Learn more about Marsha Theus (Behavior Support Specialist) and all she does to support students and teachers at Caliber: ChangeMakers Academy!
A recent interview with Marsha Theus:
Tell me more about how you support students and teachers?
“My role is very complex. I do a lot! One of the things we work on is the COLLAB group. We talk about the students with the highest level of need, behavior, emotional, and developmental. With the leadership team we discuss how we can support them through group behavioral therapy (serves grades TK-8. In addition, I support those with emotional needs, all ranging from different manifestations by providing individual therapy. I utilize counseling techniques to understand if these patterns are being seen at home or if there are underlying causes as to why behaviors are showing up . I create plans to reinforce students as well as deliver consequences when mistakes are made. We repair the harm in a way that is not punitive, only restorative and doesn’t rob the child of their voice. I also support teachers and other staff with high need students. I coach teachers about systems to implement to help support their students. I want to give a special shout out to our entire SPED team for helping move this work and making sure that things are happening with all kids and being advocates for them.”
Tell me about the restorative project you had a student do?
“The student got caught doing something that they weren’t supposed to in the restroom and did this because he had been influenced by older students and was seeking social capital. To fit in one way or another. The big thing about it is that he lied about it. He had an impact on a lot of staff members that he works with. He is a student that needed something meaningful and long to understand the impact he had both in his life and people he works with very closely. There were 3 parts to the restorative project. One was writing an essay about what he did, another was creating a powerpoint to present to his class and younger grade levels.”
What is the work involved in repairing the issue?
“It looks different for every child! A lot of the kids that I work with have experienced trauma or have a disability. I try to understand and appreciate that background, but also hold them accountable. For the student I worked with it looked like a lot of conversations constantly. It’s not a linear process. Often times, this work is something we have to go back to.”
How does this impact the community?
“I think knowing that the same standards and expectations are held for all students. It is a frequent topic that our leadership team talks about, which is that all things be fair. It's important for students to see, but for staff to know that everyone is being held accountable. We want the harm to be repaired, no matter the magnitude of people affected by it.”
Learn more about how parents, families and staff came together for an event that truly represents what community is!
A recent interview with Vivian Johnson (Founding Elementary School Clinician & Social Emotional Learning Lead) Tell me more about what inspired the resource fair at CMA?
“ I view CMA as my community and my colleagues as chosen family members. My viewpoint coupled with my passion to help people become the best version of themselves, led me to complete an assessment. I assessed what could better in my community, improve my work-family, and help others along the path of self-empowerment. By triangulating the school, community, and families, with bringing together resources; this could only strengthen and develop our community, contribute to improving student performance, bring awareness to mental health resources, all while continuing to validate and affirm our students and families. Additionally, it is also imperative that we recognize that during the midst of a trial, it can often be difficult to locate the resources that are needed in order to overcome the challenge. Therefore, I want to make it my best practice to bring resources to our families while continuing to outsource. Thus, the fair was born and this is the foundation of a phenomenal trend.”
Why was the fair important for the community?
“ A community should serve as a viable resource to meet the needs of its children, youth, and families. The importance of the fair is that it provided a framework for developing and identifying services, solutions, and the foundation for a school-based community that supports and nurtures children and families as it should. A resource fair is essential in every community. Everyday, CMA Staff and Teachers strive to teach, support and meet the needs of every student on campus. A community resource is a great practice that aligns with our daily goals and actions.”
What is something memorable that happened?
“ The Community Resource event was paired with CMA’s Family Reading Night. It was such a beautiful sight to see our parents, families and teachers/staff coming together in order to consistently commit to our students learning and school experience. This night was not only a memorable night, but it was a true testament to the commitment that all of our CMA Staff / Teachers have for the Vallejo Community. The unity that was observed that night, was the true definition of what community means.”
CMA would like to express so much gratitude to the following vendors: