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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in positive recognition
Posted by on in General

Today, the first day after the state writing test, was a day of decompressing, reflecting, and celebrating.  I began each class with my assessment of how I thought the day had gone.

“I’m not allowed to read your work,” I explained.  “None of us are.  But all of your teachers spent the entire day circulating through our classrooms and making sure that all of you were on task.  Let me tell you, our feet are tired.”

I paused for a moment and then continued, “I was so impressed that you listened to me and that you all filled those giant four-squares to the max!  Hallelujah!  We all were impressed.  Truthfully, none of us have ever seen kids spend so much time planning, writing, and revising a rough draft!  There is simply no way your scores can be low!  I am so proud of you!”

Marni raised her hand.  “Mr. Ramsey, you turned some really awful writers into great writers!”

“Thank you,” I replied.  “But you all were already good writers.  That little seed of creativity was buried inside of you.  It just needed a little attention and time.”

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Posted by on in Education Leadership

callOffice

It's May. While all eyes turn to the end of the year, I think it's time we start counting up some of the end of year conversations we need to have before summer starts and we're not seeing our students each day.

I've written before about my belief that we are wired up so that things outside us tell us who we are (here's the link if you're interested). That's neither good nor bad; for me, it's reality. Without getting into the whole logic behind it and whether or not that sits well with you, I don't think it's a stretch to say there is great value in speaking truth into the lives of our students.

My role as a assistant principal puts me in conversations with many students who have failed to meet expectations. I realized late last week though that a student who I visited with quite frequently last school year had a reasonably good fall and a fantastic spring semester. It didn't take long for me to realize that it was time to call him to the office for a different sort of conversation.

This student is the one who is nearly unrecognizable from himself last year. He's turned it around in terms of behavior, and that's led to him being a totally different academic student. Here's what he'll hear from me:

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Posted by on in School Culture

b2ap3_thumbnail_prizebox.jpg

If I had been looking the other direction I would have missed it. That would have been a shame. But I was fortunate enough to witness it. So I considered myself lucky.

The timer was getting ready to go off and for a moment it seemed uncertain if he was going to be able to clean up in time. It wouldn't have been a big deal if he hadn't. I'm sure his teacher would have simply given him another minute or two. But she didn't need to. Because his friend came over and helped him.

While that was a nice moment, it wasn't the one that stood out. What happened next was something that I rarely see with children and don't see enough of with adults. After the young man received help from his classmate he pointed it out to his teacher. And he suggested that his friend get a chance to pick out of the prize box.

Those of us that have worked with, or even had, five year olds know how rare this is. To suggest that someone else get recognition and/or a prize without expecting anything themselves. It's almost unheard of in the world of five year olds. It is not a character flaw. It's just that five year olds are still at the age where their primary concern is themselves.

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