Saturday, September 28, 2013

Growing Future Generations

Last night, I had the privilege of participating in a forum for pre-teen and teen parents.  It was a wonderful group of thoughtful folks talking about how to raise decent human beings.  This is important work because, as I often joke about, these are the folks who will provide my geriatric care, run my town, and govern my country in the days to come.  Coincidentally, sent out this "quiz' yesterday.  Admittedly, some of it made me cringe and some made me chuckle.  It is worth a look and a little discussion.

Quiz: Make Sure You're Not Raising a Brat -

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Kindness - Round 1

The other day, I heard a student telling another student to "go away" when she tried to join in on a conversation.  I was shocked!  I probably shouldn't be, because kids actually say things like that all the time.  Yet I hope I will always be shocked in reactions to actions such as these.

"Don't be nice, be kind!" - one of my favorite sayings.  

There is nothing wrong with being polite and "nice"; but being kind is from the heart, a place of empathy and goodness.  When we are older, I hope the men and women in charge of our lives, our towns, and our country are kind people.

Towards that goal, Ms. Steim, Mr. Connors, and I began our Guidance lessons with the 4th and 5th graders this past week.  We watched Shel Silverstein narrate The Giving Tree and responded to a few reflection questions via Google Form.  This is the resulting Woodle from the prompt:  "Please share three words that describe the tree in The Giving Tree."

Wordle: The Giving Tree

Please join us on our quest of kindness~

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Setting Up for Success

Opening school is an exciting endeavor; with it the hopes and dreams of a new year and an opportunity to improve upon the year prior. For our family, this is a year of big transitions: one off to college and one onto high school. Thus my heart was especially full on Thursday as I drew chalk lines on which our new Kindergartners would line up. Reflecting on the past 13 years of being a parent in a public school...

That "stated mandated Kindergarten Screening" - well, I missed it with my first born, even though I was already in training to become a school counselor. We were off in Acton at a children's museum. I still feel a little guilty about it, but she ended up with a wonderful teacher.

On the topic of teachers, I learned to never listen to others' opinions about teachers through the grapevine. Instead I was to trust that my children will learn to learn from all kinds of teachers. When they enter the world of work, they will need to work for all kinds of supervisors. Therefore, I was to help them figure out how to be successful with all types of matches.

Every time I got a call from the school, I was sure one of them was en route to children's hospital! None of those calls compared to the one I had to make because a girl was physically hurting one of my daughters - the kind of hurt that leaves a mark on her skin. I learned to never call angry, to never send an email angry, to never show up at school emotional. I have drafted plenty of emotional emails, but am always glad twenty-four hours later that I did not send them. I would have been embarrassed. Besides, it was important to remember that the someone on the receiving end of my emails and phone calls is also a person.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle,”
(Plato, or Philo of Alexandra, or the 1898 Christmas edition of The British Weekly"

Here's off to a year of kindness and growth to all~