Frequently Asked Questions by Parents...


What does it mean when my child "makes their day?"

Making Your Day means that your child has been responsible for coming to school ready to learn.  Specific responsibilities that have been followed through on include:

1. Being prepared with materials for class.

2. Behaving as expected in the classroom, in the cafeteria, on the playground, and on campus.

3. Being actively involved in learning.

4. Putting forth maximum effort according to his/her learning style.

5. Choosing appropriate methods for solving peer interaction problems such as: 

a) Reporting to teacher on playground or in the classroom.

b) Walking away.

c) Talking the situation through.

6. Acknowledging the impact of their actions on others.

7. Accepting and giving constructive suggestions in a helpful way.

Should I be upset if my child doesn't make their day?

Everyone including the teachers will not make their day occasionally throughout the year. The purpose of the form that is reviewed by you and your child is to let you know when there are small problems. You can help us help your child with these small problems. If a pattern develops or if you would like to talk with your child's teacher, please contact them. Teachers always appreciate the help and support of the parents because you have more knowledge about your child.


What is the purpose of Steps and how are they used?

We define a mistake as “an opportunity to learn.” Failure only occurs when an individual stops trying.

Students are participants in structuring a setting that protects each student’s right to learn in a physically and emotionally safe environment. When a student interferes with the rights of others, they are given a brief (less than 5 minutes) opportunity to consider the behavior and then rejoin the activity. A neutral, unencumbered area within the current setting is provided for the student so they may reflect on their behavior. (Not unlike an actor who takes some time to study his lines in order to return to the "take.")  The presentation to the student who has demonstrated an interfering behavior is private and nonjudgmental. The dignity of each student is a vital aspect in the presentation.

Students may choose to escalate through a series of steps that may ultimately involve a parent conference.

Individual contracts may be utilized for students who repeat steps. The parent should be informed when exceptional contracts are constructed.

Students understand teachers and administrators may make mistakes and that due process exists for students. This is called Recourse and your child may use this option at the end of the time on Steps. The teacher may agree with the student and then apologize for interfering with their learning, which is also acknowledged when the teacher reflects that in their own points. The teacher may not agree with your child's point of view and they'll simply agree to disagree. This is a respectful conversation that helps students learn how to advocate for themselves.
 

Steps should replace public reprimands, power struggles, detentions and other coercive methods of control. Steps are not considered a punishment nor should they ever be used as such.

Students may also request steps when they feel the need to be in a neutral, unencumbered setting.

What are Points?

Points are accrued throughout the day based on two criteria: Doing what’s expected and doing the best you can. Students assess themselves based on their individual abilities. Students have the ability to earn points from the time they leave home in the morning until they return home after school. Each student has several opportunities throughout the day to reflect on their behavior and their efforts in class. They take credit for achievements and responsibility for those choices that may have kept them from optimum learning. Teachers model the skills of self-evaluation and accepting feedback by including themselves in the process. The only reward in Make Your Day is intrinsic – a student leaving school with pride in themselves for putting forth their best effort.
What type of training did the teachers receive?

Within the two days of training, the MYD  trainer describes the philosophy­ and the basic structure of the Make Your Day program. He describes each component, the rationale for each component­, and the correct implementation of each component, which reinforces the philosophical underpinnings of Make Your Day. The remainder of the first day is spent teaching the staff, step by step, how to correctly implement the program. Day Two usually begins with a review followed by a question-and-answer period. Once the trainer feels confident that there is a good understanding of the material, the staff is broken into small groups and provided with a variety of opportunities to practice implementation of the program. Group discussion following each presentation provides constructive feedback that continues to enhance the participants’ understanding of the program. The final phase of the two-day training is designed to help the staff tailor Make Your Day to the particular school’s needs. Throughout the second day the staff votes on basic tenets for their setting. This will include naming the program, defining the school rule, discussing automatic Step 4s, and deciding common area expectations.
When something doesn't sound fair or reasonable to me as a parent, what should I do?

There are times when teachers misuse MYD and there are times when teachers make mistakes with MYD.  Your child is best served if you would take the opportunity to visit with the teacher - either in person or on the phone.  In visiting with your teacher, we suggest that instead of pointing out what might have been a mistake; ask the teacher 1) if the incident occurred and 2) if the teacher feels that the action taken is in line with Make Your Day philosophy.  This is a non-confrontational way to communicate with the teacher and advocate on behalf of your child. We know our students will make mistakes and our teachers will as well.  In addition, please feel free to email us for clarification at earlandcheryl@makeyourdays.com.