This year we had a new club on campus called TAG. None of us really seemed to know much about TAG except that one of the newer 8th grade teachers was the sponsor, and most of the members seemed to be 8th graders. A lot of us thought it might have to do with technology, others (like myself) thought it might have to do with business skills as these kids came up with some really innovative ways to make money. And others pretty much gave up trying to figure out the club because the kids were always really vague on what it was about and gave answers along the lines of "if we told you, we'd have to kill you."
But the kids were always out there working hard, raising money, and they seemed to enjoy it, so we figured it was a pretty good thing.
Last week we found out what the TAG club was all about. According to The Principal, a number of 8th grade students came to her this past fall about putting together a club. She gets kids all the time coming to her about clubs, and she tells them all pretty much the same thing - find a teacher to sponsor your club and she'll sign off on it. She told this group the same thing and they went off and she figured she would never see them again.
Except they found a sponsor. And a new club was born. And the name of the club? The Teacher Appreciation Group.
I kid you not.
This group of kids wanted to put together a club for the SOLE PURPOSE of raising money to throw a party for their teachers and staff at the end of the school year as a way of letting us all know how much they appreciated all we've done for them for the past three years. They wanted it to be a surprise, and didn't really want to reveal who all was in the club until the party.
You should have heard the response in the faculty meeting when The Principal told us about this club and told us that the party would be after school on Thursday. We were dumbfounded. Amazed. Flattered. And just plain astonished.
Who would have thought, in this day and age, that a group of kids would want to spend all year raising money just so they could throw a party for their teachers?
So we had the party today and it was astonishing. Hamburgers, hot dogs, BBQ chicken, sides, and acres of desserts. The kids had music playing, a massage chair set up (nice touch) and were offering to pour more punch, hand out another brownie, and to make sure none of us wanted for anything. They got up and expressed their thanks, talked about how much we meant to them, and just were awesome.
The best part? The kids in this group were not the popular kids, or the top academic kids, or the kids that really grab your attention. For the most part they were the middle of the road kids, the kids easily overlooked, the kids that didn't stand out for any particular reason. Many of the ones I had were kids who struggled in class, and honestly, had some rough times in seventh grade. But each and every one of them had an adult there who took him or her under his or her wing and, obviously, made a difference.
I've never been so proud of my kids. And so humbled.