The way you can measure a society’s soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Issue No. 49 – 22nd November 2007
Welcome to Kidz Newz especially to all new subscribers and a big welcome to those from the PD at Jurien Bay in WA. Kidz Newz is a regular newsletter with information and teaching tips for anyone involved with young children. You are receiving this because you have attended one of my workshops, purchased a book, or you have requested to be on the mailing list. Thank you. Please forward this to anyone you feel it may be of interest to.
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It’s All About Balance
Who thinks they lead busy lives? Who feels overwhelmed by the demands on their time? I would say most of you said ‘me’. The sensational advances in technology make communication and everything else in our lives, so much more efficient. The problem is, we think we have to do absolutely EVERYTHING and it all has to be done TODAY! The fact is, it doesn’t.
Remember the good old days when we only had snail mail? Now I’m showing my age. You received a letter by post and in due course, you answered it. Even if you received several a day, this task was do-able. Nowadays with email, we are swamped with bundles of e-books, e-courses, newsletters, personal and business letters, jokes, cartoons, uplifting stories & photos and so on. The input into our lives is astronomical. Because we still hold onto the notion of reading or at least glancing over everything, and responding to everything as soon as possible, it all takes on an urgency that is unreasonable. The telephone is the same. If it rings, I HAVE to answer it, NOW! No you don’t. Turn it off when you need a break and let the answer-phone do it for you ‘ that’s its job. Make sure your message is recorded when you are feeling up-beat, not exhausted and fed-up as it will show in your tone of voice. Even in a school or nursery centre you can put the answer-phone on when appropriate for whatever reason, including taking a five-minute sanity break. You will deal with the call much more effectively when you call back because you’ll be in a better frame of mind.
My husband took the day off work last week to attend to private business. As I mostly work from home I organize my day to suit myself, so I chose to go to the gym first thing in the morning. I told him I was stopping at the caf’ for breakfast after my workout and suggested he join me. He grunted at me that he’d already had breakfast. When I suggested he join me for coffee and a muffin he grumbled that he didn’t have time to have a break. Does this sound like you too? In a bad mood, not valuing yourself enough to even stop for half an hour to have a coffee? I told him that if I waited until I had done everything on my ‘to do’ list before I went out the door, had a meal or went to bed, I’d never leave the house, never eat and never sleep. Instead I recognize that my ‘to do’ list is always unachievable, that is, for any one human being to possibly achieve in any given day, so I take that monkey off my back. I prioritise. If I can achieve the most important or urgent thing on the list, or maybe two or three things, then that’s a huge win for the day. It’s an interesting phenomenon that somehow all the things that have to get done, actually get done. Have you noticed that? And the things that really aren’t that important, or aren’t important enough that you HAVE to do them TODAY, either don’t get done because they weren’t that important after all, or they get done when the time is right. To put ourselves under such absurd pressure that we give ourselves nervous breakdowns and other severe health problems as a result, is just ridiculous.
Make time for the gym or your favorite physical activity, for partners and family, for your friends and colleagues, your hobbies and interests, your social life, and you’ll find yourself so much more productive when you are at work because you have valued you. You are not just a cog in a wheel or a number on a pay sheet; you are a vital member of a team. As such, you are no good to God nor man if you are exhausted or playing the role of the martyr. You just become resentful. No-one expects you to go above and beyond the call of duty so stop putting that pressure on yourself. It doesn’t make you a better person. I’m not suggesting you don’t give 100% at work and in all that you do. Quite the contrary. What I am suggesting is that you don’t neglect yourself in the process. Oscar Wilde said ‘All things in moderation, including moderation.’ He was right. There are times when you need to pull out all the stops to get a project (read end of term certificates) completed and there are times when it’s appropriate to do absolutely nothing. For the rest of the time, think balance.
When I finished my workout last week and went to the caf’ for breakfast (my occasional treat), my husband was there enjoying a coffee and reading the paper. His mood was much more relaxed and positive. He’d ridden his bike over to the caf’ so he’d got some bonus exercise, had got to read the paper and have a break, and had had the opportunity to spend some quality time with me which wouldn’t have happened had we stayed at home. At home you notice all the ‘stuff’ that has to be done so there’s no time to talk about bigger picture issues. What’s more important, the ‘stuff’ or you? The ‘stuff’ will always be there. You won’t.
Take time out, get some balance in your life and review your values. Top of the list should be you. Value yourself and you’ll find everything gets done that needs to be done ‘ maybe not by you – learn to delegate. You’ll be much happier which, in turn, will make everyone around you happier, more productive and more co-operative.
Quotes of the Week
As you grow older, you’ll find that the only things you regret are the things you didn’t do.
No matter what my past has been, I can always begin anew.
Time is limited, so I better wake up every morning fresh and know that I have just one chance to
live this particular day right, and to string my days together into a life of action, and purpose.”
Through a Child’s Eyes:
I would like to live 900 years like the guy in the Bible
Jurien Bay PD 2007
What was the most useful thing you learned today? –
‘The use of ribbon sticks and hoops.’
‘Things to do with scarves ‘ balancing them/throwing them, etc.’
‘Doing the activities rather than just listening.’
‘The different ways of using things.’
‘Variety of ideas, elaborated on further use of equipment.’
‘How to use different types of equipment.’
‘Teaching songs in different language.’
‘Using resources ‘ lots of ideas.’
‘New fingerplays, songs, dances and ways to use scarves/ribbons.’
‘Scarves, tapping sticks and ribbons.’
‘How to use a variety of materials to introduce movement and music to small children.’
‘Stretching and singing with action.’
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Until next time – continue being a legend in your classroom.
Marlene Rattigan, Editor
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