Forever as you are?
You are all so very perfect,
...Exactly as you are.
I want to bottle up these moments.
Not wanting them to go away.
How do I keep you in your childhoods,
...Just exactly as you are?
From a dad to his daughters,
and a father to his son,
you fill my life with an abundance,
of laughter, joy and fun.
- Adam Stuart, September 29, 2008
Positive thoughts and feelings are the answer to producing positive results. Our choice of what to think about ourselves and our abilities is absolutely unlimited, and when we're young this happens naturally in a flow of joy, confidence, and inner happiness.
Even after falling several times while learning how to walk, those around us remain positive, encouraging and loving....and we feel good and choose positive thoughts....and eventually succeed at walking.........Every Single One of Us.
As we get older the world becomes less patient with us, and we become less patient with ourselves. By the time we're adults we feel we have to be perfect right away, the first time we try or soon after.
Constant criticism and numerous warnings to "be careful because we could fail" disconnect us from this inner source of joy, confidence and happiness, and we begin forcing ourselves to think and feel positive, often using external sources to achieve this.
I want to thank my children for constantly reminding me that our greatest and most natural happiness and energy always comes from within.
All I have to do is watch them at play, and allow myself to make the time to play with them........and the joy and energy I felt during my childhood returns to me in my adulthood.
And I make a promise to them, that as their father I will do everything I can to be patient, guiding, and loving with them as children......
...So they can take the joy, confidence and happiness of their childhoods with them into their adulthoods.
*And a big thank you to my friend, TJ, who invited us to play tennis with him.
He's a professional tennis player, so you can see why I get excited when I score a point.....any point.......and I let my childlike inner joy come out and have fun with it..........OH YEAH!!!
Either the dream IS achieved, or important learning opportunities showing the way to the achievement of the dream are revealed.
(Bella coming down singing, "I'm a business bug, a business bug, a business bug.")
So far, five students have all "A's" in class. Once they achieve "mastery" in the approved curriculum, I am allowed to begin teaching them "my way" (which is for deeper meaning of the curriculum and in a way that uses their strengths and desires to overcome their weaknesses and boredom).
Marc Mero, former pro-wrestler who visited the school last year, came again this week and again fired up the students. I held Bella and barely held onto my tears.
Marc was part of the reason why last year there were four Level One students in class at the beginning of the year (the lowest possible at which you can test) and NONE at the end.
Tapping into the unending energy of a dream and applying individualized instruction to its attainment works where traditional teaching fails. This is because traditional teaching often fails to go bee-yond mastery of surface knowledge and bee-yond external motivation (doing it for grades, for recess, for mom and dad, etc).
So with five students now free to really begin learning, the problem is that if the traditional method hasn't worked in the past for the other 17, will continuing to force it upon them miraculously work? Not likely.
At this point I can give myself the very valid excuse of, "I'm doing my job by covering it in class. They'll have to get tutoring if they want to do better".
But if I want to do the job of helping them bee-come real dream achievers, no excuse, no matter how good, is acceptable. You either have excuses or results, an any excuse is still an excuse.
(Sofia lining her class up for phys ed)
Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. I tell the students it's like an insect caught inside a room and banging its head against the window, again and again, hoping this is the time it escapes and finds its freedom. (this scene is at the end of the clip)
We are much smarter than bugs, yet we don't always act like it. We'll keep banging our heads (or faces), eventually tiring out and giving up by sitting on the windowsill and watching life pass us by, while slowly, slowly dying.
So when you find yourself in this situation know that there is something to bee learned ....something needs to change in your approach. Often this change is within you, which is what you want. You want to have control. When you put the blame on someone or something else, you give your power for change away.
There is a great need for change in our schools, because education right now is banging the heads of its principals, teachers and students against the wall, hoping that maybe if we cover more, test more, force more....then we will achieve higher student scores and the problem will bee solved.
We have raised our scores, but only at the surface level, and the problem hasn't been solved. Why?
Read this from the book, "Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Brain":
“Regretfully, most schools do not engage students in the reflection, inquiry, and critical thinking needed to help them cope with and take charge of the influences of technology and the media.....
'Teaching is more than knowing a subject matter and presenting it in clear language; ...teaching involves knowing how students think, their preconceptions and misconceptions.... It involves learning what motivates students and what genuinely gets their attention....' (Merlin Wittrock, psychologist at UCLA)
The result of continuous input without realistic engagement in interactive experiences may well be a generation that has access to a great deal of superficial information but has no deeper sense of how that information connects to ecological issues, a global economy, the quality of life, or even the joy of learning.....
****Some of this lack of deeper understanding may be reflected in the fact that most 11th graders have extremely unrealistic career goals when measured against standards established in the profession of their choice. ALTHOUGH
But teaching all children the same thing at the same time and forcing the same homework upon them is as ineffective as a doctor treating all his patients the same way at the same time and sending them all home with the same remedies for their different ailments.
(I took the class outside to practice prime factorization by looking at it and doing it in a new way.)
The difference is that a doctor treats his patients one at a time and a teacher treats everybody all at once, hence the adoption of an efficient, yet ineffective, traditional teaching method.
But we're not even sending our "successful" students out into the world as "healthy" adults. Something MUST change, and change now. The solution isn't to DO more (testing and "teaching") ....it's to "BEE" more (higher level thinking and empowering students and teachers)
(My son, who is proofreading this, wanted me to change the "BE more" to "BEE more". I like it.....OK, now he wants me to go back and change all the "be's" to "bee's"......talk about giving a kid a little power.....Actually, give a kid a little power, and he becomes just a little man......give him A LOT of power, show him how to use it, and he becomes A LOT of a MAN!
...now he's sticking his chest out - LOL :-)
I've achieved success in the past by breaking the rules of traditional teaching. Now even more rules have been imposed on all of us by well-intentioned policy makers who have never met us or our students, and treating us all the same.
Many teachers are more gifted than I am so the answer isn't to make everyone teach my way, but in a way that allows their students to bee-come more.
How do I help make this happen? I'm not quite sure, but I do know I've been working on it since 1:30 Saturday morning.
And I do know I WILL figure it out. The WHY is important enough to me to figure out the HOW.
Is your WHY big enough for you to figure out HOW you will go from bee-ing on the windowsill of life, just looking out and wishing for your freedom...... to actually achieving it?
Or are you hoping someday someone just comes by and opens the window for you?
Bee Brave....Find a Way!
With teachers being forced into covering the curriculum and their behinds, there's not much time or energy left for actual teaching. This is why I don't waste time judging other people, even other teachers. I simply don't have the time. Instead I use the time and energy I do have on looking for inspiration and learning what others are doing right.
(When I saw these pictures the girls told me they were experimenting with stop-motion photography.)
We know that thousands of children each year get lost and thrown away at home and in school. In an effort to correct this well-intentioned policy makers create rules and policies that handcuff the very educators that can change this.
And at best, the majority of "successful" students are successful only in memorizing, comprehending, and achieving low-level application of their knowledge, the three lowest levels of thinking.
America has a reputation for teaching its students a mile wide of information but only at an inch deep.
What about learning through inquiry and discovery, the construction of real knowledge v. memorized information that is soon forgotten after the test?
What about developing real problem solvers?
Who's smarter than a 5th grader? - A kindergartener who still makes connections between what they learn in school and the application of it to their own lives, not a memorizer of fact after fact.
That's what the internet and books are for, to use as resources of knowledge. The human brain is capable of being more than a storage facility. Yet we use only 3-5, maybe 10% of it.
(*I don't know whether reincarnation does or doesn't exist. I don't really care. I care about living this life as fully and completely as I can, experiencing Heaven right here on earth and right now today.)
What about teaching our children to think for themselves, to evaluate their own work, and unleashing the creative genius inside of them? Evaluation and creativity are the two highest levels of thinking.
Creativity doesn't have to mean you're an artist. It means you can take the knowledge you have in one of your 100 trillion neurons and making a connection to another one or two or twenty, constructing new learning and getting smarter in the process.
The more this is done, the more learning that is being created. And learning how to make your greatest dreams and true happiness come true has to be the most important creation in your life.
So actually your creativity does allow you to be an artist....of your own life!
How creative are we being? Are we controlling our thoughts and actions in a way that creates the life we want, or are we looking at what is and giving up control of our future by giving in to the present?
I can't tell you the number of times I've felt like Melman from the movie Madagascar trying to light a fire saying, "I can't...I can't...I can't do this!"....and then finally being able to do it because no matter how frustrated or tired I was I never gave up.
Each of our neurons has about 20,000 possible connections to other neurons. I don't know offhand how many total that is but it's a lot, yet we rarely teach our children to how to make these connections. (The simplest way to do this is to ask them what THEY think versus telling them what to think or always giving them the answers.)
Is it any wonder when we reach adulthood we feel so lost, so incomplete as we try to make sense of our world while desperately holding onto our dreams, perhaps even decreasing their size until they become "more realistic"?
Gosh Dangit! NO! (Yes, I said it the other way in my head, with great determination and meaning)
Children live what they learn, and we are teaching them how to throw themselves away or settle for less.
Treating these individuals all the same, training them to sit, listen, look, learn for 12-16 years in a school factory, no matter how lovingly or well-intentioned, is not preparing them to survive and thrive as adults.
Our kids are difficult so we medicate them. Our lives are difficult so we medicate ourselves. Teaching every child is seemingly impossible so we compromise and ask them just to do well on fact-filled tests, pretending real learning and growth is going on.
And each time we don't practice having patience we find ourselves having less and less. Each time we stop when the struggle gets harder we get weaker and weaker.
It's time to get stronger. It's time to stop throwing ourselves, our children, and our future lives away! Start being realistic, and create what could be by finding real solutions to the real problems in our world.
WE have created the current reality of our own homes, schools and careers and WE can recreate them into something ever more desirable.
If we don't have what we want, either we don't want it enough, our abilities to create it aren't enough, or both.
The solution is to resist taking the easy way out, and withstand giving up when trying to meet the requirements of your current reality, and then do the more that will change this reality. (teaching Brosden how to juggle)
In education this means meeting both the dictated curriculum AND the individual needs of the students.
Do this with education, and you develop the problems solvers to recreate a world of apathy, abuse and neglect, shaken babies, terrorism, environmental destruction, faltering economies, and more.
Don't do this, and it's the same-old same-old.....getting worse and worse.
My students know they better not be the same as yesterday. They better be MORE!
If they can't solve the morning math problem.... then BOOM! They write that problem in their Attack Journal and add it to that day's class and homework, coming in the NEXT day being able to do it.
I require them to do this with every "failure" throughout the day, because they are not failures, and simply must not be allowed to continue to fail!
Do they all do it? No...not yet. Is it draining on the teacher to motivate everyone and find the time to do do this extra teaching in a day already scheduled 100% by the curriculum? Yes.
So how DO you do it? Wake up the tiger inside of you. Wake up more of your mind and spirit, using your capacity to love as your energy source.
Wake up yourself....And watch how it wakes up others...And as your energy pours into them and theirs finally back into you, a great synergy of exponential energy and action creates a storm where those involved are THUNDERSTRUCK!
What's the glue that holds you together in the process? The determination not to let one single human being being thrown away....
How do you keep this from being overwhelming? By working with one human at a time, on one thing at a time, in one moment of time.
Practice doing this often enough, and you become capable of being powerfully connected in each moment with each person and doing it faster and higher until it seems to the outsider you are working with everyone and everything all at once. In reality you are just powerfully connected and moving in each moment with each passing second.
You have no time for fear, blame, jealousy, ego, doubt, hatred, or pity. You cannot afford to think and worry about what you don't want....only completely and confidently focus on seeing and believing in what you DO want.
Who do you begin with? The most important person, yourself.
Don't you dare throw yourself away. I don't care if everyone around you has, YOU DON"T!
It doesn't matter what the world says you can or can't do. What do YOU say you can do?
You fire yourself up, and you begin to fire up those around you, creating a powerful, positive, reality-changing energy storm.
That is how you get unbelievable growth out of a class, a company, or a country....covering them in love, confidence, belief, and courage....and challenging them every day to grow beyond their current limits...in a way that is motivating and empowering.....because they are neither bored nor overwhelmed....but each day becoming more and more capable of achieving their dreams.
As your dreams and abilities to achieve them become more alive, so do you.
Wake up the Protective Panther inside of you!
REFUSE TO LET ANYONE BE THROWN AWAY!
**WARNING: I couldn't find an edited version of this song.
Flesh wound, flesh wound
With medication it will fade
Should I assume that someone hears me when I pray?
Love full of hate
Don't you love how I pray?
Don't let them throw me away
Kick me and I'll be okay
Skipping the people I embrace
Don't let them throw me away
Don't let them throw me away
Screwed up, used up
Crumble lying on the floor
F**ked up, shut up
All you did back then was thought
I'm really weak
(Chorus) *I replace "Kick me and I'll be okay" with "KEEP ME AND LOVE ME, OK?"
Hold me up into the light
Fix the cracks and fix them right
Keep the pieces in the drawer
Keep them there for ever more
Wake a million thoughts someday
Recycle this stuff in someway
And all that I have to say
Don't let them throw me away