Personal Accounts: Finding a Passion for Behavior Management

By Janice Burch

All of us know that dealing with behavior issues can be more difficult than dealing with academic issues. With academic struggles, we usually have a clear understanding of what the student can and can’t do, and what skills and strategies we need to teach them. We can also monitor academic progress much easier than we can monitor behavior issues. Behavior  management isn’t as black and white as academics; there are shades of gray when it comes to emotions, relationships, and feelings.

I never realized how much I was interested in the kids that really seemed to struggle in a school setting. They always had a hard time just going with the flow and behaving like the other kids. In my mind, everything seemed like a battle of wills, and I started to wonder if they woke up every morning and planned out how to be more disruptive and disrespectful than the day before. Honestly, I’m not sure when it exactly started, but I found myself very intrigued by these tough kids.

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Personal Accounts: PBIS from a Principal’s Perspective

PBIS from a Principal's Perspective

When I was a principal at a local elementary school, I found out about Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS) during my training as a behavior coach with Albert Felts, of the Behavior Team at Region 13 ESC. I was overwhelmed with discipline referrals; everything from students not doing their work, to making terroristic threats. Our morning and dismissal routines (or lack thereof) were chaotic. We needed organization, to set positive behavioral expectations in place, and a system to support not only student behaviors but staff behaviors as well.

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