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THE GENIUS IN CHILDREN - Encouraging Character, Curiosity, and Creativity in Children by Rick Ackerly

My next book is finally out.
It has it’s first comment on Amazon from Jenny Cowgill:

5.0 out of 5 stars

All educators need to read this book. Everyone needs to read this book.

This should be required reading for anyone in the teaching profession, but really it is a book for everyone. While the focus is on great teachers who are able to solve condlict creatively with love at the core of their teaching, these lessons could apply to anyone of any age. An enjoyable read, in these pages teachers and parents and co workers and friends etc. will witness how focusing on the core needs of students can transform the learning experience. Kids, like all of us want to matter, to be of use in the world, to be respected and valued. When this is the goal and not just how well they score on the three R’s we can create a community of learners who can thrive in school and then later in the world to create a better, more just society where everyone is valued and we can all thrive in our own wonderful uniqueness. Approaching conflict creatively, with compassion but also high expectations is evident in all of these lessons that span decades. Approaching mistakes as positive building blocks instead of negatives, seeing the whole child and not just the grade, changing the language we use, being creative and open to change are some of the many vital tools that are adressed. As someone who has taken failing schools and flipped them to successes, Ackerly lays out an approach to education that is sorely needed and so necessary. But it doesn’t end at graduation. These are tools necessary for all relationships. They can help us all become the leaders that we are as they focus on the genius in all of us.

Amazon: Link: https://amzn.to/3kyp6U9

Xlibris: https://www.xlibris.com/en/bookstore/bookdetails/811380-life-lessons-from-working-with-great-teachers

Barnes and Noble: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Life-Lessons-from-Working-with-Great-Teachers-Paperback-9781664121645/722272447

Happy Reading, everyone.

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Our New Normal

by Rick on November 24, 2020

(Sunday 11-22-2020 after a week in the hospital)

I awoke in my bed at home half-an-hour ago and am in the kitchen, sipping coffee, eating an English muffin (which I toasted, buttered and jammed myself), writing, again, at last.

Except for the slight pain below the six inch incision meandering gracefully around my belly button and the parade of pill bottles on the table marching past my coffee mug, the casual observer might say I am back to normal. But if this is normal, it’s a new normal. Read More…


Four years ago we discovered (if we didn’t already know) that there are two kinds of baby-boomers: those who believe that a great society needs collaboration, intellectual freedom, open mindedness and those who believe too much free thinking opens a “Pandora’s box” and lets evil into the world.

Today, core questions still rattle in the mind and rage in the streets. Read More…


Don’t Get Mad; Get Creative II

by Rick on October 2, 2020

Orange sky at noon, my house was dark all day. Our world is over-heating! And that’s not all:
A million deaths from a flu virus worldwide,
Unemployment skyrocketing,
Storms of falsehoods,
Children in cages,
Murderous policemen,
Scourge of vigilantes,
Ku Klux Klan,
Civil discourse gone,
National leaders modeling the worst of human behavior,
Gangs of cyclones,
Frogs born with missing limbs,
A plague of murder hornets,
Epidemics of ignorance, anxiety, insomnia, depression, suicide,
…need I go on?

This seems to be the context of our lives, especially if we watch the news. It’s enough to make one wonder if moving to Canada is not such a bad idea.

But the context of human life has always been—what’s the right word—challenging? Yes, challenging. Read More…


Parent Is Not a Verb

by Rick on September 12, 2020

You do not have to follow
The “10 rules for good parenting,”
Or take the twelve good parenting tips,
Or even read
Good Parenting Guide to Bringing out the Best in your Child.
Just because you found it all on google doesn’t mean it’s true.

Don’t try to be an “involved parent,”
Or an expert on stages of development
Or the parent who calls the shots
Or the parent who makes them do chores

You ONLY have to:
Delight in their genius—
Love their agency—
Say “No’ where needed,
Tell the truth,
Be yourself,
And be the parent.