Latest News: Can I Interview You?

In early April 2014, I received an email from a Success magazine writer. She had discovered that I taught and facilitated the Success for Teens/Blogging class at High Desert Montessori through my blog post titled, “Success for Teens and Blogging”.

Her email said something like, “I’m a writer for Success magazine and I was wondering if I could interview you in regards to the class you taught covering the Success for Teens book.” After calming down from the excitement I messaged her that an interview would be great!

The interview titled, “Multimedia Mash-Up“, appeared in the August 2014 issue of Success and is on page 32. It’s the issue with Jimmy Kimmel on the cover. If you have an online subscription you can read it on the Success website.

Here are a few excerpts from the article:

  • ” ….. but, doing this as a creative expressions class, I was kind of creating it as I went along – while tapping her skills as an author, blogger and landscape photographer.”
  • “Discussions helped students get a handle on their reactions to the book’s content. For instance, in Chapter 7, “You’re Always Learning,” Downs told the kids, “This has been a learning experience for all of us … The more things you learn that you don’t like [by exploring a wide variety of topics], the closer you get to what you do like.”

I augmented the content from the book with teaching the students how and why to blog. They blogged about our discussions during class, guest speakers and assignments. In addition, I brought in almost weekly guest speakers from the local community to tie in with the theme for each week. Lastly, I weaved a few art projects into the program as well.

We concluded with creating vision/dream boards and a performance by a local band, CRVSH. One of the members of the band attended HDMS and it was the perfect conclusion to the class as they performed their song, “No Givin’ Up”. The last chapter of the book is titled “Never Give Up” …

In their own words, here’s what the students shared they had learned:

  • Being Positive
  • Focus on Goals
  • Doodling is Good for the Brain
  • Learn More About Myself and How to Handle Things Differently
  • How to Make a Difference
  • Patience
  • I am Awesome and I Can Blog
What the students may not know is that they taught me as much as I taught and shared with them.

I’m extremely grateful that I got the opportunity to teach this amazing group of middle school students at HDMS and that Betsy J. Simnacher reached out to me and wrote such a beautiful article about the class.

*** How did I even end up teaching this particular class at this particular school?

First, my two kids, Thomas and Lillian, attend HDMS. I am so in love with this school and the Montessori theories. In Summer 2013, I could take it no longer. I wanted to be a part of the school.

I set up a meeting with the principal and the assistant principal in which I put forth absolutely everything I had knowledge about and was skilled in doing. Blogging was one of the items I mentioned as well as the Success for Teens program. I had known about it for several years as I facilitated a scaled down version for the self advocates at either the 2011 or 2012 Chromosome 18 Conference. I believe I initially discovered the program in an issue of Success magazine.

The principal suggested it to the middle school team as a creative expressions elective and in Spring 2014 I completed the program. Then came that surprising email from Betsy!

H♥rtfuly Inspired™,
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!