This (PBIS, behaviorism) will be an ongoing issue for me.
I know with every cell in my body that behaviorist methods do not help, improve, correct or empower our students. Oh, they might for a honeymoon period, but kids become dependent on this stuff and with increased use of this manipulation, we actually disempower them.
How the hell does rewarding a kid for using the bathroom in the only acceptable way as determined by us empower him? How does teaching a student that there is but one right way to walk down the hallway, but one right way to control his body help a him feel comfortable at school? How does it help him determine, through trial and error, what works best for him?
This whole premise that if we teach them and reward them, they will comply, is just so disrespectful, so harmful, so stifling I want to rebel against the one institution that I have been fiercely loyal to. Public Education has turned into so much that I disdain.
We are hurting kids. We are not encouraging them to figure much out on their own and we certainly are not allowing them to explore who they are, the best ways to use their bodies for learning. Perhaps what I find most disturbing about this whole movement is how many people, how many districts have invested goo-gahs of money, have gotten so caught up with the rah-rah of it all without any critical thought.
That is the scariest part for me.
And as you know by now, when we look for solutions, I believe we have to use common sense, critical thinking and compassion. The PBIS movement uses none of those.
I challenge you all to think about how and why we decided to dive headfirst into this particular pot without thinking about the consequences. And is it OK to control kids to this degree? Is it OK to spend limited budget money on reams of
paper for posters and reward tickets, prizes, promotional materials and training, additional administrators in charge of district PBIS programs?
We have bigger issues to study and solve.
Please, people, think it through. Then just stop.