Monday, October 05, 2009

Make Your Day program

In my previous life as a visiting teacher (not much changes, does it?) I had seen classrooms use Make Your Day discipline system. I didn't like it.

Basically, the program says you chose how your day goes and that no one has the right to interrupt another's learning or safety. There are various steps that the students move through. At Step 1, the teacher walks up to the disruptive student, tells them they have chosen step 1 for X behavior. The student goes and sits in a chair and FACES THE WALL! After less than 5 minutes, the teacher walks up to the student, without touching or looking at them, asks the student if they know how they chose step 1. Then the student is asked if they are ready to return to their desk.

If the student is unable to sit and face the wall for five minutes, they move to step 2 where they STAND FACING THE WALL! I don't know what the next step or two is but the final one is a call home and parent pick up.

At the end of class, the teacher has to take five minutes out of instruction time to go through the class list and have all the students state how many points they earned out of 45. If they say less than 45, they must state why. For example, "43 for being off task." Students are pretty honest here. They have to have some average for the week. I don't know what the consequence is if they don't.

Today was my first day implementing the program. I was in middle school language arts and social studies classes. Most of my students were great, but those that weren't really weren't. And let me tell you, the Make Your Day program did not work. I had two students 7th period who really needed to get the Hell out of my classroom. How many times do you send a kid to sit facing a wall? I spent so much time sending those kids to step 1 and telling them to ignore each other that I neglected other students who needed my help and were asking for attention appropriately.

Currently, not a fan of this system.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the opportunity to express my opinion about “make your day”.

I know that most would have to agree that not many respond positively, to negative reinforcement. How about a 6 year old? (still a black and white thinker) A 10 year old? An adult.

How about the program starts with 0 and the children earn points for good behavior? Positive reinforcement.

My happy, sunny, sweet, polite 6 year old, began wetting the bed, something he had never done before. Could not focus on anything but achieving a 10, and asked me daily, “mom am I a bad boy?” Depressed and in counseling is where he ended up. His father thought he should “toughen up”. I knew something was drastically wrong. After attending a meeting about Make your Day, I had a parent pull me aside and confide in me. She pulled her child out of the school, went with her gut and now she had a happy, performing child in another school which did not believe in, “ Make your Day”.

I am truly baffled as to how the creator of this program could believe that this is a positive experience for children given what we know about human nature. A positive memory about school years? Both my kids have nothing but negative memories of the school that they attended last year, because of Make Your Day.

Kind Regards,

wonderwoman said...

Thank you for posting. Our school district currently uses the Make Your Day program. I hear so many stories about the negative effects. A group of concerned parents is recommending a Positive Behavior Intervention & Supports (PBIS) model. This model is supported by the U.S. Department of Education and is based on research and evidence.

Anonymous said...

This program is in my boys' school. My 2nd grade suffers from anxiety and inattentive add. This program is designed for military school in my opinion, not children. My son obsesses over making his day and getting his points. So much so that he panics over it. I finally had tell him not to worry about it as long as he was being respectful to others. But to adjust a child with attention issues for not paying attention is pointless and harmful. I don't have perfect kids but this program is very unhealthy.