Monday, May 21, 2012
Thank You Campaign
Greeting is very essential in Japan. In many schools, a teacher and some students stand by the gate, and greet "Good Morning," to coming students. They even bow. This promotion is school wide from 1st grade to 6th grade. When children walk into their classroom, they also greet eachother. There is unique promotion program which is called, OASIS, オアシス, in Japanese. オ (pronounce Oh) represents "O-ha-yoh" (Good morning) , ア(pronounce Uh) "A-ri-ga-toh" (Thank you), シ(pronounce shi) "Shi-tsu-re-i-shi-ma-su" (Excuse me), and ス(pronounce soo) "Su-mi-ma-se-n"(I'm Sorry). Teachers explain to students, "If you do OASIS in our school, you will feel just like being in an oasis. An oasis is the only spot you can find water in the desert. You will get refreshed and satisfied. Don't you want to be a part of team to create an oasis in our school?" During the OASIS campaign, assigned six graders stand inside the "Oasis zone" in the hallways of the building and in the 1st graders' classrooms to promote school effort. Six grade leadership is extraordinary in any elementary schools in Japan. During the lunch time, a student leader announces which grade is doing a great job on their campaign of OASIS. A principal in my school used to complain that kids don't make eye contact or say good morning. Yes, greeting is supposed to be a habit, however, if not, we have to do something about it. A school wide greeting campaign would promote a positive and cheerful school learning community.
"You said 'thank you' 41 times in the morning,"a student reported. Kids looked at each other surprised. "Wow!" they exclaimed in unison. "That's the amount of positive attention YOU gave me." I said. The students looked even more proud. The afternoon task was for the students to use "thank you" among themselves.
At the closing meeting, I asked them, "Did you say thank you more than before?" There were big nods everywhere. "How do you feel?" Student A said, "I felt good when someone said thank you to me." I facilitated, "Did we prove that we can get attention in the positive way?" The answer was "YES!" I am about to ease my thirst with my camels in the middle of desert.