As an educator for 13 years, I spent the first 8 years as a special educator, teaching both elementary and middle school aged kids. In these roles I served as liaison for students with a wide range of disabilities, including specific learning disabilities, ADHD, spectrum disorders, neurological impairments, developmental delays, communication impairments, and emotional/behavioral disabilities.
I eventually became a general educator, using my expertise in special education to inform my daily practice. Passionate about making the most of my students’ time, I loved figuring out where they were with a particular skill and then bringing them to the next level. At the same time, I tried to nurture my students’ metacognitive skills. That is, I taught them how to think about their own thinking, or understand their own process of learning. It is my belief that “strengths” and “weaknesses” are a part of the whole learner and are to be embraced. I taught these same skills in the social arena, striving to help my students understand themselves as a part of our classroom community. Building a safe and vibrant community was a cornerstone of my practice.
As a parent to 3 children (Ages 12, 10, and 7), I am able to apply my knowledge of what happens at school (or is going to happen at school) to develop my “Curriculum of the Home.” And I also know that I can’t do this alone. I have spent my years as a parent developing my own village which helps to replenish my parenting well.
The village that my husband and I rely on is full of the likely members such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, personal mentors, and our children’s teachers. But sometimes I have learned the most valuable lessons from other parents. It is not only helpful to surround myself with people who parent similarly, but people who parent differently. When there is a common goal of nurturing our children and respecting one another, there is so much to be gained.
My parenting is shaped by my lifelong experiences with children and my own personal journey towards self-awareness and mindfulness. The bottom line for me is, the more mindful I am, the more available I am to be the parent I want to be.
I have combined my passion for children, families, and education into Village Parenting. Working with both schools and families, my guiding belief is the best way to support and educate our youth is to do it collaboratively. Join me!
Theresa Wiggins, MEd
Certified in Special Needs, N-9
Certified in Intensive Special Needs, N-12
Certified in General Education, 1-6
Accredited Triple P Practitioner
Attended Family Engagement in Education 4 Day Institute, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Trained in Mindful Schools Curriculum K-12