I have many fond memories of my childhood. Among them was the refrigerator in kitchen. While it held many treasures inside, it was the outside of the fridge that stands out. It was one of those awesome 70’s colored monstrosities, but it was littered with magnets and various samples of school work from my sisters and me. That was the gold standard after all. If your work was of high quality, earning an A+ or smiley face, sticker, etc then the work made the ever rotating ‘hall of fame’ in our house. I am certain this was not unique to our house on Seminoe St, rather it was common for most kids who grew up as part of my generation. I know it served as quite the motivator for me, often thinking as I turned in something I was particularly proud of, ‘that is GOING on the fridge!’.
This morning I found myself thinking about the old fridge and the hundreds of magnets over the years that littered its front. Even more, I’m thinking about the poor refrigerators of today. I have, as most people do, a stainless steel fridge. Magnets don’t stick to stainless. How are these papers being held up as the models of excellence for today’s kids? Do parents still fill their appliances with the successes of their children? Or, might there be a new and more modern way? Open your Facebook feed and I will bet you can find at least one ‘friend’ bragging of their child’s successes! In my feed this morning I see an old high school friend sharing video of his daughter’s play, two posts about college graduations, three sports-related photos and/or videos. Yes, the bragging continues but it does so in a much more efficient way. The 70’s fridge required people to come to your house to see your triumphs. Social media puts it right there in front of you…without you even perhaps wanting this information. The magnets may have been retired, but the stories continue.
Why, you ask, am I writing about something so obvious? Certainly not to encourage more feeds in my timeline but to ask this question of principals and teachers…With this knowledge, what are you doing to get those refrigerator trophies, those great stories about the kids in your school, out to the public? I know how hard I worked for ‘appliance worthy’ results, there is no way kids today work any less diligently to gain the recognition and celebration that comes with today’s version of refrigerator magnets. How do you celebrate your kids, teachers, those doing awesome things every day? Are you celebrating? If not, think back to those magnets on the ugly ice box from your childhood and find a way to tell that kid’s story!