Welcome to All Kinds of Minds, a blog that serves the Advisory, Study Skills, and Academic Support classes in AES M206. You can read more about my philosophy here. You can find the Academic Support course overview here and the Study Skills course overview here.
Ms Khanna and I are planning a great year. We are so glad you are here where we celebrate diversity in learning styles, language and culture; we agree with Temple Grandin when she says, “the world needs all kinds of minds.” We will be working this year to use the strength of our many minds to do some exciting thinking.
I am very pleased to be working with Ms. Khanna again this year. She received a B.A. in Commerce from Delhi University and has four years experience at AES in the elementary and middle schools. Ms Khanna has recently completed a teacher training program in IGNOU, Delhi, so she is also a certified teacher.
I’ve been teaching for 19 years; I’ve spent half of my career as a general education classroom teacher and half as a special educator. This is my fourth year teaching Middle School at AES; I also taught fifth grade here for six years from 2005-20011. AES is a unique school, and one of my favorite places to teach and learn.
My eldest son graduated from AES and is attending university in the US this year; I have another son at AES in eleventh grade and a daughter in ninth. Portland is the American city I’m proud to call home. I was born in Iowa, and I still return to the Midwest to visit family from time to time.
Reading and writing is important in my family. My partner is a writer; her third book, Bicycle Dreaming, came this past January. She now works as a community organizer for the Deepalaya Community Library Project, which she and I started in 2008 and expanded in 2011 with the help of AES colleagues and fifth grade students. The Project has grown from an after-school read aloud program serving a dozen children, to a full scale library with 700 child and adult members in the Sheikh Sarai Phase I area. I volunteer there every Monday and most Saturdays. You can learn more about that project here. We can always use more volunteers.
In my spare time, I read and write poetry. This summer I read several collections of poetry, including Jeet Thayil’s Collected Poems, Tabish Khair’s Man of Glass, Arun Kolatkar’s Sarpa Satra, Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, and The Waste Land and Other Poems by T.S. Eliot. I also write poetry and am hoping to finish my first collection in the next couple of years. You can find links to some of my published poems here.
Students, I’d love to hear what kinds of reading or writing you did this summer. Why not leave a comment below? Parents, you are welcome to comment as well, and I hope to meet you all at Back to School Night later this month. In the meantime, if you have any questions or ideas to share, do get in touch. The contact page will show you how.