Saturday, April 26, 2008

Freidrich Froebel said, "Let us live for our children." What he meant wasn't that we become slaves to their every whim, but that we structure our lives to assure their safety and eventual arrival at maturity and productive citizenship. In the meantime, a quick look around at modern culture would tell that we don't live for our children. We give them what's needed to keep them occupied and out of our hair so we can do our own things. And we often fail to give what is needed most...

The following is from the BIST website. "As educators, we know that children are becoming more and more challenging within the public school setting. Many of our youth are coming from situations where abuse, drug/alcohol usage, homelessness, and/or lack of supervision are common. Many of these children then come to our buildings and demonstrate behavioral problems. At one time, the old forms of discipline were effective tools in dealing with these children. However, these techniques are no longer successful. Consequently, schools need to create new intervention strategies when dealing with troubled youth."

This is from Charles Kinglsey: "Being forced to work, and forced to do your best, will breed in you temperance and self-control, diligence and strength of will, cheerfulness and content, and a hundred virtues which the idle will never know."

While I am visiting in Omaha, my sister Mary who teaches 7th and 8th grades has been telling me about "BIST", a system of putting control of classrooms back in the hands of teachers for the sake of the children they serve. Her whole school has adopted the BIST model to great effect on the learning environment. BIST stands for "Behavioral Intervention Support Team"

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