Thursday, September 8, 2011

When Getting a Ticket is a Good Thing

With the first week back to school coming to a close, I thought I'd write about one of the new Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) programs we're going to be rockin' this year. In past years before I came around, the Tiger Ticket system was in place, but not used extensively or to it's fullest potential, so we're trying hard this year to make the most of it. The Tiger Ticket program (aptly named after our mascot) is a typical school-wide, ticket incentive system that fulfills the universal stage of PBIS, which is supposed to meet the needs of 80% of our students (the green base of the pyramid below).

Tickets are awarded to kids "caught" showing good behavior that reflects the values of responsibility, respect, and success. All tickets go into a tub in the classroom and every day, each teacher draws a winner from their tub to receive a small prize (pencil, crayons, stickers). All the tickets go back into the tub, and at the end of every week, a winner is chosen to win a bigger prize (small gift card, small toy or game, homework passes, special lunches). Then, once a month, all the tickets go into one large tub for the whole school, and a winner is chosen for an uber prize (large gift card, passes to a local event or amusement park, video games, etc).

We also are giving out Tiger Tickets to homerooms, in addition to individual kids. If a whole homeroom is "caught" showing good classroom, hallway, cafeteria, or auditorium behavior, or generally going above and beyond expectations, they'll get a Homeroom Tiger Ticket. The homeroom tickets will be one of the criteria for a class to win Homeroom of the Month.

I've decided that every day I'm going to make a point to leave the office and go hand out Tiger Tickets to kids and classrooms. First, it gets me out of my office, and one of my goals is to be more visible and involved in the classes this year. Giving out tickets gets me seeing kids and visiting rooms looking for positive things, not going because someone is throwing a chair, running around the building or has a weapon. Second, it reinforces the PBIS initiative in our building, and gives both the students and staff buy-in to the program. If teachers see someone giving out tickets, or if their kids come back from specials with a ticket, it makes it more likely that they'll start giving tickets out too. Plus, if the kids see their peers getting rewarded, they're going to shape up to try to earn a prize.

Only thing stopping me from showering the world with Tiger Tickets? The pain as my feet get used to wearing high-heeled shoes every day again. Oy.

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