I am an educator, researcher, author, consultant and workshop leader. My work and writing span many domains. Over the years, I have been writing about authentic classroom management, managing challenging student behavior, creating learning communities based on respectful communication, and becoming a reflective practitioner. More recently, I am focusing on reducing stress, developing social and emotional skills, and cultivating mindfulness. I present my work at national and international conferences and conduct workshops worldwide as well as at personal growth centers, including Esalen Institute and the Learning Annex.
I have always been able to balance opposite ends of the continuum. My doctoral studies combined research and statistics with humanistic education, a highly atypical combination. While studying for my master’s degree in special education, I was also working at a detention center, doing in-house training in counseling methods for very troubled youth, and being a foster parent for a youth caught up in the juvenile justice system. My background uniquely positions me to merge science and practice. I’ve spent my whole career as a teacher educator translating research into strategies to help teachers become more mindful, self-reflective and socially-emotionally literate so they can then be models for their students. In this latest book, I do the same for a more general audience.
I have an Ed.D. in research methods and education and a M.Ed. in special education and remedial reading from the University Massachusetts. During my long career as a teacher education professor at Rhode Island College and California State University I wrote 8 books and had 25 articles published in education, psychology and counseling journals. I have consulted with school districts, state departments and national research centers, directed two research and evaluation companies and been awarded several Office of Education grants for my research.
Hearing stories of stressed-out teachers firsthand ignited my desire to help teachers cope with their stress. Teachers are largely at a loss about how to deal with the stress that comes with their job. My previous book, Cultivating Teacher Renewal: Guarding Against Stress and Burnout, gives teachers the stress management and coping strategies to find ways to get the vital peer support they need, successfully navigate the spectrum of emotions teaching elicits and cultivate mindfulness. The book was chosen by Choice, the premier source for reviews of academic books, for their list of Outstanding Academic Titles of 2013. This list includes the top 10% of about 7,000 works reviewed yearly.
I am the creator of “authentic classroom management,” an approach founded on the principle that managing student behavior begins with teachers managing their own behavior through developing reflection, self-awareness, and emotion regulation skills. It calls on teachers to develop styles of teacher talk that encourage authenticity and respectful dialogue, and use strategies that are non-punitive, solution-oriented, and focused on problem solving, not fault finding. My text, Authentic Classroom Management: Creating a Learning Community and Building Reflective Practice, is widely used both nationally and internationally. I also created a master’s level online course on managing challenging behavior based on this book and was an early adopter of web-based technology to broadcast my lectures to remote sites.
The two assessment instruments I developed are widely used by other researchers. The Opinions Relative to the Integration of Students with Disabilities (ORI) assesses teachers’ attitudes toward integrating students with special needs into their classrooms. The Survey of Reflective Practice: A Tool for Assessing Development as a Reflective Practitioner (SRP) assesses development as a reflective practitioner, along a continuum of four levels of reflective practice.
I am a longtime mindfulness practitioner and yogi. In my leisure time, I enjoy walking, hiking, bicycling and rollerblading. I live in Santa Barbara, CA and Falmouth, MA with my husband.
To support bringing mindfulness and social-emotional learning (SEL) to schools, I’ve recently established Mindful Moments in My Classroom funded with profits from my book for awarding small grants to educators to implement mindful moment practices.