Lesley's Lessons and Learnings

Archive for April 2011

In Phys. Ed., my grade three class has been having a lot of fun learning and exploring Cooperative Games.  These included creating letters and shapes using all bodies together, playing Pip, Squeak and Wilbur, and Vegetable Soup, just to name a few favourites! At the beginning of the unit, I explained that for the next little while, all of our activities and new games will require one thing (other than body awareness, use of personal space, etc!)  Another hint was it began with a “C”!

It didn’t take them long to figure out that the big C word was Cooperation.  When prompted in a discussion, the students arrived at a definition for cooperation that included more than just “working together.”  They decided that cooperation could be defined as working together to achieve the same goal.  I was so pleased that they came up with this and realized that we all need to be moving in the same direction or working to achieve the same thing together.

I believe it’s important that adults need to cooperate and model for kids just what this looks like.  Take, for example, the partnership between home and school.  Kids need to know that parents and teachers are working together as a team to provide the best we can for the student to achieve success.  If they “see” this cooperation and link between home and school in action, of course, it will make a stronger impact.

The same can be said in a school building or team of educators.  I am so pleased with the leadership our school has as we all clearly understand the direction, goals, and vision of our school, along with the strategies and processes in how we’re going to get there.  It is valuable for all individual strengths to come together and work toward a goal set by a committee, staff, and entire learning community.

How do you define “cooperation”?

One more thing off of my Bucket List… Vacation in Hawaii!

We loved it so much that we want to go back again and take the kids next time!

My husband and I enjoyed a wonderful 8 day vacation to Maui, Hawaii over Spring Break. It was an amazing experience and we did many great things on the island. I really enjoy learning about the culture of new places we visit, seeing the sights, and enjoying some rest and relaxation, too. I’ve had quite a busy year with two busy little ones at home, even at a reduced FTE of 0.8, and was looking forward to a getaway to a beautiful place we’d never been before!

There are a few “RE’s” that I was reminded of while we were away. I believe it is really important to:

1. RELAX – For those who truly know me, I don’t “relax” very easily. I recognize this and am trying to work on it 🙂 Even while in Hawaii, we didn’t relax as much as we should have. We had a really busy trip with several excursions and busy days. Mental note = next time, more beach time and come home more relaxed!

2. RECONNECT – We’re busy. Everyone is busy. Trying to be the best at everything (mom, wife, teacher, friend) is difficult. Often, the connection we have with those we love can be put on the back burner. It was nice to spend time with just my wonderful husband and reconnect and talk, just the two of us.

3. REJUVENATE – One great by-product of taking time for oneself is rejuvenating. It is important to take some time, do things we love and enjoy, relax, and feel rested and re-inspired when we return.

4. REFOCUS – I believe that being able to do the above three (relax, reconnect, rejuvenate) allows us to refocus. Refocus energy into what is most important, know where our priorities are, do the best we can at everything we do, and enjoy doing it! I was ready to come home and despite a long red-eye flight home and a delay in connection flight, the best thing was coming home and holding our beautiful kids in my arms!! I have two passions in my life… my family and teaching kids. My goal? Do the very best I can at both.

While it was really hard to be away from the kids for so long (and yes, I shed some tears at least a few times!), we had some really great experiences. Some highlights of our great trip include:
– Humpback whale watching tour… breathtaking and simply amazing.
– Fleming Beach and playing in the ocean waves… so fun to laugh, play, and enjoy!
– Snorkeling at Molokini Crater… beautiful water, coral, fish, and turtle sightings!
– Road to Hana tour… long 11 hour day, but unbelievable scenery and learned a lot about culture and the island of Maui. Black sand beach, rainforest driving for 5 hours, stops along the way made it very memorable
– Sunset dinner cruise… great last night on Maui with my husband!
– Experiencing true Hawaiian culture at our first lu’au

Here is a link to some photos that we took (just a few of the 800+) that I took!

We are so thankful for our wonderful family members who took such great care of our kids while we were away. They loved having their own little holiday with their grandparents!! (Too bad they didn’t miss us at all!)

So… not that I’m exactly one to give “advice”, but my thoughts for today? Find time to Relax, Reconnect, Rejuvenate, and Refocus! It’s good for the body, mind, and soul 🙂


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