Friday Two Cents: Words To Live By


This past week has been a bit of a roller-coaster ride of emotions for me. At the beginning of the week I was with someone who made me feel down and upset yet by the end I was with some people who lifted me up and inspired me.

Firstly I was with someone whom I have known for years and they have made no secret that they do not like teachers. They on a number of occasions have belittled teaching and teachers in general. Saying things along the lines that teachers don’t deserve the two months off or that they are spoiled and they are teaching the wrong way. If they were Premier they mentioned that they would attack the teachers by taking away pay, benefits and force them into doing things their way, things that was acceptable back 70 – 100 years ago.
At times I have fired back. Once they said they could teach a class and I responded saying, “I would love to put you in a Kindergarten class and see how far you get. I guarantee you wouldn’t last an hour let alone a year.” Yet for the most part I usually let them say what they want and it generally just rolls off me, but for some reason this time I could not. Not because I questioned teaching but the fact they will never change their minds no matter what I say or when ever I prove my point. I am seriously considering ending the relationship of many years, which put me in a gloomy mood.
With this cloud over my head I went about my business, which happened that I am attending an additional qualification course (AQ) for Teacher-Librarian (TL). A TL is more than just a librarian; they are a resource teacher who can assist the classroom teacher in how they implement the curriculum. I have supplied as a TL on a number of occasions and found it a rewarding experience.
Upon starting the course I met other teachers with the same passion for teaching and a desire to help others. This alone began to lift my spirits, however we were given the tremendous opportunity to go to an educator’s conference on the second day. This conference was called MakerEdTO. It is a conference of educators that come together to try to bring new ideas to the students by learning through making things. Yes they do the lessons and research before they build things but they encourage the students to get their hands dirty, take chances and make mistakes all the while they are learning.

A working mechanical arm I made from cardboard.

The conference was about teachers getting their hands dirty and playing so they can understand and bring back to the classroom what they have learned. I for one attended a workshop where I was able to learn to use a program called Scratch where the students can learn code. Another workshop was about building things out of cardboard. I was able to create a working mechanical arm that actually picked up an empty water battle.
The conference was good but the most important and inspiring thing was that there were over 200 teachers there to learn and get inspired for their students. At the beginning of their summer break these people went somewhere to learn to essentially help their students learn.
This positive atmosphere is what I need to remember and keep in my life. Not those people who have nothing but negativity. Yet I have to remember one good thing about all those negative people out there. You know, the ones who grumble and insult others because they are jealous or only happy when they are putting down others or mad at the world for something or another. I’ll look at them and remember this wisdom quote …


‘I am grateful for all those difficult people in my life, they have shown me exactly who I do not want to be.’



Words to live by.



Friday Two Cents: Positive Over Negative Behaviour



This week, at times, went by fast and at other times was slow to the point of it being painful. This past week was the March break that so many enjoy. It is a good time to relax and take a break from the rigorous routine of the school year. This break I worked at an afterschool program with the students where we went on field trips to places such as a trampoline park, maple syrup making, nature hike and we even went to Disney on Ice. The trips and the students were enjoyable but there were times when I observed other people’s behavior and I was not too impressed.

I think the worst was when we went to Disney on Ice and where parents and children were there to enjoy the show, just as we were. Yet I observed behavior from the parents that would be seen as unacceptable in any classroom let alone in public. The issue was that we as a group had tickets for the show in a specific area, yet some people decided to sit in the seats and I and a couple of students had to sit in other empty seats to enjoy the show. We then had to leave when the seat holders arrived in the middle of the show. I mentioned to the ushers that our seats were in a specific area with a group but people were in them.
I had to wait in the back with the students until the people finally left but not without a few choice words. I was grateful that the two students continued to enjoy the show and not hear what this parent had to say. In the end we did get or seats and enjoyed the second half of the show.
Though this situation did remind me of a paper I read about behavior and how it is passed on from parents to children. We are not born mean or a racist, it is not in our genetics, but it is something that is learned behavior. Those parents showed inappropriate behavior and their children also observed this. Therefore it is reasonable to deduce that the children will learn for this instance and begin to show this type of behavior in the future.

Children learn how to behave from their parents

I should not be too surprised at this. Through my observations of other people with children, the parent’s beliefs and behavior were passed onto the children, being that the children learned their behavior from their parents, even behavior that is seen as inappropriate or anti-social. It would support the findings in the study on behavior I read.
Yet what can I, and others, in the society do to comfort this rude behavior? The study did mention that to confront negative behavior with positive behavior. I am not talking about becoming Mary Poppins and smile at people or letting others role over us, but not propagating this behavior. Being a positive influence will rube off on others as much as negative.
Therefore what is the lesson today when dealing with these types of people? Be positive and do not let others ruin your good time with their negative attitudes. For me I kept my composure and dealt with the ushers and people in a respectful way and I enjoyed my time at Disney on Ice. You can see a few shots of the show below. That person can complain all they want but it did not ruin my time.
As the Dalai Lama once said …
‘In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.’ Dalai Lama
I will continue to develop my positive vision so that my positive action can be carried on by me and hopefully passed on to others around me.
Ailish Sinclair

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