an elementary school principal

Reviews by educators of young children (below)

a positive parenting relationship

Reviews by parents of young children

attendee of one of Kim Hughes' teacher workshops

Conference and teacher
workshop attendees


Preschool and elementary school customer reviews

Educational consulting expert Kim Hughes, who founded Conscious Connections in 2011 in part to serve teachers of young children, has received positive reviews by preschool and elementary school teachers along with principals and others in the field. Read on...

  • Early learning center turnaround

    Words cannot accurately describe the significance of Kim Hughes' contribution to the success of our program. When Kim began her work with us—guiding both me and the staff of teachers—our team was just beginning to recover from a toxic influence of negativity that was preventing us from practicing and realizing our best work. What a turnaround our team was able to make!

    In helping me heal the wounds, Kim’s expertise and subsequent guidance created an environment of love, acceptance, focus and joy—all characteristics that Kim exudes in her mere presence. She is a truly gifted and passionate individual whose dedication to the education and the well-being of children and families is inspiring and contagious. Kim’s influence was paramount to my professional development, and ultimately the success of our early learning center. I consider Kim a mentor, a friend, a teacher, a consultant, but most significantly, someone that truly inspires me to be the best that I can be.

    Leah Pierce, MA, Past Director of Fairmont Early Learning Center, Raleigh, NC

  • Big impact on an early childhood program

    Kim has made a big impact on our entire program this past year. We contacted her after many years of working to implement the strategies of Conscious Discipline into our program. She came in and trained and coached each classroom team on a very personal level.

    Kim not only made sure to get to know each classroom and teacher but also their challenges and successes. Her time with us was always filled with such positive interactions and we knew that the driving force was the question "What's best for the children?" My entire teaching staff has grown in so many ways as she has helped us find ways to incorporate Conscious Discipline that feels relevant and comfortable to each teacher. Kim is an expert in our field but at the same time is so easy to learn from and relate to.

    Melissa Welch, Director of the Edenton Street United Methodist Church Early Childhood Program, Raleigh, NC

  • Immediate success

    Kim has a wonderful gift for helping children and adults! After attending her presentation on  in Tampa, FL in August 2011, I was inspired and motivated to change my classroom philosophy regarding classroom management and relationships with my preschoolers, their families, and teaching colleagues. I saw changes immediately—within nine days of school starting I saw a true difference in myself and my students. (And since I got rid of my treasure box of candy in the classroom, I lost three pounds in the same period! Who knew a side benefit of Conscious Discipline® would be weight loss?)

    Kim’s workshop in Tampa was amazing (my friends and I could not write down her ideas fast enough) and my school year started off so successfully because of Kim and the Conscious Discipline tenets she taught us.

    Michelle Vela, Preschool Teacher and School District Pre-K Co-chair, Florida
  • Practical teaching tips

    Thank you so much for welcoming us into your classroom on Friday.  It was such a fun and productive way to spend an afternoon.  I really appreciate you taking the time to share your Conscious Discipline information as well as practical tips for teaching children with us.  This information can be really overwhelming at first, but you did a great job of breaking it down into a way that we could better understand.  Thank you so much for helping us!

    Jennifer Deans, Title 1 PreK, WCPSS
  • Developmentally appropriate classrooms

    Thank you so much for your time, energy, knowledge, love, and care for us teachers. You have set a remarkable example for us to keep safe and developmentally appropriate classrooms!

    Janice Squires, Title 1 PreK, WCPSS
  • Great suggestions from environmental assessment

    The Children's Development Center's Board of Directors at First Presbyterian Church recently contracted with Kim Hughes to provide us with an environmental assessment of our center. This assessment included giving us feedback about our entry area, playground area, and classroom layout. Mrs. Hughes was wonderful to work with throughout this process. She was efficient in her use of time, asked thoughtful and provoking questions about use and space in the center, and offered great suggestions about changes we could implement to improve our classroom environment. Her fees are reasonable and her suggestions are in the process of being implemented. Mrs. Hughes is personable, demonstrates integrity, understands the needs of young children, and knows what successful centers should provide. We would recommend her to any agency looking for this type of assessment.

    Jonibel Willis, Member, CDC Board, First Presbyterian Church, Raleigh, NC
  • Guiding light

    Kim Hughes has been the guiding light during my journey with Conscious Discipline; she’s just an amazing person, too!!

    Allisa Rickards, First Grade Teacher, Underwood Elementary, Raleigh, NC
  • Inspiration for teachers

    Thank you so very much for the wonderful day! We have heard many positive comments already from our teachers. Joanne and I so appreciate your knowledge, expertise, energy, and the heart that you put into the CD training for us. You provided our group with the inspiration I was hoping for as we kick off this school year and our CD initiative.

    Donna Kimes, Supervisor, Pre-Kindergarten Exceptional Education, Tampa, FL
  • Exciting paradigm shift

    I attended your teacher workshop on Conscious Discipline and I am SO excited about this paradigm shift! Not only for my EELP class, but also with how I am raising my 7 year old son. You were so dynamic and engaging today; I didn't feel sleepy once! I look forward to implementing Conscious Discipline in my classroom and my life! A MOST sincere thank you!

    Melanie Malinchak, EELP Teacher, Valrico Elementary School
  • Looking forward to implementing Conscious Discipline

    I am an Early Exceptional Learning Program (EELP) teacher in Hillsborough County. I had the wonderful opportunity to hear you speak last Wednesday and can't tell you how much I enjoyed it. I was fortunate to hear Dr. Bailey last May and was already excited about Conscious Discipline. After hearing you speak, my excitement about Conscious Discipline in my classroom environment this year was reignited. It was such a relief to hear that you did not implement everything your first year. I have to be honest, I was overwhelmed when I heard Dr. Bailey, but after hearing you speak, I am looking forward to using some of the new techniques and adding more little by little.

    Thank you so much for taking the time and sharing your knowledge and experiences that have made Conscious Discipline successful in your classroom learning environment.

    Jackie Cuervo, Lake Magdalene Elementary
  • Superior quality teacher workshop

    Thanks, again, for the superior quality teacher workshop today. The practical information was greatly appreciated. I expect to see the results in the classes this fall!

    Phil Inscoe, Director Wake Forest Baptist Preschool
  • Connecting with kids

    I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed today’s teacher workshop. I felt like I walked away with several tools that can have a positive impact in my classroom.

    I have been worried this year that my reserves were running low and I was afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to bring the same level of energy and enthusiasm to the classroom as I have in years past. Your teacher workshop reminded me what I love most about teaching: connecting with kids. You provided many examples of how to do that. I left feeling excited and invigorated! Thank you for that.

    Amy Russell, First Baptist Preschool
  • Great reactions from teachers

    Thanks again for The First Six Weeks of School teacher workshop. It has been fun hearing our teachers excitedly sharing ideas from the workshop with one another for the coming year! I have heard talk of greetings, Feel Better Lotion, heart stickers for hard mornings, job charts, cheers, Wish You Well rituals, and family collages. The children and families at our preschool are going to benefit from your work! I am glad that you were born, that you do what you do, and that you share your passion with others. You are a gift!

    Nancy Robinson, Director, Director of Bible Church Preschool, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Inspiring presentation

    I just wanted to thank you for a wonderful teacher workshop. I am just getting back into early childhood education after being home with my children for the past 7 years and I got very excited at the workshop. Thanks again for the inspiring and useful presentation.

    Melissa Eimer, Durham, NC
  • Fresh ideas for teachers

    I enjoyed your teacher workshop very much! I have been teaching 4 year olds for almost 25 years and I came away from the workshops with many fresh ideas! Thank you again for MY wonderful new year start!

    Jean Walker, Raleigh, NC
  • Fun active learning activites

    I attended your teacher workshop, "The First Six Weeks of School", and loved it. You were a captivating speaker and I loved that I came away from the workshop with tangible activities that I can really use in my classroom environment. One of the ideas I would like to implement is the greeting ritual.  I'd love to start my day with the kids using fun active learning activities like this. Thank you again for a great afternoon of learning.

    Tess Wesley, 3’s teacher, Binkley Preschool, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Effective behavior management for the classroom at last

    I have been in education for 17 years and have had numerous trainings in behavior management. None of these trainings seemed to work; they were either too punitive or too reward-based. Finally, I took a teacher workshop on Conscious Discipline presented by Kim Hughes. Because Conscious Discipline is based on brain research, it made sense to me.

    Kim did a superb job of explaining the concepts and making it relevant to teaching and parenting. Consequently, I began using Conscious Discipline with my students and own children at home and quickly saw its effectiveness. I recommend Kim's teacher workshops and training for educators, parents, and anyone who works with children.

    Courtney Radford, Literary Intervention/Coach, Lynn Road Elementary, Raleigh, NC
  • On the cusp of best practices in education

    I had multiple opportunities to observe Kim work with large groups of adults and I was always amazed at her ability to keep them captivated with her infectious sense of humor and her obvious passion for the work we do. Hours flew by as participants listened, held rapt by her personal stories. In record time she gained the complete respect of our staff and I saw them inspired by her work.

    Kim is well versed in all aspects of education and keeps herself on the cusp of best practices; she has an extensive repertoire to draw from in order to support students and teachers. She is truly an expert. And in addition to all these other skills, she was daily seen with sleeves rolled up, jumping in and working alongside teachers and students.

    I can never thank her enough for the difference she made in the lives of our teachers, and more importantly, our students.

    Jacqueline S. Jordan, Principal, Underwood Elementary, Raleigh, NC
  • Recharging and influencing the education of young children

    I cannot begin to tell you how much Kim Hughes has influenced me in my various positions working with young children. I leave each of the leadership forums she facilitates recharged and motivated to share new ideas with my teachers and parents.

    Cindi Vaughn, Director, Greystone Baptist Preschool, North Raleigh, NC
  • Rewarding young students for doing the right thing

    Kim Hughes did a wonderful job introducing Conscious Discipline to our school. We had been focused on Positive Behavior Support in the past; PBiS has many good qualities, but we found students were often doing things for the rewards and not for the intrinsic feeling they should have been receiving.

    We were looking for a method that would focus more on students doing what was right rather than just doing what would get them noticed or rewarded... and a way to show teachers how to give their students choices while maintaining control over a situation. Conscious Discipline helped our elementary school staff see that by thinking about these skills ahead of time and practicing with each other to develop them, we were able to guide students, helping them understand the control they have in a situation.

    Kim not only helped us through direct instruction, she also gave us a list of resources so that her teaching can be sustained and reviewed as necessary. I look forward to continuing our relationship in the future, as both students and staff have benefited from this relationship. I look forward to seeing the benefits of the future.

    Eloise Sheats, Principal, Lynn Road Elementary, Raleigh, NC
  • Exceptional ability to connect with adults and children

    I have worked closely with Kim for more than ten years. She is an incredible trainer of adults and an awesome teacher of young children. She is one of the brightest teachers I have ever known.

    Kim's emotional intelligence and ability to respect and connect with adults and children, and to see the strengths in each, are exceptional. She brings out the best in each person with whom she interacts.

    As a teacher workshop leader she is always extraordinarily prepared, respectful, excited, and incredibly knowledgeable about her topic, whether it be ‘Math and the Young Child', ‘Dealing With Challenging Behaviors in the Early Childhood Classroom', ‘Intentional Teaching', ‘The First Six Weeks of School', or ‘Preschool Classroom Strategies to Support Children on the Autism Spectrum', topics she presented on our behalf this year.

    Teacher workshop participants have noted: "This was a positive experience that is going to help my teaching in so many ways", "This experience was a wonderful way to reflect on my own teaching and to learn new strategies from a master teacher", and "Kim was fantastic and helpful. I cannot wait to use the tools she gave us."

    I recommend Kim Hughes highly and without reservation.

    Mary Snowden Crawley, Training Coordinator, Wake County Public School System: Project Enlightenment, Raleigh, NC
  • The only topic of discussion for weeks

    I have had the opportunity to listen to Kim Hughes speak and connect with a variety of audiences over the past 15 years.

    Kim cares deeply about children and has a heartfelt desire to help all teachers connect with and care for their students. She has been able to take all the information she has learned about child development, learning styles, brain research, multiple intelligences, and the responsive classroom and partner it with real-world vernacular to truly connect with children.

    She knows how to speak to crowds and either captivate or motivate them as needed. From keynote speeches to small group dialogues, Kim has a way of connecting with adults, facilitating conversations, and helping people see things in new ways.

    She is currently providing Conscious Discipline training to 16 of my teachers. The teachers were excited about the training and learning about Conscious Discipline before the sessions began. After the first session, Kim was the only topic of discussion for weeks. My teachers commented immediately about her welcoming and playful nature but several were also struck by their sense of inclusion in the workshop.

    Kim has also made herself available to the group; she has given teachers her phone number and email address and encouraged them to contact her with any questions. She often stays until after the sessions are over to problem-shoot with teachers as they encounter different hurdles.

    In sum, Kim Hughes is an incredibly knowledgeable educator who has the capacity to truly connect with children as well as the capacity and desire to open up the possibilities for educators who are struggling to make critical connections with their students.

    Julie Gray Rucci, Director, Instructional Resource Teacher, Lynn Road Elementary, Raleigh, NC
  • An armload of ideas with amazing results

    Our preschool was facing several challenges in or classrooms with various behaviors and none of our normal strategies were working so we brought Kim in to consult with our entire teaching staff. What a phenomenal use of our time and resources!! Every single teacher walked away with an armload of ideas that they have already implemented.  The results have been AMAZING!!!!!! Kim has brilliant insights into preschoolers’ behaviors, she has innovative and practical tools for the classroom, and she has an engaging presentation style!!

    Ellen Parker, Director, University Presbyterian Preschool, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Inspires educators while keeping her ideas very “real world”

    Working with Kim this year has truly helped me to improve my practice as an educator in an elementary setting. Kim has provided workshops that have focused upon a basic introduction to Conscious Discipline® as well as a second session on Handling Bullying in the Classroom through the lens of Conscious Discipline.   I walked away from both workshop full of ideas and strategies that I could implement immediately.  Kim forms connections during her presentations, allowing her to tailor what she is speaking about to really meet your needs. She inspires educators while keeping her ideas very “real world” and applicable to what we do in school. She challenged me to think open-mindedly, but also provided a helpful structure for use with students.  Further, she has helped me days after her presentation by answering my emails full of questions and thoughts about some of the ideas presented. I feel like Kim has served as a mentor to me and I continue to develop my understanding of the Conscious Discipline philosophy. I am grateful to have been able to work with her.

    Kelsey Augst Felton, School Counselor, Hilburn Drive Academy, Raleigh, NC
  • Informative, interactive, inspirational and useful

    I have attended teacher workshops of varying interest and topics over the past 18 years. These have included local, state and national workshops. The one I attended today in Chapel Hill, The Intentional Teacher: Caring and Daring to Do What's Best for Our Children, was one of the best. It was informative, interactive, inspirational and useful. Your stories, examples and presentation were exactly what I needed to give me a fresh start to my teaching year. I usually dread coming to these each year. They are rarely useful and frequently boring. Thank you so much for giving me focus and excitement to bring to my classroom. I look forward to trying many of your techniques and will work hard to be the kind of teacher you have inspired me to be! Keep up the good work. I hope to attend another of your workshops in the future.Thank you again!!

    Kim Glasser, Preschool Teacher, Durham-Orange Preschool Association, NC
  • A transforming experience

    I really enjoyed your workshop today at the United Church of Chapel Hill. It was so wonderful to receive such affirmation and inspiration from you today. I first met you several years ago when I was part of a group from my school who visited/ observed your classroom at Project Enlightenment.  It is impossible for me to explain in a quick email how transforming you and that experience years ago has been on my teaching. Many thanks for being you and inspiring all of us!

    Shelley Turkington, Duke Memorial Weekday School, Durham, NC
  • Left me energized, inspired and validated

    I am a long-time fan of yours and wanted to thank you for the DOPA conference you did yesterday about intentional teaching.  I am one of your biggest fans as I have been doing DPS observations for years and have been to several of your workshops.  You always leave me feeling energized, inspired and validated.  Though we have never really had a conversation, I feel like I know you.  I love how “real” you are.  Thank you again for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm!  You ROCK!

    Jen Reichart, Bible Church Preschool, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Inspiring and FUN training

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for your inspiring and FUN training that you gave my staff.  I’ve never heard my colleagues and our assistant teachers continue to discuss professional development training during the following week in the lunch/break room but that is just what happened!  I was approached by many assistant teachers who thanked me for bringing you to Asheville.  They were raving that someone actually “got it” and gave everyone great tools and advice.  One quote I heard was “I wish she could come back and do all of our training next year”. WooHoo!!  Talk about some buy-in for Conscious Discipline®.  Now I am determined to start working with my administrator to plan a day when you can come back next school year!!

    Lisa Bruggeman, NC PreK, Asheville, NC

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