Sadly, what I am about to share is true.
Incredible First Grade Teacher has in her class a student with some OCD behaviors. This little girl quickly taps every third brick in the wall as she walks down the hall. She stays in line, does not slow the class down, does not have to go back and start all over if she misses a brick tap. She follows the school-wide body basics protocol except she must touch every third brick.
She absolutely must touch every third brick.
Touching every third brick helps her stay calm. Touching every third brick helps her maintain a sense of well-being. It hurts no one. You would not even notice she does this.
Unless, of course, you are General PBIS.
And yes, General PBIS happened to see this. And yes, she reprimanded Incredible Teacher for allowing this.
Now General PBIS is requiring Incredible Teacher to use more positive rewards to get her student to stop with the OCD behavior while walking in the hall.
Because the student should not be able to ‘get away with’ not following body basics while walking down the hall. It is expected of every student. No exemptions.
Yes, this story is true. Even though that particular behavior is causing no harm, no distraction, it must stop. We know that using positive reinforcement for extinquishing OCD behaviors will not stop OCD behaviors. We know that when we are able to eradicate one OCD behavior another will replace it.
And yet General PBIS wants to inflict useless, and in this case damaging, methods on a little girl that feels just fine about school if she can tap every third brick as she walks down the hall.
Yes, even though we know that children feeling calm and safe and accepted is what is best for learning.
PBIS. Unethical and overgeneralized.
It hurts kids and it gets in the way of good teachers who understand and appreciate diversity in behavior.
You are welcome for sparing you a rant.
The story is absurd enough. No rant needed.