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Pies and Water Balloons Boost Sluggish Attendance
Truancy is a problem that we battle daily in our district, and the last quarter of the school year is always the worst. This year, we started an attendance competition. Each middle and high school grade had a traveling trophy for the class with the highest attendance. The elementary grades were split so that grades K-2 competed against grades 3-6 for a better attendance rate. If the lower grades won, the assistant principal got to throw a pie into the principal's face; if the upper elementary won, the principal got to throw a pie into the assistant principal's face. The kids were hyped up about it and the attendance rate improved. Unfortunately, my side lost and I took the pie in front of the whole student body. In addition, to motivate attendance in the final months of the school year we announced that the students with perfect attendance the last quarter would be allowed to throw water balloons at the principals, teachers, and counselors who volunteered to be targets. It was a pretty effective way to raise the attendance rate during the last quarter!
Thanks to Lori Bouza, assistant principal at Wagner Community School in Wagner, South Dakota
Teacher Appreciation Year!
It is so important to show appreciation to our teachers all year long! Here at our high school, I try to plan something special at least once a month. Some of the things I did were to
The cost of all those things -- whatever it was -- was the best money I've ever spent.
Standardized test scores went up. Teachers worked, and worked, and worked -- very happily.
Thanks to Charlemeine Zemelko, principal at Chicago International Charter School in Chicago, Illinois
Parents on Board
Our teachers call on parents whenever special help is needed. For example, a teacher might want help with activities that involve sewing colonial costumes, dissecting frogs, or making gingerbread houses. Parents can help schools acquire needed supplies, equipment, and services, such as landscaping, carpeting, painting, and more.
Source: "Principals Share Parent Involvement ideas " (EducationWorld.com -- February 28, 2000)
Teacher TV Stars
I take advantage of local television stations that reach out into the community to offer awards such as "The Class Act Award" or the "Excellence in Teaching Award." I nominate members of the staff who go beyond the call of duty. Reporters from the television stations come to school to interview the teachers and present them with certificates. Each teacher is then recognized in a TV spot that is broadcast several times in one week.
Source: Marie Kostick, "25 Ways to Motivate Teachers" (EducationWorld.com -- November 19, 2002)
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