When the PBIS team from Lost Creek was asked to present at the WVPBIS Conference in 2018 we wanted to give our presentation a title that caught people’s attention, while still giving the purpose of our story meaningful reflection. We landed on “Tricks, Trials, and Triumphs” and I would say that even today, that sums up our experiences with PBIS quite accurately. We have come a long way since our very first PBIS Academy, sitting around a small, round table trying to work through all the details for the start of our journey. In all honesty we were having a difficult time letting go of what we had been doing for so many years and were somewhat reluctant to jump onto a new wagon. We felt overwhelmed, unsure, and intimidated by what we were taking on. I wouldn’t say that first year was “messy,” but I wouldn’t say it was “clean” either. However, thanks to a dedicated team, strong staff buy in, and the support from our principal and county coach, we worked tirelessly to overcome the obstacles with which we were faced (and if anyone were to ask we would tell them honestly that there WILL be obstacles, no matter where you are in this process). We reworked our plan year after year until one day we looked back and realized… we DID it! We had learned the tricks that worked (and the ones that didn’t), worked through the trials of starting something new, and had gotten to a point of triumph, in which we realized our hard work had gotten us to a place of success for our students.
As we celebrated our “victory” we knew the process wasn’t finished. Our team was ready to move into Tier 2, but we were aware that we had to continue to work just as hard as we always had to maintain the success that was found in Tier 1. There is one particular moment that stands out to me from our presentation at the conference last summer. As we were talking and explaining that it took us about four years to confidently implement Tier 1 I saw someone mouth “wow, four years” to the person beside them. It was in that moment that I realized two things: We weren’t alone in this journey and we were inspiring others to push through whatever it was they were facing. We teach our students about perseverance, but in that moment, I realized we had also taught it to ourselves. While our team continues to help our program grow we are constantly evaluating the core of what we’re doing – our Tier 1 system. We will continue to persevere through whatever we may face, and hope to continue to inspire others through our journey.