PBIS in the middle school

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by AnonyMS, Jun 7, 2017.

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  1. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS 7th grade ELA SDI in Texas

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    Jun 7, 2017

    Please share your best resources (blogs, websites, books, activities, etc.) for supporting PBIS in the middle school (grades 6-8). Yes, I know about the "big" PBIS site, but I'm looking for more.

    I am the RTI facilitator at my school as well as the aide in BASE (Behavior and Academic Specialized Environment) (basically - in a nutshell - ISS for our SpEd and RTI Tier 3 population - a place for SpEd and RTI 3 students to come to help self-manage issues they are having in the classroom).
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2017
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  3. Mshope2012

    Mshope2012 Companion

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    Jul 2, 2017

    Isn't there some "big" PBIS website with all the resources on it? Maybe Google that. We don't have RTI and BASE at my school, but do have PBIS. I can pretty much say that the way we do it does not work. I think it goes against a lot of teacher's and student's beliefs that bribery is the way to go. So I suggest that the focus be less on prizes and more on education.

    I don't know anything about a behavior specialist cert.
     
  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    https://bacb.com/become-credentialed/
    I work with behavior specialists on a daily basis, and the good ones are worth their weight in gold. It's more about the true why, and finding ways to deal that modify the behavior without the stigma of bribery. Rewards? You bet - earned. We all have wants, needs, and desires. Using that information will help behavior therapists find ways to work with the students/parents/staff so that the maximum needs are being met for all concerned.

    I wouldn't be up for the additional schooling, but have great respect for those who have the energy and dedication to do it and get it right.
     
  5. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS 7th grade ELA SDI in Texas

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    Aug 19, 2017

    Yes, there is PBISWorld but I am looking for something else.

    If PBIS is not working for your teachers and students because they believe that PBIS teaches "bribery is the way to go" then PBIS at your school is not being properly implemented or explained. PBIS is all about teaching students the proper way to deal with issues.

     
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  6. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS 7th grade ELA SDI in Texas

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    Aug 19, 2017

    Can you elaborate? What do you mean it is "provided by the government"?
    Accountability is on the student, not the teacher... can you give me an example of what you mean?

    Do you use PBIS where you teach?

     
  7. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    PBIS was around loooooong before Obama.

    If it was developed by the government, that's only true in the sense that it was researched and developed by publicly funded universities. The Department of Education had zero involvement with it initially.

    It wasn't developed in any part to deal with racial disparities. It was originally developed to help students with behavioral disorders. It has now been expanded to support all students.

    PBIS isn't about paperwork for the teacher. It's about teaching and supporting students with the development of appropriate social skills and behaviors. The paperwork is just the way that data is gathered to show the need for an intervention/support and to show if that intervention/support is working or not.

    Read up on the history and characteristics here:
    http://www.pbis.org/common/cms/files/pbisresources/PBIS_revisited_June19r_2012.pdf

    Frankly, it sounds like you're very closed-minded about students with behavioral issues and helping them to learn proper social skills. Students with certain mental health issues, traumatic histories, or other issues over which they have no control aren't going to respond to your demand that they respect your authority simply because you think they should. They aren't wired that way. PBIS is a way of helping them. Maybe you worked in a school that didn't implement PBIS properly, but that's no reason to reject the entire framework. I'm glad to work in a school filled with teachers much more open-minded than you. It's practically a requirement to get hired there.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
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  8. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Teaching clear expectations is important and necessary. I agree. However, failing to acknowledge that some students come to school with stress levels that we can't even imagine only leads to the frustration you feel. I'd suggest you look into research on the effects that trauma can have on a developing brain and the impacts that it has on school behavior. Many students truly cannot control the behavior, as their brain is wired differently than those who are raised in homes without traumatic experiences and conditions. Requiring a student to be accountable without giving them the proper tools to do so (which is what PBIS sets out to do) just leads to frustration and failure on the part of both the student and the teacher.
     
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  9. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Aug 20, 2017

    I agree with you on the point that they will be accountable in the real world - which is why I think it's so incumbent upon us to teach them proper social/emotional skills, including coping skills, while they are students.

    In the past, students with certain issues were taken out of the general education population and educated elsewhere, if at all. However, over time, we've learned two things: 1) That's not ethical, assuming their needs can be met in general education, and 2) The number of students facing these issues is huge, and the number is getting larger every year. It wouldn't do us any good to educate them elsewhere, particularly because, as you noted, they will join the general population when they graduate anyway. They are part of the general population.

    There is a lot of relatively new brain research and information out there about childhood trauma, restorative practices, and being trauma-informed as an educator. I'd strongly suggest that you look into it. Punishment doesn't work; teaching proper coping skills can and does work. Here are just two articles to demonstrate how pervasive this is in our schools: https://acestoohigh.com/2013/05/13/...ienced-one-or-more-types-of-childhood-trauma/ and http://www.nctsn.org/resources/topics/facts-and-figures. As the brain research shows, students who experience childhood trauma truly cannot control their behavior in the same way their peers who have not experienced trauma can, and I find it unfortunate that so many educators who are in a position to help are unwilling to acknowledge that.
     
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  10. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I'd also like to point out that being unwilling to consider new information stemming from scientific research is practically the definition of being closed-minded.
     
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  11. nstructor

    nstructor Cohort

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    I'm not close minded. Our district has used it for several years and it does give students "9 lives." They're learning that there are no consequences.

     
  12. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Are they learning how to control their behavior or improve their social skills over time? If not, then your school isn't implementing it properly.
     
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  13. nstructor

    nstructor Cohort

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    We are implementing it the way it is supposed to be implemented, but it has not effectively worked.
     
  14. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    If it's failing with students is widespread, as opposed to failing with just a small percentage of students, then it's likely a systems issue (could be that it's not implemented with fidelity due to lack of staff buy-in or training). Your administration or a committee of staff should take a deep look at where the system is failing and come up with an action plan to improve the system. If it's not a systems issue, then it seems the only other "thing" on which to blame it's failing would be the students... but it seems highly unlikely that your school would just happen to have such a large percentage of students for whom it's ineffective.
     
  15. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    I think bella84 has done a good job of explaining the benefits of PBIS. In an attempt to find common ground and truly understand the perspective of others, teacherhere: I get what you're saying, and I think there's truth in it. I think what you're saying may be on a level/unit of analysis a bit more broad than PBIS. PBIS is a prevention/intervention system that is designed to meet certain objectives - teach social skills, reinforce specific behaviors, etc. What you're saying, teacherhere, is whether we - as educators - should be engaged in that business to begin with. I also think you're probably bringing in arguments about society in general, and how educators are being asked to pick up the slack that others have allowed to occur. PBIS doesn't really address the "should" behind behavioral intervention, any more than a gun addresses the owner's intent. PBIS is pulled off the shelf because our educational system desires it.

    So, about your argument: There are many points I agree with you on. I'm not sure if you agree with everything I'm about to say, but to start our society has become one in which few want to accept any personal responsibility for their lives. We increasingly feel entitled to support by others - teachers, social services, etc. - and that's NOT an argument specified with lower wealth folks. Many, many kids - from the richest to the poorest - have been taught in the US that they are special and are entitled to great lives. If something goes wrong, it must be someone else's fault. If they misbehave, they will be given a second (or third, or fourth, etc.) chance. Our society has started to see any argument for personal accountability as, at best, politically incorrect and naive - at worst, racist, classist, & cruel.

    The problem with this last argument is, of course, that it's directly in conflict with what we need to believe as educators - that, despite any student's background, s/he can succeed. Sociological analysis works beautifully with large groups, but if fails miserably in the classroom. Slavery is absolutely a part of the social context that influences education today, but trying to use slavery as a variable to understand specific students' educational patterns and needs falls apart pretty quickly.

    So, we DO need to keep in mind that kids live in specific social and cultural contexts, which gets to bella84's point before about stress levels. We can't simply pretend that all students are the same and come from the same worlds. Just as we'd differentiate academic instruction, it makes good sense to differentiate when it comes to behavioral support. Bringing back in teacherhere's point, where do the students' responsibilities enter the picture - when do they become responsible for their own destiny? At some point do we expect them to make an affirmative decision to take responsibility for their learning, or do we always - in perpetuity - give them more chances?

    I like to use the analogy of buying a house with a down payment. If you buy a house, chances are you'll both take out a loan and put some money down. Both the bank and the buyer have skin in the game. As you start making mortgage payments, both the bank and the buyer contribute each month. Neither can pull out for the proposition to work. Similarly, I believe we need to use systems like PBIS to teach kids not only what & when to use social skills, but to "jump start" their motivation to use them. At the same time, kids need to - at some point - invest themselves in the process. That investment starts off quite low - first graders will likely be less able to make active decisions about educational engagement than 7th graders. Still, we CAN and should start demanding personal investment from the beginning.

    As teacherhere stated, discipline systems most definitely should be structured so that individual choice leads to different outcomes. Kids who make bad decisions should experience worse outcomes. We should help kids use those experiences to learn that they are powerful actors in their own lives - that their destinies (or playground time) are not the result of teacher meanness, but of student choice. We should be compassionate with how we teach it, but yes - we should teach it. But yes - we should expect to have to teach it over and over for a few years.

    PBIS, as teacherhere mentioned, does at times skimp on the personal responsibility and consequences for poor decisions, favoring positive reinforcement for social skills. In my opinion, the issue here is not with what PBIS includes, but what it doesn't include - at least with some implementations. Some schools start with the assumption that all good behavior is beyond students' control, and that any undesirable behavior must not be the students' fault. This is deeply problematic, and robs students of internalization of opportunity - the sense that, despite one's circumstances, s/he can be powerful in the world. Teaching this must start early, and doesn't always look pretty. Sometimes hard lessons are hard to learn. But, in the meantime, we shouldn't see PBIS as fully to blame for this, nor void of any benefit - just sometimes implemented in a way that may be less than ideal.

    Overall, we need to return to a sense of balance. For far too long, as a society we refused to acknowledge racism and poverty as a part of the educational process. Now, I believe we've gone a bit too far, failing to acknowledge that a child's decisions are also powerful and necessary. There's a political phrase in Europe to describe how society should both contribute to an individual's life and expect things from that individual: "Demand and Support." Our politicians have hijacked the conversation and led us to believe that it's either one or the other. In reality, we need both - support and demand - to achieve our educational objectives.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017
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  16. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Is that really what they start with or do they start with the assumption that students will have the potential to control behaviors but do not yet have the skill set to do so? So, you can't blame a child without the skill set.
     
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  17. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Absolutely a2z - hopefully schools have what you're describing. I've seen both.
     

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