Chaos by Design

It’s that time of the year, students seem to be misbehaving more and teachers go home exhausted and frustrated about student behaviors.  Could it be “Spring Fever”, “Test Stress”, or just a natural occurrence this time of the school year?

The truth is, the main reason student misbehaviors seem to increase is because we (employees and students) loose our focus.  We slowly slip away from our school-wide procedures and expectations.  We slowly slip away from classroom procedures and routines.  We slowly start to plan less in details.  We ask a lot less higher order questions that keep students engaged/thinking and we begin asking more lower order questions which are easy and boring.  PBS (Positive Behavior Support Model) provides an anchor for our expectations, rules, procedures, and school/classroom culture.  It provides a path to student engagement by creating a happy and safe learning environment in which people want to come to school everyday to learn and work.  Therefore, people go home happy and feeling accomplished.

Lesson learned from the late Coach Lombardi of the Green Bay Packers:Excerpt from “Marketing” Basics & Fundamentals for Christian Authors & Publishers by J A Heinlein

“Coach Lombardi’s approach to football and leading his players. Vince Lombardi, one of the most successful coaches in the history of football, started every new season with a standard speech to veterans and the rookies alike. He would hold up a football and say, “This is a football!” He would roll it around in his hands and talk about the size and shape of the football, and the many ways that it could be handled on the football field including carrying, passing, kicking.  He would then take the team out onto the football field and say, “This is a football field!” He would describe the measurements of the field, and the rules of the game. He did it every year…”

What can we learn from Coach Lombardi?  We must never underestimate the importance of the basics/fundamentals, whether it is life, work, education, or sports.  Let us go back to the fundamentals with our PBS and review/re-teach our expectations and procedures.  Let’s make a united effort to hold students to the same expectations and let’s support each other in our efforts to enforce and support our behavioral expectations.  Dr. Harry Wong would say “Procedures, procedures, procedures!”  We need to be deliberate and diligent in our efforts to go back to the fundaments.

Let’s end the school year the way we started, excited and energized!


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