Day 86 (of 187) behavioural vs complex
The stock market commercials used to say: prior results is not a guarantee of future gains. I have to remind myself of that some days in the office. In a variety of ways. Yesterday we had some tough personalities feeding off each other. Today the same personalities were very encouraging of each other!
I also reminded others (and myself as a byproduct) that if it is easy and predictable its behavioural, when it doesn’t make sense it means that the brain is complex! Sometimes you have to distract the complex brain in order to attain focus.
While it would be nice for there to be a set of rules, the only constants I have encountered are: relationships and time. The easier gut feeling is to have students “cross a line” and have them go away from school as a consequence. But this feeds into the worry dragons goal: lets get away from here. The more difficult approach is to be able to work things through and get to a point where the learner can re-enter the classroom. To embrace the cycles of complexity and know there will be disregulation and re-regulation and that the goal is to stay connected to the classroom. It takes a team. It takes a learning community because this isn’t always easy.
There is a matter of choice: deliberate or limbic. The difference between won’t and can’t. So it is a juggling act to differentiate behind behavioural and complex issues. I wish it was easier, but it is not – and it is not something that just happens and happens well. “the best laid schemes o mice an men….” (gang aft agley – not “often go astray” if you read the original Robert Burns….) varies between intention and interpretation. And the learners know that we want to work with them, not do things to them – as consequences are often able to be interpreted to the victim being sent home – no matter what the reason for being sent away…
Its why I passed on Lost at School by Ross Greene to one teacher (and his sequel Lost and Found to another) and Tom Hierck Managing Unstoppable Learning to yet another in order to help build more capacity within the school about WHY I do what I do, and show its not just me thinking these thinks and doing this do. And its why one day will not be like the next – some days we will feel like we’ve turned a corner, sometimes there’s just another curve. Some days we feel like rock stars, other days we need to turn to the writings of others.
I can confidently say that when there is an inclusion culture and a willingness to know that some days may be a bit of a roller coaster (sometimes people feel and look ready for a return only to find another trigger – often unexpected and unanticipated – which “resets the clock” (Pacific Rim reference) and restarts much of what had already been done. But at least there is trust that we are all focused on supporting the learners whether their actions are behavioural or complex and responding in kind.
As I keep saying – if educating was easy, everyone would want to do it!