With all the challenges teachers are currently facing, it’s often too easy to lose sight of the good parts of the job—like the incalculable reach most of us end up having on the next generation. Maybe that’s why we got a little teary when we saw TikTok teacher Stephanie Cowman go viral for her creative way of tracking her students over the years.
The idea is simple. Cowman simply adds a colored bead for every student in her class for every year she’s taught to a glass vase.
The end result? A powerful (and beautiful) representation of the impact she’s made. While Cowman isn’t the first teacher to keep track of her students this way, several commenters noted that “you’re the first person I’ve seen do this and not do blue for boys and pink for girls.” “Came here to say the same,” wrote another commenter. “Thanks for doing this in an inclusive way.”
Another commenter had a fun idea for personalizing the project even more. “You should write first names on the beads to make it extra special.” We love it!
Looking for other ways to keep track of all the students you’ve taught?
We’ve seen lots of other creative ideas online, like having students sign a dress or shirt. Or you might have students sign a special book. (Our Class Is a Family by Shannon Olsen would be perfect for this!)