(This new post is about a great idea for encouraging good behaviour from children in school: Golden Time)
For many children at our village school, the highlight of the week is “Golden Time”. Doesn’t the name sound alluring even before you know what it is?
Golden Time is a brief period every Friday when the pupils are allowed to do what they like – from playing on the computers to drawing pictures to curlng up with a good book. It’s a treat they look forward to all week as an antidote to their hectic schedule. It’s also an effective motivator for good behaviour, as staff may dock minutes from each child for misdemeanours. To allow naughty children to reform, the slate is wiped clean each week, everyone starting with a full score of minutes every Monday morning.
Attending a parents’ meeting in the classroom when my daughter was a new Year 1, I spotted on the whiteboard a list headed “Golden Time” with a number of minutes against each child’s name. Several other mums were as aghast as I was to see there were no numbers next to our children. What on earth had they done to lose all their time? Hesitantly, I asked the class teacher who smiled and shook her head.
“Oh no, Mrs Young, the numbers there represent the minutes those children have been docked!”
Phew, my daughter was a good girl after all! My relief was palpable.
One recent Friday, all the girls in her class emerged from Golden Time with their hair in beautiful fishtail plaits, courtesy of their kind teacher. Next week, they were wild-haired from a lovely session of crazy, headbanging dancing.
Either way, they were happy, contented and effectively rewarded for being good all week.
I just wish there was a Golden Time for grown-ups. Or maybe there is, and I’ve just lost all my minutes for bad behaviour.
Hmm, must try harder…
This post was originally published in the Hawkesbury Parish News, November 2012.
If you enjoyed this post, you might like this one that harks back to my own behaviour in school:
or this one about my daughter’s approach to time management: