What to Do when PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) is Mandatded

A teacher who still subscribes to the newsletter  but changed her subscription from her school to her home e-mail address, informed me of the reason for the change. She wrote, “I still subscribe at my home e-mail; however, my school is totally into PBIS and therefore, I have to follow that program.”

Thousands of teachers in the United States are in this same situation. I understood her dilemma. I shared with her what others are doing to implement BPIS while using DWS. 

PBIS does NOT mandate that the TEACHER is the one who MUST reinforce expected and appropriate behaviors with some form of “reward.” Have the students do it. They can appoint a committee to set the procedures, which may include different students at different times, e.g., a rotating schedule of students to make the selection(s). (Of course, a by-product of this approach is that students soon realize how unfair PBIS is because it is impossible to spot and reward everyone for doing what is expected.)

My personal belief is that the teacher is the professional in the classroom. If the teacher believes that a  policy is not in the students’ best long-term interests and that if the policy is counterproductive for building good character, responsibility, and long-term motivation, then the teacher has a professional decision to make.

What I am suggesting is that the teacher be true to her professional belief and do what she believes is appropriate for her students while, at the same time, implementing the mandated policy.