Monday, March 21, 2016

Tickets! I've got Tickets!

Our school is going to become a PBIS school next year.  I’m on our school leadership team, we’ve been working with staff on developing what we as a school want to use in our implementation.  Full disclosure I’ve never been good at rewards.  Charts, tokens, punch cards, I’ve tried them all at some time or another, and they always fall by the wayside.  I’m not motivated by rewards so I just forget to remember.
Enter Chelsea.  Name changed, of course, not that she really responds to her name.  She spent her first two years in a neglectful and or abusive home.  She now lives with a doting grandmother, who usually looks tired or looks the other way.  Our school counselor says she has “trauma brain”.  She sees things very differently.  She doesn’t really respond to anything I’ve tried. Consistent rules and consequences have helped, but she’s a long way from being ready for kindergarten expectations.   When I pushed for an evaluation she was documented in a ten minute time span chewing on the leg of a table and also eating a used tissue. 
Yes!  I tried every trick in my toolbox. 
A month ago, I started intentionally and consistently naming behaviors I wanted and then frequently rewarding the behavior with a ticket.  This was done for the entire class.  The first few days there was a drawing at the end of the day.  Then I went to having drawings at the end of the week.  Last week I finally got Chelsea to follow a direction the first time I asked.  This is making me excited for our full roll out in September.


  1. What a great feeling of success that she finally followed a direction! :) Persistence matters. We are noticing more and more of our kids are coming with such mental health issues. I'm not sure what we are going to do.

  2. One of my teacher friends always says, "Learning is success remembered." Hopefully Chelsea will remember.

  3. The school I taught at adopted PBIS about 6 years before I retired. I was on the PBIS team when we implemented the program and remained on the team until I retired. I too was not much for the "reward" thing, but I have to say, for the most part it was a positive program, was it the be all end all . . . no. But we did see some positive results. Best of luck!

  4. Congrats on your success with Chelsea.. Definitely a great feeling!