Victoria Tennant, M.Ed.
My Background in Educational Neuroscience
I make educational neuroscience inspirational, practical, and useful. I am a bridge between the academic world of research and the “real” world of teaching, caring for, and working with children and teens.
My work is grounded in over three decades of pursuing this interest at a grassroots level. My self-directed study has spanned from attending the 1979 conference The Brain/Mind Revolution, sponsored by Marilyn Ferguson (editor of the Brain/Mind Bulletin), to attending the current Mindfulness and the Brain workshop by Daniel Siegel and Jack Kornfield.
In 1983, after ten years as an early childhood teacher, I left the classroom to become a full-time educational consultant. My work experience as a consultant parallels my background in educational neuroscience.
Graduate-level courses I designed and offered for K-12 educators:
(Seattle Pacific University; University of Puget Sound; Seattle University)
Teaching the Whole Child: Applications of Brain/Mind Research in the Classroom
Emotional Intelligence in the Classroom
Integrative Teaching Strategies—a curriculum planning model using the 4MAT learning styles system and multiple intelligences
The Change Cycle
Current presentations for a broader audience include:
Building Children’s Brain Power—presentations for educators, parents, and professionals that work with children and families
Understanding the Mysteries of the Teenage Brain—presentations to educators, parents, substance abuse prevention services, judicial systems, and other youth-related organizations
Developer of two curriculums for children about the brain:
Brain Power—teaching kids about the brain and learning (co-created with Cyndi Wallace, classroom teacher)
Neuroscience of P.A.C.E. for Kids—international online faculty forum and teaching materials for Brain Gym International.
Author and presenter of the following programs:
Calming Ourselves in Stressful Moments: Helping Young Children and Their Caregivers Manage Stress, published by Comprehensive Health Education Foundation, 2004/06; third edition 2012
Healthy Beginnings, Nurturing Young Children’s Growing Minds, published by Comprehensive Health Education Foundation, 2002
Enriching Experiences for Early Childhood Brain Development, published by Division of Health and Human Services, WA State, 2000
Other professional work:
Content editor for two high school textbooks on brain development, published by Glencoe/McGraw Hill Publishing Co., CA, 2010
Facilitator and lead instructor for an innovative Master’s in Education program, City University
Licensed Brain Gym® instructor/consultant. International faculty instructor for the course The Physiological Basis of Brain Gym® and Learning
Adjunct faculty for the University of Washington’s annual summer institutes: Making Connections, Celebrating the Decade of the Brain
Learning styles consultant for the 4MAT System, Bernice McCarthy, About Learning
Instructor for Center for Innovation in Education, Mathematics Their Way
My Background in Mindfulness Education
Although I did not know it as “mindfulness” at the time, I cultivated mindfulness skills throughout my ten years as a preschool, kindergarten, and first grade teacher.
I maintained a calm presence in my classroom through a personal practice of meditation and other stress management strategies.
Self-awareness skills were fostered in my students through deep breathing, muscle relaxation, yoga, Edu-K integrated movements (later known as Brain Gym®), centering activities, sensory awareness, and guided imagery. Children’s insights were communicated through art and creative writing (or story dictation for pre-writers), often with a depth far beyond the norm.
Children learned and practiced the empathy-building skills of active listening, positive communication, and conflict resolution. Weekly classroom meetings fostered a peaceful classroom community. All of these skills were shared with families through weekly parent letters, a large volunteer program, and parent nights.
To read real-life examples of how my students applied these concepts in profound ways, please go to ©Heart Stories.
As an educational consultant, mindfulness strategies are woven into all my courses and presentations for adults. Strategies allow participants to stay relaxed, focused, and attentive. The participants experience firsthand the positive effect these processes can have on children and teens. I have consistently found all types of audiences receptive. Go to ©Heart Stories for an example of the surprising receptivity of a challenging adult audience.
In 2002 I established a private practice as a Resonance Repatterning® certified practitioner, and I have been enjoying this work ever since.
Resonance Repatterning® is a unique, energy-based system for reducing stress and creating positive change. The mindfulness practices of a calm presence, noticing a “felt sense” of the body, and deep, heart-centered listening are called forth from both practitioner and client. The Repatterning process draws from a rich variety of healing systems, including breathing techniques, trauma release, acupressure points, guided imagery, and integrative movement.
Calming Ourselves in Stressful Moments™ draws from all my professional experiences to present ways to teach children the mindfulness skills needed to manage stress.