Day 39 (of 183) behaviour vs ….not behavioural
Today I had a lot of thinking talking and distractions that kept my brain processing some thoughts around behaviour and behavioural interventions. At our school we try to separate behaviours & mental wellness…..or as a mentor and I talked about: “won’t vs can’t” or ‘environmental vs organic’. But it’s tough…especially when the behaviours can be very annoying.
Or as my counsellor and I confirmed to each other: the words inside our head may be VERY different than the voice/face we present. Staying calm (and getting calmer) when the ‘behaviours’ escalate and try to further distract from the actual ‘problem’ (or issue or ….)
I have learned a lot from some behavioural interventionists over the years – especially for one who said a big part of her job was to identify if the student they were called in to work with was needing a behavioural intervention or ….. other. And if it is behavioural, there are some extrinsic positive behaviour interventions that can work well. Even if you have to (metaphorically) “dig a hole, put a chair at the bottom of the hole, grab the student and throw them down the hole and then give them a sticker for sitting on a chair.”
When behaviour interventions don’t work – it’s not behavioural. It’s ‘different’ and enters the (shhhh don’t talk about it!) realm of (no! don’t say it’s name!) mental wellness. In other words, while the sticker reward system works for students who can change their behaviours – the others essentially (and pretty darn quickly) say “f— the stickers” (or just ignore or lose interest).
Just one of those reminders as I sat with a couple of kids today who just couldn’t get into their classrooms (and one worried about getting onto the bus at the end of the day) that it is very easy to get distracted by behaviours….but when changing the environmental factors isn’t making a change….we always gotta look deeper.
And of course just after I first posted this blog, I stumbled upon a connecting visual: