Loving One Another

Archive for the ‘teaching’ Category

Why Me?


Stop asking “Why me?”
Ask, “What’s this goin’ to teach me?”
Then open your heart.

Your heart can reveal
Your purpose, goals, and vision –
Show you your next step.

You aren’t a victim,
You are creative and wise.
Focus on learning.

I am positive
That you are positive, too.
That’s why you are here.

That’s why you visit
JanBeek and love each other
And live happily.

You know happiness
Comes from an internal shift.
Not “Why me?” but “Yes!”

Yes, I’m a learner.
Yes, I invest energy
In finding new ways.

We must be willing
To replace being victims
With being VICTORS!

Are you willing to
Do something new and different
To learn something new?

Don’t wait for the new year to resolve to do something new!



What will you do??
Think about it.
See ya tomorrow.
JanBeek

Who is Great, Generous & Giving?


youtu.be/icCdjsjVFGw

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.

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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.

A Fascinating Job


Bob had a student at Hillsdale High School
Back in the 1960’s who now lives in Australia.
Pat Martin-Vegue worked at Marine World USA.

He now lives in Gold Coast, Queensland
He trains and cares for the tigers at Dreamworld Australia
This is a magnificent tiger that Pat raised in his house.

Here is Kai… Pat raised him as a cub …
in a padded, secure, special room in his house.
Pat took this photos of Kai
with one of the other trainers.

You can see more of Pat and his tigers at Pat’s FB page: https://www.facebook.com/patrick.martinvegue

Doesn’t that look like a fascinating job?
I love it that we personally know this great guy!!
Job security during the COVID-19 pandemic:
The tigers must be fed and cared for.
Not just ANYBODY can do that!

Heck, you just throw the meat in his mouth, right?
Ah, there’s more to it than that?
Uh… ya!!
It’s not a job I could handle.
How about YOU?

Coronavirus Springtime at DreamWorld Australia
Social Distancing!

What’s the most fascinating job you’ve ever had?

Mine was teaching K-8
in a juvenile hall near San Francisco,
It was back in the days when
kids waiting for foster care placement
were incarcerated along with older kids
who were jailed because of violent behavior.


But that’s a fascinating story for another day.

Tell me the story of your fascinating job…
or one you know about
because a friend or family member had it.


I’d love to hear from you.
Have a Fabulous Friday.
See ya later.

Tiger hugs from JanBeek – (and Pat ‘n’ Kia)

Keep An Open Mind


Do You Know?

When Bob and I had the privilege of working with a young man from Pakistan who needed help learning to read and write English and eventually pass his GED (I think that stands for Graduation Equivalent Diploma), one of the hardest things to teach Zahid was three little words: “I don’t know.”

My adult children will tell you that their mom had the same problem. When they were little and would ask me a question, I was sure that a good mom always had an answer… and it was not supposed to be “I don’t know.”

It took them years to catch on to the fact that Mom was a good faker, and they should not swallow hook, line and sinker everything she told them!

Be Discerning

It was not so difficult for my grandchildren to discern my {{{BS}}} from the truth, however. See that middle kid up there, the one with the all-knowing smirk? He caught on right away to Grammy’s elaborate answers! Full of sarcasm and wonderful wit, he had the best comebacks – and taught me my come-uppance!

What? You’re wondering what took me so long? Did I really live to be a grandmother before I learned, “Intelligence isn’t knowing everything, it’s the ability to challenge everything you know?” Ask Nicky!

“Be discerning” means we have to question the validity of everything we see and hear! Even if it comes from what we THINK is a “reliable” source. Challenge it!! Especially in this COVID-19 climate that has become so politicized.

Be Positive, But…

It’s one thing to be positive, but it’s another thing to be gullible!

Yesterday I heard one of the news reporters telling us that there are people out there recommending that those tested positive with Coronavirus should take a healthy dose of bleach … Clorox … that it would kill the virus. Ya, well, it’ll kill YOU, too!

Yes, we want to believe that when all this is over (and of course that’ll be by April 1st when we can all go back to work, right?) … we want to believe that the “new normal” will be hunky dory. Games will sell out (NOT!). It may be 2022 before we are even allowed to congregate in stadiums again!

Restaurants will have a two-hour wait. Heck, that’s true of Food Bank lines in big cities already!

Every kid will be glad to be back in school. Of course, and I have a bridge to sell you!

Be Hopeful

While we are keeping an open mind, being discerning and positive, avoiding the hype and maintaining a level head in all this, it is essential that we keep HOPE alive.

Believe that good will come of all this when the dust settles. Be a part of the solution by staying at home if you can, and by wearing a mask when you go out into a public place. And most important of all, keep your faith alive!

God so loved the world – that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him – should not perish, but have everlasting life! Keep that faith alive. Indeed, God is in charge… and He loves you and me!

Spread Your Joy and Kindness

There may be those out there who will read the first part of that first meme on this blog, “Consider evidence that contradicts your beliefs and admit that you may be wrong…” and will challenge what you say. Just as wise-beyond-his-years-Nicky challenged my implausible answers to his questions, listen to their doubts.

Listen to the folks who have a different point of view. Respect their right to believe as they do. Examine the validity of what you think is true. And if you are convinced you’re right, go ahead and stick to your guns. But, do so with kindness and respect.

Maintain your joy… and spread your kindness in this puzzling, troubled world. Honey works better than vinegar every time!!

Don’t you agree?
See ya tomorrow.

Bee well!!

Are You a Writer?


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What’s a Writer?

How do you define a writer? Are you one?

Not everyone who reads my blog has a blog of their own. Not everyone who writes a blog has anything published anywhere else.

Must you write a blog or have something published in order to consider yourself a writer?

Does writing in a journal qualify you to call yourself “Writer”?

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When you create a grocery list or a list of your “To-Do’s” for today, you are writing. Does that make you a “Writer”?

Definition of Writer

noun

  1. a person engaged in writing books, articles, stories, etc., especially as an occupation or profession; an author or journalist.
  2. a clerk, scribe, or the like.
  3. a person who commits his or her thoughts, ideas, etc., to writing
  4. (in a piece of writing) the author (used as a circumlocution for “I,” “me,” “my,” etc.): The writer wishes to state….
  5. a person who writes or is able to writea writer in script.
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The Key to Being a Writer

The key to being a writer lies for me in the definitions number 3 and 5 above. It’s so obvious!

To be a writer, you must write! You must commit your thoughts and ideas to writing! Not just the ability to write (like writing your signature on a check or signing your name on a card), but the ability to put your thoughts and ideas down on paper or computer or someplace where others can read them.

Are you a writer who writes for others?

Play at Writing

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Write like a child at play –
words are the beads;
string them together
one bead at a time.

Writing should be fun! Cristian Mihai on The Art of Blogging says, “Just punch the damn keys.” In his post today, he reminds us also that we are never finished in our quest to be anything… writers, artists, body builders, you name it!

His blog is about Art
inspiration
motivation
passion
Personal Development

Cristian Mihai wrote in the blog I imbedded above (for your ease in going to read it in its entirety),
“… we are all works of art. And we are never, ever, ever complete.”

He quoted 70 year-old Seneca who wrote,

“I am still learning…”

Cristian went on to remind us,

“One thing of extreme importance in life is never, ever to be complete.

To always strive for more.

To be able to reinvent yourself on a constant basis.”

He said, “We are not nouns, but verbs. Action is what defines us. And we can change what we do as we learn and develop new skills.”

I appreciate the ideas I glean on a daily basis from Cristian Mihai. He helps me put into action some of my better impulses, and to do it with the Spirit guiding me.

Let the Spirit Guide Your Writing

Let intentionality
yield to spontaneity.
Let the spirit
guide you.

Spiritual direction is as important to the life of a writer as good editing is to the life of the mind. Both deliver us from the blindness of a solitary thinker.

Being a solitary writer squeezes our vision and makes us myopic. Being short-sighted cuts us off from the wonderful world of criticism. Your spirit can guide your creativity, but seeking one’s own center does not mean we should discount others’ opinions.

Writers Are Not Indifferent

In his book, Saints and Writers – On Doing One’s Work in Hiding, Belden C. Lane wrote the following about prolific writer, James Joyce:

“James Joyces’ wife, Nora, loved him for his ordinariness. She paid little attention to his writing. With critics, Joyce had to second-guess himself. With Nora, he never had to prove anything. It was worthless even to try. Loving indifference can prove a safe place – a hidden center – from which one’s creativity grows without being turned back onto itself.”

I am not indifferent to the responses of others to my writing. Unlike James Joyce, who evidently came across as “ordinary” to his wife, my husband treats me like I am anything but ordinary – a very special, talented writer whose ideas are worth reading. He reads each of my blogs before I post them. I am not indifferent to his editorial ideas, and I appreciate his input.

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Let Your Creativity Grow

Just as Cristian Mihai reminded us in his blog today, never ever be complete! Never consider your skill set as mastered. Always keep learning and growing and seeking ways to improve.

You ARE a writer! You DO commit your thoughts and ideas to writing.

A few of your ideas expressed in the comments below will not be met with indifference by this writer. I LOVE hearing from you. You help me to keep growing!

See you tomorrow.

Social Distancing – Days 15 to 30



Social Distancing Report

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  • Quarantine Day 15: KITCHEN. You have to gather all the ingredients and make your own meal. I have no clue how this place is still in business.
  • Day 16: Classified Ad: Single woman with toilet paper seeks man with hand sanitizer for good clean fun.
  • Day 17: I need to practice social-distancing from the refrigerator. 
  • Day 18: I hope the weather is good tomorrow for my trip to Puerto Backyarda. I’m getting tired of Los Livingrooma.
  • Day 19: Order Take-out to be delivered. Really tired of my own cooking!
  • Day 20: Try my jeans on just to make sure they fit. Pajamas would have me believing all is well in the kingdom.
  • Day 21: I don’t think anyone expected that when we changed the clocks we’d go from Standard Time to the Twilight Zone. I’m living a Sci-Fi movie!
  • Day 22: I saw a neighbor talking to her cat. It was obvious she thought her cat understood her. I came into my house, told my dog….. we laughed a lot.
  • Day 23: Homeschooling Nightmare – One of these little monsters called in a bomb threat.
  • Day 24: I’m so excited — it’s time to take out the garbage. What should I wear?
  • Day 25: Ordered mask to be delivered; plan to venture out with face properly covered.
  • Day 26: Called all the relatives, near and far. Yup, they are going crazy, too.
  • Day 27: Mask arrived. Nice fabric! Brought lawn chair to neighbor’s yard. Sat 6′ away. Had trouble hearing.
  • Day 28: Donned mask, went to town. Bought roses and Easter cards at the grocery store. Had fun dropping them off at neighbors’ front doors.
  • Day 29: Checked closets to see if anything decent still fits. Found an old maternity dress!
  • Day 30 of Homeschooling: My child just said “I hope I don’t have the same teacher next year”…. I’m offended.
  • Thoughts to ponder:
    Better 6 feet apart than 6 feet under!
    Still haven’t decided where to go for Easter —– The Living Room, the Bedroom, or a chair on the beach (that would be quite a drive!)

Where’s your mask?

What are you doing this weekend?
How did you acknowledge
Maundy Thursday and Good Friday?
We had a ZOOM meeting
last night with friends
from our California church.
Do you s’pose Jesus used ZOOM?

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