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Meet Nina Parrish, Author

Aug 29, 2022 06:00AM ● By Lenora Kruk-Mullanaphy

With nearly two decades in the education field in the roles of special education teacher, kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12) tutor, education director, speaker and educational consultant, Nina Parrish is the co-founder and chief academic officer of Parrish Learning Zone in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She works with students to overcome obstacles they face in school and instill excitement for learning. This led her to write “The Independent Learner: Metacognitive Exercises to Help K-12 Students Focus, Self-Regulate and Persevere.” (Metacognition is an awareness of an individual’s thought processes and an understanding of the patterns behind them.)

“As a special education teacher and K-12 tutor, I often found my students felt bored, disengaged, frustrated or confused in school,” says Parrish. “They didn’t have the metacognitive strategies they needed to stay motivated, regulate their emotions, improve their executive functioning skills and engage in critical and creative thinking. I realized students were often told what to learn, but rarely taught how to learn.”

Parrish said she wrote the book because the only way to make learning truly relevant to each student is to teach the tools and strategies they’ll need to take a more active role in their learning. When students know what works for them—and have many strategies in their toolbox—they can begin to make informed choices about their own education. This leads to increased agency, as well as the ability to learn independently and apply what has been learned to their future endeavors.

Containing ready-to-use strategies and reproducibles that are ideal for teachers, tutors and parents (of kids in K-12), “The Independent Learner” is a valuable resource to have on hand.

Parrish also writes the blog, “The Learning Zone.” Her writing has appeared internationally in a variety of publications, such as Edutopia, which is known for showcasing what works in education and innovation and continuous learning in the real world.

“The Independent Learner” is available wherever books are sold, including Amazon. Larger orders for schools and professional development may be eligible for discounts from the publisher.

Parrish earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Mary Washington, a teaching certification in special education from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and a master’s degree in education for school counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University. Learn more at

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