T.J. came running up with a big smile saying, “I’m ready mom.”
Lessons for the day were done and it was time for......(drum roll please) DESK INSPECTION! This is how it works: they clean their desks, when they think it is ready for inspection they come tell me. I then inspect their desks and if only one thing is out of order they don’t get the daily reward which is usually a small treat, like a handful of raisins. I like to ham-it-up and make a big deal out of finding one piece of paper out of the garbage etc it makes them laugh and lessens the dissappoinment if they are found wanting. But rarely are they wanting for we have discovered the secret of orderliness, a habit worth having.
“But that was so fast! How could you have had time to put your desk in order?” I asked. He had only been gone a few minutes.
“I didn’t break the charm!” He said.
We learned about not "breaking the charm" from Rollo. Rollo had learned it from an older boy, Jonas, who works for his father. In the story we read from Rollo at School, Jonas had just finished building a tool shed and Rollo had helped Jonas put all the tools in place. There was a peg or a spot for each tool. “Now,’ said Jonas, ‘if we always put our tools back into their peg right after we use them we won’t "break the charm". If we miss doing it just once, and get hasty to get on with the next thing, if we just throw the tool in anywhere then whole tool shed will soon become a big mess.” Rollo took this idea to school with him the next day.
Once Rollo arrived at the school the children were out front playing with a trap for a mouse. They were having trouble getting the door fixed just right so that it would close once the mouse went into it. Rollo thought he could fix it with his knife. He turned to a boy near-by and asked him to put his slate on the nail on his desk so he could work on the trap. The boy set it down upon the rock nearby instead for he didn’t want to miss seeing how Rollo would fix the trap. Rollo said, “No, Tommy please put my slate on the nail on my desk.” So Tommy reluctantly went inside but instead of doing what Rollo asked he just set the slate loudly upon the desk. Rollo heard this and asked Tommy if he had put the slate on the nail. Tommy said no so Rollo got up and put it on the nail himself. All the children wondered why Rollo did this and he said, “So I don’t break the charm!”
In our school, my boys have caught on to this idea. If all your things have a place, and if when you use them you put them back and never once put them in another place your desk is never out of order so it never needs to be put in order. The boys after hearing Rollo’s story spent a part of a day finding a place for everything they needed for school. Then I showed them what was allowed to be kept on their desks and what was my idea of neat and tidy. From then on each day after school we have desk inspection. Rewards for those who pass are getting very common due to the lesson we learned from Rollo,
Don’t Break The Charm!!
BTW it works for moms too! Try It!