose day could you make with a Bammy nomination? Spread some validation, spread some joy and get a taste of how good it feels to be among the people who are lifting other people up! (Yes,  I know I ended the sentence with a preposition - keep me after school)

 
The Next Chapter: Bammy Awards 3.i
Written by Errol St. Clair Smith
Thursday, 21 November 2013 06:45

Yes, it's coming!  The 2014 Bammy Awards. You spoke; we listened. Now we're excited to announce the next chapter: Bammy Awards 3.i. 

We’ve kept what people love about the Bammy Awards, added some of  the best ideas we've received and sprinkled in ample dollops of creativity and imagination to create an evolved and exciting new format we call  "3.i."  No it's not a typo, the "i" is for "inspire"  and you'll hear more about this in the near future.

In the interim, initial honorees and the date for the 2014 Bammy Awards have just been announced (details below).

Sir Ken Robinson, Dr. Timothy P. Shriver,  Jon Bergmann, Aaron Sams, and Rafe Esquith to Be Honored at the 2014 Bammy Awards

Mark your calendars, as this is an event you won't want to miss.

UNward! (Definition: Onward in an UNconventional, UNtraditional, UNorthodox, anything but UNimanginative way)

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