Have you seen this post from Simply Kinder? Chances are, if you are a teacher who loves social media and reading blogs, you HAVE!
If you HAVE NOT read it yet, you MUST go read it...now. Just CLICK HERE to see the full post.
Jennifer has already done an amazing job of explaining her reasoning behind taking her behavior chart down, so I thought I would share my experience with you.
First of all, I saw her post SEVERAL times on my Facebook feed. I saw it on her blog...I saw other teacher bloggers mentioning her post. This post was/is everywhere. And every single time I saw it, ONE thing went through my mind:
I would cringe, literally, every single time. I couldn't imagine how that would ever work...and I just knew that she had some type of magic recipe that was making this method work for her.
Then, I did some serious reflecting. I asked myself lots of questions. My thought process went something like this:
1. Have I always used a clip chart? NOPE...in fact, I just started using my clip chart last school year.
2. Does my clip chart accomplish what I want it to? NOPE. In all honestly, it did exactly what I wanted it to do last year...but that was last year. And if you are a teacher you can relate when I say that EVERY year is absolutely different. We get a new batch of students each year and those students always bring in a different set of personalities. This year, my clip chart just isn't really doing what I'd like...
3. What exactly DO I WANT from my clip chart? I want students to know and understand and want to follow my rules. I'd like students to have consequences and also get rewarded for above average behavior.
4. Why am I so scared to try this NO CLIP CHART system if I have taught for so many years before without it? Simple....I started this last school year and now I am feeling this stubborn pull to KEEP WITH IT for one simple and dumb reason...I started it and want to finish it. (*YES, I realized how awful this is...and I'm not proud of it, but I'm being real with ya'll.) --- and yes, I just said ya'll....I'm southern.
I found this quote from The Science Penguin and could NOT agree more!!!
OK, now the big reason I wanted to write this post....I want to share with you what my personal results have been since I TOOK DOWN MY BEHAVIOR CHART!
I took down my chart on Monday of this week. I did this while my students were in the room and it gave me a great opportunity to talk about how we try certain things and then we realize that what we are trying may not be working the way we wanted. It was a great time to show students that teachers are in fact human and we have to use the same type of trial and error that we teach them to use.
One surprising note: My students seemed EXCITED about the fact that this chart was coming down...and if you read Jennifer's post, you may be able to figure out which of my students were excited!
I talked about how our classroom would "look and feel" after the chart came down and if you are wondering what exactly that looks like, go up to the top of this post and click on Simply Kinder's link.
These are my WEEK ONE results:
1. I am taking more time to actually TALK with my students and understand not only why they broke the rule that was broken, but also talk with them about the importance of that rule that was broken.
2. My students are more aware of their own behavior and are taking more responsibility for their actions.
3. My students are looking after there peers more...and what I mean by that is they are taking it upon themselves to remind friends of our rules. EX: I had noticed during a lesson one of my students was playing with his pencil and had started stabbing holes into his eraser. I watched, and was about to give my "teacher eye", but just before I had a chance, a sweet little guy sitting beside this eraser stabber said "Hey, don't you know that's not a smart choice?" (MAKE SMART CHOICES is one of my classroom rules.) Talk about a great PROUD teacher moment!!! After my lesson was over I gave that sweet little one a "You made your teacher proud" note and told him I noticed him looking out for his fellow student. I also spoke with the other student and told him that I was happy to see that he listened to his peer when he was given that reminder. He stopped what he was doing and refocused on my lesson. NOW, for an honest, real teacher moment....before I got rid of my behavior chart I would have just said, "Go clip down. You know you are not supposed to do that with your eraser." And, had I done that, I would have missed this amazing moment.
4. I am recognizing more POSITIVE behavior moments, instead of spending more of my time having students go clip down.
5. My students are happier and are feeling more empowered.
and lastly....but maybe the most important:
I am feeling empowered again too! I feel like I am a better teacher than before. I'm more engaged and spending more time listening and talking with my class about the importance of our rules.
Are you interested??? Go read her post! I swear, if you are on the fence about making this move, you will NOT be disappointed.