Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer Reading Bundle for Educators: Keep Reading, Continue Learning

It has been quite a while since my last bundle of books.  So, with Summer upon us here are the latest books to get you reading.

My Professional Choice is Raising a Sensory Smart Child by Lindsey Biel and Nancy Peske. If you are a school counselor then this is a must read.  Sensory Processing Disorder can vary so much from person to person.  Proprioceptive.  Vestibular. Sensory Registration.  Sensory Defensiveness.  And on and on.  These kids are in every school and it has been my experience that we are not proactively accommodating and advocating for them with fidelity.  It is my opinion that the school counselor is the go-to person for this type of information and needs to have a strong reservoir of knowledge from which to draw and collaborate effectively with the school community.  This book is a wonderful resource and will make a significant difference in enhancing your awareness and understanding.  (And this book, too-- The Out of Sync Child-- Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder  by Carol Kranowitz).

Every summer I make an effort to read authors that I probably should have read, but never got around to it.  With the recent death of Ray Bradbury, I decided for my Personal Choice to read a couple of his--Dandelion Wine and Fahrenheit 451.  I just started Dandelion Wine and it is a magically wonderful tribute to childhood summers.  Read this and it will set your mind right for the entire summer.

My Kid Lit pick this time around is This Plus That: Life's Little Equations by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.  This author looks at things we see each and every day and turns them into something fresh and vibrant.  And always with a little bit wonder and a smidgen of whimsy. Click here for a book trailer.   I read this book as part of a classroom lesson and then asked the students to create their own equations.  Here are a few:  Problem + School Counselor = Solution, Good Book + Free Time = Great Adventure, and Hard Work + Determination = Goal Accomplished. Give it a try with your students.  I guarantee you will be showered with creativity and original thinking.

As always, over to the left are the links to these books-- Books To Inspire.

Enjoy. Keep reading.  Keep learning.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

The Learning Shoe

My friend, Stephen Hurley, over at Teaching Out Loud put out this fun, thought-provoking post about what type of shoe most represents your style of teaching. I briefly commented, but thought it deserved a post all of its own. So here it is.

Hiking boots most represent my style as a counselor educator.

They are good for Exploring. There is a lot to see, experience, and learn out there in the world… and it is usually off the beaten path. For me, there is nothing like getting out to nature to ratchet up self-discovery, as well as the discovery of what life has to offer. I’ve discussed in the past the importance of being comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. Making oneself vulnerable is OK. Taking acceptable risks definitely gets one out of a well-worn rut and can be growth-producing. Hiking boots allow you to put yourself out there and be open to that sort of experience. With a bit of effort there are opportunities and possibilities there for the taking.

They are also durable, reliable, steady…. made for the long haul. Hiking boots are usually not swift of foot, but built to get you through the tough moments. They are meant to get messy, scuffed-up, and dirty. Hiking boots provide Support to get you up the tough climbs and down the steep descents, too. Life and learning is a lot like this.

A good hike in this type of shoe cleanses the palette of the mind and puts things in perspective for objective and meaningful Understanding. Sometimes learning can be confounding. Sometimes we need to reframe our thought process. From confusion comes the A-ha moments. My preferred shoe of choice for educating does just that.

Exploration. Support. Understanding. Effort. This is my approach to teaching.

I just may need to start wearing hiking boots to school!

But what about you? What is the shoe to represent your style of teaching? (By the way, Stephen’s are Hush Puppies).