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Your Words Have Power

A cautionary tale illustrating how only nine words limited my mother’s whole life, quoted from a phone call I had with her when she was 100 years old. As educators, therapists, and coaches it can be easy to minimize the power of our words on someone else’s life. Interpersonal neurobiology is showing us why our words are so important, how …

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Tired and heading to burnout? Neuroscience offers some help.

Feeling exhausted from working with your clients, students, or patients? It may not be much consolation, but you certainly are not alone: “54.4% of physicians report at least one symptom of burnout in 2014, up from 45.5% in 2011.” (Shanafelt, Tait D. et al. 2015) “40%-50% of new teachers may leave their profession within the first five years. This is …

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Don’t let a half-second ruin your life.

Sally, a single mother and pediatric nurse friend of mine, was stunned when her son Josh arrived home from school sobbing, ran to his room and slammed the door. Josh was a gentle happy soul who loved school and did well. This was a first and Sally was worried. She listened patiently at his door until the sobbing quieted then …

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The Invisible Classroom

The Invisible Classroom: Relationships, Neuroscience & Mindfulness in School, By Kirke Olson Published by W. W. Norton & Company, Available here and in bookstores everywhere The book provides practical understandable principles drawn from research in neuroscience, human relationships, and mindfulness, illustrated with true stories drawn from the real imperfect world of education, and offers realistic ideas for classroom applications in …

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Nothing to Fear, but Fear Itself

All these years later I can still feel the echoes of my fear. Fear sparked by Hal, a large rage filled teenager with a chair raised high over his head, charging across my science classroom directly at me. His rage and my fear were suddenly interrupted by the noise of smashing glass as the chair crashed into the low hanging …