December, 2014

Reflecting on Values

This is a lovely time of year to reflect on our values and to make sure our children know what they are. Our values are reflected in how we raise our children and in the programs, experiences and curricula we create for them. Here are some of my values that we use as a basis for all our work with educators, parents and children. (newworldkids.org) I value the strengths of each child. Neuroscience tells us Read More →

Who were your best teachers?

One of my best teachers when I first started college was a playwriting teacher, Robert Flynn, at the Baylor Theatre of Paul Baker. I was only seventeen but had written a play vaguely based on my own experiences living in Mississippi (but I had been a small child then—not an adult). I guess I was aspiring to be a female Tennessee Williams. I wrote about a young woman caught in a context of poverty who Read More →

By the Book

Over a 15 year-period, I was the lead instructor for a SEED program, funded by USAID, administered through Georgetown University and (this one) housed at Palo Alto College in San Antonio, Texas. Cohorts of 20 teachers from rural areas were chosen by their Latin American governments to study in the USA for a year and then return to be change agents in their communities and countries. Julia Jarrell, retired, was the Coordinator for the Program Read More →

Paper Plus Imagination!

I love to play with paper and other recyclable materials. With paper I’m often trying to find forms that are simple to make and very useful for teachers of different kinds. Many years ago, I learned how to make a paper cup by squaring an 8 ½ ”x11” piece of plain paper. Simple and useful. I wondered what would happen if I thought of other uses for the cup. The best idea I came up Read More →

Imagine You Have Dyslexia…

If you are a good reader, it may be hard to imagine what it is like to have problems learning to read. Even teachers and parents sometimes feel that a child with problems is lazy—or just not that smart. Play this game to see what might really be going on. Preparation: Have on hand a stopwatch or watch with a second hand. Gather 20 bottle caps, buttons, poker chips or other small objects, in two Read More →

Create Your Own Memories

What do you and your family celebrate? When I was a little girl we celebrated Christmas at my grandparent’s humble farm in Belfalls, Texas. There was no running water and heat came from wood-burning stoves. Instead of stockings, we nine cousins would put out a father’s, grandfather’s or uncle’s cowboy boot to be filled with an apple, an orange, walnuts and perhaps a small toy. On Christmas Eve, one of my aunts would read, The Read More →