At my last school, “signing the book” meant two different things. If you violated the code of conduct, you signed one book to reflect on your actions. If you did something worthy of recognition, you signed a different one. It was confusing, and although we didn’t intend for it to happen, the kids started calling them “The Good Book” and “The Bad Book.” Yikes. So when I saw this idea for a “Registry of Good Deeds,” it gave me all the “why didn’t we think of that?!” feels.
Lisa Lineweaver, principal at Kelly Elementary, a dual-language school in Chelsea, Mass., posted about her idea in our Principal Life group. I had the opportunity to talk with her about it. Check it out and consider a Registry of Good Deeds of your own!
How does it work?
“Teachers will refer kids to the office for exhibiting our school values, and we’ll inscribe their good deed in the fancy book and then either call their parent together or send a picture home.”
What made you decide to try this at your school?
“Coming back after remote learning last year, our team—like many schools last year!—spent a lot of time and attention on kids who needed help learning to make good choices. So, as we reflected and planned for this year, we really wanted to honor and celebrate all the times when our students (and educators!) make great choices, strengthen our school community, and are generally awesome human beings!”
What was your inspiration for the Registry of Good Deeds?
“I saw a thread on the Principal Life Facebook group about positive behavior referrals and ways to celebrate kids’ good choices. And after my husband mentioned the state Registry of Deeds (home to property transactions and other boring but important paperwork), the idea of a fun, fancy Registry of Good Deeds just seemed like the perfect way to capture and leave a lasting record.”
How are you planning on rolling this out?
“Our kids come back August 31, but I have a hunch that as our new educators and their mentors are here next week for orientation, we’ll have some good deeds start flowing to kick things off! I can’t wait for the first positive referrals to start rolling in and to start sending home pictures of kids signing their names to their good deeds. (I’m also looking forward to flipping back through lots of good deeds and joyful moments when we hit those January doldrums.”
Where did you get your fancy book?
“I chose this beautiful tooled-leather book from Etsy!”