11. Show visual examples of positive behavior. This can be tricky because behavior concepts like “respect, responsibility and safety” are not picture words. You have to come up with examples of what your targeted behaviors look like in a school setting. For example, “responsibility” in the bathroom can be demonstrated with a picture of washing hands in the sink, and throwing paper towels away in the trash can. “Respect” on the playground can look like one student sharing/giving a ball to another so they can take their turn. “Safety” in the pick-up/drop/off area can look like children looking at a traffic cross-walk signal. These are not easy images to come up with, but there are clipart images of school mascots demonstrating positive behaviors like this through Mascot Junction.
12. Start with a verb. Bullet points are more effective when started with a verb. Basically, it’s because you are telling people to take an action, instead of just reminding to make a passive observation. For example, it’s better to say, “Be responsible” than it is to say “Responsibility.” It puts the concept in motion. It may not be possible to force verbs into an acronym, but you may be able to find ways to use them in your matrix and rules posters.
13. Create a sense of community. It means something special when a child realizes, for example, that they are part of an eagle community, and they have eagle friends, eagle rules, and an eagle way of doing things. It’s very engaging, visual, and easy to comprehend. Plus the emotional incentives for enjoying social success inside the group to which they self identify, are hard-wired, and incredibly powerful. It gives educators a very powerful tool for reaching and teaching students. A mascot-centric climate can serve as a highly effective framework for school climate and culture transformation.
14. Color counts. Use your school colors in rules posters to help bring all aspects of your school together. Consistent use of color helps reinforce your school culture and climate.
15. No snarling. If you use your mascot as a positive behavior mentor, consider how kid-friendly the design is. Mascots are often rendered with an aggressive expression on their face. For younger children in primary schools, a more kid-friendly version is more in keeping with positive behavior and inclusiveness.