Across the world Christmas is celebrated in a number of different ways, with many different cultural traditions. To name a few: in the Netherlands, 6th December marks the beginning of Christmas where children leave shoes outside for gifts, in Iceland there are 13 Christmasses (known as Yule Lads) who, depending on behaviour, leave old potatoes or shiny sweets in your shoes. In the UK and USA we place a stocking over the fireplace, and Santa delivers presents down the chimney – a notion made famous in the Victorian poem; ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ by Clement Clarke Moore.
Christmas is a tradition that has been moulded and influenced over time by others’ thoughts and ideas. In fact, the Naughty or Nice list was created by Thomas Nast, an American 19th Century Illustrator and Cartoonist who depicted Santa Claus living at the North Pole with a large toy workshop and open book of names.
You’ve seen Christmas films or read the books that feature Santa checking his Naughty or Nice list (checking it twice in fact!). Further research has even shown me that there is a ‘Call Santa’ app for parents, where Santa can be summoned in light of any children’s unwelcome behaviour. Whether he used a PC, an app or had a handwritten list, the message is still the same. If you are well behaved, there are presents. If you’re badly behaved, there are no presents.
Isn’t it the same with a list of names on the board, or put up on display boards for all to see? In effect, does your classroom have a ‘Naughty or Nice’ list? Regular readers of our blog might remember a competition we ran over the Autumn term, searching for the recognition boards you have in your schools/classrooms. By praising those who have exemplified outstanding behaviour and not focusing on highlighting the ‘naughty’ list, you create a culture for your classroom (and your school) that is one of pride- as Paul Dix states you ‘remove the fame from behaviour’.
A common theme in all these exciting activities around Christmas is that positive behaviour gets rewarded, and what is deemed ‘bad’ behaviour does not. At Pivotal, we look for those who have gone over and above. We reward them with #hotchocfri, or positive notes home.
What are your favourite ideas for rewards?
And, as it’s got a festive (ish!) tone, have a read of this fabulous article on carrot dangling. Does a prize based reward system really reap the benefits?
We hope you have a lovely Christmas from all of us here at Pivotal Education!