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Customized Rubber Stamps are Great for Teachers

January 20th, 2008

customized-rubber-stamp.jpgThis article by Angela Baca describes creative ways in which teachers can make daily use of rubber stamps to assist in their educational endeavors. My mother, who has been a professional educator for more years than she probably wants to count, uses some similar techniques to those described in the article, except instead of customized rubber stamps, she uses a “star system” in which students are awarded various numbers or colors of stars for significant accomplishments or good behavior. It has worked fairly well for most of her classes, and often encourages competition among students as a way to keep them motivated to complete their assignments. Using rubber stamps can accomplish a similar purpose, but as Angela Baca’s article describes, they are useful for other tasks as well.

Around for many years now, the rubber stamp is a tool that proves invaluable to a teacher who needs to duplicate a message for as many as forty students at a time. In order to be effective, teachers are creatures of habit, structure, procedures, and pragmatism. The stamp helps the resourceful educator with a major component of the job—record-keeping. In turn, keeping good records helps teachers in situations that arise with when parents and administrators are looking for answers. By using a rubber stamps to communicate regularly with parents, then teachers can effectively cover themselves by providing consistent feedback to all students. Often, the record of stamps in a student’s planner or homework folder will show the effort that the teacher has made. The discussion of rubber stamps below focuses on the general uses of stamps and recommendations for use of customized rubber stamps in the elementary and middle school grades.

Manufactured stamps are readily available for reasonable prices in office supply stores, stationery shops, and educational stores. There are many general uses for stamps. Elementary school teachers use stamps to communicate with parents about young children. An elementary school teacher who teaches all subjects to a student will have to provide feedback daily or weekly for many subjects, i.e. reading, math, science, social studies, spelling, handwriting, and art. Some students may also need feedback on electives, i.e. physical education, computers, and foreign languages.

In the primary grades, some types of feedback include the use of colors. In one behavior modification system, a student goes home with a code for behavior. An example of this system involves the colors of the traffic light: green, yellow, and red. If the teacher gives a red stamp, the parent knows the child got in trouble several times that day. If the teacher provides a green stamp, the parent knows that the child behaved well. The teacher may place this stamp inside a notebook or on a chart attached inside the homework folder.

Teachers also utilize other types of stamps; three categories are discussed here. The first category involves shapes, including smiley faces, sad faces, and hearts. The second category involves symbols, including punctuation marks, numbers, and letters. The third category of stamps involves common messages such as “Excellent,” “Super,” and “Great Work!” These stamps may be used to stamp assignments such as worksheets and tests. Stamps can also be placed in the student’s planner or homework folder to show progress in behavior and homework. Finally, teachers can buy stamps with frequently needed messages such as “Parent Signature Required,” “Conference Requested,” or “Homework Not Completed.”

The K-12 teacher can save time by ordering a customized stamp from a rubber stamp manufacturing company. The teacher provides a computer printout or a drawing of the desired stamp. For a small fee, the stamp company can typeset the design and produce the customized stamp. An example of one stamp used by a middle school math educator involves a stamp that shows all messages he needs daily. In this school, the students are required to carry a daily planner home each day and have it signed by a parent. The math teacher used one stamp to include several things: the daily homework grade, the student’s behavior, missing homework assignments, date of upcoming test, a request for a signature, a request for a conference, and a recommendation for after school tutoring.

The teacher used an additional time-saver—having a student stamp every student’s planner. Then the teacher would go around quickly and make any checks or notes under the appropriate category over the stamp in the each child’s planner. Teachers can create a custom stamp based on their school’s policies and their own classroom procedures. The rubber stamp is one of the most cost-effective tools for classroom organization and providing feedback to students and parents.

One Response to “Customized Rubber Stamps are Great for Teachers”

  1. comment number 1 by: Bill

    My sister is a middle school English teacher and she uses rubber stamps all the time. It’s a very good article.

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