The way you can measure a society’s soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Issue No. 63- 28th August 2008
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There are plenty of clever people in the world who do good works, and there are plenty of highly intelligent people too, but being clever or intelligent is not what moves mountains. Having vision does.
Vision is about seeing a future beyond and outside of yourself. Visionaries do not look at a situation and ask themselves ‘what’s in it for me?’ Instead they ask ‘what can I contribute?’ They look for how the outcome can be achieved rather than looking at the stumbling blocks preventing achievement. They are beyond even being optimistic. They simply see a better future or a better outcome in a given situation and set about achieving this. Their determination and their passion become infectious as others gradually get drawn into the fold, getting excited by that sense of purpose and want to be a part of it.
I was at a seminar yesterday morning where the speaker was Alicia Curtis (www.aliciacurtis.com), a young woman who has already achieved great goals in her short twenty-something years. She talked about going to the first UN sponsored Millenium Kids Environmental Conference at the age of twelve. She said ‘with my twelve-year-old lack of limitation I decided to bring the Millenium Kids Conference to Perth and make it an annual event.’ She has not only achieved this (OK she had help from key teachers and other adults but that’s beside the point) but she has also enabled it to spread beyond the state and beyond the country. This is vision. Even a twelve-year-old can have it. In fact, it’s usually children who do have vision. Somewhere along the line though, life gets in the way and we well-meaning adults somehow squash the dreams. ‘Reality’ sets in. How sad.
Some don’t give up on their dreams. I wrote about Barbara Pheloung in my last newsletter. She’s someone I would describe as a visionary. She makes no pretence about being ‘just a teacher’ who wants all children, regardless of background, to be able to achieve to their greatest potential. As those involved in the development and care of children don’t we all want that? What is it that sets Barbara apart from the rest? The answer is that she researched everything and continues to do so, not dismissing anything that might work to achieve the end result. She published her findings and set about telling others what she had discovered. Based on her research, she developed her ‘Move to Learn’ program, the exercises for which are now fully demonstrated on DVD.
Vision is about seeing a future that others don’t and then setting about creating that vision, irrespective of how long it takes and how many people or organisations need to be involved in assisting the vision to materialise. No-one achieves anything of great magnitude single-handedly. It always requires some kind of team. Barbara’s program is now active world-wide and has recently gone into China via e-books. She wants to spread the word so she does whatever it takes. That marks the difference between an entrepreneur and a visionary. The entrepreneur does it for the money ‘ the game of money-making while often also making a positive difference to people’s lives. The visionary looks at the improvement not only for the current generation but for countless generations to come. Money doesn’t enter the picture. It is about the vision, the outcome. Money is the by-product of giving service and if it takes decades to achieve the outcome, the visionary doesn’t care. That’s not to say all visionaries are martyrs, but rather that money is not part of the equation.
There are plenty of visionaries ‘ occasionally we even find a politician who thinks beyond the next election and sees a vision for the city or the country ‘ occasionally, but not often. There are plenty in science ‘ Marie Curie, Louis Pasteur and of course the finest of all, Albert Einstein. And there are plenty in history too.
Next time you are working with your children and talking about their futures, encourage dream building. Encourage them to have no limits to their imagination. You just never know, you may have some visionaries in your midst. Never under-estimate your influence on young minds. Schooling isn’t always about the ‘3 Rs’.
If you are interested in finding out more about the Move to Learn program or Barbara Pheloung’s research, go to www.movetolearn.com.au. If you would like to buy any of her products (and I highly recommend the DVD) you can purchase from my website at www.kidzfizbiz.com.
Quotes of the Week
Those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, usually do.
If you know what to do to reach your goal, it’s not a big enough goal.
Bob Proctor, Author & Speaker
Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
Kids Are Quick
TEACHER: Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn’t have ten years ago.
TEACHER: Glen, why do you always get so dirty?
GLEN: Well, I’m a lot closer to the ground than you are.
TEACHER: Millie, give me a sentence starting with ‘I.’
MILLIE: I is..
TEACHER: No, Millie….. Always say, ‘I am.’
MILLIE: All right… ‘I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.’
Excellent ideas and truly eye-opening as to the many different ways to use everyday objects.
Yi Fang Law, EC Educ Student, Curtin Uni.
Many thanks Marlene. You are a dynamo and just terrific! Your energy and enthusiasm for teaching the Arts is an inspiration to myself and the students. I really appreciate your fabulous PD.
Sue Cox, Curtin Tutor, The Arts.
Wonderfully inspiring and refreshing. I learnt to look at things like scarves as learning tools and that all areas of learning can be integrated to the Arts.
Yvette Haeren, EC Educ. student, Curtin Uni.
About The Author
Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA
Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at festivals. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her ‘Kidz-Fiz-Biz’ program.
PO Box 6894, East Perth WA 6892, Australia
T: +61 8 9325 1204 M: +61 (0) 410 64 2781 E: email@example.com
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Until next time – continue being a legend in your classroom.
Marlene Rattigan, Editor
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