Toolbox Tuesday!! It’s V-Day!

This may be the first time in the history of the Daily Dawg in which V-Day falls on Toolbox Tuesday. What a dilemma! I’m committed to addressing special education discipline on Toolbox Tuesday, but V-Day always calls for some special attention to matters of romance and all of the legal problems it can lead to: sexual harassment and whatnot.

How to combine these two?

Perhaps we should think about the application of Tool #1 to our love lives. Tool #1 is the development and implementation of a BIP--a Behavior Improvement Plan. It’s all about what the school plans to do FOR a student. It’s not defined in federal law, but it’s described as positive behavioral interventions, strategies and supports.

I have one major suggestion for you, Loyal Daily Dawg Readers. Do not write a BIP for that Special Someone in Your Life. Do not attempt to suggest behavioral improvements that your Loved One should make. Do not offer interventions, strategies or supports, no matter how wise and well intentioned they are.

The BIP is for you. What interventions, strategies and supports can you provide for yourself, with the goal of eliminating or reducing inappropriate behaviors and replacing them with loving and supportive behaviors? How can you be a better Valentine?

As I’ve done Toolbox Training I’ve told many of you the story of the writing assignment I was given as a sophomore in high school, and the positive impact it’s had on me. I was at a boarding school where we were sometimes assigned to serve on the dishwashing crew. Father McGlinchey informed the ten members of the crew that our loud singing was bothering the nuns who cooked for us. We were to report the next day after classes for our punitive assignment.

Father McGlinchey dictated the following, which we ten were required to write 500 times:

This stupid assignment, which is a monumental waste of time, should be a reminder to me that I lack respect for the rights of others. Furthermore, as a result of this stupid assignment, when I am called upon to perform duties in the kitchen in the future, I will endeavor to do so in a more gentlemanly fashion.

500 times we wrote that. Now, more than 55 years later I am pleased to let you know that Father McGlinchey’s “stupid assignment” continues to leave its mark. I have learned my lesson. When people see me performing duties in the kitchen these days they are apt to remark “My my—see how he washes those dishes in a gentlemanly fashion.”

However, I find that my OTL (One True Love) still sees room for improvement. So I know what needs to go into my V-Day BIP: wipe up those crumbs after breakfast. Keep the white towels unsmudged. Keep those copper-bottomed pots hanging in the sunlit pantry in perfect symmetry.

I suggest you follow my lead and you, too, will enjoy a Happy Valentine’s Day.


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Tomorrow: we introduce the OSFAA….