I love writing!
And, I love giving writing workshops. Especially when my students get really enthusiastic about their own writing!
I recently worked with two schools: Royal Vale Elementary and Edinburgh School. I had the privilege of teaching four classes of Grade 5, and our mission as to create a complete picture in just three days. I’m happy to say that we accomplished our goal! Here’s how it went down:
We had an intensive first session to get the creative juices flowing. The students learned everything from character and plot development to how to write authentic dialogue. After a lot of back and forth, they also decided what the theme of the book would be.
I love writing for children, especially the younger ones. My sweet spot is ages 5-7.
I also love giving writing workshops. I’m passionate about sharing my passion and encouraging literacy.
Side note: kids are hilarious. Seriously.
Every time I’m in a school, I bring a notepad and pen and sometimes take notes on the funny things they say. Kids are like little comedians. They’re not necessarily trying to be funny, but they just are.
I give workshops in elementary schools, so I deal with students aged 5-12. Now, when I walk into a grade 6 workshop, I honestly never know what to expect. Grade 6 students are not so innocent anymore. They’re branching off on their own and starting to truly find themselves. And I respect that. They’re on the verge of turning into teenagers and young adults. It’s another world!
But when I walked into Ms. White’s grade 6 class at Sherbrooke Academy, I was blown away by the students. They were friendly, bubbly, and bright. They participated in the workshop and we had a blast.
Sometimes, the energies align and magic happens. There are times where I feel I’m truly connecting to the students, and they’re receiving with open arms. Those are special moments. I appreciate them because they don’t happen every day.
That was one of the funnest workshops I’ve hosted this year. So thank-you Ms. White, and thank-you to each student who helped brighten my day!!
Studies show that 1 in 68 children are currently diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Autism does not discriminate; it affects children of all races, ethnicities, gender and socio-economic groups. With the right support, all individuals with ASD can thrive. But understanding its complexities and raising awareness is critical.
Sally Meadows is a published author who travels to schools talking about her book The Two Trees (see summary below) and speaking to children about autism and the importance of being a good friend. I conducted a Q & A with her, and I hope her thought provoking answers illuminate you.
I am a former teacher and I use a teaching technique that encourages students to draw on their own experience and knowledge to ultimately bring out the important messages in my book. As a start, I ask the children (ages 5-9) to brainstorm practical ways as to how they could show friendship and kindness to Syd, the boy with autism in the story, if he went to their school. Then I ask them to share what they know about bullying. (There is a scene in the book where Syd is pushed up against a wall and the other kids throw balls at him.) I emphasize that when we say or do something hurtful to someone, it can stay with him or her throughout his or her life. Read the rest of this entry »
Between work, family time and household duties, we may feel a pressure to “get it all done.” And in our rush to get it all done, we may forget about one important thing: time for ourselves! Self-care is a lot more that just eating well and exercising, it’s a more holistic approach of nourishing the soul.
You might wonder, okay, but how do I nourish the soul? The first essential ingredient is self-love, and that translates into a slew of things you can do to take care of your body, mind, heart and soul. In an effort to do a better job at nourishing myself, I came up with the top 33 tips, below.
- Practice gratitude (try saying or writing things you’re grateful for each day)
- Stop comparing yourself to others
- Learn how to forgive (including yourself)
- Listen to your intuition, and cultivate your relationship to it
- Respect yourself, and demand respect from others
- Be open to receiving and giving love every day, in various forms
- Eat a balanced diet with whole, fresh foods and drink a lot of water (about 8–ounce glasses per day)
- Learn how to say NO and still feel like a good person
- Don’t dwell on anything, let it all go
- Breathe (sounds obvious, but practicing conscious deep breathing makes a difference)
- Slow down (and literally smell the roses)
- TRUST yourself, and trust life
- Meditate (if this sounds impossible, just start with 5 minutes)
- Connect with friends and talk it out
- Be gentle with yourself (and say adios to that negative voice inside you)
- Write! Keep a journal and find ways to express yourself
- Read! Get some tea going and snuggle up with some good books
- Go for frequent walks in nature
- Allow yourself to be vulnerable and feel what you need to feel
- Snuggle with or hug someone
- Keep moving– take a yoga class, or chi-gong, or dance, aerobics, you get the idea!
- Volunteer in a worthwhile organisation
- Set clear boundaries with others
- Stop apologizing or feeling guilty
- Book yourself a massage
- Visit a doctor regularly
- Put your ego aside and ask for help when you need it
- Get enough sleep (everybody’s different, but you should feel well rested)
- Share what you have with others
- Save up money and buy yourself something you’ve always wanted
- Set some time aside for yourself every single day, create your own ritual
- Practice moderation, don’t abuse any intoxicants
- Find a hobby you feel passionate about