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Kids’ 20/20 Vision

First grade teacher and first-time author Maria Thompson, Walnut Creek Teachers Association, has written Our 20/20 Journey Back to School. Based on Thompson’s experience, the picture book is told from the children’s perspective and starts during the pandemic shutdown. While students return to in-person school with joyful anticipation, they also talk about how they are feeling and the many unfamiliar changes in this new and different atmosphere. By the end of the book, the experience and discussion have opened children’s eyes, and they’re able to express the importance of the class being together, whether on Zoom or in the classroom, and learning as a “class family.” On Amazon.

Secret Sauce to Parenting — and Teaching

In his 25 years in the classroom, Leon Lewandowski has seen many parenting styles, from helicopter parents to tiger moms. The Santa Barbara Teachers Association member and father of two proposed a different way in his 2014 book Secrets of Safety-Net Parenting (written under his pen name, Leon Scott Baxter). After looking for the common denominator to raising happy, successful children through research and interviewing parents and students, he believes he found the secret sauce. “Safety-net parents” give guidance and opportunities, and help children discover their passions and strengthen them. They let children experience life, especially failure, but are there to catch them before they crash. Lewandowski has found that he can use many of these techniques and strategies in the classroom. On Amazon.

Speak Out

Always wanted to show off your dramatic skills, whether onstage or in the classroom? Prolific writer and teacher Mike Kimmel, Burbank Teachers Association, has written Monologues for Adults, a departure from his Young Actor Series of books with monologues and scenes for kids, tweens and teens. This book offers 60 original, family-friendly monologues addressing issues of interest to adults, including post-college jobs and careers, adult relationships with parents, siblings and co-workers, and maintaining creativity and individuality in an increasingly technological world. On Amazon.

After the Storm

In 2017 Adam Holland, Hart District Teachers Association, wrote a “Your Voice” column for the Educator about his battle with and recovery from brain cancer, and the support he received from his colleagues and students. The National Board Certified AP history teacher shared his story in Anchored in the Storm, describing how his Christian faith sustained him during the darkest and most difficult times in life. This year Holland published a companion book, Anchored to the Son, continuing the theme of how his faith brings calm and peace when life returns after a trial or suffering. On Amazon.

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