Advocacy

Ode to the Super Mom

 So here is me on most days … Ready to conquer the world and play!

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Yep.  Play!  Because that is crucial to human development and early childhood.  So when I look at my $60000+ in student loans some days I am like “yikes!” But most days I am like “yeah!  I got this!”.  So you can imagine I feel quite invested in my work with the children – and not just because of the dollar signs but because I love what I do, I feel it is important, and I see how children benefit from it everyday!

People ask me “why don’t you just teach public school and get all the benefits and security and money…. Waa. Wa wa wa wa”.  photo 2photo 3

They are shocked and appalled that I would invest so much of my time, money, and self in “baby sitting” and silly affairs such as “Play”.  Well I do not sit on babies and PLAY is serious stuff (but that is another topic in need of a  blog posting).

AND… “Been there done that, and it is not for me” is the short story…

 When you are an advocate for play and early childhood and you are put in the PS (public school) box.  PS becomes a bunch of BS (excuse my blunt language)… I just can’t do it.  When I am in that arena I have one million things going through my head about what the children are missing (play, recess, social development, autonomy, identity, time, joy, etc.) that I can’t seem to open that scripted book and shove all that material and testing in their little heads.   It just goes against everything I have worked towards for children.  Don’t get me wrong there are some great crusaders out there that can do it in a fairly appropriate way and they will change the world for some young children  – but my battle is not fought inside out from the PS but outside in.

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Sure I want everyone to hear Vivian Paley’s message of “who will save the kindergarten?”  (http://www.naeyc.org/content/who-will-save-kindergarten) because it is important.  (It was a great keynote to see).  Someone has to do it (save the kindergarten) and I want to help too but just not from the PS platform.

 So I am here in sunny CA  living the dream of an advocate and early childhood educator as I PLAY and promote PLAY and protect PLAY each day in a progressive nature preschool.  And I love it!  The children love it!  And I get to see them learn and grow each day in amazing ways.

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So now you are wondering what does this have to do with becoming a Super Mom…

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Well here it is… Truth is I am not a Mom yet and even though I want to be someday soon – I am not!  And it puts me at a super disadvantage.  Because some days I am stuck in my young naive and triumphant ways – busy trying to conquer the EC world. That I forget just how hard it is to be a Mom… So I will be teaching, blogging, book club-ing, volunteering, reading an EC book,  going to trainings, working on school projects, and when it comes to others being a part of those things or taking on similar projects – I think wouldn’t it be great if everyone put in their all and dedicated their whole self to this cause!  It would change the world for sure!

AND… out of my ignorant mouth or head pops up “I don’t understand why people just can’t … Blah blah blah”.   And later I realize … “Oh yeah… They are a Mom”.  One of the most important jobs in the world!

They are the people who brought the little people into this world… First people to love them, to teach them, and first people to make children their priority.  Super important work!

So while I am busy in the EC world wondering what everyone else is doing – 80% of the time I could really step back and see all the amazing people doing what they can and trying to be a Super Mom at the same time.  And if we really think about it all those small things and big things mixed together add up – they count!  So I want to say Thank You to all those Moms!

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Because truth is I have no idea how I am going to do it!  How am I going to be this loving, nurturing, holistic, present Mom and still change the EC world?  Because while most days I look like this.

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Some days I look like this.

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So if I already have those days how will I ever be on top of my game on both being a teacher and a Mom?

I don’t have the answers yet.

But what really came out of all this wondering is that I know a lot of SUPER MOMS!  And not because they have perfected the process but because they do their little parts in the world around them – whether it is career, community, or what have you and they have also been loving, caring, compassionate, and, loving Moms – all at the same time.  They haven’t perfected balancing the world and Mommy-hood but they have done a darn good job at managing everything while still loving, nurturing, and providing for their little one.  I see them make consciousnesses choices everyday about the well being and happiness for their children.  And most likely if I know them then that means they are letting their child PLAY – which is one giant step towards making the right decisions for your little person (in my biased but educated opinion).

So here is to the Moms!

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 Ignore all the young overachieving judging comments from people – because chances are they never sat down to think about just how hard it might be.  That saying – ” ignorance is bliss”…. might be true but “understanding is the first step to acceptance”.  Truth be told the world could use a whole lot more understanding and acceptance.  We could use more praise for Moms and less judgment – isn’t that what we want to teach our children anyways?
So I know today I won’t figure out how to balance it all yet – because I am not in that world yet.  But I can extend my apologies and gratitude to all those Super Moms in the world and challenge others to do the same.

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Advocacy, Jot a Little Note..., There is No Pro in Progressive, Welcome

Missing in Action

I know, I know!  All of a sudden this blog was on fire and then it seemed to just freeze!  It is called the end of the year race.

human race

First it was the slam of the end of the year and then it was recovery mode.  We do summer programming at my school so one door closed and another opened – suddenly I found myself with no time or energy to post.  Like a mini-episode of teacher burn out!  But there is nothing better to cure teacher burn out then the children doing amazing things – just revives the soul!  So!!!!  I am finally back in the swing of things – always busy but now ready to get back into posting.  Sorry for the hiatus – but back into full swing we go!

For starters catch a few sensory-sational newbies on the sensory-sational tab!  How do you salt?  Yep – check under S for salt and then scroll down to T for Tempera Ice Cubes (not your average adventure because this simple cube is being added to a EC favorite – shaving cream!).  That should keep you recharged for your tables and messy play for a day or two.

Let’s talk about politics!  I know, yes it is not what I want to really talk about but the reality is that as advocates we have to be on the up and up with this.  I am not going to say that I am great on this front but I try to stay a bit in the loop.  Here are a few things to check up on:

Support the Rally for Babies – advocate for early learning initiatives:

http://rally4babies.org/sign-petition/

Follow the public policy world for EC by becoming a children’s champion.  Join the email list to get updates on what is happening with policy, funding, and impacts on the EC community.  Help be a decision maker! – http://www.naeyc.org/policy

Explore Children’s Rights and how to get involved (The links below are related to big picture advocacy efforts but there are many local ways to advocate for children as well – PTA, Board of Ed, Public Policy groups through NAEYC affiliates, and list goes on…)  Check these out and then find your niche:

http://www.coe.int/t/dg3/children/participation/CRC-C-GC-12.pdf

http://www.unicefusa.org/campaigns/public-policy-advocacy/the-convention-on-the-rights.html

Have you heard of TED talks?  I am in love with a few progressive education ones and had to share them:

(Click above!  This guy is spot on and funny!  Plus you have to fall in love with the accent.)

 

Alright, did I give you enough to keep you busy?  Be sure to link up to the Facebook page for mini updates on the blog.  Every once and awhile I post something up there that I do not blog about.  https://www.facebook.com/NoProProgressiveEducation

Until Next Time,

~ Jeanne