Jennifer Abrams -Consultancy that informs, inspires, and empowers VOICE
August 2013

Cool Resources Galore

Happy August! This month I am providing Voice Lessons readers with resources, links, and articles that I have found helpful, inspiring and just downright useful. The information below has informed my thinking, my workshops and my writing. The resources are "curated" and placed under topic headers:

  • Social/Psychological Support
  • Culture and Equity
  • Generational Savvy
  • Facilitation/Collaboration Skills
  • Having Hard Conversations
  • Palliative/End of Life Care

Martha Stewart has a section in her magazine entitled "Good Things" and Oprah has her "O List." I always have a "Cool Resources" section in my newsletter and for this month, the resources are the newsletter. Poke around. Click on links of interest. Read what intrigues you. And for more continuous e-bursts of information on these topics and more, follow me on Twitter @jenniferabrams. As you move forward into the fall, I hope these resources inform, support and enrich your work.

If you have any questions, comments or topic suggestions, please feel free to email me at [email protected]. I look forward to hearing from you!

Social/Psychological Resources

"How To Love Your Work" - Elle Magazine
Louisa Kamps interviews Eve Ekman, the daughter of facial expression and emotions researcher Paul Ekman, regarding her research on emotional resilience and occupational burnout. We all need the adult emotional skills training and support she has offered to prison guards and hospital workers.

Project Happiness - Project Happiness "is dedicated to inspiring and empowering people with resources to create greater happiness within themselves and the world." They offer curriculum for grades K-12, plus an online course for colleges, universities, or anyone wanting to explore their own personal happiness.

Superhero Life with Andrea Scher - Andrea says, "I'm Andrea Scher, creator of Superhero Life - where we all learn together to use our voices, share our superpowers and live life in full color. As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I'm redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO - 'cause in my world, it's got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery." I am taking an online "Mondo Beyondo" class from her in the fall and I hear her Storybowl events are pretty cool.

The VIA Survey of Character Strengths can be found two-thirds of the page down on U Penn's website for Authentic Happiness. My friend requires this questionnaire be taken by all his AP Psychology class students and anyone who wants him to write a college recommendation. Two 17-year-old friends of mine on their way to college took the quiz and within 10 minutes smiled to discover their key strengths. It was a great way spend an evening. Other questionnaires are on the website too. Explore.

Empathy: The Human Element - This Cleveland Clinic video is well-produced, poignant and powerful. It makes me cry and I want to be a kinder person every time I see it.

Culture and Equity

Clash: 8 Cultural Conflicts That Make Us Who We Are
Hazel Markus and Alana Conner, cultural psychologists, have synthesized research around a variety of conflicts that we face every day. They show us how our cultural backgrounds create and reflect two basic ways of being a self, the independent and interdependent, and so much more. Really good stuff and immediately applicable.

"Immigrant Kids, Adrift" is an Op Ed piece from The New York Times. Written after the Boston marathon bombings, the authors ask us "to reflect on whether we do an adequate job assimilating immigrants who arrive in the United States as children or teenagers." Increases awareness of issues educators and all of us need to consider.

Generational Savvy

Kelly Williams Brown, self-described 'writer, doodler, girl-on-the go,' has a blog, a Facebook following, a Twitter feed, a LinkedIn network, and book entitled, Adult-ing: How to become a grown up in 468 easy-ish steps. And a TV show is in the works. (No, seriously, it is.) Being 20 something and being able to write about it in a charming way is big business.

Paul Angone has a site called, a new book out, 101 Secrets for Your Twenties, and a funny video, Stuff Twentysomethings Say that makes me giggle.


My colleagues, Bob Garmston and Diane Zimmerman, published a really practical guidebook around facilitation entitled, Lemons to Lemonade: Resolving Problems in Meetings, Workshops, and PLCs. It is "the playbook you need to promote civil, productive discourse."

I was featured in an article on for Learning Forward's "The Leading Teacher" entitled, "Finding Your Voice in Facilitating Productive Talk." The article provides language tips for successful facilitation in an easy-to-read 3 page 'burst.'

Having Hard Conversations

I had the privilege of being interviewed by Claudio Sanchez from NPR for an ASCD Master Class video. Short video clips can be found on my website and a link to the other Master Class DVDs is also there. Other interviewees include James Stronge, Baruti Kafele, Yvette Jackson and Mike Schmoker. Nice group to be a part of.

Teaching and Learning

A shout out to my fellow ‘edupreneur’ and master high school science teacher, Mitch Weathers, and his system, Organized Binder. “Organized Binder is a classroom-based system that creates an organized, highly structured, and dependable classroom with clear expectations and routines.” New teacher coaches and all other secondary teachers, check it out!

Palliative Care

My connections with nurses in ICUs, cancer centers and in palliative care have led me on a journey to further explore end of life concerns and discussion around quality of life issues.

Death Cafes have been held in over 6 countries worldwide and could be convening in a city near you! "At Death Cafes people come together in a relaxed and safe setting to discuss death, drink tea and eat delicious cake. The objective of Death Cafe is to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives." I am interested in hosting a Death Cafe in the fall, and if you are in the area and attending a cafe is of interest to you, please let me know.

Heard the author, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, of How to Be a Friend to A Who is Sick, interviewed by Gloria Steinem on the radio a few weeks ago. It feels like a book I need on my bookshelf. And good news, Pogrebin is both moving and funny.

"A Better Way to Die" by Amelia Martyn-Hemphill. Martyn-Hemphill interviews a Buddhist chaplain at a hospital in New York and writes of his work as "part of a growing push to make health care more holistic -- treating the whole person rather than just focusing on the disease."

Upcoming Events

Each month I will share with you information about a few of my upcoming trainings.
If I am going to be in your area, contact me so we can say hello, hopefully in person!

August 5-6
Having Hard Conversations
Being Generationally Savvy &
Collaboration Skills - A Refresher for the New Year
Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine
Basseterre, St. Kitts, West Indies

August 8
Recommitting to Our Values
Administrators' Retreat
Oak Grove School District
San Jose, CA

August 9
Co-Teaching - Starting the School Year Right
A Collaborative Skills Refresher
Grade 4-5 & Specialists
Barron Park Elementary School
Palo Alto, CA

August 12 & 20
Instructional Coach Retreat & Staff Meeting Facilitation
2013-2014 Theme for the Year: Be Your Best
Hillbrook School
Los Gatos, CA

For additional upcoming events, please visit my Web site.

Until next time,


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© 2013 Jennifer Abrams | Email Jennifer | 4290 Wilkie Way #L, Palo Alto, CA 94306 | (650) 858-0699