Jody is an enthusiastic and energetic teacher. She uses humor and stories to make new ideas approachable. She enjoys working with groups and playing with the material to make it fun to learn.
Jody received her M.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in 1981. She completed her residency in Family Medicine in Modesto, California (1984) and worked as a family doctor until 1996. Her favorite part of being a doctor was working with families and guiding them to find ways that they could work together. She has been teaching parenting more formally since 1995. In 1996, she began collaborating with another educator to explore ways to teach Positive Discipline in the Classroom in a format that allows teachers to use their own experiences to guide them in creating a classroom that is more effective in reaching their longterm goals. The seven-week Positive Discipline in the Classroom class is now a regular part of the staff development program in the Everett School District in Washington State.
Jody began to teach groups of parents and teachers when she learned from her experience in her own family and the families of her patients that parents and teachers felt much more successful when they had the tools to teach children responsibility, empathy, and how to be part of a community. She is still continually amazed at how the Positive Discipline tools, which seem quite simple, have such a positive, powerful impact on families and classrooms.
She has three busy children and a very supportive husband who continually teach her that life is not always so easy, but that it can be a lot of fun. In addition to parenting her own family and teaching Positive Discipline, Jody also spends her time working on land-use issues, gardening, hiking, swimming, and rowing.
Comments from recent Positive Discipline in the Classroom workshop participants:
Would you recommend this workshop to someone else?
Yes. Excellent, hand - on approach. Very positive. Not a quick fix "band-aid."
Absolutely. I would tell them that there are very specific tips on applying the concepts of this program given, so it's not just "pretty theories."
Yes. It gave me concrete skills to improve my classroom atmosphere.
Yes, I think all teachers can benefit from a positive approach to discipline and working with kids.
Yes, absolutely. Very helpful and a reminder as a teacher to see through the student's eyes.
Yes, very useful, builds upon goals we would like our children to achieve.
Sahara is a well known parent educator and trainer in the Seattle area who speaks regularly to schools, parent groups and educators. As a mother and Certified Positive Discipline Lead Trainer, her passions include bringing joy back into parenting and creating community filled with dignity and respect. Her training includes a Certificate of Professional Studies in Adlerian Psychology. Her gifts include being observant, compassionate and intuitive.
Sahara’s passion for Positive Discipline stems from its deep roots in respecting individuals while still holding them accountable and responsible for their deeds and actions. This allows us to effectively solve problems while strengthening relationships, helping children take responsibility and learn life skills. This is a win-win. Parents remain authority figures who can guide and teach while maintaining dignity and respect for themselves and their children. These same principles can be applied in the workplace or education system.
As a speaker, Sahara is inviting and engaging. She teaches with respect and humor, and draws from a wealth of real-life stories. Sahara connects easily with her audience as her warmth and compassion help create a trusted, safe space for learning.
Sahara has been teaching Positive Discipline since 2002, providing thousands of adults with the tools to become more effective and joy-filled in the demanding role of guiding the young, whether as a parent, educator or caregiver. She is grateful for her many mentors in this work, particularly her husband and daughter.
Quotes from evaluations and feedback:
• “I thought Sahara did a great job with a diverse group of people and experiences. You were always respectful. You valued our opinions and experience.”
• “I so appreciated Sahara’s enthusiasm and spirit.”
• “This class has made me feel like I am doing something to be the best I can at parenting”
• “Thank you so much for your time, effort and passion you put into this class.”
• I really have enjoyed your positive energy and openness. I have felt very safe in this class.
• Great class!
• “I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your Positive Discipline class. I think it was the only parenting class I have taken where I felt empowered and not ridden with guilt afterwards.”
• “I really appreciated that you shared your own personal experiences as examples. It really helped me better understand the concepts you were teaching. Thank you so much for teaching these classes. I’m sure you have helped and touched many families as you have mine.”