I have worked in public and private schools for more than 25 years. I have been an educational technician, special education teacher, general education teacher and behavior consultant. I have taught and/or done behavior consultation for individuals across all disability categories and from ages 3 to 63. Some of my students were in the general population; others had special needs including the autism spectrum, Asperger's syndrome, emotional behavior disorders, learning disabilities, and mental retardation. But to me it's not about labels. People are simply people and I apply things I've learned in an effort to help them achieve success in school, their homes and the community.
I am a member of the Association of Positive Behavior Supports and have come to see that model - a whole school, positive approach to behavior management, to be a reasonable summary of my beliefs. If we establish a positive environment, the need for individual behavioral intervention will be less and problems less severe. My goal is to influence individuals and groups to pursue practices that are instructional, proactive, data-based and focused on recognizing and attending to the actions that children (and adults) do well, while correcting and teaching alternatives to the actions that we want eliminated or decreased.
Teaching at USM is the realization of a dream for me because teaching teachers provides an opportunity to impact hundreds or even thousands of people in a positive way. In my teaching, I strive to make each topic and concept as applicable as possible. I create a collaborative environment within each course and create learning groups so that each student has the opportunity to benefit from others' strengths. I teach by using my own past and present stories, experiences, and anecdotes. I teach and model each topic/concept, lead my students through the process and then require that they apply and practice this in their own professional situation.
I love to spend family time with my husband of 25 years and 2 daughters as well as extended family. I love a house full of company, laughing out loud, allowing a word or phrase to lead me into song, reading, gardening, walking and hiking, bird watching, quilting and dark, rich, exquisite (and therefore expensive) chocolate.