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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

New behavioral therapist aids other special education teachers

Sora Kang
Behavioral therapist Sora Kang works on her computer in one of the special education classrooms on Sept. 21.

Sora Kang, the school’s new behavioral specialist, works as part of the Special Education Department to aid students with behavioral challenges in and out of the classroom. Her main role is to conduct behavior analyses, where she observes students and notes ways to help them adapt to school settings. 

Kang’s work day usually starts with checking in on various special education classes and students, walking around any classrooms that teachers request help for. If any student needs additional support learning how to communicate or advocate for themselves, she helps them and aids other teachers with finding good strategies to support the students, such as different methods of giving directions and teaching behaviors like raising a hand to ask a question. 

Kang obtained her bachelor’s in psychology at UCSD and attended USC for a master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis. 

Prior to joining the school, Kang also worked as a behavioral specialist for nine years. This year marks Kang’s first time working in a high school setting, although she previously worked with high school aged clients, as well as elementary and middle schoolers in school districts in Sunnyvale and San Mateo.

“I knew I wanted to do this for a living when I worked with my first client,” Kang said. “When the quality of his life improved significantly, I wanted to continue working in this field to help others with special needs.”

The biggest challenge so far, she said, has been the unpredictability of her job schedule, as well as accepting that behaviors can often get worse before getting better. While her job can be difficult at times, Kang said she has learned to appreciate the consistency of working with the same students each day and the satisfaction of seeing them grow more independent throughout the year. 

She has also found that support from other staff within the department helped her adjust to her new job. In her time working here, she has observed that her colleagues have great compassion and care for their students.

“I think all of the staff here are so welcoming,” Kang said. “They’re so willing to help one another. The collaboration between staff and putting the students’ needs as a priority has been really great to see and work with.”

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