I share a communication I received from Mary Lou Cebula, a principal in Warren, New Jersey:
Subject: The Perfect Gift
I just had to share this experience with you.
A second grade class invited me to their room. When I arrived, there was a special chair placed on the edge of the carpet. The students were seated on the carpet with their teacher, Mrs. Buckley. They asked me to sit in the chair. Mrs. Buckley explained that the children had participated in a writing activity called, "The Perfect Gift." They had to select a member of their family and decide what would be the perfect gift for that person. The student then wrote a letter to the person presenting the gift.
The class decided they wanted to do a perfect gift for me as a model for the assignment. They wrote me a letter in their best handwriting and decorated the letter with a fancy cover. It is hanging on the bulletin board of my office and I told them it WAS the perfect gift and I would treasure it always. We we had a whole school assembly "Sing Along." At the beginning of the assembly, I invited the class and Mrs. Buckley up to the microphone and asked them to share the perfect gift with all the students, staff and parents. I wish you had been here to see it as well.
Here is their letter:
"The Perfect Gift for Dr. Cebula:
"The perfect gift for Dr. Cebula is showing her C and D behavior. We want to give you this gift so you will not have to raise your voice at lunch or recess. You won't have to have children in your office or call any parents with bad news. When the students at Central School are on level C and D, they will be talking quietly in the lunchroom and silently in the hallways. During recess everyone will play nicely together. When you come into the classrooms, you will see students being respectful.
"We know you will love this gift because it will make your job much easier. You will feel really good inside to see all your students at C and D levels. You will want to celebrate with us!"
Mrs. Buckley's Class
You can read Dr. Cebula's experiences with the three principles to practice at
A Principal's Experience.