Dr. Mary Ann Smialek
Together We Can Make A Difference

Books & CDs

 

 Don't Miss the Bus Book Cover

Don't Miss the Bus! Steering Your Child to Success in School - A Unique Approach to Positive Parenting for School Success

By Mary Ann Smialek, Ed. D.

Don't Miss the Bus! Steering Your Child to Success in School is thoughtful and supportive in its approach; practical, direct and clear in its action plans. A unique, wise guide that will appeal to today's busy parents with its "heart–to-heart" conversational tone in an easy to read and understand format. This book will guide parents who despite their best intentions unknowingly undermine their child's capacity for school success.

Don't Miss the Bus! Steering Your Child to Success in School informs parents what they need to know and do now to help their child overcome the odds to school success. Discovering these parent friendly strategies, you will get immediate results. Dr. Smialek realizes parents' busy and stressful life styles from her years of experience as a regular and special education teacher with a specialization in specific learning problems. She shares her wisdom, experience, "tried and true" methods and anecdotes from own parenting and classroom experiences.

The Stop! Look! Take Action! section at the end of each chapter gives anxious parents the benefit of instant mini-lessons to give them the advantage of a quick intervention when needed. These strategies will give concerned parents the edge that will make the difference by taking immediate, positive action.

Featured in this book are 4 Steps to Good Parenting, Roadblocks to Motivation, Homework Tips and Test Taking Techniques based on a perceptual – organizational approach to the remediation of developmental problems, Positive Home – School Partnerships, Effective Parent – Teacher Conferences ( before, during and after ) and Every Child Is Special. Highlighted is Discipline Without Tears! a "win – win" approach with a concise action plan to prevent most discipline problems before they occur while maintaining dignity for both parents and child.

Don't Miss the Bus! focuses on children's strengths not their weaknesses. The result for parents and their child is a happier, more knowledgeable, more resilient parent – child – teacher relationship.

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 Don't Miss the Bus Book Cover
 

Don't Miss the Bus! Steering Your Child to Success in School CD Set

Don't Miss the Bus! Steering Your Child to Success in School CD Set will guide parents who despite their best intentions, unknowingly, undermine their children's capacity for school success. The message of the CD's is thoughtful in its approach; practical, direct, and clear in its action plans. It is a unique wise guide that will appeal to today's busy parents on the go with its "heart-to-heart" conversational tone

Current statistics suggest that more and more children than ever before are struggling academically, emotionally, and behaviorally in school. In turn, school are recognizing that the foundation of well-adjusted students lies beyond the classroom setting, in the vital principles that parents provide for their young ones long before they enter he school doors for the first time.

As this need increases, today's busy parents are seeking resources to understand the educational system, to interact positively with their children and their children's teachers. They want most importantly to guide their youngsters to develop a resilient mind-set and help them adapt to the challenges they face in school and later on in their lives.

The strategies, tips, and techniques on each CD will serve as detailed maps for parents to ensure their children a smooth school journey ahead.

Don't Miss the Bus! CD Set is parent friendly resource. They are focused on guiding today's busy parents, grandparents and educators on what they need to know and do now to help children overcome the odds to school success.

If you are serious and committed about improving the quality of your relations with your children and want to give them the best chance at a remarkable school experience this book is for you. If you want to make certain that your children have the prerequisites for confident filled school years, this book will guide and encourage you on your journey. It provides an important element for your faith and reliance in its promise: the guiding hand of a teacher who has helped other parents and their children on their rewarding school journeys.

As a parent, you have a powerful role to fulfill in supporting your children's school achievement through structured home activities. It is not assumed that you must be knowledgeable of curriculum scope and sequence skills or expertise in content subject areas. However, you are expected to create expectations for time spent on homework enrichment activities, assignment completion and assistance in homework problem areas and downtime. By monitoring school related activities, you are sending a most important message about the value of school and the importance of effort in your children's lives. This vital message will reach into other important areas of their lives and assure continued achievement through life's ups and downs.

Featured on the CDS:

  • 4 Steps to Good Parenting
  • Roadblocks to Motivation
  • Homework Tips and Test Taking Techniques
  • Positive Home-School Partnerships
  • Effective Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • Every Child is Special
  • Discipline Without Tears

The 4 CD Set focuses on children's strengths and not their weaknesses. The result for parents and their kids is a happier, more knowledgeable, more resilient parent-child-teacher relationship.

Don't Miss the Bus! CDs are focused on guiding today's busy parents, grandparents and educators. It provides them with the knowledge and action plans needed to help children with what they need to know and do throughout the elementary school years.

Throughout my search of the competition I have found that no other book/CD Set that addresses parent-child-teacher issues with the wisdom, knowledge "tried and true" methods and anecdotes from a seasoned teacher's perspective and from the teacher's own parenting and classroom experiences to guide parents on their journey to their children's school success..

Don't Miss the Bus! Steering Your Child to Success in School is the perfect resource for managing each wonderfully different area of your children's education development during the elementary school years. It is filled with many tips, techniques and strategies that will bring your children closer to school achievement and a successful future. The CD Set presents the things parents need to know and the action plans for children to thrive in their home and school environment and development. It is designed for today's busy parents to guide them to achieve positive results and a better relationship with their children. It is for those parents who are seeking a resource to better understand the educational system and to interact positively with their children and their children's teachers along the school journey ahead.

Don't Miss the Bus! CDS will enable parents to help their youngsters develop a resilient mind set and guide them adapt to the challenges they face in school each day. These CDS offers a valuable, comprehensive and detailed guide to assist parents guide their precious ones to a most desired successful school year.

If you, as a parent, are serious and committed about improving the quality of your relations with your children and want to give them the best chance at a remarkable school experience, this CD Set is for you. If you want to make certain that your young ones have the prerequisite skills for confident school years, Don't Miss the Bus! CDS will both guide and encourage you on your journey. They also provide an important element for your faith and reliance in its promise: the guiding hand of a teacher who has helped other parents and their children on the rewarding school journeys.

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Get on the Bus! Tools for School

By Mary Ann Smialek, Ed. D.

 Don't Miss the Bus Book Cover

Current statistics suggest that more children than ever before are struggling academically, emotionally, and behaviorally in school. In turn, schools are recognizing that the foundation of well-adjusted students lies beyond the classroom setting, in the vital principles that parents provide for their children long before they enter kindergarten.

As this need increases, today's busy parents are seeking resources to understand the educational system and to interact positively with their children and their children's teachers. They want most importantly to guide their youngsters to develop a resilient mind-set and help them adapt to the challenges they face in school and later on in their lives.

Get on the Bus! is focused on assisting parents on how to help their children with what they need to know and do at each developmental level throughout the elementary school years. Strategies, tips, and techniques in each of the chapter Bus Stops will serve as detailed maps for parents to ensure their children a smooth school journey ahead.

The topics covered in this resource include:

  • How Children Develop and Learn
  • Developmental Stages: Characteristics and Strategies
  • The Homework Myth
  • Avoid the "Homework Blues"
  • Manage Time and Win!
  • Motivation Essentials
  • Self-Esteem Boosts
 
  • Help Children Learn From Mistakes and Failures
  • "Study Smarts" Game Plan
  • Back to Learning Basics
  • Rescue Your Stressed Out Kids
  • Staying Safe Online
  • The Internet as a Resource Tool

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 Don't Miss the Bus Book Cover

Off the Bus!

By Mary Ann Smialek, Ed. D.

The biggest struggle middle school parents experience is the increasing independence of their children. During the middle school years parents walk the tight rope between hovering and not helping enough or in the way that is needed especially when their pre-teens tell them that they don’t need or want their assistance. The fact of the matter is that pre-teens need their parents as much as ever during the middle school years to guide and set boundaries for them. I encourage middle school parents to build up their children’s confidence and strengthen them to deal with peer pressure first, by really listening to what they have to say and then, offer positive strategies. The key here for parents is to give their kids the message that they are not in the position to “fix” everything but they can offer guidance to enable their preteens to arrive at their own conclusions and positive solutions with their unwavering support. Other struggles middle school parents experience include: when are kids old enough to stay home alone, how late should they stay out on weekends, telephone and computer privileges, money considerations, and how much freedom should be given in specific social situations.
 
Teachers can better meet the needs of middle school students by first knowing and understanding preteen physical, emotional, and mental development. Another important consideration for middle school teachers is being aware of the students’ learning styles and their own teaching styles and matching these to the best of their ability. Other considerations for teachers to support their middle school students include: how to motivate unmotivated adolescents, using appropriate rewards to promote academic achievement and good behavior, actively teaching study skills and test taking strategies.
 
 The most important thing to keep in mind parenting middle school children is that they need their parents’ conditional love and support especially now that they are becoming more independent. No matter how stressed parents are or how crazy things get, they must remember what is most important – their kids! They must be open to the changes in their pre-teens lives, train themselves to take more in stride, not take things personally, and check their attitudes while staying true to their focus on their middle school kids’ successful outcomes.
 
Off the Bus! Transition to Middle School is helping parents by providing sound, sage strategies that will provide middle school students with endless possibilities for success now and in the future. The concise and useful references and websites provided in the book offer specific guidance in a particular circumstance or situation. It, also, offers parents who are interested in learning more in depth the issues that are facing middle school students today. An important aspect that Off the Bus! provides is the feasibility of favorable parent-teacher-student partnerships. The tips and techniques presented support the time and the effort that are needed by all three key players to foster high standards for a quality education on many levels both at home and school.

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 Don't Miss the Bus Book Cover

Team Strategies For Success
Doing What Counts In Education

By Mary Ann Smialek, Ed. D.

Team Strategies for Success – Doing What Counts In Education is a primer based on both theory and practice for all those who are looking to help improve education. It demonstrates the principle that teams in education are composed of highly interrelated processes that require support partnerships.

The problems in American education lie primarily in the way the school system is structured and run. Treating staff members as professionals; including parents, board members, community members and even sometimes students on teams is important. Listening to their suggestions and encouraging them to engage in constant self-improvement through team building is vital in the effort to improve our schools. This process forms the basis for a new educational leadership that will effect significant change.

If true change for the better in education today is to be achieved, it will require not only careful planning but also a new type of education leaders who are patient and committed to shared-decision making. Your ability to improve education in your school organization is based on support partnerships that require that the community be knowledgeable about the business and challenges of schools, mainly the achievement of students and all that this entails.

Someone in your school district has to champion the cause for shared decision-making in teams. This educational leader is not always the superintendent. Could that someone be you?  Keep in mind that the work of continuous improvement is just that – continuous! It has no end point. It is a work of a lifetime. Will you, whatever your role, accept the challenge of teaming in your school district and take the necessary steps to make it happen?

A quality team approach to improvement makes clear the rethinking of the roles of all the clients of education. School staff, parents, board members and community members must be informed about the challenges in education today. If we are going to secure and maintain the necessary support to sustain a quality education system a balanced participation of clients must be included on district teams.

Discovering Team Strategies for Success – Doing What Counts in Education is at the core of what you need to know on your quest to improve processes and products in education. In this book you are presented with the essential knowledge and action plan for implementing and maintaining successful teams in your school district. Now it’s up to you to take action. As the spirit of teaming becomes an integral part of your educational system, all clients of education will together foster quality efforts: no barriers, no factions, all one team working to create a new and improved system of education in your school district. Therein lies the power of teams in education!

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 Don't Miss the Bus Book Cover

Life Lessons for Educators:
Your Best Life Now

By Mary Ann Smialek, Ed. D.

Would you like to change your life? Do you want to enjoy a balanced, less stressful lifestyle? Do you long to have the courage and confidence to fulfill your greatest potential even in stressful times?  Life Lessons for Educators offers an invaluable resource to create your best life now. Part 1 focuses on knowing and honoring your true self and living an authentic life. Part 2 gives attention to fostering positive relationships at home and school, and sustaining a lifestyle that is authentic. Step-by-step action plans are shared to create acceptance, enjoyment, and enthusiasm in your life.

You will celebrate a new aliveness and be given numerous opportunities to help yourself reach your greatest potential, and those closest to you do the same on this journey of a lifetime. What would your life be like if you had the knowledge and the motivation to overcome fear, anxiety, and worry?  How would your relationships with your children and students change? How would your life be different?

Throughout my career, I have listened closely to educators' needs. I have seen much frustration and imbalance. I have come to realize that many administrators, teachers, guidance counselors, psychologists, and therapists are seeking a lifestyle that has depth, and offers ways that their vision and goals become a reality on the level of mind and feeling. Being an educator today in a world full of distractions calls you to live at depth but you cannot live at depth if you live at speed.

The Life Lessons propose a new direction to live and thrive positively amid the many negative forces in your life. They present many opportunities for practice and growth along the way. No matter what your current life situation is, or what challenges you are facing, they will guide you in your choices to realize your true essence, and enjoy quality relationships no matter what your current circumstances.

Difficult and demanding times can force you to reevaluate your entire life and current lifestyle. Times of crisis can make you look for new ways to cope, grow, and thrive as an individual.  Life Lessons for Educators Your Best Life Now provides a timely master plan to lead you through today's difficult times when life as you knew it no longer is a reality for you. It charts out a journey that doesn't cost any money, and will afford you and those with whom you are the closest with a priceless opportunity to live happy lives even in times of great stress.

Following the insights that they suggest will not add to your already substantial workload. The intention of this journey is for you to work smarter and not harder.  The recommendations put forward will promote clarity, efficiency, and effectiveness in your life.  The Life Lessons have nothing to do with how much or how little money, talent, or opportunities you have. They have everything to do with how you approach your current situation: what you think, say, and do to minimize the effects of negativity for yourself, your kids, and the students in your charge.

Practical action plans are presented to reduce the negative effects of troubling times and challenging circumstances. Emotional connections can thrive even in adverse situations.

Sage wisdom is presented in the steps of the journey to weather the storms and uncharted waters in your life. It is devoid of pomp and circumstance. It is filled with reflective suggestions for a way of living that can bring you serenity in your daily routine, and when times are especially tough.

The journey, however, requires focus, hard work, and perseverance to savor the rewards of a balanced, cohesive lifestyle, one that is to be savored and enjoyed. You have a choice! You can opt to let times of unhappiness and struggle, negatively affect your well being by doing nothing, or you can choose to seek and achieve realistic dreams. You can effectively make them an integral part of a lifestyle that is filled with the love and joy that you deserve.

If you desire to supersede skimming the surface of the challenges you face on a daily basis, and realize that this is not the existence you want for yourself, read on. The path ahead presents you with an energizing and restorative alternative that will not sabotage your success. It will change how you look at yourself and your lifestyle. It will change the way you think, what you say, and do.  Think of your new potential life direction as a learning curve that describes the effort prescribed to acquire a new skill over a specific period of time. It requires you to reorient your way of thinking rather than just the time or energy involved.

This endeavor to achieve significant progress and sufficient skills to start a new life path using the user friendly strategies may at times be fairly predictable. But achieving real mastery requires much more insight, time, effort, and the application of your personal discoveries about their truth. Often new learning brings you to an "impasse", only to be resolved by a seemingly radical intuitive change in the direction of an "ah-ha moment" or "breakthrough".

This transformation can be yours. What do you have to loose? Absolutely nothing! You have deep within you all the strength to fulfill your greatest vision of yourself. To tap into this power you must first develop a positive relationship with yourself. Your inner courage will enable you to take the necessary steps that build confidence when you begin to use your own innate power to create your best life now.

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