Teach With Intention

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As a teacher or childcare worker, it is easy to get bogged down in the daily grind of diaper changes, goldfish snacks, lesson plans, and craft projects, but how often do we stop and really consider the importance of each interaction we have with these precious children? For good or bad, we are shaping the formation of each child’s little brain, world views, and sense of self. I believe that every child is a good child, that their first school experience MUST be a good experience, and that when we let our true light shine as teachers, we allow their little lights to shine as well! These classes can be done for continuing ed hours, or simply for inspiration and ideas. All presentations are interactive and include usable phrases, simple activities, discipline tips, intentional interactions for classroom routines and transitions, insights from the latest research, all focused on strengthening the emotional and brain foundations in young children, to set them up for future success and well-being.

I have presented to many teachers and schools over the years including Wilshire Baptist Church Pre-School, FPC Developmental Day School, Greenland Hills UMC Pre-School, NorthPark Presbyterian Day School, and Highland Park Presbyterian Day School. Here is what some teachers have said about my presentations:

“That was the best teaching seminar I’ve ever been to!” Caroline Blair, HPPDS

“I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your workshop. It was by far the best workshop of any kind I have ever attended. So many workshops just shovel information and speed through slides without providing any tangible, applicable take aways.  I feel like my ‘bag of tricks’ has just grown ten fold! I loved how you grounded these activities in research to justify the ‘why we are doing this’ before we even got started.  I really think every teacher would benefit from this. I was so pumped after your workshop and re-inspired for my lessons and students.” – Rachel Lawson, PK and elementary school librarian, DISD

“My teachers were using your ideas the very next day in their classes, and wondering when you could come back to our school!” – Deanna Lowry, Director of The Gruene Tree Preschool, New Braunfels, TX

“I had so much fun in your workshop. And I use one of the phrases I learned every day with the kids in my class: ‘Let me help you get started.’” – Miss Angie, Pre-K teacher, FPC Day School, Dallas

My topics include:

  • “Making Connections Through Music” – How to use music in class routines to make brain connections and authentic loving connections that build community and cooperation. It includes some basic brain development, ways that music builds pre-reading and math skills, strengthens emotional and cognitive development, and LOTS of easy, practical ideas.
  • Fruitful Teaching – Using the biblical “Fruits of the Spirit” to inspire and guide our teaching, we will discuss practical ways to encourage and model these values for the students entrusted to our care so that our classrooms and world will be a varitable fruit basket of “good things”! (Love, joy, patience, peace, self-control, kindness, gentleness, goodness, and faithfulness)
  • “Play, Laugh, Sing…Read, Listen, Hug” – My personal parenting mantra applies to teachers as well. These are the 6 most important tasks to accomplish in our classrooms each day. We’ll talk about why they are so important for the healthy development of young children, and practical, creative ways to incorporate them for babies on up.
  • Ooh, Baby, Baby! – a class especially geared for caregivers who work with babies and toddlers, to offer ideas for maximizing baby’s healthy development (social, cognitive, language, physical, emotional, and more…).
  • Heart and Brain Connections – We will discuss child brain development, gender differences, executive functioning skills, brain-based discipline strategies. And getting to the “heart” of the matter, we will practice creative ways to use this information in the classroom, enabling the best heart and brain connections with your students.
  • The 3 R’s: Using Repetition, Routine, and Ritual to Strengthen Brain and Classroom ConnectionsWe will discuss the power of these tools in the lives of young children, their many benefits, and simple ways you can use them intentionally on a daily basis in the classroom.
  • Gender Differences – We will discuss what the research says about the emerging science of sex differences, and talk about what it means practically for the classroom. In our effort to be intentional teachers, we will examine why and how boys’ brains work differently from girls’ brains, and how to respond to each in different situations at different stages. (Based on the book by Leonard Sax)
  • How Children Succeed: We will discuss what the research says about the importance of non-cognitive skills in the development of children (based on the fascinating book by Paul Tough). We will also reflect on what it means to “succeed” in the class, in a family, in our society, and in life, and how we can be intentional about labeling the values that are important to us as teachers and parents to help our children (and ourselves) maintain a healthy, happy perspective.
  • Multiple Intelligences – We will discuss and explore the 8 kinds of intelligence common in all humans. How does understanding these help us to appreciate our students’ strengths, diversity among  colleagues and classmates? How can we teach our students about these in a way that will give them more confidence, more motivation to “exercise” these intelligences, and to understand them in others? What kind of “intelligence” do we use in our own unique teaching styles in good and bad ways?

In addition to brain development and using the natural language of “music” with children, my seminars include tips on using effective praise with children, brain-based discipline, fine/ gross motor development in children, pre-reading/ writing skills and strategies, language development in children, infant/ child massage, pretend/ symbolic play, strengthening executive functioning skills, and more.

Contact me with your specific needs, and I will put together a great program for you!