3 Online Emotional Support Resources for Autism Families

3 Online Emotional Support Resources for Autism Families

The autism diagnosis is a lonely isolating diagnosis.  Neurotypical families may think it is difficult, but it is actually thousands of times harder than what some people may think. When my son received his diagnosis 27 years ago, there was no internet. We learned about treatments and services from books and articles. We also networked…

Aggression and Self-Injury in Individuals with Developmental Disabilities: A Parent’s Perspective

Aggression and Self-Injury in Individuals with Developmental Disabilities: A Parent’s Perspective

Trauma from Abuse During a visit with our son who is diagnosed with autism, he displayed aggressive and self-injurious behavior. We thought we had driven this behavior into extinction years ago. Perhaps his medication needed an adjustment. Maybe he was suffering a flare from his inflammatory bowel disease. A few days after that fateful visit,…

College Readiness is No Excuse for Bad Teaching

College Readiness is No Excuse for Bad Teaching

What about college readiness? I hear this from time to time during workshops as we discuss things like lesson structure, homework, grading, student ownership, or even multiple attempts on assignments. Whenever an educator wants to continue doing something like lecturing all the time, or scold and punish a student for forgetting a pencil, they say:…

Butterfly UP

Butterfly UP

The words resonated with me as a friend and I were discussing how hard it can be to embrace our true selves.  It is easy to lose sight of who we are when we are constantly bombarded with messages that tell us who we should be and how we should act.  Unlike the caterpillar’s fixed…

The Virtual World is no Match for Reality: The Importance of Student Travel and a Good Tour Company

The Virtual World is no Match for Reality: The Importance of Student Travel and a Good Tour Company

Why do we travel?  Why do we leave the comfort and familiarity of home to experience life in a different culture, climate or time zone? In this digital age where the simple click of a button instantly opens windows all over the world, what makes travel relevant? Teachers are now able to travel around the…

Ultimate Project Based Learning – How Student Teamwork Built a World Championship Car

Ultimate Project Based Learning – How Student Teamwork Built a World Championship Car

Every year for the past twenty the Saint Thomas Academy Experimental Vehicle Team (STA EVT) has built a new vehicle from the ground up to give our students the best engineering experience a high-schooler can get. The internationally recognized program started in 1997. My fellow moderator Mark Westlake and I believe in the importance of…

The Rise of the Fidget Spinner: What, Where, When, and How

The Rise of the Fidget Spinner: What, Where, When, and How

Anyone outside of the education realm, or who does not regularly interact with children, might assume that a fidget spinner is some sort of spaceship contraption or an obscure item found on the shelves of a home improvement store. However, teachers, parents and, of course, children know all too well what a fidget spinner is—and…

The Student-Teacher Relationship Matters More Than You Might Think

The Student-Teacher Relationship Matters More Than You Might Think

Quality instruction isn’t the only factor that determines students’ academic achievement. Students’ sense of belonging to the school community is also significant to student achievement. A growing body of research shows the sense of belonging or “connectedness” to the school community also has positive educational outcomes for all students. “Sense of belonging” is defined as the…

Utilize Your Students and Surveys to Measure Your Teaching Effectiveness

Utilize Your Students and Surveys to Measure Your Teaching Effectiveness

A teacher’s stakeholders’ satisfaction with their course is an important measure of instructional effectiveness that is too often overlooked or outright ignored. Of course, it’s absurd to hope to satisfy every young adult’s needs and wants equally throughout an academic year, but to endeavor to do so seems a requisite to respecting student voice in…

Why You Shouldn’t Shrug off Your Son’s Reading Habit this Summer

Why You Shouldn’t Shrug off Your Son’s Reading Habit this Summer

Summer is right around the corner here in the United States bringing with it both good feelings and worry. For boys, summer equals a long vacation to do what they love every day: nothing, play video games and sports, run around, hang with friends, swim, etc. And who can blame them? Unfortunately, reading doesn’t make…

Using Friendly Academic Competition as a Way to Boost Student Engagement in Social Studies Education

Using Friendly Academic Competition as a Way to Boost Student Engagement in Social Studies Education

Often when educators, parents, or administrators think of a “competitive” student, they’re probably more likely to envision someone in a physical-education class than a student of history. The image, sadly of a toned and seasoned athlete, versus the bookish history major, just doesn’t come to mind. “Competition” is often something we as human beings instinctively…

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