Learn to prevent classroom problems at positive-be...

Learn to prevent classroom problems at positive-behavior conference

Educators, school administrators and members of the academic community are being invited to attend the sixth annual Positive Behavior Support and Inclusion Conference on Thursday, May 17, at MTSU.

“This conference is special because it does not focus on outdated ways of classroom management,” explains conference founder and organizer Dr. Zafrullah “Zaf” Khan, an assistant professor of elementary and special education at MTSU.

“Instead, it centers on an innovative way of dealing with problem behaviors by using prevention logic applicable to grades K-12.”

Dr. Tim Lewis, an international speaker and expert in the field of positive-behavior support, will address attendees. He has been involved in special education for 25 years and has taught students with emotional and behavioral disorders in elementary and high schools as well as self-contained psychiatric settings.

Lewis currently is a professor of special education at the University of Missouri and he is the co-editor of the journal Behavioral Disorders, associate editor of Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions and a member of nine other editorial boards.

Lewis has worked for more than 20 years with the development of schoolwide systems of behavioral support and has worked directly with educational teams around the world. His primary focus includes work in social-skill instruction, functional assessment and proactive school-wide discipline systems.

Dr. Zaf Khan

At the MTSU conference, Lewis will explain user-friendly ways for teachers to strategically address students with challenging behaviors by using positive and proactive methods suitable for all curriculums.

“At the forefront of this conference are the needs of each child, and Dr. Lewis will discuss the psychosocial, emotional needs of the children,” Khan says. “The conference will provide methods to create systemwide, alternative and positive options based on data to help teachers make decisions regarding classroom behavior.”

The day will feature roundtable discussions hosted by education leaders who are using positive-behavior support methods. They’ll also discuss methods of inclusion and ways to successfully incorporate children with disabilities into general-education classrooms.

The conference is free and includes a continental breakfast and catered lunch. Breakfast begins at 7 a.m., and the conference will conclude at 5 p.m.

Space is limited, so Khan says attendees should reserve a seat soon. Priority registration ends Friday, May 11.

For a full conference itinerary, registration information and ways of establishing a PBSI team for your school or organization, visit or contact Khan at

Contributing members of Khan’s team include Dr. Lana Seivers, dean of the College of Education; Dr. Connie Jones, chair of the Department of Elementary and Special Education; Joseph Fisher, assistant commissioner, Tennessee Department of Education, Division of Special Education; and Linda Copas, director of behavioral and autism services and PBS coordinator for the state Department of Education.

— Lauren Price (