Tip #1: Behavior Expectation Reminders
Have you noticed that students struggle with behavior expectations once they return to school from winter break? Our students seem to forget classroom rules they once followed with ease! Let’s face it, our teachers are making every effort to curb their own frustrations and are adjusting to being back to work themselves. What’s one behavior tip school psychs can share with teachers to ease their frustrations? Encourage teachers to have discussions with students about classroom rules as well as behavior expectations. Reminding students what classroom expectations are is a proactive way to curb negative behaviors before they occur, rather than focusing on the consequences that occur when classroom rules are broken. Let’s talk about two additional student behavior tips! If you are interested in watching a replay of the live recording where I discuss these topics, please click here.
Tip #2: The “Why” Behind the Behavior
When teachers consult with school psychs about behavior, the first question that needs to be answered is “why”? Why is the behavior occurring? Is the student seeking attention because he is attempting to escape a non-preferred task, or is the student displaying challenging behaviors because she is experiencing sensory overload due to a change in routine? Asking teachers a variety of questions and conducting classroom observations helps determine the “why” behind the behavior which assists the school psych in targeting behavior strategies that are appropriate.
Tip #3: Skill Deficit or Performance Deficit?
What do we mean by a skill deficit versus a performance deficit? Let’s imagine a student who needs to utilize executive functioning skills. The teacher asks the students to write down the steps they will take to complete their upcoming science projects but notices that Johnny isn’t following directions. Does Johnny have a skill deficit or a performance deficit? Perhaps Johnny is daydreaming and thinking about how great his winter break was! He has the necessary skills and simply requires a reminder to initiate the task. Or does Johnny not have the executive functioning skills to break down the steps of a large science project into smaller steps and write them in sequential order? This would indicate a skill deficit. When school psychs are able to understand the difference between the two, the behavior strategy can be individually tailored for the student’s needs.
Let’s start the new year off right! Our next book club starts in January when we read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey. This book will be read over a seven-week period, giving prepared school psych members a full week to focus on each one of the seven habits. Want in on a little secret? There are two additional books by Stephen Covey’s son Sean Covey called, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens and The 7 Habits of Happy Kids. All seven habits are the same across all three books and I have decided to read all three versions and let people who want to participate in the book club choose which version they want to read. Our discussions will focus on how to improve our own habits, how we can apply these habits with our colleagues, as well as ways to support effective habits of the children and adolescents we work with! If you are interested in coming along on this book club journey, sign up today to become a member of the prepared school psych! Don’t have time to read the book? We’ve got you covered! All book club discussion sessions will be recorded for you to watch at your leisure! Get started today!