My 20% Project
I have experience in the area of positive behavior intervention and support and recognize the need for my district. In my district there is a growing epidemic of teachers seeking for help with student behavior issues and questions of what is working and how to increase student engagement. In response, the district will pilot Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) at some schools this year. This will address the behavior problems and student engagement with time as the district moves into implementation phases. To support teachers, I think they need to evidence-based practices, simple data collection processes, resources, questions answered and brief applicable training if and when needed in this area now and in the future while moving forward in PBIS.
I envision a program, with both technological and face-to-face collaboration for teacher (general ed. and special ed.) support in the area of student engagement and behavior. Collaboration may include evidence-based strategies, data collection applications, area specific lead teachers who are practicing successful strategies and can be observed, virtually or visited and upload videos (from their own profile/portfolio.) This would provide a means of accessing resources and supporting a teacher in need with applicable strategy in a timely manner, enabling teachers to quickly get back to engaging lessons with a more accessible and supportive environment.
Literature Review Summary:
As California schools implement Multi Tiered System of Support (MTSS) in the area of positive behavior support, a team organized around these resources and supports, can provide interventions for teachers and school sites at each tier. In providing this, both social emotional learning and positive behavior support, not only will student engagement increase, so will teacher self-efficacy. Research demonstrates a range of evidence-based practices providing preventive and intervention strategies for positive behavior support, social emotional learning and engagement strategies that are only effective when implemented with fidelity and data collection for areas to improve, as well as planning to scale up. Also, research on teacher emotional exhaustion and burnout, can be correlated with a high rate of reprimands versus positive feedback, as well as an emotionally supportive classroom climate. Delivering such practices and interventions at in a MTSS such as School Wide Positive Behavior Support and Intervention (SW-PBIS) proves to be successful in schools around the world. Whether with piloting or in full implementation of PBIS, teachers need support and access to resources both immediately and ongoing. Recently, few studies have been conducted on the impact on teacher assistance teams in this area. While the findings are new with little to compare to, it is clear that with assistance in a team approach with peers, the rate of success in positive behavior support increases. There is also emphasis placed on the personal learning networks and just-in-time support for behavior support, offering the benefits for both teacher and student social emotional learning and positive behavior support. With validation of importance of collaboration and on-going support, a hybrid online and face-to-face team approach can offer the assistance teachers need to be successful and practice with fidelity. Together with research with around evidence-based strategies, social emotional learning, student engagement, with teacher support through Professional Learning Networks and Teacher Support Teams, can all be combined for effective prompt support. Rather than separating PBIS, coaching, collaboration and online communities, combining the time-saving, just-in-time support of online communities within a district or site, to support with a level of collaboration and coaching, could effectively and efficiently support teachers in the area of student engagement, behavior and overall social emotional learning.
Opportunity and Issue Analysis:
The California Department of Education (CDE) provides curriculum resources under the Curriculum and Instruction section designated for, “Information for improving student academic achievement of content standards by communicating policy and expectations and supporting districts by providing instructional guidance.” (CDE, May 2016) Among the curriculum resources is Multi-Tiered System of Supports Core Components. In the four key aspects of MTSS is Positive Behavioral Support. As California schools move towards implementing School Wide Positive Behavior Support (SWPBS) with evidence-based practices in MTSS, which have proved sustainable in other states and countries for the past two decades, teachers are going to need ongoing support from the beginning to scaling up stages.
For schools not yet to introduce SWPBS, teachers still need support and opportunities to collaborate on ‘what works’ to promote student engagement and behaviors for success. Teachers, new and veteran, are challenged differently each year by the diverse behavioral and/or social emotional needs of students to be first addressed, in order to provide a dynamic learning environment.
Rigor is climbing, momentum is increasing in the shift in pedagogy, critical thinking and problem solving are at the forefront of learning objectives, and for those (both teachers and students) who are struggling with these changes, frustration is on the rise. It is difficult for teachers, both new and veteran, to focus on providing challenging and engaging lessons while also addressing students’ social emotional/behavioral needs. Problematic behaviors go up and student engagement goes down, as academic demands change and increase. For those with disabilities, this is more so. Behavioral challenges are present in any learning environment; elementary or secondary, general education classrooms or special education classrooms. While each have different needs, classroom management and behavior support strategies are vital for academic progress.
I propose a site or district professional learning network, lead by a team of teachers and school psychologists and behavior intervention specialist, to provide immediate online access to support with strategies and data collection, in positive behavior support and student engagement. In addition to providing prompt, applicable support to teachers from teachers, this would provide action on the CDE’s listed MTSS Core Component, “4. Positive behavioral support. District and school staff collaboratively select and implement schoolwide, classroom, and research-based positive behavioral supports for achieving important social and learning outcomes. A strong focus on integrating instructional and intervention strategies supports systemic changes based on strong, predictable, and consistent classroom management structures across the entire system.” (CDE, May 2016)
To provide a professional learning network and resources, lead by a team of teachers and school psychologist or coach, providing immediate access to support and collaboration opportunities for teachers in the area of student engagement and positive behavior support.
- What: An online platform will be used to to create a network for collaboration, support and host resources for teachers to access anytime for assistance with positive behavior support and student engagement.
- When: A team will be recruited from current discipline cluster, while resources are gathered and organized over Fall 2016, while also using current case referrals for site baseline for the program. By Fall 2017, a team and network will be responding to teacher’s needs with recommended resources and support specific to the behavior of concern or enhancement.
- Who: I will establish the collection of resources and norms for supporting teachers for presentation to a potential team of staff members to replace the current “positive discipline cluster.” As with existing cluster, roles are assigned on an annual basis and will refer to the admin,school psychologist, or behavior specialist as needed.
- How much: This format will replace the existing ‘cluster’ that discusses discipline referral protocol. With growth, there could be potential hourly compensation costs for the leader in the future.
- Progress Monitoring: Part of the PBIS framework includes data collection procedures. This data along with teacher feedback will demonstrate progress and direction of the site’s needs.