Children Learn what they Live

Bird Droppings May 20, 2011
Children Learn what they Live

It is such a beautiful morning and quiet out side, I had the opportunity to sit and meditate for nearly an hour under the full moon today. I took our dog out and the air was still and nearly silent however the quiet and sounds that permeated were fantastic. A great horned owl periodically pierced the quiet along with a whippoorwill. As I listened a bit more carefully, still little noise even in the background other than handful of crickets and a soft breeze in the trees. I had burned some sage leaves in a bowl with a smidgen of sweet grass and the aroma added to the ambiance. For the first time in some time there were few human interferences available. Air conditioners were still as it was cool, cars were not quite moving on the nearby roads, and most normal animals and humans were still asleep. I started thinking about my on views on education and raising kids. I came back to some old ideas I have had around for some time.

“Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.” Will Durant

I have used this story several times over the years having shared this short thought in previous droppings and in classes. It is a story entitled “Our nature” which is from ancient Zen thought and writings I found this on a professor from Rdyer University’s website after seeing the story numerous times thrown out on the internet.

“Two monks were washing their bowls in the river when they noticed a scorpion that was drowning. One monk immediately scooped it up and set it upon the bank. In the process he was stung. He went back to washing his bowl and again the scorpion fell in. The monk saved the scorpion and was again stung. The other monk asked him, ‘Friend, why do you continue to save the scorpion when you know its nature is to sting?’ ‘Because,’ the monk replied, ‘to save it is my nature.’ “ Dr. John Suler, Ryder University

As I look at this story there are many possible reactions. How foolish is the monk who gets stung, first he knows it is a scorpion, then he also knows scorpions will sting, and lastly he has been already stung once. What lesson is being taught in this passage? There is also a similar story Dr. Suler uses from Native American lore of a fox and scorpion crossing a stream. I find there are applications to parenting, friendship, and teaching within the context of a stinging scorpion. As I read this morning looking through various articles by Dr. Suler and Sydney J. Harris I came up on this article from Harris’s column Strictly Speaking. .

“The student, who could really get an A if he wanted to, cannot really get an A because he really doesn’t want to. And the wanting to is an essential part of the achieving, not a separate thing, as parents imagine, that can be injected into him like a shot of adrenalin. All genuine and meaningful and lasting motivation comes from the inside, not from the outside. The carrot and the stick work maybe only as long as the carrot is in front and the stick behind. When they are withdrawn, the motivation ceases. You can get a mule to move this way, but not a person for very long.” Sydney J. Harris, Motivation, a key part of Talent

Yesterday in class I was listening to students tell why they have low grades as we get into finals. One made the comment “but I am passing I have a 70” and another blurted out “what do I need this crap for anyhow”. As I listened and looked through various notes and ideas I wondered how we instill the idea of motivation in a child or student. How do we change the attitude of so many? Most of the students yesterday when told about the monk getting stung would say he was stupid, just step on the scorpion or why waste your time. Occasionally a person will pop up and say, “The scorpion has a right to live too and that is why the monk helped it”. Somewhere when I first started working with children back in the dark ages I found a poster around 1972 or so in a shop outside Philadelphia. The poster is entitled “Children Learn what they Live” and was written by Dr. Dorothy Nolte in 1972 and goes as follows:

Children Learn What They Live
By Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.
If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves
and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
Copyright © 1972 by Dorothy Law Nolte

Everyday I look across my room and there hanging is that ancient poster still as viable today as it was in 1972. Sydney J. Harris couldn’t put a finger on motivation but he mentions in his article how parents want it to be like adrenaline and we could give a shot of motivation. The monk showing kindness to the scorpion, an attribute that had been learned by observation by seeing and by example, is it that motivation is from inside. Harris states and as Dr. Nolte so eloquently points out in 20 or so statements it is what children see and feel as they grow up that provides them with that inner drive that inner spark.
Children do learn what they live and as parents and teachers we are modeling their future. We are what they will be and can be.

“If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and others.” Dr. Nolte

It really is not that difficult. How can we expect a child to be motivated to succeed if we take away any of the twenty possibilities presented. No matter how big the carrot dangled in front of us it must come from within as well and eventually we as teachers, parents, and friends need to be providing that support and effort. Today a beautiful day please keep all in harms way in your hearts and on your minds.

PS. Maybe, just maybe it is Dr. Nolte’s thoughts hanging on the wall in my room for the past thirty nine years that has kept me going and not to stepping on scorpions.

Life is about practice

Bird Droppings May 19, 2011
Life is about practice

“There may be more to learn from climbing the same mountain a hundred times than by climbing a hundred different mountains.” Richard Nelson

I went out several days ago to get photos of football practice at our school. We have a scrimmage game with our offense and defense playing each other. This has been a tradition for a few years now. Watching the coaches and players interact and drill the same play again and again it dawned on me maybe enough times and you will get it right. But then as I thought not really if you practice a play a thousand times perfectly and know each step engrained in your mind and body you can now focus on what may change as you actually run that play. Your thoughts will not be occupied with the play but with succeeding with the play.
As I read Dr. Nelson’s thought earlier I wondered and then it hit me so many times I will in my daily routine go through the same motions same processes and yet each time something new will hit me. On my way to school a new house or tree I never saw. It might be a hawk I missed or the angle of the sun as it filters through the trees. It is those minute details that add so much more to life. Several years ago I found a quote from an athlete who is listed in the ESPN list of top twenty five records that will never be broken. He has been called the great one and in his day there was no other greater ice hockey player.
Wayne Gretzky held every scoring record at one time but his combined points will more than likely never be equaled. ESPN has Gretzky’s all time scoring record as the number two record in the top twenty five least likely to be broken. Why was he great? He will say practice and from the time he was a small child and just learning to skate he made shots on goal. It amounted to thousands upon thousands of shots even tens of thousands of shots till his playing was near automatic.

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it is.” Wayne Gretzky

Gretzky had an uncanny ability to know anticipate where the play was going from practicing not only shooting the puck but watching and understanding people – there is another aspect to his great ability as a player reflected in his next statement

“You’ll miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Wayne Gretzky

Procrastination was not in Wayne Gretzky’s vocabulary. Gretzky’s believe in practice and perseverance also happens to be two keys to success in life and in school. On the job and at home practice and perseverance can significantly make a difference. We all can not be as successful as Wayne Gretzky perhaps not at Ice Hockey but at being a teacher, a parent, a friend and for me I would be rather remembered as the dad whose record of being a great father will go down in the record books. Please keep all in harms way on your minds and in your hearts.

A new morning

Bird Droppings May 18, 2011
A new morning

Last night I drove up to the corner store to get gas for my wife’s car. When I returned the sounds of the evening were stilled from the chill al the humming, whistling, chirping and barking that should have been going on was still. Living in the country we are used to quiet but this was still other than a slight breeze which occasionally would rustled the pine needles. I seriously miss the cicadas, tree frogs, crickets and every other creature that normally would be out and still going strong this morning but forty eight degrees on a May morning silences all. Through the silence this morning a lone owl hooted two or three times and then it too was quiet.
Today we are doing a few make up tests for End of Course Test and getting ready for finals tomorrow and Friday. I wonder often about the usefulness of such endeavors are we truly assessing students or simply going through hoops. Sadly it is a state and federal requirement. I have a little book that I found at Barnes and Nobles, “Teachers Little book of Wisdom”. I found it on one of excursions into the vastness of our local Barnes and Noble. Seldom do I come out without reading material or at least an idea. Bob Alogozzine is the author/editor of this little tome. Bob is someone who ended up in teaching sort of by accident and fell in love with his job. With an economics degree and few jobs in his field, there was a need for Special Education teachers so he ended up by chance teaching. This little book is 365 statements about teaching.

“Teach them the difference between things that need doing better than they have been done before, things that just need doing, and things that don’t need to be done at all.” Bob Alogozzine

It is not just about math or science there is an aspect of life in each day we walk into a room or see another person. Teaching is not simply a job done by a teacher it is a piece of everyone’s existence. Parents teach from day one. Friends teach or they are truly not friends and some of us who choose to be in a class room teach. As I read this little thought I realize how wonderful of an idea it truly is. It is not about learning calculus for the big test but about doing better than has been done before. If each of us could look at life that way and do today just a bit better than any other day before.
I was looking at my blue berries yesterday and they are not quite ready but it reminded me of several years back picking blueberries at a friend’s house. It was hot out we nearly stopped several times but we kept on and you know when I finish writing today I will throw some big blueberries on my cereal and milk from the freezer. Blueberries really freeze great. Life is moving in so many directions as I read the news today and maybe one day soon I can stop ending my emails with this. Please keep all in harms way on your mind and in your hearts.

A beginning to an end

Bird Droppings May 17, 2011
A beginning to the end

“It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.” Albert Einstein

A few days ago I was discussing the idea of teaching as an art form. I have on several occasions seen things others have not in terms of a student or even a class. So often in life we tend to view daily happenings as mundane yet in that moment of the mundane, miracles are happening. I recall several years back on our porch we had several Boston ferns in hanging baskets along with alternating spider plants. In one of the ferns a pair of purple finches had nested and three little finches were growing rapidly midst the daily checks. Most would have only seen the ferns and spider plants the adult birds had so carefully hidden the nest in the fern fronds.
When I sit each morning and write for example yesterday about fireflies dancing across the edge of my world in my back yard during the summer months it is only my perception. My own view is limited by darkness and my own ability to see what is in front of my based on my life experiences. For someone a thousand miles away it is only words yet I see it and experience it and yet for someone here near by unless they are willing to rise at 3:00 AM they too will not see what I see.
So as a writer I offer just glimpses of another experience and another world. In order to see more then it is about renewing our perception, sharpening our senses and opening our soul to see and hear and feel more than we do today.

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.” Albert Einstein

Many considered Einstein to be an atheist for his very often blunt statements about religion. Yet if you read any of his nonscientific statements there is a spiritual aspect to them. In and of it all he was an artist, a philosopher, often scientist and very much a humanist. Today is a day unlike most other Tuesdays I have experienced yet it is an end and a beginning of phases of my own life’s journey. I am near the end of a semester and hopefully beginning to work on finishing my doctorate degree as school lets out. Yet I continue on that educational venture as I am looking past that to another learning experience and who knows maybe another degree. Perhaps one day I can sit idle but for now I crave that thought process.
Whenever I drive through Kentucky I can not help but think of Daniel Boone finding his way in for him what was a wilderness back then and yet for Indians of that place it was home and not a wilderness. For even in that day trails and pathways were worn from passage.

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.” Albert Einstein

In a recent paper for graduate school I referenced my recent experience as a clearing of a haze from things I had forgotten a clarifying and specifying what was cloudy and unsure.
Often what is learned is not just from books but from experiencing living seeing and believing. Each day I travel a road many others have journeyed on and many others have succeeded in and have gone beyond, yet it is new to me. For me it is wilderness yet civilization. For me it is fresh and vibrant even though many see mundane and stale. It might be in the flight and blinking of a firefly or the snort of breath as a buffalo crosses the pasture years ago. It may be in the feather left for me as a hawk soared through the sky.
I recall a movie where the start and end was nothing more than a piece of fluff blowing about until it gained import with Forest Gump and was placed in a special place. We do not know from moment to moment how someone will react to anything we do or say or write. That is the art of our existence. It is in the perception that seeing, feeling and hearing of our own heart beat. I by chance was where a student was yesterday. She is moving and came by sort of by accident as I was at the school. It seems she now lives near where we do and will not be attending our school next year as it across the line and another high school. She just wanted to say hi and in the conversation asked what do I teach. She continued everyone wants to know. I tried to clarify by saying, on my door it states Block one is planning. During Block two and three I teach the philosophy of learning about how and why we learn what we do. Block four is learning strategies. She said that it sounds interesting. For three years she wondered what I taught and wanted to be in my class. I would always respond you haven’t been in enough trouble yet. As she left after I explained Emotional and behavioral Disorders, she said even though I wasn’t in your class except for Biology in summer school I learned a lot. How is that for an ego boost? Please keep all in harms way on your mind and in your heart.

A firefly crossed my path

Bird Droppings May 16, 2011
A fire fly crossed my path

I wonder how many even notice when a firefly crosses our path. Most people will not even stop to look at such an insignificant moment in time. It has been a bit to cold for fireflies so far this year in our part of Georgia but thinking back to when we just moved to this house. As I sat in the darkness of a quiet morning fireflies for the first time graced my yard sort of an anointing one could say. As I sat waiting watching an occasional blip of light would appear among the shrubs. In the silence tree frogs and crickets would occasionally echo through the trees.
I wonder today as I sit here who saw the first fire fly? I recall long days of collecting as we would run around our yard in Pennsylvania as children placing the fireflies in a Mason jar and going back in our rooms with a special lantern. More lately I use my mason jar for sweet tea than chasing bugs or orange juice as I did today. I travel quite frequently to North Georgia and often will seek a new route to travel as I journey. On one of my last trips I drove out of the North Georgia mountains a totally different way. I was taking the scenic route and back roads it was a bit farther yet so enjoyable. We need too sometimes in our hectic lives take time to enjoy so often we forget to enjoy a moment or two.

“True contentment is a thing as active as agriculture. It is the power of getting out of any situation all that there is in it. It is arduous and it is rare.” Gilbert K. Chesterton

When I started writing this morning contentment was not the word I was looking for but the ease with which it seemed to fit was appropriate right now. Issues at hand seemed not significant as I sat looking for fireflies on my porch even though I knew there would be none today. Finally my puppy wanted back in she had had enough of my pondering and wanted her bed. Contentment an interesting word I wonder do we ever really find it.

“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.” Buddha

For me what is contentment it easily could be sitting listening in the still of morning or is it feeling satisfied with a job well done and the adrenalin rush is over and that calm permeates your every being. Perhaps it is a sip of really wonderful hot chai tea, for some perhaps it could a sip of water on a hot summer day.

“Man falls from the pursuit of the ideal of plan living and high thinking the moment he wants to multiply his daily wants. Man’s happiness really lies in contentment.” Mohandas Gandhi

As I think sometimes a thank you is all that suffices and contentment is close at hand. For my puppy today just pressing against me and a scratch on the ears and contentment was there.

“We may pass violets looking for roses. We may pass contentment looking for victory.” Bern Williams

Watching others meld into the vastness searching for an ember as the fire died wondering if the words spoken made sense to anyone but you. I wonder as I sit and think, and ponder this morning. When I walk out the front door into the morning the smell of spring and flower blossoms fill the air it seems in our back yard each day a new flower is blooming as I listen and look around our garden. Walking down the sidewalk to the cars a red rose bush greets you even today blossoms are coming and I am sure more notes will be left. Once a wayward stranger passed leaving a note as to what kind of rose bush is that magnificent plant. Midst the flowers a thorn yet if not for the thorn the value of the flower would diminish.

“Whatever we are waiting for – peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance – it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.” Sarah Ban Breathnach

Emotions and oceans both powerful forces in their own right. I remember sitting on a beach so many years ago unsure as to how I arrived. A friend was still waiting for me back in our room the chill of the air made the morning seem distant, winter on the beach in New Jersey can be a bit chilly. But at that time for me to be alone to think to wonder that was where I was.

“As we become curators of our own contentment on the Simple Abundance path… we learn to savor the small with a grateful heart.” Sarah Ban Breathnach

Today is a new morning a new chance to rise above and see perhaps new ideas new thoughts and ponderings; I will go out and see as should you. Please keep all in harms way on your minds and in your hearts.

Empathy; Do we have it?

Droppings May 15, 2011
Empathy; do we all have it?

“The capacity for consciousness of ourselves gives us the ability to see ourselves as others see us and to have empathy with others. It underlies our remarkable capacity to transport ourselves into someone else’s parlor where we will be in reality next week, and then in imagination to think and plan how we will act. And it enables us to imagine ourselves in someone else’s place, and to ask how we would feel and what we would do if we were this other person. No matter how poorly we use or fail to use or even abuse these capacities, they are the rudiments of our ability to begin to love our neighbor, to have ethical sensitivity, to see truth, to create beauty, to devote ourselves to ideals, and to die for them if need be. To fulfill these potentialities is to be a person.” Rollo May, Man’s Search for Himself, pp. 74-76

Empathy is a very difficult word to discuss. For many it does not exist and others actually live by this simple word. As I look at May’s idea of empathy which is a capacity for consciousness I consider we are all conscious I would think. But it is being able to see and feel in someone else’s shoes that is the key to this consciousness. Love perhaps becomes an integral aspect of empathy. In my own views I feel empathy is crucial to any field dealing with people be that nurses, teachers, pastors and all who touch lives. For these folks empathy is a must and it is that gift that allows us to be closer and to be able to touch the soul of another.

“One who knows how to show and to accept kindness will be a friend better than any possession” Sophocles

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” Scott Adams

“Smile at each other, smile at your wife, smile at your husband, smile at your children, smile at each other – it doesn’t matter who it is – and that will help you to grow up in greater love for each other.” Mother Theresa

Key aspects of empathy are kindness, love, and caring and these are all positive attributes of empathy. Adams says there is a ripple effect. I have over the years used the illustration of a pebble in the pond story many times. When you toss a pebble into still water and the ripples emanate out from the point of contact going till they hit the edge of the pond and in effect they return only colliding with the ripples still in coming. That small act does continue many times over. Several years ago a movie was made of small acts of kindness and the impact on a community I always think what if.

“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.” Kahil Gibran

“…successful learners also have insight into the motives, feelings, and behavior of others and the ability to communicate this understanding–in a word, empathy.” B. F Jones, The New Definition of Learning: The First Step to School Reform

“Understanding so intimate that the feelings, thoughts and motives of one are readily comprehended by another.” The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language

A simple word that can be so powerful if put to use. Empathy can be a tool for teachers, nurses, pastors and a key to the heart and souls of others. Recently in defining my own philosophy of teaching I used the word empathy as a key aspect of my own personal belief in teaching. Having empathy makes for a more meaningful and believable teacher. I was talking with a good friend the other day and discussing consequences. I have never given detention in ten years. I asked is detention a meaningful consequence? What if it is for talking in class as he was writing slips for detention? Well what else do I do? My answer was having class so intrigued they are not talking and mesmerize them to a point of attention.
Most consequences are due to not teaching and not empathizing with students. Trusting, understanding, and caring these are keys to successful teaching. I was asked about referrals and in school suspension and out of school suspension. I have found nine times out of ten writing a referral and waiting a few days for a consequence effectively negates the consequence so why not deal with in class unless it is such that needs immediate response. If the issue is serious enough and requires attention and immediate action; then go directly to administration. But more often than not with empathy it is not even happening so often it is seeking attention or a plea for help.

“In addition to the shared feeling and accurate understanding dimensions of empathy, some writers also focus on the empathetic person’s communication of understanding to the person whose “internal frame of reference” he or she has grasped.” Kathleen Cotton, SIR, Developing empathy in children and adults

“Regardless of conflicting views about the appropriate place, if any, of “values education” in the schools, people are generally able to agree that developing this capacity to understand, appreciate, and communicate meaningfully with others is an important and desirable goal. This enables us to move away from our differences of opinion about the specific CONTENT of “good character,” focusing instead on the PROCESS whereby people come to care about one another and communicate that caring through their behavior. “Kathleen Cotton

One of those times I wished I could say I wish I had said that maybe some day. So often we forget that this interaction with others is so critical to success in life. Not only in school but when you walk out the door to your home and to the store. Each moment we are alive we interact with others unless we sit on a mountain top somewhere contemplating about the passing of a cloud although that is not a bad thought. I wonder if there is a decent pay scale for that position. We interact and if those interactions are in an understanding way and I think it is empathy. So much more will be gained by both people. Kathleen Cotton writes further about developing empathy in students and adults and perhaps this is something we should be pursuing. Maybe we all should try and empathize a bit more and maybe then I would not be offering daily please keep all in harms way on your mind and in your hearts.

Finding the pathway

Bird droppings May 13, 2011
Finding a pathway

I happened to have detention yesterday afternoon and from there to a get together for one of our special education teachers who is retiring. I picked up dinner for my family on the way to the house and missed senior awards night as I got caught up in working in the garden. The rain that five days ago was supposed to come has not come yet and a burn warning is in effect in north Georgia. As I worked in the yard I found a path where the deer cross to the wheat field behind our home. Cutting through the yard and hedge row behind our house saves them many foot steps I am sure over going down the road and avoiding and or jumping a barbed wire fence. As I went our earlier I was thinking about that pathway and how each of us has our own often skirting around the back of others and or just beyond view maybe a short cut maybe the easiest route in a difficult situation often simply the most practical.

“By identifying your true motivations and desires, it becomes easier to find direction in life. Now we know where your goals come from. What’s the root beneath your dreams? There is no right or wrong answers, just ideas at the core of you. We could probably analyze what in your past makes you want to become the things you put on your list. We could analyze how close you are to being all of the things you’ve listed. It’s not important. What matters is that now you know what it is you’re aspiring to become.” Skye Thomas, Tomorrow’s Edge, Finding Direction

Could it be so simple making a list of goals building a set of actions and plans, a road map of sorts for where we want to go? When I first went to college nearly forty two years ago I was aspiring to be a Biology teacher. It was a few years back I was certified to teach Biology but with that many shifts and changes along the way. My oldest son can tell you where you are within a few feet any where on the globe with satellite tracking with ion he gained in college. Amazing now my camera and phone will mark photos with GPS information. One day I hope he finishes up his certification I watched several years back as he did one project. He is working on determining pine beetle infestation in areas and pin pointing target areas for treatment and timbering for the forestry service. Eventually aerial maps and infrared sensing will show exactly where areas are. With many of the new cars if you drive the right car finding directions is simple no more stopping just talk to your car. I love it our male egos can remain intact. But in life sometimes more is needed.

“Synchronicities are not flukes or random events. They’re intentional reflections of our intuition working with the perfect order of all things in the unseen world. It’s why fish swim upstream, birds fly south and bears hibernate. Everything in nature intuitively gravitates toward what best serves its growth, and that includes the human race. The only difference is that we have the choice to follow our intuition or not.” Sonia Choquette, Trust Your Vibes, Finding Direction

A little new age thinking never hurts but a good thought often we choose intuitively to go in life a certain direction it may not be a quick choice but one over a period of time. For me the decision to return to teaching after nearly thirty years was not quickly made it came in series of events that culminated in a job at this school nearly eleven years ago. Even this specific job fell through four times and the fifth try with a teacher out on medical leave it worked out. I often wonder why this school yet I was not hired at six other schools I applied to. Why did this particular principal hire me and want me to work literally hiring me five times.

“Being committed to some goal in your life – a sense of having a mission, a purpose, even a calling – is a very motivating, very comforting thing. Some people’s mission steps up to greet them; others have to hunt theirs down.” Sam Baker

In a class the other day a question was asked, are you where in life you are supposed to be? Many hands went up some did not. For twenty four years as I searched I couldn’t answer that question however today it is easy, I am.

“Do the things you love to do and are passionate about, then you’ll have few regrets. Conspicuous success or public acknowledgement for these things may or may not come, but it won’t trouble you much either way because you’ll be happily enjoying yourself.” Sam Baker

The word passion seems to pop up a lot for me. Are we passionate about what we are doing? Are we passionate about our direction in life? I do believe it is true if you are passionate about what you are doing there will be few regrets.

“What intrigues you? What questions about any aspect of life or the universe absolutely enthrall you? There’s your direction! Although we cannot map out lives in advance, much can be done to make desirable outcomes more likely. Acquiring an exceptional ability is one such outcome.” Sir Bernard Cohen

Recently as I wrote about learning to lead as a progression or developmental aspect of growing up I started to think we actually learn how to teach from a young age. I started to think I wonder if my own kids have learned such endeavors in their turn at life. I wonder if my mother and father realized that they through bits and pieces laid out to me were directing me along a path.

“Your accomplishments will bring great pride and joy to your closest friends and family, but in the long run it will hurt all of you badly if you’ve done it only for them. You have to do things for the passion in your own heart.” Helen Fielding

I go by the school most off days as I do weekends to think and plan for the next week. Some days just a bit of catch up and I recall last weekend was an odd one I was cleaning up my school email with over four thousand past emails. I was going through and deleting ones that were not significant since I have a bad habit of saving emails. Working my way through last years emails saving those that were specific about students and parents correspondence I had found several emails congratulating me on being named teacher of the year in our area by Sam’s club in 2004. I have the blue vest in my closet at school and a letter on the wall for a quick reminder. One of my students had sent a letter to Wal-Mart it wasn’t something specific I did but a letter of recommendation from a student and I was honored. As I thought I really did not do anything different for that student. She graduated and is doing great we still keep in touch. I just did as I do each day. I feel I do it with passion and what is funny people see that when they are around you. What ever you choose whatever pathway you go down do it with passion and truly you will never go wrong. Please dear friends keep all in harms way on your mind and in your hearts.