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One Size Does Not Fit All When It Comes to Teaching Students Social Skills and Behavior Management

September 22nd, 2015     By Erin Green,Director, Boys Town National Training & Boys Town Press Services

School, Understanding Behavior

Every year, Boys Town National Training provides training and consultation services to hundreds of schools and thousands of educators across the United States and throughout the world. These services are based on the Boys Town Education Model®, which focuses on skill-teaching, relationship-building and implementing effective discipline procedures. With a multi-tiered intervention approach, our services assess a school’s or district’s needs; develop a service plan, training and consultation to support the school’s or district’s goals; and, when necessary, build capacity within the school or district so it can continue to use our teaching and behavior management strategies long after our trainers leave.

Our robust array of services is based on this principle: Every child is different, so we should not expect one size to fit all when it comes to teaching students skills and behavior management. Just as one child may excel in math while another struggles, or one child can make 3-point shots all day while another can barely dribble a ball down the court, there are children who easily accept “No” for an answer from an adult while others come unglued at the first sign they can’t have what they want!

​In most general education environments, the breakdown of students in these tiers looks like this:

• 80% or more of students will not require extensive teaching and re-teaching of social skills. Educators can simply tell them what is expected, prompt them from time to time, catch them doing what they should be doing and praise them, and have corrective conversations (not confrontations) when they do misbehave. Our clearly-defined universal interventions are perfect for this level of learning.

• In that same setting, about 10-15% of students may require additional support. Perhaps these students need help with a specific skill or group of skills. They may require a secondary level of support, which involves more frequent and/or longer interactions, and more skill practice, often in smaller group settings. Boys Town’s secondary interventions are excellent for students at this learning level.

• Finally, roughly 5% of students may require an even higher level of support, which also is typical in a self-contained classroom environment or alternative setting. The strategies used with students here would be more intensive and frequent, and may involve a motivation system. Boys Town’s tertiary interventions work well with these students.

Over the 35-plus years Boys Town has provided education training services, many schools and districts have experienced tremendous success with our Model, most notably:

• Decreased office referrals and disruptive behaviors
• Increased academic engagement and instruction time
• Increased on-task behaviors for students
• Increased job satisfaction for staff

Realizing that children are not all the same and require different teaching strategies is one key to achieving these positive outcomes. Most importantly, these strategies empower everyone – students stop losing control every time they’re upset and staff members are able to maintain their focus and not get flustered.

To learn more about our services and available resources, please visit boystowntraining.org.

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