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Good Morning America

Good Morning America.

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Good Morning America

Good Morning America,

How are you? I am your native daughter. I am proud of being a woman in a country where I could and did have a fulfilling career.

I am a college graduate who never took at a loan because my older brothers and sisters voted against it in a family meeting.

I am proud that my parents touched hundreds of lives by helping foster kids and employing teenagers who had made some bad choices and needed a second chance.

America is the Land of the Brave for all the reasons we tout and for many we turn a blind eye . It is brave when a thirteen year old shows up at school after finding mom or dad passed out on couch from another night of drinking. It is brave when a single mom sells her car to pay for sports registration and gear for her kids. It is brave when a person is homeless and has perfect attendance at their retail sales clerk job. What brave acts can you add to this list? Do you even care? Have you stopped to even think of such things?

I am proud to be an American, where I can write this blog and hopefully get people to ponder not get angry at the writer.

Be well today.

Enjoy First Grade

I fondly remember my experiences in first grade. Despite the number of years which have elapsed since, I can still recall the emotional pitfalls and incredible academic heights.

First grade is  a similar stage to the emerging child (6mos. to 18 mos), as a parent I am confident you remember the first steps ,first words and first demonstrations of decision making. Well get ready because first grade becomes those experiences on steroids.

Let’s talk boys first. No, I am not being stereotypical these are real observations. During the time I served as a  principal it became very clear that first grade boys like to establish their comedic skills. They also in a very real way seem to search more than their female counterparts during this period for how and where to belong.

What do I mean by belong? Do they belong in the group with four students or six? Should I like working with a partner on classwork or should I remain steadfastly independent? Do I listen to what mom said when she dropped me off at school? Or does what the popular kid in the classroom’s mom said to him trump my mom? Oh and the teacher, will I have a love /hate relationship or one of adoration? There are more of these questions but you get the idea.

These are fairly deep and formative questions when you consider them in a serious light. In addition, first grade students are learning the most miraculous things. First grade is a times when students usually change what they want to be when they grow up. Because of course now they have matured. There are not just the standard choices there were in preschool, nurse, doctor, postman, lawyer, astronaut or firemen. Now they are exposed to science and math along with literature. As Doctor Suess so aptly pointed out “Oh the places they’ll go””

First graders, boys and girls now come home beaming that they want to be a brain surgeon not just a doctor or the mayor. Or my favorite” I will be the principal  of this school one day.”

Let Us Start In Kindergarten

Starting in kindergarten I am a firm believer that students should learn to be a  good audience.

What do I mean by this? Well I am actually a traditionalist when it comes to this skill set. Opportunities should be given to students starting in their first days of school to sit in chairs, feet on the floor or as close as possible, sitting straight ,eyes forward watching and listening to a presentation.

In the first months of kindergarten it is important to give the kindergarteners role models. Yes, I am referring to the the first and second graders. I am not talking about having 5 year olds sitting still for an hour at a time completely engaged in an assembly. But I am seriously purposing that they learn the etiquette and discipline to be a good audience for 25 minutes to a half hour. Some of these programs, assemblies or classes should be inclusive of older students. We all to often keep kindergarten as a separate entity when it comes to school events. Blending specific kindergarten activities with multigrade experiences can have positive rewards for all students.

Having said that I believe that any organization or individual that is working with an audience that includes five and six year olds has a responsibility to create a presentation that is age appropriate. Age appropriate events would most likely include music and perhaps guided responses, clapping when directed or certain verbal responses.

Why is this an important behavior to demonstrate? Because it becomes the platform for so many other life skills.

Here are some of the life skills that flow from learning to be a good audience

Good listening skills

Common courtesy

Civility

Appropriate participation levels

Attention

Focus

Ability to engage ideas and assimilate new or diverse information

Would your kindergartener benefit from this opportunity at his/her school?

Once in a Blue Moon

Once in a Blue Moon.

Once in a Blue Moon

343Today is a Blue Moon. So instead of trying to accomplish a Bucket List in a lifetime. I am proposing something NEW today. Doing things Once in a Blue Moon! The next Blue Moon does not occur until            January 2,2018. So what are the crazy, fun, compassionate, courageous and lovely actions you can take between now and then? The time frame is shorter than waiting for a leap year, longer than the next birthday. Probably closer than retirement, maybe longer than the days until you walk down the aisle.

Go on a shopping spree and do not buy Anything for yourself. Find the perfect gift for the most underappreciated person at work. Find a new charity and Give a dollar…yes just a dollar to bless the charity’s work. If everyone 12 years an older in the United States gave a dollar to a new charity before the next Blue Moon how would that change the world?

Learn to spell 50 countries in the world that are not located in Europe. Listen to a new recording artist. Write a poem. Mow your own lawn but still pay the lawn guy! Eat dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner. Go curling. Or learn some other obscure Olympic sport. Send a real greeting card snail mail ( mail carriers need jobs too). You get my drift.

I challenge you to celebrate tonight’s Blue Moon. Think differently. Give compliments. Make a stranger a friend. Let’s change this world even if we have to wait to evaluate the changes for the next Blue Moon. Gotta start new ideas and new habits somewhere. Who knows maybe Blue Moons will be a national holiday for my grandkids.

Let me know how it Goes!!

Cheers

Cheers.