Behavior Plan Support:

As advocacy unfolds, behavior tends to be at the core of most stories told.  So I have expanded my work beyond meetings, conference rooms, and training venues; I am deeply immersed in behavior.  And it has been a true blessing working closely with teachers, administrators, parents, and their children for I have been able to support students and learning in the trenches; in real time!   It was one of the best decisions I have ever made:   

On this path, I have developed hundreds of “behavior plans”, wrote “functional behavior assessments”, and worked in confidence with teachers, as we face the human condition developing right before our eyes.  For “behavior” presents the most compelling, and most important work we can do as a team. It takes an extraordinary level of understanding, compassion, and empathy to “break the code, not the kid!”. 

Years ago, compliance and fear served as the glue holding it all together as schools navigated their academic tasks and challenges.  However, today, this is not the case: Both compliance and fear are losing ground.  For we are experiencing a new set of principles and motivations guiding our children toward their best selves.  Unfortunately, the school system is not completely on board with the new fundamentals required to assure every child experiences success.   And this is not because of poor intent or simply, bad attitudes.  Actually, it’s more about professional development, training, letting old systems fall by the wayside, and creating new platforms moving forward: For we are in the midst of a huge transformation within our society as well as within our schools.   And student behavior is one way this is presenting itself!

As a result, I am working with teachers, administrators, and parents as we navigate these changing times.  As a behavior specialist, I brought to the classroom and schools a wide range of tools founded upon the following:  The New Four Rs:

RESILIENCE: Teaching today is a “first responder” profession and requires our best so our students can be their best as each child discovers their purpose within the learning laboratory called the classroom.  In fact, we cannot expect our students to come prepared with a solid set of social – emotional skills; many of these critical skills will need to be taught within the context of the classroom.  In the meantime, we need to be resilient and prepared to handle whatever levels of dys-regulation each may bring.

RELATIONSHIP: Due to the nature of society moving at lightening speed, the need for “belonging” has amplified within our children at an alarming rate; we see the symptoms of “attachment” everywhere; no matter what social demographic setting one navigates.   So our primary “go to” comes in the form of relationship building between adults and our students.   This is the new foundation from which all learning evolves from.

REGULATION: Again, as our lives move faster and faster, with technology at the center of the spin cycle, many of today’s children present gaps with  “Executive Functions”: Skill sets like “impulse control”, organization & planning, working memory, and emotional self regulation, are all becoming part of the new curriculum called “Social Emotional Learning” required of today’s classrooms and schools.   For what we once thought of as “soft skills” are now the new “hard skills” moving our children into the 21st century work force.

RELEVANCE: Finally, meaning serves as the platform for all learning.  Simply, without compliance and fear at the core anymore, learning requires interest and incentive to hold the attention of our students.  The formula looks as follows: When our students see meaning and value in the lessons and activities provided, this will off-set impulse control and attention issues which so often get in the way.   As a result, many behavior plans feature “preferred” and “non preferred” activities.  And by doing so, creating a bridge to learning through interests, we often see success naturally emerge. 

There are a number of tools I have experienced on the behavior path, which I highly recommend: One is the Nurtured Heart Approach. I look forward to sharing one of the most powerful and simple tools, “Nurtured Heart Approach”; developed by Howard Glaser.  Highlighting an effective set of strategies and techniques, connecting with today’s children, the Nurtured Heart Approach, compliments my advocacy practice and experience as a Behavior Specialist.   Within the context of today’s children, often sensitive, deeply seeking a sense of belonging, and for many, impacted by trauma, there are few teaching and parenting programs which truly hit the target as the Nurtured Heart Approach.  For the core of the program is guided by the belief system, “transforming our children toward their greatness”.  This transcends class management, behavior replacement, and behavior analysis for our most vulnerable students and children are sensitive to the intention which lies below these programs: control and manipulation.  In contrast, the underlying philosophy behind the Nurtured Heart Approach is human potential, the promise within, and allowing the greatness to surface.

And no, the technique is not founded upon “wishy – washy” psychology and good intentions alone.  The approach is research based and aligns with the most well received programs in the field today.

In addition, I am a loud proponent of the work Dr. Ross Greene has presented within the context of behavior.  His world re-known research has lead to some of the most effective tools I have seen in the field; and it works great for parents as well.  Again, I strongly recommend Dr. Greene as a resource when considering behavior plans and related intervention.

Please check out his website:

Dr. Ross Greene: Lives in the Balance