I am Brian Charleton and I'm thrilled to be teaching at the NEXT STEP program and to be part of such a warm and dynamic community.  The NEXT STEP program is a wonderful place to teach and learn, and I feel lucky to be in this profession doing what I love. I strive to create a caring, safe, and engaging learning environment, which encourages students to believe in themselves and to do their personal best.

I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Michigan State University. I earned 

my Master of Arts in special education with concentrations in Learning Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders from Madonna University.   I have been teaching for fourteen years and have taught students as young as four and as old as twenty-five years.







Classroom Dynamics

In our classroom we focus on the following areas:

Functional Academics

Focus of academic skills necessary to function in everyday life.
Functional=being able to relate these skills to everyday life.
Learned and applied across different environments-classroom and community settings; college access.
Instruction occurs in both on-site and community settings.

Vocational Skills

Focus on enhance the likelihood of students being able to become contributing adults within our society and increase the opportunities of securing employment-meaningful work.
Instruction in work-related skills, job seeking skills, and job skill training; application of work-related skills.
Community-based work experience, on-site work experience.

Community Skills

The focus is on student preparation in accessing and using community environments as independently as possible.
Focus on the application of all skill areas in community environments.
Includes application of appropriate social skills (e.g. asking for help, socially appropriate interactions).

Recreation and Leisure

The focus is to enable students in choosing constructive and personally satisfying leisure activities in school, home, and the community.

Independent Living Skills

The focus is to prepare students to become as independent as possible in his/her living environment/setting.