Brief Biography

Matt Schaefer and Thomas Panter have been instrumental in developing "The Wildcat Way" a program that fuses school wide positive discipline with character development and service learning. Mr. Schaefer and Mr. Panter have been devoted educator at Durham Middle School in Cobb County for the last fifteen years.

Highest Degree of Presenter(s)

Matthew S. Schaefer Educational Specialist

Thomas Panter Educational Specialist

Presentation Abstract

Durham teachers created a school wide positive behavior plan over the past three school years that include character development and service learning. The plan includes a positive reward card, behavior card tracker, Friday short term reward time and intermittent long term reward programs. Students who showed positive behaviors were given positive reward cards to cash in for snacks at the Friday afternoon reward time. We had two long term programs for students who showed very good or perfect long term behaviors.

During the second year we added a character education component to the overall plan. Guest speakers from the community spoke during the Friday advisement program about how good character has influenced their lives. Bi-weekly Dinner Dilemmas were added to our homeroom period where each student determines their reaction to a specific character situation. Students shared their responses, over dinner, with parents being asked to reflect on their child’s response.

During the third year we added service leaning projects to the program where students were allowed to do character driven projects that “give back” to our community. Together these three phases of “The Wildcat Way” have developed our student’s heads (positive behavior), hearts (character development) and hands (service learning).

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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Data Driven School Wide Positive Behavior Meets Character Education and Service Learning

Durham teachers created a school wide positive behavior plan over the past three school years that include character development and service learning. The plan includes a positive reward card, behavior card tracker, Friday short term reward time and intermittent long term reward programs. Students who showed positive behaviors were given positive reward cards to cash in for snacks at the Friday afternoon reward time. We had two long term programs for students who showed very good or perfect long term behaviors.

During the second year we added a character education component to the overall plan. Guest speakers from the community spoke during the Friday advisement program about how good character has influenced their lives. Bi-weekly Dinner Dilemmas were added to our homeroom period where each student determines their reaction to a specific character situation. Students shared their responses, over dinner, with parents being asked to reflect on their child’s response.

During the third year we added service leaning projects to the program where students were allowed to do character driven projects that “give back” to our community. Together these three phases of “The Wildcat Way” have developed our student’s heads (positive behavior), hearts (character development) and hands (service learning).