Feed the Positive Dog
The Energy Bus
We all have two dogs inside of us. One dog is positive, happy, optimistic, and hopeful. The other dog is negative, mad, sad, pessimistic, and fearful. These two dogs often fight inside us, but guess who wins the fight? The one you feed the most. This is true also of our classrooms. Let's choose to feed the positive dog! Let's spend the 2nd Quarter putting our energy into those students who are always doing what's right, who stay on green, and who love to learn. I want you to flood your classroom with positivity. Look for ways to praise your students and don't forget to pass the praise along by rewarding Paws to other classes.
Want Positive Behavior? Use Positive Language
Positive adult language is the professional use of words and tone of voice to enable students to learn in an engaged, active way. This includes learning social skills. To guide children toward choosing and maintaining positive behaviors, school adults need to carefully choose the words and tone of voice we use when speaking to them.
Learning to use positive language with children takes time. But you don't have to do it all at once. Any enhancements you make in your language will do much to help children choose positive behaviors.
Convey belief in children
To choose positive behaviors, children need to see themselves as capable individuals and responsible community members. Adults can use positive language to help children build that self-perception.
Suppose a principal says to an all-school gathering, "When everyone is quiet, we'll start our school pledge," or a lunch teacher says to a class entering the lunchroom, "You can look at our poster to remind yourselves what to do when you finish eating." These words convey belief that children want to cooperate, listen, and do good work, while also giving them information about how they can follow through on those good intentions.
With our words, we convey our assumptions and expectations about children, which, in turn, influence children's assumptions and expectations about themselves. Imagine Shayna bouncing through the school doors in the morning. She loves school and sometimes forgets the school rule about walking down the hallway. But today she remembers. As she starts toward her classroom, an adult in the hallway speaks to her. Compare these two statements:
(a) Shayna, don't even think about running to your classroom this morning. I'm watching you!
(b) Good morning, Shayna! I'm so glad you're here today. I see you're remembering to walk safely in the hall.
These two ways of talking send very different messages:
(a) The first way communicates a lack of faith in Shayna's ability to follow the rules. It also sets up the adult as an "enforcer," undermining trust between the adult and the student.
(b) The second way communicates that the adult sees Shayna's good intentions and responsible behavior and, most importantly, believes that she can succeed.
By using positive language to convey your belief in children's abilities and intentions, you help them internalize a positive identity and develop more awareness and self-control. As a bonus, your language helps those within earshot form a positive perception of the child, which further enhances the child's self-perception and helps to promote positive behavior.
Try, Try Again
Responding to misbehavior is one of the most challenging aspects of teaching. Even the most experienced teachers make mistakes. But just as we allow students to make mistakes, we must allow ourselves to make them, too. And then, just as we do with students, we must allow ourselves to try again without judgment, in the spirit of learning to do it better next time.
Online Classroom Management Training (Blackboard)
Credit: 0.5 CEU
Course Code: DISC25215
This course consists of four sessions and will provide participants with the ability to incorporate PBIS strategies in the classroom by creating a Classroom Management Plan. Participants will also learn about methods to teach appropriate behavior, prevent problem behavior, encourage appropriate behavior, and respond to behavior problems. This course is open to all district staff members.
Share Your Positivity
1st Quarter Awards Day
Friday, Nov. 14th, 9:15am-3:30pm
You will award 1 Math, 1 Reading, 2 PRIDE (boy and girl), and 1 Teacher's Choice
Please invite the parents of the recipients.