Since the start of the school year, second-grader Evan Holliday has been saving “red tickets” he earned from good behavior. Now that he has collected enough, he cashed 43 of them in this past week for a reward – lunch with one of his favorite teachers, Crystal Still, first grade teacher at Creston Community Elementary School.
At CCES, red tickets are handed out when teachers spot students doing acts of good behavior. Once enough are saved, there are multiple options to “spend” their red tickets – such as choosing toys from a treasure box, receiving a treat, eating with a teacher of their choice or sitting by a friend of choice at lunch time.
Still said this gives students an incentive to be on their best behavior and teaches them the importance of doing good deeds even when nobody is paying attention.
Still, who is not Holliday’s teacher, said her unlikely friendship with Holliday began with Holliday smiling and waving at her in the hall every morning on his way to class, or on the playground at recess, where she talks with him while helping him tie his shoes.
“She cracks me up since she laughs so much,” said Holliday. Still said Holliday now finds her in the hallway to give her a hug on his way to class and would notify her each time his ticket count increased.
‘The impact we have’
To earn his tickets, Holliday said he listened and followed his teacher’s directions, stayed quiet and helped around the classroom.
“I even help at home. I organize a lot of stuff,” said Holiday.
Still said she thought it was sweet of Holliday to save his tickets to have lunch with her.
“We sometimes don’t realize the impact we have on children and how much kind words and gestures mean,” said Still. “It made me stop and think about how important ii is to have some sort a connection with all of our students.”