Just think of Principal Ideas as a virtual show-and-tell for principals. Each week in the coming school year we'll present four or five new principal-tested ideas. Send in your idea today! See the sidebar to learn how to be part of Principal Ideas.
Improving Teacher Attendance
One of our school-wide goals is to increase student attendance. While we are focusing on that objective, I thought it might be a good idea to include teachers (since teacher attendance has been a concern of mine), so I introduced an incentive for staff. Each month, if a teacher has perfect attendance, he or she is awarded a certificate that entitles the holder to one hour of free time. This award is cumulative. Some teachers have used the hour(s) to keep an outside appointment rather than taking a full day to handle a personal need. Others have accumulated enough certificates to take a full day that is not deducted from their regular earned time. Teachers have responded well to this incentive. It has motivated them to report to work on a daily basis.
Thanks for this idea go to Dr. Vera Bethune-Stewart, Holabird Elementary School #229, Baltimore, Maryland
Our School Pledge
We created a school pledge that students recite each day. The pledge employs some finger-play actions that go with it to make it memorable and fun:
I pledge to try.
(students point thumb of right hand upward)
I will reach for the sky.
(students point right index finger upward)
I will listen, learn, and apply.
(students point fingers 2, 3, and 4 upward as they say the three words listen, learn, and apply)
Thanks for this idea go to Nancy Moga, Callaghan Elementary School, Covington, Virginia
Million Dollar Baby
Well maybe not quite a $1,000,000! But one staff member can win a jackpot in this activity, which will surely help build staff morale. Each staff member brings in a baby picture of herself or himself. Staff members pay $1 to fill in a sheet with their guesses of who all the beautiful babies are. The winner -- the person who makes the most correct baby-staff member matches -- gets the cash.
Thanks for this idea go to Irene Lemieux, Selser Elementary School, Chicopee, Massachusetts
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