The Dancing Barista

Meet Starbuck’s newest employee: the dancing barista. If Starbucks wasn’t great enough, Sam makes the Starbucks experience even greater. Growing up, Sam was told he would never be employed because he moves as he works. Instead, his boss gave him a chance and now he is excelling as an employee.

Sam is truly one of my favorite internet stories and I love how Ellen highlighted him on her show. Please watch his videos below and get inspired by Sam’s story and success.

 

 

Just $10 Can Make All The Difference

$10 can make all the difference in places like Mozambique and Zimbabwe. In order to even attend school, students need to purchase a $10 uniform that they wear every day. Unfortunately, many students cannot afford the uniform, let alone school books and pencils.

According to World Vision, 57 million children are not enrolled in school. Every Christmas, I add to my family’s gifts by sponsoring a child to attend school. For only $10, one child can attend school for the year. It seems crazy, but $10 can make all the difference for children around the world.

Consider sponsoring a child or donating school supplies today. There are many sites to do this through, but one I use is World Vision. (By the way! $50 will supply $600 of school supplies since your gift is multiplied by 12x). Watch their video and see how you can impact those living in impoverished areas.

Please consider donating $10 (or more!!) today to change a child’s life.

Introducing the First Nonverbal, Autistic Talk Show Host

The world has been watching Carly Fleischmann, and her viewers have just increased by becoming the first nonverbal, autistic talk show host. Carly speaks through her I-pad and communicates with others with the help of technology. After many hours spent with her therapists and supportive family growing up, Carly has found a way to communicate with the world.

Her first interview —with the famous Channing Tatum —-gave viewers a good laugh as she asked questions that could make some feel uncomfortable. Her sense of humor, love, and youthful energy comes alive through the interview. I am excited to see the other guests she invites to her show in the future.

For now, be sure to watch Speechless –the newest talk show featuring the one and only –Carly Fleischmann!

Introduction: 

First Interview: Channing Tatum 

Jack of the Red Hearts

A new movie showing a realistic depiction of what it is like to raise a child with autism is coming soon to theaters. Jack of the Red Hearts by Janet Grillo is being praised for showing both the challenges and joys of having a child with autism. Criticizing the films that solely depict autism children as savants, Grillo brings an honest picture which captivates children who are non-verbal and more dependent. disability movies media autistic

autism movie disabilities media

For more stories about autism posted by the huffington post please visit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/autism/

Wheelchair Snow Plow

This week, a lot of the states were hit with major snow storms ranging from 25 to 30 inches. A lot of times, with massive snowfall, the streets and sidewalks become unaccessible to wheelchair users and others who rely on smooth walkways.

This video shows one man who decided to modify his wheelchair to meet his needs due to the snowy weather. This idea is definitely on my “top 10” list. I am looking for others to replicate! Justin Anderson is an accessible icon.

Support Accessibility in Italy

Accessibility has become an increasing problem in historic places such as Italy, Israel, and parts of Africa. Cobblestones, cracked side walks, and lack of ramps make it difficult for people with physical disabilities to travel. A group of operators in Venice decided to do something to help fix this problem.

Who: Gondolas4all

Where: Venice, Italy

Problem: Currently people in wheelchairs are not able to access gondola rides unless they are carried onto gondolas, which can be dangerous

Solution: To build the first ever automated wheelchair lift on a floating jetty

Picture taken from crowd sourcing site:  https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gondolas4all-gondola-wheelchair-access

Picture taken from crowd sourcing site: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gondolas4all-gondola-wheelchair-access

What Makes a Good Teacher

An article from The Washington Post recently was published describing the attributes of a great teacher. After being in several classrooms, grades, and school districts, I agree that the top two characteristics of a teacher are love and grit.

  • Love-Focusing on the emotional, social, and academic needs of a student
  • Grit- Refusing to give up on a student

Another important emphasis was the idea that teaching is both an art and a science. While there are definitely effective strategies teachers can implement on a day to day basis, it takes the skillful teacher to properly entwine research based practices in the classroom with specific students.

Although our current education system is focusing on the science behind teaching (which is appropriate within limits),  the art part can be overlooked in the process of collecting hard data. While hard data is important, I believe the art part of teaching can be measured from student wellness. For example, 1. How students feel about themselves as learners 2. The excitement students feel in the classroom 3. The overall happiness of each student. While I acknowledge that a lot of external factors (such as home life) can heavily influence these feelings, all students, to some extent, should be able to feel the magic of the classroom and the love of learning. If not, our school systems should be focusing on self-health so students are engaged in the beauty of living.

What do you think? Read this article to engage in the discussion.

 

Different Kinds of Minds Contribute to Society

Gordon College hosted Temple Grandin, subject of a 2010 Emmy-winning HBO movie to speak during Beyond Disabilities week on February 21. I personally booked her, introduced her, and was able to spend the whole day with her. Needless to say, she was amazing. To get a glimpse of her advice, knowledge and wise council, please view her keynote address: Temple Grandin’s Keynote Speech at Gordon College with Leah Serao.

A new student: new mind and new behavior

Doug is an excellent boy who is so well behaved. Being one of the four boys in the math class, he stands out for his respectful attitude and his readiness to learn. Everyday he comes in with his hands folded, feet on the ground, and sits silently until the teacher gives directions. During a lesson, he tracks my teacher and is always on task. He used to not always be this way. When talking to his homeroom teacher, she admitted that she was scared of having him in her class at the beginning of the year. He was noisy, hyper, and very distracting. While I do not know the entire back-story of the student, the homeroom teacher said she would share the amazing transformation of Doug who is now so well behaved.  As of now, I know that he started taking medication that really helped his behavior in class. While I would like to focus another one of my reflections on the benefits and consequences of students be medicated, I would like to concentrate on Doug’s great behavior now. It is important for teachers to never put students in a box since they can change throughout the year. With a little encouragement and love, Doug has become an excellent student who exceeds others in his class. He comes to school ready to learn and appreciates his learning. I find that I am more willing to help him because I know his heart (and now mind) is in the right place. While the teachers had to be patient with his behavior at the beginning of the year, their hard work and constant reminders paid off. He is a complete joy to have in the classroom and I look forward to hearing the full story of how he used to behave to how he is behaving now. I hope other students and teachers can benefit from the story of Doug since he has become a role model and a different student in a matter of months.

 

**Student’s name has been changed for privacy reasons.