I have been wondering about really good gifts this year. I want to make sure we give something now that has real meaning. I gave bowls from Serve Kindness and a portion of all sales in donated to a selected charity. And bowls message too — about serving kindness in the form of sustenance and kindness.

Then I realized all the children who haven’t been in school and may not be getting many presentsw Then I thought about the parents who want and can afford to give to their children and their children’s teachers. …

Let me begin here: I write a children’s book series titled Lady Lucy’s Quest about a feisty multi-racial heroine who becomes a knight in the Middle Ages. With her team of trusty helpers (Dillon the Dragon; Tapestry the Unicorn; and Quincy the Belgian Shepherd), she goes on a myriad of quests that call for creativity, ingenuity, tenacity, endurance, strength and courage to reach resolution. And, when faced with inevitable and seemingly intractable problems, Lady Lucy and her team find solutions where none appeared to exist.

The most recent book in this series, Lady Lucy’s Dinosaur Quest (the cover of which…

Holidays are hard for many generally and now specifically. So, here’s something to try whether you are near or far, in person or remote: Tongue twisters!

Yes, really. They have a long educational history. They promote learning and enunciation. They build vocabulary. They showcase mistake making and trying again. They enable laughter among young and old. They are plain fun.

Try this downloadable right priced PDF — it can be ordered by several families and the tongue twisters tried (they are listed alphabetically). There are other word games in the book and one can also create one’s own tongue twister.

We need to help children (and adults) process the election for President. Here are a set of strategies/activities that educators can adapt and use for students at all ages and stages. More will be added as time progresses in the transition but this will be beneficial now!

Classroom Strategies and Activities:

1. Consider games that involve rules and rule-making and then changing the rules mid-stream or arbitrarily picking a winner or having too many rules. Here’s an example. Suppose that students each have separate piles of an item, ideally identical (paperclips; spaghetti; marbles; countable items). Then say: Let’s play the…

Worried about the election and possible violence? Me too, regardless of outcome. This creates anxiety and tension and possible trauma. This isn’t good for anyone. Our autonomic nervous systems are on high alert and likely the absence of a definitive outcome on election night will cause more issues in our minds and bodies.

Can you hear a wee yipes?

Consider making trauma toolboxes for adults and children, teachers and students and families and communities. Be prepared. Order this how-to guide and there is time to both vote and create trauma toolboxes.


Illustration by a former student reflecting on starting college

Transitions Are Tough Sledding

As a society, we have never been particularly good at transitions. This is most obvious in the context of schools. Consider whether students transition well into Elementary School. Then, how well do they transition into Middle School? How’s the transition to High School? And, reflect on the transition to college, whether a student is living at home, returning to college after years away having stopped out or dropped out or never started or living on campus near or far from home.

The Pandemic and its aftermath including our de-masking and return to engagement with others outside…

I am worried about schools/organizations reopening successfully in Fall 2021, even if they opened in some fashion this Spring/Summer. Trauma among students and educators/social workers will abound and we need trauma responsive institutions, trauma responsive pedagogy and trauma responsive strategies. The time to do that thinking is now.

I have two essays forthcoming on this topic, including the questions we need to be asking NOW. One is being published by The Proctor Institute at Rutgers Graduate School of Education and the other in Evolllution.

That is why this Rutgers course (3 hours; May 12th; 9 — noon est) is so important. Please consider signing up. Whether you are a social worker or an educator or an employer, there is much to learn to insure that student/client/employee trauma is handled optimally.

Course is online and well priced ($60). See you there I hope.


If you aren’t Zoomed out, consider joining us on March 20th at noon for a conversation on whether schools can be a place for healing trauma. Three educators engage with each other and with you. Learn some trauma responsive strategies. Free (with request for $3 donation to go to Nu Zeta Chapter of DKG — women educators honor society).

Here’s the link. More info on the attached document. See you there I hope.

Also, this is the topic of a longer essay I am writing. Will share when it is released.

The answer is yes. But the question is how. Three educators (Sakina McGruger, Pat Neal and Karen Gross) are participating in a Zoom conversation on this topic sponsored by Delta Kappa Gamma International on March 20 at noon est.

Here’s my hope: that we can engage in a conversation during and after the March 20th event. We will all be better for the connection and sharing. So, rather than seeing this as yet another one-off Zoom event, consider this the start of an important dialogue. And, if you are a leader or teacher, this is a topic for you. We…

I have become increasing worried about a too large group of educational leaders (presidents; superintendents; chancellors; provosts) who are now failing at their jobs, and those failures can take many forms. In the interest of full disclosure, I was one of them. But with the benefit of now more than half a dozen years and a well cleaned rear view mirror, I am seeing things that need remediation. And, a recent experience at a college pushed me to write something fast — before the harms grow exponentially. It is a topic we cannot ignore.

The growing mistakes of educators come…

Karen Gross

Author, Educator & Commentator; Former President, Southern Vermont College; Former Senior Policy Advisor, US Dept. of Education; Former Law Professor

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