As of yesterday, we are off and rolling into another school year. Things are going great in my room. I have officially told my 7th graders, that they have started their toughest year in the middle school, scared them just a bit, and then made them laugh, and hopefully look forward to the next time they walk through my door. The 8th graders are just as goofy and fun as they were last year...and there's just as many of them.
Last year our students, staff, and community helped develop a way to increase the culture and climate of our school. The kids were the driving force in helping create a set of guidelines that would define our school. They did a fantastic job. The culture and climate of our school was to be guided by P.R.I.D.E.
P - Perseverance
R - Respect
I - Integrity
D - Dependability
E - Empathy
P.R.I.D.E is a major focus of our school this year. It's on everything, the students are familiar with it and hear it often, and everyone, students and staff are expected to model and follow P.R.I.D.E.
This was fantastic news for me. I now just have ONE rule in my class. Follow P.R.I.D.E.
And today I had my first run-in with P.R.I.D.E and needing to correct someone not following it.
It was me.
You see...our school collects box tops for education. Very cool way to earn money for your school. We have a little competition with our advisory classes (advisory is a combo class of 6-8th graders at the very end of the day). Prizes are given to the class who gets the most.
I like competition.
As my 7th graders were organizing their notebooks with tabs, I noticed that one boy's notebook still had that sticky stuff on the spine. So I went to help him take it off.
Then I noticed it. 4 bonus box tops on the paper.
He noticed it too.
We raced to get it off.
And proudly took the box tops to my desk to begin cutting them out.
He went quietly back to work.
As I was cutting them out, I was hit with P.R.I.D.E.
Was I being "respectful" of his notebook. No.
Was I acting with "integrity." Nope.
Did I have "empathy" for him in that situation. Not even a little bit.
P.R.I.D.E won over my competitiveness.
(And that's saying something...)
I asked him if he would like to have the box tops for his advisory.
He said yes and I gave them to him.
And then used the story in my later classes as an example of how, even teachers are trying to follow P.R.I.D.E. and even when we really really really want to keep those box tops.
But if I find those box tops on the floor...they're MINE :)