I Love ABA!

Welcome to my blog all about Applied Behavior Analysis!

This blog is about my experiences, thoughts, and opinions on ABA. My career as an ABA provider is definitely a passion and a joy, and I love what I do.

This is a personal blog: The views and opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of the people, institutions, or organizations that I may be affiliated with.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Quote of The Day

The Truth About Classroom Management

When you’ve been in the classroom for a long time, so much of what you do on a daily basis is ingrained.  It merges and becomes a conglomerate of training, experiences, philosophy and values. It is automatic and effective.  But when you mentor teachers new to the classroom or train interns preparing for a classroom, you have to dissect and analyze your own responses in order to make it an applicable lesson for them.

People new to the classroom worry about discipline and classroom management, but it is more about preparation, pacing and imagining what will intrigue the age level with which you are working.  By being knowledgeable, prepared with appropriate and supportive materials and keeping the pace of the lesson moving along and focused upon the objective(s), the students will be occupied and task oriented.

In terms of preparation, know your subject and have the lesson’s materials organized and available.  Always have more planned than you can possible do in one day. Also, have systems in place that give students additional activities whether centers, computer work, reading, etc.

Pacing may be an intern’s greatest weakness in the beginning.  A lesson that does not move along in sequence will directly affect classroom management, leaving students with time to get off task with their work and their behavior.  Children are experts at lesson diversion. 

Watch the clock!  Time management is critical.    Lessons can drag on until they diffuse from the original objective and are no longer the most effective use of time.  If this becomes a pattern, the class will fall further and further behind day by day and not be prepared for assessments. 

B. Perez, 2012

I love this accurate and insightful description of what excellent classroom management looks like. So much of this directly parallels what an excellent ABA therapist does. Running a therapy session includes thinking 6 steps ahead, managing reinforcers, minimizing problem behaviors, delivering consequences, being creative, maintaining your energy and quick pace, all while being actively engaged with the client.

Sometimes I forget just how many things I do at once when working with children, until I am training a new staff member or a parent. There is so much to learn, and it can be very overwhelming at first. 
Its like learning to drive a car…..at first, just keeping the car in the lane is difficult. Add in watching your speed, looking out for careless drivers, braking quickly when the car in front of you stops…..all of these separate tasks are necessary to learn to drive. 

 If you are new to ABA and feeling overwhelmed, hang in there and be patient with yourself. If you’re anything like me, you didn’t learn to drive in a few days :-)
So you aren’t going to learn to be an excellent ABA therapist in a few days, either. It does get easier, and you develop automaticity, and next thing you know, running a therapy session is as easy as driving your car.

 A great ABA therapist is one who has 10,000 things going on in his/her head, but to a parent it looks like all you are doing is happily engaging with their child.

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