After starting the school year with student-led assemblies that didn’t include awards or students of the month, I thought change was upon my school. I wrote a post about how cool it was. That post was quickly followed by another, I Celebrated Too Soon, because right after publishing the celebratory post we had a faculty meeting where the idea of awards and students of the month were put right back on the table as part of our school-wide PBIS efforts.
I still wanted the conversation to happen because I like to know what people think and I get a lot out of trying to understand people’s reasons for wanting things to be a certain way over another. Here’s a copy of the email I sent out to the whole staff to keep the conversation going and to make sure we’re considering all options and all reasons for doing the things we do:
In the spirit of healthy discourse I would like to bring our thoughts back to the reasons why we want to have Students of the Tri or Month again. The reasons I want to continue the discussion is because I learn best when I read other’s ideas. I don’t always think of things to say at faculty meetings which is why I keep sending out emails and trying to get people to converse on my blog or the Tech Committee blog. Gives me time to read and digest. I’ve also been reading how another school does PBIS without traditional awards ceremonies or students of the month so it gets me thinking.
Here’s some of where my thoughts have been taking me. I referred to our School Improvement Plan. Our first goal is to Strengthen School Climate and one of our main programs to strengthen school climate is our advisory program. One reason for having an advisory is to personalize the individual experiences of our students by giving them an adult advocate. The other purpose of advisory is to build relationships, kids to kids, and adults to kids.
If we are treating kids as individuals then why standardize what it means to be a good kid? Why standardize what we value and therefore reward?
What is our purpose for recognizing a select few or rewarding a select few for doing the right thing? I’m asking after reading the following (please check it out for yourself):
I hope this comes across positively because although I enjoy discourse I really dislike conflict.