Positive Behavior Support Teacher Interview
Grand Canyon University: SPE-522
July 15, 2014
This paper will discuss the effects of distant setting events and antecendents and the effects they have on behavior. The different distant settings that exsist play a major role in the everyday functionality of classrooms and learning enviroments. These distant setting events and antecendents exsist daily and consist of a variety of different elements that can arise ant any given moment and can go unnoticed and undiagnosed. We will take a look at how distant settings events directly affect not only the individual experiencing them but also others who in this case have direct contact with them in a school setting on an everday basis. We will define the relationship between distant setting events and antecedents that influence student behavior and examine what exactly distant setting events are and how teachers deal with them on a everyday basis. We will find out how teachers juggle dealing with handling multiple situations that concerning distant settings events and if they have any support to help them neutralize and balance out the behavior effects and restore structure and order back to their classroom setting.
The paper’s discussion is a reflection of an interview I conducted with a special education teacher at Lakeside High School in Lake Elsinore, Ca. I sat down with him and discussed in detail every issue previously mentioned and his responses were as follows: The first question I asked was “Define the relationship between distant setting events and antecedents that influence student behavior” His reply: A setting event is defined as something or someone that directly agitates and triggers usually an outburst of behavior. These events can take place at home, on the ride into school, walking to school, riding the bus into school, lack of sleep, forgotten medication, or even something as little as waking up late and throwing off an everyday routine. Antecedents are the things that act as triggers to behavior in the present state such as surroundings, situations, conditions, and events. The antecedent’s reaction is usually more common when some type of setting event has taken place (R. Wolters, personal communication, July 12, 2014).
Second question “How does the teacher handle these challenges?” His reply: It is our job as teachers to be more aware of the challenges our students may be experiencing both inside and outside of the classroom. We need to notice changes that may occur in students from day to day and little behavior traits that may exist and indicate that there may be something going on and take the time to see if there is some type of pattern that is causing behavioral instances. I personally try to take the time to notate if there are any patterns that exist when I have a situation with a child and there are some type of behavioral issue. For example I try to see if there are any contributing factors to the situation like: bad behavior when arriving to school after riding the bus, aggressive behavior being shown directly after break. I then usually can see that these things are triggers to behavior changes and now I must figure out a way to curve those things if possible. In my class we have a few different ways of handling some of these challenges. First I make sure to let everyone as far as para educators, one on one aids, TA’s and anyone else assisting in my class know what type of issues we may be having with a particular student so we are all on the same page and can attack the problem collectively. We then go about trying to find ways to diffuse the situation and this can include reassigning work, showing increased patience, single out and giving encouragement and praise to build self-esteem, or using humor are all ways that I try to be proactive and help to diffuse any situation that may be on the horizon and show threat of becoming an issue. There are other times when we all just sit in a roundtable setting and use dialogue to express any issues we are being faced with or challenges of the day and it gives us all a chance to empty out instead of holding things in and causing emotions to build and escalate (R. Wolters, personal communication, July 12, 2014).
Third question “How does the teacher use positive behavior support to maintain an orderly learning enviroment?” I use PBS in everyway possible to manage and produce a more conducive learning enviroment in my classroom. I use the enviroment of the classroom such as allowing my students to arrange their desk so that they construct their own little personal learing enviroment organized to their liking. We also have a set up to reduce the bright lighting of the classroom with a dark sheets of paper placed over specific lights to create a warm calm atmosphere that gives comfort. My school district also has a policy that allows for students to listen to music thru headphones once instruction has been given and they are working on inclass work. I find that in my class this policy is one of my greates attributes because it really allows the kids to kind of get into their own zone and concentrate on their work. We also have a make up where we give input on decision making when it comes to activites and some projects. This allows for my students to feel more apart of the class and have a sense of responsibility because they are involved in the day to day outline of the class. Another thing we have in place is a reward system that allows for “free Friday” which consist of the students meeting their goals for the week as it pertains to their studies, inturn giving them access to play games and watch movies on Friday and relax. All these helps to provide a more orderly enviorment (R. Wolters, personal communication, July 12, 2014). Fourth question “What type of support does the teacher have in the classroom?” In my class I am blessed to be surrounded by a vast majority of professionals who I could honestly say it would be impossible to run my class without. I currently have two para educators, two one on one aids, and a teacher’s assistant all 6th periods of the school day. I have a classroom of 12 students who have been diagnosed as mild/moderate students who stay with me throughout the day all 6 periods (R. Wolters, personal communication, July 12, 2014).
In conclusion the distant settings events and antecedents often time are overlooked and bad behavior is just passed off as a kid being a bad child. I believe more support needs to be given to teachers so that more behavior can be monitored and we can find out things that are attributing to the bad behavior traits that may be being displayed. There are a lot of things that can be done through PBS that can have an effect on detouring and playing a prevention role in providing deterrence to triggers from distant setting events that have taken place. Hopefully there will be continued studies and efforts put forth in schools so that teachers can have more experience in diagnosing triggers behind bad behavior. I think that often time’s teachers do not have enough time or help to take the time and invest to looking into what is causing the bad behavior instead we are just quick to rush and put them into some type of detention, suspension or other forms of discipline because it’s easier to remove them from class setting instead of risking the whole class become side tracked and becoming very unproductive. I think that too many kids are being shoveled to the side and misdiagnosed as being a bad child, when in turn there are triggers out there causing bad behavior that need to be discovered and addressed.
Wolters, R., (2014, July 12). Personal Interview.