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Part One: Learning Conference

 

brainpencilThe Learning and the Brain conference is one I highly recommend to all educators. Thanks to Book Smart Kid, I was able to attend. It did not disappoint. The speakers passion and shared visions inspired and affirmed some of what I’ve long believed as an educator. I admit, though, that some of what they proposed was challenging.

What inspired me most during the conference is how much the cognitive scientists agreed with the philosopher’s of educators who taught me many years ago that the work of children is play, and that it should be preserved. That the brain is the most malleable during childhood and how much development is still happening for teens. That educators should strive to maintain positive, nurturing relationships with children because it enhances the educational environment of a child and that the educator and the learning environment must tease the curiosity of a learner rather than squash it.

The challenges I took away had more to do with letting go of what the system convinces us we must do. To throw out old time-wasters such as the ever popular Calendar time with younger students and homework. And to think more about filling the students work day with activity and work rather than the educator being the one talking, working and decorating.

Another challenge is for educators to stop filling the day with boxed up one-dimensional curriculum. Today’s children need to step our in courage to learn to make mistakes. It’s in the mistake where many learning opportunities lay. Teachers also need to become open and model their own mistakes and share what they’ve learned from their own mistakes. Scaffolding is a word that was used often at the conference and it makes sense because of the conference speakers emphasis about learning orientations. There was no science to back up the difference in learning styles. Instead, the differences are now called orientations. One student may be creatively inclined while another analytical while another might be motivated to learn by how practical the content studied.

There is much more to report, but I’m still processing much of what was presented. More soon.

~Peace.

 

 

 

 

Snow Daze

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The last time I experienced so much snow around me was in Boise, ID with my daughter and today, I woke up to this in Seattle! It will probably melt soon it, but it’s a perfect “excuse” to sit in bed and write. It’s either that or go out and create a snow man of sorts. I did put on my very warm socks with the intention of taking some snow pictures later and taking a cold walk.  We’ll see.

It’s also a great time for me to process some things. I think I seriously need to divulge because lately, my dreams are weirder than ever.  I dreamed about mosquitos taking over a dish I was about to eat. I dreamed about a dog and how it killed an alligator that was in my bedroom and about trying to change a diaper and not being able to do it and last night about plants camouflaging to look like spiders!

So, I decided I needed to socially put this out there in hopes that it’ll alleviate some inner stress, face my struggles and hopefully help others who may be facing hard realities.

One thing. I am a true introvert and I don’t like to have attention drawn to me. So there’s that. And then my kids. First of all, they blow me away with their emotional intelligence.  They have been open about their struggles and as a result, they face them head on while also (no doubt) helping those that struggle as they do and I’m encouraged to do the same thing.

So, I’ve been married for 24 years, but my marriage is ending and I’m separated. Even writing it down brings home it’s stark reality. But, strangely, writing about it also brings some peace. This is my very difficult reality and I’m not always together. People around me need to know why.

But, at the same time, I have healthy outlets and meaningful relationships. I also have a great therapist who I can see, if needed. I’m also a believer and so there’s the power of prayer. I have peace. But I still needed to be open with you.

My family, friends, readers. I need you and I value you. You are important in my life.

Thank you for allowing me this platform, this snowy day to truly update you.

~Peace and more peace….

 

 

 

Peace, repeat.

I’m actively pursuing peace, because, that does make sense and it’s what I’ve read to do in the bible, but I didn’t know one actually needs to hammer it out of life…

This morning, I woke up early, but not early enough to have my morning shower. It didn’t matter, I would just put on comfy clothes and makeup and make it work. I was proud that I had at least put my contacts in and made a straight enough line with my eye-liner.

I proceeded to my morning, feeling justified in calling a Lyft. I was awake and ready, no use being late if I could help it. Plus, parking is a *&%.

I arrived, sat near an outlet, plugged in my half-charged phone and smiled listening to an old, experienced man talk about having been in business for 45 years so far. He was still in business! I think that alone was worth the drive. And then…

When the 2nd speaker walked in, I had a dejavu feeling, and then the material seemed especially familiar. “Had I taken this workshop before?” Cue the “wut” look on my face.

After the 3rd speaker walks in and starts speaking, it was undeniable. I knew I had heard all of this before. UGH.

I paid 85 dollars for the workshop. Again. Really?

Peace, Lyft,  sit, peace, listen, repeat, peace, Lyft, home.

 

Darkness, light, and the joy of Pj’s

So, was it yesterday that I wrote about Faith, Hope and Love and did I mention the dark side and stomping on it and all that? Well, I DO believe that’s possible, but today, I just feel the need to clarify a bit.

Darkness is dark and no one is excluded from being seduced by it. Just as misery loves company, the dark side “parties” with the induction of new recruits. So, that’s all, I just felt like yesterday’s post was incomplete. I’m done. End of sermon.

Now, this is random, but I’m excited…I found a new idea for fashion for 2017 and I’m totally serious about this: pajamas!

I’ve longed struggled with trying to find clothes that look good on me and as I get older, this problem only seems to get worse! Clothes look great on hangers, but try them on and no, just no to some of them.

Anyway, I recently read an email about sleep-wear being on sale and I browsed around and lo and behold the idea came to me…pajamas!

You’ve no idea how much peace and glee I found in the possibilities of what I could buy in this underrepresented fashion realm. Yay!

I may be an older woman, but I don’t care to wear some baby colored, frilly, felt, flowery nightgown or in Pepto- Bismol pink PJ’s that look (to me) like children’s onesies seriously.

No.

Instead, I looked on the Gap and Soma and check this out, on Bare Necessities, now that’s what I’m talking about. I’d even wear some of that to work!

All right, now, after all this writing of dark, light and pajamas and such, it’s getting late. It’s been a long day. Hope yours was good.

~Peace, light and PJ’s.

The opportunity

“Ho, ho, ho!” I don’t think that’s what a merry laugh really sounds like. I usually hear “Hah, hah, hah, snort, clap!” Maybe Santa was actually “Ho-ing”in an attempt at lifting all he had to carry this year? Maybe he wasn’t laughing at all??

But, seriously, Merry Christmas to you and Merry “other-holidays” to others.

I wish you well in these days that most agree come with a mixture of Merry-ness and all sorts of other “nesses”.

As the year comes to a close, I wish it farewell. Thankfully, it went fast! I’m trying not to dislike it and instead see it for what it is, an opportunity.

The opportunity to break. To finally reach a breaking point, to reach a sort of end and completeness. An”end” to things feels sucky and dark. But, the dark side’s power is a sham. As a matter of fact, belief, faith, I think it has deep purpose.

I’m no expert. I’m no preacher, but I did watch some Star Wars movies. Old and new. The force is with us. (Look it up: mental and moral strength)

At some point, we can drag ourselves from this pit with the force, there waiting for us (if we want it) is the ever always heroes of: faith, hope and love.

And yes, the greatest of these is LOVE, but don’t discount FAITH and HOPE. These are BIG too. If needed, look at these as the branches of government. You get the idea.

Right now, if there is a sort of a dark power rising up in your life, step on the fucker with a foot of faith and hope. Even just a flicker will snuff out the power of the deadly red saber.

~May the FORCE be with you.