Randy Sprick's Safe & Civil Schools – Practical Solutions, Positive Results!

Spring 2009

It's Springtime!

By Randy Sprick

Warmer weather is arriving, and with it the annual springtime boredom, post-testing loss of interest, and feelings of Im just putting in my time until schools out for the summer!

Time to rev things up! Were three-quarters of the way through the season. If your team is slacking off a bit, its time to re-teach your expectations and re-inspire your students.

Before each activity or transition, introduce the lesson you prepared at the beginning of the year to teach your students how to behave during this particular activity or transition. Pull out those t-charts and other visual aids that may have been lost during the year. You might want to model a behavior or provide practice opportunities for your students. Do whatever you think is necessary to remind students of your expected behaviors. Remember to monitor student behavior by circulating and visually scanning, and to provide feedback during and after the activity or transition.

While youre at it, do a self-check on your motivational strategies. Students arent the only ones blinded by the sun! Are you enthusiastic as you present lessons? Are you actively involving students by asking questions? Do you have clear objectives that you communicate to your students? Are you providing students with immediate performance feedback? Are you generating student enthusiasm by:

And, most importantly, are you interacting with students at least three times more when they are behaving than when they are misbehaving (Ratio of Interactions – 3:1)?

A final consideration to motivating students, especially at this time of year, is to periodically reward the class (or individual students) with some kind of celebration. For instance, elementary and middle school students might enjoy 100 Squares or an intermittent lottery reward system. High school students might enjoy a movie or field trip.

An effective coach brings a great deal of passion to his or her interactions with players. The actions of a good coach are designed to inspire players and motivate them to try their hardest. Think of yourself as the coach of your classroom and kick motivation into high gear during these final months of the school year!

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Safe & Civil Schools on the Leading Edge in Professional Development

Two recent pronouncements may have a bearing on your longitudinal planning with respect to staff development on Positive Behavior Support. We thought it might be helpful to share what we have discovered regarding these developments and how they relate to our products and services.

First and foremost, should you be considering developing or rebuilding a Positive Behavior Support or Response to Intervention initiative in your school or district, be aware that you may use ARRA funds to provide district or schoolwide professional development for both special education and general education teachers in these areas of expertise. If youd like more information about how ARRA relates to staff development and how Safe & Civil Schools fulfills the broad requirements of ARRA, we have compiled a brief summary on our website.

Secondly, the National Staff Development Council released a report this past February on the status of professional development in the U.S. and abroad. For those of you who have an interest in or need to justify expenditures for staff development, we have prepared a comparison of how the Safe & Civil Schools approach aligns with these latest NSDC findings.