Been in education for 38 years as a teacher and a principal.
She is a mother of 2 grown sons.
She loves what she does.
When Lauren was 14 she moved in with her grandparents. Her mother had passed away when she was 11.
Her grandfather invented a reading system called the self pronouncing alphabet. He thought the letters were not meaningful, so he turned each letter into an animal.
Lauren used this system and as she got older, she tutored people in reading. That’s what really got her interested in education. People could learn at any age for free.
It helped people to decode but once they realized it was going to be fun, they were on board.
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Her grandfather was adamant that she go to college. She applied for scholarships and got four of them and they paid for her first year of college.
After her freshman year, she was hooked!
She got engaged young and her grandmother thought she wouldn’t finish her education. She took that as a challenge and finished her education.
She has loved kids her whole life.
She’s been teaching since 1981, and then there was an opening to be a principal.
The job came open and the superintendent said, “Do you want to positively affect your 30 every day or do you want to positively affect 450 every day?”
What are some things that you wish parents knew?
Life is busy.
“If I could turn back time, I would have calmed down in the morning.” Lauren says.
Get ready at night, so in the morning all you have to do is wake up and get ready to go.
The more prepared you are, it’s better on the whole family. Then you won’t be so rushed.
In hindsight, I would have relaxed and not been in a rush.
Speaking respectfully to your children and listening to them is huge.
Lauren says, she would start the conversation with the wrong tone. So she worked on having a better conversation.
Talk to your kids about what is expected in a calm way. You can always stop and do redos.
Parents or adults don’t always understand what the child needs and they think the child is misbehaving, but they need to listen and see what’s going on.
“I get down to my kids level and ask what they need, with lots of smiles and reassuring.
I see a lot of people on their devices. There’s a whole bunch of looking at the device and not at the child.”
They are looking at you all the time. When they’re looking at you, what do they see?
We don’t want the babies and the little guys to think that’s how the world is. I would limit tech
time for sure. You want your kids to be curious and play and go out in nature.
There’s so much to talk about with your child- don’t miss it!
Using the environment to teach our kids
When you are walking through a parking lot, talk about the letters on the license plates.
Learning should be fun!
It’s fun to spend a few minutes here and a few minutes there, when you’re in the car or you see a sign, talk about the letters.
Do that all the time, here and there throughout the day and they will pick it up and understand that every letter has a sound.
Think out loud and talk to your kids. They will hear the words and hear what you are thinking and it makes them think.
Look around your house and search for words there. Look for labels and brands and go around your house to identify letters.
Have books all around your house and everywhere you go.
Have them right at the child’s level. When you are reading to your child, track with your finger sometimes to help them know that print goes from left to right. It’s okay to read books over and over again.
Repetition is good.
With numbers, count out what you are doing. Count while you are setting the table.
Make everything into a learning experience.
With babies, you can show them pictures and point out all the words.
Constant talking- pour language into them!
When you’re teaching kids how to read, teach them letter sounds first, then, when you start to teach them how to spell, start with two letter words.
After a lot of two letter words, you start with three letter word blends. If you do that consistently, they learn to read!
Notice the cool things around you and your child will start noticing. When you point things out in nature, your kids will start to notice that also.
Remember what it’s like to be a kid. Think back and slow down and remember what it’s like.
Get that joy back!
Be curious and think like a kid.
Treasure every day, every moment. You really never know what’s going to happen tomorrow.
Be thankful and grateful for everything you have. Be in the moment