Teams need reinforcement as much as students. Note that an answer on this site: “For Adults Only: Team Building with Reminders and Reinforcers” provides a strategy for classroom teams. You may find it helpful to refer to that answer as well. This answer expands this strategy’s concept to whole school settings. Provide in-services and training to the entire school on Positive Behavior Supports for students. Include in the trainings information on the P.E.A.R.L. strategy for teams. This is a strategy that can be found in: “Helping Exchange: P.E.A.R.L.” written by Martin J. McMorrow, M.S. It offers positive strategies for interacting with students.
P.ositive – defines and invites positive interactions; positive adult attitude
E.arly – Stresses the importance of interacting early by providing help or problem solving and not waiting until a risky situation develops.
A.ll – shows how to use all components, with all people, in all settings, all of the time
R.einforce – Shows how to interact in ways that acknowledges independent behavior and encourages future use of the behavior
L.ook – identifies opportunities to teach and encourage greater participation in the community
Once your school has received training in Positive Behavior Support Strategies and understands the P.E.A.R.L. concept, develop a school wide adult reinforcement system for using this technique. When any personnel member sees another staff member utilizing a positive strategy/interaction, they can write a personal note (does not need to be signed) to the member , specifically describing what they did with a student that met one of the training strategies. These ‘”Thank You P.E.A.R.L.” notes can be folded and made into a card (see Resources below). The note may then be placed on a public wall. When removed, the note may be placed in the staff’s personnel file. In addition, provide each staff member with a a small cup placed on their desk. A colleague who witnesses the performance of a positive strategy can also drop a ‘pearl’ into the cup. What a fun surprise to see a cup filling with ‘pearls’. Another or additional strategy is to ‘hand off’ a “You make a Difference” coin from one colleague to another when witnessing the demonstration of a positive intervention. Such simple gestures can make daily on the job performances feel well worth the effort. We adults need our reinforcement as well and will undoubtedly increase our rate of delivery and in turn continue to increase the skills of our students.