Adrienne Gear is one of those people you want to be friends with. She has a way of talking and laughing that makes you feel like spending time with her would always be filled with joy.
I was first introduced to Adrienne way back in the early 2000’s when she presented a workshop to our school on her first book, Reading Power. I remember going to her book signing at Kidsbooks and being impressed with how personable she was in her delivery to adults and children alike. I have been to several of Adrienne’s workshops and her presentations are always inspirational and fun. She makes you laugh out loud and become excited about the process of taking her ideas and using them with your students.
Spring break of 2021 I realised our department was feeling a bit flat and in need of something to pep us up for the final term. Tutoring during Covid has its challenges, and I wanted us to end the 2020/2021 school year with a renewed energy. My idea was to bring back our Reading Power and Writing Power activities to our students. Read picture books to create connection, question, visualize, infer, and transform. We came together as a team and created some activities to use with the books. It breathed life back into our program and excited our students. We upgraded our library with new picture book titles recommended by Adrienne, and we finished our third term happy.
Fast forward to the summer break and the exciting news Adrienne would be giving webinars for her book Powerful Understanding. We all had the book, and were beyond excited that we could hear Adrienne’s ideas on how to best use it. As a department, we have attended the last two Powerful Understanding webinars, and we look forward to the further two during the first few months of 2022.
Adrienne has moved to an online format, and we were concerned about how she would present as she’s such a hands-on instructor with stories and anecdotes to hook ideas in and create new ideas. How would this new format look when we are all stuck behind a screen and Adrienne just talks to a screen filled with faces but no human contact. Well, we needn’t have worried, her presentations were absolutely amazing!
The book, Powerful Understanding, is about helping students to connect to ‘self’ developing a positive identity, ‘others’ developing relationships with friends and immediate community, and ‘world’ developing an understanding of the world around them. It’s a program about teaching empathy from the heart through stories and interactions with others. It’s about exploring feelings, a moral compass, diversity, kindness, gratitude, and empathy along with many other stories and lessons. The activities are written to be used in the classroom, but are easily adapted to work with small groups or one-to-one student activities in tutoring.
I would highly recommend all of Adrienne’s books and webinars. She is a teacher, mentor, encouraging influence, and idea generator. I am half way through the Powerful Understanding series of webinars and am eagerly anticipating the next session. Enjoy!
Instagram – #readingpowergear
Twitter – @AdrienneGear