by Kerrie Houseworth, Monkey Class Teacher
Many studies indicate that labeling students can have a detrimental effect on their self image, and, ultimately, their success. While this is often true, the Monkey Class is reversing this negative potential. Instead, we are using labels to identify positive behavior.
We are kind. We are loving.
We are sensitive to the needs of others.
We are “Bucket Fillers”.
The Monkey class has always tried to focus on the behavior we want to see. We just haven’t had a label for it. This past year, after reading the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud, and a short lesson on kindness, we decided to make a pledge that we will be Bucket Fillers.
Everyday, everyone walks around with an invisible bucket. A Bucket Filler is someone who helps without being asked, gives hugs and compliments, and generally spreads love and good feelings to others. When someone is being a Bucket Filler, he/she fills your bucket and, in turn, fills their own bucket.
Since becoming Bucket Fillers, the children have gone out of their way to create a happy and loving environment. When a student sees someone not following this model they will remind them to be a filler instead of a dipper. A dipper is someone who is not helpful, has a negative attitude, and can be cruel. As a visual reminder, we placed a large sand bucket in the classroom and filled it with a cotton ball every time someone was caught being a Bucket Filler. The bucket was full in just a few days! Once the sand bucket was full, the positive behavior didn’t stop. The students have continued to be Bucket Fillers. In fact, they have shared the concept with their families and friends.
Kindness feeds kindness. Love feeds love.
We are happy. We are kind. We are loving.
…And I will proudly label the students in the Monkey class as such.
We are most definitely Bucket Fillers.