Sunday, October 16, 2016

My Students are S.H.I.N.E.tastic!

LaVonna Roth's S.H.I.N.E. Message Empowers Students

Dear Readers,

One of my priorities is to always empower my students to believe in themselves, recognize their strengths and encourage them to imagine the endless possibilities available to them.

In my classroom, we have many discussions on what makes us unique, special and how we can inspire others. Often, this is a difficult task for many of my middle school students. They struggle in finding how they inspire others, impact our school/classroom community and internalizing what incredible individuals they truly are!

I have always wanted to incorporate LaVonna Roth's (@LaVonnaRoth) S.H.I.N.E. message and philosophy. This year, I am making it a priority to integrate it into lessons.

I met LaVonna at AMLE2015 when I attended her session. She was so inspiring and positive, you could not help but be in a good mood around her! LaVonna is sincerely one of the sweetest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. She is incredible!

After hearing about S.H.I.N.E. I started doing some research and found her website and bracelet. I promptly purchased one for me and my mom. Much to my delight, she sells earrings as well!


Since I received it, I wear it every day and am always reminded to S.H.I.N.E.

I knew I wanted to incorporate it into my classroom this year. I created the poster above and painted the vase below.

Now, how would I integrate the S.H.I.N.E. philosophy into my classroom? The first thing I did was include it in my 7th grade Language and Literature Syllabus. I introduced the concept to one of my classes. I wanted the students to interact with it, so I decided to incorporate it into Anti-Bullying Lessons. Here is the anchor poster I created. (Apologies for the typo, it is fixed now.)

I asked a group of 7th graders to participate in the task. What I discovered was they were able to identify traits, name important parts of their lives and verbalize how they navigate their complex world called "teenage life". However, identifying what makes them exceptional and recognizing how they inspire others was challenging for several of them. My students are amazing individuals who inspire me daily, it made me sad that they did not see that. After some coaching, guiding, support and encouragement, they were able to dig deep and find something.

This past week, I found another ideal opportunity to implement S.H.I.N.E. We are a Leader in Me middle school. Our Lighthouse Team consists of students who facilitate monthly leadership lessons on Covey's Habits. Our lesson was writing personal mission statements. 

I always spend quality time writing mission statements whenever possible. It's so important to me for students to develop a sense of self and see how they can be amazing change makers in the world. I shared my mission statement and the components I thought about in creating it.

Many of my students used S.H.I.N.E. for reflection in writing their mission statements. They continue to be a work in progress and I am so proud of them for processing and sincerely considering what they want their place in the world to possibly be.

Thank you LaVonna for inspiring me and therefore reaching my students with your incredible message. You are an amazing mentor and role model. You touch more people's lives than you could ever imagine!

Visit LaVonna's website at:

Follow her on twitter: @LavonnaRoth #igniteyourSHINE 

May all your students recognize what incredible individuals they are and what a difference they make in our world.