Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Good Bye 2014 & Hello 2015

For the 2014 year, I selected #bebrave as my one word. In fact, I was re-reading my post from December 30, 2013 and I am very proud of how hard I worked to #bebrave in situations which ordinarily I would have stepped back and let someone else do it. Stepping out of my comfort zone is the only way I can continue to move forward.

I could just keep this one word for 2015.

I will, in my heart and mind, but I am ready for a new word and my new word is:



It was the #northstar that led the slaves away from their plantations as they followed the drinking gourd on their way past the Mason-Dixon Line and for many up to Canada to find freedom.

It was the #northstar that helped those who would sail the seven seas find their way in the night. It was a stable ever fixed point in the sky.

Stars are meant to be the lampposts of the sky guiding and leading us. Indeed, it was an unusual star that lead the Three Kings who many believe to be astronomers to find the Town of David where Baby Jesus was born.
Here in my quaint little country town, the big city lights are so far away. The twinkling stars as they seem flicker due to the atmospheric pressures never really twinkle. They are always shining. Always bright. Always leading.

Polaris. North Star.

So, lead me on #NorthStar, for I am aware of the three bandits that will try to take me away from my true purpose: Activities, People and Materialism. I will put on blinders like the horses who carry the buggies up and down the road or plow the fields need to wear so that they are not distracted from their one true purpose. Focusing intently on my #NorthStar will help me know what things, people or situations to pick up and what things to put down and to rid myself of things that do not matter.

My one true purpose is to Love God, Love People and Serve the World and to love people and use things, not love things and use people. I can do this with my family, with my profession, with my responsibilities. This is all that matters. This is part of being a legacy leaver.

I wait for you 2015 and whatever you will bring through the laughter and the tears as I follow my #NorthStar but never let me forget to seek the following which is the gift I am giving myself this coming year:

  • Important chances
  • Big dreams
  • Direction
  • Discernment
  • Peace
  • Joy
  • Love
  • Hope

 (I know that #bebrave and #northstar are really two words...but not when I use a #!)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Thoughts As I Close Out This Year

Doug Thomas
To be made in the image of our Creator is in my opinion the foremost reason I can have internally to be a maker. We were created to be makers, tinkerers and inventors. We are made to have an imagination that runs wild with possibilities.

When we take the time to tinker, to make, to invent...to destruct and to construct it is that moment where we are alive and living out loud.

Some people think that in education, this is simply a waste of time. Maker spaces should be void of classrooms and chairs should be lined up in rows of neatness.

I look at the room around me in what I have called Learning Studio 222 and we have accomplished a great deal this year, but it is taking time to undo what they thought school was...and taking a chance to believe in learning again for the love of learning.

Problem solving. 

Failing and starting over again with a new plan and a new way to see things is the best idea I have for what learning really is.

I can't wait to see what else this class wants to do!

Love, Ms. H.

"We all derive from the same source. there is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, only to discover what is already there.”

― Henry Miller

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Books About Mattering For Parents and For Teachers

It is all about mattering isn't it. 

It is our heart's cry from the moment we take our first breath until the last of our days.

Buy it on Amazon here!
Mattering. It sounds simple, but it is not. Mattering takes on different forms for each student and for each child we come in contact with because they are uniquely designed to be a one-of-a-kind, original creation!

Mattering has to start first in our family and as a parent, I am always reaching for resources for my family first that can help my own children know that they matter. Then mattering carries over to my group of learners that I am given care over for nine months in my room.

There are many books helping children not just know that they matter, but to have it deeply resonate like a continuous warm wave on their hearts. One such book is a faith-based book called The Love Dare For Parents helping children find their way back to a place called love, where they can accept love, feel loved and know that they are loved. I just heard about this book today and went and picked it up at the book store. Personally, I need this book...professionally, I need this book. Maybe you do too! 

Maybe this book is just the thing that your family needs. Maybe you see no value in purchasing a faith-based book for you in regards to your profession in schools. I dare you to do something different, to to purchase this book because I believe that this book can make a difference in the lives of the students in our classrooms who come with hard hearts and just want to know do you love me? Am I lovable? Do I matter to you at all? Do you see me, do you really, really see me? I can't wait to explore this book! Join me in reading it.  Perhaps it is just the resource that a family in your school needs. 

Buy this book here! 
The other excellent book is called the Five Love Languages For Children.  We are all designed to speak the language of love, but differently. The trick to any relationship including parenting is learning to speak the love language that your child speaks. It offers practical advice on how a child in your classroom or a child in your family gives, receives and interprets love. We all need all five, but we have stronger pulls toward one than the others. I came across a mommy blog Busy Kids, Happy Mom that was really great at explaining more and you can find it here

The Five Love Languages are:
  • Physical Touch
  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Gifts 
  • Acts of Service

Sometimes it may feel frustrating in parenting or even in teaching when you can't reach a child's heart. Excellent educators know that when you touch the heart, you touch the mind and that also applies at home. When you feel frustrated, read these books and talk to others. It takes a bit of humility to admit that not all things are awesome and that we do have struggles as a parent or as a teacher with a child in our family or in our class, but amazing things happen to you and will radically change your classroom and your family when you do reach out.

In the end of it all, it comes down to one thing mattering. Love is mattering.

PS: As a mom of a child who is struggling with life and with the growing pains that come with it, I want to thank my family for loving us through. I also want to thank those in my PLN who I reached out to and who met me in my point of need. I love you more than words will ever be able to tell you. Thanks for your encouragement and your prayers and your laughter.