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Community Voices: Becoming a Published Author

We Are SCIS SCIS上海长宁国际学校 2022-05-19


Our Counselor and Middle Years Programme (MYP) Physical and Health Education (PHE) teacher Lisa Cuthbertson is finding ways to combine mental and physical health so students can experience a holistic education centered on social-emotional learning. She has a passion for helping her students learn about their minds and providing them with the tools needed to have healthy relationships with themselves and others. Not only does Lisa serve our student body but adults as well. She recognizes the importance of teaching adults and how they can show up for children and facilitate conversations as they navigate the good and hard parts of life, including global and social issues.  


With two master's degrees and a third on the way, Lisa is very accomplished in the world of academia. To add to her accomplishments, she was recently published in the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Journal, a highly competitive electronic journal that only has an acceptance rate of 18%. Lisa’s article is a book review of “Stamped” by Jason Reynolds which highlights ideas about race and how they have evolved in the United States since the colonial period. We asked Lisa about this process, her expertise, and her time at Shanghai Community International School (SCIS), here is what she had to say.  


 

Tell us about yourself.

I am a PHE teacher as well as a School Counselor at SCIS Hongqiao Campus. I like to ride my bike and run in my free time. However, I am currently in a master's program for counseling psychology, and this is my main priority. 

 

How did it feel to be published in the TESOL Journal? 

To be published in the TESOL Journal is a long process. It took an entire year before I knew they accepted my book review and another six months before it was published. It was so awesome when I heard the news! I couldn’t believe it. Published in a journal. I had put in a lot of work, and it paid off.  

 

Why did you choose to write your book review about “Stamped”? 

I got very swept up in the movement happening in the United States for racial equality but felt I didn’t understand it. I wanted to read to help myself understand racism in America.  

 

Do you have a favorite part of the book “Stamped”? 

It was all so great but what I appreciated most about Jason Reynold’s writing was that he took big concepts and broke them down into kid speak. He made complex knowledge accessible to anyone who picks up his book.  


 

What led you to want to be a counselor?  

I love social-emotional learning pieces. I noticed that when teaching PHE, I really enjoyed teaching students what it means to care for themselves and for others. Students learn how to function with groups in healthy and practical ways.  


As a counselor, I am seeking tools and ways to support students as soon as possible. Depression and anxiety are on the rise. Our way of life is more stressful, and we are constantly connected to the point that we can’t get away from anything. Our threshold for toleration and being challenged is lowering due to the lack of face-to-face interaction and increased use of social media. My hope is that I can teach students that boredom is a good thing. We don’t always need to be accessible or stimulate our brains. Sometimes the greatest ideas come from boredom.  


Not only do I love helping students with these challenges but also teach adults how to show up for kids. It is important that the adult know how to navigate these topics and facilitate meaningful discussions for students. 


 

Has this process changed you? 

Learning always changes you. When you add information, you get a bigger pool to help you make inferences and understand the world around you. It keeps your mind engaged in positive ways. Even when it is a struggle, I feel like I am more present in the world. It’s a gift to get introduced to concepts and ideas I would never have discovered on my own. My desire to continue my education isn’t to become a university professor, but I do want to help people. I think being able to serve people builds on my natural strengths and I hope to continue refining them. 

 


What is your favorite teacher moment at SCIS? 

There are so many. The kids here are so sweet. I remember once we were playing a game where students were learning muscles and bones. Seeing the joy on students' faces and the fun that they were having made me so happy.  

 

Congratulations and thank you Lisa for sharing your passions with us! We cannot wait to see where your hard work and dedication leads you.  

 

SCIS. Self-Directed Learners. 


Keep Reading:


The Power of Play-Based Learning

Commmunity Voices: Meet the Lim Family!

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