The Lotus School Mindful Journaling

Mindful Journaling Workshop

by Steffi Eger, Art Instructor @ The Lotus School I am always looking for interesting projects to bring into my classroom: new projects that push my students’ thinking; tweaked projects that put an unexpected twist on a previous project; or new combinations of old ideas that present new problems to solve. As The Lotus School is grounded in the practice of mindfulness, I am also eager to learn new ways to help my students implement their mindfulness practice in our daily classroom culture. On a very…

The Lotus School of Liberal Arts Helping Kids Get To School

Helping Students Get to School

Here & Now‘s Robin Young talks to a therapist and a clinical social worker about why some students refuse school and what some schools are doing to help. At The Lotus School, we can be flexible and creative to help our students stay in school. “When (school) resources are allocated in a way that is built on flexibility, creativity and really strong parent-school partnerships, you can see the momentum start to build. For example, having a greeter at the school, making it feel like a welcoming environment for that child…

The Lotus School of Liberal Arts

Service Learning at The St. Luke’s United Church of Christ

Every year the students at The Lotus School of Liberal Arts assist the good folks at the St. Luke’s United Church of Christ, in Ottsville, PA, with their annual Rummage and Bake Sale. We help the other volunteers unload donated goods onto large trailers for transport to the sale site, then unload at the destination. The students see that communities have to work hard to remain vital, and sometimes need outside help. Students practice working as a team outside of school, which reflects back to our community practices at school. The sale is located at the building at the intersection…

Last Chance Ranch Animal Rescue

Students and faculty from The Lotus School volunteered at Last Chance Ranch Animal Rescue, a public volunteer, non-profit (501c3) organization, during a mild, beautiful morning last month. Thanks to Lotus faculty member Brad for organizing this service trip to help maintain the property that rescues and rehabilitates horses and domestic companion animals. LCR is located on 35 beautiful acres in Upper Bucks County. Their facility includes a nine-stall barn, indoor riding arena, many pastures with run-in sheds, a fifteen-run kennel, small animal room, grooming suite, surgical suite and several meeting rooms that can be used for educational programs…

Strategies for Teaching Realistic Optimism

A recent article in Edutopia talks about the role of educators in teaching realistic optimism. Realistic optimists see the path to success as full of twists and turns. Consequently, they are not risk-averse. Teaching students about optimism can help them see unpleasant events as learning opportunities. The term negativity bias refers to a human brain’s responsiveness to negative, unpleasant events. At the end of a school day, if a teacher is focused on the one instance that didn’t go so well, compared with the many events that did go well, they…

The Lotus School of Liberal Arts

Small-School Benefits

New evidence that small schools work A new study reminds us that only a few years ago, reducing the number of total students in a school was seen as a key weapon in the arsenal of urban school reform. This reminder suggests that perhaps small schools shouldn’t have been so quickly abandoned as a reform strategy.   In 2010, MDRC, a nonpartisan, New York-based research group, found that New York City students who attended small high schools were more likely to graduate than their counterparts who didn’t attend small schools….

The Lotus School of Liberal Arts Open House

Can a Jar Full of Glitter Help Teens with Mindfulness?

In this recent article from The New York Times there’s a discussion on how the use of a snow globe or “mindfulness jar,” constructed from a household jar and glitter, can help teens weather emotional storms. A glitter jar provides a reminder to anyone who is feeling stressed to be patient with themselves and be confident that emotions often rise, swirl and settle all by themselves.  Watching glitter settle isn’t the only solution to teenage meltdowns, but it’s a good first response. At The Lotus School’s upcoming Open House on April…

Creating Empathy and Reducing Anxiety with Project Based Learning

In the article Parenting: "Teaching kids empathy can reduce anxiety, bullying" Mohsin Hamid, award-winning British author, has defined empathy as, “finding echoes of another person in yourself.” How better to see echoes of another in yourself then by reaching a common goal together, acknowledging the struggles and frustrations along the way, while knowing a common goal can be reached together? At The Lotus School, our students are wired for a sense of community.  In a recent article in Forbes, Teri Citterman, CEO of Talonn, writes, “Why empathy? Because it has the ability to make a material difference in how leaders lead and people respond. When people feel like their boss knows them, they feel cared for and heard; it translates to inspired and motivated employees. Their trust increases. Creativity increases. Most importantly, people who feel cared about, feel safe. They feel like they matter and that their work has purpose.” Work and school should have a purpose; students and employees should feel like they matter.  When students engage in a project, one they designed and are invested in, learning has a purpose.  Students then take more educational risks and stretch mentally. When they have a dependable community to catch them when they fall, students can then make larger educational strides. This starts with empathy. A Second Screening of Angst with a Panel Discussion to follow Through this process, we all acknowledge the feeling; we teach our students to meet others where they are. We help our students to understand that frustration/anger is here and feels real right now, but it will pass. We build connection to their present feeling rather then merely telling them that it will all work out or to cheer up. What better place to teach students this powerful skill than in school while learning something that is personally meaningful? We practice these skills while in a calmer emotional state so that when challenges arise and emotions flare, we have the skills to navigate through the difficulty. We have a starting point. We can teach students to help others by seeing where the other person is, connecting with them in that place, knowing that the feelings are temporary. Seeing this in others, naturally you can see it in yourself.  

The Lotus School of Liberal Arts Devon Brown

Continuing Education – The Grad Gives Back

  One of the joys of teaching is having former students return for a visit. The visits are especially meaningful when the former student shares their continuing educational experiences with present students. Devin Brown graduated from Arcadia University last year and currently manages the university’s clay studio. He spent a morning with the Art 1 class at The Lotus School giving a demonstration of coil building with clay, sharing his passion for ceramics, and assisting the students with their first coil pots. The students…

anxiety

“Angst” Screening – Meet The Panelists!

IndieFlix Shines the Light on Anxiety with Must-See Documentary ANGST: RAISING AWARENESS AROUND ANXIETY A new film created to start community conversations about anxiety Presented by The Lotus School of Liberal Arts A film and panel discussion about how anxiety disorders are real, common, and treatable Wednesday, February 27th 7:00 pm Delaware Valley University • 700 E. Butler Avenue, Doylestown, PA • Life Sciences Building Reserve Your Ticket Here Meet the Panelists: Dr. Kristann Heinz - Red Hill Medical + Wellness Dr. Kristann Heinz is a board-certified medical doctor with the American Academy of Family Medicine and American Board of Integrative-Holistic Medicine. She is also a registered dietician and medical acupuncturist. Her medical facility, Red Hill Medical + Wellness is located in Ottsville, PA. Dr. Heinz is dedicated to the understanding that the basis for wellness and healing rests in a foundation of good nutrition, physical movement and emotional health. With personal research that is never-ceasing, she follows the charge that it is every person’s right and responsibility to truly understand their own personal health story. Dr. Julia Helstrom - Bucks County Center for Integrative Medicine Dr. Julia Helstrom started Bucks County Center for Integrative Medicine in 2016 because she saw a need for integrative and functional medicine to be at the forefront of primary care. Starting with her foundation in osteopathic medicine at PCOM, her belief that the body had an innate capacity to heal was confirmed and promoted. Dr. Helstrom did an extra year in medical school studying Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, a hands on technique to further evaluate and treat the body. She was board certified in Family Medicine after her residency at Beth Israel Medical Center in NYC where she also had training in integrative medicine. Dr. Helstrom has continued her education through the Institute for Functional Medicine. She is passionate about partnering with patients to determine each individual’s level of optimal well being.  Seeing patients experience life-altering changes in their health brings her joy. She is grateful for a supportive husband and two amazing children that fill her heart and soul. Dr. Faye Lovrinic - The Center for Neuropsychology and Counseling Dr. Faye Lovrinic is a licensed psychologist in Bucks County who specializes in working with children/adolescents and young adults/adults in transition.  With expertise in anxiety, mood disorders, ADHD and autism, Dr. Lovrinic utilizes a holistic approach to support the development of emotional resiliency with her clients and their families. Dr. Lovrinic's extensive work with children of divorce allows her to bring to the panel unique perspectives of their struggles and an understanding of protective factors that help.  When not working with clients, Dr. Lovrinic can be found hiking with her dogs, OM'ing at a local yoga studio, listening to music or podcasts and enjoying time with family and friends. Mr. James Mast, LPC - Penn Foundation Behavioral Health Services Mr. James Mast is a Licensed Professional Counselor and certified Eco-Systemic Structural Family Therapist. He works in the Mental Health Outpatient department at Penn Foundation. James' clinical work focuses on helping individuals, couples, and families understand and cope with a variety of mental health issues. He specializes in supporting children who are high risk for hospitalization due to the severity of their behaviors. He spends time collaborating with community organizations on subjects related to mental health. He completed his bachelor's degree in Psychology and master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Trauma Studies at Eastern University.  He leads workshops on topics such as peacemaking, the impact of social media, implicit bias, honoring diversity, and modern anxiety. He is involved in his community and strives to bring about positive change. Ms. Erin Tolson - Dean of Palisades School District Cyber Academy Ms. Erin Tolson is special education teacher with Palisades School District. At Palisades, Erin serves as the Dean of the Palisades Cyber Academy and an emotional support teacher at the high school. Prior to her career as a teacher, she spent eight years working in marketing for the pharmaceutical and banking industries. Erin completed her undergraduate work at Millersville University in Communication and Public Relations with a minor in Sociology. Although she enjoyed the business world, she had an overwhelming desire to become a teacher. In 2009 she left the business world and obtained a position as a teacher associate at the Centennial School of Lehigh University. Centennial is a nationally recognized private school specializing in working with students with emotional behavioral disorders and autism. While working at Centennial, she completed her masters in special education and elementary education. She additionally holds certifications in middle school science and English. Erin is currently enrolled in the Educational Leadership program at Lehigh University and is scheduled to complete her Principal Certification in May 2019. Outside of school, Erin enjoys traveling, riding her horses, snowboarding, hiking, Crossfit and spending time with her dogs.