Your Position? Behavior Intervention Specialist
What led you to your current position? As a Milieu Supervisor at JBA, I felt like I needed a change. When I was informed of a new position (Behavior Intervention Specialist) in All-In, I believed it was a wonderful opportunity to share my knowledge. As a BIS for four years, I needed another change. However, I am still a BIS but this year, my role looks very different because I am working with three schools throughout the school year to assist with the implementation of tier 1, tier 2 and tier 3 interventions.
- We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated. - Maya Angelou
- Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have. - Margaret Mead
- In the same way that our school system feels strongly about requiring vaccinations and annual physicals, I feel strongly that it is essential to add a mental health component to that annual physical. - Madchen Amick
What does your average day look like? An average day as a Behavior Intervention Specialist consist of me observing students and staff, elbowing coaching staff, facilitating school wide trainings, interviewing staff and parents, attending IEP’s, 504 and/or treatment team meetings. In addition, I am assigned to three schools for the remainder of the school year in which I am supporting each with the implementation of tier 1, 2, and 3 interventions and co facilitating group supervision for Mental Health Counselors.
Why do you do this work? I do this work because the disconnect, lack of patience, implicit bias, and dislike for some of the troubled student(s) bother me. Having three daughters of my own, I am aware of how maladaptive behavior in school settings impedes the learning of others. In addition, I enjoy having discussions with school staff about how student behaviors provoke flight, fight, and freeze responses within them and how that plays a role in their choice of behavior intervention strategies. I also enjoy helping staff operate from a place of curiosity rather than frustration when interacting with students.
What hope do you have for the future of our program? I would really like to see All-In work in more Oakland Public Schools and more teaching opportunities for new teachers we partner with.