Director of Teaching & Learning Miles Azzeh's Academic Spotlight: Trisha Croley
Our Lansing USD 469 teachers are incredible at engaging our students in fantastic learning opportunities to reach their full potential every day in our district. To highlight and bring recognition to this great work, Director of Teaching and Learning Miles Azzeh will be regularly shining a spotlight on a stand-out teacher through "academic spotlights."
This week's academic spotlight goes to 2nd-grade teacher Trisha Croley, and her work with the new behavior management system LES has adopted this year known as BIST (Behavior Intervention Support Team). LIS has also adopted BIST this year, which means that as a district, we use the same behavior management system K-8.
"This program starts with building relationships with students and is based on three goals for life:
- I can make good choices even if I am mad or upset.
- I can be okay even if others are not okay.
- I can do something even if I don't want to or if it's hard.
These are also the skills that adults need for life." Mrs. Croley said.
After receiving training in September, Mrs. Croley explained the purpose and protocols behind BIST to her students, specifically the introduction of a "safe space" in her room that students can ask or independently go to if they are struggling with uncomfortable feelings or maintaining any of the three goals above.
"In my classroom, the safe space is a comfortable chair for students." Said Mrs. Croley. "It is a way for the students to calm down before I talk to the students about what happened. I process with the student after they have calmed down."'
When implementing new ideas and systems in school, it's good to gauge how students feel about the process. The safe space is well-received and successful, according to Mrs. Croley's students.
"I like the safe place when I need to go there to calm down and think about things." One student said.
"I feel comfortable going to the safe place when I am just trying to calm my body down." Another student explained.
BIST is more than just creating a safe space in a classroom for a student to process their feelings; it's also about finding the skills a student is missing and creating a plan for them to improve/achieve them. With Principal Dr. Kolb's help, Mrs. Croley started making plans for her students who were missing skills, specifically by asking them questions to reflect upon.
"On the same day in my classroom, two students said they were so good at the questions because they know all the answers. I also created another plan for a student in another classroom based on what that student needed." Mrs. Croley said.
After completing two subsequent trainings over BIST since her initial introduction to the program, Mrs. Croley gave a presentation to the rest of the 2nd-grade team on a late-start day in December to share its purpose and how helpful it can be in the classroom. She also provided them with resources and even volunteered to help any teachers that needed help making plans for their students. This support and leadership make her an excellent advocate for our students and an outstanding representative for the 2nd-grade team.
Thank you, Mrs. Croley, for everything you do for Lansing and our students!