Sally Mauro’s Toro Tickets and Postcards Are a Hot Commodity Among Students

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Lunch is an important time of the day at Sally Mauro Elementary. Principal Blake Allen spends more time there than ever because of staff shortages at the school brought on by the current employment climate.

Carbon School District Press Release

While schools are in place to teach academics, they also must manage student behavior and indeed improve it. One of the big items on the agenda for Sally Mauro Elementary this year is to use positive reinforcement with students to improve their behavior at school along with enhancing their outlook about what it means to go to school.

“One of the things we are doing this year is sending snail mail postcards home to the students for good behavior,” said Blake Allen, the school’s Principal. “I am asking teachers to send home three postcards a week to students who are exhibiting good behavior. These are not for the parents, but are sent straight to the students. Each one has a note to the student they are sent to telling them how valued they are.”

The postcards are special cards with the Sally Mauro Bull on them and plenty of space for teachers to write positive comments about the student it goes to. Allen said that the idea came from Mont Harmon Middle School, where they have been doing this for some time.

“Kids are happy to get mail,” he said. “We’ve already heard many great comments from parents about it.”

He said a positive behavior reward system has been shown to be very effective and that by the end of the year, teachers will have sent at least one postcard to every student each month. The school is also using Toro Tickets to support good behavior.

“Toro Tickets are also given for good behavior,” explained Allen. “Every morning, we use the letters from the Toro Tickets to say ‘Terrific students at SME are On task at all times, Respectful to all, and Obedient.”

Allen is very complimentary about his staff and he said, “I have the best team I could work with.”

He said that he often feels they do not get enough credit for what they do because working with kids is not a set thing. There is no standard model of students; they are all different and require different types of attention and care.

Working at a school can be difficult at times, but the humor that crops up with kids in the mix often makes tough days a little easier. Allen mentioned that his food staff is short one person and right now it is hard to find people who want to work in those kinds of jobs.

“I spend a lot of time in the lunchroom because of that,” he stated as he laughed. “I am lucky I have my food handlers permit so I can help out. Some of the students have been referring to me as a ‘lunch lady,’ but the best comment came from a couple of kids who called me ‘chef.’ So, I have taken that to heart and when they call me that, I tell them that I have been preparing their lunch for hours.”

He sees the kidding as a positive way in which to interact with students.

“We as a team want students to not only succeed academically, but we also want them to succeed in life,” he said. “We want them to go for their dreams and to put everything they have behind those aspirations.”

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