Tag Archives: Teachers

School for first timers!

Preparing for fall workshops in the community I was invited to a meeting to discuss what the school Counselors would like me to present in my Parenting and Teacher  getting Intouch Workshops.  In this meeting  I learned many possibilities for supporting parents who are getting their little one’s off to school for the first time.

Sitting now at this end of the parenting years (17 and 19 years old) and looking back  I remembered how lost my children and I where entering the first time.  We didn’t know we were lost!

I would like to say the first time was kindergarten yet we discovered each year and each teacher is a first time experience.  Sorry parents.  There are the milestones of being in elementary, moving to middle school and then up to high school.  Each time is a new experience.

Lets go back to kindergarten.  Even after a few years of pre-school immersion and early child focused classes,  school was a huge adjustment and learning curve for all of us.  Besides being able to cut, color, draw, paint and create little projects children that are attending kindergarten are now  expected to be able to:

  • have letter recognition,
  • write letters,
  • know the beginning sounds, 
  • have reading readiness (awareness of words going from left to right)
  • be attentive and follow directions
  • have polite social skills

  for description of each point – go to link

Wow!  My mother was a stay at home mom and these learning goals she  left to the teacher.  This was before kindergarten and pre-school!  Wanting to be better prepared myself I did have my children in a part-time pre-school and filled their time with other learning activities like early childhood music  and many socialization opportunities.  We also had a full schedule of our own activities and play learning.  Yet, when it came to school, we lacked the preparedness level expected of them.  I discovered that I had focused upon a different set of skills and apparently so did the pre-schools!

The first ugly thing to rear its head that became a huge distraction for us was behavior.  Yes parents in kindergarten.  A wake up call.  As a fresh new mom with beautiful and innocent children this was a nightmare and the last thing I expected.  We ran into bully kids, bully parents, bully teachers, bully secretaries, bully school principals.  No discrimination here!  Yet they all had one thing in common.  Each one was trying the best way they knew how to get their needs met.

I want to support kids in the best way I know how and that is through supporting parents, teachers and schools in finding new ways of integrating behavior awareness, that with practice, makes life easier and more fulfilling.  Therefore after the requests of the above mentioned meeting and to support my current classes I have begun this series of supportive tips.

My goal focus  is to present material to parents that would include the educators needs yet still include the parents perspective.   As I was hearing the needs expressed from the members of the school administration I was able to discriminate my parenting  needs without judgement either way.   Unique, yes and it will allow a rounded outlook that includes more equality.  

Parents stay in touch and find concrete solutions for supporting your children through tips and fall workshops.

Are you teaching children to understand why they are behaving the way they do or are you telling them what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior?

Do understand your own behavior or is your behavior habitual therefore the same old reactions?

Child development is through their existing abilities of hearing, seeing, touching, smelling, taste and physical feeling.  Mental development is a later development and learned in the process of absorbing what they witness others doing.

Therefore:

What behavior are you modelling to the children around you?

How are you engaging with the child/ren around you in order to support them in understanding their behavior reflecting back to them that they are still beautiful and wonderful?  Warning, supporting a child’s development doesn’t come with labeling them and grouping them into a  category – that only gives the adults a false understanding and reasoning that further disconnects the child from their behavior and only meets the adults needs for understanding.    If an adult did not learn why they behave the way they do in their stages of development they may not  understand why their child is behaving the way are are and they will seek answers that generally lead to a diagnosis.    Adults will not see that the child is taking in the behavior around them and responding either by duplicating it or reacting to it.  Adults generally will not recognize too that they are demonstrating the same behaviors.

An example, one of my son’s elementary teachers.  Whenever I went by her class while in the school volunteering or coming to pick him up I would see her with her back to the class on a computer  with the children left to work on their own.     Her classroom was in a state of disarray with piles on top of  piles  in every available space.  Paper, art and craft materials stacked so that if there was a breeze it would be like a deck of cards and come crashing down.  Our experience was that this particular teacher was close to retirement and interested in art, yet she was still teaching a regular class.  She spent most of the year outside of the class on big school projects leaving the children she was responsible for in the hands of  others in the school who would come in to fill in periodically throughout the day and even part way through a subject.  Arrangements also included switching classes so that other classes could be taught what she was interested in.   Two weeks prior to the Christmas break or a school event her class room had a revolving door and many times no adult was in the class and they would be watching a Disney type movie.

The day came that we had an appointment with her to discuss our son’s behavior in her class room.  Sitting with her was painful and I believe we all had  trouble focusing on her as she attempted to find my son’s work.  It  was in a pile in front of her on her desk that was no less than three feet high.  What we heard was that our son was not organized and able to complete a task.  That he was not able to work on his own and was distracted easily.  Therefore her recommendation was that he be tested as a candidate for medication.  Medication that she herself had put her son on through his early years.  I asked her if her child continued on this medication and she said no, at a later age he insisted that they stop and work differently on his tenancies   She went on to say that he resented this strategy of medication  as he couldn’t remember much of his earlier years.

Therefore are we aware of our own needs and how they affect those around us?  Will we judge our children for duplicating  what they are observing us do?  Is it easier for us to fix it so our experience has more ease and if so is this a long term solution or a temporary fix?

The reason we went in to have a conversation with this teacher was that our son was going into a closet and shutting the door.  She felt he was hiding and that he was a problem.  What she did not recognize was that this was the only strategy he had to get away from the chaos of the environment she was unconsciously creating to meet her own needs!

Imagine if this teacher had learned a way to communicate with our child that would connect to the values rather than labeling him a problem.  She would have understood her needs more, perhaps leading to change in the classroom for all the children.

Season for Peace and Nonviolence – Teens Daily Value Practice for week of April 2nd

64 Ways in 64 Days – 15th Gandhi, King, Chavez Season for Peace and Nonviolence

Week ten, Days 64 and 65:  Strength grows when we release ill-will, anger, and hate and replace it with an overflowing love for all ….

  • Days 64 and 65 – CELEBRATION (April 3 and 4)

Today is a day to celebrate all the work that you have done. Be proud of yourself for being willing to be the change you wish to see in the world. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Created for www.agnt.org and Season for Nonviolence – 2007 by Greater Dallas Task Force – www.64-days.org

Season for Peace and Nonviolence – Teens Daily Value Practice for Week of March 26th

64 Ways in 64 Days – 15th Gandhi, King, Chavez Season for Peace and Nonviolence

Week nine, Days 57 to 63:  By practicing being peaceful, we become better citizens of the world.

  • Day 57 – SERVICE (March 27)

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said,” Everybody can be great, because any body can serve. You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.”  Choose one thing you can do to help serve the world. How would you enjoy serving? Make a commitment today to give back to the world in your own unique way. Every little thing makes a difference. Serving others makes you feel good about yourself.

  • Day 58 – CITIZENSHIP (March 28)

How can you be a better citizen of your community? You belong to many communities…your family, school, church, and your town. How can you improve your community today? Think about ways you can bring more peace to your environment.

  • Day 59 – INTERVENTION (March 29)

Alcohol and drug abuse cause violence and are a consequence of violence.  We all know someone whose life is affected by some sort of addiction. What can you do to help one of these people in your life? Encourage them to love themselves enough to reach out for help. Support them through this difficult time, and help them find the help they need.

  • Day 60 – WITNESSING (March 30)

Those who practice nonviolence look at injustice and think, “It is possible for this situation to be different.”  When you see injustice, what can you do to bring about a peaceful change? How can you stand up for peace in your life?

  • Day 61 – PEACE (March 31)

Thich Nhat Hanh wrote,” Practice watering seeds of joy and peace and not just seeds of anger and violence, and the elements of war in all of us will be transformed.” If you focus on peace, joy, and love in your life, you will experience more of that. But if your mind is filled with negativity, it is hard to experience the good in life.

  • Day 62 – COMMITMENT (April 1)

Take a moment to think of your commitment to nnonviolence. Are you willing to commit to a nonviolent lifestyle? What are you willing to change about yourself? Get with a partner and talk about this.

  • Day 63 – RELEASE (April 2)

Today, look back on how far we have come during this 64 daily practices of nonviolence. Make a list of what you need to release in order to be a nonviolent person. Is it your temper, your impatience, your judgmental attitude? Know that you always have a choice, and you can let go of things that do not serve you anymore. You can take your list and burn it, if you’d like. Release what is no longer serving you, and make new commitments to yourself to be more peaceful and loving. Know that you truly make a difference in the world.

Created for www.agnt.org and Season for Nonviolence – 2007 by Greater Dallas Task Force – www.64-days.org

Season for Peace and Nonviolence – Teens Daily Value Practice for Week of March 19th

64 Ways in 64 Days – 15th Gandhi, King, Chavez Season for Peace and Nonviolence

Week eight, Days  50 to 56:  Nonviolence challenges us to stand for Truth and take action that honors every human being.

  • Day 50 – CHOICE (March 20)

You have the option to choose a path of violence or nonviolence. We are always at choice in our lives. Today, choose nonviolence.

  • Day 51 – ADVOCACY (March 21)

“Every action for peace requires someone to exhibit the courage to challenge violence and inspire love,” said Buddhist teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh. How can you advocate for a better world today?

  • Day 52 – EQUALITY (March 22)

“Unity among every living thing.” Today, try to view everyone through loving, non-judgmental eyes. See them as though they are your own brothers and sisters.

  • Day 53 – ACTION (March 23)

“Be the change you wish to see in the world,” said Gandhi. Today, you have the choice between positive and negative action. Choose the most positive actions for the universe.

  • Day 54 – GIVING (March 24)

Giving and receiving go hand in hand. The more you give, the more you receive. Practice giving with no thought of return. Notice how people who never give to others, never receive from others. When you shut down your ability to give, you also shut down your ability to receive. Practice this and notice how your life changes for the better.  Give of your time, your energy, your material possessions, or just give love and support.

  • Day 55 – RESPONSIBILITY (March 25)

Take responsibility for your actions today. The quality of our world depends on you. What can you do today to better the world or even just your own environment? Think of ways you can be more responsible for helping your community, family, or your friends.

  • Day 56 – SELF-SUFFICIENCY (March 26)

Think about what you want to do for a living. What do you want your life to look like? What do you want to have? How do you want to feel? What steps do you need to take to get to your goals? How can you become self-sufficient?

Created for www.agnt.org and Season for Nonviolence – 2007 by Greater Dallas Task Force – www.64-days.org

Season for Peace and Nonviolence – Teens Daily Value Practice for week of March 12th

64 Ways in 64 Days – 15th Gandhi, King, Chavez Season for Peace and Nonviolence

Week seven – Days 43 to 49:  We can see and understand another person whether or not we agree with them.

  • Day 43 – UNIQUENESS (March 13)

How are you unique? What makes you different from your family? Your friends? Today, focus on your own beautiful uniqueness. Don’t judge yourself for your differences. Celebrate them.

  • Day 44 – COOPERATION (March 14)

When we work together we are stronger than when we work alone. What are some things you can do with others around you to make the world more peaceful?

  • Day 45—MASTERY (March 15)

To practice nonviolence, you must learn to master your anger. If you find yourself angry, use positive thoughts and count backwards, from 10 through one, to calm yourself. If you do this when you become angry, you will achieve mastery over your emotions.

  • Day 46 – COMPASSION (March 16)

Mother Theresa said, “Find someone who thinks he is alone, and let him know that he is not.” Today, offer your support to someone who needs it. Remember that everyone you meet goes through difficult things in their life. We all need love and support. Be that compassionate person today, and when you need compassion, people will be there to support you too. We must give compassion and love in order to receive it.

  • Day 47 – DISARMAMENT (March 17)

“…Nothing to kill or die for…Imagine all the people living life in peace…”- John Lennon. Talk to a random person today about what life would be like without weapons or war.

  • Day 48 – ECOLOGY (March 18)

Today, value the earth by recycling and using recycled products. Don’t just think for today. Think about what your world will be like for your grandchildren’s grandchildren and beyond that. It is our responsibility to heal this planet. We all deserve to have clean air, clean water, and a healthy food supply. Today, make a vow to stop contributing to the destruction of the planet. Do all you can and encourage others as well. If we want the world to change for the better, we must change it

  • Day 49 – HONOR (March 19)

 Honour the  people in your life who have loved and supported you through your hardest times, and those who will come to follow.

Created for www.agnt.org and Season for Nonviolence – 2007 by Greater Dallas Task Force – www.64-days.org

Season for Peace and Nonviolence – Teens Daily Value Practice for week of Feb 13th

64 Ways in 64 Days – 15th Gandhi, King, Chavez Season for Peace and Nonviolence

Week three, Days 15 to 21:  Being kind to ourselves can soon be turned into a practice of peacefulness toward others. Try it.

  • Day 15 – REVERENCE (Feb. 13)

Did you ever see something that took your breath away? Today we focus on how beautiful our world is, and how beautiful we are. Let’s not focus on the negative.

  • Day 16 – GRATITUDE (Feb. 14)

Life is a gift. Give thanks to the people and situations in your life. Make a list of all you are grateful for.

  • Day 17 – INTEGRITY (Feb. 15)

Integrity is doing what you know is right, even if no one is around. Having integrity makes you feel better about yourself, because you always do what you know is right. Think of a time when you had integrity, and think of a time when you wish you had.

  • Day 18 – FREEDOM (Feb. 16)

Bishop Desmond Tutu once said, “When people decide to be free, there is nothing that can stop them.” Today let yourself be who you are and don’t allow anyone to influence you differently.

  • Day 19 – ACCEPTANCE (Feb. 17)

Today is a day to accept yourself just as you are. You are on this planet to do something no one has ever done before. Try your best to accept and approve of yourself and others. Let go of the need to judge. Know that everything in your life is unfolding perfectly.

  • Day 20 – SELF-FORGIVENESS (Feb. 18)

You are greater than any mistake you have ever made. What are some of the things you have done to upset yourself? If you think it would help, write an apology letter to yourself for everything you have ever done that you wish you hadn’t. When you are done, take the letter outside, and burn it. As you watch it go up in flames, consciously release your guilt and frustration with yourself, and know that you are forgiven.

  • Day 21 – INSPIRATION (Feb. 19)

Think about somebody who inspires you to be a better person. What are some of the things they do? Think of ways that you can inspire others in your life. How can you lead by example and be an inspiration to others?

Created for http://www.agnt.org and Season for Nonviolence – 2007 by Greater Dallas Task Force – www.64-days.org