Staff climate can either make or break the effectiveness of school-wide positive behavior intervention support programming. One essential component of creating a positive climate where educators feel connected and that their efforts are valued is peer-to-peer recognition. Two powerful ways to increase staff climate are posting positive recognition in common areas and positive peer reporting.
Staff lounges can easily become areas where negativity runs wild. Why not use this space to encourage staff recognizing the positive efforts of their peers and where they can read positive recognition about themselves and others? Try creating a staff shout-out board, where colleagues write shout-outs to each other.
I tried this and had to buy extra stars after the first week! To follow this board, I had staff recognize others who had “gone the extra mile” on a car themed board. After taking the board down, make sure you give staff their notes of positive recognition.
For a Conscious Discipline twist on a positive recognition board ask staff to post celebrations, which are things that are positives in their lives, as well as acts of kindness in recognition of their peers.
Positive Peer Reporting is an intervention strategy for students that encourages and reinforces peer compliment-giving and reduces inappropriate social behaviors. Tootling has grown out of the concept of positive peer reporting. Tootling is similar to tattling as it involves peers reporting on other peers’ behavior, except that tootles focus on positive behaviors students observe. After sitting through many long and difficult meetings, a particular teacher came into my office to discuss a child demonstrating a challenging behavior. For the first several minutes, all I heard were positive comments. I realized that this teacher totally deserved a tootle. As a result, the idea of staff tootling was born from there.
- Explain tootling procedures. Tootles should be specific, kind, and helpful.
- Set a goal. Consider aiming for one tootle per staff member, per week.
- Place a jar in a common location, such as the staff lounge along with tootling slips
- At the end of each week, collect all the tootles and visually display the results or share in a weekly email blast or principal’s note.
- Have an administrator select 5-10 tootles to read aloud at the start of the weekly or monthly staff meeting
- Distribute tootles to teachers receiving them. This may be a great job for your school’s positive behavior committee to tackle.