A former middle school teacher in San Antonio, Texas, Douglas (Doug) Grant has held positions in the Northside Independent School District. Teacher Douglas Grant currently works as a licensed professional counselor with South Texas Rural Health Services, where he utilizes sensory integration and play therapy techniques to offer substance abuse and behavioral health counseling.
An alternative to talk therapy, play therapy invites children to act out real-life scenarios using fantasy objects such as dolls, puppets, and drawing materials. The familiar activity of playing is one where the child feels confident and in control, and thus, they tend to express themselves best in this way. Typically, therapists give children the full freedom to direct their own play and actions. By cultivating a safe, empowering environment and creating a warm rapport with the child, play therapists encourage the exploration and release of problematic negative feelings. Play therapy can help children develop self-confidence and learn how to express themselves in response to real-life situations. It is a particularly helpful tool for children who have experienced issues such as family violence, grief, or a major change in their family situation.
A longtime middle school teacher, Douglas “Doug” Grant also stands out as a certified instructor with The National Archery in the Schools Program. While serving as a social studies teacher for sixth graders with the Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas, Douglas Grant established an archery club that drew 75 student members.
Learning archery offers benefits to children both on a personal level and in the classroom. Archery is by nature a methodical discipline, and it requires the learner to both practice and reflect on the process. A student archer must be able to evaluate his or her success, take in feedback, and focus on improving one particular element of technique, a method which allows the student to develop discipline and the ability to self-critique.
The skills gained apply not only to the personal but also to the academic, and they extend across all curriculum areas. Similarly, archery helps to develop a child’s ability to set and pursue goals, as well as grow self-confidence.
Archery also confers a number of subject-specific skills, largely in the realm of mathematics. The archer must integrate perceptions of space, angle, and distance, and a thoughtful teacher can incorporate these ideas in a way that directly teaches concepts of geometry and science. If integrated into a complete curriculum, the sport cannot only be fun, it can boost a child’s chances for success.