Laura Minnigerode: Teaching Portfolio

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Letter of Interest

Educational Philosophy

My educational philosophy is one of deep respect for learners and great value of process. I know that play and connection help us think more clearly, and I strive to bring experimentation and fun into the learning experience. My goal is to be an excited and interested adult who follows the lead of learners, helping them explore more and get more from their experiences. Some of my teaching heroes are Nancie Atwell and Seymour Papert, and my ideal classroom would be mostly outdoors.

This blog, Listening for Good, contains other information about some of my work with teachers and parents.

Some examples of student project work, book + cooking club:

Top row: Learning about the concept of smorgasbord, in connection with the book Snow Treasure. Bottom left and center: Breakfast dishes featuring mangoes and avocado, at a book club meeting for the book Hello, Universe. Bottom right: Homemade Thousand Island dressing, created as a unit study of foods from the 1930s. (Book was Mr. Popper’s Penguins).

Please visit for more cooking projects.

Student outdoor learning:



Left: Loose parts at Toybrary, Right: Stringing popcorn and cranberries and decorating trees, winter camp at the Barton Creek greenbelt.

Podcast on tickling

It might sound odd at first to suggest re-thinking the practice of tickling. Kids laugh when you tickle, right, so they must like it? Not necessarily. There is an element of losing control over your response in tickling that we don’t consider; possibly because it is such a tradition. I wholeheartedly advocate for examining the tradition of tickling (and the feelings that come up in response to questioning it!). This podcast is a great way to start. Podcast on tickling

Live, on Facebook: 3 Part Series for Parents of Babies

Join Grace Fleming and me for this 3 part Facebook Lives series focused on babies. We will talk about some tools to help you to stay present and respond to your babies tears, how playful interactions can help your baby, and give you a tool to help ease separation anxiety.

After the event, the recordings of the videos can be found on the Hand in Hand Parenting Facebook page or Hand in Hand Parenting’s Youtube channel the following day.

I’d also love to receive topics or questions in advance- comment here!

8-8:30 PM central on Hand in Hand Parenting’s Facebook page

May 15 – Responding to Your Baby’s Tears

May 22 – Playful Interaction with Your Baby

May 29 – A Tool for Easing Separation Anxiety

Parenting for empathy class

Please join me on March 25 to talk about some very concrete ways to parent for empathy. In this 2 hour class, we’ll talk about what’s going on when our little ones melt down, and how to get back on track. Behavior is information and when we are able to take care of our own emotional wellbeing, we can see what’s going on behind the behavior. In this supportive class, we’ll try out some tools for listening and responding to big feelings. You’ll leave with more support for the hard and incredibly important work of parenting.

Laura Minnigerode is a certified Hand in Hand Parenting instructor, and parent of 3 teenagers. This class introduces the powerful Parenting by Connection tools: connected approaches that make parenting feel easier.

Tickets are $35 per person, couple/$50. Babies are welcome! Please contact me if you have questions, I would love to talk!


Sun, March 25, 2018

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Toybrary Austin

2001 Justin Lane

Austin, TX 78757



Click here to sign up now!

Upcoming Camps, Workshops and Events


Austin Forest School Drop-in Open House and Playdate

Austin Forest Wonderschool warmly invites families with children 2.5-8 years old to our drop-in forest play day. Our forest school environment will be a special place to learn and explore the world!

We would love to have you come to play as long as works for you and your little one, and learn more about the program.

Click here to RSVP for forest school drop in 

Learning with nature / Special Time class at Toybrary

Explore and play in nature, in the garden of Toybrary! This is a parent-child event that will incorporate connected learning ideas. Bring your little one to play with complex and interesting materials, build and explore. Each class provides next steps to support you for more learning with nature on your own. Ages 1-3.

Friday mornings, 10:30-11:30, beginning Feb. 2, at Toybrary Austin

(event link coming soon)


Parenting from the Inside Out Book Group

Join me ONLINE for a life changing book group with the book Parenting from the Inside Out, by Daniel Siegel and Mary Hartzell. What I love about this book: it really effectively explores the ‘extent to which our childhood experiences impact the way we parent’: that phrasing is directly from the publisher’s description of the book. I also add that our childhood experience impacts most other aspects of ALL of our relationships. Drawing upon surprising and under-discussed findings in neurobiology, this book explains how interpersonal relationships directly impact our brain. In the group, we will use the book’s step-by-step approach as a guide. In the process, we will develop a comfort with our own life stories with the goal of helping us ‘raise compassionate and resilient children’. This group meets online for 4 Sunday afternoons, with the possibility of adding a 5th meeting. 

Sign up here


Spring Break Forest School Camp

Please join me for a forest school and cooking camp, March 14 Wednesday of Austin spring break.

For ages 4 and up.

Camp will last from 9-3, and will take place in the greenbelt (mostly) and at my home near the greenbelt. The day will include hiking each day, lots of making things, games, and of course some cooking.


Sign up here:




Transferring a napping baby

Sometimes you are pleased to sit with a sleepy baby on you. Other times. you might not have the time and space in your life. Here is a method I developed by trial and error while working in the baby room at a lovely little NAEYC accredited school. I hope it is helpful- I’d love to hear if you try it and find it works for you!!

I think you will need to use this as a starting point and then tweak it to get it to work.

Baby Transfer Method
1/ Be sure baby is very asleep
2/ Start to match your breath with baby’s, if it is not already, so that you are attuned
3/ Stand up and move slowly to crib
4/ Use ‘resting hand’ on the baby’s back to stabilize- slowly transfer, and if you can transfer with less turning the better, so you might need to bend quite a bit
5/Place baby on his side, not on bag as that can lead to startling
6/ Cradle the elbow joint- also- again use a hand with a tiny bit of pressure on back. – continue to breathe slowly and exhale audibly
Baby might wake up at first. Stay with him and keep trying to match his breathing, keeping your hand on his back. He will most likely settle back in. You have not failed if you have to pick him up!
Namaste, dear mamas!

In 2018, Parenting will become easier

Start the new year with support and tools that will make a very big change for your family. Join me for a class that meets in person, or online, and build your toolbox.

This series will provide brain-based tools AND the support you need to use them. In the process, you’ll change your family life to make it feel more connected. This is a 6-week series where you will receive support to build on new ideas and approaches.

In this class, based on Hand in Hand Parenting tools, you’ll learn AND practice with support:

6 tools needed to raise a happy child
How you can best respond to upsets and tantrums
How your child’s emotions work
How to heal your child’s fears
How to help an angry child become playful and compassionate
How to build support for yourself, so you do your best thinking more often

The class includes six in person meetings, at a location near downtown Austin, or video call consultations.

Contact me if you would like to talk about the class. We can make it work for your schedule, and I know it will be a powerful way to start your year.

Sign up here:




Two Life Changing Parenting Books as Gifts

It is about to be holiday season. Yay! for time with family. Boo for shopping (IMHO).

But this post is about books! Books are ALWAYS good, (IMHO). I have had people tell me that a book that I gave as a gift made a lasting difference in their life. How wonderful is that?

The two books below are such good ones, they could turn out to be that special, life changing thing for a friend or family member who is a parent. They are also ones you should put on your own wish list.

Listen offers a new understanding of children’s emotions and shares effective tools for easing the stress of parenting during even the most challenging interactions. Daniel Siegel describes it as ‘a science-informed, practical strategy for parenting our children well.’

Playful Parenting is ‘an exciting new approach to raising children that will help you nurture close connections, solve behavior problems, and encourage confidence.’

(Disclosure: Note that purchasing Listen from this link will help support this blog and the work we do for parents).

Happy reading and sharing! LISTEN Hi Res Cover-front_preview