“If a child doesn’t know how to read, we teach.”

“If a child doesn’t know how to swim, we teach.”

“If a child doesn’t know how to multiply, we teach.”

“If a child doesn’t know how to drive, we teach.”

“If a child doesn’t know how to behave, we…teach?…punish?”

“Why can’t we finish the last sentence as automatically as we do the others?”

Tom Herner (NASDE President )

This is a quote that I have used many times over the years as I have presented on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). It is a great question to ask ourselves as educators and a central question to the PBIS movement.

I am very excited about rolling out PBIS Rewards with the staff and students in the weeks to come. We have spent the last year creating three behavior expectations for our students (Be Respectful, Be Responsible, and Be Safe) and what those expectations look like in different locations around the building (classroom, common areas, transportation to/from school) . Not only will we have these expectations of ourselves and for the students, but we will TEACH these expectations to our students. We will show them what the expectations do and don’t look like. We will “catch” students doing the right thing and will encourage students to display positive behavior more regularly.

It is important to remember that every behavior is learned, that includes bad behavior or behavior that is unacceptable at school. For example, If a student gets frustrated and yells at a teacher, it is because that student has learned that yelling works for them. It either gets them what they want or allows them to avoid something they don’t want to do. PBIS is a way of teaching students the appropriate ways to behave in school in all situations. It is a process and one that I am happy we are embarking on.

As we return from Fall Break, this is a great time to re-teach your class what you expect and go over your rules again. Make sure you take time for this now because it will save you time in the weeks and months to come.

Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe…Be a BRAVE!


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