A Song Of Healingby Chris Duschik
Many in our country are asking questions regarding education. Every thoughtful and mindful parent, teacher, and school district is trying to find answers to complex and difficult questions regarding our children. Caught up in the public school system, Robert is sensitive, artistic, and on the verge of becoming lost in the shuffle. Insightful teachers can make a
Many in our country are asking questions regarding education. Every thoughtful and mindful parent, teacher, and school district is trying to find answers to complex and difficult questions regarding our children. Caught up in the public school system, Robert is sensitive, artistic, and on the verge of becoming lost in the shuffle. Insightful teachers can make a difference, and the power of a family's love is not to be underestimated: weaving art and emotion with education, A Song of Healing paints a story of hope, for all of us.
- Publish America
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- 0.44(w) x 8.50(h) x 5.50(d)
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At the end of his seventh grade, Robert's abusive father left. His mother, Jamie, went to a hospital for the summer. Robert and his baby sister, Sandy, went to be with Grandma Dahlen. Jamie was determined to get well and raise her children as best as she could. Grandma Dahlen would help. ............ Robert spent much of the summer learning about his mother's childhood. He visited all her favorite places and listened to stories about how well his mother could make music. She never played her instrument any more, out of guilt. Robert's gift was for art. He spent the summer drawing everything around him and his interpretation of his mother when she was young and happy. ................ As eighth grade began, Jaime was with Robert, Sandy, and Grandma Dahlen again. Jaime saw Robert's amazing drawing talent and made sure he was assigned a teacher who would appreciate his art. Therefore, Mr. Spencer came into Robert's life. ............ Mr. Spencer was a different type of teacher. He nurtured caring, sensitivity, and helped develop the talent of each individual child. Between Robert's unusual teacher, his mother, and his new school friends, Robert would do much growing, and much healing. ............. **** This book shows a multitude of things to the reader. It shows that people CAN get out of abusive situations, however, it is not easily done and much healing is needed afterward. It shows a different way for teachers to teach inside the classroom, helping the children in more ways than just book learning. If the reader is pre-teen and just out of an abusive life, it shows hope and gives strength. ............. The book is written simply so the reader may be an adult or as young as age ten. Well done! ****
My rating of this book is based on its value as a model for an improved learning style that a teacher can bring to the classroom. Although the book is a novel, the parts about David Spencer, the teacher, are apparently non-fictional. I was very impressed with the methods described here. As a novel about a child overcoming his and his family's problems, this is a three-star book. It is heart-warming for anyone considering that context, but is flawed as a work of fiction by putting mature adult concepts and words into the mouths of the young characters like Robert and Kristen. The book also describes a state of perfection that is overly idealized, and makes the action seem unreal. The healing process needed a few more flaws in it. The book tells the story of Robert whose father has been abusing his mother and him. Robert is a kinesthetically oriented person, and expresses his feelings best through art. This may mean drawing a picture of something that frightens him, and then throwing the picture away. In a standard factory-school environment, he does not do well. After his father is taken off to jail, Robert gets a new start with help from his grandmother, mother, and his new teacher. Through this experience, he develops his self-esteem, establishes good relationships, and becomes an able learner. The essence of the classroom environment is to make each child feel special, and connected and supported by every other student. The exercises that were described for the first day of school were most impressive. Any teacher will feel inspired and encouraged to read about them. A bigger challenge will be doing things like having lunch with the students every day. I suspect that the activities described here would also be good for adding to the kinesthetic abilities of the students who are normally visual or auditory in their primary learning style. After you finish this book, I suggest that you think about ways that you could follow these examples as a parent. How can you be closer to and more supportive of your children? Seek to support first, then listen, and then respond! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution
Robert is a sensitive soul living in an insensitive technological world. His broken home life and abusive father only teaches him about the chaotic side of life. He finds an escape through art, yet his talents are not recognized until Grandmother Dahlen helps to give him confidence through her compassionate influence. A Song of Healing is a story that shows how an insightful teacher can make a difference in a young adult's life. Mr. Spencer is based on a non-fictional character named David Spencer (an award winning teacher) who made this book possible through his unique view of life. In Mr. Spencer's class, Robert finds a safe environment where he can be himself. He also finds friends who understand him and grows spiritually as he takes strength from his new found acceptance and applies it to the incredible challenges he faces. Chris Duschik also based this hopeful story on his own teaching experiences and observations. I recommend this book to young adults who may perhaps feel their artistic nature is not understood by others. As many seek to find answers to the education problems in our country, the answer may be found in knowing that we are all individuals with the potential to make schools a more peaceful place for children to thrive. If we can encourage love instead of hate, perhaps there is hope for peace instead of violence. A Song of Healing emphasizes the importance of human connections and shows how everyone has a song inside of them waiting to be sung. When we appreciate the differences of those around us, perhaps then we can too can sing our most beautiful songs and help to heal the world around us.
As a child frequently frustrated because I don't learn well in traditional classrooms, A SONG OF HEALING touched my heart, striking an intensely personal response. During my two years of teaching experience, I successfully employed some of the techniques described, including gathering in circles for class discussion, finding the simple rearrangement of desks redefines the energy of the entire classroom expereince. I have also participated in tossing 'energy balls' and other energy work that allows groups of completely disparate people work together as a community. Consequently, my first hand experience not only validates Duschik's work, but makes me want to share this book with educators, parents, and anyone else I can gather as an audience. Very highly recommended.