Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘teaching’

Are We Just “Pissin’ in the Wind”?


My blogging friend, Claudia, posted today questioning the effectiveness of her blog. Essentially, she questioned, “Is anybody reading it? Does it make a difference? What’s my purpose?”

I commented on her blog, writing, “I understand your concern, Claudia. I have some of those same questions, doubts, and frustrations. How many million bloggers are out there? And for what purpose? Is it worth the time? Am I accomplishing anything? My husband says I’m just “pissin’ in the wind!” Well, my response is that every writer is doing likewise unless they have readers who are somehow encouraged, influenced, inspired, entertained, and/or educated by those written words. So, that’s my purpose… to create an audience of readers who are somehow inspired by my words to think, to reflect, to open their eyes to see something differently – and perhaps to be encouraged to reach out in love to one another a little more often, sincerely, and deeply. To know God and to thank Him more often for our many blessings – that’s another focus. But, I know we do those things better face-to-face than we do on social media. So, is my blogging taking away from the face-to-face opportunities? No, it’s late… I wouldn’t be out interacting with others at this hour anyway. Not now. Social media (blogging and FaceBook) help me broaden my reach. Don’t they? Or am I just “pissin’ in the wind?”

What do you think? Do you have a purpose for this writing activity called blogging? Do you feel your blog is accomplishing that? How do you know? Do people read and respond to your shared ideas? Is anybody out there?

Or are we all just “pissin’ in the wind” ??

Teaching Children to Trust


Teaching Children to Trust

Intermountain began in 1909

And 900 children nowadays

Are daily helped by them

In a wide variety of ways.

Healthy relationships

Are the focus of the school.

Children learn to love –

Not just to obey each rule.

Children are taught to trust.

Often they’ve been mistreated.

They’ve missed stability;

Nurturing wasn’t meted.

Toxic stress causes many problems

As the child grows and learns.

Often root causes are not addressed.

Stability is what the child yearns.

Substance abuse is a symptom

Of an underlying cause.

Look behind the behavior.

Stop, think, pray, pause.

These are the notes I took as I listened to a message this morning in church from an Intermountain of Helena representative, Kathy Ramirez. She shared some information with us that I found surprising. Among the facts: the brain of a healthy, nurtured, loved three-year-old is 3x larger than the brain of a 3 yr. old who has not had a nurturing, loving environment.

A study recently conducted asked a group of prisoners to acknowledge whether any of these ten items had been a part of their early life:

1. Emotional abuse

2. Physical abuse

3. Sexual abuse

4. Observing abuse of a loved one

5. Substance abuse

6. Mental illness

7. Parental separation

8. Household member in prison

9. Physical neglect

10. Emotional neglect

Kathy revealed that 58% had one to three of them occur in their early life. There were 16% who had experienced four or more of them.

What does this tell us about the effects of trauma and toxic stress in children’s lives? And what can we do about it?

Places like Intermountain in Helena, MT provide safe havens for children. Education, counseling, unconditional love, and safety give children from abusive or neglectful homes a chance to learn to trust again.

Intermountain also provides in-home counseling. It works to help parents learn to live their lives in a way that makes them and their children safe and healthy.

What can we do? Find a place like Intermountain in your community and support their efforts. Every child deserves a safe, loving, healthy start in life.

If you were blessed with such a start, don’t forget to thank your parents. And pass it on!

Teach Peace


My friend, Gina, at ProfessionsforPeace.com has hit the nail on the head – again!   Click and see.

Teach Peace.

I Did My Best


Thank you, GinaV, for this “adorable” reminder of how we measure our success most effectively:

http://professionsforpeace.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/i-did-my-best-smiling-ribbon-award-n13857_xl.jpg

When you posted it on your blog at http://professionsforpeace.com/2012/05/26/ongoing-learning-from-awards/, you created a caption. It said, “No I am not starting a new Award, but if I was I’d choose this great image!” You listed the source as Scholars Choice. Thank you for posting it and acknowledging the source. I love this adorable image – and am inspired by it to share my experience with this “Do Your Best” concept.

As an educator (K-6) in the classroom for more than two decades and as an administrator (K-adult) for a dozen or more years, I had the opportunity to experience first-hand how the expectations of others affects our self-evaluations, our self-esteem. How do we know when we have done our best? Who helps us determine what our 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! Build on successes. Learn from, but do not emphasize, failures. Rewaprd achievement.

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 person does best and teach through that strength.

When I met her, Mary Jane 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! She 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!! Have you ever watched the light glow in an adult’s eyes when the star illuminates and the heavens open? “I did my best” took on a whole new meaning!

When we are asked to perform at a level above our capabilities, frustration abounds. Maybe we WOULD be capable of that performance, but somebody needs to care enough to show us how. With love and patience, and confidence in our ability to catch on, somebody needs to break it down. Step by step, lead us through the process of knowing how, trusting that we CAN. We sense it when somebody teaches us that way. They believe in us. We begin to believe in ourselves. What a thrill!

Everyday is a new opportunity to DO MY BEST. What will I tackle with confidence today? Together, we can do it!

Mom’s Messages



We all carry messages our mothers gave us.

Here are some of mine:

Eat your spinach
Clean your plate
Mind your manners
Don’t be late

Watch for danger
Stay off streets
Hold your chin up
Limit treats

Smile at strangers
Mind your father
Hold your tongue
Don’t be a bother

Save your pennies
Chase the blues
Never give up
Look for clues

Change your panties
Brush your teeth
Don’t judge others
See the good beneath

Happy Mother’s Day!
What are your Mom’s Messages?

Mother-Daughter

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