Today’s blog post is a guest post written by Kaylan Long of Caffeinated Behavior Change. She is a school district behavior specialist and BCBA who supports classroom teachers and students in special education. She shares all about the what and why of staff training in a Special Ed Class.

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Transitioning back to school can bring up so many emotions, thoughts, feelings, doubts, and on, and on. And add transitioning back to school amidst COVID and all those feelings are heightened. especially uncertainty and doubt which is why we wanted to bring you today’s post. 

Today’s blog post is a collaboration between Cassie, Adventures in Behavior, and Kaylan, Caffeinated Behavior Change.  Our friendship began on instagram almost 2 years ago when we were both new to the world.  We instantly bonded over a love of Harry Potter, coffee, and all things behavior.  Cassie is a middle school special education teacher and Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).  Kaylan is a school division behavior specialist, certified special education teacher and BCBA.  This back to school season is unlike any other.  We wanted to collaborate and provide you with all the knowledge we’ve gained over the years so that you can have the smoothest, easiest return to school possible amidst the chaos of COVID-19.

Like we said, back to school is an emotionally charged time of year every year— but especially now. So many emotions running through our brains and hearts. Excited. Stressed. Happy. Scared. Confused. Anxious. Irritated. Sad. Bewildered. Just to name a few. So how do we start to consider going back to school after so long at home? Especially when many in society have the thought of “Oh there’s a national crisis and pandemic– teacher’s can fix it…” but again we ask “where do we even start”? What does and should a COVID classroom look like? 

Continue reading “Top 10 Tips to Transitioning Back to School after Distance Learning”

Welcome to the first post in a new series I have dubbed, ABA in the classroom.  My goal is to share some ABA concepts and knowledge with you as well as how you can implement these strategies in your classroom.  I hear so often from teachers that they aren’t allowed to use ABA and that blows my mind!  We use so many ABA concepts every day without even realizing it.  There are many many districts and staff that think discrete trials at the table are the only way to use ABA and that simply isn’t true.  So here is your first post on ABA in the Classroom: Chaining.

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Summer means warm weather, pools, beaches, time off, oh yah…. and Extended School Year.  This year, I decided to work Extended School Year and at the time of this blog post, we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  My district decided to take a cautious approach and we engaged in virtual learning.  I truly believe that virtual learning is here to stay for awhile so we might as well make the most of it!  I’ll share what ESY looks like for our district and then share some resources that I plan to use.  Most are still FREE at the time of this post but a few will be paid resources.  I won’t be updating this when those free resources become paid again so do your research.

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Tips for Restructuring a Special Education Program

2019-2020 was a year of many firsts for me.  It was my first year in middle school, my first year sharing students with a co-teacher, first year only teaching 2 content areas, first year back in an alternative curriculum program, and so many more.  I was given a unique opportunity in that both my partner teacher and I were new to the program.  We had the opportunity to build our program from the ground up eliminating all sense of “it’s always been done this way”.  I wanted to share with you 5 tips that I have learned from going through this process. Continue reading “4 Tips for Restructuring a Special Education Program”

If you work in special education, chances are that you have at least been a witness to a major behavior incident or even been part of a school wide crisis team.  This is the part of our job that no one wants to talk about, but it is extremely important that we do. We shouldn’t shy away from the difficult conversations because they are uncomfortable. I’ve even heard teachers complain about administrators or parents who ask “Is there anything that could’ve been done differently?” And honestly… I hated that too for so so long! I wanted to shout “NO!” because I took it as them questioning my ability to do my job rather than asking me to reflect on the situation for the next time.

Reflection on one’s teaching practices is the hallmark of any good teacher.  It shouldn’t begin and end with lesson plans.  We should be extending this to all areas of our teaching craft because lets face it, the actual teaching method is such a small portion of what we do. When I really started to think about it, I realized that these were not judgmental questions.  How else are we to change our approach if things are not working well unless we incorporate reflection into our process?  In 2018, I began asking myself 4 questions after each event and it has transformed my approach to behavior incidents and the aftermath.  

Continue reading “4 Questions to Ask Yourself After Every Student Crisis”