On February 22, 2021, we organized a public webinar How to reduce stress – and help yourself to maintain inner peace (even during the COVID-19 pandemic) using knowledge about the functioning of the brain. Webinar was lectured by Mgr. Kristýna Farkašová, a participant in our training program focused on supporting of children’s mental health and the education of pupils with challenging behavior.
In times of pandemic, mental health care is essential, so the first webinar focused on the topic of maintaining inner peace in difficult times.
The first block started with the topic of stress and was focused on answering following questions: How we behave in stressful moments? Is there any “good” level of stress? What helps us to become resilient, instead of sensitive and more fragile? Whether we have the opportunity to choose our inner peace and know what supports it and what destroys it?
Several times during the webinar, participants were offered a safe space to think about the following questions: What is helping them at this time? When do they feel calm and rest? What little things help them to find balance each day? What do they need to remember to feel well in the world? We are important, it is impossible to skip our own feelings and focus only on of children.
“One of the ideas I learnt from our Norwegian colleagues is Bruce D. Perry’s reflection on the five states of mind. It shows how we can practically feel and act in the various states of our mind, how our possibilities to think freely, to think ahead gradually narrow. How much we need to understand in what state of mind the person / child we are working with is. So we don’t miss him/her and work with him/her according to actual state. Gradually, to help him/her to get through states of high activation back to calmness. And we need to keep ourselves calm so that we can help others find their peace thanks to our simple calm presence, ”said the lecturer.
The webinar also provided participants with practical tips on how to take care of their body, how to plan the day, so they could stick to the structure. The webinar received a lot of positive feedback. And although it was informative, the participants stated that they had rested during the event. Perhaps also because the intention was to strengthen the participants’ awareness that while we cannot influence how a pandemic will develop, we can influence a lot in terms of our own mood, our own balance and our own calmness.
On Friday, January 22, 2021, we presented the principles of PBIS at the online workshop for The Success of Every Student online fair. The workshop was well received and thanks to this opportunity we are establishing cooperation with other actors in education. You can find the presentation of our workshop G. Pozitivní podpora chování žáků ve školách, together with presentations of other workshops here.
The presentation is designed to provide as much information as possible in a comprehensible form, thus enabling teachers and parents to understand the structure and content of the PBIS framework. We are still working intensively on the translation and creation of other materials that will help schools implement elements of the PBIS preventive level with a minimum need for external consultations in the future. However, we still recommend that schools contact our team if they are interested in implementing PBIS. “We are very concerned about the sustainability and high effectiveness of behavior support in Czech schools and we will always try to find the most suitable form of support for the leadership and teachers of individual schools,” says Anna Kubíčková, coordinator of the School Helps Vulnerable Children project.
We would like to thank the Committee of Good Will – Olga Havel Foundation, Active Citizens Fund, and the Scout Institute for long-term support of the project School Helps Vulnerable Children, which in this difficult situation offers a helping hand to schools and children who are increasingly affected by current measures.
We also thank our pilot schools for their tireless efforts and motivation to support all students not only on the educational level, but also on the personal, social, and emotional level.
For the November issue of the journal Učitelský Měsíčník (03/2020), we wrote a detailed article introducing the PBIS for schools. You will learn how to implement some PBIS principles in the classroom that help prevent inappropriate behavior of students. You will get familiar, for example, with practical advice on how to adjust the physical structure of classrooms or how to unify positive formulations of expectations and appropriate approaches to children at risk. All these procedures can be implemented immediately in individual classes or systematically and school-wide, which will further increase the positive impact on pupils’ behavior.
The article describes in detail the 1st tier of behavior support, i.e., proactive primary prevention, which is aimed at all pupils in a class or school without distinction. Information on intensified support for groups of children who require targeted Tier 2 support, or on providing highly individualized Tier 3 support for pupils with complex needs, will be in future continually supplemented on our website www.pbiscr.cz.
Read our elaborate introduction to the PBIS features in elementary schools, which was published in the November issue of the professional educational magazine School Management.
In the article we, among other things, explain that in order to effectively and sustainably support students at all three levels of prevention – primary, secondary and tertiary – the school cannot implement only the recommended principles and interventions, but also need to create an effective structure for implementing the whole system. This will allow appropriate use of staff capacity, motivate further progress and support monitoring success of the PBIS implementation in relation to the specific objectives of the school.
In the article, in addition to basic information about the PBIS system, you will learn what stages the school will go through during its implementation process and which components of the system need to be built and coordinated for effective implementation.
You can read the whole article here.