Accentuate The Positive
This week, I wanted to let you know about a revival of sorts. We are calling it ORCA Power. It had an earlier life as Positive Power. This power will be given to students who exhibit Outstanding Responsible Courteous Attitude here at Cabrillo. Basically, we are going to catch students being kind, or doing something to help others when they are not prompted to do so. The deed might be as simple as picking up extra trash left behind on a lunch table, or holding the door open for a class as the students are walking quietly in line just because one is already there. They can be granted this power from any staff member. If the student receives a ticket with this power, she turns it into the office. Each week, we draw a name from the ORCA Power tickets, and that student gets a special treat for the good work that they have done. We will draw the names on Wednesdays during lunch.
I am hoping to go from room to room before the end of this week to tell the students about it so that we can launch our ORCA Power beginning Monday, November 5.
Many of you may have heard of a term “restorative practices.” Some see this as a program that is part of a long-term professional development for staff, and there are those programs. However, other restorative practices include this new revival of an older idea that worked in the past.
Another restorative practice can be when a student realizes that she needs to do something to give back for a wrong that has been done. For instance, this could be agreeing to do campus beautification, or garden work. These acts of restoration help students learn that they are part of a larger community.
How can parents help?
Have conversations with your child about what they have done for others lately. Begin the work of helping them understand that paying compliments, or simply using good manners pays in myriad ways. Not only does one find that he has more friends, but he is also happier because of his acts of kindness.
Teach students the importance of an apology. Apologies do not mean, “I’m sorry, now I’m out of trouble.” Apologies require the work that follows to show the change one is willing to make to restore a relationship. The acceptance of an apology happens when the person offended sees that change – not just toward herself, but toward others whom the offender encounters. That change is proof of one’s kindness and willingness to make others feel better about a situation. It is restorative.
ORCA Power is a product of our Leadership Team. This team is a committee of teachers who are committed to making the school a more positive place for students, staff, and the many volunteers who work within our walls daily. In addition, we have a Student Leadership Council. These students have spearheaded our food drive to support our local Pacifica Resource Center, put together our birthday calendars, and create ideas for our spirit days.
Finally, I am having conversations with teachers and with students about ways to increase games during free times on the yard, having a board game room, or place to play music. None of this will be done overnight, but our goal is to help students feel more a part of our overall community, feel a sense of ownership of their school, and keep on accentuating the positive in what our school has to offer.
“Show respect even to people who don’t deserve it; not as a reflection of their character; but as a reflection of yours.” Dave Willis