PBIS is a powerful way to change school culture and climate, but it requires commitment and ongoing education. Professional development activities centered around PBIS and implementation strategies can benefit your school or district in numerous ways.
When a school or district adopts a PBIS framework, there is typically a great deal of time focused on training, particularly in the beginning stages. PBIS has the potential to profoundly affect school climate, so effective training is critical to success with PBIS. Training creates the necessary knowledge to implement PBIS. Professional development, however, allows staff members to master the methods and concepts of a PBIS framework.
The Importance of Professional Development
Typically, the training phase for a PBIS framework focuses on the mechanics of implementation. Many schools begin by establishing a schoolwide behavior matrix and developing examples of how each of these behaviors looks in various situations. As staff members master the elements of this matrix, they are better able to appropriately award points to students. Training also includes developing a system to track and redeem points and teaching staff members to use this system.
As your staff begins the process of implementing PBIS in their classrooms and throughout the school, training often gives way to professional development. Once your staff has adopted a PBIS framework and is using it properly, you can begin helping them to master the concepts found in PBIS. Professional development creates a growth mindset for your staff. This growth mindset encourages the success of new teachers by giving them a path forward through an often daunting period in their professional lives. It also gives your veteran teachers a boost and can improve staff morale. Finally, this growth mindset often re-energizes classrooms and helps students to be successful, as well.
Effective PBIS Professional Development Activities
In order to make PBIS professional development activities useful for your staff, consider these tips:
Focus on specific content
A PBIS initiative has multiple components. Tiers of interventions, running a school store, analyzing data, adjusting your framework, social-emotional learning – there is almost no limit to the variety of topics you can use for PD. Instead of trying to cover too much in a PD session, get very granular about what you want your staff to learn. Remember, professional development in PBIS is about mastering its many concepts.
Make learning active and interactive
Almost no one wants to spend their PD time passively viewing a presentation or listening to a speaker drone on. Educators are lifelong students, and they want to get involved with the material. Make the time they spend in professional development interesting by inviting interaction with the information.
Your staff already works as a team, and collaboration is a big part of what they do. PD works best when it’s ongoing, so encourage your staff to collaborate through peer observation, co-teaching, and other shared communication. They will lift one another up through the challenges and successes of mastering PBIS.
Model best practices
You can tell your staff what they should be doing, or you can show them. Providing modeling of best practices will help them to implement PBIS principles from the very beginning of the process.
Provide instructional coaching
Incorporating something new or different when it comes to behavior or discipline can be unsettling. PBIS is a process, and it can take up to a full year before all the essential components are in place. Instructional coaching allows for observation, feedback, reflection, and improved practice as your school moves through this process.
Resist one-and-done PD
When it comes to implementing PBIS in your school, you’ll want the professional development activities focusing on PBIS to be ongoing. A single PD session focused on PBIS is not enough to make implementation successful in the long run. A strategic plan of instruction over the course of the school year will help your staff to more completely grasp the varied details of a PBIS initiative.
Professional Development With PBIS Rewards
PBIS Rewards offers PBIS training for schools at every point in their PBIS journey. Through our on-site training for schools and districts as well as our online training missions, PBIS Rewards can help provide the necessary training to get your PBIS initiative off to a great start. Our training is hands-on, interactive, and filled with lots of actionable items you can use right away in your school. Your school doesn’t have to be a PBIS Rewards school to participate.
Of course, participants in our training sessions get a good look at PBIS Rewards. Our digital PBIS management software can help schools to more efficiently implement PBIS through a digital token economy.
Let PBIS Rewards help you to make PBIS successful in your school – contact us for more information!