Baby Steps

When starting a new year in Kindergarten I always forget just how little my KinderPals are. I forget that they don’t know how to put up their hand and wait to be called on. I forget that they don’t know to wait their turn to talk. I forget they don’t know where to put their shoes or hang their coat or put away the toys. I forget that they don’t yet know all the things that I taught my class last year. I forget that they really don’t know how to DO school.

But each year my new group of KinderPals show me growth and development. They show me what it means to learn. They show me that they can change and adapt to their new school environment. And with each passing year I hope they show me what I need to do to be the best teacher I can be.

Slowly, step by step, routines are mastered. Expectations are met and learning happens. One step at a time. One day at a time.

After all, many of my students are only four years old when they come to my KinderPals class. It is only fitting that everything they do is taken with baby steps. May I always be mindful of just how young they really are.

One Day At A Time

So, here I am again, blogging for the second day in a row. I knew that connecting with the #bcedbloggers would be what I needed to get me back on track. And when #kinderchat announced a blogging challenge, too, well…you get the idea. I don’t anticipate that my blogs will be anything terribly earth-shattering, philosophical or memorable, but it is putting me on the right path to being a reflective educator once again.

I had a quick twitter chat with Ian Landy this morning, as I had just read his blog and was marvelling at how he blogs every single day. That takes a huge commitment! Here is our conversation:

That very quick conversation helped me realize that getting back to blogging, and getting back to “normal” (whatever that elusive concept is) will be achieved taking life one day at a time. One step at a time.

To relate it to my Kindergarten students and their start-up each year, I am thinking about how everything we do at school must be taught in simple, small steps so that my little learners can be successful with the routines that define “how we do school”. So, too, do I need to break life down into small, manageable pieces for myself so that I can feel like “normal” might be attainable someday.

Life is still overwhelming. Shawn’s mum is still sick with cancer. BUT, the strike is over, I am back doing what I love to do and making a difference in the lives of 18 little people who now call me TEACHER. I can do this one day at a time. I can find “normal” again.

Thank you, Ian, for reminding me of that.

Who Am I?

October is Connected Educator month and #kinderchat has a blogging challenge: “Tell us YOUR story. Who are you when you’re not “Teacher”? If you had to describe yourself and your life WITHOUT talking about your job, what would you say?”

Ok. So my blogging of late has been pretty much non-existent. I tried to get going this summer, but being on strike for five weeks with a two month break in the middle of it all wasn’t really an environment that I was inspired to blog in. I don’t like to focus on the negative, and the strike was one of the most emotional, stressful things I have experienced. But now let me try to start fresh. I said I would be a part of #bcedbloggers and #kinderchat challenged me, too, so I guess I have no more excuses. I’ll blog about more important things soon…but for now, let me tell you a bit about myself.

Who am I when I am not a teacher?

I am a wife…Shawn and I just celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary this past August. We have known each other since Shawn was born (I robbed the cradle…we were family friends) and we got married eight months after we started dating. Shawn is my soulmate and the person I love to spend time with most of all.

I am a mother…David just started university and is pursuing an Honours degree in Physics on his road to becoming an astronaut. Matthew is in Grade 11 and loves break dancing and DJing. My boys actually like spending time with me and for that I am so grateful. I cherish every moment we can spend together because I know there will come a time when I won’t get to see them as much as I’d like.

I am a Christian…I am blessed to know Jesus.

I am a music lover…I love singing, dancing and being uplifted by good music of all genres.

I am a traveler…my favourite place in the world is Maui, Hawaii, and I had a wonderful holiday there this past summer. I have had many happy times in Disneyland with my family. We have cruised to Mexico and Alaska. We have relaxed by the pool in Palm Desert. I had the privilege of visiting Beijing, China, with David in 2011 when his school band played on the Great Wall. What an experience that was! And now I am looking forward to exploring the Caribbean on a cruise this coming Spring Break. Family vacation times are when we can turn off the phones (Shawn is required to carry his cell 24/7 for his job), escape and relax completely. I would not trade the memories we have created together on vacation for anything in the world.

I am a foodie…I love to cook, I am learning to bake, and having a meal with family or friends brings me great joy.

I am a golfer…sort of. Shawn and the boys often left me at home when they went golfing and I didn’t want to miss out, so I started golfing about a year ago. I don’t let the game frustrate me and I enjoy the times I can spend my time with my family chasing a little white ball down the fairway. Golf is a great way for me to connect with my dad and my brother, too.

I am a swimmer…I swam competitively from the ages of 8-16. I still love the water and swim as often as I am able. Water is soothing and restorative.

I am a reader…my favourite authors are Jeffrey Archer and David Baldacci, but I also love to escape into Sophie Kinsella’s world of funny female characters. Anything with a good story captivates me.

I am too often a couch potato…I really need to up my fitness routine. I have started being more aware of how much physical activity I am getting by wearing my Fitbit and now if my complete and utter exhaustion from school start-up would ease a bit I could get back to being more active.

I love to walk…I could solve the world’s problems on a nice, long walk in the sunshine.

I am an introvert…if you were to meet me at a social event I can easily fool you into thinking I am really comfortable, but it exhausts me and I need time and space to recharge.

Ok…so this is not a great piece of writing, nor is it a typical blog post from me, but hopefully these little snippets will help you get to know me a bit better. If relationships are the basis for all situations, perhaps I should have shared some of this with you before?