Counting down the school days until summer break is an annual ritual for students. While many are eager to leave their classrooms behind for vacation, Christina Clark’s third graders can’t wait to get to their desks at King’s Grant Elementary.
Actually, there’s one desk they want – the VIP, or Very Important Person, table.
Determined to “end the year with a bang,” as a bulletin board in the classroom states, Clark reveals the student VIP daily in dramatic fashion. Each student’s name was placed in an inflated balloon pinned to the bulletin board. Clark pops one each day with scissors to identify the VIP.
“They were asking earlier if the girls had pink balloons and the boys had green ones,” Clark said. “That’s not necessarily true because we popped a green one today and Kylie’s our VIP. So, it’s a surprise. As the VIP, they get special privileges for the day.”
Privileges like a decorated VIP desk, a prominent seat in the front of the classroom, a yoga ball for a chair, use of colorful pens and markers, and more.
Just in case their is any question, the student VIP wears a badge with the message: “Exclusive permission to special privileges.”
News of the daily VIP selection is also shared with the school on the classroom door.
“Earlier in the year I took their picture and put it on the wall, and when they become the VIP for the day, we take their picture down and we put it out on the door,” Clark explained.
Eight VIPs had been selected as of June 1, leaving nine more “Very Important People” to be recognized during the last two weeks of school.
Who led the way?
“This guy,” proudly announced Zakai Lawrence, the first VIP, pointing his thumbs at his chest.
“You get all this cool stuff. You get the iPad. You get the pens and stuff. There is a little Kid President button that you can press and you get to sit on a yoga ball. It was great.”
The Kid President button is what Alayna Cole can’t wait to use when she gets her turn to be the VIP for the day.
“When someone answers a question and they are right,” Cole said, “I want to press the button and I’m really excited about that.”
Kylie Irby, the VIP on this day, presses the Kid President button to demonstrate and share the recorded messages that play with each push.
Doing nothing is a great way to change nothing.
Fill your life with the good stuff, people.
You can do it. We can do it. “We will do it. It’s too important for us not to do it,” chant the third graders to finish the statement with Kid President.
The next one seems to be their favorite. They emphasize each word as it plays aloud.
“Be! More! Awesome!” they exclaim. The message is also posted on their classroom wall.
Conner Goellner is excited about a different VIP privilege. “The pens,” he said. “I’m just going to write everything in purple pen. Everything will be in purple.”
Former VIP Lucas Long had his favorites, too. “I liked the yoga ball. I liked bouncing on it. I also liked the twitter feed.”
Clark explained, “When they get the iPad, one of the things that they are in charge of is our classroom Twitter account. They get to be our Tweeter of the Day.”
That VIP privilege is also announced on Twitter (@3rdwithmrsclark) with the hashtag #tweeteroftheday.
Zane Perry notes that the Twitter feed features another special photo daily.
“You get to take a picture with everyone in the class and our VIP of the day. Every kid in the class gets on the carpet to take the picture with the VIP right in the middle.”
Clark added, “We get a nice class picture every single day leading up to the very end.”
One student is already thinking ahead to the Twitter feed on that last day of school: “You get to post extra exciting Twitter pictures.”
The entire VIP experience has been exciting for Meredith Roach and her classmates.
“It is really exciting because you don’t know whose name is going to come out of the balloon,” she said.
When a new name is revealed in the next balloon pop, former VIPs have advice their successors.
“Hit the button!” Goellner exclaimed.
On cue, Irby presses the beloved button to share the remaining message.
Let’s live in a world with more high fives!
“There’s one more,” someone said.
The entire class joins in for the final message, complete with hand gestures and sound effects.
“Sprinkle kindness around,” they shout with their hands waving in the air, “like confetti.”