Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘teaching’

On Being UnTeachable


We’re unreachable
When we are unteachable.
Let’s check our mindset.

Is our mind open
To attentive mindfulness?
Live expectantly?

Anticipate good?
Humbly work for improvements
In self and others?

Develop ideas –
Hopeful and doable ones
In a right spirit.

We close open doors
When we are unteachable.
Let’s check our mindset.

Photo by Jonathan Andrew on Pexels.com

Keep your mind focused
On the good that you can do.
Let’s be teachable.

Let’s be reachable.
Let us reach out to others
With humble mindset.

Photo by Matheus Viana on Pexels.com

Pray with me:
“Lord, help us to develop
a heavenly perspective
to look at life’s trials and difficulties
through the Truth and Hope
of God’s Word.
Peel away all barriers to Your wisdom, Lord,
And make us teachable and reachable!
Amen!”

See ya tomorrow.
Love,
JanBeek

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

Photo by Julia M Cameron on Pexels.com

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

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

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.

It’s OK to…


  1. It’s OK to… Not to Have All the Answers

When Bob & I first moved from California to Montana back in 2006, I was a recently retired educator with over 30 years of teaching/administrating under my belt. I was not really ready to “hang it up.” You know, “Once a teacher, always a teacher.”

So, when I joined the Friends of the Library and received a message from a young man who was seeking help to earn his GED (I think that stands for: General Education Diploma, but it might be Graduation Equivalence Diploma) … anyway, I was all in.

Zahid was a 19 year old from Pakistan whose English was sketchy enough that he had trouble understanding the questions, let alone knowing the answers. I agreed to help him with the English/Language Arts/History areas while a good friend worked with him in the areas of Science and Math.

His host mom would drop him off at our house at 7:30 AM three times a week, and after an hour of study, I’d drive him to his place of work, just five minutes away. During our hours together, one of my greatest challenges was teaching Zahid that it’s OK to say, “I don’t know.” He tried to bluff his way through answers. It was often quite amusing!

Once Zahid learned to say, “I don’t know,” and admit to needing help with the answers, we made great progress. He eventually passed and got his high school equivalent diploma. Hooray!

2. It’s OK to… Feel all the Emotions

Zahid tried to hide his lack of knowledge and his feelings of discouragement. He tried to hide his frustrations. He attempted to bluff his way through the quizzes. It didn’t work. When he learned to let his emotions show, when he opened himself to being “real” with me, we made great progress.

3. It’s OK to… have Bad Days

Life is not always fair. Even with hard work and the best of intentions, our dreams don’t always pan out. The first time Zahid took his test for the credential, he failed. Without encouragement and a shoulder to cry on, he might have folded. He might have said, “Give it up! I can’t do this!” But, we didn’t let that happen. His host mom and dad joined our Positivity Club – and together we helped “Z” keep at it, learn from his mistakes, try again, and ultimately pass.

4. Its OK to …Let Yourself Cry

Once “Z” passed his GED, the next goal was to pass his driver’s behind-the-wheel and written tests and get a driver’s license. He worked hard at it.

My husband, Bob, is a retire teacher. (If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you know he also is a retire beekeeper. But before he went back to the family bee farm, he taught driver’s education and coached wrestling for nine years in California.) So, Bob was a natural to help “Z” get his driver’s license.

Once that goal was accomplished, the next step was to buy a car. Zahid had saved the money he earned working at the local grocery store. He had enough to pay for a good “starter car.” But the problem that emerged was that he had no idea how to take care of a car. That’s where the “It’s OK to let yourself cry” comes in. He burned up the car’s engine by not checking the oil, the water, etc. The tears were real! It was a sad lesson in the reality of truth #5…

5. It’s OK to …Ask for Help

Bob would have been more than happy to help “Z” learn the basics of car maintenance, but Zahid never asked. It was a tough, expensive lesson. But “Z” learned it. He asked Bob to help him find a new engine. He did… and “Z” learned to ask for help in car maintenance in the future. That car gave him several years of reliable service and actually made it from Montana to Alaska when “Z” moved there for better job opportunities.

6. It’s OK to …Make Mistakes

Looking back over our experiences with that young Pakistani, we know we made mistakes, just as he did. We backed off when we should have moved forward and been more assertive with him. He tried bluffing and exercising independence when admitting his lack of knowledge and asking for help would have served him better. But, he learned – and so did we.

As long as we learn from our mistakes, it’s OK. In fact, making mistakes is sometimes the ONLY way we learn. Knowing what doesn’t work helps us eliminate some options and seek better solutions.

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com
  • Don’t try to have all the answers.
  • Don’t be ashamed of your emotions. Be real. Let them show!
  • Don’t let the bad days get you down. We need valleys in order to appreciate the mountain tops!
  • Don’t hold back the tears. Let them flow when they need to. Let them cleanse you!
  • Admit your ignorance. None of us is an expert at everything. Ask for help when you need it.
  • Don’t let mistakes get you down. No one is perfect. We need to make mistakes in order to learn and move forward.

It’s OK to … select friends who lift you up, encourage you, and give you a shoulder to cry on when you need it.

It’s OK to … BE one of those friends. Happy, warm, genuine. Even long-distance, over the miles, through cyberspace, you can reach out and be the positive friend others are seeking.

Just do it! It’s OK…

Thank you for your visit,
your comments and
your friendship,

I appreciate you!

See you tomorrow.

Keeping in Touch


Do you enjoy keeping in touch with long-time friends?

This morning I posted “No Friend Like an Old Friend”
with pictures of the long-time friends I met with yesterday.

Among the long-time friends I posted pictures of
was Ly, my favorite hair stylist, whom I have
known since 1979. Today she gave me a new hair cut and
helped me get my “perky” back.

Also, today I had the privilege of reconnecting with dear friends from my years of working in the Ceres Unified School District. I was Caswell Elementary School’s principal from 1988-1997. Some of my favorite people to work with met me today for lunch. Most of them also are retired now. What a joy!!

Jackie (wonderful 3rd grade teacher),
Maudie (extraordinary instructional aide),
Fernando (he and his brother, Louie, were the world’s greatest custodians)
& Marge (Support staff leader & Resource Teacher
who helped coordinate this gathering)
Dora (impressive & dedicated first grade teacher)
and Kim (superb sixth grade teacher)
Jess (loving special ed teacher)
& Candy (beloved special ed instructional aide)
JoAnn (one of the best secretaries anywhere)
& JoAnn’s son, Kenny (I remember him as a kindergartener!)
Me (before haircut) with Peggy (everybody’s favorite Reading and Resource Teacher)
She was my go-to person
whenever I screwed up and needed help recovering from some difficult learning experience!

Have you had the opportunity to reconnect 20 years later with co-workers who were instrumental in tour personal and professional growth? If so, you know what a JOY and a privilege this day was for me.

If not, I pray you will live 20 years into your retirement and have the delight of reconnecting the way I did today. It was indescribably wonderful.
I wish you this kind of joy.

Thank you, dear Caswellians, for a wonderful day.
I love you!

Come visit me in Montana!

Aging Gracefully


Window Shopping

This week Bob & I visited El Paseo Drive in Palm Springs, CA. It was a beautiful day to window shop those exquisite boutiques. But, ooh-la-lah, heaven forbid we go inside!! The prices are out of sight! However, if is is not a lovely shirt or a cute, little apron with a cute saying on it, then it is a convincing salesman with a free gift he is handing out in sweet little bags.

Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

Stepping Inside

I made the mistake of accepting the bag and then being drawn into his shop where he had a “Miracle Cream.” He invited me to sit down so he could put it around one of my eyes. “Look at how it removes the puffiness and lightens the dark bags,” he said.

Bob followed me in and the slick salesman invited him to come and see how much better that eye looked. “We men don’t care about the aging process,” he told Bob. “But women – they care – and your wife would love this cream. If it can do this much in one very short treatment, imagine what it can do with weekly treatments over a few months!”

The salesman offered to throw in an additional jar of “finishing cream” for FREE …. if we would buy one jar of the miracle cream.

“How much?” Bob asked.

“Only two hundred…” he paused before quietly adding “ninety-nine” at the same time Bob was gasping at 200 and missed the 99. Wow, only $300. for that miracle cream. A bargain! Just think it’ll last a month or more!!

Aging Like Sea Glass

Yes, I have a well-earned patina! Yes, I add a few wrinkles with each passing year. Yes, my skin lacks the freshness of my youth. Yes, I care about AGING. In fact, I embrace it! It’s not true that men don’t care about it. They want to age like sea glass, too.

External vs. Internal Beauty

Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Pexels.com

I want the wrinkles that come with age to be a beauty that expresses my inner peace and radiates my inner joy. This dear photo by Nandhu Kumar depicts a lovely lady whose face sparkles with an inner beauty and a well-earned patina that is envious! Don’t you agree?

Photo by Kamille Sampaio on Pexels.com

This sweet man’s face and his gesture of affection radiates a love so real, so dear, so beautiful that only the waves of time can achieve it. His face reflects his journey – and the changes he has gone through to achieve that beauty. Hers, on the other hand appears to have endured many fewer tumbles through the tide. Maybe she’s his daughter … or maybe she used that “magic cream.” Her face doesn’t reflect the inner glow, however wrinkle-free it may be, does it? She looks a little apprehensive to me.

Outer Beauty

Don’t get me wrong; I am not opposed to outer beauty!! I don’t knock those who get monthly facials or buy expensive creams or have face lifts. (I actually put a pretty costly cream on my face every morning. It’s a Lacome – designed as a sunscreen and wrinkle reducer – hah!)

Look at this lovely “elderly” model. She has a job that requires special care of hair and skin. Gotta look good on camera! A few lines add character, don’t you agree? The only way to avoid those lines is to stop smiling, stop frowning, stop expressing emotion. Even Botox doesn’t take them all away!!

Yes, I’d like to reduce my frown marks (those railroad tracks on my forehead). I was warned when I was in my twenties that this would happen if I didn’t stop frowning. But how do you keep a straight face when you’re teaching a room full of twelve year olds or scolding a 4th grader who just punched a classmate? Why should you keep from smiling when you’re confronted with a class of giggling kindergarteners? How do you avoid the wrinkles on your nose when that’s what your face does a million times a day? My dog, TazE, doesn’t seem to mind!

Ride the Waves and Go With the Flow

I want to age like sea glass. I want my hard edges to soften. I want to be picked up gently and admired by those who appreciate what these 80 years of life have meant to them and to me… what I’ve learned, and what I can pass along. I want to enjoy the journey, and always remember to be grateful for each day the Good Lord gives to me. I want to ride the waves and go with the flow.

You with me?

Photo by Oliver Sjöström on Pexels.com
Photo by Sebastian Voortman on Pexels.com

Ride the waves with me…
and share your wisdom, too.
How do you feel about aging?

Got any advice re: anti-wrinkle stuff??

See ya tomorrow!

Gift of Love


Dreams are coming true
For those of us who believe
Just live with patience

It’s the gift of time
That will allow us to wait
For God’s best timing

Meantime we bestow
The gift of love on others
Living in “The Dash”

Living in the Dash

This morning I read a post by

Sehr Jalil, Sehr Jalil | is there anything that is not art? | blog
who stated clearly and succinctly on her “About” page
what she STANDS FOR.

It made me think long and hard about what I would write if someone asked me what I stand for. Living in the dash, 1939 – ????, I need to realize that I am on the latter 1/4 of the dash line (if each quarter represents 1/4 of a century – because of course, I intend to live to be 100).

And I’ll still be playing my accordion in 2039… you bet!!

Photo by Immortal shots on Pexels.com

[Go ahead – smile!]

What Do I Stand For?

Give the question some thought and see what you come up with.
Here is what I wrote back to Sehr Jalil. (You should click on that link and see what SHE wrote in her blog about that! Quite interesting!!)

My response:

  • peace
  • love
  • honesty
  • kindness
  • shared joy
  • integrity

I believe these are the teachings of Christ, who said the greatest of these is LOVE. So I send you the gift of love today, my dear WP friends.

What do YOU stand for?

Have a love-filled day.
See ya tomorrow!

Purpose of Art Ed


Arts education includes not only the visual arts, but also music, culinary arts, and all forms of creative expression.

The difficulty in auditory performing arts education is that excruciating learning period before clarinets stop squawking and violins stop screeching. Unlike my mother, who couldn’t stand it and sent me and my clarinet out to the shed across the driveway to practice, the teachers can’t send the students outside to learn! At least not all the time!

Those darling violin students that I introduced you to yesterday do not sound (yet) like the YouTube video I posted of beautiful violin virtuosos. God bless the teachers, students, and appreciative audiences who recognize the learning process and love them through the squawks and squeaks!

Listen without covering your ears!

Support arts education in your schools and in the independent Arts Academies that teach visual and performing arts after school and on weekends. God bless those teachers! Ya gotta love ’em!!

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

Don’t hide your face and cover your ears.
Don’t send ’em out to the shed!
Ya gotta love ’em!!

See ya later!

Music Increases Intelligence


Music increases
Intelligence, I am sure;
Especially strings!

Science bears it out!
Or is it that violins
Attract the wise ones?

Does music enhance natural intelligence?
Just look at these bright youngsters!

Today at our Madison Valley Woman’s Club, there were about 75 women present to enjoy a variety of homemade soups for lunch while being entertained by Katie Coyle’s violin students.

These seven students were delightful!

Teacher, Katie, said she was not a trained teacher, but no one else in our little town of less than 1,000 residents was teaching violin. So, when Katie (who to played the fiddle when she was a youngster) was asked, she stepped up to the plate. There is no way you would agree with her when she says, “I don’t know how to teach violin.”

The students giggled when told they should play kneeling.
They squealed with joy when told to play lying down!

Katie obviously knows how to teach violin in a way that brings the students back each week clambering for more.

Smart to begin with; smarter still with music lessons!
Bright eyes, open minds, and ready smiles!

Our MVWC donates money annually to Katie’s Music and Art Academy. Our donation made it possible for 3 families to attend Fiddlers’ Camp last summer. Next summer Katie hopes 6 families can attend.

We have 150 members!

Our “Collect” or “pledge” that we resign together each month at the start of our meeting tells you a little about our mission:

We put into action our better impulses!

Today I was one of about 8 ladies who provided the crock pots of soup for the lunch. Each month a different volunteer committee provides the meal and decorates the tables with seasonal themes.

This wasn’t the one I made, but it was my choice for lunch.
It was yummy!
There were about 8 choices of soup
plus cornbread and yummy desserts.
The desserts were gone
by the time the serving committee
got to that part of the meal.
Oh well… I didn’t need the calories!
Happy November, my friends.

Do you play an instrument?
Is it your conviction that music enhances intelligence?
I may be a little prejudiced in that regard!

I hope you can access this gorgeous music.
I found it by Googling it on YouTube.

Just listening to beautiful violin music makes me feel smarter!
How about you?

My cousin, Cliff, who had surgery yesterday to remove his esophagus (due to cancer) loves sending me jokes about my instrument of choice: the accordion. I ask you to pray today for Cliff’s recovery and return to strength and humor. I think of him as I listen to this beautiful music.

One of the jokes Cliff sent me was a picture of St. Peter welcoming someone to Heaven saying, “Here is your harp.”
And Satan welcoming someone to Hell saying, “Here’s your accordion.”

Thanks, Cliff!! In spite of your sarcastic humor, I love you!! (Maybe it’s because of your humor??) Even in your strapped down, hooked up, post surgery posture, I can see that devilish smirk and the twinkle in your eyes!

Please pray for Cliff!

Listen to music. It’ll make you smarter.
And bee sure your kids get music lessons!

Bee well!
Always Bee Grateful for your health!!
See ya tomorrow, my friends.

Bees and Honey


Bees and Honey

You all know I love honey,
And bees are dear to my heart.
How can we protect these pollinators?
Where do we even start?

Honey Jars - Michelle.jpg


.

Bee Thanks.jpg

We begin with our children
As we teach them the value of bees.
We show them how to protect
The insects around us – such as these.
.

We show them up close pictures
And let our fascination spread
To the next generation
As we substitute awe for dread.

Bee - carrying pollen.jpg

There’s so much we can learn from these
Social insects who do so much good.
Let’s open our minds and our wonder
To help others do what they should.
.
Enjoy God’s nectar, the honey,
And thank the producers, the bees.
Let’s do all we can to protect them…
There are no more important life form than these!

bee-die-all-die

It’s a message worth teaching
It’s a message worth preaching.
Do your part!

Thanks for visiting…
Have a great first week of Autumn.

68629167_2749014145121367_2409575475958513664_n

Love, JanBeek

See ya tomorrow.

40 Old Fashioned Skills


This list says these skills are “old fashioned,”
but I say some skills NEVER go out of style.
It’s always timely to be kind, for instance.

gold colored chain necklace with watch pendant

Photo by Lukas Hartmann on Pexels.com

If you want to be an example of “love”
in a world where peace, joy, and kindness
sometimes seem like rare commodities,
I think we should not only teach these skills
to our children, but practice them ourselves regularly.

Some of them are “Duh, of course!”
Others are “Hmmm… Do I do that?”

Do I even know how to check the tire pressure?
Am I conscientious about asking questions
to get to know people better?
Do I give people the benefit of the doubt
all the time?

This list is from “frugalfun4boys.com”
But, it applies to all people… to adults as well.
Which of them resonate with you?

40 Old-Fashioned Skills

Cheers!
Have a great Friday night.
We’re headed to the neighbors.
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See ya tomorrow.

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