SCHOOL CULTURE1School CultureGinny O'ConnorNational UniversityRole and Functions of Schools ABA 610Dr. LooseSeptember 13, 2020
SCHOOL CULTURE2School CultureI choose to interview colleagues at my current school, which is Tahquitz High School. I choose two teachers who teach freshman math and English for our mild/mod student population. These classes are specialized academic instruction. N. Romero is a mild/mod English Language Arts teacher, in her second year of teaching. R. Fairbanks is a mild/mod Math Teacher in her thirteenth year teaching. I also interviewed M.Knib the Special Education and ninth grade Assistant Principal who has been in the field of education for twelve years and! M. Knibb has been an AP for two years. I choose THS because I am a 1:1 IBIA (intensive behavior intervention assistant). I am also new to THS and feel that this is a great opportunity to understand the school culture and climate. Personal Experience BackgroundI have fifteen years of behavior intervention experience based in ABA. I am relatively new to my current school district. I am going on my third year with the district. It is my first year working at THS. I was previously at a middle school, however, as part of my job description, I am an intenerate and can be moved at the needs of the district. Starting as a new employee to the district and the middle school I was extremely unaware of school culture and climate. Having been employed for three years now and having experience in other districts, NPA's and NPS's I was shocked and overwhelmed at how negative the school culture and climate were. I did not understand SW-PBIS and how it was implemented at our middle school or the district level. Prior to working with this district, I worked for San Diego Unified at the District Office level as an Itinerate Behavior Technician. We worked collaboratively with all types of professionals. Curiosity and questions were highly encouraged and welcomed. We were trained by professionals outside our areas of expertise and worked with various fields to strengthen our
SCHOOL CULTURE3behavior program department. When I came to my current district I quickly realized that this was not the case, or at least at the school level. People and departments did not work collaboratively together unless it was a Wednesday and it was collaboration day. Then collaboration was by the department only and only credentialed staff. Paraprofessionals were treated as less than staff, especially by teachers. If you were eager to learn, curious, or had questions you were viewed as a threat instead of an ally. It was an awakening so to speak on how to retrain my brain on working and building rapport with my new group of colleagues. I realized that I was going to have to change how I interacted with my colleagues, that they were not accustomed to the types of collaboration that I had become accustomed to.