Assignment: Education-Behavior Boot Camp

Don’t be fooled. While this man may look and sound like a member of our military, he’s actually one of many teachers at Meadowview Intermediate school in Sparta running a boot camp to introduce a new state-wide initiative called PBIS or Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports.

“Its basically behaviors… teaching behaviors to all students, expectations so that all students are on the same page,” said Paul Fischer, Meadowview Intermediate School principal. “They all understand what behaviors should look like, sound like and feel like in our school.”

The teachers borrowed these fatigues from Fort McCoy to run the boot camp which is made up of nine stations focusing on areas like the playground, the bus line and the lunch line.

“These are areas of a little different expectation for the kids because maybe they’re a little more independent and on their own in these different areas,” said Jill Guns, Meadowview Intermediate School teacher.

The students in each platoon spent 15 minutes at each of the nine focus areas where they were taught two or three rules called cool tools. In the lunch line, for example, the two cool tools focus on being quick and sanitary.

“By the end of the day, they’re going to know that when they go to the bathroom or the restroom their little acronym be quick, be clean and be quiet,” said Fischer.

“The say things like stay right and be polite in the hallway,” said 5th grade student Joseph Krpan.

“I actually really think this is really a good idea because it’s a fun way for us to realize the rules,” said 5th grade student McKenzie Bingenheimer.

And knowing the rules will have a big impact on learning.

“We’re seeing behavior making more of an impact on classrooms and that then does affect academics,” said Fischer. “So we want to get the behaviors under control before you can teach the academics.”

Which, of course, makes this new behavior curriculum rank high on an educator’s priority list. And the principal is eager to assess its effectiveness.

“In a month from now, we’ll look at our data,” said Fischer. “We’ll look at what its telling us where the kids are still having issues. It might tell us there were 20 incidents on the playground in October. We better address it. So we’ll have a refresher and do another lesson another cool tool out on the playground.

And if the kids continue to have a ball learning the behavior rules, teachers at Meadowview Intermediate will remain hopeful for a successful outcome.