34 days...that is the amount of time I have left to imprint truth, love, and passion for learning in the hearts of my kindergartners.
When we return to class on Tuesday, my little friends will notice the absence of the behavior chart.
Matt Gomez-"Reward Free Year" and Amy Night-"Too High A Price" have shared their thoughts on not publicly posting behavior in the classroom and I'm listening.
What changed my mind? More than a few things have made me rethink my management tool. When MissJ moved her name straight to the bottom, instead of one color down, I thought, "This isn't helping her.". When MrJ said, "So what if I move down a color? Mrs.P will give me grace.", I cocked an eyebrow. When I forgot to move 'em all up at a certain point on any given day, someone would remind me that the chart is ever before our eyes. The treasure chest will also be given a big "Buh-Bye". When all but one student earned dips into the chest for completing the February choice homework calendar, I knew that the one student would be devastated. (Yes, there are times to remain firm with expected completion dates, but extenuating circumstances do exist. I chose to honor February's met goals with a different privilege.)
If your class is similar to mine, the same handful of students are not hitting the top color on the chart, on a daily basis. And the others are. A certain smugness has grown around my top-of-the-chart students. At the same time, I can see a reckless giddiness mounting in the friends who routinely drop down the rainbow. I would hate to be tracked in this way, in my job. I would be discouraged if my coworkers expected me to be late for work most days, causing my nametag to be moved down the rainbow chart. I would prefer that my boss meet with me on a regular basis, discuss goal-setting and offer constructive feedback. So, that's what I'm going to do with my little friends.
Let me be honest, a few children have issues that will still present a problem and I plan to help these children in changing those behaviors. Maybe my plan will falter, but I have to try. I'll let y'all know how it goes! To round out this post, I'd like to share my new favorite song, "Words" by Hawk Nelson.
(check out the video on their website)
Since my class happens to be The.Chattiest.Bunch.EVER (I should trademark that phrase), I'm using the chorus during Bible time, throughout April, to learn more about the power of our words.