Monthly Archives: May 2014

I Hope She Never Loses ….

So I had the chance this Mother’s Day to spend some quality time with my daughter who is 5 going on 20 some days. I loved the chance to sit down and spend some time with her, see how the world looks from her eyes. It got me thinking about how she views the world right now and it made me hope she never loses these views she does have….

1. Right now the world is full of opportunities – when she looks out the window, she doesn’t see a gloomy, rainy day ….she sees a chance to play in rain puddles. When she sees a pile of leaves to be raked or a pile of snow to be shoved, she doesn’t see the work but rather sees a castle that can be built or a tunnel she can crawl through.

2. Right now she can be scared but it doesn’t hold her back – she rode a bike for the first time last week and she was like Mario Andretti on it. She didn’t worry about falling down, in fact she did multiple times, but she got up, dusted herself off, and got back on again. She tried rollerskating for the first time and again, while I saw the multiple chances for her to fall and get hurt, she saw a chance to fly. Did she fall down?? Multiple times, but again it did not slow my girl down and I am afraid a career in roller derby might be in her future.

3. Right now she doesn’t care what others think of her – some mornings she picks her own ensembles out and I cringe. Striped leggings, polka dotted skirt and a bright pink or orange shirt with her pink rubber boots (and before you wonder, no it is not raining – they just have pink flowers on them) I look and think “seriously her teacher or the other moms are going to wonder what is going on” but she doesn’t care, she thinks she is beautiful and that’s all that matters.

4. Right now she is not afraid to hide her feelings – she will hug anyone and everyone around her classroom at the end of the day, she sprinkles out “I love yous” like confetti to those she cares about, she cries passionately when her brother won’t give her the time of day (even though he is 25 and has his own things going on) She hasn’t learned to put that wall up and hide what she truly feels, it’s all out there in the open for anyone to see and she is okay with that.

All these things got me thinking about how lucky she is right now to view the world this way. It made me wonder about when that changes for kids, when do they start seeing the limitations, the risks of failure, the worry about how others will see them. It made me sad to think that someday this amazing view she has of the world may change. Yes, she will need to grow up, but hopefully that doesn’t mean she will completely lose this awe and wonder she has of the world right now. Because you know what, it is contagious and it makes me want to look at the world a little more like this too.


We’re All in this Together

So it happened…. I did my presentation on Saturday and….. it went actually not too bad.  I won’t lie to you I was so nervous, I honestly was not sure I was going to be able to get up in front of a bunch of people and talk about how I connect my classes with the world outside.  But I did do it, I stepped outside my comfort zone.

I will go into how it went a bit more but I do want to jump ahead because for me this was the important thing.  At the end of the day when we were wrapping things up, a teacher came up to me and talked about how she was sorry she missed my presentation.  There had been so many others she wanted to go to, she just didn’t get a chance to come to mine.  However, I did talk a bit more at the end of the day to the group as a whole during the “unconference” time and she was quite interested in what I had done to connect my class.  She explained that she too had tried this year to try something new with her little class of grade 2 students, have tried connecting like I had.  Unfortunately for her the experience had not gone well… at all.  The tech part of it, which was something she was not comfortable with because it was so new to her, did not work.  Then to make matters worse, the tech person at her school who was supposed to help her with this made her feel incompetent by getting impatient with her, basically making her feel bad that she couldn’t figure out how to work things.  So this negative experience made her step back into what she knew, what she was comfortable with and made her think that this connecting through tech was something she just was not good at so therefore she should just quit while she was ahead.

I felt so bad for her while listening to her.  She had taken a chance and stepped outside her comfort zone but unfortunately the support she needed didn’t end up being there.  Now I am not pointing fingers, there could be a multitude of reasons why things turned out the way they did.  But it did make me look to my experience that morning…. there I was in front of everyone and what did I see, friends who took time out of their busy weekend just to hear me speak, colleagues who again came in especially on a Saturday to support me,  heck even my principal even came.(how amazing was that!!)  I had not asked any of them to come… I had just mentioned my worries, my fears and there they all were, ready to support me.  Whether my presentation went well or fell flat, they were all there.  As well, both before and after my presentation time, I had a multitude of texts and messages on twitter from friends and colleagues wishing me luck, telling me they knew I would do amazing, I had a ton of people in my corner supporting me.

So I gave that teacher my email and told her that if she wanted to try again, I was willing to help her out in whatever she tried to do,  I would give advice on how it might work better or just answer any questions she had.  I even told her that she should come in and see my class in action when we do our connecting activities, so she could see how it actually worked.  I tried to give her the support I thought she needed so that maybe perhaps, she might try it again.

The thing is we are all in this together, for us to help our students, to give them these opportunities we need to work together and support each other.  There will be times when things go wrong, when the tech blows up in our faces and we may think its time to throw in the towel.  Speaking from experience though, having someone in your corner can make you wiling to try things out, can give you the confidence to step out that comfort zone we all have.  I know that’s why I did…..