Supporting Behavioral Needs: A Multi-Tiered Approach (Transcript)
Lynda: If students aren't comfortable with who they are, or with their behaviors in school, if they're not succeeding in those kinds of ways, then they're not going to succeed academically.
Ritzy: If the child is not behaving, there's a need not being met. My biggest goal is to make sure they're getting what they need.
Ritzy: Do you ever have to make a decision? Do you know what a decision is?
Ashley: The approach for Social-Emotional Learning within the Tier System mirrors our approach to learning in the academic system.
Ritzy: Just like for reading, and just like for math, you need a solid core for behavior, for expectation, common language.
Ritzy: That's right! The difference between conflict and bullying. Anybody remember what the differences are?
Lynda: The core instruction for Social-Emotional in elementary, a big part of that is during morning meetings every day. That's the way that the school day starts.
Ashley: You greet each other. You get to share what's happened in your life.
Teacher: Put your thumb on your knee when you know what you want to share.
Ashley: Our core instruction is Second Step. And that's a program that ranges from lessons about friendship to conflict resolution. And typically that happens once a week during morning meeting, or that could happen during their whole learning community meeting on Wednesday mornings.
Ritzy: Is bullying something that happened one time, or is it repeated?
Ritzy: Is there even power, or uneven power?
Students: Uneven power!
Ashley: Then just like Academic Tiered instruction, some students need a little bit more. Typically that Tier 2 instruction comes from a guidance counselor, usually within a group setting.
Ritzy: I group them by need, not necessarily by grade. We have friendship groups. Some students, they don't know how to initiate a friendship. I have a grief group of children who have lost a loved one. I have a group for self-regulation. So they're getting strategies on what to do with their emotions when their emotions become very strong.
Ritzy: Do you ever have to make a really hard decision because you're so angry you don't know what to do?
Ritzy: Yeah. I'm going to teach you today something that is going to help you relax. Okay, here we go. Gently close your eyes, and take deep breaths.
So the strategy was to give them a sense of calmness. Go to their happy place. Use that self-talk.
Go on the cloud in your mind, and feel how soft and comfortable it is.
I find that sometimes pulling them out is not necessarily the answer. Pushing-in is something that they started doing more so in the last three years But I wanted to transfer some of the skills that we learn in my office to my classroom.
If you can get them to do that enough times, they're going to feel that success in the classroom. They're going to feel successful learning.
Ashley: Some students need more intensive support, and so then they would usually meet with the guidance counselor in Tier 3, more one-on-one.
Ritzy: For instance, a child is bullying other children. That child wouldn't be in Tier 2. Most children that are doing bullying have very specific needs, so you would have that child meet with me individually. I usually work really closely with School Psych. The trajectory or the need may be an evaluation. Then they're more likely to get involved with that child.
Will you let me know right away, so that way I can pull him in, because he did really well when we put him on that behavior plan last year.
Ashley: Our student success team meets every four-and-a-half weeks. And we talk through what types of support the kids need.
Lynda: There are many people around the table. The classroom teachers are there. The learning community leader, school counseling is there. Somebody from school psychology is there, an administrator is there.
Ritzy: Decisions are made of all of us as a group. So it's not like the teacher says, "Okay, I want them in Tier 2. Put them in there."
Teacher: It happens every time. Helping him see the pattern of the people that he sits with and the pattern of arguments and frustration that he has. Because I think it's frustrating for him, too. I honestly don't think that he really recognizes that pattern.
Ritzy: Is he-- and I know that at one point Peter was refusing to take his medication.
Based on his behavior he is.
I would say, he seems like, yes.
I would say he seems like yes.
Because it's very noticeable.
No, I just put in that Ritzy's is going to continue to work with Peter on these issues, but also working with Mom.
Ritzy: Quantifying their progress is what sets up a challenge. Because how do you quantify self-esteem? I usually do some form of evaluation that I know that the child is understanding the message, or the skill that they're trying to practice. Usually there is observations, pre and post-teacher input gives me data. Parent input. I use rating skills that give me information, but not necessarily scientifically coded information. We go back and every nine weeks at the SSTs I ask do they still need my services? So if this child has made enough progress, we remove them. I may do a check-in, I may do a follow-up, but it all depends at the need of every specific student. I want to make sure that every child that walks through those doors is treated in a way that's with respect and love and kindness. And I want to treat every child like I would want my own to be treated.