Every so often an interaction with a student provides invaluable perspective and outlook on both teaching and life. Today was one of those instances.
I was in charge of today’s PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Support) Assembly, where we recognize students who have shown the RAMS Way (Respect, Always Responsible, Manners, and Safety) over the past month. Students receive awards, VIP tickets, play games, and are reminded to show the RAMS Way everyday, both in and out of school. Since it is almost Halloween, I chose to do a Halloween themed “Eyeball relay race” which involved students using a spoon to carry a bouncy ball eyeball (I found them at Target!) around a series of cones. For the younger grades they just walked/ran around the cones, and the older grades we had them use scooters.
It was prior to the older grades’ assembly that the perspective I mentioned earlier was experienced. You see, while drawing names for students to participate in the game, I drew the name of a student who happened to be on crutches. For a second I thought I should draw another name to replace the student, however at just that moment the student in question walked by. I asked them to stop by the table where I was drawing names, and let them know I had drawn their name for the game, explained what the game entailed, and asked if there was a classmate they would like to pick to go in their place. Expecting to hear the name of one of their friends, I was surprised when the student said “No, I am going to do the relay.” A little perplexed, I asked if they were sure, and the student quickly replied, “Mrs. Laird, I still have one good leg!” and walked away. Believe me when I say I felt about an inch tall! In that one statement, “I still have one good leg,” I learned so much and was reminded how harmful it can be to have a deficit mindset. I need to remember to focus on what I do have, what I can control, and always have a positive outlook. This memory will stick with me for the rest of my teaching career and life, and perhaps I’ll find a way to turn it into a children’s story or weave it into a professional book!
In a continuing effort to expand PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention & Supports) in our building, I created the student recognition card shown below. The idea came from a similar card that another elementary building is using, I simply created one that would work for our students and staff. The plan is for a staff member to recognize a student showing either the RAMS Way (Respectful, Always Responsible, Manners, or Safety) or a Growth Mindset by filling out the card. To increase the home/school connection, both the staff member and the principal will write a comment and the card will be sent home.
The card was made using Canva.
My building uses Positive Behavior Intervention & Supports (PBIS), and I am on our Tier I and Tier II team. We have students follow the RAMS Way (Respectful, Always Responsible, Manners, and Safety). Our school district's mascot is a Ram, so the acronym was created to go along with the mascot. I have already created Classroom Tickets and Student Awards, and was shown an example of VIP seating tickets for school assemblies and knew I could design something similar for our building! I used Canva, one of my go-to creation sites, to create the ticket.
We hold monthly PBIS assemblies, and our plan is to hand out a few VIP tickets prior to the assembly. This will be another way to recognize students who are demonstrating the RAMS Way.
This year, my building is renewing our focus on PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions & Support), and in addition to individual tickets and incentives, we are adding in a classroom component through classroom tickets. I created the design below, which will be printed and made into notepads, for teachers and staff to hand out when the see an entire classroom demonstrating the RAMS Way (Respectful, Always Responsible, Manners, and Safety). I look forward to seeing the tickets be incorporated into our PBIS practices and through my capacity as an Instructional Coach, to continue to support teaching and learning.
This year, my building is renewing our focus on PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions & Support) and a component we are adding to our bimonthly assemblies are student awards. Each classroom teacher will select two students who have demonstrated the RAMS Way (Respectful, Always Responsible, Manners, and Safety) to be recognized. I had the privilege of designing the award and look forward to seeing my work support our building's focus on PBIS.