The research is clear. We understand the realities. The nature of the futures for which we are preparing students is undeniable. We, as educators, are the answer we’ve been waiting for to help students develop the behavioral skills they need to succeed in school, college, work, and life.
There is a clear need for educators to teach behavioral skills to students with the same emphasis that they place on academics. The strategies exist for teaching these skills to all students at the Tier 1 level, for implementing and monitoring supports at Tiers 2 and 3, and for providing effective feedback and differentiation. Yes, there are predictable challenges that may occur and there are proven ways to overcome them. It’s up to us!
We will be most successful when we align processes for behavioral RTI to the more familiar process of academic RTI with which I and others have had experience and success, from PLCs at Work through the three tiers of RTI.
We must also expand our definitions and understandings of behavior from beyond social skills to include mindsets, learning strategies, perseverance, and academic behaviors.
With your leadership teams and key stakeholders:
• Begin to define the why behind behavioral RTI and to build a case for improving supports for students. Begin to plan for a patient but persistent process for involving more stakeholders in the process and for doing the work described in this book.
• Anticipate challenges that may emerge and develop plans to meet these needs. Reach out to other districts, schools, experts with experiences in behavioral RTI, and those who have experienced difficulties and overcome them.
• Develop a communication plan for when, to whom, and how ongoing efforts to nurture behaviors will be shared with stakeholders and how feedback from stakeholders will be heard and incorporated into ongoing efforts.