Author tells of lessons in education

Barbara Rousseau, a local Mancos author, has written a new book that chronicles lessons from a career path in education that led her from administrative roles to teaching in Thailand and the Navajo Nation.

"Your Conscious Classroom is about teaching from the heart and modeling that awareness for students. It does not take a backseat to academic excellence, but rather enhances it," she said.

Rousseau had a founding role at what is now Southwest Community College and was a regional coordinator for the state's school to career program in the 1990s. She left administration to learn about spiritually focused education for a year in Thailand during 2001 and 2002.

"What I decided was - Peace was more important, more important to me, more important to the people I was working with," she said.

Rousseau has always had a heart for teaching, starting in fourth grade when she volunteered to a help a boy from a migrant family catch up in school. She was able to deepen these skills in Thailand where she learned to integrate character education in all of the core subjects. She went on to apply these techniques at an alternative school in Albuquerque, the Navajo Nation and the University of New Mexico in Los Lunas.

"It worked everywhere I went, it crosses cultural boundaries," she said.

Rousseau has her Ph.D. in educational leadership and this is her second book. She is currently working on a few more, when she is not teaching yoga in Mancos.

On Friday, Rousseau is holding a book signing at The Artisans of Mancos from 5 to 8 p.m