PTR: Transforming Challenges into Harmony

PTR: Transforming Challenges into Harmony
Posted on 06/10/2024
little african american girl working in class

Prevent-Teach-Reinforce (PTR): Transforming Challenges into Harmony

June 2024

Have you ever wondered what inspired Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee" or Michelangelo's masterpieces in the Sistine Chapel? Although these works belong to different genres of art, they have something distinctively in common. Both artists created masterpieces out of challenging environments. One musically evokes the chaotic and rapidly changing flight pattern of a bumblebee, while the other visually depicts his idea of the “Last Judgment” through 300 intricately painted figures on the ceiling of a chapel. Transforming challenges into a masterpiece is truly a work of art, especially when it involves transforming the lives of children, which presents its own challenges and feelings of overwhelming angst.

Navigating the obstacle course of challenging behaviors in schools can feel overwhelming, like a never-ending roller coaster. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) provides tier 1 schoolwide support to all students before any behavioral needs arise. But what do you do when you have provided tier 1 support with fidelity and tier 2 support just does not seem like it is enough? There is a beacon of hope: the Prevent-Teach-Reinforce (PTR) model. This innovative and systematic approach, born from collaborative research and real-world application, reframes how challenging behaviors are viewed by emphasizing prevention, skill-building, and positive reinforcement, creating harmonious learning environments where every student can thrive.

The PTR Model: A Symphony of Three Harmonious Parts

The PTR school-based tier 3 intervention is like a finely tuned orchestra, with each component playing a crucial role in creating a harmonious whole:

  • Prevent: Imagine a proactive line of defense that filters and neutralizes triggers before they ignite challenging behaviors. This phase modifies environmental factors and routines, reducing the chances of disruptions before they even occur.
  • Teach: Picture a masterclass where students learn alternative, constructive behaviors that fulfill the same needs as their challenging ones. This phase is all about empowering students with new skills, giving them the tools to express themselves and cope with their world more effectively.
  • Reinforce: Envision a reward system that celebrates and encourages positive behavior. By consistently recognizing and rewarding these behaviors, this phase creates a positive feedback loop.

The Quest of Implementing PTR

Embarking on the PTR quest involves several key steps, each essential to ensuring success:

  1. Teaming and Goal Setting: Assembling a superhero team of teachers, behavior specialists, and family members. This collaborative squad designs and implements the PTR plan with the students at the center, bringing diverse perspectives and unified commitment.
  2. Data Collection: Collecting data in a way where contextual fit matters to uncover the mysteries behind challenging behaviors. This detective work is the first step in identifying triggers and functions, providing the foundation for effective intervention.
  3. PTR Functional Behavioral Assessment: Collaborating so that all voices are heard, blending functional perspectives together like a kitchen brigade preparing a hypothesized plan customized to meet the unique needs of each student.
  4. PTR Intervention: Crafting a tailored intervention plan based on the FBA findings. This plan, of prevention, teaching, and reinforcement, is customized to meet the unique needs of each student.
  5. Progress Monitoring and Data-Based Decision Making: Keeping a close eye on the intervention’s impact through data collection and analysis. This ongoing assessment allows for adjustments along the way, ensuring the desired outcomes are met.

The Prevent-Teach-Reinforce model is more than a strategy; it is a transformative approach to addressing challenging behaviors in educational settings. By utilizing evidence-based research, focusing on individualized support, and collaborating with a team of stakeholders.

For more information on PTR checkout California PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports).