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Posted by on in General

I had an extraordinary day yesterday. Did you? And I can hardly wait to tell you what happened. You be the judge. 

Here in America, the Labor Day holiday weekend is an end of summer opportunity to reflect and make observations about past and future. Lessons always surround us when we watch, listen and learn. That proved to be so true for me yesterday. Here's how it happened.

We go through phases and stages in life where it seems like stuff is just rolling downhill faster than we can keep up. So I needed a break. A pause to savor life's beauties, feel the joys of each moment and relish my 'happy'. I spent most of the summer getting healthy, and figuring out the next phase in my life post cancer. I also had some heartache and disappointments, don't we all?

A time of mindfulness, dance, watching sunsets and listening to rapids. A summer of promises made- some met, some not, some hurt, some joy. Best ever, notably the day I learned I am finally cancer free, with unmet life yet to be fulfilled. Still here, giving new promise to my legacy. Let's start with a lesson in love.

My kids created an end of summer family weekend activity. It was tough to plan for camping with unexpected road closures, questionable day to day air quality from the wildfires and restricted burning, which meant no marshmallow campfires. (Overcome by a last minute switch to propane).

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Posted by on in Early Childhood

As summer draws to a close and back-to-school bells ring, families enjoy the tail end of summer bliss. Popsicle sticks and lemonade stands. Kids everywhere making lemonade, at least I think so. 

 When I think of my childhood summers, such vivid memories of long days playing with neighbor kids, trips to Lake Michigan with my family, going fishing and planting pansies with my Dad. My Mom, Reading. Old movies. Scrabble and Crossword puzzles.

In order to get money for cherry cokes down at the corner and maybe save for new shoe skates, or even go horseback riding, we had a lot of lemonade stands. It was no big deal. It was a rite of passage, a part of summer like eating watermelon, chomping on sweet corn on the cob, picking berries. Long days reading books and going to the library. Taking the bus downtown, by ourselves.

Lemonade stands were most fun of all. We earned our own money and that was a very big deal.

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Posted by on in Education Leadership

 

Anything is Possible; Everything is Possible!

We're all just a bunch of bosses and cool ones, at that. We take turns leading and following. When we figure it out, we're like reformed Minions, having a bunch of fun together.

Every day is a celebration of learning and life. Culture is the name of the game and our beliefs, our purposes, our shared Vision and Mission are the tools we use as pieces. We are all stakeholders in the greater good. Successful cultural organization starts with getting along and working together in collegial conversation. 

Our leadership matters! Making a difference to those we work with, play with and care for has its challenges, but we overcome every obstacle. Better together, by understanding and influencing others by who we are, what we say and what we do.

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Posted by on in Literacy

Michigan Judge Stephen Murphy III recently ruled children do not have a fundamental right to learn to read and write. This long lasting, far reaching decision responded to a lawsuit filed in 2016 by Public Counsel, for plaintiffs, students in five of Detroit's most poorly performing schools, including public and charter. 

The case was called Gary B v. Synyder. It named, among others, Governor Snyder, Michigan Board of Education etc. The 136 page complaint, highlighted need for literacy and adequate education for all Detroit schoolchildren, as well as remedies for lack of appropriate facilities, class sizes, learning conditions and access to the proverbial level playing field for beleagured students.

I really don't know where to start or what to say. It is so disheartening to read the backstory of the Michigan Judge's decision that children don't have a fundamental right to literacy.

I saw the story on Twitter about a week ago, have been knocking it around in my head until I found a day to cocoon, do significant research and then write what I think. So that is exactly where I am and not really happy about it. It's just stuck in my head and heart.

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Posted by on in General

  

"Never doubt a small group of thoughtful, commited citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead.

Well, it's official, I graduated. Preschoolers are now ready for Kindergarten in the fall. Last night I happened to see one of the littles with his family at a Mexican restaurant. He looked at me, like Teacher Rita what are you doing here?

Maybe it's because teachers are always teaching, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, too. We are all teachers, whether in the schoolhouse, at home or out and about. There is always a lesson in there somewhere. And we instinctively know how to teach.

With world events swirling around us, seems like focusing on health and life's simple pleasures makes sense. Savoring a flower petal, river rapids, hearing wind chimes becomes more important than ever.

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