Ever listen to the radio and hear a song that just seems to speak to you? The message was exactly what you needed to hear and the rhythm gave you a well deserved pick-me-up. Well, for Jami Carter, a Boosterthon teacher at Meadow Glen Elementary in Lexington, SC, a song did more than just speak to her as an educator—it also said her name.
Imagine Mrs. Carter’s surprise when on the second day of Boosterthon Team Huddles, her 4th graders gather to watch the “Plug In To Serve” character music video and hear these first lyrics:
It all started with my teacher Mrs. Carter. One day she said, ‘Alone’s always harder. If we serve other people and we work as a team, well, it’s just a whole lot smarter.’
As the video unfolds, the students discover that not only does the teacher in the music video share Mrs. Carter’s name, but also her desire for her students to develop a love for serving others.
So, I spoke to her to learn if anything has changed in her students’ behavior or attitude since.
Q: How did your class react to you having the same name as the teacher in the music video?
A: “My class was excited to hear ‘Mrs. Carter’ in the music video. They talked about it all day and the connection boosted them to want to do more for others. It was excellent motivation and is still a funny joke between us.”
Q: Prior to Boosterthon, was serving others something your class focused on?
A: “My class displays this characteristic every day. They are helpful to one another and also to those in the school. I have small groups that occasionally volunteer their own recess time to help our housekeeping staff in the cafeteria after lunch. ‘Plug In To Serve’ seemed to be directed straight to my class because they are always helpful, but this lesson added fuel to their fire!”
Q: Do you have any examples of what you mean by adding “fuel to their fire?”
A: “What I found to be interesting is that during Boosterthon my students began to seek out individual ways to serve. I have had several students take on their own individual projects like raising money for research or shaving their hair for cancer awareness.”
Q: It’s so great to hear that they help others outside of their classroom communities. What’s something you all do as a class to help each other at school?
A: “We complete a project that helps students identify fears and set goals about reaching fifth grade. As we work through this project, we learn that we all have similar fears. We take this a step further by learning how we can help each other overcome these fears.”
Q: How do you plan to keep your students motivated to serve throughout the remainder of the school year and after they leave your class?
A: “I plan to keep my students motivated by setting an example so the students see how serving others is a way of life that brings happiness to those being served and to yourself for reaching out and making a difference. I hope that with my teaching and through the lessons received at school and through programs like Boosterthon, students are motivated to make serving others a permanent character trait.”
Mrs. Carter, thank you for being an amazing teacher. In the words of the song, I know your 4th graders would all say, Thanks, Mrs. C., for investing in me. Now I’ll pay it forward so that others can see!
Watch the Boosterthon music video that inspired Mrs. Carter’s class even further to put others first and serve where there’s a need.