Who Am I?
I am a former teacher who, though retired, remains greatly concerned with the educational and emotional well being of every child. I have taught students at almost every grade level, from pre-kindergarten multi-handicapped through college. Further, I have facilitated the development of pre-service teachers, and raised my own children in the process. Through multiple years of teaching, I faced the mystery of what truly creates mentally and emotionally healthy children numerous times. Because of prevailing concerns about what is not happening in our public school classrooms, I want to share those lessons where I had met challenges since my beginning teaching in 1963. Children have always been my motivation; at times, my salvation. Ultimately, being a grandmother raised the bar for me. This blog will provide me with an opportunity to demonstrate my abilities to give unconditional love through an educational platform.
My resume, which follows, doesn’t tell of the hard-fought acquisition of my educational bono fides. My first child arrived before I graduated from TCU. Although I loved my son passionately, I quickly realized that his mother was a child herself. We literally grew up together! By the time his sister arrived, I knew enough to recognize when to worry and when to let a situation go. The first year I taught was a disaster; thirty-six level-D first graders in an urban school. It was my baptism-by-fire! Eventually, I attended graduate school at UT Austin where I became qualified as a special education teacher and as a reading specialist. St. Edward’s University, also in Austin, provided the platform where I learned, taught, and grew. In May of 2013, I retired after thirty-two years of university teaching.
Is There a Theme in This Blog?
The struggle of children attempting to grow and to learn in this society drives me. Not a day goes by that I do not think of children who are ill prepared for the world that awaits them. Troubling situations are now inflicted by government decree and political encroachment. Though educational demands have sought to change as society changes, the environment and the influx of politics have warped essential lessons. Youngsters continue to struggle in school; suffering, among other things, over homework and bullying. Many less stalwart students experience physical pain from not feeling included. Every child deserves to feel loved and to feel capable.
Posts will suggest ideas for the following areas:
- Beginning literacy, including reading, writing, and spelling
- Redirecting children’s behaviors
- Political issues involving children and education
- Identifying and serving students with dyslexia
Who Might Find This Blog Useful?
Parents, grandparents, and teachers will benefit most. Adults who want to encourage emerging literacy and positive behavior in children will gain useful ideas. Teachers will find innovative ideas, as well as tried and true suggestions, which they can add to their current pedagogy tool-kits. Pre-service teachers who are engaged in methods classes, student teachers, and alternatively certified teachers will assemble ideas to enhance their confidence and expand marketability. Social workers, tutors, coaches, and churches all stand to gain by accumulating ideas for teaching and guiding students. Politicians might want to consider thoughts in this blog. What the heck? School administrators might learn something new!! Welcome to my blog! Please leave comments and questions so that we can grow together.
What is the Promise?
I commit to posting a minimum of two (hopefully three) blogs a week. Comments and questions will receive responses. I will be honest, personal, and informed. Finally, I will learn along with each of you as we seek to enhance the lives of children we love.
Is There a Policy on Comments?
Open, honest, courteous communication distinguishes humans from other life forms. I hope you will respond to blogs with questions and comments. To facilitate communication, I ask you to respect the following policies, which I obtained from Michael Hyatt who currently provides guidance and motivation through blogs, speeches, and books.
- You will not be asked to register. Commenting or not commenting is totally up to you.
- You may choose to post without sharing your name.
- You are encouraged to ask questions.
- You are invited to disagree with me.
- If I feel your language is inappropriate, I may delete your comments.
- You are responsible and liable for your comments.
- When you post comments or questions on this blog, you are agreeing to allow me to use your comments in future communications (such as future blogs, books, or articles).
Please consider becoming a subscriber via e-mail. Subscribing enables you to leave messages, make suggestions and ask questions. You may also want to disagree with a post; that will promote added interest. I welcome your views. You can also contact me on K&L Facebook page or though e-mail through my contact page.
BARBARA’S BOOKS and PROGRAMS
Slaying the Dragons
We know that those fearsome, fire-breathing creatures known as dragons do not truly exist. Yet, in the world of literacy instruction, teachers often feel as though they are battling equally severe and frightening conditions that hinder literacy success. Slaying the Dragons: 21st Century Literacy considers several causes of literacy failure. The most severe challenges come from various types of dyslexia and dysgraphia and are the predominant challenges that are considered for remediation in these chapters. Research information, suggested strategies, and recommended modifications follow the introduction of each “dragon.”
© 2011 Author House.
Making a Difference for Students with Differences
Whether you teach in a public, private, or home setting, you will sometimes face the challenge of a student who learns differently. As you strive to meet the needs of a special student, you will yearn for adaptation and modification ideas. Making a Difference for Students with Differences contains a vast collection of adaptations. Many of the ideas come from areas of expertise outside education. For that reason, some suggestions may seem extraordinary. However, students with drastic needs require drastic responses. The text begins with the foundation and terminology of special education and proceeds with new terms for inclusion. A bibliography contains valuable resources for materials, equipment, and workshops in the hopes that pre-service teachers, teachers, and parents will seek additional resources for special learners.
Copyright © 1998, 2012 Entercate Publications
Yes! I Can Teach Literacy
Have you even considered what a miracle it is that any of us learn to read?! One school superintendent stated, “Teaching reading IS rocket science!” For those who wonder how to facilitate the miracle of converting a non-reader into a fluent one, Yes! I Can Teach Literacy is the book for you. Topics include assessment of reading and writing, developmental stages, emerging literacy, strategies for teaching reading, writing, and spelling, suggestions for helping children with dyslexia and dysgraphia, and specific ways to meet state objectives by using good pedagogy. At the end of the book, the generalizations of our English language are covered.
Copyright © 2001, Family School Publications
Teaching Responsible Behavior
Are schools and homes no longer safe sanctuaries from student indolence and outrage? Teaching Responsible Behavior is a collection of practices from some of the nation’s most prestigious behavior management experts. Written in a succinct format, the text provides easy-to-apply suggestions and communication tools for accessing personal responsibility in students of all ages. Teachers, parents, and pre-service teachers will benefit from reading and reflecting on the ideas presented in Teaching Responsible Behaviors.
Copyright © 1997, Family School Publications
All too often we fall into ruts, presenting lessons the same way day after day. Diversified Teaching offers a quick and easy way to teach reading/language arts with the diversity that will maintain motivation for ages five through adult. Strategies are offered for phonics, sight words, reading fluency, comprehension, writing and more. Writing frames (guides) are provided for easy copying and suggestions for modification are offered.
In 1988, Sharon Smith and I established electronic checklists of characteristics for dyslexia, dysgraphia, and related disorders. Our purpose was to raise awareness of behaviors that can easily be dismissed as unimportant. Our hope was that checklists would be used as evidence to request in-depth testing by a school or diagnostician. The newly revised checklist will be included in this blog along with an invitation to personally work with me to assess possible learning challenges and to identify adaptations and ideas to facilitate learning.
©1988 Education Analysis