Presentation on theme: "The Institute for Understanding Behavior"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Institute for Understanding Behavior Supporting Our Students: Skills and Strategies for Responding to Challenging BehaviorsWestern Regional Leadership Summit on School-Justice Partnerships: Keeping Kids in School and Out of CourtSt. John Fisher College, Rochester, NYMay 14, 2014
2 The Institute for Understanding Behavior: a progressive and preventative approach for New York City EducatorsThe Institute for Understanding Behavior is a joint initiative created by the United Federation of Teachers with the NYC Department of Education to help schools ensure that every child develops the social, emotional, and academic skills they to succeed in school and in life.The DOE has allocated personnel to make this venture truly collaborative. At the present time we have about 9 schools (Cohorts) being trained. Once a school has approximately 70% of the staff trained, they will have a behavior specialist who will come to the school and continue to support and help assess situations. The data collected from these schools will help inform and modify future trainings.
3 The Influence of Educators Why do educators need an approach that is preventative and proactive?What types of challenges are our students facing? How do they affect behavior in schools?What is approach of the IUB?How can it help us support students?Since the entire school community is trained, and there is a mandatory ‘buy-in’ from administration, paraprofessionals will now have the support of other staff when dealing with students behavior.
4 3-Year Outcome Goals Deliverables The Institute for Understanding Behavior Overview of Action Plan for All Participating New Schools *The IUB requires a 3-Year commitment to help a school meet the goals outlined below. However, we believe that many benchmarks can be reached by the end of year 1 with full collaboration from the school.3-Year Outcome GoalsReduction of suspension ratesLower occurrence of level 1 and 2 incidents (preventing levels 3, 4, 5)Improved attendance ratesIncreased academic achievementUse of data to support students and school communityEffective Behavior Leadership TeamSchool wide positive behavior support systems in placeDecreased incidents of staff injury and violenceLower incidence of staff turnoverPositive change in Quality Review, Progress Report and Learning Environment scoresEnhanced social/emotional competence in staff and studentsSelf-sustaining practicesDeliverables4-Day Therapeutic Crisis Intervention Training for ALL school based staffWeekend professional development retreat for up to 10 faculty members and follow-up conferences each yearSWIS (School Wide Information Systems) Licensing and TrainingDirect School Support by IUB Behavior SpecialistData Analysis Supported by External EvaluatorWorkshops in Understanding Children’s Mental Health, Executive Functioning, Team-teaching, etc.Ongoing Professional Development in Areas of Identified NeedSupport Connecting to Community Based OrganizationsOngoing Consultation with IUB Team on Using School Data to Meet Action Plan Goals.Training for All new Staff in TCIS When Hired
6 How do You Cope?What are some coping strategies that you use to deal with stress?Listen to the scenario, visualize that this is happening to you.What are you feeling now?What do you feel like doing?One of the first things we learn to examine is the setting conditions in a school.In order to get the participants involved the trainer would speak about each of the 5 setting conditions and then have groups circulate the room and add to the list of conditions that they have observed in their schools.This allows the participants to look at the ‘big picture’ in order to recognize some of the underlying reasons for students exhibiting behavior.
7 A Student’s Inability to Cope Results in a Change in Behavior A Crisis Occurs WhenA Student’s Inability to Cope Results in a Change in BehaviorThis is another important concept of the TCIS training which is constantly reinforced during the training.The goals are simple and straight-forward – to support and teach. If there is no ‘teaching’ then there is no growth of ability to change the behavior.A majority of crises that students experience in schools are the result of emotional flooding and increased stress. This is a reason that the training focuses on the Stress Model of Crisis.
8 The Goals of Crisis Intervention are to: SUPPORT: environmentally and emotionally to reduce stress and riskTEACH: students better ways to cope with stressThis is another important concept of the TCIS training which is constantly reinforced during the training.The goals are simple and straight-forward – to support and teach. If there is no ‘teaching’ then there is no growth of ability to change the behavior.A majority of crises that students experience in schools are the result of emotional flooding and increased stress. This is a reason that the training focuses on the Stress Model of Crisis.
9 Stress Model of CrisisThis is a visual reminder of the progress from a baseline state, an individual student’s usual ‘normal’ behavior, which is not the same for all students. One student’s baseline could manifest as constant motion and talking while another student’s baseline may be slight rocking.A triggering event causes increased agitation and is an early arousal state which deviates from the students’ baseline. An intervention at this stage may de-escalate or even avoid potential crises.However, if the student becomes more upset or agitated exhibiting increased anxiety, it is considered the escalation phase as the student becomes more disruptive and destructive. There are specific interventions to use during this phase which can de-escalate the situation and bring the student back to baseline.A student in the outburst stage acts in a manner that could cause self- injury or endanger other students, staff or the environment and we must intervene to contain the situation
10 Recovery PhaseOne of the first things we learn to examine is the setting conditions in a school.In order to get the participants involved the trainer would speak about each of the 5 setting conditions and then have groups circulate the room and add to the list of conditions that they have observed in their schools.This allows the participants to look at the ‘big picture’ in order to recognize some of the underlying reasons for students exhibiting behavior.
11 Skills Building Pyramid: Self-Awareness This skills building pyramid – introduced during the first day of training – is the basis for the entire program. Each day, new strategies and techniques are introduced which build upon and reinforces the previous day’s training, expanding on the skills that were taught. It is important to realize that as each step is presented and worked on, a subtle shift in thinking occurs which culminates in an ‘aha’ type of moment usually around day 3.Today we will just give a few examples of the training – this cannot be condensed into a 2 hour workshop or even a full day workshop with any measure of success. It will definitely give participants insight but cannot be effectively trained or implemented on a piece-meal basis.
12 Discussion about Self Awareness What situations do you find difficult in your work? What behavior on the part of the young person might trigger a stress response in you?What self-regulations skills do you use?Self-regulation – positive self talk; taking a breath; looking at situation from students’ perspective
13 2. What does this student feel, need, or want? What does Assessment Really Mean? Four Questions We Ask Ourselves to Assess Crisis Situation1. What am I feeling now?2. What does this student feel, need, or want?3. How is the environment affecting the student?4. How do I best respond?This leads to the 4 questions …………..(breast-stroke)These questions are revisited often during the training as it is important to realize where one is coming from (what we feel) and where the student is coming from in combination with the environment in order to arrive at the best response to the situation.Sometimes we often ignore our feelings as being part of the problem and it is important for us to first examine how we are feeling in order to understand the students point of view and their needs and wants.
14 “When we are at our angriest, we are at our stupidest.” Effects of Anger“When we are at our angriest,we are at our stupidest.”Another one of our favorite slides – this opens up a discussion on what things students do or say that “push our buttons”When a student triggers angry feelings in us and negative thoughts how do we keep a professional and student-focused perspective on the situation.Positive self-talk may help us get through this type of situation without losing our professionalism.
15 How Do I Best Respond?Manage the environment to neutralize potential triggersEngage the student and provide emotional supportExercise self-control over feelings
16 Feelings, Needs and Behaviors +NeedsTCIS employs visuals and videos in order to reinforce and maybe prompt one to remember certain concepts.This ‘iceberg’ is one such visual prompt which reminds us that there is so much more below the surface of a student’s behavior that needs to be understand in order to progress to teaching the student how to self regulate in future situations.
17 All behavior has meaning. Behavior reflects needs. Assessing BehaviorAll behavior has meaning.Behavior reflects needs.It may not be immediately apparent from a childs’ behavior exactly what that childs needs are.Assessment comes from knowing the child, a little background, where his/her baseline is and if there is any past trauma.
18 What Effects Behavior? Setting Conditions Anything that makes challenging behavior more or less likely to occur.Organizational culture, e.g., control oriented, poor communicationEnvironment, e.g., hot, crowded, noisy, too much visual stimulationInstruction, activities, routines related, e.g., staffing, quality of instruction, activitiesPersonal, e.g., illness, medication, trauma history, feeling unsafeRelationship-based, e.g., excessive controls, “us versus them” culture, lack of caring communityOne of the first things we learn to examine is the setting conditions in a school.In order to get the participants involved the trainer would speak about each of the 5 setting conditions and then have groups circulate the room and add to the list of conditions that they have observed in their schools.This allows the participants to look at the ‘big picture’ in order to recognize some of the underlying reasons for students exhibiting behavior.
19 Treat Each Student As an Individual With: Individual baseline behaviorDifferent strengths and abilitiesSpecific effects of traumaUnderdeveloped co-regulation and self-regulation skillsPossible physical discomfort, e.g., illness, medicationA need for an individualized crisis management plan (ICMP) or safety planThis is not a “one size fits all” type of program. All staff should be on the ‘same page’ so to speak when dealing with students and their specific behaviors. Common language, support and communication among staff is crucial for this implementation to be successful.
20 Identifying A Student’s Needs What is this individual student’s baseline behavior? Is this typical behavior?Is this normal for a student of this age?Does this behavior reflect the student’s or family’s worldview?Is this a pain-based behavior related to past trauma?What feeling is the student expressing?Does the student feel safe?When we have a good foundation we move on to crisis communication and active listening.When we have a good ‘handle’ on our own feelings then we can move forward to identifying the student’s needs.
21 Meaning in Emotional Communication Each slide is used as a starting point for discussion, sharing ideas and imparting information that will stay with the participants and, once again, build on previous foundations.
23 We Can Avoid or Stop the Power Struggle by: Using positive self-talkListening and validating feelingsManaging the environment, e.g., removing othersGiving choices and the time to decideRedirecting the student to another positive activityAppealing to the student’s self-interestDropping or changing the expectationThese techniques can be effective if they are used by skilled staff who also have a good relationship with the students and want to take the time to resolve the situation nonviolently.