Once during a particularly hard melt-down and long before I ever took a class on behavior analysis, I was called into the office. The student was in the corner of the office screaming obscenities. Around him were 6 adults. I stepped into the middle of the circle of adults, held out my hand and asked him if he wanted to go somewhere quiet with me. He put his hand in mine and I led him into the assistant principal’s office (where he was supposed to be in the first place). Once there he burst into tears and held onto the assistant principal for comfort.
After watching this, some of my coworkers came over and asked me “What did we do? What could we have done better? How do we learn to do what you do?” I did not have an answer, because what I did came naturally to me. There was no guarantee it was going to work and I did not have a back-up plan if it did not. My co-worker’s question threw me off. Why did that work? How do you teach people to do, when you’re not sure what you did?
In a quest to understand behavior and teach it to others, here are some books made for teachers:
- The Behavior Code – the Behavior Code was co-authored by a BCBA and child psychiatrist. Written for teachers it has data collections sheets, self-monitoring charts, and plans teachers can put in place for anxiety, sexual behaviors, withdrawn behaviors, and oppositional behaviors
- Applied Behavior Analysis for Teachers – This book covers the basics of applied behavior analysis, discusses how to use it in the classroom, and includes a chapter on ethics.
- Behavioral Detectives – Behavioral Detectives is a book based on Case Studies and geared toward staff development. In every case study, there is a “mistake”. Discuss the case study with your team and see if you can find the “mistake”.
- Behavior Speak – If you’ve ever been in a meeting with a BCBA and they are saying things like “chaining”, “bonus response cost” or “discrete trial training” and you have no idea what they are talking about – this book is for you. A glossary of ABA terms so you can become familiar with “behavior speak”.
- Adventures in Special Education and Behavior Analysis – written in a witty, non-textbook style, this book covers the basics of ABA and how to use it in the classroom. It also has chapters on working with the whole team to help the student succeed, functional assessment of behavior, and punishment.