Quinn School fuels up on respect

Sep 21, 2018

Teachers swapped lessons and books for a volleyball on September 21 for an important school tradition: A lesson in kindness and respect with a teacher volleyball game. 

The volleyball game is the kickoff of the school’s rocket fuel program, inspired by its rocket mascot. Through the program, students “caught doing something good” by Quinn staff and teachers are rewarded with coins, which are collected in each classroom. Once a classroom hits 40 coins, the class gets a reward like a fun activity. For 200 coins across a grade level, an extra recess is offered. Once an entire rocket is filled, the entire school gets a reward like a bouncy house. 

It’s all about rewarding positive behavior, rather than just punishing bad behavior. Assistant Principal Audra Thomas said that an important part of the program is giving the kids ownership over their behavior. Each kid should be able to explain why they got a coin. 

Before the game began, staff ran through the program, although many were already familiar with the coins – called “rocket fuel” by students. Students volunteered examples of things they could get a coin for: being respectful to others, following expectations, and being a role model. They also recited the school’s motto: “I respect you, I respect me, I respect everything I see.”

“Your job is to look for ways we are being respectful to each other and showing good sportsmanship,” Thomas told the students before the game started.

After the game, students pointed out the behavior they observed, including high fives, teamwork, smiling, taking turns, and staying positive even when players made mistakes.

All the teachers and members of staff, including occupational therapists, custodians, teaching assistants, and lunch monitors, and others can give out coins, so students have the opportunity to be recognized in the different settings throughout the day.

“So if maybe they’re not having such a great day in the classroom but they’re doing awesome at lunch, they’re still getting that positive reinforcement somewhere, which I think is important for all kids to feel successful, to be happy and healthy at school,” Thomas said. “We want them to want to come to school.”