There are a lot of NO's! with our new principal...
NO animals in school (aka no class pets)
NO giving the kids food as a "reward" aka...no giving food/snacks
NO soda in the school
NO selling food after school for fund raising
NO selling snacks at school dances
NO candy under any circumstances
NO harvest party/dance this year
NO meetings without pre-scheduling
NO work time during staff meeting days
NO PBS rewards (no paw prints, lucky leopards, cafe lent, raffles, so on)
No, no, no. Isn't there a little room for fun still in a elementary setting? Come on, what better way to teach respectful, responsible and kind than having a little class pet? How the heck are the 8th graders supposed to raise money if they can't sell their holiday-grams with suckers and candy canes and such. The PTA raises a ton of money by selling snacks at our after-school dances. Why can't I use healthy snacks as a reward/incentive? I have used goldfish crackers, fruit snacks and popcorn as incentives in THREE other school districts. I always either give the snacks to everyone or let students choose if they want a food snack or a small art reward like erasers or pencils or stickers.
When you work with a really high risk, low income population you need to have lots of constant little rewards to keep the kids motivated and moving on. We have that top tier of kiddos that really need that incentive. Wouldn't it be better to give a kid a pack of fruit snacks at the end of the day and have them not be disruptive all day long. You can't imagine the amount of time that is taken away from instruction and working with other students to keep those one or two kids per class in line. I have seen these small rewards make a huge difference.
I know there are non food rewards, I also realize that many people consider food as the lowest form of reward. I do know that tangible non food rewards can be much more expensive. I hit up the dollar tree and target $1 bins for a lot of pencils and erasers and stickers.
Just feeling frustrated by all the NO's lately. Really bumed that the class pet had to leave the room. Poor waffles. I want to hear some more "YES YOU CAN" thanks Obama.