#AtoZChallenge T is for Teachers

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“There is no recipe to be a great teacher, that’s what is unique about them.” -Robert Sternberg

Rita Pierson dedicated her life to education, following in the footsteps of her parents and grandparents. In this Ted Talk, she speaks about the human connection that every child needs and how teachers can provide it. Education is so important to a person’s success and it all goes back to teachers. They can make or break a student’s experience. Teachers don’t get into this business for the money or the recognition. They do it for the love of children, if they are doing it for the right reasons.

Although I have done everything I can to support my children, they were also blessed to have some amazing teachers in their lives- people who made a connection that went beyond the classroom and curriculum. I have been honored to call some of them my friends.

One person in particular stands out. Her name is Jenny and she was my kids’ enrichment teacher. Being my baby, Andrew spent a lot of time at school with me before he was in school when I was doing volunteer work. Jenny knew that she would be working with him as soon as he began kindergarten and she started creating a bond with him early.

Andrew is a tough nut to crack. He’s a lot like me and keeps things inside. I tend to be a bit prickly when it comes to physical contact and personal space and Andrew is no different. Anyone who knows Andrew understands this, as did Jenny. Except Jenny was warm and caring and affectionate and loving. She was always giving the kids shoulders’ a squeeze or a pat and the kids loved her. Andrew did too but he kept his distance.

Now, just to be clear, Jenny taught the brightest kids in the school, enriching their education, pushing them to stretch their thinking, expanding their experiences. These kids did very cool things! And then after having known Andrew for nearly five years, Jenny came to me, more excited than I had ever seen her.  I couldn’t wait to hear what amazing thing Andrew had done.

She explained that she had been working with Andrew’s group around the table and he was sitting next to her. While she was explaining a concept to them, Andrew leaned his head against her shoulder. As she spoke her eyes filled with tears and she laid her hand gently on her heart. “It was huge!” she whispered. She got it. She knew what a major milestone this was in their relationship. This was something most of Andy’s teacher’s didn’t even notice. This was MY KID, the one who stood stiffly in his grandparent’s embrace and moved away from people who came too close. And Jenny got it. I blinked back tears (unsuccessfully) and Jenny hugged me.

Jenny was an educator of the highest caliber. She taught because she loved children and helping them to be their very best. She was a precious gift to everyone who came into contact with her. Her wish was to teach for the rest of her life. She got her wish, but sadly she was taken from us way too early. If ever someone was an angel, it was Jenny. She touched so many lives while here and her legacy carries on in the very schools she taught in.

She was my friend and I miss her dearly. She once told me “Your children are blessed to have you as their mother.” We are the ones who were blessed.

She was the epitome of what a teacher should be.

More Rita Pierson  quotes:

  • “You know, kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.”
  • “We come to work when we don’t feel like it, and we’re listening to policy that doesn’t make sense, and we teach anyway. We teach anyway because that’s what we do.”
  • “How powerful would our world be if we had kids who were not afraid to take risks, who were not afraid to think, and who had a champion? EVERY child deserves a champion- an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and who insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.”

Have you or your children had unforgettable teachers in their lives?

Happy Monday! I hope you have an awesome week!

-Kat

You can read the rest of my A to Z posts- HERE.

Small Wonders

“Those who find beauty in all of nature will find themselves at one with the secrets of life itself.” – L. Wolfe Gilbert

There is such peace in nature. When I need to clear my head, I find that taking a walk surrounded by trees, water or both helps me to sort things out. Since I began taking pictures, it’s become even more therapeutic for me. As I have been slowly learning how to use my camera, I discovered that I enjoy taking closeups. Flowers, leaves, weeds and more are the perfect subjects! And the concentration helps me to chase out unwanted thoughts and to focus on the beauty in front of me. It seems like we are so busy that we forget to take time and be present in the moment.

Thanks for stopping by!

-Kat

Daily Post- Weekly Photo Challenge: Earth

#AtoZChallenge R is for Rainbow

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“We live in a rainbow of chaos.” – Paul Cezanne

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I am intrigued by this concept- living in a rainbow of chaos. See, I find rainbows to be quite neat and orderly. The colors line up in the same order and while they might blend into the next, each color has its own definition. I suppose that for some it could seem chaotic that there might not be clear division between each color.

Then I look at my life and I can easily see how it might appear to be a rainbow of chaos to outsiders. But it’s my rainbow and my chaos and as long as I like it, I guess that’s all that matters, right?

What do you think?

-Kat

You can read the rest of my A to Z posts- HERE.

#AtoZchallenge Q is for Quiet

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“Our culture is biased against quiet and reserved people, but introverts are responsible for some of humanity’s greatest achievements.” –Susan Cain

Famous Introverts-

  • Albert Einstein
  • Bill Gates
  • Steven Spielberg
  • Sir Isaac Newton
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Mark Zuckerberg
  • Rosa Park
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • JK Rowling
  • Al Gore
  • Mahtma Gandhi
  • Michael Jordan
  • Meryl Streep
  • Charles Darwin
  • Frederic Chopin
  • Emma Watson
  • Courtney Cox
  • Laura Bush
  • Audrey Hepburn
  • Candice Bergen
  • Roy Rogers
  • Joe DiMaggio
  • Elton John
  • Lady Gaga

and the list goes on and on.

I consider that an impressive list and it’s just the tip of the iceberg. I’m very quiet. I can sit at a meeting and never feel the need to speak. I hear things that no one else does because they are all talking. There is strength in being quiet and I think it intimidates those who are not. When I point out something that I heard, people appear shocked, as if my ability to hear and think is directly connected to my participation in the dialogue. It is interesting what you hear when people are talking and they think no one is listening. (I know, why are they talking if they don’t want to be heard? Well, maybe you can tell me!) I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard a comment, not meant to be heard by the entire group, uttered loud enough to be heard. Now, I’m talking about a meeting setting where a group of people are sitting around a table, with multiple conversations taking place at once. Almost always, people are talking over each other and as I look around the room, I wonder if I’m the only one listening. It’s draining and probably a good thing that no one expects me to talk- except sometimes I do have something to say…

“We need quiet time to examine our lives openly and honestly – spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself and create order.” -Susan Taylor

And then there is the other quiet. In a world that is filled with chaos, craziness, and sensory overload, I cherish my quiet time. I especially find myself seeking quiet places since so many of my days are filled with an energetic, talkative two year old! There are times when I find myself in complete silence, no tv or music, no talking- just quiet time. And although music is like an instant anxiety reliever, the silence around me really energizes me and gives my batteries the recharge they need.

I’m sitting in my family room right now, my Netflix show having been paused for a half hour now, listening to Ari’s breathing getting deeper and more relaxed as she settles into her nap, hearing the wind blowing,making a whooshing sound down the fireplace. The ice maker just whipped up a fresh batch of cubes and they clattered into their bin. There is ticking from the clock and creaks and groans from the house as it settles, although I’m not sure why it’s still settling after standing here for over 70 years…

I have approximately an hour before my two year old buddy awakes from his nap, and then it’s back to building block towers, pounding out tunes on the xylophone accompanied by singing and dancing, and all the noise and energy that little guy brings. And my quiet time will come to an end until later tonight, when it will be much needed- AGAIN!

Hope your day is filled with quiet or chaos or both- it’s up to you!

-Kat

You can read the rest of my A to Z posts- HERE.

#AtoZChallenge P is for Peace

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“Peace is not something you wish for. It’s something you make, something you do, something you are, and something you give away.” – John Lennon

peace
pēs/
noun
  1. freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility.
    “you can while away an hour or two in peace and seclusion”
    I not only desire peace in my life, I NEED it. I function best in a peaceful environment with a peaceful mind. Having peace in my family is key to everyone’s happiness.
    IMG_4337And it doesn’t happen overnight or just because I say it is going to be- it takes work. Not everyone wants peace or even thrives on it, like I do. I’m aware that there are people who crave chaos and disorder and noise. And that is where they are happiest. I’m just not one of those people.
    In order for me to be at peace, I need peace. 🙂

    How about you? -Kat