After much internal debate, I have decided to send this...
As you may know, there will be a presentation at tomorrow's PTO meeting about PBIS(Positive Behavior Intervention & Supports) at 9am in the teacher's lounge. I have done some research and come to my own conclusion about PBIS. I now need more information about how it will be implemented at BCS and will be at the meeting. I am writing to share with you some of what I've found, encourage you to ask questions, and to come to your own conclusions. I wholeheartedly agree that something needs to be done, a conversation take place, a plan be developed to address some behavioral issues at BCS. My children have come home many days frustrated and stressed from being in situations where children were misbehaving. Fixing these issues is a very valid goal and I support that. I am absolutely thrilled to see movement taking place toward finding a solution. However, based on my research, I do not believe PBIS is the answer. I strongly urge you to examine and clearly understand what PBIS is and how it is implemented in schools. Maybe I need more information, but what I see so far really is what Alfie Kohn says: PBIS=TKLP (Treating Kids Like Pets).
Many of you know I believegiving rewards for expected behavior is counterproductive to promoting responsibility - you've heard me go on about it. A major tenet of PBIS is the systemic use of these types of rewards and incentives-- tickets, getting caught for being good certificates, and 'shopping' in the good behavior store are often used very heavily in this program. Please ask - will this be true at BCS?
It is important to know, there are very successful classrooms at BCS that do not use tickets, incentives, or behavior charts. In these classrooms, the curriculum is made to be engaging and the children are cooperative, well-behaved, and participating positively in their community of learners. These students are rising to the challenge their teachers provide, they are treated with respect and they respond accordingly. It is possible. It is happening. Children who have previously had issues are now responding, behaving, learning and contributing to their class as a whole. Let's take a closer look at what is occurring in these non-incentive/non-coercive- based classrooms right here in our building. Please ask about the wonderful learning environments in these rooms and ask how can we support and encourage this practice building-wide instead of adopting a new, "external" incentive/coercion program? Ask the committee considering PBIS to have that discussion.