To the Teachers of Our Child

To the Teachers of Our Child

This is my fifteenth year in education and as with every new year, I learn so many new things as each year brings unique experiences.

This year is an experience that is deeply personal as we send our curly-haired little five-year-old off to school.  I am confident this extroverted little guy is ready. He is excited and he has a heart for teachers.

I am also ready, though admittedly a little jealous, of those who get to spend more time with our child than I do.

However, I have full confidence in the teachers that will impact his life. I know, because I have lived in your shoes and I know your hearts.

To the teachers of our child, I want you to know:

  1. Your are a highly significant person in the life of our child.
  2. You teach our child about friendships and kindness.
  3. You teach our child about grace as you help him navigate past his mistakes, fully accepting and valuing who he is.
  4. You teach our child about joy and laughter.
  5. You provide safety for our child: physical safety, emotional safety and safety in learning.
  6. You facilitate confidence in our child.
  7. You facilitate a growth mindset in our child.
  8. You facilitate emotional intelligence in our child.
  9. You facilitate courage in our child.
  10. You teach our child to use his strengths to add value to the world.
  11. You teach our child to overcome obstacles.
  12. You teach our child responsibility and integrity.
  13. You are literally helping to raise our child. And, for that, I am eternally grateful.
  14. Oh, and you also teach a massive amount of curricular items as well. 🙂

To the teachers of our child, I know teaching is exhausting, mentally, physically and yes even emotionally. I know you sometimes tire (understandably so) of the hours, and yes, sometimes you wish you were with your family more (which makes me tear up for you).

But know, you impact our child, all of our children in immeasurable ways.  Thank you for your work ethic, your efforts and your hearts!

 

 

 

 

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What Parenting Teaches You About Learning

what-parenting-teaches-you-about-learning

The curly-haired, bright-eyed little four-year-old bypassed the Maker Station.  He bypassed the wooden blocks station.  He bypassed the hands-on STEM activities. Instead, we spent hours at the tug of war contraption that demonstrated force, the tubes that allowed kids to get lost in the twists and turns of a maze, and built seven foot towers out of huge blocks only to knock them down.

In essence, anything that caused him to slow down, my son was not interested in doing at Science City.  I had to smile and appreciate the lesson in learning.

Let them play.  Learning is not always on a time table.  Are those activities everyone says they “should” be doing, really what they should be doing if there is no interest?

It reminded me of my immense excitement in teaching my own child how to read. I had always looked forward to that.  Jonas, my son, loves to be read to.  We read every night, with very few exceptions. He soaks up knowledge quickly and knows more about sea creatures than I ever have. But, he will not let me teach him how to blend cvc words.  He will not practice any sight words.  There’s no “let’s sit down and learn this.”

Though I’m partly bummed about his unwillingness to let me teach him, I am also amazed at the results of not pushing learning on him.  We have facilitated learning, but not pushed it. (ie, I never make him sit and blend cvc words).

But, his vocabulary is massive, using words like perseverance, hypothesis and consideration.  His ability to pull up facts (that he has an authentic interest in) is amazing. He always reminds me to raise my voice when I read a sentence with an exclamation point.  He carries on a conversation in an adult-like give-and-take manner.  He knows every letter and every sound, with very little teaching from me, but rather through the songs and games on different media he interacts with.

He is learning in authentic ways. Not on my time table.  Not even the skills I would “like” him to know.  But he is soaking up every piece of knowledge he wants to.

I will never know everything about teaching, coaching, or education. But, parenting has taught me a lot. Yes, we have a curriculum.  Yes, there are benchmarks to hit.  But, let us not totally take away authentic learning, play and interest.  The results of those things are immeasurable!  I see it every day in my son.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be on the Road that Leads to Awesome

I am sure many of you have seen this video from Kid President, but if you are like me, you could watch it time and again and never tire of it. It brings a sense of motivation, a sense of purpose, team work, work ethic…and a sense that we can do great things.  And that, I believe in.  That is our driving force.

We were made to be awesome

Kid President says “I want to be on the road that leads to awesome.” I can, with no hesitation say that I am seeing that path with my recent employment as an instructional coach in the Liberty Public Schools. Since joining this community of learners, I have encountered so many individuals that are passionate, driven, hard-working and has their focus exactly where it needs to be, which is on kids.

Another line I love from Kid President is “…if life is a game, aren’t we on the same team?” I am honored to be on all the learning teams at LPS from the instructional coaching team, to the teams within my buildings, and the district as a whole, which is also a team, a team that will strive to move forward as a cohesive unit.

And, a final line from Kid President, in reference to taking the road less traveled: “…and it hurt man! Rocks! Thorns! Glass!” I look forward to the challenge that lie ahead of us and embrace them and the “mistakes” we’ll make along the way, because that is how we grow. Success doesn’t come easy. The road to success challenges our thoughts, beliefs and how we’ve always done things. It makes us uncomfortable sometimes, but that discomfort can be temporary if embraced and worked through, using the many talents on your team.

So, let’s go forth and “be on the road that leads to awesome!” I’m honored to be on this path with the students, teachers, parents and all staff at LPS.