Please note that this posting includes a variety of links to valuable resources, videos and other materials.
As the 2018/ 2019 school year begins, I am receiving a lot of emails and doing workshops in a variety of schools focusing on proactively supporting students who have behaviour challenges. While it is an exciting time of year, educators are already recognizing students who require emotional and behavioural support in order to have a successful academic year. The question that I most regularly receive is, “How do I start keeping track of and figuring out what strategies and interventions that I can employ to help ALL of my students as well as the individual students who exhibit more challenging behaviours?”
It really doesn’t have to be a complicated process.
As educators, there are a lot of demands placed upon us, especially early in the year. If we go back to our basic gut instincts and deploy Tier 1 supports with fidelity and rigor, we will set up our entire year for success and then have the time and opportunity to focus on a few individual students who require different or more intensive support.
How do we do that?
We can start this process by returning to our academic roots when we learned the basic tools for survival. It does not matter if you are a beginning, new, or novice teacher using and understanding the importance of Tier 1 strategies will set up your year to be successful. Recognizing that building relationships and having a clear value system regarding ALL kids is the foundation that the new school year will rest upon. As educators, we know the importance of self-reflection and that getting right with ourselves in these 2 areas will serve our students very well and build a culture of trust, respect and communication. It is important to understand how our own behavioural expectations, routines and environment impact the children in the classroom. All kids crave this kind of a structure (whether they know it or not) and deserve the opportunity to have their positive behaviour reinforced/celebrated. As well, positive instructional supports and social skills training allow our kids the opportunity to learn and grow no matter what developmental stage they are currently operating in.
The start of a school year is a natural new beginning for us, as educators, to not only set our students up for success, but to remind us how simple supports at a Tier 1 level can have a huge impact on our entire school year. Students are depending on us to go back to these basic best practices and not forget their importance and impact.