GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — There’s a lot that goes into teaching, from lesson planning to covering curriculum. On top of it all, teachers have to manage student behavior. That’s where Ms. Julie comes in. Julie Clem is a Severe Needs Behavior Teacher at Bookcliff Middle School, and she’s our September 2023 School District 51 Golden Apple winner. 

As a severe needs behavior teacher, she works with students to develop positive behavior patterns and coping mechanisms. She told us, “We help students self regulate in the classroom and outside the classroom. We give them opportunities to have breaks, and blowouts moments is what I would call it. That way they have a calm safe spot to go to, and a trusting person within their day.”

Behavior is really just a means of communication. Every behavior sends a message about what a student needs, and understanding those needs is the key to their success. She said, “I like working them towards their behaviors, and helping them come out of their behaviors, like coping strategies, and teaching them to excel. I look forward to that everyday.” 

A severe needs behavior teacher can significantly improve the classroom experience for children who struggle with behavioral challenges. The goal of any teacher is always student success, and since every kid is different, Ms. Julie says you have to meet them where they are.  “Meeting students at their level is very important. You cannot push them until they’re ready. They have to trust you, and you have to build rapport with them, and they have to believe in themselves as well.” 

Thank you Ms. Julie for helping kids learn positive behavioral habits, and congratulations for winning a Golden Apple award.