Life- on the road to becoming a para-educator

101 Artist’s Date Ideas.

Do Zentangles
Draw with Markers like crazy
Listen to Unique music like Celtic Music
Make cool molds with modeling clay and bake it in the oven.
Make Jewelery or fix old jewelry

The Artist's Way

  1. Visit an artist’s supply shop.
  2. Spend some time outdoors with your journal, sketchbook, craft supplies, etc.
  3. Go for a walk, and take your camera with you to document the experience.
  4. Stop by the library, and check out some CDs.
  5. Set a timer, and spend an hour working on something you’ve been putting off.
  6. Create an artist’s workspace in your home.
  7. See an Oscar-nominated movie or a foreign film.
  8. If you don’t have an artist’s blog, start one.
  9. Visit a “creative” shop that has nothing to do with what you actually do–an art supply store, a fabric shop, a music store.
  10. Grab a stack of magazines, and clip whatever looks interesting or cool to create your own inspiration board.
  11. Support the local arts scene. Go to a local festival, music event, art show, play, museum exhibit, etc.
  12. Plant something. Start your own herb garden. Butterfly garden. Plant a tomato or some…

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Improve self-confidence and arm strength with dolphin pose

I think learning dolphin will be a great thing for me to keep doing dolphin pose.



‘Its easy for you’, said a friend. ‘You go about teaching others, you sing in concerts, you are outgoing. You must be born self confident or something’. No, No, no, I replied smiling at all these misconceptions.

I was actually quite a shy kid growing up. And I had many, many awful childhood experiences which will make you shiver if I told you about them. Another time I might! For now its enough to know: I wasn’t born with self confidence. Its an acquired skill. I want to share a few things you can do to get that self confidence.

But first, why should you even remotely consider getting self-confident? How does that help you? Is that even necessary? Do women need to be self-confident? What’s self-confidence anyway? Here is my take:

1. Self-confidence makes you rely on yourself. Come what may, you have that unshakable belief in yourself that…

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Cultivating Resilience – Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness

I think this is a great post and article and that it is true. We need to let go of our pasts look to the future and create new memories.

Durham Healing Arts

“Without purpose, meaning, and perspective, it is easy to lose hope, numb our emotions, or become overwhelmed by our circumstances. We feel reduced, less capable, and lost in the face of struggle. The heart of spirituality is connection. When we believe in that inextricable connection, we don’t feel alone.”

Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

In my classes: Wednesday 5/20 and Saturday 5/30

Note: This Saturday 5/23 I have a sub who will teach on his own theme, and next Wednesday 5/27 I am cancelling class to celebrate my birthday.So we will do this theme, Guidepost #3, this Wednesday and next Saturday 5/30, and then we’ll be back on track!

The third Guidepost on the Journey to Wholehearted Living is a rich one. At its most basic, it addresses the topic of resilience: the ability to overcome adversity, to bounce back, and to stay centered come what may…

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New Life

I never published this before but I am in a good job position and I am working very hard. I am learning yoga and really love it I am new to it still but have done it since January. I feel like yoga is changing my life both physically and emotionally. I am still learning a lot about myself but hey everyone needs to learn about themselves. What I am working on accepting myself we all need to be our own best friends. We need to take care of ourselves more than we take care of others. Most of all we need to love ourselves just as much as we love others.

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  I have recently found zendoodles and zentangle method of art and now love doing this type of art-from they are 3 1/2 inch by 3 1/2 inch squares. I also have six inch tiles and have so many books you can buy. This method requires lots of concentration and helps you to stay in the moment with mindfullness and attention. You can also be creative and create your own patterns and tiles just remember a zentangle or zendoodle pattern is supposed to be repeatitive in nature.

   I really would recommend trying this method of art to anyone with Mental- illness or anyone who just wants to be creative.

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Environmental Philosophy By Katy Heyborne


The environment children get placed in is important as it is limited to the child’s surroundings and environment has a crucial impact on how a child develops. This means high quality environments are best as children spend so many hours in them as infants toddlers and preschoolers (Bullard 3).This means that the environment should always give a child feelings of safety and security, allowing independence and fostering mastery of skills.

Play is also important for an environment as the environment children are placed in needs to allow for them to play. This is because play helps children in learning skills self-control, language, cognition and social skills. Play is also important because it is voluntary: children can choose with whom and where they want to play. They can pretend and not have to worry about the complicated adult rules – as the children determine the rules in play (Bullard 4).

Piaget’s theory of play is important to the environment. This theory is that children’s play develops in three stages. From infancy through age 2, children engage in practice or sensory-motor play, wherein they practice the same activity repeatedly. From age 3-7, children engage in “symbolic play”(Bullard 11). In symbolic play, children use materials to construct – for example, a box becomes a play house – and to engage in dramatic and socio dramatic play.

Both dramatic and socio-dramatic play involve what we would call “pretending.” Dramatic play is carried out alone, where as socio-dramatic play is carried out amongst other children. The third stage of play (7-11 years old) is when children engage in games- sports, board games – and learn to follow clearly defined rules. An important idea I took away from Piaget’s theory is that when children are challenged with new knowledge, they first become confused having to assimilate this new knowledge so it fits with their current knowledge. This works by the child adding or modifying their current knowledge so this new information fits into the old (Bullard 11).

The Montessori approach to learning is not appealing to me. The only part of the Montessori approach that I would use in my own environment is to have kid sized sinks, shelves, etc at the child’s level so the materials are accessible to them. (Bullard 10-11). This is because I feel like environments need to have materials that are for the children accessible to them and materials for adults out of reach for safety reasons. However, the role of the Montessori teacher is not appealing to me as her schools were based off of the idea that children are “workers”. Yes her methods promoted independence and learning activities of daily life in a safe, orderly manner. While these are good features to have in an environment I envision children’s role to be that of learners and explores, rather than workers. Also the Montessori approach doesn’t allow a lot of opportunities for socialization and I would want my environment to allow lots of opportunities for children to socialize in the environment balanced with activities done individually so children learn how to work independently and in groups. Knowing how to work in groups and individually than will inevitably help children for the best later in life.

However, unlike the Montessori approach another approach the Reggio Emilia approach is the one the I feel would be ideal. This approach started by Malaguzzi synthesizing the ideas of Montessori, Piaget and Vygotsky and combining them into the Reggio Emilia approach. What I like about this approach is that children are seen as unique, curious, capable, and having potential. The child is also seen as an active agent as they seek relationships and knowledge actively constructing it. Children in this approach are also seen as the possessor of rights not only needs which I think is very important (Bullard 12). I like this approach and think it would be ideal for subjects like art, where I could elicit ideas from the children’s words and actions, and let them create art projects with a variety of materials. This would allow the child to assume the roles of both an explorer and artist.

The High scope approach to learning is another approach that I would use in teaching as in the high scope method the teacher has the role as a teacher facilitator giving children a direction to go into. I would use this approach with children in teaching the core subjects. This is as in this approach children first plan out what they are going to do; next they do the activities they have planned; finally they return to their group reviewing what they have done (Bullard 50-51). I would use this approach for core subjects, because the object of Plan-DO-Review is to train the child to be intentional, set goals and ultimately be able to evaluate how far they are progressing toward reaching their goal.

The Circle of Courage approach to education is based on the Native American philosophy and supports the beliefs of many cultural groups. A main factor in this approach is helping a child feel that they are loved and belong. With support from the child’s family and also the community they can start to believe in his/her own success and achieve mastery. The child needs to be in a supportive environment that also encourages them to be independent. The community will also demand that the child has a purpose in their life and is generous to others (Bullard 26).

It is important that teachers and educators in general create a spirit of belonging within the classroom also by you the teacher displaying a warm accepting attitude and by being responsive to all children including those of different cultures and backgrounds (Bullard 30-37). My current goal is to work with children with special needs, and I would like to work in a program such as a Head-Start program. In these programs, it will be important for me as a teacher to create a spirit of belonging and within the classroom. This will work as I will be sure that I display with the children a warm, accepting attitude and be responsive to all children including those of cultures and diverse backgrounds from my own.

I will provide Daily structure in my environment as it needs to be one which provides consistency and psychological stability and children need a dependable schedule for this to work (Bullard 49).

A dependable daily schedule places fewer demands and will reflect the program I am in. I know however that this schedule needs to be developmentally appropriate too. (Bullard 50-51).

(Bullard 52, 61-62).

  • The environment should also provide a balance of child-initiated and adult initiated activities (Bullard 51).

  • This schedule should alternate between quiet and active activities. This is because children will become restless if they have to sit still too long (Bullard 59). This I know from my own experience is incredibly important when working with children with (ADD) or (ADHD) who have an even harder time paying attention than most children. However, for all children having a time to move about is important as it can help any child to stay awake and regain focus in their learning.

  • Its also important to use transitions that are carefully planned as children face anywhere from 12 to 15 in an average day which accounts to 20-30% of the children’s day. (Bullard 60). This means when they are necessary transitions should have a concrete plan for how they will be handled in the classroom. Transitions need to be placed in the regular schedule and the waiting time needs to be reduced as much as is possible. Transitions especially need to be minimized for children with disabilities like ADHD, who can have an extremely hard time coping with transitions.

Large group activities during preschool years should be limited to (10 minutes) as that is developmentally appropriate practice for the age group. Meaning more time in small group and individual activities (Bullard 52). This is likely because of the importance of Vygotsky’s theory of the zone of Proximal development or theory that explains that children need (scaffolding) or assistance to accomplish certain tasks where other tasks they can accomplish independently ) is important (Bullard 12).

Another factor of scheduling that also focuses on the circle of courage approach this is particularly in the area of the need to achieve mastery and self-efficacy (Bullard 52-53). I will mention how I would use these tips that Bullard has mentioned on pg. 52-53. This is how I would use these tips.

  • Provide children challenges to learn in a variety of domains – socially emotionally and mentally. This is cause some children may be better at math, another better at reading. One child may be more socially perceptive and have more friends and another may be more shy , self-aware and independent. One child may have more awareness of emotions than another too this is because of the great diversity of children.

  • Increase difficulty for children using a variety of materials.

  • Teach and give children the tools needed to be successful for their age group.

  • Make encouraging remarks to children- this is different than praise praise is just good job. Encouragement for example is making a statement like “I can tell you are working hard on learning to take turns keep practicing.”

  • Assist children in setting and meeting individual goals rather encouraging group competition as children than will likely get discouraged and be less motivated to work towards achieving their goals.

  • Having confidence and building self-efficacy in own teaching skills as by being aware and working on your own teaching skills and methods and learning to tweak them based on how children’s needs differ from year to year and child to child will not only benefit you but how the environment and children run too.

  • Get assistance from children in developing guidelines for how the classroom will run.

  • Set classroom environment up so children’s independence is encouraged materials are accessible and varied (Multicultural) helps children of all different cultures learn and also having an accessible classroom and dependable routine so the environment runs smoothly.

  • Finally its important that children can make choices and learn from the results (Bullard 39).

Center time will be important in my schedule and like the texts says it should be a minimum of an hour for deep involvement in play. This is where children get time in various centers to learn and participate in skills and activities for learning. Getting to work individually or in small groups and also children to be spontaneous (Bullard 53-54).

Finally assessments are important as mentioned by (Bullard on pg 67) there are 6 different types of assessments for children each with advantages and disadvantages. The assessments are Anecdotal records , Running records, Time sampling, checklists, frequency counts and analyzed work samples. An anecdotal records is basically a detailed narrative about a specific event that gives a short-description where a running record is a sequential narrative giving more information and is written over a longer-period of time than an anecdotal record. The Advantages of both running records and anecdotal records is that they allow for flexibility and are open-ended assessments a disadvantage of them is that they can be difficult to use to determine group needs unless there is careful analysis as well as time consuming. Time sampling- is an observation of what happens during a given period of time and is done often using tallies. Advantage- it is objective and several children can be observed simultaneously. Where a checklist is a list of behaviors or traits that the teacher checks off. Its advantages are that checklists are easy to use and time efficient and can be used in examining an entire group. A frequency count is a tally of each time a behavior occurs. Its advantages are that it can document change overtime it is also effective when determining if interventions or other changes have produced results. The disadvantage when it comes to time sampling, checklists and frequency counts is that they all are closed ended and lack behavioral and contextual details. Finally analyzed work samples are tape and video recordings, photos and artifacts like (Venn Diagrams, KWHL (Know, Want to know, how I will find out, what I learned) charts, word or subject webs and handwriting samples) are examples of these . This is because analyzed work samples show children’s current work and thinking. The advantage of these are that they are authentic assessments in that they can be used to show both the progress and accomplishments of children. The disadvantage is that it may be difficult in determining individual or group needs without careful analysis another disadvantage is that this analysis (can be time consuming), (Bullard 67).

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Welcome differences

It is important as a society we welcome differences as helping a child with a disability or being a child with a disability they have differences . We all do this differences may seem small or big but children with disabilities particularly those that are invisible are judged. Those with ADHD ,  Autism, Dylexia , PDD, Asperger’s Etc. That are invisible disabilities because the person looks neurotypical but, is not. However, if we notice their differences with learning, get to know the person by who they are rather than faults. Than people can notice how much we are all alike this is true with all disabilities not just invisible. But, the point is we need to learn about differences and welcome them rather than judge, or critize people with neurodevelopmental differences.

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Letting go Of Past Pain

As I mentioned in class today during my Understanding feelings presentation,

If you don’t let go of past pain or negative emotions it builds up and up and is harder to let out effecting you negatively.

This happens in PTSD as Traumatic events can effect this. However, this can happen with anyone its just those with PTSD and other disorders like it have a lot harder time processing events.

Part of the job of parents and educators is to learn how to manage emotions and let go of our past pain so we can help children also in doing so and of course this must be done in a healthy way.

Boys can cry and Girls can be angry this is something we talked about in class today too. Gender stereotypes that boys shouldn’t cry or girls shouldn’t be mad shouldn’t be true.

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Two Different Students

Two Different students

I thought the students running around the classroom was enough

and there energy level during the long days in the classroom was

enough to make me tired.

Then their was another type of student the students so calm and quiet

Unsure when to speak I thought how can I help them learn to speak up,

How can I help them be brave?

I mean I did have an education after all that could help me in this matter.

Maybe if I pair the quiet students , with the energetic students and have the energetic

Students work on listening and the quiet students on talking that will help.

I did learn to listen

after all

and how to sit still when others were talking.


I thought I must have learned this not too long ago ,

It will be easy.

Now I see that learning to sit still and listen more than talk is hard for some

And moving about and talking is hard for other students.

Students need time to learn these skills as it has taken me a lot of

Time myself in working on mastering the skill of listening and yet,

It still isn’t fully mastered.

I thought to myself while maybe these skills take time to practice and learn.

For some listening comes naturally and others talking bur when the two people are paired out they balance each other out.

These Students and I learned together that it is better to hang out with someone who can help you with your weaknesses but you can have a different strength than them,

Than with someone who doesn’t get your uniqueness and can’t understand why you do the things you do.

These two students led me to understand we are all unique in our own ways

Others may not appreciate our uniqueness but its up to us to do so.

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Poem Students Education

She Had an Education that Helped her in Educating Her Students.

By Katy Heyborne

She Had an Education.

She had a lot of students which she educated.

They had an Education that was enriching and fulfilling.

She had been Educated in an enriching and fulfilling way and so she educated her students that way.

She had students who she taught that were slower at reading.

She had students who had ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders.

She had students who had not yet learned to write.

She had an Education that was valuable in teaching these students.

She had learned about IEP’S and 504 plans and was ready to accommodate these students anyway she could.

The students and parents liked her.

She had students who needed counseling and speech- therapy.

She had students who laughed and talked too much.

She had students who had behavior disorders and were aggressive,

But because of her education she was able to calm these students down.

She had an education that was valuable.

An education that others had dreamed about, an education that helped her to be able to accommodate her students and meet their needs.

She had students who thought they were the Most important in the class and

That everyone should give into to their every want and need.

She had students were loud and bossy.

She had Students who moved daily from center to center.

She had Students who were much too shy and kept quiet

in their chairs.

 It was helpful for her to be able to educate her students appropriately.

She had students who bullied children that made them feel afraid of themselves.

She had students who said they weren’t afraid of bullies or her teaching methods.

She had Students who lied.

She had students who told the truth, who other students

Called tattle tails.

She had some students.

She had Students who said to them themselves, ” I am Smart”.

She had Students who said to themselves, ” I am brave”, keeping

their voices secret.

She had Students who had no friends.

She had Students who had many names.

She had some students and an education.

She had students who whispered in the dark, afraid to speak.

 and Students that feltawkward when their was silence.

She had Students who waited for her to teach.

She had Students who waited for the end of class.

She had some students.

She had Students who got down in their desks to learn.

She had students who thought being rich made them entitled.

She had students who were average-to-lower income and made an effort to learn with her

During the day.

She had some students.

She had some she had some students she loved.

She had some students she hated.

She had students and an Education.

Her students were not too hard to handle, as her education was valuable,

Enriching and fulfilling and had helped learn how to teach her diverse group of

Students equally but aware of their unique needs.

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