I am a firm believer of token economy. It means that my students get tickets for their positive behavior, and lose tickets for negative behavior. Then they can buy “wonderful things” at the classroom store. I do spend a lot of money, AND sometimes confiscated items from other students can end up in the store. One of my boy had a few items taken away in the past, and before you feel bad, let me give you a piece of advice here as an experienced teacher, if you say you’ll do something or take something away, please do it otherwise kids won’t take you seriously. This boy was warned a few times to quit playing with different things, and he refused to follow direction, and my last warning was, “If I take it away from you now then it will be in the classroom store.” and Voila!
Back to the original story. Last week, this boy was upset because 3 of his things were in the store, and he didn’t earn enough tickets/money to buy anything. My very special, wonderful autistic student M used all his tickets to buy a couple items that used to belong to this boy J. Then M went to J, and asked, “J, do you want your things back? I bought these for you.” I couldn’t stop my tears from coming out even though I tried. Can you believe this? J’s face lit up instantly, and couldn’t believe what M did. Every single student was standing there speechless. How selfless is that? I told J how lucky he was because he has a friend like M, and you know what? J gave M one of this favorite bead necklace that he was hiding in his pocket because M was so sweet to him. MJ are best friends now, and now I know how mothers feel when their kids help each other out, get along, and bond. I am so glad I have these boys in my class.