Taking time today to celebrate the occasion (motherhood), but also reflecting on the past (pre-motherhood–what that was like!) and looking ahead to what’s yet to come. May the future bring us more of the little moments of parenthood that make today so great. Little moments, lots of love, and a lifetime of gratitude for these two kiddos that make me a mom.
I’ve been writing something that isn’t ready to share yet. See, I recently found a copy of my philosophy of education, developed in college as part of my teaching program. This was a compilation of everything I had studied in my education major, and it represented my unique perspective as a teacher. It was the final step of completing the degree: a concise statement on my approach to teaching, learning, leading, and education in general. It was to be discussed in my final interview; the requirement for graduation was that all teachers must compose a personal philosophy of education. It was important.
It was also helpful, as it required me to articulate my focus on leading children in a classroom. What were my larger goals as a teacher? What did I most want my students to walk away with at the end of our time together? I wrote my philopsphy of education 15 years ago, and much of it still applies today…now as a parent.
My role as a teacher is simply to be a guide to the students’ learning. I am there to help prepare them to become independent, capable, virtuous citizens, but I am merely a guide. I simply show them the direction to take; they must get there on their own.
[Students] are in the middle of an approximately 21-year-long process of growing into a unique individual, and teachers have a 9-month influence in that process. By the time students leave my class, they will feel more ready to face their future, have a higher sense of responsibility for themselves, know what it means to respect peers and adults in their lives, and have strongly developed relationship skills for working with a variety of people.
I was inspired. My career has since shifted a bit from teaching kids to parenting my own, but could the same statement be made? What is my philopsophy of parenting? I know I write about it in bits and pieces in blog posts and magazine articles, but what if I articulated it in one consice statement? What if I had this statement readily available to read, re-read, and remind myself of my approach to raising my children and the big-picture goals for my family?
It is hard! But it is helpful. I’m working on it. It requires me to get focused about everything I value and all of my my goals as a parent. It is daunting. When it’s done, I’m going to keep it where I can read it often. Maybe I’ll carry it with me. I’ll post it for you here.
In the meantime, I’ll share with you some pictures and a quick update. I am currently recovering from a knee injury, which has left me fairly stationary for the last 6 weeks and looking something like this:
From my spot on the couch, my kids have kept me occupied with lots of board games.
Gobblet is a fun one. It’s like a 4×4 version of tic-tac-toe. And the pieces are stackable, so it’s possible to “gobble up” your opponent’s piece with your own, changing the layout of the board frequently. Great for the strategically-minded.
Another one that is fun and has a broad appeal is Labyrinth. It’s a game that is great for the littles as it does not require reading, but can be equally challenging for us big kids, too. It’s a quest for objects in a constantly shifting maze of pathways.
For some reason, I always end up being the old hag. For some reason, my kids think that’s funny. Trying to figure out how to turn a dead-end into a continuous path often leaves my old hag stumped.
JJ and I spent some time making cardboard people. He was inspired by his favorite graphic novel, Cardboard, in which creatures made out of a boy’s magic cardboard come to life. A couple of creatures created, and JJ had plans for many more and a cardboard castle for them to live in. The project eventually led to a door-to-door search for more boxes.
And my wonderful husband has been a big help in taking care of things when I haven’t been able to. Plus he brings me tea.
Readers, thanks for your patience, and I’m excited to get back to you with, what will hopefully be, some inspiring words.
This little man started kindergarten today. Oh my.
Some days may be long, but the years certainly are short.
Hold your babies close to your heart. Then a little closer.
“Hey guys, I know a fun game you can play while you’re going potty! But you have to be a boy and you have to pee standing up….So, sorry. You guys can’t play.” ~JJ, age 5
It always touches me to get a peek inside Elia’s thoughts through her writing. Her interests shine through and we get a sense of who she is. A few examples of things she works on…
Here is her latest picture book, modeled after The Pigeon Wants a Puppy. Hers is titled, The Pigeon Wants a Walrus.
Poetry…She wrote this impromptu poem on the back of a scrap of wrapping paper…
Journals. She has several of her own journals, and also this shared journal between the two of us. We started it together when she was 5, and keep it going off and on, writing notes notes back and forth. There are no rules except when you’re done, leave it on the other person’s desk-by-the-bed. It’s most exciting to get a note back right away.
Writing is a valuable outlet for this thoughtful girl!