Monday, August 24, 2009

art room # 7 PBS in the art room

No that is not Public Broadcasting Station, that is PBS Positive Behavioral Systems. This is a school wide behavior program that was started in Corvallis Oregon and has growing flowing across the country. It is sometimes also called Safe and Civil Schools.
We are a PBS school, in fact I'm on the PBS committee and have been at both schools I have taught at. I enjoyed going to the massive PBS conference in Eugene two years ago.

Two of the fundamentals of being a PBS school is consistency and pre-teaching expectations. The primary way these are achieved is to have school wide "expectations" (that's rules to you and me). These expectations have 3-5 broad categories with specifics to each part of the school such as the cafeteria, the playground or the art room! Students are pre-taught expectations so they know how to behave up front. The idea is to break the assumption that students "know" how we want them to behave, they just choose not to.

Turns out kids can't read our minds. Also from first hand experience I know how I expect them to behave is not necessarily how their parents expect them to behave. So we have a gap that needs to be filled.

Our school expectations are very similar to most schools:
I am Safe
I am Respectful
I am Responsible
I am Kind

You will see these as either BE, I AM or WE ARE. We go with I AM. The idea being that BE is a demand/instruction (not taken well by our student population) and WE ARE leaves the kids an opening to say You may be respectful but I am not! (I have had this conversation many times) so as a school we choose I AM.
In my ideal world I would have it say I AM Striving to be. These are actions that we have to work towards and constantly monitor.

We also added Kind. Kind is a hard one to define and as a staff we argue about it. Isn't being respectful being kind? Can you force kindness? Do you have to be kind to people you don't like or do you need to just be respectful? We will debate this forever, but Kind has stayed.

PBS in the art room has it's own look. For my own benefit I need to break down what I want to see in the four categories and post my EXACT expectations along with the broad categories this year.

Let's start with the hardest one. KIND (which looks a lot like respectful)
I share with my classmates
I use Kind words when sharing
I use kind words when talking about others art
I use kind words when talking about my own art
I use kind words with my classmates and Mrs. Bauer

Taken from TeachKidsArt is:
Rule #3 - Learn to say, "I'll try," rather than, "I can't".
I really like her Rule # 3 and plan to brow it flat out. I am trying to figure out where it belongs in the categories. I think I will put it in Responsible. You are responsible for trying your best and for your own attitude. So lets move onto:


I talk respectfully to other students and adults
I use a classroom appropriate volume and language
I allow others to do their work and respect their workspace
I only touch other people's art their permission
I treat my own art respectfully

Did I mention that you are supposed to only have 3-5 guidelines for each expectations and they are supposed to be worded in a positive manner. Lets try


I follow directions the first time I am asked
I show up to class on time and ready to work
I try my personal best
: "I'll try," rather than, "I can't"
I use our art materials and art studio correctly
I clean up after myself

I have a problem with the kids banging on the tables when they first come into the room. So much trouble that TWO of our tables were broken because of this behavior last year. That's why I put in caring for the art studio itself. Lets cap things off with SAFE:

I use my hands and feet in a safe way
I sit in a safe way
I use sharp objects correctly
I always walk in the art room
Art materials are tools not toys

I like how this women consolidates this all


MY personal rules for the year. If you have physical contact (hitting) with another student or me or if you call me a Bitch you are out of the room for the day if not week. After three years my tolerance to being called Bitch has reached zero. Oh and any kids that bite or cut another kid have to miss the next week's art class. Ok whew. That took three days to do.

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