My Dream Job

#Kinderblog2012: Question numero quatre!

If you had to quit teaching tomorrow, what would you do instead?

Something other than teaching? Really? I’ve never seriously considered anything other than teaching as a career. Sure, I’ve joked about it, but deep down, teaching is it for me. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have “dream” jobs, so here is my dream.

I would LOVE to be a travel agent. You know the kind that get to go and try out the resorts, restaurants, activities and cruises so they can book them for their clients? I’m sure this is all made-up in my mind and it doesn’t actually exist as a real job, but I really LOVE helping people plan their vacations. Perhaps you may have read My Guide to Maui that I posted few days ago? That guide has come from many years of very careful “research.”

Sitting on many beaches to see which one to recommend is a job, isn’t it? I can only write about the BEST, so I must set out to find the best!

-Po’olenalena Beach on the island of Maui…my favourite spot in the whole world!

Exploring many hotels and condos is a must if I am to direct my clients to the ones most suited their needs and wants, isn’t it?

-the beautiful Bellagio fountains, Las Vegas

Eating is a huge part of every vacation, and it is only fitting that I have tried each and every establishment before I give it the seal of approval?

-Trout Almondine from Mon Ami Gabi at the Paris, Las Vegas…so delicious!

Seeing all there is to see at a destination thrills me…because I’m only doing this for my clients, right?

-my son and I on the Great Wall of China…such a surreal experience to have his band play ON THE WALL!

Looking for the best value in any aspect of a vacation really excites me! When friends or acquaintances ask for help in planning a trip, it REALLY is my pleasure to give you the results of my many years of research. I am happy to share my experiences and what has enriched my life and if I haven’t been where you are going, I enjoy researching what you could do on your trip… for future reference for my travels, of course!

For me, vacations are a time to disconnect from the world, to concentrate on your travel companions and your relationship with them, and to create memories to last a lifetime. In planning vacations, I anticipate the laughter, the adventure and the relationship-building that will take place. And even though I’m not really a travel agent, I hope that any suggestions I have given have been taken and used with the knowledge that it brings me joy to hear about YOUR travels and experiences. If even one tidbit of advice I gave can help you have a better vacation, then I have done my job.

Happy traveling everyone! 🙂

“Mom…You Were Right!”

Part of being a parent is (I hope) being wiser than your children and being able to impart knowledge and understanding you have gained from your own life experiences. My husband and I have two teenage sons and I am so grateful that we have an open, honest line of communication with them. That’s not to say that we always agree…far from it, but we do have enough love and respect in our home to listen to each other and agree to disagree if necessary.

Whatever the situation, my husband and I have to trust that we have done the best job possible in raising our boys and have given them the tools to make good decisions. Knowing that, in the end, if they fall flat on their faces, they will hopefully have learned something from that experience to help them make better choices.

Recently, our older son came to me and said, “Mom…you were right!” What I was right about is irrelevant, but I will say it was a pretty big life lesson. I smiled at him and gave him a huge hug…not because he admitted I was right, but because he had obviously come through a tough situation, learned from it and gained wisdom. And after all, isn’t at what life is all about?

The Ripple Effect…or #edcampkinder Part 2

As I now have had a few days to process all that went on at #edcampkinder, I am finding that there is much to draw from that four days. My original post about the event was scattered, trying to get the details written down so that I wouldn’t forget them, for fear of losing that “first impression”. Now as I reflect, I find that there is a ripple effect from that experience that I will take with me from here on in. A ripple effect that has made #kinderchat even more important to my professional and personal life.

Most importantly, the ripple effect changes the way I read the #kinderchat tweets. Now I see faces, gestures, mannerisms and most importantly, SMILES. They are not just words on my iPad, they are words attached to real people that I know and have shared experiences with. We have laughed together, eaten together, shared life experiences together and that builds bonds. Sure, we are all early childhood teachers, but the bond goes deeper than that. We are FRIENDS.

Another ripple effect of #edcampkinder will be in my teaching. Already #kinderchat challenged me to question why I do everything I do in my classroom, but now that I have real life relationships with these people, there is another level of commitment to doing the right thing. A sense of honour. A sense of being held accountable that isn’t there just though twitter. I am inspired by these people and I will do my best to question “What would the #kinderchat teachers do?” in every decision I make in my classroom.

To think that I would purposefully go to Las Vegas to spend four days with people I had never met in person still makes me shake my head. What was I thinking? What I do know is that the relationships started on twitter were obviously strong enough and meaningful enough to make me want to go. What I know now, looking back, is that there was already a feeling of camaraderie, a basis of trust, a foundation to build on. Attending a traditional conference does not allow for time to get to know the participants in a deep and meaningful way, but what we experienced was more like a summer camp. It was intense…hilarious…thought-provoking…and wonderful!

Upon returning home, my mom asked me “What did you learn?”…meaning did I make and take anything to use in my classroom, as in a traditional conference. The most important thing I LEARNED was that I have a global network of colleagues with whom I can plan, dream and connect with. What I MADE at #edcampkinder was deep and meaningful relationships with friends…who also happen to be colleagues. Isn’t that far more valuable than a lesson plan?