"We are inspired by children's natural-born ability
to constructively and collaboratively resolve their own challenges ...
and we are motivated by the world's serious need
for them to fully develop and stabilize those natural-born abilities as soon as possible."
Graduated from high school with 2.2 GPA. After high school independently studied: art history, dance, philosophy, world cultures, Spanish, and more.
Married. Had 2 great kids. Behavior issues started when they were 4 and 5. Became an awful nag.
Got an IDEA: Ask groups of kids together what they knew and understood about a whole range of topics. (NOT just behavior, because that'd be too obvious.) I'd ask with respect and trust in their natural-born capacity to empathize and collaboratively resolve dilemmas familiar to all of them.
What a good idea that was! From my older son's 1st grade class, since results were so positive, I was asked to provide sessions for all the grades: K-12.
Twenty years passed ... my sons were grown and gone, and I was ready for a change, so I went back to school to pursue Landscape Design. Another 15 years went happily by ... it was great, but I couldn't get away from the feeling that landscape design doesn't make the kind of difference this world needs.
I returned to education, committed to figuring out (testing, refining, re-testing with countless wonderful, kind and generous teachers across the country (England and India, too) how to make the approach I’d figured out all those years ago easy-to-implement for anyone ...
… and here we are!
As a public school kindergarten teacher in 1972, I sought out cutting edge approaches to teaching and learning. During a 6 year break as a mommy at home with my small children, I became immersed in the world of children and child development.
I returned to elementary teaching and later became a school administrator in a range of schools: public, independent, religious, magnet, charter, and dual language immersion.
As a life-long learner, I studied Montessori, Waldorf, and Reggio, integrating wisdom from each in my personal approach when working with teachers, children and parents. I've completed a Masters in Education and coursework for a Doctorate in Education, Curriculum and Instruction, where my early instincts about learning were consistently validated. As a grandmother, I now see my early beliefs and experiences reflected in modern research about learning and neuropsychology.
Childhood is the foundation-building time of life. It must be honored. Nothing is more important than consistently cultivating learning environments that respect and appreciate children's developmental needs. Education designed to activate and anchor the full potential of children's curiosity, creativity and intelligent problem solving abilities is the highest purpose of our
Lani grew up in a family of highly respected educators in Seattle, WA. She has taught and tutored all grades, TK - 6th, mostly at low-income schools in Denver, San Jose and Oakland. Visiting many of her classes I've witnessed how all of her students like, her, respect and love her, because she lives her unshakeable belief that students, “won’t care that she knows anything unless they know she cares about them.”
Her adoption of the Kids' Own Wisdom approach was a "natural." Lani and I have presented at conferences and worked extensively on co-authoring a book.
Lani is an inspired and inspiring teacher, committed to her students and to supporting other teachers' full realization of their own passion for providing meaningful education. Lani is currently employed as a full-time teacher coach.
Maria was born in Colombia, and she returns every summer to be with her large family of education professionals and leaders.
Maria is multi-talented: beloved and respected bi-lingual teacher, high energy and adored soccer coach, gifted Reiki healer.
When I asked Maria to help with translating the Kids' Own Wisdom materials into Spanish, she took on the job with deep-hearted enthusiasm and over-the-top integrity. I am forever grateful to her for enabling me to offer the Spanish version with complete confidence in its accuracy.
Maria is the loving mother of Matias and devoted wife of Marco.
"The more accountability we give to children,
the more they rise to the occasion."