We are very excited to be kicking off our 8th year as a PBIS school. PBIS stands for Positive Behavior Intervention Systems. It is a way of looking at behavior and recognizing the positive while redirecting negative behaviors.
Our PBIS program at Neill is called STARS: Succeed Together, Act Responsibly & Safely
At Neill, we hold Star Clusters. These multi-age groups meet with teachers and staff once a month for 30 minutes. They get to know each other while learning about the world around us and how we can successfully navigate a path through life. Our Star Cluster theme this year is “I Am . . .” We are looking at how to become better citizens of the world. Some the highlights this year are: I am a leader, I am an ally, I am kind, I am resilient, I am loved, I am polite, I am determined, and I am changed.
Each month we will send home materials that explain what we did in our Star Cluster lesson and how you can support students at home. Please take a look at the materials and talk to your student(s) about what they have learned at school. We are always encouraged by what they remember at the end of the year about our gatherings.
Today we talked about how we can be a leader. We had each student write a small note about things that they can do to be a leader here at school. We will be displaying some of their notes in our front hallway for the month. Please check them out when you visit. Some ways that you can promote leadership skill in your children include:
1. Set a good example. As a leader, you realize the importance of setting a good example for your team. This is even truer of your role as a parent. By allowing your children to see how well you balance your business and personal roles, you’ll teach them accountability through effective leadership.
2. Encourage team activities. Early on, identify your children’s interests and encourage their participation in group activities. Whether it’s joining a scouting troop, participating in sports, or joining the school band, children learn valuable lessons about teamwork through these activities.
3. Emphasize perseverance. The best leaders learn to handle failure as gracefully as they handle success. It’s important to expose future leaders to disappointment rather than protecting them from it. Children need to learn to handle the loss and move forward when the other team wins or someone else is elected class president.
4. Build negotiation skills. Every good leader knows the art of compromise. Instead of giving your children a firm “yes” or “no” to a request, make an offer and allow them to counter that offer by offering solid points. Teach them negotiation skills like never giving up something without asking for something else in return.
5. Hone decision-making abilities. Children should learn how to make good decisions as early in life as possible. Because children can become overwhelmed by too many choices, narrow down the options to two or three, whether a child is deciding on afternoon activities or a movie to watch.
6. Practice confident communication. When you go to a restaurant, do you place orders for your children? You can actually turn a simple dinner into a confidence-building exercise by having your children speak directly to servers. Allowing them to order and speak directly to servers will help them gain confidence in themselves and be able to communicate what they need.
7. Encourage work. Often children are eager to begin working in some capacity. If your child wants to set up a lemonade stand, support them and encourage it. Once your children are old enough, they can take on work opportunities like babysitting and mowing neighborhood yards, provided you live in a safe neighborhood. These early jobs can be essential to building leadership skills in children.
8. Have family game night. Instead of spending an evening staring at your respective screens, consider an evening of board games instead. A family game night not only provides a unique way to spend time together, it helps children learn to be a good sport, play by the rules, and think strategically.
9. Teach project planning skills. As a family, you likely have many planned events, from family vacations to visiting relatives. As you prepare, don’t leave children out of the planning process. Treat each event as though it were a business project, holding brainstorming sessions and delegating smaller tasks to your young family members.
10. Avoid jumping in. When your child works on a project or activity, it can be tempting to jump in and help, especially if you see your child struggling. Instead, consider stepping back and letting your children work through it themselves. After the fact, you can review the obstacles and challenges that emerged during the task and ask for ideas on how things could have been done differently.
11. Encourage reading. Studies have shown the benefits of reading for fun in childhood, with children who read having greater intellectual progress in a variety of subjects. Young readers tend to learn more about the world, even when the reading is of a frivolous nature.
Taken from an article by John Rampton