Thursday, April 28, 2011

You Are A Mighty Force!

Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.   -Basil King

If you work in a school you have a mighty job.  By that I mean you are so darn lucky to do what you do.  You get to be around young people, otherwise known as students.  They learn and grow by leaps and bounds.  You are an integral part of that learning, growing, and developing.

If you work in a school you have a mighty responsibility, too.  As in, people expect great things from your role as Educator.  You are tasked to shape and chart the course of these young lives.  Your students look to you and the example which you put on display for them.  Your students need you so much.  This is not to be taken lightly. 

Finally, if you work in a school then you ARE a mighty force.  I mean that as in you come to the aid of young people--day in, day out-- to bring them to the shores of acheivement.

Students need to feel capable.  They need to know that what they say and what they do really does count.  This, I believe, helps them to feel connected to the world in which they live.  As they feel worthy and confident about themselves as individuals, they will be able to pursue their highest aspirations. 

We must encourage our youth to set lofty intentions, and then support them as they set sail.  How are you bold?  How are you a mighty force?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Lessons We Can Learn From Geese

You may have seen this already.  It is something I came across many years ago.  The message still resonates with me and I revisit it from time to time.  It also makes for a good lesson to use with my students.  I'd like to share it with you:

Fact:  As each bird flaps its' wings, it creates an uplift for the bird following.  By flying in a V-formation, the whole flock adds 71 percent greater flying range than if one goose flew alone.

Lesson to be learned:  People who share a common direction and sense of belonging can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the strength of one another.

Fact:  When a lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies at the point position.

Lesson to integrate:  It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership.

Fact:  The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

Lesson to be mindful of:  We need to make sure our honking from behind is encouraging, and not something else.

Fact:  When a goose gets sick or wounded, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it.  They stay with it until it is able to fly again--or dies.  Then they launch out on their own, with another formation, or they catch up with their flock.

Lesson:  If we have as much sense as geese, we too, will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong.

What lessons have you learned from animals?  Please share the wisdom.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Screen-Free Week April 18-24, 2011

Next week, April 18-24, 2011, is Screen-Free Week. 

Get outside!  The weather is warmer and sunnier.  Daylight is lasting longer.  There are trails to hike, bikes to ride, and seeds to plant.  Even more, there are balls to kick, throw, and catch.  There is tag and hide-and-seek to play.  Still more, there are kites to fly and sandboxes in which to dig.

Or, if you must stay inside, then read a book, play a board game, or draw a picture.  Maybe do a craft, throw a party, or create some fun scrapbook pages.

The link below includes guides, ideas, and resources for Screen-Free Week:

Just turn off that television.  And computer.  And video game.

Need some inspiration?  Now may be a good time to re-read my post about change:  

Or this post about being your best Self:

 Give it a try.  Let me know how you make out.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Make Your Mark

One of my all time favorite books is The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. I use this story for fifth grade classroom guidance lessons (though it may be used for any age). In this book, we meet a girl named Vashti who has convinced herself she can't draw. Her teacher dares her to make a mark. Vashti makes one little dot on her paper… which turns out to be the beginning of her creative journey. This wonderfully illustrated book encourages us to be brave about expressing ourselves.  It gently reminds us to start small and explore the idea.  It is also a tribute to teachers who know how to use 'out of the box’ approaches, the art of humor, and who have the vision to see the possibilities in every student.  I encourage you to read this book to see for yourself what happens to Vashti in the end.  Click this for some wonderful activites to supplement the book.  After you read this story, come back and let me know how you enjoyed it.  Maybe you could tell us about your own creative journey, too!