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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! 

December is here! With the ever evolving Covid situation, I am looking more forward than ever to soaking in the sights and sounds of the holidays with those closest to me this month. Teachers These Days is in the final stages, school will be wrapping up for Christmas break in the next few weeks and rest is key. So, bring on December and all her glory. I am ready.

Here is what I have learned this week...

As a Mama

With some cancelled plans last weekend, I was looking for a way to make lemonade of my lemony mood. Christmas decorating seemed like the sugar we all needed. 

We have a tradition. When our kids come down in the morning to find a new Christmas shirt on the counter with their name on it, they know it is Christmas decorating day. It's the best. And their reactions this year were perfect.

My eldest daughter took on the task of decorating the downstairs tree this year. This is the one we gather around to open presents Christmas morning. Lights, ribbon, star... she did it all. And did an amazing job. We each got our own tin of decorations to add at the end. 

The day ended with our favourite Christmas movie and some snacks.

And somehow, I found myself wondering if it was "enough". 
What I have learned this week? It is the simplest of days that matter most to our kids.

But, then as we each reflected on what brought us joy and what we were grateful for that day, our kids all smiled and brought up the things I hadn't even thought about...

"I am grateful that Daddy was home and able to decorate with us"
"It made me happy that we all spent the day together working as a team"
"I am grateful Mommy's plans got cancelled".
"I love that we are celebrating just a little bit earlier this year"

It was more than enough. 

As a Teacher

Check out The Innovator's Mindset Podcast with George Couros
on Apple Podcasts HERE or on You Tube HERE
Check this one off the 'ol professional bucket list...

This week, I had the honour of being a guest on one of my greatest idol's podcast. I met George Couros in 2015 and was instantly captivated by his passion, his storytelling and his message. His work has affected every part of our kindergarten classroom and his books The Innovator's Mindset and Innovate Inside the Box (co authored with Katie Novak) are staples in my teaching library that completely transformed my outlook and priorities in the classroom. 

From the power of connection to the need to focus on student strengths, passions and interests to George's list of 10 Classroom Culture builders, I am incredibly grateful to have George's support and guidance as I find myself in this world of education.

What I have learned this week? It's happening. And I couldn't be more grateful. 

I have dreamed of being a guest on George's podcast. I have envisioned what it would be like to work with him on a project. I have often been energized just by the thought that George might be "proud" of what I am doing in our classroom. And here we are. It is happening.

The very first time I saw George speak, he spoke these words...
I am grateful for connection, for hard work and for support from people like George. I am grateful that his company IMPress will publish Teachers These Days. I am grateful that after all these years of admiring his work and his ethic, I am able to be able to have more faith and pride in what I do as an educator because of his belief in me.

Take a listen through one of the links below...
Laurie McIntosh and George Couros have an energetic and inspiring conversation about education, "dreams, needs, and abilities" as described by Tom Hierck and reflected on by Laurie in this podcast, and the impact of consistent kindness. The two also talk about Laurie's upcoming book, Teachers These Days which she co-writes with Jody Carrington! Both George and Laurie are currently residing in Alberta, Canada, so the two talk about education in their province and even hold a fun side conversation about hockey rivalries! One of the most powerful stories that Laurie shares in this podcast and in her upcoming book is one she experienced with a co-worker and how she recognized the different ways that people show appreciation, especially when we are consistent with our kindness over extended periods of time. Laurie acknowledges that she is limited on energy at times and shares the very real exhaustion that she feels, she also shares how she continues to be kind, present, and mindful despite that exhaustion. Listen to the end to hear what George says that actually brings Laurie to tears (payback for when she made George cry on a plane)! The episode closes with this advice from George: "Give credit, give compliments, give praise to people too early as opposed to too late."
Looking for more information about the Dreams, Needs, Abilities inventories we speak about?
Here is a blog that explains how we use them in our classroom...

Dreams, Needs and Abilities and Their Power in the Classroom

As a Human

And speaking of believing...

One of the most powerful quotes to come out of that podcast experience had everything to do with how we come to believe in ourselves.

What I have learned this week? "Learn to believe in yourself through those who believe in YOU".

When George said this, I got goosebumps.

I try to teach my own children to believe in themselves by believing in them.

Every day, I strive to believe in our learners in order for them to learn to believe in themselves.

I am a constant and relentless cheerleader to those I love and will do all I can to promote them and cheer them on so that they continue to believe in themselves.

But when it comes to myself? Am I able to do these things?

I once told my incredible therapist that I was out of hope. She gently and calmly said "That's ok. You don't need it right now. I am over here holding it for you. Always".

Surround yourself with the George's of the world who believe in you. The Colleen's who remind you every single day that you are amazing. The Jody's who dare to ask you to collaborate because they believe in you so much. The Cody's who hold the hope and the love even when you're tapped out. The Jacinta's who remind you over and over again that without fail, they will be there.

That is where the true power of believing in yourself comes from. Surround yourself with the believers.
I am SO incredibly grateful to be part of the #StayLit2021 line up on January 30th!

STAYLIT 2021 is an annual event to remind all of us—educators, parents, communities—that we are #bravertogether. If you’re a teacher and you loved RELIT, bring everyone in your community to sit with us as we take the day, surrounded by amazing souls, who will do their ever best to keep us all in the game and STAYLIT as we walk our children, and each other, through hard things.

This event will be hosted on a virtual platform, in an effort to create a braver movement of connection and inspiration across this globe.

We need you at the table. Sign up today for a FULL day of virtual fun and learning because we are indeed, #BraverTogether. This day is about filling your boots with inspiration, connection and interesting perspectives from some rockstar speakers like Dr. Jody Carrington, Shelley Moore, Jessica Janzen & Ronnie Olstad, Jesse Thistle, and George Couros. 

AND, as a SPECIAL OFFER please use to code LAURIE (all caps) to score 15% off your ticket! This makes an incredible teacher gift this holiday season.


I cannot wait to have you there!


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

Love, Kindness and Happy Learning to You!

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