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I sit with a few girls during lunch recess

we all like to doodle

Tomorrow (September 22) is the first day of autumn (!)

But it’s Arizona – 96 degrees and humid from a recent storm

 

Laura’s drawing pretty ladies shopping

Julia is sketching fashion (dresses, skirts, shirts)

and I draw ferns, acorns and other accoutrements of Nature

kids are shouting and running around us – we remain composed

Student Council Elections

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Unsplash Photo

I say this every year during Student Council election time: Adults could take a cue from these 4th – 8th graders when it comes to running a campaign.

This is what they do:

  • Stick to positive actions they want to actuate;
  • Talk only about what THEY stand for and how receptive they will be to help the community;
  • Give heartfelt speeches despite their fear of public speaking

…and candidates who lose tearfully congratulate the winners.

It’s an endless source of inspiration and hope for me. I feel optimistic and happy about our future because these kids have huge hearts and really put themselves out there.

We adults just need to be better role models for them.

 

 

 

 

Flowers from a Student

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gerbera daisy

“When they go low, we go to the polls.”

and…

“Stop comparing yourself to other people.”

Oprah Winfrey

 

These are just a few notable quotes from her commemoration speech to graduates at USC’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism graduation ceremony.

“Your” Children

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Dandelion Watercolor

One of the biggest lessons in life I’ve had to unlearn is that my children are “mine.”

Gibran’s words are plain and true:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

Kahlil Gibran

Too many parents believe their children are a reflection of themselves. Our job as parents is to provide nourishment and safety for these souls. But they are whole people already – we do not – SHOULD not – impose our dreams on them.

 

Writing prompt: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Student: This prompt makes me sad. Because I don’t know. My parents tell me I must be either be an engineer or a doctor. I cannot have a job that pays less than that.

Teacher: Well, let’s say your parents tell you that you can pursue ANY profession that you want. What would it be?

Student: I don’t know…I don’t know, because I’ve never even thought of it.

Why do parents tell their kids how to live your lives when they have their own?

 

By the way, Gibran never had children. Maybe he could be this wise because he had the distance necessary to see the whole picture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m a Teacher, Not a Martyr

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Mr. Wright is leaving. He’s my daughters’ high school orchestra teacher. Everyone is deeply saddened because he’s an exceptional teacher and person. In fact, he just won the district’s exemplary teacher’s award. His students were crestfallen – he’s such an amazing teacher! This is his dream job. So why is he leaving?

Because he can’t afford to stay: His wife stays at home and he has children he must support and can’t with a teacher’s salary.

This is wrong.

One of my co-workers is a single mom and her two sons are not covered under health insurance because she can’t afford it. Every sniffle, ache and potential accident gives her great cause to worry.

This is wrong.

Arizona has been identified as the worst for teacher pay and teacher friendliness by at least two separate studies. More teachers are leaving than entering with each year. Even substitute teachers are in great shortage.

This is wrong.

It’s time to make things right in Arizona’s education system. You can ignore the symptoms of any illness, but that doesn’t mean it will go away.