As a child, Laurie Mendoza considered a number of career options, including doctor, bandit, medication administrator, and monkey-owning/dance-school-operating/children's book author (not pictured). As a teen and young adult, she worked in---this is true---a zoo in Detroit, a men's prison, and the U.S. House of Representatives. These jobs had much more in common with each other and with crying children than you would think, and prepared her well for the challenges of school counseling.
By this time, Laurie has been in the field for 25 years. It has been said that she's an "expert [on school counseling], but not a know-it-all." It should be noted that this was not said by any of her three younger siblings.
Laurie prides herself on her ability to incorporate unique counseling interventions such as--again, this is true--the Three Stooges Defense Against That Girl Who Keeps Pinching You:
After a counseling session she often finds herself thinking, "I can't believe they pay me for this!" Many parents and administrators probably feel the same, but hey, the kids seem to like it.
In addition to her counseling job, Laurie is working to achieve her childhood dream of writing children's books. (Somewhat sadly, she has abandoned the monkey-owning/dance-school-operating part of that dream). Her first picture book, Super George and the Invisible Shield, is currently with the illustrator. It should be available before the start of the 2017 school year!
If you'd like to get sporadic updates on her burgeoning writing career, subscribe to her author newsletter here:
Laurie also operates this website---where benign neglect is the guiding principle---and runs small stores on Counselor Created and Teachers Pay Teachers. There she sells her self-created counseling materials because for some reason it is often difficult to find the kind of eclectic and entertaining activities she prefers to use. Despite the flip tone here, they are actually pretty darn good (even if you're not totally "out there") and you might like to check some of them out.
In her personal life, Laurie has four children of her own who are lovely, intelligent, contributing members of society. It could be argued that they disprove the old adage "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree" because not only did these apples fall far from the tree, they're in another orchard entirely.
See how "normal" and "well-adjusted" her own children turned out? "Clearly," she "totally" "knows what she's doing."
Surprisingly, Laurie is currently single.
What My Customers Have to Say
You are kind, smart, and consitorit.
Kaitlyn T., Grade 1
When I leave this school I'm going to get you fired and tell my new school to hire you.