The sharp staff at Washington Elementary (SJUSD) had a productive time participating in the 1st Annual Breakthru Bracket Challenge during the month of March. For those unfamiliar with the March Madness NCAA bracket challenge, allow me to explain how we celebrated our in-house intervention expertise.
First, for our staff professional development in early March, we all discussed the pathways to “breakthrus” with students exhibiting challenging behaviors. Most teachers, novice & seasoned, will experience that breakthrough moment with a challenging student. Usually, it is when an intervention is implemented by the teacher with such fidelity that a near immediate change is observed. Voila....a breakthru.
Four fictitious students were identified as displaying some trauma induced behaviors conducive to the current distance learning format. Teachers went into breakout rooms to contribute effective intervention strategies to address the behaviors outlined. Well, 4 breakout rooms each generated the top 4 strategies. This totaled the Sweet 16 of Breakthrus.
Teachers filled out their bracket, selecting winning interventions per matchup, just like anyone would complete a March Madness NCAA bracket. Unlike the NCAA tournament, we as a staff voted using online polling to vote for the winners per intervention matchups. From the Sweet 16 to the Elite 8 to the Final 4 --- to crowning the champion breakthru intervention. Each winning intervention matchup earned a participant a series of points. The teachers with the top 3 winning brackets, per points earned, received prizes. Even more impactful, is that now we not only have a champion level intervention strategy that represents a possible pathway to a breakthru for any students, but the staff has a ‘sweet 16’ to choose from for the future.
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