Home / Addressing Challenging Behaviors in the Classroom (in person or virtual) as a United Team

Addressing Challenging Behaviors in the Classroom (in person or virtual) as a United Team

Coaching teachers to use universal Pyramid Model practices can have a positive impact on both teachers’ and young children’s daily experiences in early childhood classrooms. What if there are children in the classroom who need a little more help to follow routines, understand expectations, regulate their emotions, or connect to their peers? Join our panelists as they discuss their experiences and processes for working with teachers to individualize Pyramid Model practices in their classrooms.


Dec 15, 2021


3:00 PM


1 hr

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Guest Presenter(s)

Mary Louise Hemmeter

Vanderbilt University

Mary Louise Hemmeter, PhD, is a professor of Special Education at Vanderbilt University. Her research focuses on effective instruction, social emotional development and challenging behavior, and coaching teachers. She has been a PI or Co-PI on numerous projects funded by the US Departments of Education and Health and Human Services. Through her work on the National Center on the Social Emotional Foundations for Early Learning and IES funded research projects, she was involved in the development of the Pyramid Model for Supporting Social Emotional Competence in Young Children and a model for coaching teachers to implement effective practices. She is currently the PI on an IES funded development project around program wide supports for implementing the Pyramid Model and a Co-PI on an IES efficacy study examining approaches to supporting teachers to implement embedded instruction. She was co-editor of the Journal of Early Intervention and President of the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division for Early Childhood. She received the Mary McEvoy Service to the Field Award.

Johanna Wasser

University of Denver

Johanna Wasser is a Senior Research Assistant for Positive Early Learning Experiences (PELE) Center at the University of Denver. Her current projects include LEAP Model and PTR-YC consultation; and is part of the NCPMI Family Engagement Work Group. Johanna has dedicated her professional career to promoting social emotional competence and inclusion practices in early childhood education for over 20 years and has been a coach of the Pyramid Model since 2007. She has a Master’s in Early Childhood Education and maintains her license as an Early Childhood Special Education. Johanna has worked with children, families and professionals in a variety of settings including home, community, early childhood programs, and public school districts. When Johanna is not hard at work she enjoys spending time with her family and playing in the mountains.

Nikki James

Maury County Public Schools

Nikki James, M.Ed., BCBA is a Behavior Support Specialist with Maury County Public Schools in Tennessee. This year through an Education, Innovation, and Research (EIR) grant, she coaches Kindergarten teachers on implementation of Pyramid Model practices in their classroom and works alongside another SEL Coach within preschool and kindergarten. Through this, she supports individualized interventions, data collection, observation along with using PTR-YC to assess challenging behavior to develop function based behavior intervention plans. Nikki has 13 years of experience in public education, early childhood and youth services, and applied behavior analysis within home and school settings. Nikki received her Master Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis focusing on within the education setting from Arizona State University and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Heather Melancon

Heather Melancon, BCBA, LBA has 15 years of experience working in the fields of early childhood, applied behavior analysis, and public education. She has experience in many early childhood roles: an infant, toddler, preschool, and exceptional education teacher with students with significant communication and behavioral needs, district level behavior analyst working with teachers to support students with exceptional needs, and providing in home and community based applied behavior analysis services to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Currently, she is a Behavior Analyst working alongside SEL Coaches within preschool and kindergarten classrooms participating in a Pyramid Model Grant supporting individualized interventions, data collection, observation, and using PTR-YC to assess challenging behavior to develop function based behavior intervention plans.

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