Positive Behavior Reinforcement

Can we stem the tide of teacher attrition with PBIS?

Happy students make happy teachers. And happy teachers stay teaching. Work-related burnout and stress can be problematic for any profession. But for America’s teachers, these issues are causing large numbers of individuals to leave their jobs, resulting in an exodus epidemic. Every single year, around 8% of teachers leave the profession. This means, every year, districts and schools need to find new teachers to replace those that have left. Which isn’t easy when there are fewer and fewer teachers to hire in general, year after year. The Learning Policy Institute reports that “90% of open teaching positions are created by teachers who leave the profession. Some are retiring, but about 2/3 of teachers leave for other reasons, most due to dissatisfactions with teaching.” And...

written March 30, 2018 by Autumn Miller

Customer Story: Boynton Beach Community High School

Majority Rule A Florida high school improves its culture by flipping its focus from misbehaving students to its high achievers. Guarn Sims was born and raised in Boynton Beach, Florida, but when the lifelong educator became principal of his hometown’s high school last year, he realized he had the same misconceptions of Boynton Beach Community High School as many of the area’s residents. “I had the perception there were school fights everyday,” he said. “I was so wrong.” The principal knew the school was a “high-needs school,” meaning that a large percentage of students were both low-income and minorities. What he didn’t realize until he started working at the school is that there are about 200 students who are behind in their academic achievement...

written March 27, 2018 by Autumn Miller

Why SEL Results Matter (And How to See More of Them)

Social and Emotional Learning has the potential to improve an entire generation. So why aren’t SEL practices widespread? What should our schools be teaching? It sounds like an obvious question, and reading, math, science, and history sound like the obvious answers. But what about social and emotional skills – the stuff that prepares children for their careers or college-life, as adults? While this may sound like a good idea in theory, it’s actually much more than that. Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) investments make fiscal and political sense too – for schools, districts, and our larger society as a whole. This is because, research shows, the payoffs are huge. A study for CASEL on SEL asserts “that social and emotional learning improves grades and...

written March 1, 2018 by Autumn Miller

To motivate students, a little nudge can go a long way

Research concludes positive “nudges” can motivate behavioral change. Anyone that has tried to add more exercise into their routine or nix a bad habit knows that – to change behavior – having a little motivation helps. And while there are all kinds of motivational tactics and techniques, recent science shows that on students, some motivation works better than others. What’s not all that effective, turns out, is telling kids what they shouldn’t do. According to recent research highlighted in Education Week, “one of the quickest ways to lower motivation is to try to force people to make changes.” Instead, a team of behavioral economists at the University of Chicago, led by Steven Levitt, have concluded that to change behavior in students, it’s better to...

written December 19, 2017 by The Hero Collective

Closing the Trust Gap in Schools with Positive Behavior Reinforcement

The trust gap is becoming another hurdle in student achievement. Can bridging the gap be as simple as implementing a positive behavior reinforcement program? A recent study seems to think so. Of all of the “gaps” teachers help students surmount, including financial insecurities, learning disabilities, or lack of motivation, perhaps the most challenging is the trust gap. That’s what a recent study from David Yeager, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, indicates. For many teachers, the trust gap could be the hardest obstacle they face. And the most destructive. In the journal Child Development, Yeager reviews the findings of an eight-year study that surveyed Colorado students from middle school through the end of high school. The survey measured student...

written November 15, 2017 by The Hero Collective

Studies Needed to Prove Time Spent on Student Relationship-Building is Worthwhile

A new study explores why non-academic interactions with students are critical to establishing trust and improving school climate. But one study is not enough to shift a mindset, and prioritize relationship-building. As with so many areas in the teaching profession, science is still catching up with what so many good teachers already know. Teachers intuitively understand that student performance is not solely dependent on classroom instruction, and that interactions between teachers and students outside of the classroom are just as important as those within. Good teachers don’t need scientific validation to do what they know is best for their students, but without it, they may be forced to focus solely on academics. For a number of years, public policy has tried to solve the...

written October 24, 2017 by The Hero Collective


  • "What Hero is able to do is offer a management system to problem solve on what’s working, what’s not, and how do you go about creating new systems and processes to overcome your challenges."

    Dr. Nikolai Vitti

    Superintendant, Duval County Public Schools

  • "Hero is changing the conversation. Where a teacher might be more apt to focus on certain behaviors in their classroom, this focuses them on school-wide behaviors that we want to see."

    Terry Connor

    Principal, Samuel Wolfson High School

  • "I feel that Hero is instilling positive reinforcement with the kids... In education, we're used to the culture of reinforcing negative behaviors. Now, we're creating a positive culture where students are publicly recognized. There's a reward system. They're recognized by their peers, they're recognized by the faculty and staff, they're recognized by their principal, and it starts to spread throughout the school."

    Carlos Alvarez

    Principal, Hialeah Educational Academy


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