Solution Focused: A Needed Complement to Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS)
We can all agree in the importance of having school environments that are safe and supportive and having school policies and procedures that are developmentally appropriate and conducive to learning.We also know that teachers' interpersonal communication with students is critical to a positive school climate. In particular, teachers' response to a problem behavior can impact the extent to which behaviors are maintained, intensified, or changed. Likewise, best practices suggest that it is important to ensure that schools focus on the social emotional skill development of students as a critical element in improving school climate and behavior. Often students' feelings about school are dependent upon teacher interaction, and frankly, teachers often have had little to no professional development to strengthen their exchanges with students. Over the past decade, there has been a nearly universal acceptance amongst U.S. educators to adopt the tenants of PBIS to improve school climate and student behavior (One in every five schools nationally report utilizing PBIS concepts). If that was all that was needed, then I believe we would not have the prevailing student mental health issues, school violence and chronic attendance issues that nearly every school faces today!