A Poklar that ponders is actually Dr. Ashley E. Poklar, licensed psychologist and mother of four. That's me! I am a previous special education teacher, oldest child, devoted coffee drinker (some may call it an addict), wife, mother, and now homeschooler! I find witty, dad joke-esque puns fantastically funny and can always get behind a good quote. I enjoy thinking in systems and struggle to stay in the moment. Organization is NOT my friend; but, I can brainstorm with stickies, markers, and a posterboard with the best of 'em! I've had some of those textbook mom and therapist moments AND some of those failures you don't even see coming until your picking the pieces up around you. I alternate between smutty romance novels, young adult dystopian civilization novels, and books about humanity, history, and the big questions we are always trying to find answers to (though, it is likely a lesson in futility!) I enjoy real conversations with real people, and feel anxious when expected to engage in mingling or small talk of any kind.
The ponders part comes from the fact that I can't help but see the intricate connections that exist between psychological theories and parenting and educating our youth. The connections pop up, often unannounced and uninvited, in my head on my drive to work, before I go to bed, and in the shower! It seems the different disciplines have been siloed from one another for so long that those connective threads aren't built upon as much as they could (or should) be, leaving many parents and educators (myself included) feeling frustrated, ineffectual, and burnt out. No one likes feeling that way! And, interacting with youth when we are feeling that way is taxing on us and the young people! This arose from my desire to share the random connections that arise with others and to build upon my own and others experiences in a way that holds meaning for myself (and, hopefully, others).
For those who would like to know a bit more about my experience, and not the little things that make me "me"--here is the professional 'about me':
Parent of 4 (ages 8-12)
Special Education Background (alternative high schools)
M.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
PhD in Counseling Psychology
Clinical Director of nonprofit focused on addressing the trafficking and exploitation of youth
Have provided counseling and assessment services to youth (individually and in groups) and families in community agencies, schools, private practice, juvenile detention, and hospitals. Also engaged in creating curriculum for group therapy and school settings.
Now, jumping into the world of homeschooling (as of May '22)