The Book

Dear Teachers, Principals, and Parents,

As teachers and parents, we are always thinking about how to encourage desirable behavior and to extinguish the opposite.  This book is for those of you who are attracted to the principles and practices of positive reinforcement or the power of using a carrot rather than a stick. This is the story of one way two schools did just that.  The Good News Chair was the centerpiece of this effort. The Chair sat in my (the principal’s) office, but it works just as well in a home or classroom.

Parents take note. Recognizing and celebrating accomplishments will lead to more of the same.  Many behaviors and events qualify.  A demonstration of responsible or moral behavior, an act of kindness, an athletic or academic feat are just a few examples of what can be shared in the Chair.  What might a Good News Chair do for your family? Could it be a place to share:

  • an improvement on a report card?
  • the end of thumb sucking?
  • a good play on the soccer field?
  • a family trip?
  • trying broccoli for the first time?
  • the promotion at work?
  • getting along with a sibling?
  • a clean room?

As teachers, you see how a Good News Chair can support a classroom and/or school management plan, alter the classroom culture, or be tied to the academic program.  Could it be a place the share:

  • helping a classmate?
  • following a classroom rule?
  • completing an assignment in a timely manner?
  • moving to a new reading level?
  • getting to school on time?

The Chair is a simple tool to help your child(ren), grandchildren or students go forth in the world feeling confident, worthy, special, and secure.  I will tell you about the birth of the Good News Chair, how it worked in two schools, what was shared in the Chair, and how to make and use your very own Chair.

My best to all of you and your children,

Harriet Arkley
Good News Log sm