In the not-so-distant past, children with behavior struggles were viewed as having a deficit. Interventions were a one-way street intended to “fix” children. In many cases, the response to unwanted behaviors was to withhold safety and connection from the children who most desperately needed it. Unsurprisingly, this approach was ineffective.
Response to Intervention (RTI) originated from the special education community with the goal of building a two-way street linking adult action to the child’s response. As in Conscious Discipline, adults change first, and children change their behavior in response to this shift. The goal of an effective behavior plan is not to punish a child, but to teach the executive skills the child is missing. However, a child who does not have safety and connection cannot learn missing skills.
In this episode, Conscious Discipline Master Instructor Jill Molli outlines the four steps to writing RTI plans that effectively build safety and connection so that children can learn critical skills. Jill has over two decades of experience in education, with roles including teacher, guidance counselor, assistant principal, and behavior disorder instructor. She is a Conscious Discipline Master Instructor who travels the world coaching, training, and guiding large-scale implementation. Listen in as Jill shares actionable tips for implementing plans that meet the differentiated needs of your students.
• Behavior/discipline is relationship-specific. Instead of “fixing” children, we need to enhance the quality of the relationship.
• When writing behavior plans, it is important to teach missing skills. However, this isn’t possible without the foundational pieces of safety and connection. Safety and connection foster brain integration and willingness.
• If a child exhibits physical behaviors, he or she needs safety. A child who engages in power struggles needs connection. In Conscious Discipline, we use NARCS to build safety and REJECT to build connection.
• Once this foundation is in place, children are ready to learn executive skills (page 291 in the Conscious Discipline book). Novel situations and stressed children require more scaffolding of these executive skills.
• The intention of an effective plan should be to teach missing skills, rather than to punish children for skills they don’t possess.
:21 What is Conscious Discipline?
:40 Introduction of guest Jill Molli
1:35 Discipline is relationship-specific
4:00 Background on Jill’s experience as a guidance counselor
5:35 Origins and intentions of RTI
6:52 Basics of RTI/MTSS
7:51 Critical foundation of safety and connection
9:37 How to “flip” from the behaviors you don’t want to see to the behaviors you do want
10:55 Physical behavior means the child needs safety (NARCS)
12:25 Adult Assertiveness
13:11 Routines in pictures
13:34 Composure (downloading of composure/calm)
15:14 Safety (Safe Place, language of safety)
15:56 Power struggles mean the child needs connection (REJECT)
16:27 Rituals for connection
16:52 Encouragement for small successes
17:15 Jobs for the opportunity to be of service to others
18:07 The School Family
18:25 Building executive skills
19:37 Importance of movement, music, art, and visuals
21:05 Recap- Four pieces to writing an effective intervention plan
24:46 What’s Becky up to?
25:14 What’s Becky celebrating?