Real Talk for Real Teachers with Dr. Becky Bailey and special guest Jill Molli

Episode Summary

In the not-so-distant past, children with behavior struggles were viewed as having a deficit. Interventions were a one-way street intended to “fix” children. In many cases, the response to unwanted behaviors was to withhold safety and connection from the children who most desperately needed it. Unsurprisingly, this approach was ineffective.

Response to Intervention (RTI) originated from the special education community with the goal of building a two-way street linking adult action to the child’s response. As in Conscious Discipline, adults change first, and children change their behavior in response to this shift. The goal of an effective behavior plan is not to punish a child, but to teach the executive skills the child is missing. However, a child who does not have safety and connection cannot learn missing skills.

In this episode, Conscious Discipline Certified Instructor Jill Molli outlines the four steps to writing RTI plans that effectively build safety and connection so that children can learn critical skills. Jill has over two decades of experience in education, with roles including teacher, school counselor, assistant principal, and behavior disorder instructor. She is a Conscious Discipline Certified Instructor who travels the world coaching, training, and guiding large-scale implementation. Listen in as Jill shares actionable tips for implementing plans that meet the differentiated needs of your students.

Essential Takeaways

  • Behavior/discipline is relationship-specific. Instead of “fixing” children, we need to enhance the quality of the relationship.
  • When writing behavior plans, it is important to teach missing skills. However, this isn’t possible without the foundational pieces of safety and connection. Safety and connection foster brain integration and willingness.
  • If a child exhibits physical behaviors, he or she needs safety. A child who engages in power struggles needs connection. In Conscious Discipline, we use NARCS to build safety and REJECT to build connection.
  • Once this foundation is in place, children are ready to learn executive skills (page 291 in the Conscious Discipline book). Novel situations and stressed children require more scaffolding of these executive skills.
  • The intention of an effective plan should be to teach missing skills, rather than to punish children for skills they don’t possess.

Steps For Tomorrow

  • Start with foundation-building. If the behavior is physical, use NARCS to create safety. If power struggles are the problem, use REJECT to foster connection.
  • Flip from the behaviors you don’t want to the behaviors you DO want.
  • After deciding what behavior you do want, determine what missing executive skill coordinates with this behavior.
  • Build a teaching plan (not a plan for punishment).

Important Links

Product Mentions

Show Outline

  • :21 What is Conscious Discipline?
  • :40 Introduction of guest Jill Molli
  • 1:35 Discipline is relationship-specific
  • 4:00 Background on Jill’s experience as a guidance counselor
  • 5:35 Origins and intentions of RTI
  • 6:52 Basics of RTI/MTSS
  • 7:51 Critical foundation of safety and connection
  • 9:37 How to “flip” from the behaviors you don’t want to see to the behaviors you do want
  • 10:55 Physical behavior means the child needs safety (NARCS)
  • 11:50 Noticing
  • 12:25 Adult Assertiveness
  • 13:11 Routines in pictures
  • 13:34 Composure (downloading of composure/calm)
  • 15:14 Safety (Safe Place, language of safety)
  • 15:56 Power struggles mean the child needs connection (REJECT)
  • 16:27 Rituals for connection
  • 16:52 Encouragement for small successes
  • 17:15 Jobs for the opportunity to be of service to others
  • 17:26 Empathy
  • 17:46 Choices
  • 18:07 The School Family
  • 18:25 Building executive skills
  • 19:37 Importance of movement, music, art, and visuals
  • 21:05 Recap- Four pieces to writing an effective intervention plan
  • 24:46 What’s Becky up to?
  • 25:14 What’s Becky celebrating?

Thank You for Listening

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On behalf of our Conscious Discipline family, we wish you well.