As I integrate more of what I refer to as, "The BEing of Behavior," into my lectures and training with staff, I emphasize that behavior is a human story, not a story about the challenging students in school. We all are doing all the time, and the response to our doing determines if we do it again, or not.
Most hear that message, and appreciate it. Some can instantly feel their role in the behavior change, and that it is not as easy or simple as 'fixing the student.' We all have something to fix, to improve. And our improvement inspires, and teaches others' improvements.
Often, there is at least one participant in the room who really gets it. Not only for their students, to whom they are incredibly dedicated, but for themselves. This is when the magic begins. He/ she has a deep realization of behavior being a human story and not simply that of special education, or even education in general.
During a recent two day training (given on a Friday and Monday) to a team working at a school in a very challenged urban area, one of these realizations took place. I began the session on Monday morning with thanking the group for being so present and open to what I shared on Friday and asked if anything in particular stayed with anyone over the weekend. A young man raised his hand and said that he thought about the effect that reinforcing negative behavior is having on the whole world right now; why challenges are increasing. That launched the group into a much bigger discussion of both national and international trends in behavior, then artfully back to the task at hand: how to grow positive and participating citizens of the world through education, not simply graduates.
What we focus on, grows... all the time. The more we focus on challenging/ negative behavior, the more it will grow. The more we focus on positive, beautiful and contributing behavior, the more it will grow.
For that young man, he saw and felt the human story of what I offered. I trust he is going to have a good year, both in and out of school.