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What I've Learned This Week...

As a Mama, as a Teacher and as a Human

Thank you for being here! 

Put your hand up if you're feeling just a *tad* tired this week! 

Holy heck.

When the tired sets in like this I know I need to turn all the energy I can into rest and enoughness. I need to remind myself that I have enough, I do enough and I am enough.

Sending all the enoughness vibes your way this week as well. Thank you for continuing to show up.

Here is what I have learned this week...

As a Mama

From my Mrs. Mac's Kinders Instagram page this week:

Many of the routines in our family revolve around this premise. And our “hopes for the weekend” list is no exception.

We each take some time Friday night to identify our hopes for the weekend. That list sits in our kitchen all weekend and it guides us as we figure out our time together.

I spent waaay too many Sunday nights with someone in the family (or ME!) saying “but I just wanted to do _____ this weekend and I didn’t get to!”

This cuts down on those unmet expectations. It works for us. We are list makers (and even more so, list checker off-ers). I always get pleasure hearing someone in the family advocating for another saying “well, I’ve got all three of my hopes this weekend but ____ has had none. Let’s help!”

 
What I have learned this week? Taking some time to mindfully plan what we need and what we want to do on our weekends helps cut down on conflict and unmet expectations.

Do we always accomplish all the things? No. Do we change out Friday night hopes for others as the weekend goes on? For sure. Have all five of us literally written down “cuddle in blankets, watch TV and nap” for the entire weekend? Yup. It’s just a little thing that helps our family run smoother on the weekends ensuring we all feel a little more seen and heard. ❤️
 

 

As a Teacher

Connecting to the families I serve is a challenge in the days of online learning.

From our very first orientation meeting, I introduce our families to Class Dojo (and before you @ me, I absolutely love the features of Class Dojo EXCEPT the dang point system. It is turned off. Forever. Never, ever to be turned on...) They sign up and we not only communicate through the app all year, we also spend valuable time building an online classroom community. Families get (literally) over a hundred pictures throughout the year. Of their own child in their individual portfolios, pictures about events in our classroom, thank you shout outs and pictures of books we have read. This year, this tool has become even more important to our families since they are not able to come into our hallways. Bulletin boards, art displays, classroom activities, dramatic play set ups and more...

And let me just say, the feedback using this app has been tremendous in all of the years I have used it.

But during this time of online learning, there is a shift. Families are spending their days with their kids in a home learning situation. They don't need those daily updates and visuals as when they are away. So I struggle. I struggle with lots of questions and lots of deep reflection about what I believe a teacher's role is as I adapt my duties in their learning journey.

How much reaching out is too much? How do I know if I meeting their needs? Who just needs me to let them be so they can do what is right for their family? Am I doing enough? Too much?

And what I have come to realize during this time is that families love to get pictures of their child and know where they are needing assistance and where they are thriving. But I do not think that that's the reason they love the app so much. I believe it is because it/I provide them with clarity through the app. They know what to expect and when. They can get a clear understand of the role I play in our classroom and the role their child plays. The clarity is what is most important.

 
What I have learned this week? Clear in kind.
 
The best I can do for our families is to be clear. During this time of online learning, if my directions are muddled, when I spring something on them at the last minute, when I change up the expectations without letting them know, these are the times that I am not meeting their needs. Adding to an already stressful/difficult/overwhelming home learning situation is the last thing they need from me. I acknowledge that this is not a time to do what is best for ME (even though a huge part of me wants more time online reading to them and interacting with them and just being with them). It is what is best for THEM that matters most and I strive to continue to do that each day that we remain online.

As a Human

I am about 2/3 of the way through "What Happened To You?" by Oprah Winfrey and Bruce Perry (Amazon Associates link)

People have asked me if I would recommend it and I certainly would for anyone who wants to learn more about childhood trauma and its effects on children and adults. Having said that, I think you need to be in the right place and space if you are looking to dive deeper into your own childhood experiences and how they may affect you today. I think I am open to this book, its messages and stories more so right now because of lead up work I have done with my own therapist and a recent EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) therapy. It has been a fascinating read for me as I navigate some childhood experiences and how they affect my life now. It has me reflecting, questioning and having important conversations about resilience and healing. Here is just one of the many quotes that has stuck out to me:

What I have learned this week? 

 "What attention, nurturing touch, reassurance—what love didn’t you get?...Neglect is as toxic as trauma."

Bruce Perry's reflection at oprahdaily.com says this: "All of these systems in our brain that allow us to think, feel, move, be creative, be productive, be connected, they all require a certain degree of stimulation in order to organize normally. So nobody would expect somebody to speak Russian if they never heard Russian. Nobody would expect somebody to play piano if they never had the opportunity to get on the keyboard and practice. So it's the same way with every other brain mediated capability, including the ability to care for others. The ability to love. If you've never been loved, you don't have the machinery to love other people."
 

Boom.

Kindness. Love. Forgiveness. Empathy.

It once again reinforces for me just how important it is to practice and "acquire the machinery" in order to be able to gain these abilities.

It is why my life's work will forever to revolve around real life, collaborative experiences centering on these skills.

To heal myself and to help others heal.

 
#FifteenOnAFriday is a new conversation I am hosting on Instagram Live every Friday at 4:00 MST on my Mrs. Mac's Kinders Instagram page

It’s purpose is to focus on kindness, community and connection and to send you all into the weekend feeling inspired, ready to rest and hopeful for the coming week.

 
I was so blessed to chat with Rieley Kay, of Cilantro and Chive, Moe's Pizza and hometownmarket.ca last week where we chatted about community and an epic collaboration we took part in that has helped raised over $80 000 for charity!

Check it out on IGTV HERE!
AS PROMISED...

In my weekly email, I will giving you a sneak peek of who will be coming up the following Friday before I announce it in my Instagram stories on Wednesdays. Just a little something from me to you to thank you for being here and supporting my journey.

With that being said, THIS Friday, May 21st I have the honour of chatting with the amazing Halee @alattelearning!

Halee inspires me with her authenticity and courage in this online teacher community space. I cannot wait to chat about her upcoming plans for the summer and her best strategies for taking care of her.

We would love for you to join us!
Did you hear? Did you hear? DID YOU HEAR?

I will be joining Dr. Jody Carrington at
RELIT 2021: Braver These Days on August 21st, 2021!

Not only will this be an inspiration, cup filling, brave making, transformational event to start the new school year, it will ALSO be #TeachersTheseDays LAUNCH WEEKEND!

Along with other incredibly outstanding guests like Joe Dombrowski,  Anthony Johnson & Dr. James MakokisCoach CareyHope & Wade KingHamish Brewer, we will pour all the love and light into educators to remind them of the holy work they do. 
 
Keep watching my weekly emails for some Teachers These Days sneak peeks coming soon!
GET YOUR RELIT 2021: BRAVER THESE DAYS TICKETS HERE

I am grateful to be on this learning journey every day with all of you...

Love, Kindness and Happy Learning to You!


Laurie
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