Positive Behavior Instruction and Supports (PBIS) is a framework for schoolwide proactive strategies for defining, teaching and supporting appropriate student behaviors. At the heart of PBIS is universal instruction for all students.
Here at Horace Mann, our universal supports continue to evolve. Way back, the Peacebuilders program helped children find resources and role models. Next came Project Wisdom, which included monthly classroom lessons based around themes such as “I respect you. You respect me” and “We’re different and alike.” During the 2016-17 school year (and continuing in some classrooms is year), we used the 7 Habits of Happy Kids as our guide. Students learned about the Habits through stories and conversations: Be Proactive, Begin the with End in Mind, Put First Things First, Think Win-Win, Seek First to Understand, Synergize (Together is Better) and Sharpen the Saw (Take Care of Ourselves). Which one(s) made the biggest impression on your child/family?
In response to a teacher-led effort, with strong PTA support, many of us implemented a new program this year called Mindful Life. Mindful Life is an online program for educators that is delivered weekly in bite-sized bits to build resiliency to stress and create productive classrooms. Research shows it decreases teacher stress and increases student attention, impulse control and emotional regulation, all resulting in healthier and happier teachers and students. I am thrilled that Mindful Life will be used in all 18 Horace Mann homerooms during the 2018-19 school year. Additionally, PTA will be hosting a Mindful Parenting book club (written by the author of the Mindful Life curriculum). I hope you’ll consider joining the conversation.
As I reflect on my 5th year as principal of this amazing school, I feel humble, grateful and hopeful. Thank you for your trust and support as we learn, adapt and grow together!