New Year’s Resolutions – Some Practical Tips

The way you can measure a society’s soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Nelson Mandela

Issue No. 15 – 31st January 2006

Welcome to Kidz Newz especially to all new subscribers.  I particularly welcome all those who attended my sessions at the recent ASME Summer School in Perth.  Kidz Newz is a regular newsletter with information and teaching tips for anyone involved with young children.  Please forward this to anyone you feel it may be of interest to.

Feedback is welcome.

My PD Updates

ECCPA 2006 – 27, 28 May at Genazzano FCJ College Kew Melbourne.

I will be presenting a session on “Use of Equipment in the Early Childhood Classroom”.
For further details go to  Click on News and Events.

As I will be in Europe in April/May, if you have any contacts in the UK who would be interested in hosting a PD in early childhood music and movement, please let me know their contact details and I will contact them direct.  Many thanks.

Welcome back!  I trust you all had a great summer break and are now ready to launch into a new school year with gusto. As this is the first newsletter this year, I thought some tips on goal setting and planning could be a good idea.  Remember that the journey is its own reward.  Don’t be so focussed on the result that you forget to enjoy today.  I trawled through my many newsletters on this subject and this is the best in my opinion.  Enjoy.

From Rashid Kotwal’s newsletter ‘Practical Tips’ ‘ /

So in the spirit of reflection and planning, here’s a three step
process I gleaned from Philip E. Humbert.

1. First, REVIEW THE PAST. “Those who fail to learn from the past are
doomed to repeat it.”

The first step to changing the future is to acknowledge what already
is. Ask good questions about 2005. What did you learn? What worked
well? What would you like to repeat? What are you proud of? How did
you grow, change or improve this year? How about your relationships,
your career, your lifestyle? How about your income, your health and
your hobbies? Ask good questions, and write down the answers.

2. Second, MAP THE FUTURE. I like the term “map” because this is not a
dream, a fantasy or even just a goal. What exactly would you like to
change in 2006? Do you want to increase your income? Lose weight?
Improve some relationships, buy a new house, change jobs?

Mapping the future requires that you balance optimism and ambition
with a conservative assessment of what’s possible. Remember, reality
never lies. It’s unlikely that you can change everything or do
everything in one year. What are the specifics you really to want to
change in 2006? Ask good questions; write down the answers.

3. Third, GET A SYSTEM. I’m a huge believer in plans and budgets and
strategies. If you want to increase your income by 25%, you’ll
probably have to make more sales, work more hours or learn new skills.
When (exactly) will you do this? If you want to lose ten pounds,
you’ll probably have to exercise more and eat less. Make a plan!

And get plenty of support.  Surround yourself with reminders, books,
tools and equipment that automatically move you in the direction you
want to go.

Get a coach or work with a Master Mind group. Make sure your family,
friends and colleagues know exactly what you want to achieve, and make
sure they support you every step of the way.

The start of a new year is a wonderful time to take stock, adjust
course and affirm your priorities, but it doesn’t happen by accident.
Take time to review. Take time to plan and develop your system. And
get the support you’ll need. You can make 2006 your best, most
productive and rewarding year ever, but only if you arrange for
success in advance. Do your homework! Make it happen!

Remember, life goes by while you’re busy doing other things.  Kids
grow up, you get older, and all of a sudden you might find yourself at
the end of your life, wondering, “If only I had done such and such or
the other…”

Life is precarious – you never know when your time’s going to be up.
Don’t put important stuff off.  Tomorrow may be too late.  If you
really want to do something, start now.  Be bold.

Don’t die with the music still within you.

Quote of the Week

“Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality.  If you can dream it, you can make it so.”   Belva Davis, Journalist


Charles Schultz Philosophy

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip.  You don’t have to actually answer the questions. Just read it through, and you’ll get the point.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.                                                                        
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winner for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?
The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday.  These are no second-rate achievers.  They are the best in their fields.  But the applause dies.  Awards tarnish.  Achievements are forgotten.  Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:
1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Easier?   The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards.  They are the ones that care.


Participants at the recent ASME conference had this to say about the Kidz-Fiz-Biz sessions –

Lots of good ideas and fun activities.  Good music.

Great ideas to give the children more opportunities to use equipment.

Different uses for well known music pieces.

Good knowing how to make those gorgeous hoops!

Reminded me about how wonderful it is to have physically calming activities during a busy day.

I wish we had more time to cover more.

I really enjoyed the session and certainly will be able to implement the ideas in my junior classes.

I was reminded to remember to cross the midline in physical activities.

I enjoyed the use of balloons and parachute.

Useful relaxation and co-ordination exercises.

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 has 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.

57 Henry Lawson Walk, East Perth WA 6004
T: +61 8 9325 1204 M: 0410 64 2781 E:

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Until next time – continue being a legend in your classroom.

Marlene Rattigan, Editor
Kidz Newz

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