Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ebracing my inner Leo

Thanks everyone. I appreciate the feedback from my last post... I really needed to hear what you guys had to say. I went back to some old friends who taught me positive discipline... to get some ideas to help this teacher... I'm going to make an appointment for next week. I know that there's a very slim chance that this will produce any change this year, but I'm standing up and showing my daughter that when you're treated badly you need to voice your feelings. And then, if your needs are not met, you need to do something about it.

The friend I went to see was so inspiring, that she has me thinking that I might do some more long term work to get positive parenting classes included in continuing ed for teachers and to bring it right to them. I may also appeal to the PTA (parent-teacher association) to bring positive discipline speakers into our community for parents and teachers alike. I'm inspired to make change... to be part of a positive movement of respectful parenting.

I guess I'm trying to embrace my Leo! I fall on the cusp between Cancer and Leo, although I'm almost always categorized as a Leo in horoscopes. I don't perceive myself to be a leader... I'm not such a do-er. But here, I'm passionate, about being positive and making good changes. I think that conflict resolution is going to be the future of the successful teachers' repertoire anyway... as bullying becomes more and more prevalent in our schools. I'll hopefully be able to give these teachers a chance to take the lead! YAY!

Oh boy... I hope I can keep up this enthusiasm!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Who's responsible for your happiness?

This isn't terribly pagan in nature, but since I feel most like-minded with you guys I'm going to throw this discussion out there and see what you think.

Short background: I come from a positive parenting background... the idea is not letting children run amok, but modeling respect, firmness, love, and acknowledgment of feelings. As I see it, I'm teaching them how to treat other people, and how they should expect to be treated. Enter... the first grade teacher.

My husband and I have been having discussions around home about who is responsible for our own happiness. My first grader has a teacher who uses reward/punishment (like paying kids for bringing in their homework, get marbles for good deeds... fill the jar and you get a popcorn party, etc.) to manage her classroom. It's become a problem, though, as the teacher gets frustrated and tends to punish the whole class... so if you're a "good kid"... why bother? A few people can ruin everything for you all. In fact, recently, the teacher got frustrated with a few kids who weren't paying attention, and dumped out the whole jar of marbles while apologizing to the "good kids". This indicates to me that she knew this wasn't a good punishment... that it wasn't the right thing to do in order to gain control of the disruptive children. (I really am getting to the happiness part... just hang with me a sec).

The latest story from the first grade classroom is that the teacher told a story. It's about each person having a bucket, and when people are nice to you it fills your bucket with happiness, and when people are mean, or DON'T FOLLOW DIRECTIONS they take away happiness from your bucket. She told the kids that her bucket is empty because they aren't behaving. Ahem... huh?

Who is responsible for keeping their buckets full? Are 27 six-year-olds responsible for a 50-something's happiness? If she's frustrated with her class, is it really the fault of the children? Or is it that her strategies for maintaining order don't work, and that she needs to choose another way?

I totally understand that when you run across a person, they can influence your mood in the moment... but is your day really up to them... or is it up to you?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bringing it home...

Still feeling the depth of winter, that inward turning that has me working diligently on my family and our health and well-being. Speaking of such, I am about to run outside and play with the kiddos on a warm, sunny, winter day... but I wanted to share this photo...

It's from that astronomy pic a day website I told you about in the last post. This, however, is right up my alley as I'm using some of my winter down-time to plan my spring garden. I won't be doing this, unfortunately, but I think it is inspiring!

This garden is at the Paleaku Peace Gardens Sanctuary in Kona, Hawaii. It's 30 meters wide (90 feet) and is a decently accurate map of our Milky Way Galaxy. The arms of the spiral represent arms of our galaxy. I think it's fabulous!

Now... out to get some sunlight!!!

Monday, January 10, 2011


I found this neat website, Astronomy Picture A Day, that posts a new astronomy picture... well... every day. Here are a couple of those pictures... check out the site for more pictures, and short descriptions of what is happening in the photo.

This is going to be my daily inspiration to learn more about astronomy in the coming year... but be very clear... this is no New Year's Resolution (that would doom this to last all of a day or two)!