Accompanied by his highly-animated slide shows and interactive activities, Dr. Mac is well-known for his entertaining, informative and good-humored presentations. Invite him to speak at your gathering. Doing so reflects positively on your organization and its gathering.

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Keynote Presentations



Reclaiming Discarded Youth from Society's Trash Heap (Inspirational keynote)


Dr. Mac provides a highly humorous, yet sensitive account of an excerpted few months from his long career of teaching students labeled as "behavior disordered". Following a description of his students and the daily events within his classroom, there enters a new student: Jacinto. This student, recently released from a residential setting because his Grandmothers' insurance benefits lapsed, brings a well-earned reputation for defiance and aggression back to his home school. The school district, displeased at having to once again assume responsibility for a youngster that they hoped had been exiled for the remainder of his school days, placed him with "others of his kind" in Tom's classroom for "recalcitrant teens".


From the initial reactions of his students at hearing of Jacinto's imminent arrival, through Tom's experiences with him, and to the horrific end to this tale of a resilient, but psychologically troubled youth; our need to reach out to behaviorally errant youth and return them to our fold becomes evident.


Society was initially negligent in protecting Jacinto when he was young. It then failed to serve him in school when he was older. Eventually, he was viewed as repulsive, punished for being the product of his world, and sent away. Upon his return, and despite efforts to change, those around him would not let him shed his reputation. In a series of escalating and culminating acts, he would fully return the hurt placed upon him.


For those who listen, Jacinto's story contains many lessons about responsibility; for the society in which we dwell, those of us who are its members, and those of us who serve society as educators.


Length of keynote: Can be adjusted for 20 minute or 50 minute time slots





Escalating Events:


Avoiding and Defusing Conflicts With Students


Using a model that explains why teachers and students end up in arguments and escalating disciplinary situations, this overview provides insight into why behavior battles occur and the elements that contribute to conflict.


Length of keynote: Can be adjusted for 30 minute or 60 minute time slots

(follow-up workshops would address how to avoid or defuse the student-teacher conflict)





Half Day & Full Day Workshops



Avoiding and Defusing Conflicts With Our Students

Orders are given and rejected. Emotions flare. Bodies tense. Competing histrionics escalate. Threats are uttered with rising volume as the secondary emotion of anger takes over from the first feeling. The situation surges in intensity as the teacher uses more of what already isn’t working.

This activity-filled session (an extension of the "Escalating Events" keynote presentation OR its own problem-and-solution workshop) addresses Nicholas Long’s “Conflict Cycle” model for understanding why teachers and their students with behavioral challenges often engage in escalating classroom battles. As this framework is deconstructed, attendees gain insight into how educators are oftentimes drawn into the Conflict Cycle, why defiance and rebellion surface and amplify, and how to avoid and defuse discord.

Topics addressed:

- How the life experiences of both parties affect their interpretation of an event

- How the self-esteem and self-concept of each party affects the amount of stress felt

- How the interplay of personality and events intertwine to effect interactions

- The role that educators play in escalating or de-escalating tense situations
- Respectful, positive, and effective strategies for avoiding and defusing conflict


Outcomes: At the end of the session, participants will be able to:

- Converse knowledgeably regarding “The Conflict Cycle” model.

- Identify and utilize strategies that avoid or reduce conflict.

- Locate additional electronic resources for future study.







You Get More Flies With Honey:


Nice ways to gain compliance


We can use a hammer to swat a fly, and we may even accomplish the task, but it typically causes lots of interpersonal damage. When it comes to convincing “resistant” kids to follow our directions, it's all about what we say and how we say it. Dr. Mac presents guidelines for phrasing commentary so that the chances of compliance with directions and classroom expectations increases.


This session provides practice in easy-to-use positive and respectful techniques that:
    -Solve the problem
    -Promote compliant and cooperative behavior
    -Model appropriate interaction
    -Promote self-control
(in our students AND us)
    -Build positive connections with our kids
(because kids have to like the messenger if they’re going to listen to the message)


Length of workshop: 3-6 hours


Topics covered:

-The 3 part formula for giving effective directions

-Avoiding terms that create and exacerbate situations

-Withholding negative predictions:

-“You’re going to drop it.”

-“You’re going to fail.”

-Using non-accusatory language:

-I, us, and we messages

-Praising effectively

-Criticism that inspires rather than demoralizes

-Giving information

-Describing the problem

-Using notes to lure students into compliance






Powerful Positive Procedures for Promoting

Prosocial Behavior Change


“Nothing works with this kid.  I’ve tried EVERYTHING!” Despite the claim, it’s likely that we haven’t yet tried a couple of procedures that are effective with intervention-resistant kids. During this activity-filled session, participants discuss and practice these research-proven behavior-change interventions.


Topics addressed:

- Differential Reinforcement: It’s a $20 term for a $1 idea, but differential reinforcement procedures are perhaps the most powerful set of planned interventions that a teacher can utilize to change inappropriate behavior patterns for the better.

- Self Recording procedures: Involving the student in his/her own assessment of actions brings a multitude of benefits: Collection of numerical data and/qualitative information, the freeing-up of teacher time, and the building/strengthening of students’ inner management of behavior.

- (If time remains) Presentation and activity on weaning kids from reinforcement

AND/OR moving them to higher level reinforcers.


Outcomes: At the end of the session, participants will be able to:

1. Effectively implement various differential reinforcement procedures.

2. Effectively implement self-recording procedures.

3. Engage in practices that move youngsters to higher level reinforcers.










Behavioral Recording: Collecting and analyzing data


How pronounced is the youngster’s present level of inappropriate behavior? How effective is our intervention?  Increasingly, educators are being required to engage in data collection and data-based decision making. More importantly, this collection and analysis is part of a well-planned and effectively implemented positive behavior change program. In this activity-filled session, attendees learn about and practice behavior recording procedures.



Topics addressed:

- Assessment overview: Why we collect information and data on students’ actions; stages of assessment; common assessments; direct versus indirect measures; interviewing informed sources; behavior checklists; anecdotal reports; andstandardized testing.

- Dimensions of behavior: Identifying the aspect of the student’s behavior that we wish to change.

- Defining the target behavior: Identifying the behavior that we wish to assess in observable and measurable terms.

- Behavioral recording: Overview; the various types; and practicing the procedures with video clips.

- (if time remains):A-B-C analysis of behavior: Identifying the instigating factors and reinforcing events that promote and maintain inappropriate behavior.


Outcomes: At the end of the session, participants will be able to:

1. Describe the various ways of gathering information/data.

2. Engage successfully in the use of all of the data gathering procedures.

3. Analyze the collected information, and use it in planning for behavioral change.








Figuring Out Why Kids Misbehave


(And using that information to intervene effectively)


Effective interventions are based on knowledge of WHY the student is showing certain behavior patterns. Humans show behaviors only if benefits are derived. If a behavior doesn’t bring something desirable, or help us escape/avoid negative outcomes, we don’t use it in the future. This activity-filled session provides guidelines for determining the function/cause/purpose (the benefits) of particular behaviors. It provides instruction and practice in the investigative procedures that can contribute significantly to a Functional Behavior Assessment. Suggestions for intervention are provided (for use in devising Behavior Intervention Plans).


Topics covered:

- A-B-C (Antecedent-Behavior-Consequence) model: Assessment and


- Rudolf Driekurs’ “Mistaken Goals” analysis model (Psychological reasons for

displays of aberrant behavior). Assessment and intervention.

- Other common contributors to be addressed

- Prevention of failure

- Emulation of anti-authority behavior pattern from the neighborhood

- Fulfillment of an adopted psychological role

- Reaction to pursuit of a goal being interrupted by the educator

- Failure on the part of the educator to consider the student’s views

- Educator misunderstanding of developmentally appropriate behavior


Outcomes: At the end of the session, participants will be able to:

1. Converse knowledgably regarding the basic human needs that drive behavior.

2. Conduct A-B-C assessments.

3. Conduct “mistaken goals” assessments.

4. Devise interventions based on assessment results.








Teaching Social Skills

to Kids Who Don't Have Them



While many behaviorally challenged students may be able to tell us what they OUGHT to be doing, they don't have the training, experience, and support necessary to display those appropriate behaviors on a regular basis. If we wish to witness those desirable behavior patterns, we have to teach and promote them. However, social skills curricula tend to be quite expensive. This activity-filled session provides free assessment checklists for evaluating social interaction skills, and gives guidance for designing instructional units to teach everything from listening skills to well-mannered interactions with others.


Topics covered:

- What are social skills?

- Which social skills are important for school success?

- Assessing social skills in youngsters

- Developing lessons based on the assessment


Outcomes: At the end of the session, participants will be able to:

1. Identify the social skill strengths and weaknesses of individuals and groups of youngsters.

2. Develop an intervention plan to teach social skills (to individuals or groups).








Increasing our Students’ Willingness

to Change Their Errant Behavior Patterns


Why would an intervention work wonderfully with one behaviorally challenged youngster, but not another? One variable is the major determinant: The youth’s willingness to change his/her ways. We might select evidence-based, research proven strategies and implement them with fidelity, but failure is assured if behaviorally misdirected youth find no motivation to change their froward ways.


Students who are identified as having mental health and/or behavioral disorders are at great risk for poor life outcomes due to their deviation from the norm in values and character-based behavior. Despite having the awareness that their actions are deemed misguided and wrongful by mainstream society, they are oftentimes resistant to our efforts to help them change their ways for the better. By understanding the process of human behavioral change and how to enhance it, we can move them away from their recalcitrant actions.


Rarely do we witness a single moment of inspiration followed by a permanently successful metamorphosis to a new behavioral repertoire. For most individuals, change is a prolonged and gradual process that moves though the following stages:

  1. Pre-contemplation: A general lack of interest or willingness to undergo a change in one’s behavioral pattern.
  2. Contemplation: Curiosity about other ways of behaving, and consideration of whether demonstrating those other ways is desirable and accomplishable.
  3. Resolve: Deciding, based upon consideration of the pros and cons of changing one’s ways, that the adoption of another moral/ethical/value/behavior code is a better life path to pursue.
  4. Preparation: Planning for undertaking change, perhaps with some small initial attempts at demonstrating the new ways.
  5. Action: Engagement, full-fledged or hesitant, in demonstrating personal change actions.
  6. Maintenance:  Backsliding to previous stages is common. The new behavior pattern is unstable, requiring support and reinforcement to survive.  As the youngster becomes more accomplished, supports are removed.


Being able to determine a youngster’s stage of readiness for positive change, and knowing which stage-specific interventions increase or maintain his/her willingness to adopt more prosocial values and actions, gives us the missing pieces of the behavior-change puzzle.


Topics covered:

- Overview of the Readiness for Change model

- Stages of readiness

- Assessment of a youngster’s stage of readiness

- Approaches for each stage that promote advancement to higher levels of

readiness for behavioral change.



Outcomes: At the end of the session, participants will be able to:

1. Converse knowingly about the “TransTheoretical Model for Change” as it applies to youngsters with emotional and behavioral disorders.

2. Determine a particular youngster’s present level of willingness to work to develop more pro-social behavior pattern.

3. Move the youngster toward higher stages of readiness for positive behavioral change.

4. Maintain the youngster’s new and more positive behavior pattern once it is established.

5. Motivate a youngster to re-engage in the change process if s/he experiences failure in maintaining the new pro-social behavior pattern.

6. Locate materials for conducting a more comprehensive analysis of readiness.

7. Locate an extensive listing and description of recommended interventions and approaches for each level of readiness.



** Please be aware that #6 & #7 require a purchase of materials after the session. The url for that purchase is:









One hour Break Out Sessions


Effective Praise & Criticism that Helps, not Hurts

This session describes and demonstrates effective and ineffective praise (based on research). Activities utilize videos that show different types of praise. Suggestions are provided for phrasing criticism in a manner that promotes positive behavior change versus resistance, rejection, or self-doubt in students.


Brainstorming on Behavior

A number of videos showing student misbehavior are shown. After each, Tom leads the discussion of teacher actions and suggested interventions.


“Cracker Barrel” Question and Answer Session

Your organization provides snacks like pretzels or crackers & cheese.

Alone, or teaming with one of your skilled professionals who are knowledgeable about behavior change, a "cracker barrel" (informal gathering) ensues. Attendees are invited to ask questions about their students (perhaps submitted on paper while waiting for the session to begin) and Dr. Mac/the team takes a maximum of two minutes to provide quick advice on intervention for each submission. At the buzzer, another question is fielded.






Professional Biography

Dr. Tom McIntyre, a former teacher of students with behavior disorders, is now Professor of Special Education at Hunter College of the City University of New York where he serves as Coordinator of the Graduate Program in Behavior Disorders.  He is a past president of International Teacher Educators of Children with Behavior Disorders, and the New York State Council for Children with Behavior Disorders.


“Dr. Mac” has received awards from professional organizations for teaching, educational technology, leadership, service, research, overall professorial performance, and web site content.  His "" is the world’s best-known and most popular classroom behavior management web site. Tom’s popular book, "The Behavior Survival Guide for Kids: How to make Good Choices and Stay Out of Trouble" (Free Spirit Press) is written FOR kids with behavioral challenges.


Contact information:, 914/484-3344 mobile