Audiobooks, Empathetic Teaching and Running

What I’m Reading:  I’m currently listening to an audiobook version of “Introvert Power” by Laurie Helgoe, PhD. This is a great book for both introverts and extroverts because it clears up common misconceptions about what both introversion and extroversion really are. For example, I am an introvert, which does not mean that I don’t like people. After all, my chosen profession involves being actively engaged with people much of my waking time. In fact, I really love people and I love being with people. I just need alone time to recharge and collect my thoughts. Additionally, as an educator I also appreciate how the book gives insight into how my introverted students might have different avenues of learning than my extroverted students, and it inspired ideas of how to target each type.


Building Confident Learners: Meet learners where they are. Pay attention to the student’s emotional and physical state and adjust your expectations accordingly. Focus on their health status, their sleep quota, and what’s happening in their lives both inside and outside of school that might affect their overall ability to perform academically.

What Gives Me Joy: Running. I’ve been enjoying running outside now that being outside doesn’t immediately turn me into a human sweat-ball. For this native Wisconsinite, the temperatures of SC have verged on traumatic but I will not give up! I’ve especially enjoyed running on the Mary Black Trail, more commonly called the Rail Trail, in Spartanburg. Everyone waves or smiles when I pass them on my runs, which, when I think about it, really shows how welcoming the community is considering how overheated and disheveled I am. Kudos to the community of Spartanburg for their welcoming nature!


Me in Alaska (it’s a little colder there), doing a celebratory jump during a run.

The joy of learning. Together.


Back to School Relaxation Tips

I can’t believe summer is already over and students are packing up their backpacks for the 2017/2018 school year. Time flies! The beginning of the school year can be an adjustment for many children. Below are some ideas to help your child unwind after a long day of learning.


Audiobooks. They are great for teaching listening comprehension skills as well as relaxation! Your child can sit back an relax in a quiet space after a busy day of learning.

Talk to them about their day.  The beginning of the school year provides plenty of fun new experiences as well as some uncomfortable ones. Talk to them about their day. If they’ve had a trying day and are getting stuck making a a choice you can give them other more reasonable choices allowing them to have some control over the situation again. This is based in Love and Logic, which I really like. If you’re curious follow this link to start your own inquiry into Love and Logic.

Belly breathing. Help your child belly breath by counting breaths with them. Ask them to sit or lie down on their backs in a comfortable position. Then tell them to breath into their belly for a count of 4 or 5 (you can adjust depending on how fast you count) and then out again. The goal is to concentrate on their breath and to make it to the end of each counting sequence. It can be really helpful to have them put thier hands or a book on their belly and have them imagine their belly as a balloon filling up, and then deflating. There are a lot of versions of belly breathing so you can do what works for you and your child! I like this PBS link which explains why belly breathing works and provides some nice tips as well.

The joy of learning. Together. 


Sharing Stories

What I’m Reading: “I Capture the Castle” by Dodie Smith. As a friend of mine said, “This book is like comfort food.” It’s a wonderfully written coming of age story that takes place in 1930’s England. It captures adolescence beautifully by chronicling the journal entries of Cassandra, a teenage aspiring writer. Although not an academic text, I include it here because I believe it’s important to balance your reading list with both fiction and non-fiction texts.I Capture the Castle

Building Confident Learners: I’ve received a few letters from a previous students recently that reminded me of how joyful learning and sharing knowledge is! Confidence in learning comes from making real connections with others and sharing your own love of learning. Show your learner or learners how fun learning can be in authentic, experiential ways. Share your joy in learning and in doing so you will empower young people to be curious observers of the world!

What Gives Me Joy: Podcasts or audiobooks while crocheting. I’ve been introverting like crazy this week and have enjoyed listening to stories via podcasts and audiobooks. I love using Hoopla which is a fantastic app you can download for free! Just connect the app to your public library account and enjoy hours of audiobooks, eBooks, music and movies. I should note that I’m not getting paid to mention Hoopla, I honestly just really love it and see it as a wonderful public resource.


The joy of learning. Together.