Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘teaching’

Throw-Back Thursday


Christian, Loreal and Tiffany, Adrian And Nicholas (and is that Tanya and Kevin?)… ah, students from way back in the ’80s … or was it the ’70s?

As a teacher, my students (about a quarter century of them) live in my heart.

Some are FB friends who still stay in touch.

But whether they write to me or not, they are a part of me.

Every time they see an accordion, they’ll think of me.

Some will remember the word “Eye-vix-L-cidm” whenever they see Roman numerals= IVXLCDM. They will lay them out and remember:

I = 1

V = 5

X = 10

L = 50

C = 100

D = 500

M = 1000

Yes, 1, 5, 1, 5, 1, 5, 1

Add one zero

Add two zeros

Add three zeros

Helps to know this when reading old copyright dates or the production dates of old movies or the construction dates of ancient buildings!

Others will think of me when their math skills were not up to par with their reading and writing skills and they got 7×8 mixed up with 6×7. They’ll recite:

“If 7×8 makes you wait, 5678, lay them straight!” 56= 7×8!

Others will remember how often I said, “The question is not – Are you smart? – The question is – How are you smart?”

(Thanks Madeleine Hunter for that!)

Ah yes, on throw-back Thursday I remember the Stefans (actually he was a one-of-a-kind – I can’t pluralize him!), the Kevins and Lorei (oh, she’s unique, too), the Hillary and Heidi, the Bucky and the Johnnys… I’m grateful for each one.

 

What teacher or student or classmate do you remember?
What stands out about him or her?
Share!

Be Led, Not Driven


The Purpose Driven Life

I have an affection for Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life. It has so many words of wisdom – and it helped me as I was trying to define my purpose for living. I had recently suffered a burst appendix and had almost died. Prayer, God’s grace, a skillful ambulance driver, and a careful surgeon gave me back my life. I looked earnestly for clues about how I might live purposely for God to thank Him for my survival.

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This book of Daily Inspirations is a complement to The Purpose Driven Life. I used it as a devotional and as a journal, writing in the margins and at the top and bottom of the pages each day.


Soul Feast

But recently I read a quote by Marjorie J. Thompson in her book, Soul Feast.

Thompson wrote, “I admit I do not care for the language of ‘driven-ness’ in recently popular books and seminars…” She went on to explain “… it is significant that the Bible likens us to sheep, not cattle.”


My Haiku

Giving overtime thought to Marjorie J. Thompson’s  quote I wrote the following Haiku:

Live from a posture
Of profound trust and deep love
Be sheep, not cattle

 

Deep Conversation

My husband and I had a deep conversation about life and death, purpose and the difference between being led and being driven. When I am weary, Jesus leads me beside still waters. He refreshes my soul.

alberta amazing attraction banff

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Cowboys here in Montana drive their cattle to the next pasture and farmers in Switzerland drive their cows in the springtime up to fresh grass from the lower meadows where the beautiful animals have spent the winters.

agriculture alps animal background

Photo by Krivec Ales on Pexels.com

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But Bob’s point as my hubby discussed the difference between being driven and led, was that cattlemen drive their cattle for the same reason shepherds lead their sheep. They have their best interests at heart. (Well, they may be driving them to market!)

There is a connotation to the word “driven” in our American culture. It seems to imply push-push-push, a relentless effort toward getting to the top.

 

Hope for the Flowers

I was reminded of a book for adults and others (including caterpillars who can read)  titled, Hope for the Flowers, by Trina Paulus. It was copyrighted in 1973, but it is as pertinent today as it was then (and it still is available on Amazon.com).

As I recall the story, the caterpillars in this clever little tale are climbing over the top of each other, creating a  “caterpillar pillar.” One little creeper is on the outside edge, getting tired of the climb, wondering if it’s worth it. She asks a fellow climber as she looks at the daunting distance to the top, “What’s up there, anyway?”

“Just other caterpillars pushing each other off so they can be on top,” her climbing companion explained as one of the fuzzy creatures came tumbling down and crashed to the ground.

(How sad, huh? I am fascinated by these wonderful creations and their metamorphosis.)

caterpillar close up hairy insect

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Right about then the disillusioned climber caught the eye of a beautiful butterfly cruising by. “Climb on down,” he encouraged. “Spin yourself a chrysalis, rest inside, and eventually you will emerge a butterfly like I did. Then you can join me.”

(Of course those quotes are from my memory, not the actual book. I loaned it out to someone…. don’t remember who… but I have ordered a new one. Hope for the Flowers is a terrific book to have on hand as a reminder of my journey!)

Moving Down the Administrative Ladder

I discovered this beautiful, child-like, but profound, paperback when I was working as a curriculum coordinator in the district office at a school district in central California. My office was waaay too far from the children. I had been an elementary teacher for over 20 years and the principal of a K-6 school with over a thousand students for nearly a decade. The “caterpillar pillar” (that ambitious climb to greater “success”) led me to the district office. I knew after only about three weeks that it was not where I belonged.

I stuck it out for two years. Did the best job I knew how. Wore at least a half a dozen hats (Federal Programs director, language arts and music coordinator, in-service leader for new teachers, mentor for new principals, etc.) I learned a lot, and am glad I did it,but generally, I was not happy. My love & my gift was teaching children and helping “my staff” grow to be their best selves. I loved the interaction with the students, the teachers, and the parents.

As I climbed back down the “pillar” and announced that I was going back UP to the classroom (as soon as I rested a year and earned my butterfly wings), I was told, “What are you doing? That’s the wrong direction!”

Some warned, “You can’t go back down! People will think you’ve been demoted!”

“Yes, I can,” I insisted. I slid into my chrysalis, listened to The Voice of Reason and Transformation, rested, and devoted more time to my family, myself and my God.

I emerged a happy butterfly and was led back UP to a group of first graders. At the end of that year I led them on to second grade. What joy! I still hear from some of those children twenty years later. Several of them are my Facebook friends!

Best move I ever made!!

antenna beautiful bloom blossom

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


The Voice

Contemplative time
Creates vessels of vision
Hear the “still small voice”

.
Let God fill you up
with new creativity
Receive fresh insight

.
I encourage you
To let contemplative time
Be a microphone

.
Let unstructured time
Be a transformative time
Listen to The Voice!


Take time to rest.
Build your chrysalis.
Listen to your heart.

Find your True Purpose!

You may want to consider getting Rick Warren’s, The Purpose Driven Life,
and the accompanying inspirational/journal:

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and look for Hope for the Flowers. It’s out there…

Be Led, Not Driven

T = Trust


Day #20 – T = Trust

It’s been quite a ride! My A-Z series on “What Makes Me Happy?” Is drawing near an end, but today I TRUST you’ll continue reading, and I’ll continue to be inspired with new, pertinent topics. Thank you for being here. The ability to TRUST makes me happy 😃

T rusting brings

R espect and

U nderstanding and

S afety to vulnerability

T rusting is essential

In a world where parents feel a need to teach their children NOT to trust, we must be the models of trustworthiness. We must exude the love 💕 and safety we wish covered the earth.

The opposite of trusting is mistrusting, of course, and that creates worry and anxiety. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could feel free as a people to just trust? To just teach trust?

It’s probably Pollyanna thinking… unrealistic, you say. But, can’t we teach caution without teaching fear? Without causing worry and anxiety?

My go-to guide is Scripture. Jesus shows us the way. He talks about the birds being clothed so splendidly, so why worry about what we’ll wear. He showed us how He fed the multitudes, and told us not to worry about where our next meal is coming from. “Do not fear,” He taught us.

Philippians 4:6-7 is Paul’s message to the people of Philippi in which he cautioned them about worry. “Don’t worry about anything;” he wrote, “instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

So, the way to live in TRUST is to read, study, and apply the TRUTH of Scripture. Trust in God. Trust in what Jesus taught us. Sounds simple, huh? No, it’s not.

In today’s world we worry about safety. We hear of innocent people being murdered all the time.

In today’s world we worry about international affairs, divisiveness, wars, prejudice, and how it’s tearing us apart. We feel helpless to create that peace Paul wrote about. God’s Peace. Where is it? How can we exude it? How can we be the change we want to see in this world? How can we trust those people and situations that seem so untrustworthy?

My only solution is to remember the words of Paul, “Pray about everything.”

And remember/think about the words that remind us of how our simplest acts can make a difference to those we touch… and to those whose lives are affected by what we do.

R. Buckminster Fuller wrote, “Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person.

Like tomorrow, if you’re in the USA, we can each make a difference. Go vote (if you haven’t cast an absentee ballot already). Every vote DOES matter!

Reach out to your neighbor in love. Reach out with help to a friend in need. Reach out to a fellow blogger with affirmation. Tell them that the words you just read made a difference for you. They resonated. Trust that your small acts add up to big differences.

Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. In your shared weakness, you exhibit trust and you strengthen others.

Just TRUST!

He’s gotcha in the palm of His hand. Here’s my mantle in this season of Thanksgiving.  Remember to thank God for all the ways He loves and protects you. Trust Him!

May the peace of Christ that surpasses all human understanding be yours today.

Are We Just “Pissin’ in the Wind”?


My blogging friend, Claudia, posted today questioning the effectiveness of her blog. Essentially, she questioned, “Is anybody reading it? Does it make a difference? What’s my purpose?”

I commented on her blog, writing, “I understand your concern, Claudia. I have some of those same questions, doubts, and frustrations. How many million bloggers are out there? And for what purpose? Is it worth the time? Am I accomplishing anything? My husband says I’m just “pissin’ in the wind!” Well, my response is that every writer is doing likewise unless they have readers who are somehow encouraged, influenced, inspired, entertained, and/or educated by those written words. So, that’s my purpose… to create an audience of readers who are somehow inspired by my words to think, to reflect, to open their eyes to see something differently – and perhaps to be encouraged to reach out in love to one another a little more often, sincerely, and deeply. To know God and to thank Him more often for our many blessings – that’s another focus. But, I know we do those things better face-to-face than we do on social media. So, is my blogging taking away from the face-to-face opportunities? No, it’s late… I wouldn’t be out interacting with others at this hour anyway. Not now. Social media (blogging and FaceBook) help me broaden my reach. Don’t they? Or am I just “pissin’ in the wind?”

What do you think? Do you have a purpose for this writing activity called blogging? Do you feel your blog is accomplishing that? How do you know? Do people read and respond to your shared ideas? Is anybody out there?

Or are we all just “pissin’ in the wind” ??

Teaching Children to Trust


Teaching Children to Trust

Intermountain began in 1909

And 900 children nowadays

Are daily helped by them

In a wide variety of ways.

Healthy relationships

Are the focus of the school.

Children learn to love –

Not just to obey each rule.

Children are taught to trust.

Often they’ve been mistreated.

They’ve missed stability;

Nurturing wasn’t meted.

Toxic stress causes many problems

As the child grows and learns.

Often root causes are not addressed.

Stability is what the child yearns.

Substance abuse is a symptom

Of an underlying cause.

Look behind the behavior.

Stop, think, pray, pause.

These are the notes I took as I listened to a message this morning in church from an Intermountain of Helena representative, Kathy Ramirez. She shared some information with us that I found surprising. Among the facts: the brain of a healthy, nurtured, loved three-year-old is 3x larger than the brain of a 3 yr. old who has not had a nurturing, loving environment.

A study recently conducted asked a group of prisoners to acknowledge whether any of these ten items had been a part of their early life:

1. Emotional abuse

2. Physical abuse

3. Sexual abuse

4. Observing abuse of a loved one

5. Substance abuse

6. Mental illness

7. Parental separation

8. Household member in prison

9. Physical neglect

10. Emotional neglect

Kathy revealed that 58% had one to three of them occur in their early life. There were 16% who had experienced four or more of them.

What does this tell us about the effects of trauma and toxic stress in children’s lives? And what can we do about it?

Places like Intermountain in Helena, MT provide safe havens for children. Education, counseling, unconditional love, and safety give children from abusive or neglectful homes a chance to learn to trust again.

Intermountain also provides in-home counseling. It works to help parents learn to live their lives in a way that makes them and their children safe and healthy.

What can we do? Find a place like Intermountain in your community and support their efforts. Every child deserves a safe, loving, healthy start in life.

If you were blessed with such a start, don’t forget to thank your parents. And pass it on!

Teach Peace


My friend, Gina, at ProfessionsforPeace.com has hit the nail on the head – again!   Click and see.

Teach Peace.

I Did My Best


Thank you, GinaV, for this “adorable” reminder of how we measure our success most effectively:

http://professionsforpeace.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/i-did-my-best-smiling-ribbon-award-n13857_xl.jpg

When you posted it on your blog at http://professionsforpeace.com/2012/05/26/ongoing-learning-from-awards/, you created a caption. It said, “No I am not starting a new Award, but if I was I’d choose this great image!” You listed the source as Scholars Choice. Thank you for posting it and acknowledging the source. I love this adorable image – and am inspired by it to share my experience with this “Do Your Best” concept.

As an educator (K-6) in the classroom for more than two decades and as an administrator (K-adult) for a dozen or more years, I had the opportunity to experience first-hand how the expectations of others affects our self-evaluations, our self-esteem. How do we know when we have done our best? Who helps us determine what our best is?

I learned from a wise educator (Madeline Hunter) in an in-service once upon a time eons ago that the question is not, “Are you smart?” The question is, “How are you smart?” What a difference that makes! As teachers, coaches, mentors, parents, friends, our task is to look for the natural strengths in others (as well as in ourselves). We all have them. Dig! Build on successes. Learn from, but do not emphasize, failures. Rewaprd achievement.

My favorite expression when I was counseling teachers was one with poor grammar, but with great truth: “What you pay attention to is what you get more of.” Want success? Find the best effort and praise it! Find what the person does best and teach through that strength.

When I met her, Mary Jane was an illiterate adult. She was nearly 40 and she had spent the last 30 years avoiding the world of print. Her “best” was sorting clothes from the dressing rooms at JC Penney and putting them back on the proper racks. No words needed for that task. But she hated being unable to read. She hid it well, but it made her feel “less than.” You can imagine! She enrolled in the adult literacy program and I had the privilege of working with her to unlock the world of print. Sorting letters was a lot like sorting clothes. Matching capital to small case letters, sounds to letters, classifying vowels and consonants. One step at a time, backing up to the beginning, building on her strengths, we did it!! Have you ever watched the light glow in an adult’s eyes when the star illuminates and the heavens open? “I did my best” took on a whole new meaning!

When we are asked to perform at a level above our capabilities, frustration abounds. Maybe we WOULD be capable of that performance, but somebody needs to care enough to show us how. With love and patience, and confidence in our ability to catch on, somebody needs to break it down. Step by step, lead us through the process of knowing how, trusting that we CAN. We sense it when somebody teaches us that way. They believe in us. We begin to believe in ourselves. What a thrill!

Everyday is a new opportunity to DO MY BEST. What will I tackle with confidence today? Together, we can do it!

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