Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Behavior Modification, Big-Time?

We are Spartans

Forget Jung, Adler, and that other guy~what's his name? Oh, yeah, Freud. Our Humble High School is getting into the behavior modification business, big-time.

A few of you saw yesterday's post, which layed out, in a quaint little verse, our newest "initiative" 'round these here parts. We won't tolerate any more "effing" & other such gutter-talk in our hallways; we won't stand for trash accumulating anywhere but the trashcans; we won't put up with those frisky young men, who find it funny, somehow, to flush apples down the urinals & then pee on the floor.

No, by golly, we're going to reward our cherubs instead. "Catch them being good," is the strategy. We're going to teach those little suckers manners. Another example, of course, in a long line of schools picking up where the parentals fell down.

The way it was explained to me by a team of fellow partners-in-arms yesterday, is that the plan~known as Positive Behavior Support~helps reduce punishment by putting a reward system in place. So, instead of calling out one cherub for climbing out the window, I think I'm supposed to reward the 15 others who decided not to. Or, if two kiddos go to the Bagel Bakery, I will reward those who had the common sense to stay put.

Our program, entitled Do Your Part~Prepared, Accountable, Respectful, Truthful~kicks off today. We're starting 1st period with a 10-minute, student-shot video, which explains the program. I'm told oodles of students have been involved in the planning of this effort; I find it odd that I haven't heard about their participation, since you know how kids talk. We'll see, I guess. I'm approaching all of the hullabaloo with an open mind. For now.

So, come 7:30 a.m., I'll be armed with my Success Cards (yes, we're supposed to hand out these business-card-sized reward cards, which the students will then put into a raffle for a drawing at the end of every week) & my new OHHS lanyard to hold those precious cards in a laminated pouch around my neck, and I'll be wearing my specially designed T-Shirt~mandatory "spirit wear" for all staff on the first day of the second semester. All of this in the wake of a bad economy's downsizing, consolidation & layoffs. Oh & don't forget that I won't get a raise again this year.

I never was a cheerleader~too cynical, by a longshot. I'm a little leary of teaching old dogs new tricks, or puppies, as the case may be. But I'm determined to go along with the program, for now. We'll see if the students save their apples for their teachers now, instead of for the beleaguered urinals.

Then, I guess, we could say that the new program is "flush" with success.

And, no, the sign above decidedly does not sing the praises of the school at which I teach. Shot this Superior Snap out in Iowa last year, while scoping out law schools with Ella Numera Una. I wonder if they have Positive Behavior Support out there? Looks like they haven't had any victories in quite awhile.

25 comments:

BoufMom9 said...

wow. This is a bit much, isn't it?
YIKES.

ღMily ღ said...

hello,kiss,selinho my blog to you.

love lives in the kitchen said...

hehehe so funny! i always have a better humour after visiting your blog :)
have a great day,
justyna

mybellringers said...

Yikes is right! I could go on and on but I think that pretty well sums it up. Maybe you need cards that say, "You have nice hair." But that would be the cynic in me talking.

Amy said...

Things that popped into my head: if J.H. had to give out those cards.

Quasi Serendipita said...

I'm not sure what to say to this...other than good luck!

Herself said...

Huh. Well, keep us posted on if it actually works or not!

Mommakin said...

Sigh.

I don't miss teaching.

Correction. I DO miss teaching. I DON'T miss all the dumbass (oh, crap, now I'm not gonna get a card, am I) latest greatest plans to shift the paradigm or whatever.

Ugh.

Jayde said...

I think good behavior should be applauded, but bad behavior should still be punished! You can't have one without the other. If you single out the kids who are behaving, the ones who don't will just feel more left out and possibly feel the need to act out even more to regain that attention. Good luck is all I can say!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Oh, my. Will the changing trends in education every find a balance.

Good luck.

MsBabyPlan said...

Hi Melissa, thanks for passing and showing some love on my blog. Now I will seriously consider tearching as career. This initiative sounds cool.

Shell said...

Oh, BLECH!

The last year that I taught, befoe I went on maternity leave, our principal was trying to get a program started where we all wore these "reward aprons" around our waists and handed out candy for every damn thing. You're walking down the hall quietly, here's your candy.

Nice- really helps support the "structured recess" we had to implement to make sure that the kids got enough exercise every day.

Sarah said...

good luck with that. it'll be interesting to see how long it lasts and if it'll work.

Tracie said...

That sounds similar to what they do at my kid's elementary school. I'm curious to see if it works on older kids.

Peggy said...

Positive behavior approach...it's supposed to work with dogs...but seriously - high school? where hormones and frontal lobe immaturity run amok? Keep us posted!

Rachel Cotterill said...

Can't you reward the good ones and punish the bad ones...?

Tortuga said...

Y'know, we used a system like this at the school where I student taught. It worked great, the kids were awesome. Why wouldn't it work at your school? Simple. My kids were FOURTH graders. HELLO!!!

Gotta love the powers that be.

Susie said...

That sounds like a good way to promote peer pressure!

The Mommyologist said...

WOW! I could never deal with high schoolers!

Nance said...

(Sorry--previous comment had a typo that I didn't catch. I had to delete.)

What a load of bullshit. This is right up there with all the Self-Esteem crap from the 80s that got us into this Entitlement mess in the first place. Kids got trophies for participation and prizes for every conceivable thing, and now they expect Rock Star status for just showing up. Ask colleges about how grade inflation has made an impact upon them and how incoming freshmen with GPA's of 5.7 and higher stack up as far as their TRUE skill sets go. It's ridiculous. And handing out cards and candy is like working at Sea World. Sigh. My heart wrenches for you.

Tracy P. said...

Well gosh, I hope it works! My second graders liked stuff like that. ;-) But what are you gonna give the kids who didn't go to the bagel shop that's better than a bagel + freedom? Good luck with that!

Fierce said...

Now that's a great way to instill good behavior in kids, theoretically at least. Let's hope it works out and doesn't drive you out of your own mind.

:)
xoxo

miss jo said...

You have got to be kidding. Spirit wear ? Laminated spirit cards ? It all sounds like a bad board game gone awry...How's OHHS going to decide whether this program is working ? Create a graph showing a decline in the incidence of apples in urinals and pee on floor, or bad-boy trips to the bagel bakery?

ScoMan said...

When I think of Behaviour Modification I think of The Big Bang Theory. There's a classic episode where Sheldon tries out Behaviour Modification techniques on his friends.

And then I think "I need a spray bottle"

Mostly I'd use it at work. If people ask me a question they've asked me before, I'll spray them. Eventually, they'll learn to stop asking that question.

Joann Mannix said...

Give me a break!!! This is as bad as my children's school where they are honoring the worst behaved kids in the school by singling them out for Terrific Kid of The Month. The imbecilic logic behind this is to create children who WANT to be good by rewarding them, I don't know, for not being good?

I am so sick of the touchy feely crap. We're making a serious mistake using this kind of logic.

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