When Someone Else Gets A Special Treat

Sometimes it's hard to watch others get a special treat.

We implemented the behavior chart in the image in all our classrooms so students could visualize their participation (or lack thereof) during class. You will see that every name in that class above is in the 'Special Treat' category. If you have followed these emails for any length of time, you probably can imagine my surprise upon seeing this.

The picture shows an overall trend in student behavior. Believe me, we do not inflate for the sake of ego - ours or theirs. Hope Academy teachers are well acquainted with the struggles of this work and given that we do not raise our voices or use other more natural reactions, they have made good use of this tool to communicate how things are going.

This week, Jenny had the idea to draw a few students' names at random each week to receive a special treat. The more classes when each learner has achieved this level, the more chances they have at getting that holy grail of behavior.  I thought this was a brilliant idea, even if just to save us from creating a large 'special treat' line item in the budget - the recent UNICEF cuts do not look kindly on too many special treats.  

I was nervous to see what would happen when the names were drawn. Wouldn't you be? If I were a learner who had ascended to the ranks of 'special treat' and DID NOT get rewarded, I would be upset. Besides, we all need a special treat sometimes. 

Anyway, what do you think happened? When each name was drawn, students clapped for each other. And at the end when it was clear that some would have to wait...

Learners just smiled and we continued on with our day.  In fact, the next activity was to encourage the oldest HA learner on his new job he is trying this week. Some learners lost interest but most encouraged him and even gave heartfelt advice (another Jenny idea - she has been a delight to work with). 

I returned to this verse lately.

"Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." - Philippians 2:3-4

If we all come to the dinner party hoping to get fed, we may all leave hungry. But if we all show up with something to share, we will likely have enough and experience the gift of giving as well. What a joy to do life with a community learning to do this with each other, myself included. Thank you for making this possible through your support and prayers.