Welcome!

Welcome to All Kinds of Minds the blog for 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.

We are looking forward to 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.

The middle school learning support team has grown this year, in line with AES’s commitment  to support a wider range of learners. We’ll be collaborating with Michael Ho, who’s teaching Humanities and Academic Support, and James Williams, who will be pushing into classrooms to support students half time here and half time in the high school.

The team in M-206 has grown as well. Ms. Khanna and I will be joined by Rebecca Nathanial who will be supporting students in a variety of classrooms. Ms. Khanna 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 completed her teacher training program in IGNOU, Delhi, so she is also a certified teacher. She is one of the most effective educators I have ever had the pleasure of working with, and in my twenty years of teaching, I’ve worked with a lot of good people!

Ms. Nathanial is currently pursuing her Bachelors Hons. degree from Delhi University and has recently completed her French Diploma from Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan. She is also working on a Pre-Primary Teacher’s Training Diploma from the Asian College of Teachers. Before coming to AES, she worked as a Teaching Assistant at the US Embassy’s Apple School. She is looking forward to supporting students at AES as they move forward in their learning journey. She comes highly recommended, and we are happy to have her!

I’ve been teaching 21 years, and I’ve spent half of my career as a general education classroom teacher and half as a special educator.  This is my sixth year in AES Middle School; 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 two sons graduated from AES in 2016 and 2018. One is attending university in the US this year; the other is taking a gap year to volunteer at local NGO’s. My daughter is in eleventh grade at AES. 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, was published in January, 2016. She now volunteers full time as a community organizer for The Community Library Project, which has its roots in an after-school read aloud program she and I started in 2008 and expanded in 2011 with the help of AES colleagues and fifth grade students. TCLP now runs two libraries in conjunction with local NGO’s, and we’ve helped start several other community libraries that we continue to support. You can read more about the Delhi library movement here.

I volunteer at The Community Library Project every weekend and during summer holidays. This summer, I coordinated an intensive three week reading fluency program for 46 students in Hindi. We can always use more volunteers; let us know if you are interested.

In my spare time, I read and write poetry. This summer I read several collections of poetry, including Central Time by Ranjit Hoskote and Come,Thief by Jane Hirshfield. I also write poetry; my first collection of poems was published by Speaking Tiger in December, 2017. You can read more about my poetry 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.

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