Defarging: A tale of twisted situation

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Lucie begs for mercy. Madame Defarge stares at her coldly while she keeps on knitting. Madame Defarge is a character from the Tale of Two Cities written by Charles Dickens. She is a cold person who doesn’t stop knitting and … Continue reading

Reaping the rewards

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  “Blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed” – John 20:29 It is with his scientific mind that he has proven black holes, gravity, and wrote the book a Brief History of Time, Steven Hawkings absolute cannot reason … Continue reading

Viola Desmond’s Place in History.

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I love her face the first time I saw her. It was a week-long education series for The Voice of Our Members that Viola Desmond was introduced to us. Born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia. An African-Canadian woman. The … Continue reading

Approaching Good Choices

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  Decision making is challenging because sometimes we have no idea the impact of what we have decided. Just thinking about what to choose to wear is a grueling daily event. Some outfit brings happiness, others blah. What made us … Continue reading

Death of a Million Cuts

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It’s Holy Saturday and I am meditating on The Way of the Cross as I see it focus on education in picture form. Suffer the little children, the parents, special needs, new immigrants, teachers, front line works, aboriginals, and much … Continue reading

Write! Write! Write! – Talk! Talk! Talk!

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Talking and writing are great partners in celebrating life. It’s an antidote for depression. Just take a look at this recent discovery exchange of words between one depressed person to another: I talk to anybody on the street more than … Continue reading

Hey – Did you hear? So, rumor has it that…

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If you are going to spread rumor, make it good that it will benefit others. You can quote me on that. This was the gist of my short talk about Occupational Health and Safety at our General Membership meeting . … Continue reading

Feeling Good

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I’ve never read the book Anne of Green Gable written by L. M. Montgomery, a Canadian writer. The book is supposed to be a classic literature. Curiosity took over me and I came across with Chapter 5: Anne’s History. “Well, … Continue reading

What adults don’t know

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As a first-year teacher, I worried about how much I didn’t know about my students. I explained to them that I wanted to get to know them better. I wrote, “I wish my teacher knew . . .” on the board and asked them to complete the sentence.

Each student’s response was unique. They responded with honesty, humor, and vulnerability. Sometimes their notes talked about their favorite sport. Sometimes students complained about conflict with siblings or friends. They wrote about their home life and the people who meant most to them. Sometimes they articulated their hopes for the future and sometimes they explained obstacles they were facing. After completing this lesson, I was amazed at how well it helped me connect with my students. Their notes became a tangible reminder for me to truly listen to the voices of students in my classroom.

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Imagine a world in which every child’s potential is valued; where every child receives the excellent education they deserve. What would our government look like? What would our neighborhoods look like? What would our schools look like? What would our classrooms look like? What would school be  like if we asked students to tell us what we adults don’t know?

Source: Excerpt from I wish my teacher knew by Kyle Schwartz

“It’s good because it’s good ― really good.”

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Kaylee Rodgers, a student who has autism and ADHD, sang the solo part for the famous tune during her school choir concert at Killard House School in Donaghadee, Northern Ireland.

Rodgers’ voice is stunningly beautiful ― and she exudes confidence while she sings with her classmates.

Source: Huffington Post: Kaylee Rodgers

Volunteer. I am one of many.

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We are the voice For public education system We are Volunteers I am one of many. We speak one voice. A dramatic story unfolds worst than the election campaign in US of A. A writer wrote a mourning as he sees it in … Continue reading

…anyway. One tough act to follow.

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This is the original version of Mother Teresa’s “Do it anyway” posted here written by Dr. Kent M. Keith. It is surprising to know that it was part of booklet for student leaders. Mother Teresa’s was re-written for spiritual purposes. In the real world, this is … Continue reading

Through the little things

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He asked a question: How come you never become a nun? Thoughtfully I responded: I did not hear the call. We were discussing about Mother Teresa when she a heard call on the train on her way to Calcutta, “I … Continue reading

Going beyond the grain and flow

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Most of the time in life, we get caught up in a situation where everything is all about me. We relay our stories to others who are willing to listen, then others will say, what about me? Woe is me. … Continue reading

One Step Behind – This is my story

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How nice the view from up there must have been. It’s difficult to imagine when you’re always looking down. Don’t regret it when you finally see the upside of REALITY because there’s this crazy notion that regrets pile up to … Continue reading

Skip the cherry.

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My niece is a professional baker. She found a prodigy, little Jimmie, to take over her profession. Got to start them young, you know. Cupcake is Jimmie’s all time favorite with icing and M&M’s on top. Jimmie’s main instruction was … Continue reading

Letter to Premier of BC and Ministry of Education

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Today, I e-mailed the Premier of BC, Christy Clark, and Ministry of Education, Mike Bernier reminding them their responsibility as elected officials. As much as I want to remain quiet about what is happening in Vancouver public system, I am … Continue reading

Participatory Democracy

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Participation is admirable. They came prepared. Armed with nachos, cheeses, chips and juices to fuel their hunger for a long night of participation of asking questions, voice their concerns and listen to other speak about the future of their education. … Continue reading

It made my teeth hurt, so I wrote.

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Talking is part of communication. I must have talked so much for the month of April that it made my teeth hurt. April 1 is a fool’s paradise. April 1 is the time when we play practical jokes. April 1 … Continue reading

Take your happiness out for a walk

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According to The Bright side,  “This is what happiness really looks like: Molecules of the protein myosin drag a ball of endorphins along an active filament into the inner part of the brain’s parietal cortex, which produces feelings of happiness.” … Continue reading

Proverbs

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WisdomA 1st grade school teacher had twenty-six students in her class. She presented each child in her classroom the 1st half of a well-known proverb and asked them to come up with the remainder of the proverb.

It’s hard to believe these were actually done by first graders. Their insight may surprise you. While reading, keep in mind that these are first-graders, 6-year-olds, because the last one is a classic!

  • Don’t change horses …until they stop running.
  • Strike while the …bug is close.
  • It’s always darkest before …Daylight Saving Time.
  • Never underestimate the power of …termites.
  • You can lead a horse to water but …How?
  • Don’t bite the hand that …looks dirty.
  • No news is …impossible.
  • A miss is as good as a …Mr.
  • You can’t teach an old dog new …Math.
  • If you lie down with dogs, you’ll …stink in the morning.
  • Love all, trust …Me.
  • The pen is mightier than the …pigs.
  • An idle mind is …the best way to relax.
  • Where there’s smoke there’s …pollution.
  • Happy the bride who …gets all the presents.
  • A penny saved is …not much.
  • Two’s company, three’s …the Musketeers.
  • Don’t put off till tomorrow what …you put on to go to bed.
  • Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and …You have to blow your nose.
  • There are none so blind as …Stevie Wonder.
  • Children should be seen and not …spanked or grounded.
  • If at first you don’t succeed …get new batteries.
  • You get out of something only what you …See in the picture on the box.
  • When the blind lead the blind …get out of the way.
  • A bird in the hand …is going to poop on you.

And the WINNER and last one!

  • Better late than … Pregnant!

Hat tip: Weezie
Image Credit: Love, Live and Laugh
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Because We Are Girls

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Because we are girls Father wants us to stay home Because we are girls Mother wants us to be free Because we are girls Father does not want us to go to school Because we are girls Mother wants us to … Continue reading

Special Needs

special needs (3)
We all have needs and children require more needs than adults.  Children are all special.

Looking at this photo not knowing who drew it, I would say it’s very well done, much better drawn in comparison to me. Having very little creative brain, I can learn from the artist, drawn by a  child, a special need child I heard. Who would know?

As far I am concern, this is a child with special talent.  Definitely a child’s drawing with special needs; education.

After Labour Day is first day back to school, unfortunately it’s not going to happen due to ongoing dispute between BCTF and government. I can only hope that the children will receive all the need they can while school is out of session.

We have time

octavian_paler

I learned by Octavian Paler
08 May 2006

We have time …
We have time for everything
To sleep, or to be all over the place,
To regret mistakes and do them again,
To judge others and find excuses for ourselves,

We have time to read and write,
To correct our writings, and regret what we wrote,
We have time to make plans and never complete them,
We have time to fantasize about impossible things
and later on to look into the ashes of them.

We have time for ambitions and diseases,
To blame fate and the details,
We have time to watch the clouds, TV commercials and shocking news,
We have time to not answer questions,
To postpone the answers,
We have time to kill a dream and recreate it later
We have time to make friends, and lose them
We have time to get lessons and forget them later on,
We have time to get gifts and not understand them.
We have time for everything.

But we don’t have time for a little kindness.
When one does they are dying.

I learned some important things in my life and I would like to share them with you.
I learned that you can not make somebody love you. All you can do is to be a lovely person, the rest … depends on others.
I learned that it does not matter how much I care, others don’t.
I learned that it takes years to win somebody’s trust and it takes just a few seconds to lose it.
I learned that doesn’t matter what you HAVE in life, all that matters is with WHOM you have it.
I learned that in the first 15 min you can impress somebody by using your charm after that you have to come up with something smart.
I learned that you don’t have to compare yourself with what other people are best at you have to find out what is your best.
I learned that it does not matter what happens to people, what matters is what I can do to help.

I learned that each episode has two faces.

I learned you should part lovingly from those you love, It may be the last time you have the opportunity to see that person.
I learned that you can run a long time after you said that you are exhausted.
I learned that heroes are people who do the right thing when it is needed not caring about the consequences.

I learned that there are people that love you but they do not know how to show it.
I learned that when I am upset I have the right to be upset but I do not have the right to be mean.

I learned that you can have long distance friendships, the same applies to love.
I learned that if somebody does not love you like you wish, It does not mean he or she does not love you from the bottom of their heart.
He or she will occasionally hurt you and you will forgive it.

I learned that it is not enough to forgive others sometimes you have to forgive yourself.
I learned that regardless how much you are suffering the world will not stop.
I learned that your past can have an impact on your personality but you are responsible for what you are going to become.
I learned that, if two people get into a fight it does not mean they do not love each other. And the fact that they do not fight does not mean they love each other.
I learned that sometimes you have to put the person first and not their actions.
I learned that two people can see different sides of the same incident.
I learned that indifferent of the consequences those who are honest with themselves are the winners in life.
I learned that your life can be changed by strangers in a few hours.
I learned that when you think you have nothing to give your friend can call for help, and you will find the strength to help him.

I learned that talking and writing can help to heal your pain.
I learned that you spend too little time with people you love the most…

I learned that is very hard to know when to be nice so you do not hurt people but you still sustain your opinions.

I learned to love so I can be loved in return.

Octavian Paler (July 2, 1926 – May 7, 2007) was a Romanian writer, politician, journalist and civil society activist.

Source: My Comenius

 

You are more than your Selfie.

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“Beauty is more than what we see with the eyes. People are more than their conditions. I am more than my hair and skin. This only shows my exterior”

She Took A Daily Selfie While Battling Depression & Anxiety. The Results Are Truly Astonishing.

Rebecca Brown is a film student from the U.K. In 2007, when she was only 14, she began a project that documented her life by taking selfie photos of herself. Brown is now 21 and she has compiled the roughly 2100 pictures that she has taken into a video on her Youtube channel.

This video documents her battle with depression, anxiety and an impulse control disorder (which is a form of OCD) known as Trichotillomania. (Trichotillomania causes a person to pull out their own hair when anxious).

Brown says that this project is ongoing and plans to continue as long as she can.

For all those people who are inflected by this disease, stay strong and be strong.  There is always HOPE and life does get better.

Spirit Alive

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For Sunday music, this is a video of Spirit Alive concert that I mentioned here.

A Saint Patrick Regional Secondary Concert Choir and Chamber Choir at the Chan Center for the Performance Arts held on May 9, 2014.  They did perform as well at the Carnegie Hall in New York City.  That is a remarkable achievement for the high school students to be invited at the Hall.  A very impressive group.

The performance became possible by the commitment, support and love of the community for the students.  Without the community, the students would have not attained this outstanding performance.

Here’s the female group on the way to NYC.
Becca to New York

The Whole Truth

And nothing but the truth

And nothing but the truth

I hate to say this, coming from the Philippines, the government system is becoming similar to where I came from. And it’s not a good situation.

“If we are not prepared to take a stand now (especially with the partial lockout and the salary reduction), when will we ever stand up to this government?  Are we waiting for the government to roll our salaries back even further, to further reduce supports for students, to hold teachers even more accountable than they currently are?”

B.C. Teachers Are Only Asking For What Was Taken Away

Overview:

Over the last decade, almost $2 billion has been funnelled out of public education.

Over the last decade, public education has had a funding reduction of almost $2 billion.

Over the last decade, our students have been deprived of $2 billion that should have been theirs. The government’s own numbers say so.

Class size and composition wording much like the BCTF is asking for used to be included in the contract. Teachers negotiated for these provisions and took years of zero per cent pay increases in order to fund them. They put their own potential earnings back into the school system in return for these working and learning conditions.

Let’s pause here for a moment to talk about what class size and composition actually mean. The first is rather straight-forward: the number of students in a class. The more students in a class, the less one-on-one attention is available for each student. This has a direct impact on students.

Class composition is a little trickier to explain, however. Class composition refers to the emotional and education needs of students. Some students require more assistance than others to accomplish the same learning outcomes as their peers.

Then, in 2002, the contract that included these negotiated terms was ripped up. The class size and composition language that the BCTF is trying to re-negotiate now was removed. Just…poof. Gone.

The Supreme Court of B.C. has twice said that the Liberal government’s dissolution of the negotiated contract was illegal. The courts have told the government that they need to fund these things. Twice.

Source:

 High School Teacher:  Huffpost British Columbia

Making the most out of it.

Morning Story and Dilbert

“Life will only come once, so make the most out of it.”  via Words to Live By.

Suffer?  I refuse.

Being out of job for the past few days due to teachers’ job action, I am enjoying the four hours of being in the public supporting the teachers during their strike.  Meeting people on the street, getting to know teachers and peers, more time to exchange words , playing with dogs at the park, watching all the feathered creatures and enjoying the garden across the office are just a few pleasures that embrace during this tumultuous period.

As part of being in a unionized job, we respect the picket line.  We do not cross the line to support the teachers in solidarity.

I have so much respect and admiration for the teachers. They are like the second parent of the child.  As a matter of fact, most children spend more time at school than spending time with their parents.

It appears school ended prematurely for the children but the graduating class are still required to take their final exams with or without the teachers.

In the meantime, I will continue to count my steps as I pound the sidewalk walking side by side with the teachers and still have a few laughs along the way.

And it’s not all that bad, actually.  The professional staffs are still working to step on the plate that we left behind at the office.  On top of that, they come out to converse with us bringing  a  box of donuts and muffins to fuel our energy.

Grade 5 Music Composition

Musical composition by Annelise Yates (Grade 5)

Musical composition by Annelise Yates (Grade 5)

The Impossible Adventure

Took a swim through the sea
In search of what could not be
Yet there within the waves
A whale with a friendly gaze

Chorus:
How does one chase a dream?
It’s not an easy as it seems
Keep your eyes on the prize
Relax and enjoy the ride

I felt a long pull
To go where the whale might go
Followed it in a haze
And if I should fall behind
I focus right and fix my stride
After a while the going gets rough
As I try to keep my head above
My lungs on fire, my legs grow weak
Just as my chances are looking bleak
The waves turn grey like the sky
I know that I’m going to cry

Chorus:
My eyes well up
And through the tears
I see the whale crystal clear
And in the distance I see a shore
It seems like something I’ve seen before
Then and there I realize
The beach before my very eyes
Is the one I left behind

 

Background:
There are several exhibits (again) on display at work created by the students. Of all the exhibits, I admire this musical composition. Making a mental note, I must take a photo for show and tell. Of course, I know very well not to rely on my memory; it likes to procrastinate.

Yesterday afternoon, when I returned from my break, I was ready to take a picture but when I arrived the board was empty. I was so disappointed and I was muttering to myself. A couple of men and a girl must have heard me and they turned around. Told them my disappointment that the song I was admiring is gone!

“Are you looking for this?” One of the men said.

“OMG! That’s it! Do you mind if I take a photo and share it in my blog?” I was so ecstatic that all is well.

Forgetting my manners dues to excitement, I really should be speaking to the girl because it’s her composition. Regaining my composure, I addressed the man and the young lady at the same time, if it’s alright.

“Of course.” They gladly allowed me to take some shots.

Filled with gratitude with their kindness, I promised that I will send them a link of this post.

What an Impossible Adventure I had.  I am pretty sure as Annelies matures, there will be room for improvement in her creative mind.

I wonder

Baby james reading

As a child becomes aware, he notices that the
world around him is filled with other living things.

There are animals, bugs, birds and creepy
crawlers going about their own lives
that fascinate him.

A caterpillar inches along.
A chickadee sings high in up on a tree.
A bee buzzes from flower to flower.

Suddenly he is filled with wonders.
And a million questions begin.

I wonder why kangaroos have pouches.
I wonder why caterpillars eat so much.
I wonder why camels have humps.
I wonder why horses wear shoes.
I wonder why spiders spin webs.
I wonder why the sun rises.
I wonder why whales sing.

Why do birds sing?
Why can’t penguins fly?
Why do plants have flowers?
Why do leopards have spots?
Why does it get dark at night?
Why are bees busy in summer?
Why do kangaroos have pouches?

Too many questions.

I wonder myself, too.
I cannot seem to remember for
my thoughts have been placed
by useless mundane stuff of
everyday busyness of life.

Fasten your seatbelts.

It’s going to be a bumpy ride.
This is week two of the Teacher’s rotating strike in British Columbia, Canada.
Friday is Vancouver’s turn.

Better make the best of it and go for a joy ride.

 

Source: MBRANSONS

On the home front

 

strike2
When April comes, rest assure that it will be a bumpy ride.  Budget season falls in April and all school districts have to balance their books.  It’s never been easy to balance the books when the funds are coming from the Provincial Government.  When there is no funds; programs are cut, head rolls and the students suffer.

A particular program was under threat, Strings program, an instrumental music program that is an international language for all students.  One doesn’t have to speak their native tongue in order to be part of this and children have an ingrained talent to play a music instrument.

Needless to say, there were so many heartbroken teachers, parents and students. The sound of violin death score is playing in the air.

Some psychology and gifted-education program were also in the chopping board.  This is another very important program for students that are “challenged”.

The public has spoken to express their concerns about the effect of these cuts to their children.

Music aids the cognitive development of a child.  According to scientific study that exposure to music makes kids of all ages smarter in math especially classical music. The practice lessons are helpful for the students to have structured time rather than face time. Further musical training enhances the brain structure of the child in language and reasoning.

As for therapy sessions, parents need help how to educate a child with behavior, speech, attention deficit or high functioning. Without these vital resources, it’s impossible for the child to learn and fit into the norm of school structure.

The month of April is over and these services are spared for now. Problem solved?  Not really.

May is a power struggle between the Teachers and BC Public School Employers. The teachers are on a rotating strike this week and will continue until next week should there be no resolution in terms of bargaining on class sizes and remuneration.

Field trips, camping trips, sports practice and others are cancelled.  Graduation is coming and will the teachers be there for the graduating class?

Dear Parents,

As you are aware, the BCTF is now in phase 2 of job action, as well as an imposed partial lock-out by BCPSEA. This directly impacts the level in which teachers are able to be involved in field trips, including our regional track meet.

And while we exercised every reasonable option to carry on with this event, unfortunately, we have had to make the decision to cancel our District Zone Track and Field meet that was scheduled for May 30th. We realize this is very disappointing for the students who have been working very hard in their gym classes to qualify for the events at the Track meet as well as parents who enjoy being a part of the day.

We encourage the children to continue with their personal fitness training to support their future endeavors in track and field events.

This is a challenging time for all those involved in BC schools. Thank you for your understanding and support in this matter. Please contact the school if you have any questions.

Yours truly,

The Administrators 

On a personal level, Lucy my niece is in three of these events and she is really looking forward to it. It’s a very sad time for Lucy and my family.

My feelings are split between the teachers, education, children, parents, the whole British Columbia, my colleagues, and me. Of course, the bottom line for most is no ticky, no laundry. Meaning, no pay.

The children, have mercy on these children.  They are the one’s suffering.

Nelson Mandela said that education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. Weapon?  Heaven forbid, not at the cost of the children.

Power Nap and Pwer Struggle: A Child uses a strike sign for shade while her mom walks a picket line outside school in Vancouver. Photo credit Darryl Dyck / The Canadian Press via Vancouver Metro

Power Nap and Pwer Struggle: A Child uses a strike sign for shade while her mom walks a picket line outside school in Vancouver. Photo credit Darryl Dyck / The Canadian Press via Vancouver Metro

A little girl’s letter to Einstein: Do scientists pray?

einstein
The Riverside Church

January 19, 1936

My dear Dr. Einstein,

We have brought up the question: Do scientists pray? in our Sunday school class. It began by asking whether we could believe in both science and religion. We are writing to scientists and other important men, to try and have our own question answered.

We will feel greatly honored if you will answer our question: Do scientists pray, and what do they pray for?

We are in the sixth grade, Miss Ellis’s class.

Respectfully yours,

Phyllis

***************************************************************************************************

January 24, 1936

Dear Phyllis,

I will attempt to reply to your question as simply as I can. Here is my answer:

Scientists believe that every occurrence, including the affairs of human beings, is due to the laws of nature. Therefore a scientist cannot be inclined to believe that the course of events can be influenced by prayer, that is, by a supernaturally manifested wish.

However, we must concede that our actual knowledge of these forces is imperfect, so that in the end the belief in the existence of a final, ultimate spirit rests on a kind of faith. Such belief remains widespread even with the current achievements in science.

But also, everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that some spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe, one that is vastly superior to that of man. In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort, which is surely quite different from the religiosity of someone more naive.

With cordial greetings,

your A. Einstein

 

source: brain pickings

Understanding the Work of Art

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“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”  ― Pablo Picasso

An artist brought the Social Studies curriculum to life by reading a variety of legends and showed her own collection of Aboriginal masks to the Grade 4/5 students. She modelled building the mask using poster board,  paper mâché, glue, rice paper and paint to decorate the mask.

As the students learn the Aboriginal culture and create their own Aboriginal masks, they make the subject come alive through their own creativity. The project also helps stimulate an interest in other cultures that enriches the students. Art projects give students the opportunity to embrace self-discovery and to make meaning from the world around them.

Presumed Heterosexual

Look at it at the point of view when a child is born.  

May 17there’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.“ ~ Pierre Elliot Trudeau

“There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.” Those unforgettable words made famous by Pierre Trudeau in 1967 caused a tidal wave of controversy that rippled across the entire nation. Trudeau’s Omnibus Bill brought issues like abortion, homosexuality and divorce law to the forefront for the first time, changing the political and social landscape in Canada forever.”

Awareness day: May 17 is National Day Against Homophobia.

Public school system in British Columbia is gradually adopting a strict policy on anti-homophobia in order to create a safe structured learning environment for the children and it’s employees. 

These posters are educational materials used in an ongoing staff development that I attended.

Do you know that homophobia is one of the major causes of drugs, alcoholism and suicide on children?  So think twice or more before acting negatively, it can have a devastating effect.

Two is better than none

poster two

I love
My two dads
I love
My two moms

Love!

Imagine that these are adopted
children  and brought into
a loving home. They were given
food, shelter, education,
plenty of love to be had and
grew up happily.  The only difference
is that their parents are in the same
sex relationship.
Moms, Dads, daughter, son.

Diversity!

Imagine that these two children have no
parents, unwanted, grew up on the street
and became a statistics.

Imagine!

“Heterosexism refers to the assumption that
all people are heterosexual and that
heterosexuality is superior and more
desirable than homosexuality.”

“Homophobia is the irrational fear and hatred
of homosexuals.  Both of these are
perpetuated by negative stereotypes and are
dangerous to people and communities.”

Definition!

 

Good Morning, Sunshine

Image

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Aboriginal Paper Mache

Cree Proverb

Realize that we as human beings have been put on this earth for only a short time and that we must use this time to gain wisdom, knowledge, respect and the understanding for all human beings since we are all relatives.

“ka-kí-kiskéyihtétan óma, namoya kinwés maka aciyowés pohko óma óta ka-hayayak wasétam askihk, ékwa ka-kakwéy miskétan kiskéyihtamowin, iyinísiwin, kistéyitowin, mina nánisitotatowin kakiya ayisiniwak, ékosi óma kakiya ka-wahkotowak.”

Class of 4/5 at Bayview Elementary School.  The students are learning about First Nation culture.  This project helps stimulate the children’s interest in other culture by integrating Social Studies, Language and Arts.

This one of many masks that are on display at the lobby of the Education Centre.

Diversity: A whole new world

pride week

Differences including our abilities, appearance, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, colour, creed, ancestry, religion, physically challenge and mental faculty make each us unique and the world more interesting.

Sex and Gender is a bit confusing for me.  These are the words I learnt at the school level:

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Transvestite, Transsexual, Two-Spirit, Homosexual, Heterosexual, Straight, Heterosexism, Homophobia, Genderism, Sexual Orientation, Gender, Identity,  Queer.

Working as a public servant, it is vital to accept people for what they are especially when children are involve and are in the process of self-discovery of their sexual orientation.  Be respectful.

It’s not an easy topic for most people to discuss.  I have no problem discussing it but I have to be mindful of other’s that are uncomfortable about this issue. Be sensitive.

It’s a different culture. Be tolerant.

One thing I find offensive is when young ones use derogatory remarks.  Children are more prone to voicing it out because they have a little understanding. It’s just a matter of educating the children.  Guide them.

They are humans, too, just like me. They have human needs.  Be a friend.

On the move from hall to hall

Gallery

This gallery contains 3 photos.

“Music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand. You can feel it, they can feel it, you can feel it all over people” ~ Stevie Wonder Hurry up, and wait. It never fails.  My family and … Continue reading

Educating the heart

Video

educating-the-mind-aristotle

Listening educates my mind and heart.

I must have listened to this video a hundred times.  Watching the video distracts me from listening so I converted it to voice only.  When I listen, I also like to jot down the words and I ended up transcribing the spoken words.  The key words compassion, acceptance and tolerance are words that I will keep in my heart and put into practice.

Listen and prepare ourselves in educating our mind and hearts.

(click to listen)

When a child is born,
we do everything we can
to protect them, nurture them, love them.

A child’s heart and mind are fragile.
As they grow, we want to teach them everything we know.

We send them to school
to fill their minds with wonderful knowledge
to give them the tools they need for life.

At school they get a taste what things are like in a world outside.
There’s friendship, romance, disappointment,
embarrassment, discrimination and bullying.

They are the tools we give them enough to prepare them for this world.

We have an enormous responsible and an amazing opportunity.
If we truly want to prepare them for the world outside,
we must also educate the heart.

Because to navigate the world outside
with compassion, acceptance and tolerance
we need to teach them
compassion, acceptance and tolerance.

This can begin in our schools and it can start today.

It can happen at hockey practice, dance class
and day camps and music lessons
and it’s already happening around the world
with astonishing results.

If we want our children to grow
into socially and emotionally capable young people,
we must ask for a balanced education
and put importance on educating both the mind and the heart.

Prepare them for this world.
Educating the Heart
The Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education
Voice over by: Poet and author Shane Koyczan

You can view the video here.

 

on being a teacher

Teacher

I mean, you’re a teacher, Taylor.
Be honest. What do you make?

And I wish he hadn’t done that— asked me to be honest—
because, you see, I have this policy about honesty and ass-­‐kicking:
if you ask for it, then I have to let you have it.
You want to know what I make?
I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional Medal of Honor
and an A-­‐ feel like a slap in the face.
How dare you waste my time
with anything less than your very best.

I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall
in absolute silence. No, you may not work in groups.
No, you may not ask a question.
Why won’t I let you go to the bathroom?
Because you’re bored.
And you don’t really have to go to the bathroom, do you?

I make parents tremble in fear when I call home:
Hi. This is Mr. Mali. I hope I haven’t called at a bad time,
I just wanted to talk to you about something your son said today.
To the biggest bully in the grade, he said,
“Leave the kid alone. I still cry sometimes, don’t you?
It’s no big deal.”
And that was noblest act of courage I have ever seen.

I make parents see their children for who they are
and what they can be.

You want to know what I make?
I make kids wonder,
I make them question.
I make them criticize.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them write.
I make them read, read, read.
I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful
over and over and over again until they will never misspell
either one of those words again.
I make them show all their work in math
and hide it on their final drafts in English.
I make them understand that if you’ve got this,
then you follow this,
and if someone ever tries to judge you
by what you make, you give them this.

Here, let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:
Teachers make a goddamn difference! Now what about you?

 

 

Image by Leader  and essay by Taylor Mali

Priceless Treasures

Look into my eyes.  You are falling deeply in love with me.  Look into my eyes.
valentine lookI am perfect to fall in love with.  We are meant for each other, forever!  You are mine!  You cannot resist me for you are just totally in love with my soft fuzzy adorable body.  Feel me, touch me and love me.  You will do as I say.
valentine kyle

The Grade 1 and 2 students at VSB made their own “Splat” with black paint and chalk pastels.  Using toothpicks they gently dragged the wet paint away from Splat’s body to create his fuzzy fur.  Heart shaped doilies were added for a finish touch with “artist’s” name written on it.

With lots and lots of love and fur balls, Happy Valentines, Love from a colony of  Splats.
valentine Gr 1 and 2Working for the school board, the children are the treasure in my line of work.  One cannot help but fall in love with them especially when they come to show and tell what they learnt at school to our offices.  They are priceless.

“I am only a man, just like you.”

Andre Bessette

Trait D’espirit / Drawn by the Spirit

“It is with the smallest brushes that the artist paints the most exquisitely beautiful pictures,” said St. André Bessette.

He is just another man, a real person that I would have very much wanted to meet personally.  Unfortunately, he was born way ahead of me and died 20 years before I was born.  If you ask him who he is, the response was “I am only a man, just like you.”

André Bessette is a native of Canada born frail in a poor family in Quebec.  He became an orphan at the age of 12 and had hardly any education at all.  In his early twenties, he entered the Holy Cross congregation in Montreal.  Nobody wanted him.  The main task given to him was menial as a porter, someone who opens the door and greets people who come to visit the Oratory.  Yet he did his duty for 40 years accepting the little he had and turning it into a holy act.

One would not think that he lacks formal education when he is an effective teacher of faith by his action, love, kindness, and example.  He used the simplest means.  It is his complete trust with divine providence is what made him an exceptional person.

His dream was to build a church devoted to St. Joseph.  He trusted that if he is really doing the Lord’s will the Lord would bring it to fruition.  And it did happen.

How I would have wanted to see him open the door for me when I visited the Oratory in Mount Royal.   I felt small as an ant standing at the first rung of the steps looking up at the Oratory.

In a world filled with educated minds and an era of countless celebrity, glitz, and glamour, I am amazed at what a simple man can do.

Brother André is what I call him and has left me a legacy to place my trust in Jesus.