We here at Answers In Motion have the opportunity to show Thumball at conferences and converse with the attendees. This was a stimulating month with our participation in the New Jersey Education Association convention in Atlantic City and then the American Speech and Hearing Association in Chicago.
Thumball created a stir because it provided teachers and therapists an instant lesson plan. Educators need things they can use quickly and easily and with a definite target goal in mind. The educators we met were appreciative of the goals and objectives provided on the web site for each Thumball. With 18 designs people had difficult decisions to make. Did they want to go with the Literacy Builders, the Emotional Intelligence route, vocabulary or social interaction Thumballls. Those having very specific subjects to cover went with Numbers and My ABCs which can be customized using the free activity sheets at www.thumball.com
I have nothing but respect and admiration for the dedication of our teachers, therapists and administrators. If there were one improvement I would like to see, it would be to remember we are all EDUCATORS first and our secondary titles like 6th grade Math, speech pathologist, occupational therapist, learning consultant while important should never overshadow our primary responsibility to guide a child to learn and instill the desire to always want to learn more.
Educators have become increasingly fearful about covering curriculum, focusing exclusively on IEP goals and constantly moving from subject to subject with out the time to transition meaningfully. They feel unsure if they can go global and teach all things within the context of a greater concept. Comments from supervisors like "Why were you reading him a story? I thought you were "speech". You have to do more speech activities."are disheartening to hear. If reading and discussing a book is not a speech activity then I spent a good portion of my 22 years as an SLP doing the wrong things.
Enough of my soapbox, I really just wanted to emphasize the wonderful time we had at both of these important events. Educators became educated on a huge array of subjects and by their attendace at NJEA and ASHA showed to students we all never stop learning. I am proud Thumball contributes in a meaningful way to improved focus, motivation and perhaps to a lifelong love of learning.
History making days are happening in so many wonderful and startling ways. First and foremost we have a new President-Elect and his name is Barack. He is married with 2 daughters and inconsequentially is a black man. That was tongue in cheek of course, this is a remarkable turn in our humanity's evolution. Even I just two years ago said something like...our country isn't ready for a black president and not a women either.
Although it thrilled me to consider Hillary or Barack as a true candidate. The campaign run by Obama and his dedicated staff was dignified and diligently focused. Barack exuded a presidential air early on and I marveled as it grew. I watched people like me and unlike me open up to a Democrat with new ideas. I watched news, read papers and felt truly involved in the direction of our country.
On Tuesday night I gasped, stared, jumped for joy and then cried at the wonder of this winner. I saw the world and my family come together and I felt deeply touched watching Barack like a mother watching her child mature and take on responsibilities and learn and succeed.
We are on a new road headed in a new direction, led by the most unexpected yet most prepared of leaders to improve circumstances so we can all live life well and participate more fully in our communities. Early congratulations to President Obama and his beautiful family and our country as a whole.
Our custom made Obama Thumballs were not accepted at the Obama headquarters due to security issues. It is disappointing that Barack did not get to see and feel these one of a kind Thumballs but no worries. Those who did see them loved them and helped to remind them why they were voting for him. We are so glad we did both, made the Obama Ball and voted for him. Hope you did too but if not you are welcome on board with love.