By now, many schools are familiar with the ebb and flow of remote learning. Each new wave of Covid leads many school systems to close buildings to in-person instruction and declare remote learning days. No matter how often your staff and students have moved between in-person and remote environments, there is likely a bit of adjustment that happens when everyone returns to the classroom. If you’ve paused your PBIS initiative during remote learning, here are some ways to restart it.
Reviving PBIS After Covid
A return to the classroom after an unplanned closure can be unsettling for staff and students alike. They’ve lost some of the momentum of classroom learning and had routines interrupted. There may be a few moments where everyone is unsure what to do from this point forward, especially when it comes to PBIS. Here’s how to begin again:
Positive teacher-student relationships impact every aspect of the classroom. If you and your students have been away from one another for an extended period, it can be beneficial to take a few minutes to renew positive relationship bonds. This can include greeting your students at the classroom door, spending one-on-one time with students, or increasing focus on social and emotional learning.
Review and Reteach Expectations
Much of a school’s behavior matrix is designed for an environment in which students and staff are physically present. Remote learning, however, is often less structured than the physical school environment. While you may have had a different set of expectations for remote learning, a return to the classroom will require that you reteach behavior expectations.
Every teacher has a few classroom management strategies up their sleeve. Routines are often the heart and soul of a well-run classroom, and it will benefit everyone to review them. You may even want to incorporate new routines that work whether you’re in person or remote. Students typically embrace routines, so returning to these basics can go a long way toward settling your classroom and preparing for learning.
Rev Up Your Recognition
Just as you expanded your behavior matrix to include remote learning, you’ll want to shift your focus once again. Reviving PBIS after being away from the classroom will mean that you give more attention to in-person behaviors. You may need to go back to the beginning and give points and recognition for even the most basic of positive behaviors, just like you did in the beginning.
In order to understand how well your PBIS initiative is working, examine the data. Are there locations within the school where problem behaviors have taken root? What positive behaviors have your students mastered? Where do you need to make adjustments? As you return to an in-person learning environment, you’ll want to keep a close eye on what the data is telling you.
Readjust Your Initiative
A return to the classroom after an unplanned school closure may require a few adjustments. You may need to introduce new expectations as a reflection of where your students may be, behavior-wise. Any time students are away from the classroom for an extended period, they can lose some of the habits they’ve developed as a result of your class routines. This, in turn, can affect your instructional time. Regain your teaching time by adjusting your initiative and encouraging positive behaviors.
Using PBIS Rewards in Every Environment
If you’ve managed to maintain your PBIS initiative regardless of school environment, congratulations – you’re ahead of the curve.
Schools using a digital token economy can more quickly adapt to a cycle of school closures and re-openings. A digital PBIS initiative enables you to continue to recognize students and award points in all types of learning environments. Schools that use PBIS Rewards can easily shift their focus from positive behaviors in a physical environment to the positive behaviors that make good digital citizens. When it’s time to return to the classroom, student point balances will reflect all the positive behaviors they were recognized for during remote learning. The software also tracks multiple data points for reports that schools can use to assess overall behavior.
Unplanned school closures such as weather events or coronavirus precautions have the potential to upend the educational process. Restarting PBIS after a school closure can be critical to helping students to get back to learning. Even better, maintaining PBIS even during remote learning can make the transition back into the classroom easier for both students and teachers. PBIS Rewards can make that possible!
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