Every child needs direction, even the little boy directing traffic outside of Hughes Elementary School in the Prosper ISD.
The opportunity to direct traffic in the school drop off line is a reward for good behavior by Jaxon Galvan, 6, who is in the first grade.
And it is one more step toward the ultimate goal for the semester – to become a police officer for a day.
“When I started with Jaxon he was a difficult student,” said special education teacher Natalie Nuttall. “He had social and emotional behaviors that didn’t allow him to be in the general education classroom.”
So Nuttall said she had to dig deep to find a meaningful motivator for Jaxon that would give him a reason to be proud of himself.
“One day in September, [Prosper ISD School Resource] Officer Fallwell came into my classroom and his face lit up. That was it! He could become an honorary Officer,” Nuttall said.
So Nuttall devised a system where Jaxon could earn stars through a series of daily good decisions, “Green” decisions as opposed to “Red” decisions, based upon the particular curriculum that the Social Emotional Teaching specialist works with.
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A Green decision could be listening to his teacher when she tells him to line up with the other kids.
A Red decision would be running away from that same teacher instead of lining up.
And, according to Nuttall, Jaxon has done both things this semester.
But nine weeks-worth of Green decisions has finally filled Jaxon’s chart with stars.
“It’s pretty amazing as an educator to see something so spectacular and so amazing happen, because this is all about Jaxon,” Nuttall said. “He is just such a joy and he brightens my day every day. And to see his growth and the progress he has made at school and at home is what this is all about and why God put me on this planet.”
On Friday morning, the last day before the Prosper ISD winter break, the Chief of the McKinney Police Department will join Jaxon, his family and his teachers at a private pinning party and present the child with his own custom uniform.
“I don’t ever want him to forget this moment because every child can be successful. Labeling, at times, can be disabling. And when I work in an environment where my students have labels it can often become a stigma,” Nuttall said. “And I want Jaxon to know that his differences are what make him amazing.”