Friday, November 4, 2016

Caught You Being Good

Like a dribbled basketball the words bounced from Bayard’s Grade School Principal Matthew McLaughlin’s heart. “Through positive reinforcement kids feel they belong, which is necessary in our school system due to the diversity of our students.

“It all began in a staff meeting during which we brain-stormed ways we could make positive reinforcement be a continuous process at the grade school. We chose to implement the idea of 
‘Caught You Being Good’ tickets.

“Basically, the premise is that we should pay as much attention to students doing good things as we 
do for counter-productive behavior. We have consequences to discourage negative behavior, so why not have rewards to promote positive behavior? Things like helping someone pick up books they dropped, holding a door open for another person, and proper playground behavior, etc.

McLaughlin talked about the simple process. When someone is ‘caught’ doing something good, a ‘Caught You Being Good’ ticket is hung on a special wall at the grade school. (See ticket below) Along with their name on the ticket is the good thing they did, the date, and the person who saw them doing the good deed.

The person who earns the most tickets during two-week time frames receives a prize. This year’s initial two week first place prize was whipped cream pies in the face of the teacher of their choice. McLaughlin didn’t need me to ask whether the students enjoyed ‘Caught You Being Good.’

Relishing the success of the program he hardly paused, “It’s caught on to the point the kids look for good things to do, and if we don’t catch them in the act they don’t hesitate to point it out to us. We believe making the connection between good behavior and an award will help students feel they are part of the grade school, and it will help them develop a positive attitude toward good behavior that may follow them throughout their lives.”

Give a kudu to Bayard’s Grade School team that includes the education of your child in their hearts as well as in their minds.


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