When Life Gets Tough: A Different Learning Journey

When Life Gets Tough: A Different Learning Journey

When we think of learning, we often think of opportunities available to us: courses to take, books to read, conversations to have.  We reach out, we search for information and we soak up facts, opinions and ideas as a way to expand our minds.

Sometimes, learning takes a different shape. Sometimes life happens to us and we learn from our experiences. Each challenge in life is a chance to look in, to reflect, to find ourself, or to discover what we are really about.

I’ve always considered myself to be a strong person. I like to think I have grit.  I am the classic multi-tasker, the over-scheduled working mom, and generally able to have a positive mindset while managing work, family, community involvement and personal or social commitments.  I thought I was rather resilient.  And I was – until life got tough. Continue reading

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The Decline of Rules: Losing Control of Today’s Kids

The Decline of Rules: Losing Control of Today’s Kids

The world is changing.  So are schools.  Sometimes it’s hard to understand why.  We are creatures of habit, and sometimes, as adults, we expect schools to be the way they once were when we went to school.  After all, we turned out ok, right?

When we went to school we walked to and from school, followed rules, memorized facts and wrote tests to show what we had learned.  In fact, the rules were so engrained in our heads that we can easily finish these commands:

  • Be ________!
  • Sit ________!
  • Don’t _____ in the halls!

Continue reading

All Voices Matter

All Voices Matter

I am sure I speak for most educators, or perhaps most of society, when I say our hearts are heavy this weekend.  We don’t have to search far to find a friend or colleague influenced by Trump’s US policy discriminating against people based on their ethnicity.  I have read about friends whose vacation plans or business trips have been cancelled.  I have watched in dismay as the news covers heart breaking stories of innocent people being detained for no reason other than their race.  It seems like a bad movie: one we don’t want to watch but cannot escape.

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I Want THAT Kid Suspended

I Want THAT Kid Suspended

I want THAT kid suspended.

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I have a rule of thumb I use for blogging.  If something is playing on repeat in my mind all weekend, I often feel it’s a topic worth exploring.  This weekend, I am having trouble letting go of a message I read this week.  The note was not written to me, but was written about our school.  It suggested we are not doing enough when children misbehave, and wanted punishment for THAT kid.   And I get it.  Especially as a parent.  I have two boys, and if one of them was picked on at school I would want to make sure it didn’t happen again.  I too may wonder what the follow up would be for THAT kid.  Really, my need would be for safety.  I want to send my kids to school and know they are safe from harm.  I know deep down that is also the desire of parents when they ask about THAT kid. Continue reading

The Value of New

The Value of New

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New sounds exciting: new job, new house, new baby, new clothes, new car.  When we hear the word new, we think of something modern, untarnished, cutting edge and desirable.  There’s a reason that people buy new: they want the product in the best condition possible.  New is the coveted state. New sounds exciting.

But, what if new isn’t a possession, but a person? What if new is a child on the playground, a neighbour on your street or a colleague at work.  Do we respond with the same curiosity and excitement as we do with new possessions? What if new is the idea you have never heard of, a culture you don’t understand, or a mindset you have not explored?  Is new exciting then?  Do we see new as an opportunity to learn, or do we see new as different, wrong or scary? Continue reading

Sharing what Matters

Sharing what Matters

It’s summer holidays and as one lazy day rolls into the next I find myself having much more time to scroll through facebook than I do during the school year. Like most, my newsfeed consists of three things: vacation photos, Olympic updates and stories or videos of Donald Trump.

I am not a very political person and yet the current presidential election in the United States interests me. It interests me because this particular leadership race has less to do with politics and more to do with moral character. While I don’t care too much about politics, I do care about leadership, citizenship and finding good in people. Continue reading

Turning Points

Turning Points

Another turning point
A fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist
Directs you where to go…

We are all connected.  The bonds we form with friends, family and colleagues give us our identity, a purpose, a reason to love and a sense of belonging in this world.  And yet, despite these connections, there are times we need to travel alone.  Times to move forward, times to try something new and times to say goodbye. Continue reading