4 Ways To Bring Behavior Professional Development To Your School

What is the hardest part about teaching in today’s classrooms? If you said student behavior, then JINX! There are so many teachers in the same boat right now!

But despite how many students are experiencing challenging behaviors in today’s schools, the behavior professional development (PD) for compassionate, research-based behavior supports is sorely lacking. The supply is just not meeting the demand.

Because of this, we as teachers often need to find our own professional learning opportunities on behavior topics. Here are a few creative ways you can begin learning about behavior on your own!

Join (or start) a professional development book club

In addition to traditional professional development workshops and conferences, educators can also leverage book clubs as a valuable means of enhancing their learning and professional growth. Books offer a wealth of knowledge and insights on a wide range of topics relevant to teaching and education. Whether teachers are seeking specific classroom strategies, guidance on managing challenging behaviors, or a deeper understanding of human behavior, there is likely a book that addresses their needs and interests.

By participating in book clubs, teachers can engage in collaborative learning experiences with colleagues, both within their school community and beyond. These book clubs can be organized at the school, district, or even online level, providing educators with opportunities to share perspectives, discuss key concepts, and explore practical applications of the ideas presented in the books.

Whether you’re looking for specific classroom strategies, general principles of managing challenging behaviors, or a better understanding of human behavior, chances are there is a book about it! Enhance your learning by reading with others, at your school, district, or even online. I highly recommend the books “Quick Wins” by Paul Gavoni and Anika Costa, “The Happiness Trap” by Russ Harris, or “The Behavior Code” by Jessica Minahan and Nancy Rappaport. 

Take an online training or course for professional development

Instead of waiting for PD sessions to come to you, go out and find them – on the internet! You can find trainings and courses on so many topics: specific age ranges, specific disability populations, and even niche areas like de-escalation or classroom management. Braving BSEL has a growing library of video trainings to give you a starting point. Many schools or districts also will reimburse you for the cost and/or count time on these training towards continuing education hours, so it never hurts to ask.

The online landscape is teeming with a plethora of courses, webinars, and video trainings covering a diverse range of topics tailored to educators’ specific needs and interests. Whether teachers are looking to deepen their understanding of teaching strategies for specific age groups, gain insights into supporting students with particular disabilities, or acquire specialized skills such as de-escalation techniques or effective classroom management, there are online resources available to meet these needs.

Moreover, many schools or districts may offer reimbursement for the cost of online courses or count the time spent on these trainings towards continuing education hours, providing additional incentives for teachers to take advantage of these resources. By proactively seeking out professional development opportunities online, educators can stay current with best practices, expand their skill sets, and ultimately enhance their effectiveness in the classroom.

Get a behavior coach

Many schools have behavior specialists who do observations, complete assessments, write behavior plans, and generally tell you what to do; very few schools have a behavior coach who actually walks alongside you to empower you to be successful when they’re not around. If you do, consider yourself lucky! If you don’t, look for a behavior coach online. Plus, coaching can you help you take the science beyond the classroom to use behavior principles to improve your personal life, too! Braving BSEL has some great personal and professional coaching options to check out. 

Bring an expert to your school

Behavior thrives in a supportive culture, so don’t stop with just you! Whenever you find a great behavior resource, share it with your administrators and colleagues. You can invite an author, a trainer, or a coach to come speak at your organization. Braving BSEL is always looking to add to our calendar of customized PD workshops, and there are other behavior professionals also willing to bring quality trainings right to you.

The field of behavior is growing!  There’s enough information to go around. With a little creativity, I know you can find the support you need, so you can support your students! Braving BSEL would love to help you get started on your journey.

Check out these posts:

4 Functions of Behavior

Data Collection for Behavior Plans

Prevent Escape & Attention Behaviors

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