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Best Idea Ever: Thought-Provoking Penny

Education World's Best Idea Ever feature highlights a favorite teacher-tested idea designed to help you teach a lesson, manage a classroom, communicate with parents, impress colleagues and administrators—and amaze them all with your energy and creativity!

For those of you looking for a positive message to leave your students, high school teacher Robert Courtmanche shares this end-of-year idea. Each year, Courtemanche gives his seniors a penny with a message attached to it. The wording of that message, written several years ago by Courtemanche, is:

My graduation gift to you is a penny, but why?
Look at the penny and you will understand.
The year is 2005 -- so you will always remember this time.
"Honest Abe" Lincoln is on the front -- always be honest with yourself and others.
The word LIBERTY -- as they say in the Navy, you are now "at liberty," and that means you are free to do as you like. Don't waste that freedom.
IN GOD WE TRUST -- you must trust in someone or something; you can't go through life alone. Trust in yourself, trust in God, trust the life you make.
A penny may be worth only one cent, and you can't buy much with a penny anymore. However, every dollar is made up of 100 pennies, and every kid's piggy bank starts with one penny. The penny, like each of you, is not made of pure silver or gold -- but surely if you put enough pennies together, they will amount to something.
I ask that you go out into the world and amount to something. Set your own value on life, set your own standards and goals.
And, in case you need it ...
Here's a penny for luck.

Submitted by: Robert Courtmanche, Galena Park High School, Galena Park, Texas.

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