I had a student today that skated the boundaries of appropriate behavior all period. He wasn’t exactly…overtly misbehaving, but was a continual annoyance. He had done the same thing to the teachers before me and the ones after me. I wrote him up on a negative disciplinary referral. I then spoke to another teacher about how we needed a form to document behavior but didn’t require disciplinary action. Something to give the principal so she could talk to the student or send to the school social worker so we could assist them in improving behavior without punishing them – a “second chance” so to speak. He agreed that we needed something like that and he had often wanted to write a student up without disciplining the student.
Monday, after I had my “You Matter” Damascene moment, I told my principal about my impression of it and the reaction of the students. After discussing it and reading about it, she decided that we would attempt to implement it school-wide. This afternoon, I introduced it to the faculty during our meeting. We watched about 20 minutes of a video with Angela Maiers and her explaining it. I told them about my experience with it on Monday and how each day has gone since then. Each teacher has a group we attempt to mentor. Prior to this year, it’s always been somewhat weak in results. But we talked about how “You Matter” could impact those mentor groups. We also talked about how “You Matter” and “You have something to contribute to the world” can impact our Friday service projects that we are picking up from last year. Instead of making them service projects that students must do to get out of our program, we talked about how we can use those service projects to show students have something positive to contribute to the community. It was a very positive meeting. The last thing mentioned was changing our school motto. Every morning students say the pledge of allegiance in a school assembly (it’s only 20-40 students, so don’t imagine a huge gym doing this!) and then they repeat the school motto: “I am a very important person! Today I will strive to do my personal best because I AM THE FUTURE! Failure is not an option, excuses not accepted. Excellence is our goal!”