“I hate reading!”

Last week, a little one announced, “I hate reading.” I wasn’t about to pass up that challenge!

We sat together in my office, surrounded by my book collection. I pulled Press Here from the shelf. As I read to her, the interactive nature of the book worked its magic. “Press here and turn the page.” After turning that very first page, she looked up at me with curiosity, her sour face quickly vanishing. “Great! Now press the yellow dot again.” The quizzical looks continued page after page. Sure enough, a few pages later, “I like this book!”

I doubt she reversed her opinion about reading in that one short exchange, but it’s a start. I will continue to share my favourites with her in an attempt to nurture a positive relationship with books. Little did she know: she made her declaration to the wrong person!

If you don’t know this book, be sure to check out the book trailer… Press Here. I would bet there is a little one in your life who will enjoy this read, reluctant reader or not!


A little bit of magic…

As I walk from class to class, I see magic within each room: teachers have created cohesive classroom families in a few short weeks. I see students excited about learning, students in prayer for their family and friends, students welcoming others new to the school.

Teachers certainly have tricks to their trade. They are deliberate and often subtle but the effects are magical. It is not easy uniting 24, 26 or 28 students, ensuring that each feels valued as an individual while still creating a strong collective group. But that is what our teachers do. Day in and day out.

“The influence of teachers extends beyond the classroom, well into the future. It is they who shape and enrich the minds of the young, who touch their hearts and souls. It is they who shape a nation’s future.” F. Sionil Jose

As the school doors open tomorrow morning, there will be hugs exchanged, smiles shared and the learning will continue, seemingly with little effort. Pure magic.

Small surprises…

Last week on an early morning drive to work, the sunrise was vibrant pink behind me. Ahead, a rainbow led my way. It too was pink in the morning sky. This small surprise was a welcome start to my day.

Small surprises are a common occurrence in an elementary school! In fact, they’re the reason I love working with students of this age. We’ve only had four days with the kids back in the building. Yet each day, we are privy to small surprises because of what our students say or do. From the missing Kindergarten student who turned out to be one of mistaken identify… to the student who exclaimed, “I missed you most of the summer”… to the student who announced after three days of grade one, “Now I’m ready for grade two.”

I’m not sure what tomorrow will bring, but I am sure there will be a surprise or two!

First Day Jitters!

It is the eve of the first day of school. Across the city there are jitters and nerves as reality sets in: summer is officially over and a new school year begins. And if teachers are feeling jitters and nerves, imagine the students!

Our district theme this year is A Journey of Love. The more I think about it, the more appropriate I think it is. If our students know we love them – that we truly care – all else will follow. Tomorrow, as students meet teachers and teachers meet students, together they begin a ten month journey. The next few days set the stage for a positive, productive relationship. The journey of a school year may not always be easy, and there will certainly be struggles along the way, but together, obstacles are overcome and goals are reached.

Whether you are a first year teacher, a veteran, or anywhere in between, there is likely a jitter or two as our heads fall to our pillows tonight. Just think how dashing you’ll look in your new school outfit… come on, you know we all have one…

Wishing all of you a school year filled with triumph, joy and most of all, love.