By Belinda Hammond
Faculty Member, School of Education at American Public University
Child life specialists traditionally work in hospitals, but the field has grown to include support for children in a variety of settings. Child life specialists also provide support for traumatic events through the coordination of programs offered through non-profit agencies and through some chapters of the American Red Cross.
Child Life Council defines child life specialists as “trained professionals with expertise in helping children and their families overcome life’s most challenging events. These professionals are further described as being “armed with a strong background in child development and family systems, promoting effective coping through play, preparation, education, and self-expression activities. Child life specialists provide emotional support for families, and encourage optimum development of children facing a broad range of challenging experiences, particularly those related to healthcare and hospitalization. Because they understand that a child’s wellbeing depends on the support of the family, child life specialists provide information, support and guidance to parents, siblings, and other family members. They also play a vital role in educating caregivers, administrators, and the general public about the needs of children under stress.”
Last night, I watched the movie about Ron Clark’s beginning life as an educator. It is amazing to see his roots and where he is today-including the thousands of lives he has changed and touched.
This world-class institute, adorned by two-story dragon, grand hall, video screen walls and one-of-a-kind environment, will train more than 4,000 educators a year in new revolutionary teaching styles-be sure to watch more here: http://www.11alive.com/story/news/education/2015/01/14/ron-clark-academy-education-training/21775733/
Since opening the doors at the Ron Clark Academy in 2007, more than 23,000 educators from 42 states and 22 countries around the world have visited the institution to learn how to replicate the school’s style, philosophy and success in their own classrooms. Now, thousands more will be able to do so each year in a state-of-the-art training facility like no other on earth. The Ron Clark Academy Educator Training Facility opens its doors this week after a capital campaign that helped the institution raise $4.9 million for a multi-purpose facility that will allow more than 40,000 educators in the next decade to take part in observing classes, interactive lessons and discovering their own new methods that will bring revitalized education approaches to classrooms around the world.
By Dr. Kimberlee Ratliff
Program Director, M.Ed. School Counseling at American Public University
As a counselor educator, I work to prepare future professional school counselors who have big plans to make a difference in the lives of children. You can imagine my surprise when I heard about Ohio State School Board’s decision to eliminate a rule requiring that schools have at least five student support personnel for every 1,000 students. More surprising than the rule change was that school counselors were listed as one of eight positions that administrators and districts had to choose from in the first place. The other positions on the list were just as surprising: school nurses, library media specialists, elementary art teachers, music or physical education teachers, social workers, and visiting teachers. (Candisky, 2014).
Guest Article By Susan Lowman-Thomas
Faculty Member, School of Arts and Humanities at American Public University
Cultivating curiosity is a great way to improve research skills. If students approach the world with interest, a sense of wonder, and a strong drive to learn more, they will be better researchers. They will see that, the more they learn, the more they realize how much they have yet to learn. Luckily, many of our students are lifelong learners. Being a lifelong learner means that the research process will be energized and sustainable.
Another great article about social good-written by Katie Clancy
Like many directors and coordinators of this or that school or organization, I began my professional journey in the classroom, as a teacher. Over the last few years I have become increasingly more consumed by my administrative duties and had to leave the position of teaching to many wonderful volunteers. Don’t get me wrong; I often feel a great sense of satisfaction when a volunteer leads a successful workshop for one of our communities. I know that I am working hard to create a ripple effect of positive impact on the lives of many children and their families. But recently I have been plagued with the feeling that there was a piece of me that was missing or had been shut off.
Imagine a world where someone works with inner city teen girls, where no subject is taboo, where they dig deeply and write about subjects that matter to them, where an educator not only listens, but guides, mentors, challenges, cares. And such an educator not only has a wealth of experience, but brings in powerful global voices as illustrations. Can you imagine the impact this type of educational experience has on these teen girls, who often live (and suffer) in silence? Well, it is life-changing.
Such is the case with NYC-based global educator Melissa Banigan, who does all of the above (and more) with The Advice Project. It is the most important educational project for young women in the world today.
If you could receive one wish to be granted, what would you choose?
The Make-A-Wish® Foundation of North Texas grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy. Children choose from four different types of wishes: “I wish to be,” “I wish to go,” “I wish to have,” and “I wish to meet.” Typical wishes include going to Walt Disney World® Resort, meeting a celebrity, or receiving a brand new computer, so children have all options available to them.
Guest article by Kathleen J. Tate, Ph.D.
Professor and Program Director of Teaching, School of Education, American Public University
The role of visual art, music, dance, and theatre in K-12 education continues to evolve. With efforts like Rhode Island School of Design’s championing of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math), the arts remain at the forefront of dialogue about best practices in elementary education.
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