Make Their Day: A WOW-Worthy Tale


February 13, 2016 by treyw97

I’ve been in education now for around 15 years and professional development has always been hit or miss with me. Mainly miss when the PD was prescribed for the whole staff or district. I’m a firm believer in personalized and differentiated professional development. Through reflection I know what I need and I go out and find it.

The one major exception to shotgun PD has been the Fish Philosophy. The four principles resonated with me and it was truly an Ah-Ha moment. The cloud parted, angel sang, and I had something to hang my hat on. Play, Make Their Day, Choose Your Attitude, and Be There were such simple ideas yet with profound effect on my life. I’ll explore each of them in future posts but I wanted to hit Make Their Day for my first foray into Blogging.

Make Their Day is such a simple concept but a major paradigm shift. Many in our society feel the reverse is in order. You should always being trying to make my day. Build me up. Celebrate my successes. Yet when you shift to Make Their Day it ends up making yours so its win-win.

At my school one way I pursue this principle is through WOW stickers. Cheap 2 cent stickers that say WOW in black on a field of orange. You see a student do something amazing you slap it on them. Help a friend up that fell – WOW sticker. Make a great connection to the content – WOW sticker. Be Awesome – WOW sticker. Students perk up in a hurry! The pride they feel as they walk to the Assistant Principal’s office is intoxicating. Adults stop them in the hall and asked about that simple orange ornament. I drop everything and ask “What did you do!”. Or I received a texted that Francisco in 3rd grade has something to show you. I come a running! Students share their large or small deed and I turn on the amazement. You did what????? What possessed you to do that???? YOU ARE AMAZING!!! Gotta take a selfie at this point and email Mom at work. Gotta ask if it is alright to share the selfie via the Eddie the Wildcat Twitter Account. Students walk out a complete and utter success, feeling invincible and ready for the world.

Day made! (You decide who’s)




2 thoughts on “Make Their Day: A WOW-Worthy Tale

  1. Mel says:

    Great Job! You are absolutely spot on, when my students leave the room to show off their wow sticker they DO have a little more pep in their step, their smile IS a bit wider and their eyes ARE gleaming with pride.
    As a mom of three of your students, I get to see my children’s pride when they get home. Dad barely has time to close the door when I hear the excitement in their voice when they exclaim to Dad what they did to earn a WOW sticker.
    A difference has been made. Their day has been made better.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Heidi Veal says:

    Trey, I’m checking out your blog site and reading your first blog! This is WOW-worthy for sure! Kudos to you. You are a great writer and have a great story to tell about your wonderful school. I’m a big Fish Philosophy fan too!


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