Monday, June 01, 2015

What do we praise?

A friend of mine on Facebook posted something personal and it resonated with me. She posted the following idea:

It is wonderful to read all of these posts about the amazing academic achievements of all of these students. While I may not have kids earning high academic honors or straight A's, I am very proud of the adults they are becoming and the character they are developing. My kids are loyal, kind, and make the best choices that can. My kids may only be B students and may not receive formal academic recognition but they are definitely an asset to this world.  

Her statement resonated with me. Where do the students who are making good choices, demonstrate loyalty and good citizenship receive recognition? This is where the importance of PBIS comes in. Students deserve recognition for their positive interactions that support the school's culture and climate and support the social emotional learning of all students. 

Our school has an awards night that recognizes outstanding achievement in athletics, activities, and academics. We also take the opportunity for our service clubs (NHS, Key Club) to recognize some of their members who have been community leaders and a positive force within the school. It is a great chance for all students and their parents receive some recognition for the hard work that they do.

When I saw what my friend posted, I commented that it should not be the grade that receives the recognition, but the hard work and perseverance that should be recognized. We need to be careful with the words that we use to praise students and their achievements.