A Turning Point in Education?

My mid-life career choice was education. The choice coming after many successful years in the fashion business and then having my good fortune tank for a number of reasons. The perfect storm!  Fashion is a mercurial business and as Heidi Klum repeats as a moderator in the galvanizing show,  Project Runway, you’re in one day and out the next. So being out, I simply chose to go back to school and earn a degree in Education. It was a long shot from being a fashion journalist and then owner of a lingerie company where I manufactured in Hong Kong. Certainly, not as glamorous but fulfilling in different ways.  In retrospect, it was a good choice with different rewards and challenges. Now, I have spent 20 years as a teacher of gifted and special education, and have just lately seen our educational system spun around based on the current crisis. This, in the long run, might be a blessing and here are some thoughts espoused by me and a fellow teacher I had the good fortune to work with while I lived in Scottsdale, Az.

In the fashion industry and certainly in education,  change from moment to moment is almost expected such as sudden changes in plans and mini-crises that pop up throughout the day. As an example, our current home-bound position poses many difficulties both for parents and kids. Students are at home when they’re used to being at school and they can stumble at the sudden change in schedule. Not that they don’t have summer vacation and holiday breaks throughout the year, but shifting from face-to-face learning with a teacher and peers to online learning in isolation can be tough for the most resilient of kids.

Here are some viable suggestions offered by my fellow teacher and author, Michele Venne.suggests.  Please check out her website you’ll find at the bottom of the page for more information.  She suggests, “setting up a schedule (whether for students or adults working from home) so there is some sort of predictability to one’s day. There are some students who struggle with “unstructured time.”  On-campus, this would be before and after school, lunch, PE, and some electives. A teacher may be able to curtail disruptive or anxious behavior in an academic classroom where the expectations are known, but when left to their own devices many kids seem to find trouble on a regular basis. The same happens at home during vacations and school breaks.

Because students will look to their caretakers for how to handle situations, it’s important for the adults in the home to also have a schedule or tasks to complete each day. Talking it out with your child can ease tensions and worries that students may have about this sudden need for flexibility when what they strive for is predictability. In order to develop skills to deal more positively with uncertainty, allow the child to share their concerns. Help them make contingency plans. Assist the student in setting up their own schedule so they have a sense of control.”  For Michele Venne check out her website at myjoyenterprises08@gmail.com

I would agree with many of my associates that society has moved forward into a space where students are no longer given the opportunity to be creative problem-solvers; to use logic and discernment and to think out of the box; not just believe everything they read whether in mainstream media or even textbooks. Perhaps now is their chance to have that time to make decisions and solve problems and be creative in ways that their recently discarded schedule didn’t allow. All species of organisms evolve if they can adapt.

Travels to the Sixth Dimension: A Journey Through Hyperspace

Travels to the Sixth Dimension is the first in a series of sci-fi adventures. The book is geared to middle school children with a sense of humor and a thirst for the type of knowledge not found in the classroom and that only a quirky alien from the sixth dimension can offer. This would include information on the space time continuum, how to use a merkaba vehicle to move through the molecular bands between dimensions and travel to many ‘non-local’ places. And what’s more, how to establish connections with a future self! All this is taught to the protagonist of the story, Jackson Elderberry Monroe, who at age 12 is hand-picked for a dangerous mission by the Inter-Dimensional Council of the Milky Way. Jackson, it seems, has very unusual genetic codes and it is requested that he train for a mission to save Earth from a deliberately induced catastrophe. Earth is on the brink of being sucked into a black hole…Read more

Attaining Prosperity and Abundance

Simple and powerful tools drawing on scientific principles to remove negative thoughts regarding issues of prosperity. It is possible to replace these programs that are unconsciously learned and then installed in our neurological system through habit and repetition. Learn new ways to delete the negative files and replace them with life-enhancing programs. It takes a little work but the rewards will be obvious…Read more

Behavior Modification For Children

Learn about effective academic and behavior strategies developed by teachers who have been on the ‘front’ lines for most of their careers. Teachers are always developing skills through staff development and educational programs and as times change, new information is available. Now, strategies may include disciplines such as the use of neuro-plasticity (optimizing the neural networks for better focus and memory ) and even mindfulness meditation for class heart and mind coherence. The strategies listed have been proven helpful for students to ignite cognition levels, become more focused and able to synthesis information at a faster level. Add a reduction of negative behavioral issues and you’ll find this a helpful guide…Read more

Neuro Wisdom

There’s always an upside to every negative situation and the suffering it causes.. For one thing, we are not able to focus on a positive and negative experience simultaneously. As an example,  the sensation of pain, whether emotional or physical will always diminish when we think of something pleasurable. It is literally impossible.

According to author and neuro-scientist, Mark Waldman, in his e-book, Neuro-Wisdom, “The brain has preferences to embed negative emotions because the organism needs to respond to future threats faster than our conscious mind can respond.”  He explains, “When a real emergency takes place like someone driving their car into your lane, the consciousness in your frontal lobe is turned down so that your instinctual reactiveness can take evasive action.”

The more you think about the possibility that something awful may happen, the more your brain releases the stress chemicals to prepare the body for the “fight or flight” response.

Interestingly, building optimism and a way to deal with negative thoughts and stress involve a ratio according to Dr. Waldman.  It was determined in an independent study done by Fredrickson, Gottman and Losada that when the number of positive and negative ratios is a key to our happiness and peace of mind. Their suggested ratio is 5:1. That is 5 positive thoughts/experiences vs. 1 negative. This ratio will avoid the brain’s propensity to turn negative experiences into memories which then engender beliefs that we act upon. Try it yourself and then perhaps you’ll consider teaching it to your child.

So, okay there are a multitude of techniques that help you own this ratio.   The one I’ll highlight now is called the Flip Switch Technique which is pioneered by Dr. Robert Anthony whose transitional self-hypnosis books and audios can be found on-line. Check out psychological counselor and hypnotist, Marisa Peer for self-hypnosis techniques to remove negative and self-sabotaging thoughts. She’ll lead you on a visualization in which you’ll get immediate benefit. Find her on youtube and you don’t have to buy into the program if you don’t want to. She offer’s plenty of hands-on techniques online which use creative visualizations and help you and/or your child create a way of resolving obstacles and troubling behavioral patterns in a surprisingly quick way.