I look back to the many times in life I felt my success celebrated: winning student of the year, getting "Employee of the Month" at McDonald's (they spelled my name wrong on the plaque, but it's fine), the several after-season parties with soccer teams in elementary school. Celebration feels great. Celebration prompts reflection. Celebration is important.
I've posted before on the value of feedback, and celebration is a major component of feedback. When children feel celebrated, they are proud of the work they've done, and propelled to move on to even greater projects.
I experienced this propulsion last week. I had the honor of being featured as one of Amanda Davis' "Rising Stars in Kidlit." Leading up to the feature, I felt anything but starry. I had been doubting my writing and wishing I knew more of what was sought after in the publishing industry.
It felt so nice to re-read my interview, last week, because it was written at a time I felt more hopeful. I had so many kind responses to the feature, from the amazing writing community on Twitter. Just a simple celebration of the progress I had made, motivated me to make more. You can read the full interview here, if you'd like:)
When I return to the classroom, I will remember how much this celebration meant to me. I can't wait to help students see how far they've come, so they can lift their chins and charge even further!
My name is Laken Slate. I was an elementary school teacher for six years, before becoming a mom. I am set to graduate with a master's in Curriculum and Instruction in July 2021! Someday, I would love to be a picture book author. I am represented by the world's greatest literary agent, Joyce Sweeney :)