Article on Bullying

15 04 2015


Recently, Lynda (Stoy) Stear, Founder and Editor of Living Seasons Ministry, invited me to contribute an article about bullying to her website. The article I shared tells the story about why I wrote the picture book Heart Eyes: Beth and the Bullies. Click on the link below to find my article. While you’re there, check out Lynda’s website.

Understanding Attention

4 01 2014

“He has trouble paying attention.” That’s what every teacher told us throughout our son’s school career. As if we didn’t notice.

Diagnosed at age 5 with ADHD, Chris demonstrated classic signs of ADHD: impulsivity, distractibility, disorganization…  Back then, 28 yrs. ago, most people didn’t know about ADHD.  However, I was very familiar with the disorder. My training and experience teaching students in special education provided insight.

You can just imagine how it frustrated me when educators reported the obvious about Chris. Especially in such vague terms. “He has trouble paying attention.” That didn’t tell me anything concrete or helpful.

When I became a regular classroom teacher, I vowed to do a better job reporting information to parents of kids with ADHD. They deserved to know what I observed, how much redirection was required to keep the student on task, etc.

So I developed a rubric. You may find it useful. When you click on the link below, you’ll find a chart. Start with the first column and pinpoint precisely where a student falls. Write the date in the box that best describes the student’s behavior. Do the same for all the other columns.

After several months, repeat the process to update the information.

Attention Rubric

The Magic of a Smile

21 10 2011

Why are we drawn to people who smile?  Probably because a smile is contagious, affirming, reassuring, attractive, and inviting. 

Children love a teacher who smiles a lot.  That makes them feel safe. 

 At the end of the school year, educators evaluate the year.  They consider the highlights, and reflect on what could be improved.  When I was an administrator, I used to ask the teachers to complete a brief questionnaire.  The form was a way of gathering feedback regarding what went well, what could be changed for the coming year, and how I could better help them in the future.   

Regarding how I could better assist them, I was surprised to read the same remark from several teachers. “Keep smiling.”

I reflected on what message I was sending when I smiled.  I communicated that I was pleased with them, all was going well, and learning was fun.

I love to imagine God pleased with me. Smiling at me in approval. 

What pleases God?

Here are some verses that give us a hint of what might make Him smile at us.

“The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.”  Psalm 147:11

“For the Lord takes delight in his people; He crowns the humble with victory.”  Psalm 149:4

“…but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the LORD.”  Jeremiah 9:24

“Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”  1 Peter 3:4


Most children get one negative comment to five positive comments each day.

Children with ADHD get five negative comments to one positive comment each day.

Imagine what a sincere smile could do for a child with ADHD.

Share a smile!

ADHD Awareness Week

16 10 2011

Check out the wonderful YouTube video created by ADHD Aware

It’s wonderful that there are so many resources for parents nowadays. 

Years ago, I traveled a lonely path.

My son (now 31 yrs. old) was identified with ADHD in 1985.  Most people never heard of ADHD.  Hyperactive behavior was considered the result of poor parenting.  So, the logical treatment was to judge the parent…give them advice whether they asked for it or not.

The CHADD support group was cancelled in 1987 due to lack of participation – not a single parent attended!  Fortunately, I knew about the disorder because I began my career in special ed. in 1976. Even when I was a child in the ‘60’s I knew about minimal brain dysfunction (what ADHD was called back then:  My uncle worked for CIBA, so I knew about Ritalin.

 I’m grateful there is growing awareness of girls who have ADHD. 

Andi’s Antics is a charming children’s book about a girl who discovers she has ADD and learns how it affects her. 

Andi's Antics