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Sunday, 27 October 2013

Our class mantra

I was fortunate a few years ago to attend a seminar presented by Dean Schneider. The theme around his seminars is developing character.

You can check him out at his website:

Now although it was a few years since I attended his seminar a couple of things have really 'stuck' with me and have become embedded in my daily teaching practice. Now this in itself is, I think, unusual. How many courses/seminars have you attended over the years but you would find it difficult to remember the content let alone have them affect your day to day work as a teacher?

The first thing that has stuck resulted from a story Dean told about his young pre school daughter. I have turned it into a daily mantra which I have used with all of my subsequent classes ranging from year 6 to my present year 2 class. 

Be Nice, Work Hard, Never Give Up. 

This mantra is easy to remember and covers all of our class and school rules which is what makes it so effective. It also works nicely alongside my teaching of the 3Rs Respect, Responsibilty and Resilience.

Be Nice - no fighting, swearing or cruel words, listen carefully, help others, be a good friend, pupil, son/daughter. (Respect)

Work Hard - do your class work, homework, try your best (Responsibility)

Never Give Up - be determined, no quitting (Resilience)

The next thing that 'stuck' was something called 'The 20th Kid' Ths is again a character building tool which works by reminding the pupils about the value of helping others, becoming the 20th Kid. An example being a pupil drops his/her books in the corridor, 19 'kids' walk by ignoring the child's/ young persons plight, the 20th kid however, stops and helps.

Again I have used this from year 6 to 2. It is useful for teaching pupils to help others without looking for or expecting praise. The latter being the most difficult, especially for the younger children. Very simple but again very effective. A short phrase which helps the idea to stick. 

They both work for me why not give them a go!