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.”