BACK TO SCHOOL: Thoughts Become Things … Create Your Experience!

As we cycle through routines from year to year; for many parents, August is Back to School season with all of it’s rituals including new clothes, new supplies, and other essentials.  This year, I highly recommend experiencing new thoughts, new emotions, and overall, a fresh attitude when considering the upcoming school year.  How about seeing the new year from a fresh pair of rose-colored glasses?

For many parents with children who are served through an IEP or a 504 Plan, often, I hear the following comments from clients when we approach the Back to School season: “It was such a wonderful summer, my kids loved being able to be themselves without the pressure of school …  I regret sending them back when they seem so happy …”. However the ritual of Back to School plays out in your household, I do recommend taking an honest look at the underlying thoughts and emotions associated with how you feel about your child’s upcoming school experience.  If you dread the notion of your kids going back to school, I recommend that you explore this further and look at the causes of this perception. If in your self-reflection, there are feelings or thoughts associated with regret, frustration, anger or fear; or any other negative impression, this is quite familiar for it’s something I hear all the time.  Due to the potential disconnect between the school format and many of today’s children, especially those who struggle with Autism, ADHD, or Learning Differences, there may be a large reservoir of frustration and hurt stored up through the years. In fact, as a child myself, I dreaded the idea of going back to school.  So much that I would avoid anything with a Back to School them like shopping for supplies, new clothes, or even watching TV for there were so many advertisements pushing the whole Back to School marketing campaign.  However, these thoughts or feelings such as dread or fear, do not present the best framework for success or potential growth.

How we feel about our child’s school, and their upcoming experience, may set the tone for our children as they begin this new adventure each year.  I believe the power of intention [our thoughts and feelings below the surface], creates a powerful mindset as well as a platform leading toward future success or frustration.  I tend to believe in the cliche, “We see what we believe”.  And our children do learn from our lead.  So I do recommend looking at the new school year with a fresh perspective, especially if it requires a complete 360 degree shift from how you felt back in June.

Please don’t get me wrong on this: I don’t believe the school experience always presents a positive outcome for all children; life doesn’t work that way.  However, I do believe there is something to be said about going up stream, taking a positive approach rather than pushing against the tide. The new school year from the teachers perspective, as well as most administrators, is truly something to look forward to; a new beginning.   And by working with your child’s teacher from a positive frame of reference, this will set a strong message, one which will be well received.  Especially if your child presents behavior which may often be considered highly inconvenient.  By taking the high road, highlighting grace, understanding, patience, and cooperation, or a combination of these attributes, this creates an intention of collaboration.  And trust me on this one; after years of doing this work, I believe that partnership creates the best platform toward intervention in all situations; where adversarial relations always gets in the way supporting our children.

Best to you and your family as you begin the new school year.  May Back to School present a celebration; an opportunity to look forward with the intent on this upcoming year being special.  For our children deserve the very best and sometimes all it takes is a simple shift of perspective.  And in many situations, a simple smile is a good start!

THE 21st Century Classroom: THE NEW FOUR Rs (Subtitled: Where Have All The Hippies Gone?)

Within the 21st Century, every institution is experiencing a shift within it’s framework:  Change is EVERYWHERE. Often, it’s messy, not a pretty picture, and it’s not always easy. Though change is natural to the intentional order of life, however, it’s not always welcome within the human condition.  Some of us embrace change for it seemsContinue Reading

MUST READ: Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century (What Every Parent & Teacher Needs to Know)

Kids today are wired differently: Ask any veteran teacher who has been around for over twenty years, they will all say the same.  “Teaching today is much more demanding than ever; kids today present a challenge like we have never seen before”.  This change could present stress within the classroom. In fact, according to theContinue Reading

Einstein Had It Right: It’s ALL About Energy: Thoughts on Teaching & Parenting and What To Do About It

Another new school year, another new slogan: This year we will all be hearing about “Social Emotional Learning [SEL]” and “Trauma Sensitive Schools”.  Which is a huge step in the right direction.  For both address relationships and heart-centered approaches at the core.  This presents a major shift in contrast to the typical mantras we haveContinue Reading

Note to Teachers: Summer Vacation and The Three Legged Stool …

With summer vacation upon us, it’s so important that we all take time to refresh, rejuvenate, and rejoice in preparation for 2018-2019 during the upcoming weeks. By doing so, especially, celebrating success and thoroughly embracing the wonderful moments from this past year, we set ourselves up for a remarkable year ahead. The power of belief,Continue Reading

Taking Care of Oneself is Not Selfish: Building Resilience is a Life Skill Requirement For Us All

Are you ready for the never-ending evolution of life which is quicker, faster, deeper, more complex, engaging, and messy than ever before?   You should be … for we are all living in this remarkable period of time.  And it won’t simply just go away or return to a memory which is long, lost, and gone. Continue Reading

True Education Reform is an Inside Job

One of things I get to do in my work is to support teachers and principaIs directly when behavior issues rise to the surface.  Whether serving as an Education Advocate / Consultant or as a district Behavior Specialist, I am expected to know what I am talking about. And by doing so, I generally tendContinue Reading

What If Every Class Was Based Upon The Gifted Education Model?

Imagine a school, where each classroom was based upon the belief that “every child is gifted”.  This does make a difference.  For what we believe is often what we see! There have been numerous studies related to teacher’s expectations and student performance; many of which replicate the research from the 1960’s conducted by Rosenthal; whenContinue Reading

Relationship, Relevance, and Resilience: When the Honeymoon is Over!

Honeymoon: A period of unusual harmony especially following the establishment of a new relationship … With each new school year, there is an established “honeymoon” period; where the students [as well as teachers] appear to be on their best behavior due to the notion of a fresh start.  In many cases, this period lasts fourContinue Reading

Relationship, Relevance, and Resilience: The New Three Rs!

Sometimes we forget what it was like being a child, and specifically, being a student.  For most of us, we barely remember what the day to day experience was like and most often, we have no clue what we learned in school. But we NEVER forget the teacher who made a difference in our lives.Continue Reading

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