A Lesson in Love

Why is it that we chose this profession? Surely it is not so we can disseminate information to children? To be carriers of curricular knowledge? Doubtful. We chose to be educators because of the influence we have in the lives of children. For many of us, there was an adult who had this same influence on us when we were young, drawing us into this profession of care.

I recently heard Bishop Motiuk speak about Pope Francis. As we left for the afternoon, he challenged us to, “Go be Pope Francis.” Go out and live the gospel. Go and add a smile and some warmth to someone’s day. Do what is right even when no one is looking.

Each day we teach our students. Some lessons can be found in the curriculum. Many more though are incidentals: timely life lessons taught day in and day out. Lessons about fairness and patience, cooperation and care, humility and hope. With Pope Francis as our guide, we reach out to those who need us most. In his words, “Help one another. This is what Jesus teaches us. This is what I do. And I do it with my heart.”

A little bit of laughter…

You know the kind of laughter – the giggles really – that come all the way from the toes, cause full body vibrations and seems to be uncontrollable? That contagious type that gets the whole room going? I had the pleasure of seeing an-almost-10-month-old in this state on Saturday. She full on giggled for almost an hour and had the rest of us going too.

Last week on supervision, two grade two students were walking with me. One was telling me about her older sister who had been injured the day before and required stitches. The other, for reason unknown to us, decided to make up a song about it to the tune of 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. The three of us walked for 15 minutes, giggling as she created and sang verse after verse based on the story her friend was telling. Our own private show.

Andrew Carnegie once said, “There is little success where there is little laughter.” Whether we laugh at home or at work, laughter adds a lightness to what we do. When we can find pleasure in the company of those around us, each day is a little more fun and really, a little more productive. Laughter is the outward sign of happiness and the sharing of laughter an intimate act.

Wishing you a week with laughs…

Oatmeal Cookies

I recently heard someone talking about baking oatmeal cookies. He listed all sorts of necessary ingredients: flour, oats, baking soda, eggs, butter.

Sugar was not on his list. Oatmeal cookies, he noted, don’t need sugar. Yet when we choose to add sugar, the cookies are a whole lot tastier. An oatmeal cookie without sugar is like our world without the arts.

Whether it be watching a movie, visiting a gallery, listening to music or going to live theatre, these events are the sugar in our-otherwise-oatmeal-cookie-lives. Just imagine the world without the likes of Elton John, Picasso, Van Gogh, Mozart or Steven Spielberg. The arts can provide a little sweetness… a little indulgence… a little fun… a little beauty. Bring on the sugar!

Synergy at its best!

A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to showcase our school to 120 guests: teachers and administrators from across the province. And though we are always busy in preparation for this event, the day serves as an excellent reminder of all that is good in our school. We give children the opportunity to speak, greet, showcase their learning and showoff our school.

And every year as the guests leave and the cleanup begins, I reflect on what it is that makes our school great. Without question, it is the people. We have a school full of adults who see the best in kids, who slip in anonymous donations to families in need, who sacrifice their own time for the good of the students. And our kids? We have kids who are innovative, creative and compassionate, kids who want to make a difference in the world, kids who see beyond themselves.

Every school has issues to deal with. Our school is no different. There will always be children who need us more than most: academically and emotionally. But when you have a strong team, nothing is insurmountable.

A silent update…

I learned a few things this week about silence and how it is most effective for me. These thoughts are in the order they came to me throughout the week:

  1. Silence is difficult to come by! Plan it into the day or it will not happen.
  2. My biggest obstacle: my own mindset. “I don’t have time for this!”
  3. Close your eyes and set a timer; do not look at the clock.
  4. My typical thoughts during silence: my to-do list, my writing and memories that seemingly crept out of nowhere.
  5. For most effective mindful silence, concentrate on breathing.
  6. Five minutes really isn’t long enough. This week I think I’ll make it seven…

Who knew I’d begin to crave this time? Wow.