One of the things we’ve learned, is that if we want to help a school have a safer and more respectful climate, we need to get the students into the leadership roles, really driving the work, because this will have a huge impact on the other kids, but frankly, on the behaviour of everybody.
Dr. Scott Ross and I became friends almost 20 years ago in Lake Tahoe, California; where, at the time, we were both working as snowboard instructors. In the early moments of this interview, we reflect upon those early days, messing around in the snow, and that those experiences gifted us both with an early insight into the challenges and rewards inherent in teaching students.
Scott’s subsequent career in education has led him to a specialisation in teacher education and teacher training. He is also recognised as being one of the USA’s most respected academic voices on bullying prevention in schools, having authored many such publications, including the Bullying Prevention in Positive Behaviour Support Curriculum and corresponding empirical analyses, for which he received the Initial Research of the Year Award in 2010 from the Association of Positive Behaviour Support. Scott is currently Director of the Office of Learning Supports for the Colorado Department of Education, a role where he oversees the state-wide scale up of Positive Behavioural Interventions and Supports.
Over the course of the interview, Scott relays, with great clarity and common-sense, some of the strategies and approaches that can help engender a positive school climate; one where student and teacher well-being is enhanced and built to thrive.