Over Thanksgiving break I experienced a PBS a-ha moment while standing in my kitchen. My daughter had just deposited a half finished bowl of cereal (bathed in a sea of milk) on the counter. While I wanted to huff and puff about waste, poor choices, irresponsibility, etc., I was instead drawn to thinking about several conversations I have had with principals recently regarding poor climates in their buildings. Specifically, teachers' intolerance for relatively minor behavior infractions and the 'throw the students' out mentality that seemed to be gripping segments of their staff. I then started thinking about how a true change in behavior for my daughter (and the kids in these teachers' rooms) can only be realized if I (and they) intentionally teach about the expected behaviors they desire to see (a core PBS tenant). While all of this was going through my head, I grabbed my phone and filmed a quick PBS video using the cereal bowl story as the narrative prop. Below is the remixed video, which you are free to use if you find it helpful in any way.
PBS Cereal Bowl Video
It is easy to love our students on the first day of school. A true mark of a professional is the extent to which this love for our students is maintained and demonstrated throughout the year (even if it feels like it is waining on the inside).
In a serendipitous move, a counselor at my high school (@rosEcounselor) sent me the link to PBISworld yesterday. It is a fantastic resource for positive behavior support strategies that cover a wide range of behaviors. If you find yourself frustrated with a student, click on the behavior and then pick one or two strategies to commit to using for several weeks. An important note is to make a firm commitment on the front end to persisting with the strategies. Using a strategy once or twice and then moving on to something else when it doesn't take right away is a recipe for frustration. Persistence and perseverance should be the words to live by when using PBS strategies.