Natalie James, MS, NCC, LPC
National Trainer, Counselor, Educational Consultant
Natalie’s philosophy about teaching is simple- kids are people first! Interesting, dynamic, complex, unique people. And connecting with them is the key ingredient to guiding them effectively. Natalie began her career in the classroom when she was just a child herself- volunteering as a first grader in the pre-K class! At 16, a Human Development course offered by her high school changed the course of her life… she knew she was destined to teach. With over 13 years in the classroom, what she gravitated most toward was the social/emotional aspects of education. She could easily see that what was going on in each student’s head and heart directly correlated to their ability to learn. Natalie soon pursued a degree in counseling with an emphasis on primary and secondary school counseling. Life has a way of changing your plan and, though she intended to work in the schools, Natalie found herself in private practice. But her work with schools was far from over. Week after week she was called into the schools to consult on various student behavior. While each child was different, most of what they needed was strikingly similar. Natalie saw the need to spread her knowledge with in-service trainings based largely on the principles of humanistic psychology and simple behavioral interventions.
Natalie knows that the research is clear- when students know you value them as a human being and not just another student, they will work harder for you and challenge you less. She also believes teachers don’t need any more gimmicks,trendy programs, or paperwork added to the existing mountains of responsibility they face each day. She believes teachers need to be given research based, proven, practical strategies and applications that they can start implementing quickly and easily– without throwing anything out that is currently working in their classroom. It is important to understand that students come into our classrooms and schools with different backgrounds, cultures, and cognitive abilities; their assets and experiences are just as wide ranging. Sometimes the only thing students have in common is their age! The “one size fits all” approach does not work anymore.
Natalie knows that many children are not coming to school ready and willing to learn. There is not much you can do from 4:00 PM until 8:00 AM but there is a lot you can do from 8:00 AM until 4:00 PM. Natalie is dedicated to helping educators be successful through motivation, inspiration, humor and a common-sense approach to stress management. Most importantly, she leaves educators with as many proven, practical strategies as she can. She knows it takes a village and she is hear to lend a helping, experienced hand.