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Teacher Surprises Student with Congratulatory Yard Sign for Scoring 100 on Reading Test: 'So Proud'

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There are people who teach to live, and there are people who live to teach. The talent for being a great educator often manifests early, with academically inclined kids wrangling their siblings or neighbors into playing school.

As we go through our formative years, there are those teachers we never quite forget: the ones who go the extra mile, are fueled by passion for their subjects and genuinely love working with learners.

Those who really engage with their students and care about their lives outside the classroom are often the ones who make the biggest impact, and who help students see how important and connected education is to everything else.

Mrs. Caffie, from Valley, Alabama, is one of those special ones.

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Since many teachers spend their weekends planning lessons and grading, they get very little downtime. But Willonda Caffie uses some of her precious time off to recognize the efforts of her students.

On Sunday, Aug. 18, Caffie drove to one of her students’ homes to plant a sign in his front yard and personally congratulate him. Christopher had scored a 100 on a recent reading test, and she wanted to make sure he knew how proud she was.

“Mrs. Caffie is so Proud of Me,” the sign read. Christopher’s mom was just as proud, and took photos to share on Facebook.

“Ya’ll! This is amazing!” Ashly McCarley posted on Facebook. “My son’s 3rd grade teacher just surprised him with a yard sign, for making a 100 on his reading test Friday! Mrs. Caffie, you made Christopher’s day.”

“I feel like Mrs. Caffie gives my son a fire to want to do his very best,” Mccarley told KRIV-TV.

“To other educators out there, your impact on these children’s lives is tremendous! It takes a very special individual to give their life over to teaching these children. As a parent, I am very thankful for the ones who choose to be educators! When a person truly has a passion for teaching, they do it in such a way that they leave foot prints in our children’s hearts.”

“Other students have also gotten signs for their accomplishments also! I am not really sure what made his teacher decide to give signs other than trying to reward them in a special way that would also motivate them and others to do their very best.”

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The motivation has clearly worked, as other proud students and parents have shared photos of Mrs. Caffie’s visit to their homes.

“I’m so proud of her!” mom Amy McDonald Scott posted on Sept. 16 of her daughter, Addyson. “She works really hard at her school work. This is making a 100 on her test Friday.”

Thanks to Caffie and other teachers like her, students are being encouraged to do their best and celebrate their successes.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking