Posted in Mother's Corner, Reflection

Dear Child, Remember . . .

My Dear Child,

Remember to remind yourself . . .

“Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional glance toward the summit keeps the goal in mind, but many beautiful scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point. Climb slowly, steadily, enjoying each passing moment; and the view from the summit will serve as a fitting climax for the journey.”
-Harold V. Melcher

There is no perfect — just your best. Have you tried your best? Then great! If not, know you can do better. It’s up to you to try.

Right or wrong — you know the difference! You have a choice. Think before you choose an action.  If you choose wrong, take responsibility for the action and move on.  Do not repeat.

Disappointed? There is no use in focussing on the negative. Choose to see the wonderful opportunity that comes next and start on it.

Be happy with your achievements! There is no use comparing your achievements to someone else’s – you’ll miss out on your own!

Focus on your strengths. In life, you are not going to choose a career that highlights your weaknesses!

If you are not smiling, think of something that will make you smile.  Life is much too precious to be stressed out at such a young age.  Don’t grow up too fast.  You’ll be an adult soon enough.

Love,

Mom

 

 

Week One: The Freedom of Not Working

Tia and Mom sabatAlthough I started my six month leave officially as of midnight of December 31, it didn’t sink in until January 7th rolled around and I wasn’t at work as a school Principal. One has to realize a few things about me:
a. I have always loved to work and never fathomed the idea of staying at home. Ever.
b. I became a teacher at 21 and a Vice-Principal at 31. I had two 6 month maternity leaves during the past 23 years. I could have chosen a year’s mat leave but I preferred work to being a stay at home mom.
c. M-F I would leave home at 7:30am dropping the children at daycare on route to work and we all returned home at 6:30pm, in time to cook dinner, play, read and tuck them in to bed. I am also a hockey mom (that statement alone says BUSY)!
d. My close friends thought I wouldn’t know how to relax during a six month leave. In fact, I even asked HR if I had the option of changing to a three month leave because I couldn’t imagine six months off. Now I feel stupid!

So having had one week of no work, this is what I’ve discovered . . .

1. What a joy it is to drop off my children at school and preschool every morning — I’ve never done that before. Putting faces to names of friends and school staff feels right.

2. Time is available for anything I want to do! That’s baffling to me. I have time to read books for pleasure without falling asleep! I have time to shop during the day and no longer shop out of necessity between 9-11pm at night.

3. I’m getting way more I love you’s and cuddles from my family. I’m way more affectionate too. I’m around and the connection is intense. In my opinion, distance does not make the heart grow fonder, closeness does!

4. I visit and chat with all the people on my priority list. Awesome!

5. OMG are there ever a lot of people that do not have a regular 8-6 job! I don’t know why this surprised me so, but there certainly are masses enjoying non-frantic 8am – 6pm moments.

6. What a novelty to not feel constant stress:-) In comparison to the job of a school principal, the “stress” that I have staying at home does not even make the stressometer reading!

7. I am happy day and night. That’s because I am sleeping, eating well, exercising and having quality time with family and friends. My tolerance for anything that comes up is balanced rather than in override.

Enjoying the weekdays as well as weekends is extraordinary. Here’s to more people having this experience!

Posted in Mother's Corner, Reflection

In the Olden Days

imageMy two children, four and seven, keep on asking questions about the “olden days”.  I was responding with pioneers in mind, but they were talking about OUR upbringing.  I’m in my forties and don’t consider my upbringing the “olden days” but then again, I couldn’t explain why not to term my upbringing the “olden days”.

Some of what I answered . . .

Actually, you couldn’t stick your phone in your pocket because telephones were connected to a wall outlet.

Yes, TV existed and some people owned one for their home.  I think there were at least 12 channels — not of all them worked though.  And there certainly weren’t TV’s in restaurants.

I had what was called a typewriter.

No, most people did not have internet (no bother explaining dialup).

Photos were taken and developed in a lab.  It was a luxury to own a camera.  Yes, I know people nowadays carry cameras with them every day.

Add on and on . . .

Posted in Mother's Corner, Reflection, Uncategorized

Determined to Succeed

We set up an obstacle course at the playground today.  My six year old son Massimo went first and logged 1:20.5 (one minute, 20.5 seconds).  I went next and logged 1:43.  “Dad” turned in a time of 1:00 flat.  So Massimo enthusiastically jumped at the opportunity to beat his Dad and logged 0:57.  Determined to beat my husband’s time I logged 0:43.  Massimo, without doubt, clocked 0:35.2!

In chatting, Massimo told me that he KNEW he would beat our time.  He said, “I knew I went too slow so I knew I could beat daddy and you.”  I asked if he at least considered that he might not win and he looked at me with curiosity and with conviction said, “No!” (like what a silly question to ask).

Thanks Massimo for reminding me to be determined, without thought of failure.  Because that’s how goals are surpassed.

Posted in Mother's Corner, Reflection

Your Time Investment is the Greatest Gift You Can Offer Your Child

Although I believe the single most important indicator of student success is the quality of teaching and how we use assessment to inform our instructional practice, second to that is meaningful parental involvement and its connection to student learning.

A Family Circus cartoon speaks volumes to the importance of parents:

The child comes home from school with paper in hand and shows his mother a picture of his first and most important teacher and the mother replies, “Why it’s Daddy and me!”  The sub-text reads, “What parents teach stays with you always.  What they fail to teach can never be learned from others.”

 

We have schools to negate the above quote but it’s a very bold statement that validates the importance of family and warrants further discussion.

Children come to school with completely different experiences and ability levels.  Some enter Kindergarten not recognizing the letters of their name and in the same class, a student may be reading a novel. As with the term student, the term “parent” is not a homogenous group with common characteristics, parents vary immensely.  However, what parents undertake at home to support student learning matters A LOT.