Madie Atack

Program Supervisor

Madie brings a wave of positivity to our team at Aspire. Her joyful enthusiasm motivates her clients and fellow educators every day, as she infuses our learning spaces with her love of teaching and having fun!

1. Tell us about the journey that led you to Aspire Academy.

I’ve learned a lot of lessons in my career, but it wasn’t until I became a mother that I was really able to put them in perspective. Earlier in my career, I often gave myself a hard time when my clients were struggling to learn a specific skill that I was teaching, or weren’t very interested in an activity that I had meticulously planned out. Once I had children of my own, I quickly came to understand that things typically don’t go as planned, and that’s okay! Teaching (especially children) is a dynamic process that requires you to stay in the moment, follow the learners’ lead, adjust as needed, and always look for something to praise! 

3. What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
4. How do you keep your students motivated and engaged?
5. What's the best lesson you've learned so far in your career?
2. What makes you excited to come to work everyday?

I was introduced to the field of autism in my last year of university, then shortly after, began studying Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) at the post-secondary level. This field clicked with me right away - I was hooked after my first course and quickly found a volunteer opportunity at a local ABA service provider. This opportunity grew into full-time employment and I was excited to be working in a field that I was passionate about. I was proud of the work that I was doing, and even more proud of the children that I worked with. I couldn’t (and still can’t) think of anything better than watching children learn.

I’m always excited to come to work because I know I will face a new challenge every day. Whether it’s navigating a new professional situation, or figuring out the most effective way to teach a specific learner, I love being challenged. I love working with a group of students who each learn in such different ways. It keeps me on my toes and forces me to be creative with my teaching. I also love coming to such a friendly and open-minded environment, where we’re all in it together. We learn and brainstorm together, enjoy teaching together, and celebrate our students’ successes together!

In June of this year, I proudly added another skill to my toolbox by successfully completing ADOS training at Queen's University. 

Keeping my students motivated is always my top priority when I’m teaching because I know that learning will only take place when my students are motivated. To keep my students engaged, I try to make every activity (at least a little bit) fun! I maintain a fast pace and keep things upbeat and interesting. I use a variety of teaching materials and incorporate my students’ interests whenever possible. I encourage my students to take breaks, find ways to move their bodies, and laugh or smile whenever possible. It’s my job to show my students that learning can be fun! 

We asked Madie 5 questions so that you could get to know her better:

After 6 years of working in Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI), I was ready to explore other opportunities within the field. This happily led me to Aspire and now I’m thrilled to be part of the unique learning environment that has been created here. 

ADOS (The Autism Diagnostic

tool used for screening for ASD. I am excited to learn more about how this tool can be used for early screening and to continue expanding my knowledge about autism and ABA.

Observation Schedule) is a semi-structured assessment