About a year ago I received an email from a principal out in California. I had never heard her name before, and I definitely had no idea where her school district was. But there was something about this email that made me instantly feel connected.
We scheduled a meeting over Zoom to talk about how they could best use their funding to "check the box" for Social Emotional Learning...and I was determined to change their minds from a boxed curriculum to a systematic transformation!
The principal had asked me, "Kim, what's different about what YOU can do for me and my teachers?"
What a loaded question. I mean, where do I even START with that?
Do you want your teachers to have tools and strategies to support ALL their learners?
How about tools and strategies to support THEMSELVES?
Do you want to see behaviors start to fade across your campus?
Do you want to get rid of that sense of chaos and build a sense of calm and relaxation between students and their teachers?
Do you want to ensure that Social Emotional Learning is occurring in every single one of your classrooms ALL day long?
"But what will that look like? And HOW do we do that?" she asked.
Let me tell you, this journey that we started only MONTHS ago has been one of the most incredible transformations that I have been able to be part of. And giving this school a framework, a roadmap, the strategies, the tools, the phrases, and the guidance to support their students AND themselves, not only filled me to my core, but I know it has filled every single adult on this campus.
If you've heard me speak before, or if you've been following my journey for awhile, you'll know that I am a firm believer in SYSTEMS. And when I say systems, I mean those things that you are doing everyday, all day long.
This school is SOLID with these three systems for sure. Morning Greetings, a Calm Space, and Morning Meetings are everywhere. And you can FEEL the difference as you walk around this campus. The relationships between the teachers and their students, the relationships between the students and their peers, and the relationships between teachers and their colleagues are simply incredible. And that positive, supportive, and FUN atmosphere breathes in and out of every single one of these classrooms' 4 walls.
And when it comes to PBIS, this school definitely has got it goin on!
Check out these images....
Brag Tags changed my world, and my students (year after year) would come back to me to tell me how they STILL had their Brag Tag necklace. You see, these tiny pieces of laminated paper mean the WORLD to these littles. Because we're praising them for working on those lagging skills. We're talking about the strategies that they've been using to manage their emotions and work towards that growth mindset, and we're honoring where they all are in the process.
Hearing your teacher talk about you and how hard you're working each week is everything. And when the class erupts into your class cheer to celebrate you, that's the magic of Brag Tags.
And they don't just stop there.
Students are rewarded with points using PBIS Rewards, a tracking and management system on their computers....and a GAME CHANGER for schools everywhere.
They get points for positive behavior, working towards expected behaviors, turning in their reading logs and homework, working quietly, solving problems, etc. And instead of passing out dollars or tickets, that get lost or stolen (yes....stolen....it happens), all their points are stored in the system. If you're familiar with Class Dojo, it's just like that!
Now, this system is AMAZING because not only does it keep track of every child's points, but it also acts as a virtual STORE! I know, I'm blowing your minds for sure!
When you pull up PBIS Rewards, you can either go to your school store OR you can create your very own! If you decide to create your own store, you can fill it with fun pencils, erasers, stickers, or my new favorite thing...Desk Pets! Check out this growing bundle to grab all the things you need to start this in your class. I promise, your littles will LOVE this!
And it keeps going...
Students can shop from the School Store prizes and events, and everything will come straight to the classroom for you and your kids. Give PTA/PTO parents access to the site so that they can fill orders and deliver them to teacher boxes to distribute. I'm telling you, GAME CHANGER!
So what's stopping you from creating this change across your school? Or across your district? Because this is just the beginning of this magic over here. This model school will become even more incredible in the next few years. With more experience with their systems and their common language, I cannot wait to experience all that is yet to come for each and every single one of these students, teachers, and staff.