Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Doing Your Best

Parents As Teachers

In today’s COVID-19 world, a lot of parents world-wide have become their child’s primary teacher. Even though many of the students have access to on-line classes, still parents discover they must oversee the learning process. Most parents are not prepared for this role. Are you one of them who sometimes feels overwhelmed by it??

Do Not Despair

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You’re not alone! Many parents who are on this “Stay at Home” routine find themselves thrust into a much more intense teacher role than they ever bargained for. Your time spent with your child/student during this time is precious. You’re making life-long memories. Make them happy ones!

I am a retired educator. I spent more than two decades as an elementary teacher and administrator. During that time, I had the opportunity to experience first-hand how the expectations of others affects our self-evaluations. Our expectation for ourselves affects our self-esteem, too. Just know you are doing your best! Hang in there!

Do Your Best

How do you know when you have done your best? Who helps you determine what your 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! Find the positives. Build on successes. Learn from, but do not emphasize, failures. Reward achievement.

Build On Strengths

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Did you read my blog a couple days ago when I told you about our adventures on “Lucille” our Polaris Razor? She is a red-head who is a “Ball” – but she required a whole new level of “Do Your Best” when Bob took her into snow that was too deep for her body. Lucille high-centered and Bob was stuck. His best efforts at digging I her out were not good enough. She was not budging!

Nope, Lucille wasn’t going anywhere. She was stuck!

What does this have to do with “Build On Strengths?” Well thank God, we had friends with us – and one of them, Rex, has a wonderful Boy Scout skill: “Be prepared.” He had the necessary equipment to hook up a rope to his ATV and latch the other end of it to Lucille. He pulled our ATV out of that snow… and “saved our bacon!”

Bob & I can learn from Rex’s strengths. Be prepared! Carry a rope and the necessary winch in case of emergency in the future. And when the rope came loose at the end of the reel, Rex taught Bob how to secure it with a set pin so that it would not come loose again. God bless Rex! And as for us… we’re never too old to learn!

Focus on the Positive

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 student does best and teach through that strength. Sometimes our teaching is by example – people just watch what we do. Certainly our kids are perfect examples of that! It doesn’t work to tell them “Do as I say, not as I do!” They WATCH!!

Teaching is a JOY!

After I retired, I had the fun of teaching adults who had not learned yet how to read. I joined the volunteers in the “Stanislaus Literacy Program” in Modesto, California.

When I met her, Grace 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!

Grace 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. The joy in Grace’s life when she discovered she could read menus, street signs, and billboards was palpable! Next step: books. A whole new world opened up to her.

Have you ever watched the light glow in a learner’s eyes when the key to a previously locked skill is found and the door opens? “I did my best” took on a whole new meaning for me!

You can watch that key unlock new learning, new ideas, new attitudes for your child. These days offer parents great opportunities.

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

Help Break Down Tough Concepts

When anyone is asked to perform at a level above their capabilities, frustration abounds. I’ve had that happen to me. I was put in a place where I was supposed to lead a ZOOM group. Be the host. What? At that time, I didn’t even know what ZOOM was!

But, I WOULD have been capable of that performance, if somebody took the time to show me how.

You have a chance to be that somebody for your child… or for a neighbor or friend. With love and patience, and confidence in his/her ability to catch on, be the somebody who breaks it down. Step by step, lead him/her through the process of knowing how, trusting that s/he CAN.

People need to know that we believe in them. Believe in yourself as a teacher. Do your best! Watch the light dawn. It’s a thrill!

Learn Something New

Everyday is a new opportunity to DO MY BEST. My mother-in-law always said, “No day is complete until you have learned something new.”

There is no better way to encourage a student to continue learning than to be the example who is a life-long learner.

What will I tackle with confidence today?

How about you?

Photo by Tim Gouw on Pexels.com

Tell me about a skill you want to acquire.
Then, Just do it!

See ya tomorrow.

Comments on: "Doing Your Best" (19)

  1. What marvelous advice, momma! You’re so smart!!! Xoxoxoxox

  2. Thanks, DeDe. When I raised you, Sweetheart, I did my best. A real measure of success as a parent is to have your children come full circle and decide after years of questioning your intelligence and your sanity, that “You’re so smart!!!” after all! Wow! I think I have arrived!

  3. Beautiful post Jan! I love it. Another one of your gems. Warm Hugs, Gina

  4. You always do your best, and expect in others.

  5. I wish it were true that I always do my best. I’m afraid the human qualities of procrastination and laziness sometimes creep in and I do not always DO what I can when I should. I loved your blog this evening, Lilie. It was so appropriate that it arrived on my iPhone at the end of a delicious meal at the Grizzly Grill in Cameron where Bob & I had spent the mealtime discussing the life and influence of Jack Murphy and reading his stories and poems from the anthologies I brought with me. Your blog arrived as we stood to go. We sat back down and I read it orally to Bob. We discussed the ideas all the way home. Still the injustice of it all spins in my head. Lots of food for thought!

  6. Reblogged this on A Grateful Man and commented:
    My first “Two-Fer”! This re-blog starts with an image that GinaV had on her blog Professions For P.E.A.C.E. (one of my favorites in the whole blogosphere!) and I found Jan Beek’s “Loving One Another” blog via GinaV’s blog too. I relaly liked Jan’s blog and wanted to share it with you. (Sorry, Gina, you’re going to end up seeing it at least twice!)

    • Thank you, Russ Towne, for visiting my blog and affirming my meager attempts at sharing some of my musings. I look forward to visiting your blog. Isn’t it fun finding new friends?

  7. I am so pleased I haven’t had to learn this, but blogging is my new skill – as far as it goes ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Love this…
    I need a degree ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. This is absolutely beautiful! Loved this.

    • Thank you so much! I appreciate you visit and taking time to comment. Have a Marvelous Monday, Indriana (is that your name? Iโ€™ve never heard it before. Itโ€™s beautiful… musical… โค๏ธ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ๐ŸŽถ).

      • Youโ€™re most welcome โค๏ธ it is Indriani ๐Ÿ™‚ but you can just call me Zu ๐Ÿ™‚ love your blogs.

      • Hah! OK, Zu… I love that name, too. We have a Swiss “son” who was our exchange student in 1980-81. His nickname is ZuZu! So your Zu will hold a special place in my heart, too!

      • Aw! What a cute name! Haha thanks thatโ€™s very sweet of you. Hope youโ€™ll always healthy and safe!

  10. Thank you for this encouragement Jan! Yes, we are all smart in our own ways, and whilst some of the curriculum content may have to be put aside, we can still use the lockdown time to teach character instead! ๐Ÿ˜œ

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