Thursday, December 27, 2018



As I stated earlier in my book, I often wrote a special education student’s Individualized Education Plan [IEP] with specific information about that one child. By the end of my career (2007), these once-useful documents outlining goals for the student to reach became “cookie cutter” pieces of paper that I despised. They were computerized and only vaguely personalized.

I never minded writing them in the early part of my career. But, by the end, they were a hideous chore that I could no longer understand or do well. I genuinely missed the “old days” when modern technology didn’t get in my way.

Therefore – I decided for this book, I’ve turned into being both student and teacher and I’ll write my own IEP to help me with my behavior and memory. Of course, I’ll do it the old-fashioned way and write accurate, specific-to-me goals, so I can help myself improve. This should be fun! Let’s see….

The “student” (meaning me) will:
1.    Count to 10 when someone does or says something that upsets her
2.    Repeat the above goal to a higher number than 10 if necessary
3.    Be rewarded for each day that appropriate behavior is noticed [i.e., chocolate]
4.    Be given extra time to complete all tasks since she is unable to be rushed

5.    Be allowed interactions in spaces with minimal distractions

6.    Be respectful of another person’s viewpoint/opinion

7.    Be less reactive when something is said that is personal and hurtful

8.    Be a better listener

9.    Rest when necessary to be able to complete tasks later in the day

10.  Be able to state, “I’ll get back to you” or “no” in a calm voice when asked by someone else to complete a task

11.  Decrease the amount of worrying

12.  Learn how to take better care of self (i.e., eat more fruits and vegetables/exercise more)

13.  Be able to find more positives than negatives in each and every situation and relationship

14.  Use communication when agitated

15.  Be able to state on the telephone, “I have to go” when becoming upset before saying something that she would regret

16.  Be able to be more patient with people who are employees at offices

17.  Be less observational of others’ mistakes

18.  Be less impulsive and think things through thoroughly before taking any sort of action

19.  Be less agitated with other drivers who do not drive carefully

20.  Be able to smile more often

21.  Be more careful with the way money is spent

22.  Develop a long list of coping mechanisms to deal with all aspects of life

23.  Be able to laugh more often

24.  Be able to take “snow days” once in a while to take time off to decompress (as she once did as a teacher)

25.  Talk to God whenever she needs to feel better [or the public school version, “meditate”]

     An ironic thing about this IEP list that I wrote about myself is that I have more behavior goals listed than I used to have to write for my students. That confirms what I already knew: many of my students were better behaved then than I am now.

I (Douglas Winslow Cooper) have been excerpting, weekly, material from this almost-final version of the fine book by Janet Johnson Schliff, M.S. Ed., which she wrote over a three-year period with some coaching and editing help from me, through my business, Write Your Book with Me.

Her memoir is now available in paperback and ebook formats from Outskirts Press  and



Janet Johnson Schliff spoke at the Oblong Books Bookstore in Rhinebeck, NY, on Tuesday, February 6 at 6 p.m.

Janet was on WKNY Radio 1490 in Kingston, NY, on Thursday, March 1 at 9:10 a.m. 

Janet spoke at Barnes & Noble in Kingston, NY, on Saturday, March 3 at 1 p.m. 

Janet spoke at the Starr Library in Rhinebeck, NY, on March 6 
at 7 p.m. 

Janet spoke at the Golden Notebook Bookstore in Woodstock, NY, on March 17 at 2 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Morton Library in Rhinecliff, NY, on March 28 at 6:30 p.m. 

Janet spoke at RCAL in Kingston, NY, on April 3 at 4 p.m. [They gave her an impromptu book-launch party.]

Janet spoke at the Parkinson's Support Group at the Starr Library in Rhinebeck, NY, on April 4 at 2:30 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Stone Ridge Library in Stone Ridge, NY, on April 27 at 5:30 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Hurley Library in Hurley, NY, on May 4 at 6 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Kingston Library in Kingston, NY, on May 9 at 6 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Staatsburg Library in Staatsburg, NY, on May 14 at 7 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Clinton Community Library in Rhinebeck, NY, on May 31 at 6:30 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Mountain Top Library in Tannersville, NY, on June 9 at noon.

Janet spoke at the Gardiner Library in Gardiner, NY, on June 11 at 7 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Marbletown Community Center in Stone Ridge, NY, on June 20 at 6 p.m.

Janet was interviewed on radio station WTBQ-FM (93.5) on June 29 at 12 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Esopus Library in Port Ewen, NY, on July 13 at 7 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Pine Plains Library in Pine Plains, NY, on July 20 at 6 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Ulster Library in Kingston, NY, on July 23 at 5:30 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Northern Dutchess Bible Church in Red Hook, NY, on August 11 at 1 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Inquiring Minds Bookstore in New Paltz, NY, on September 6 at 7 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Adriance Library in Poughkeepsie, NY, on September 15 at 2:30 p.m.

Janet was interviewed on radio station WRIP-FM (97.9) on September 21 at 8 a.m.

Janet again spoke at the Mountain Top Library in Tannersville, NY, on September 22 at noon.

Janet spoke at the Enchanted Cafe in Red Hook, NY, on September 28 at 7 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Hyde Park Library in Hyde Park, NY, on October 4 at 7 p.m.

Janet participated in an Author Weekend at the Barnes & Noble in Poughkeepsie, NY, on October 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Janet spoke at the Tivoli Library in Tivoli, NY, on October 22 at 5:30 p.m.

Janet’s interview for the TV program Wake Up with Marci on the You Too America Channel aired on Monday, November 5, and Friday, November 9. It can now be found on the Internet.

Janet spoke at the Germantown Library in Germantown, NY, on November 7 at 6:00 p.m.

Janet participated in the Red Hook Middle School's College and Career Cafe in Red Hook, NY,  on December 19 at 10:30 a.m.

More signings will be coming up. A fine feature about Janet by John DeSantos [845 LIFE] appeared in the Middletown Times Herald-Record on Monday, March 12, as part of Brain Injury Awareness Month. An article about her book was just published in the May 2018 Living Rhinebeck Magazine. An article about her book appeared in the May 14 Daily Freeman of Kingston, NY. and another in the Family Life section of the Poughkeepsie Journal on June 8th. The Millerton News published an article on Thursday, August 2, about her talk at the Pine Plains Library. 

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