Tim Burns

    Tim Burns is an educator and author whose background includes over thirty years of experience as classroom teacher and counselor, family drug abuse treatment program director, therapist, and university instructor. While serving as program director for the St. Vincent Hospital Family Recovery Center in Santa Fe during the mid-Nineteen Eighties, Tim offered his first brain seminar series for the New Mexico Department of Health. Since 1986, he has taught graduate and under graduate courses focused on various topics related to the developing brain for the Division of Extended Studies, Adams State College, Alamosa, Colorado.

    Tim provides conference keynote addresses and professional development trainings and workshops on a variety of topics pertaining to the brain, early childhood
    development, childhood resiliency and protective factors, and educator wellbeing. To date, he has worked in over three thousand schools, early childhood agencies, and organizations throughout the United States, as well as more than thirty other countries throughout Asia, Africa, South America and Europe.

    Tim is the author of three books and numerous self-published resource manuals related to his presentations and workshops. He is an award-winning artist, providing the illustrations for the book, WorldWords, by Victor La Cerva, M.D. Tim holds a black-belt in Aikido, a modern Japanese martial art devoted to neutralizing aggression and redirecting conflict. He is the father of three talented, creative daughters, and the proud grandfather of four. He lives with his wife, Linda, in beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.

    Workshops by Tim Burns

    Workshop 1: Energizing Strategies for Engaged Learning. Using Movement, Rhythm and Play to Facilitate Classroom Learning

    It comes as no surprise that children today exercise, move, and play outdoors less often than any previous generation, while at the same time engaging in ever more screen-time and “virtual reality.” The troubling result of is sometimes referred to as an “evolutionary experiment” can be seen in the rise of problems related to attentional focus, concentration, impulse control, and in-depth learning. Movement, rhythm, and creative play are the primary mechanisms by which the dynamic attentional systems of the brain self-organize during childhood and come to fruition during the teen years. This interactive presentation briefly surveys the theory and research that stands in support of the importance of movement—including those involving rhythm and play—that serve to engage, integrate and enhance the developing brains of children.

    Workshop held in English.

    Workshop 2: Moving Students Beyond Risk to Resiliency. A Protective-Factor Approach Linking Academic Success to Student Well-being.

    For the last half-century, the phenomenon of human resiliency - the innate capacity to bounce back from adversity and creatively adapt to stress - has been systematically studied and it’s underpinnings revealed through research in the behavioral- and neurosciences. The result of this protective factor research has been to provide policy-makers, educators and preventionists with clearer guidelines on how best to affect positive youth development. When applied consistently and mindfully in the school setting these strategies can positively affect school climate, student well-being and academic success. This presentation offers a summary view of the findings and focuses on three critical protective factors affecting student wellbeing and success.

    Workshop held in English.

    Workshop 3: Mindfulness Stress Reduction for Teachers and Students. The Art and Science of Meditation for Enhanced Learning, Health and Well-being
    Mindfulness can be described as a state of active awareness and open attention on the present. Commonly associated with certain practices common to the world’s great religions, in the past 30 years scientific investigations have produced a large body of evidence demonstrating the efficacy of such practices on the ability to mindfully focus and attend, the starting place not only for all learning but for the growth of new neurons (neurogenesis) as well. The presentation provides an overview of these findings along with several opportunities to engage in the actual practice. In addition to enhancing your own wellbeing, you will want to consider integrating these practices into your classroom teaching as well. Your students will thank you!

    Workshop held in English.

    Workshop 4: The Amazing Teen Brain. A Work In Progress

    Scientists increasingly refer to the teen brain as a “work in progress.” This is due to recent discoveries that reveal several important areas of the brain that undergo significant “upgrade”, beginning with puberty and continuing for another decade or more. This presentation covers the basic architecture of the changing teen brain, the meaning of the significant reorganization taking place, and how best to support these changes. Peak Performance brain tips are provided, designed to help adolescents improve and enhance brain function. These include the roles of diet and hydration, movement and exercise, downtime and sleep; the damage caused by binge drinking; stress management; and, mindfulness meditation practices and brain function.

    Workshop held in English.

    Workshop 5: Childhood Learning and Development and the Screen-Time Dilemma - Reflections on the Emerging Research

    Brain experts, early childhood scientists, educators and parents have become increasingly concerned about the indiscriminate encroachment of screen technologies in the lives of children. While still hotly debated, evidence continues to accumulate suggesting maladaptive changes taking place in the young brain when over-exposed to these powerful technologies. The childhood need for slow-time in enriching natural and social environments has not changed; what has changed are the cultural forces that contrive to hurry childhood and substitute passive, virtual “experiences” for the real thing. This presentation makes a compelling case for the latter while making clear the dangers of the former.

    Workshop held in English.

    Workshop 6: Three brains are better than one: Integrating brain, body and heart intelligences for enhanced learning

    This session provides an overview of three neural systems described in the scientific literature and which, when operating together in an integrated fashion, undergird healthy childhood development and wellbeing, learning and creative achievement. The science is presented in a clear and engaging manner, providing educators with an excellent framework for appreciating the role of authentic education. Practical tips and classroom activities related to these important findings enliven the presentation.

    Workshop held in English.