In preparation for our conference on June 15th, we’re taking a moment to interview the specialists that make up our Behavior Team. Our team is full of energetic and passionate people each with a long history in the educational or behavior fields. We’re an eclectic group of dog lovers, multi-language speakers, and education enthusiasts.
For today’s interview, we’re interviewing Albert Felts, the senior coordinator for the Student Support Services team at Region 13. Albert is also giving a few different sessions during our conference, including No More Teachers, No More Books, No More Teachers’ Dirty Looks, I’m Not Gonna and You Can’t Make Me, Skill Based Behavior Goals, and Their Behavior is Exhausting.
What was your path to working for Region 13? Why are you interested in behavior?
Prior to coming to work with Region 13 in 2000 I worked specifically with students who experienced traumatic brain injury and or significant mental health challenges. Most of that work was done in acute hospital and residential treatment settings. I sorted of stumbled into a career with behavior. I needed a job when I graduated from Texas A&M and I knew that I wanted to move to Austin. I applied for a mental health worker position at the Brown School on Dittmar Lane in South Austin and the rest is history. That was back in 1985 and I have been working in behavior ever since.
What sessions are you hosting at the Behavior Conference?
- No More Teachers, No More Books, No More Teachers’ Dirty Looks– It’s about developing classroom based behavior consequences .
- I’m Not Gonna and You Can’t Make Me!– Strategies for working with Oppositional Defiant Students
- Skill Based Behavior Goals– Writing Behavior goals that are skilled based and not just about compliance
- Their Behavior is Exhausting- This is about working with ADHD students and specific strategies for helping them maximize their learning.
Why those sessions? What interests you about those topics?
- No More Teachers, No More Books, No More Teachers’ Dirty Looks I am doing this session because I hate to see teachers give up their power and authority in the classroom by sending students to the office. Most teachers have more tools for managing student behavior than they realize.
- I’m Not Gonna and You Can’t Make Me! this is a fun workshop and the strategies apply universally. Have a problem with your spouse or significant other not doing their fair share around the house? If the answer is yes this workshop is a must attend.
- Their Behavior is Exhausting I really like working with ADHD students. I love their creativity and enthusiasm. I also know that not everyone feels the same way. This session will give practical strategies for how to increase the likelihood of students being on task and less distracting to your classroom.
- Skill Based Behavior Goals- I would like for us to start looking at behavior goals from the standpoint of what skills does the student need to learn versus what behavior do I need to stop. If I focus on skill development, compliance will take care of itself. This is a new area of passion for me so I am excited to share with the audience.
What’s one thing people often don’t know about ADHD or get wrong about ADHD?
A lot of educators still look at ADHD as a behavior disorder when the science clearly support there is an underlying neurological component to ADHD. We know that students with ADHD have slightly smaller frontal lobes. It’s doesn’t make sense to try to punish away a behavior that is clearly a medical issue. We don’t punish students who need glasses because their vision isn’t quite normal.
Why do we continue to want to punish students who are challenged by neurological issues they can’t control.
Outside of your behavior work what else do you enjoy doing?
It’s all about the English doodle in my household right now. Only I would end up with a behavioral challenged dog?