From Busboy to Vice President

Last week, I wrote about teaching Rights and Privileges.  I had a subscriber comment that he felt this was a very important lesson for everyone to learn.  He commented that he was not explicitly taught this concept until he was in college.  He and others commented that they were glad to see I was teaching it to children.  It is a wonderful lesson to teach any time of the year, so if you haven’t done so, give some thought to explicitly teaching it.  After I teach that lesson, I tell them a success story about a family friend.  He and his wife were so close to my parents that I referred to them as uncle and aunt while I was growing up.  Uncle Max was a great man.  He was incredibly kind, fun to be around, could play any song on the piano, and was a superstar in the rising ranks of one of the most prominent fast food companies in the world.  Uncle Max and his wife had two small children when he started working for this fast food company. They were living in a very tiny trailer and as poor as church mice.

He started out as a busboy.  True to his character, he decided he was going to be the very best busboy he could be.  Although he was paid a very low wage, he decided to always show up to work before he had to be there, do his job without complaint, and be friendly to everyone: both colleagues and customers. He worked hard and went above and beyond what he was expected to do.  People noticed, and soon he was behind the counter as a cook and cashier.  He received a small raise.  He stuck with his work ethic of continuing to work hard and going above and beyond what was expected.  In time, he rose through the ranks.  Needless to say, his salary rose as well.

Eventually, he was offered the job of area manager over one of the largest, most successful areas in the country and he and his family moved away.  Although their lifestyle changed, their characters stayed strong and steady.  We visited them when I was five and I can remember how impressed I was at the size of their home and the size of their swimming pool.

After several successful years in the capacity of area manager, Uncle Max was again promoted.  However this time, it was huge.  He was promoted to being one of the vice presidents of the entire company.  He and his family moved to another state and a bigger home.  For the next several years, until his retirement, he flew all over the world for this company and since he was now a millionaire, provided a very comfortable life for himself and his family.

Now, when I’m telling this story to my students, I include many more details than I am here; including how his good decisions meant more privileges such as bigger homes and nicer cars with each promotion.  Uncle Max and his family lived a very good lifestyle.

By the time I’m finished with this story, my students have heard about hard work, good ethics and strong character many times.  They have heard about how someone was able to prove himself and be rewarded. They have been told over and over that due to his good decisions throughout his career, he was able to have more choices in life for both his family and himself.  My students are excited by this story.

I then tell them that the No Bull Method™ five-tier level system we use in our classroom works the same way: by making good decisions to work hard, displaying good ethics, and strong character they can be promoted through our level system and as they are promoted, they can earn rewards and have more choices, too.

It is important that children hear the success stories of others and what lessons are available to learn from them.  What success stories do you tell your students?  Feel free to use this one about Uncle Max.

Come back next week to read about a nine-year old alcoholic in my classroom.

Be kinder than necessary, be grateful, and have a peace-filled week,

Ms. Brown



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