The new year brings reflection and renewal – here’s how to put Tribes into those actions!

One of the common limitations of implementing the Tribes TLC® process in the classroom, school, or organization is consistency. The reality is, teachers and administrators have too much to do to allow time for one more thing. The balance of human relationships and educational benchmarks is skewed. Here are few suggestions for changing it up…toward maintaining equilibrium.

How do you start your day? What classroom practices need changing…what do you continue to do, with less than satisfactory results?

How do you great your students? Meet them at the door? Handshake?

How do you model appreciation? Standing Ovations? (or standing “O”- just stand and make an “O” without the applause) Other signals/sounds that are spontaneous appreciations?

If 5 minutes at the start of each day, week, or class period is spent on something personal – feelings about what happened yesterday; what is to come today (even expectations can be a part of this short conversation/sharing); recognizing birthdays, special achievements, current events; or a quick journal exercise (in writing) – much can be honored, allowed, and acknowledged. Teachers of younger students tend to do this every day…as students grow older, the act seems to go away…as unnecessary…because “they are older now and don’t need that…”

And, while we’re on the topic, why not take 3-5 minutes at the end of the day or class period to do the same? Some strategies for this are: Something Good, p. 337; Five Tribbles, p. 246; Flies on the Ceiling, p. 248; I’m Proud…, p. 264, One Minute History (make it One Minute Learning/Achievement), p. 294; Personal Journal, p. 315; Week in Perspective, p. 367; What feelings do you have?, p. 368; Wishful Thinking, p. 378. Yes, it takes time to teach and practice the strategy, but that time is “money in the bank” later, when you can say “Take five steps, find a partner, and share something positive you saw or heard today as a fly on the ceiling.”

Here’s one more. Choose a “Mystery Person” (a student in your class) and tell the class that this ‘mystery person’ will be acknowledged for achievements, behavior, and communications (ABC’s). While you are watching this one student and making it known to the class (“I like the way the mystery student is listening attentively…” “The mystery student just earned an extra minute of recess!?”), the class is trying to guess who it is. This tends to promote awareness, improve behavior/class management, and even some critical thinking. Just be careful about the enthusiasm and the blurt outs “I know who it is!”. And, don’t wear it out – a mystery person once a week…or two…or whenever needed.

Be the change – it’s what this year is about!