Sunday, November 8, 2009
I haven't been on Sparkpeople for awhile. I have been letting my everyday business get in the way of much needed time for myself, and reflection on my health goals. For the last two months I haven't totally slipped off the wagon, but I also haven't been putting me first, or staying true to my goals all of the time. How my body feels right now and the scale really demonstrates that.
But the one thing that has come of all of this, is I'm learning to make better choices. Halloween being one of them. It is a difficult holiday for me eating wise. Only because for last 30 years I have developed some really bad Halloween habits of eating way to much chocolate and candy. But as I am making better choices for my body, there was a definite switch this year with choices. Instead of getting all excited about consuming many little chocolate bars, I was excited about trying a new recipe. Pumpkin Soup. I carved my Halloween Jack-o lanterns for the kids, on Halloween night, and after the candles blew out, and all the trick or treaters went home, I brought the pumpkin inside and chopped it all up and roasted it in the oven.
SO here is my healthy version of Pumpkin Soup to share with everyone. A better choice to mini chocolate bars that your body will just love.
Jen's Jack-o-Lantern Soup
1 Large Jack-o-Lantern cut up
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups of carrot, chopped
1 large apple, chopped
2 tbsp fresh thyme
1 cup skim milk
2 cups brown mushrooms, sliced (optional, but I love them)
1 tsp butter
2 litres of chicken stock.
Halloween Night 9pm, cut jack-o-lantern into large chunks and roast in the oven on cookie sheets skin side up for an hour or until flesh is soft. Add a dash of salt and pepper to the pumpkin at this stage if desired.
In a soup pot add onion, garlic, carrot, peppercorns. Add enough chicken stock to cover veggies, and simmer for 30 minutes, checking that stock doesn't all evaporate. Add cooked cubed pumpkin, apple, thyme, nutmeg, add more chicken stock as needed, and simmer for another 15 minutes until all veggies are soft, and almost mushy.
Using hand blender, blend all veggies in pot. Add milk, and remaining chicken stock. Makes a yummy soup, and if you are feeling a bit decadent, a nice slice of brie cheese at the bottom of your soup bowl, sets this soup alive!
Mushrooms Optional - cook sliced mushrooms in a separate pot with the 1 tsp of butter and 3/4 cup of chicken stock. Simmer until tender, then add mushrooms and stock to soup, after it's blended. Adds a yummy earthy flavour to soup!
Am really glad I am breaking out of a 30 year tradition of chocolate binging, to make better, healthier, choices for my body.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
It has been an incredible start to my school year, but also the worst.
Let's start with the good part first. I finished my Masters Degree. 2 years of really hard work came to a conclusion on Friday September 18th when I passed my Masters panel. I was extremely proud of myself, and earned My Masters degree in Educational Leadership. Then I went into celebratory mode, of the old kind. And when I say that I mean going back to my old eating habits. Desserts, heavy rich foods, and neglecting to log into Spark, with the attitude, oh I 'll start again tomorrow.
Well 11 pounds later, one month later, I feel awful. My body feels heavy, bloated, and I lack the energy that I once had. I haven't exercised properly for two weeks, and I feel like I have really wasted this month when I could have been losing 11 pounds and and be closer to my goal.
But the feeling sorry for myself stops here. The yoyo stops here.
The first thing I am going to do is track my food. That tool alone helped me lose weight when I couldn't exercise, last May when I injured my back. I know for a fact, when I eat a healthy balanced diet full of vegetables, proteins and carbs, I lose weight.
SO step one, track food.
I am also more successful at losing when I exercise. Not to mention that my energy level goes up and I just plain feel better. The one thing that has happened since starting school again this September is that I have not made time in my schedule to exercise. I am now teaching full time, and my husband is going to school full time...our days seem so full from 8:00am, right to 4:30pm. So I have to make some time in my schedule each day for some exercise.
Right now I AM my number one priority. I am not going to continue to allow myself to come second in my life, because without a healthy body, life becomes more difficult. I need to look after this in a hurry.
So Step Two: Exercise Plan
M-Run day 45 minutes - on days when the weather is not so good, plan to go to the gym
T - Swim 40 minutes, strength training, 30 min
W - Run 45
Th - Swim 40, Strength training, 30 min
F - Run 45
S - Walk 60 minutes, strength training 30 minutes
Sun -Walk 30 minutes, geocaching, hiking (make exercise date with hubby)
I am making a copy of my plan, and posting it on my fridge and calendar, as well as at school.
I want to lose 20 pounds by the end of November, and with this plan I know it's possible. I am very determined to make a better start to my year.
I just needed to take the time for a reality check. Now off to make a healthy shake to start my day, and ask my husband what we are going to do on our date today. Walk? swim? Canoe? The possibilities are endless, and now after a month long sabbatical, positive.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
On Thursday morning at my school our students took part in the Terry Fox Run. This has been a tradition in our schools ever since I walked the halls as a young student, not a teacher.
Terry Fox was a Canadian humanitarian, athlete, and cancer treatment activist. He became famous for the Marathon of Hope, a cross-Canada run to raise money for cancer research, which Fox ran with one prosthetic leg. He is considered one of Canada's greatest heroes and is celebrated internationally every September as people participate in the Terry Fox Run, the world's largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research.
On Thursday morning, our students gathered in the assembly and watch a short video of Terry from his Marathon of Hope in 1980. His stride was not that of an easy run, for after losing one of his legs from the knee down to Cancer, running was not something that came easily. But Terry was an athlete, and had determination. He had a dream of a Cancer free world, and set to raise money for a cure for Cancer. His stride - hop through Canadian streets was inspirational, and students everywhere were glued to television sets watching to see how far this young man from BC made each day on his journey across Canada. Fox was unable to complete his run, as his bone cancer had metastasized to his lungs. X-rays revealed that Fox's right lung had a lump the size of a golf ball and his left lung had another lump the size of a lemon. He was forced to stop the run on September 1, 1980 just north-east of Thunder Bay, Ontario, after 143 days. He had run 5,373 km or 3,339 miles (roughly 23.3 miles per day) through Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario. Eight days after Terry Fox was forced to stop, the CTV television network organized a nationwide telethon in hopes of raising additional funds for the cause of cancer research; it proved so successful that $10.5 million was raised that day. The campaigns were so successful that by February 1981, $24.17 million dollars had been raised and Terry Fox's dream of getting one dollar from every single Canadian for cancer research had been realized.
Terry Fox is today considered a national hero of Canada. He was named a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation's highest civilian honour, on September 18, 1980 by Edward Schreyer, Canada's then serving Governor-General. Schreyer travelled to Port Coquitlam to personally present the medal to Terry himself.
In June 1981, Fox developed pneumonia, and on June 27, he went into a coma. He died on the 28th at 4:35 a.m., which was his favourite hour of running, a year after his legendary run, and exactly one month shy of his twenty-third birthday. Flags were flown at half-mast on Canadian government buildings across Canada and overseas while tributes poured in to Terry Fox's family who retreated home to prepare for his burial. Canada's serving Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in his address before Canada's House of Commons said that Terry gave far more to his country than his country was able to give to him. Trudeau also noted that:
"It occurs very rarely in the life of a nation that the courageous spirit of one person unites all people in the celebration of his life and in the mourning of his death....We do not think of him as one who was defeated by misfortune but as one who inspired us with the example of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity."
On July 3, 1981, Terry succumbed to the Cancer which he so ardently tried to overcome. But the Marathon of Hope did not die with Terry. Every September, school aged children all over the world participate in Terry Fox Runs. It is an important part of our history, and culture not only to continue Terry's dream of fundraising to find a cure for Cancer, but also to reconnect to the strength within ourselves to achieve our goals and dreams.
One of my favourites quotes from Terry is this:
"I just wish people would realize that anything’s possible if you try; dreams are made possible if you try. "
When I saw this on the gym wall at school on Friday I cried. I was so moved, even after all these years by a young man who had one leg, Cancer, and who never gave up on his dreams.
So I won't give up on mine. Thank-you Terry for the inspiration that I needed to refocus my dreams of becoming a healthier me, and for everyone that's striving for a goal, just remember anything is possible if you try.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I am still on a high from completing my Masters. There I said it out loud. Well Not that anyone around me hasn't already figured it out. I am damn proud of myself. Two years of extremely hard work and I am very proud of myself for not only completing my degree, but also that transformation it has made in my life. I am living more authentically, and gosh darn it I have some pep in my step.
My Mom called me at work this afternoon and asked me to come over to her house before I headed home. This is not unusual, as she only lives a couple blocks from my school. I went over, and she handed me a box. Inside the box was a ring. A white gold ring, with pave diamonds and a large garnet stone. It was beautiful. "Congratulations Master." she said, "I am very proud of you." I was so touched, and it hasn't left my finger since she gave it to me. Love from my Mom, in no matter what shape or form it comes in, is always incredible and meaningful. It's amazing to feel proud of yourself, and really nice when others feel the same. Especially by the ones you really love.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
I am so happy.
Yesterday after two years worth of work, I presented my learning to my professors to earn my Masters degree. My University was amazing. We had to weave our learning into a metaphor, that demonstrated growth over time. My metaphor was health. Because along side of my Masters Journey has been my health journey, and they morphed into the same journey...leading an authentic healthy life. Health for my body, mind, spirit, soul, which spilled over into my profession.
One of the professors that was on my panel was the director of the Canadian branch of the University. It had been a long time since I had seen him. At the end of my presentation he was very honest in saying he did not recognize me when her first came in the room. My physical appearance and demeanour was so dramatically different from where I was 2 years ago. Two years ago I was 50 pounds heavier, and really unhappy in life and work. I loved my job, but my physical health was so bad, I was away a lot from work, and so exhausted at the end of each day. I knew I had to make a change, and he said the change blew him away.
So when I got up to tell my Masters story, I also told the story of health. How focusing on the right tools that I needed to help me lose the weight made all the difference. I showed them Sparkpeople, and how it was a quality tool that enabled me (and still does) to track my daily nutrition intake and fitness output. By tracking my nutrition and fitness, and reflecting about my successes and setbacks, I made myself accountable to my vision of becoming a healthier person. Now I'm only half way to where I want to be, but I am so excited, because I know I have the strength and fortitude to get there.
Now I have to be honest. As this Masters presentation was coming closer, I slipped into some old habits. Instead of making time for exercise and planning healthy suppers, I went into survival mode and was glued to my computer for weeks. Now that it's over I have the freedom to get back on track, and realign with my health goals for myself.
I was so fortunate that one of my very best friends did the Masters with me. Last night we both presented, and both passed. During the course of the Masters, she joined Sparkpeople too. She has lost 30 pounds and now is at her goal weight. Last night we celebrated with our husbands for supper. We had yummy healthy meals, shared bottles of wine, and ate creme brule for dessert. We also did not turn away from the champagne that our professors sent over to toast our successes. It truly was one of the most amazing days of my life. I now know and believe I have the strength to accomplish anything.
So today is a new day, and after the celebration comes the accountability. I got on the scale and was pleasantly surprised that I have only gained 2 pounds after 2 weeks of no exercise and not tracking my food, as well and drinking my weight in wine last night. But it really does speak volumes to me that my ways have changed. Even though I maybe was not tracking, I was really listening to my body and not overindulging, and keeping potions in check. I know how easy two pounds is too shed, and looking forward to the next leg of my health journey.
So this morning, I am celebrating a new chapter, a new health goal, but also celebrating how far I have come, and all I have accomplished.
Monday, August 31, 2009
I am a music teacher at an elementary school. I teach students Kindergarten to grade seven. My classes are usually around 30 students, and 30 minutes long. So every half hour I get a new group. Each day I teach nine classes which makes for a busy day.
My classes have always been active and full of life with movement, dance, singing, and playing instruments. I have always added extra movement in my day to liven things up. But this year, I want to change it up a bit.
I am going to offer a lunch time learn to run group. It's for students who want to improve their fitness, slowly, and have fun doing it. I was thinking of meeting twice a week, as well as planning some fitness related field trips.
I really love running, and have missed doing it. A torn meniscus in my left knee stopped it short last Spring, and a bulged disc in my back this Spring added to the torture. I have now eased my way back into it, and want to continue slowly getting stronger. After completing my Action Research on the health of our intermediate students at school, I believe there is a need to have such a club that focuses on making fitness fun while improving overall health.
I am really excited about it. It will bring my health passion along side my passion for music. The one thing I have learned in my Masters journey, is that you have to be the change you seek, and I'm really looking forward to sharing this journey with the students I teach.
Improving health one idea at a time.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
I had a wonderful trip to Alberta to visit a very dear friend. We were very good friends right at the end of high school and the first couple years of University, and then life happened. Time, distance, and a few misunderstandings, and we were out of each others lives for a long time. She tried to tell me the truth about something that I wasn't ready to hear. Anger instantly replaced the relationship, and over time feelings of regret and sadness replaced the anger. I missed her terribly.
About a year ago, she contacted me again through Facebook. It wasn't very long after that, that she hopped on a plane and came to visit. As soon as I opened the door the hugs, tears, and apologies flowed, and I vowed right then and there to never let something like that happen again. I wasted 8 years of my life not having her in my life, and I was going to spend the rest of my life building and strengthening all my relationships. Working on my masters degree has taught me how important relationships are.
As an educator I am always thinking about my students. Children do not remember every science project or math lesson taught. They remember the people, the relationships. The friends and teachers who cared enough to help them on their way, and gave them wings. They remember the bad ones too, and it is yet another reminder of how we carry ourselves, and how that, makes a lasting impact on the people around us.
I am very grateful to have my friend back in my life. When I was on her farm, we walked 6 miles everyday, talked, ate healthy home-cooked meals, laughed, and caught up on the last 8 years.
In this health journey I find myself on, I believe that physical health is truly important, but so is our emotional and spiritual health. Taking time to laugh and reconnect with friends is so good for the health of our soul. I am very grateful that I had the opportunity not only to work on my physical health while I was away, but also very glad that I took the time to reconnect with a great friend. My soul is so filled with love and goodness, my cup runneth over.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I went into town to go to Nan's today. My Nan (grandma) is turning 88 on Tuesday. She's an amazing woman, but she's is getting to the age, where some things are harder for her than they used to be. So when she calls and asks for a favour, I jump into action. She has supported and loved me all these years and it feels so good to love and support her back.
When my husband and I went to Nan's today to dig in a new shrub in her back yard, she handed me a bag. Inside the bag, was an old dress of mine from 8 years ago that I had asked her to mend, and that she had found in her spare room. It was one of my favourite Summer dresses, black cotton with brilliant yellow sunflowers on it. I loved that dress so much, and after all this time had forgotten all about it. When I pulled it out of the bag, I realized that after working so hard to lose all of this weight, I would probably fit into it.
So when I got home, I rushed into my room and tried it on. Sure enough after all these years, it fit like a glove, almost like it had never taken an 8 year hiatus.
I'm feeling really good these days. As I am increasing my exercise and getting stronger, I feel younger and more alive. Now, as I focus on losing the last 50 pounds, I am reminded of a life I left behind, and the life that lies ahead.
I am so glad I made the choice to become healthier, because I have so much more energy to live my present life, and enjoy what's happening now.
Friday, August 7, 2009
This past Christmas I was shopping for some clothes that fit. I was really at a stage where I was in between sizes, and nothing fit right. A size 20 was comfortable, but hung a little loose, and an 18 was tight and really emphasized my muffin top. It all depended on the cut and style of the jean.
After looking on the sales rack I found a pair of wide legged dark jeans and really fell in love with them. They looked roomy, and professional for work. I took the 20's and went to the fitting room, and tried them on, but they were too big. I was swimming in them. I walked to the rack, and they didn't have an 18, but had a 16. I sighed. I knew the 18 would have fit. For some reason, on that wintry day I picked up the 16's and took them to the dressing room. I put them on, and was surprised that I could do them up. They were tight. My muffin top looked more like a tire, but I wasn't sad. I looked at the price, and they were on sale for only 10 bucks. I told myself I would buy them, and with a little hard work, I would be able to fit into them.
Today as my husband told me I was really thinning out, I was reminded about those jeans that have been sitting in the back of my closet all these months. I searched for them, and today I tried them on.
They fit like a glove. No muffin top, no bagginess.
I walked out of the bedroom modelling the pants, and my husband whistled, and said, "you must be proud of yourself." And I really was. I have been working really hard on my dream of a healthier me.
I made a good investment at the time of buying the jeans at a great price, but an even better investment in myself. Even though the jeans were only a small goal, I feel very proud of my accomplishments so far, and even inspired my husband who today made a goal to lose 10 pounds.
What a triumphant day.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Quotes are wonderful things. Did you ever come across one that really resonated with you? This morning as I was looking for quotes for my final masters assignment I found this one:
"Don't waste life in doubts and fears; spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour's duties will be the best preparation for the hours or ages that follow it."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
In the past I was the worst at sabotaging my own health. Eating everything in plain sight, exercising sporadically, and indulging on all the things that I wanted. It's funny, because I lost sight of my vision of what I truly wanted. To be healthy, and happy. These impulse indulgences drew me further and further away from my goal for myself. It was like I doubted or feared my ability to achieve it. Coupled by comments from others like "you'll never be thin because you are so big boned", or "you really don't have a runner's body" added doubt in my head, and I stopped believing in myself. It was like something in my head said, "If I can't be a runner, I'll eat Ben and Jerry's".
For the last month I have been wrestling with fear and doubt about completing my final masters assignment. When I read Emerson's quote, I laughed out loud, and the fear and doubt instantly dissipated. I had wasted a month not believing in my abilities to finish it, and fearing that when the program is all over I will have lost something I truly cherished. I've lost nothing. I'm standing at the gateway to an exciting new path.
I have come full circle. I have such belief in my abilities to achieve my goals, and the strength that runs through my veins every day helps me make positive choices to get to where I need to be. They are small steps in preparation for the hours and ages to come.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I Was Broken – Lyrics by Marcus Foster
I was tied, but now unbound
My head is off the ground
For a long time I was so weary
Tired of the sound, I've heard before,
The gnawing of the night time at the door,
Haunted by the things I've made
Stuck between the burning light and the dust shade.
I said now I used to think the past was dead and gone,
But I was wrong, so wrong, whatever makes you blind
Must make you strong, make you strong,
In my time I've melted into many forms
From the day that I was born, I know that there's no place to hide
Stuck between the burning shade and the fading light,
I was broken, For a long time, but It's over now.
Yes and you, and you,
well you walk these lonely streets that people send, People send.
There are some wounds that just can't mend, I do pretend, pretend,
I am free from all the things that take my friends
But I will stand hear till the end, I know that I can take the moon,
In between the burning shade and the fading light
I was broken, for a long time, but It's over now
I was broken, for a long time, but It's over now
The reason I am including this song in my blog today, is because I love it. A story of a person who has been to that place they couldn't get away from for a long time...and was stuck there. I felt that way for years. Maybe not totally broken, but definitely not whole. What I love the most this song , is the lyrics that have such feelings of pain, and then when you think it can't get any worse there is the line BUT IT'S OVER NOW...
I truly believe that I am slowly putting my struggle with weight behind me. And as I shed the pounds I feel like I'm discovering pieces of myself again. For the first time in my life, having the strength to make this transformation makes me feel whole again.
I was broken, for a long time, but it's over now.
I feel whole, joyous, and free of all the road blocks standing in my way. It's such a great feeling. I don't ever remember being this happy with myself.
But I must have known on some level, and thank goodness had the will to seek something better.
How do we change? Tom Peters say it’s with real work and processes, and being connecting with improving performance. Murray Bowen says it all begins with awareness, and that awareness is movement. I believe that is true too, but without the real work behind it, seeking change and betterment just becomes words. I have learned the true value of standing behind your words. For years I have been looking at improving my health. I would get all excited and juiced up about losing weight or exercising, and then it would last about a month, and I would go back to my original habits. Or get all excited about some professional development workshop, and tell myself, you need to apply this to your teaching, and never do it. I have had two years of amazing learning, and on September 18th I could be completely finished the degree, and will be. It is essential for me to honour that process and the growth that has happened, and to continue to grow and reflect on my learning. If I don’t do anymore after September 18th, and say to myself, “Wow, I’m finished. No more assignments, reflections, and just going to take the money and run!”...would be like being handed Hank Williams guitar, and letting it sit in the case on the corner of the room collecting dust.
So here is where the real work comes. I have surrounded myself with some pretty amazing people who are like minded in continuing to improve their practices and their learning, and I have asked two people to check in with me once a month to make sure I am keeping true to my goals. I have given them a copy of professional platform, and I plan continue to reflect in my blog, as well as my platform. I also realize one of the most important things I need to improve upon is my will and strength to follow through on my goals. To have then is great, to achieve them is divine.
When I was traveling over to my niece's wedding in Langley I gave into temptation and started reading Twilight. I am an avid reader and lover of good stories, but I had put this one off. I had made a deal with myself that I would read it after I had finished my Masters. But on the ferry ride over I needed something to read, and after two years of reading research and non-fiction I was ready for a novel. So I caved to temptation and bought the book. It was so good I finished the book in one day, and because it is a saga, four books in total, I bought the next ones the next morning. I had to find out what was going to happen next. I love books like that. I was mesmerized, and really surprised that I enjoyed it so much. I am thinking it is the best love story since Elizabeth Bennett and Mark Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. All of that aside, I actually found a lesson for myself in the book, which surprised me even further.
No I'm not jumping on the team Edward or team Jacob bandwagon, nor am I rushing out to buy myself a pair of g-string panties with Edward's name written on them. I'm after all I'm 35 years old. What I really loved in the book was Edward's strength and fortitude around is relationship with Bella. She's human, he's a vampire. His whole desire is to suck every inch of blood out of her. He even refers to her as her own personal brand of heroin. Sometimes I feel that was about food, and I was surprised how much I really admired Edward's restraint. He doesn't give in. To consume Bella is something he wants so badly, but he wants the relationship even more, so he uses every ounce of his will and personal fortitude to have a relationship with someone he wants to devour.
Wow. I love food. Sometimes I feel it so hard to keep on track and eat what's healthy. But what I truly desire even more than food, is to be a slimmer, healthier version of myself. SO I am going to take a lesson from Edward Cullen (I can't believe I'm saying this), and really focus on what matters most to me right now. A healthy Me in all areas.
And when I feel temptation running through my veins, or the wavering feeling of giving up, I will remember a teenage vampire, and his will to achieve what he desires most.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
No I'm not jumping on the team Edward or team Jacob bandwagon, nor am I rushing out to buy myself a pair of g-string panties with Edward's name written on them. I'm after all 35 years old. What I really loved in the book was Edward's strength and fortitude around is relationship with Bella. She's human, he's a vampire. His whole desire is to suck every inch of blood out of her. He even refers to her as her own personal brand of heroin. Sometimes I feel that was about food, and I was surprised how much I really admired Edward's restraint. He doesn't give in. To consume Bella is something he wants so badly, but he wants the relationship even more, so he uses every ounce of his will and personal fortitude to have a relationship with someone he wants to devour.
Wow. I love food. Sometimes I feel it so hard to keep on track and eat what's healthy. But what I truly desire even more than food, is to be a slimmer, healthier version of myself. SO I am going to take a lesson from Edward Cullen ( I can't believe I'm saying this), and really focus on what matters most to me right now. A healthy Me.
And when I feel temptation running through my veins, I will remember a teenage vampire, and his will to achieve what he desires most.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
I met with my group once sometimes twice a week to get out technology project ready. I had to learn how to blog, use xtranormal movie maker, about glogster, photostory, and how to create school community through technology using a NING. I was learning quickly. Even though our NING was created for an example in our presentation, My page became a piece of my identity, and extension of myself. I spent hours learning how to post blogs, create characters, network with other colleagues for problem shooting. I used Twitter to gather ideas from other technology teachers, used FACEBOOK to network with fellow classmates, and used google docs to bring our vision of a school community to life. I was completely immersed for six weeks. I am sure I even was talking in my sleep using phrases like Search-Cube and Wordle. I was passionate about my learning, almost to the point of being over- zealous, which I have been known to be from time to time, and I lost a part of my vision along the way.
The learners of today are of the net generation, and I am not. They are more fluent in the use of the computer and networking than I am. They are connected, independent, open, expressive, and they learn by exploring. It is essential for educators to take that into account as we are teaching them. Students today are not finding the community that they seek and need, in the present educational model, and are finding it online. Anything that you wanted to ever know is on the computer at the push of a button. We as educators need be be innovative with the way we are teaching students today, and as well as keeping current with the technology use for learning. For myself I have passion for what I am doing in spades, and I know need to match it with the demands of our technological environment and language of the new learner in order to keep the passion of learning for them alive. This has really opened my eyes to the learning that I need to to do to be current and relevant for my students, and I plan to edit my professional platform to incorporate technology professional development, as well as develop a plan in which I incorporate technology into my teaching, and my music room.
This masters program is coming to a close in the next couple of months. The transformation that has happened inside of me is extraordinary. My passion for learning is alive, and the possibilities seem endless. And to think it all started with throwing a rock in the water. Thanks Doug, for throwing it in.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
As I come in the driveway to my new humble abode, I am greeted by a plant that is not familiar. It looks like giant rhubarb or lily pads on stalks. I am no garden whiz, but am amazed that in the ten years I have been working with plants, this one has escaped my learning. I guess that is one reason that I like gardening as much as I like teaching. I'm always learning or trying something new, finding out how something works, and why something is the way that it is. It's fun to find out how to make things grow best. With the right ingredients, nutrients, and environment it will flourish and hopefully expand and grow. These enormous plants obviously enjoy Inverness as much as I do. We both are flourishing here.
That's what I'm always seeking for my children at school. The right ingredients, nutrients and environment that they will feel free enough to grow and flourish. I introduced an idea to my kids in music today. I learned how to play Hot, Hot, Hot on the marimba on Friday. As soon as they listened to it, they started moving, smiling and couldn't sit still. Right away, I knew it was a winner. What if...we played this for the grade seven graduation? They immediately loved the idea...and wanted to start right away. So as I taught them the melodies and harmonies that began the music, I felt a joy rise above it all, the students settled down in a real groove, and ebb and flow of rhythm. The environment to try something new + the ingredients of a good song + the nutrients to fuel the passion=an excellent music class.
Monday, May 18, 2009
This is my first attempt at blogging. Others are doing it. Why shouldn't I? I used to spend hours writing in a journal, and today felt like writing again. I am spending a lot of time infront of the computer these days finishing my action research project for my Masters degree, and thought I would try what others are already doing...Blogging.
I am living in a rental house on Inverness which is very close to the beach. It is more than I would like to spend on a rental, but I deserved to live somewhere relaxing and nice, so I am renting a lifestyle. I am not overspending on the day to day things, just on the rent.
What drew me to the place was the character of the house and the beautiful yard. I love to garden you see, and have spent every summer for the past ten years gardening for my Uncle on his beautiful property, and this summer I am not. For the first time since I started working at fifteen, I am taking my summer off. I plan on working on my finishing my Masters degree in Educational Leadership, and tinkering around in my own yard. I am calling it my sanctuary, my escape from the everyday. I feel I want to be here more and more, and find myself taking fewer trips to town. It is a wonderful breathing space, and I am looking forward to getting acquainted with it as the season goes on.