Tempus Fugit

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

Issue No. 108 – 20th June 2011

Welcome to Kidz Newz especially to all new subscribers.  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. Feedback is welcome.

PD Update

ECCPA Conference (Early Childhood Conference of Performing Arts), Genazzano FCJ College, Kew, Melbourne August 20-21, 2011

Tempus Fugit

I was reading Phillip Adams’ column in the Weekend Australian recently (May 28/9) talking about the general ‘hurriedness’ of life today. His comments, as usual, were insightful. It got me thinking about the ramifications of our hurried lifestyles and the stress that places on children. The younger they are, the more stress they pick up on. Young minds need a slow pace of life to absorb everything around them, which is why we have child-centred learning in our early childhood settings. I reproduce part of his article here as he as an amusing mode of expression.

‘Instead of whistling while we work, or having a quiet ponder, we now fill every moment with multi-tasking and multi-entertainment. We talk of killing time where, more than ever, time is killing us.

… Our attention spans are ever briefer. Yoghurt has a longer shelf life than our interest in anything of significance, though we seem to have endless time for celebrity trivia.

In the eternal, all-consuming, signing-and-dancing NOW, scintillating and silly in its flexing searchlights, everything disappears almost before it’s happened. Sometimes this can be merciful, as in the quick passing of the Royal Wedding. If only the Bush presidency had passed as quickly instead of taking longer than the passage of a pig through a boa constrictor.

… We no longer linger on great issues. We neither concentrate nor cogitate. The greater and louder the bombardments of NOW the less we really know. We’ve never had more access to information yet we’ve never seemed as ignorant – as we hasten to turn the page and change the channel….’

My concern is the lack of depth of any conversation with most people. That includes topics discussed in the classroom. What effect does that have on children? Where are they headed? Are they to be increasingly ‘dumbed down’ in pursuit of immediate thrills? It is our responsibility to ensure we allow them the time they deserve to notice that really matters in life instead of relying on the canned entertainment of today and the constant organised activity. They need to learn self-reliance. They can’t do this without opportunity. It is for this reason I was so impressed by the project in France on Philosophy for pre-schoolers (Kidz Newz Issue #103). But it needs a co-operative between parents and teachers otherwise it’s an uphill battle. Parents rely on guidance. Involve them.

If you feel the children in your care are too hyped-up to concentrate for more than a nano-second, play them some relaxation music in the background while you teach. For very little children, after lunch while they are having quiet time (or even sleep time) play some lullabies. Watching a DVD is not relaxing. Instead it is stimulating and exhausting because of the concentration involved. For excellent CDs I recommend, go to the Kidz-Fiz-Biz website and check out the Sound Health series. I also have guided relaxation CDs by Donna Marwick-O’Brien, Kids’ Music Company and Maggie Dent.

Employment Opportunity

Looking for a part-time teaching opportunity? Love working with children? Love teaching music and movement? I am looking for people to train to run Kidz-Fiz-Biz classes. I have had 25 years in this industry (23 specifically with children) and want to start up more classes again due to ongoing demand. Good income and lots of fun. If this is something of interest to you now or in the future, please contact me at info@kidzfizbiz.com or phone 0410 642 781. I am especially looking for someone in the Northern Suburbs of Perth for the Ocean Reef class – ideally early childhood trained.

Quotes of the Week

“Life is short, so smile while you still have teeth.” ~ Joanne Jones – ESL Teacher, editor, marketer in US

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” ~ Michael Altshuler

“Time is a great healer, but a poor beautician.” ~ Lucille S. Harper

“Be mindful of how you approach time. Watching the clock is not the same as watching the sun rise.” ~ Sophia Bedford-Pierce


The real reason you’re late for work!


Great! Go along if you get the opportunity. Thanks so much!” ~ Janet Fitch, Quinns Baptist College

“A great intro on how to use music and equipment that you may already have. Thanks Marlene. I am excited to do more training with you. This is especially helpful for me to use for relief teaching and phys ed.” ~ Renae Bedells, Kinross Primary School

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: info@kidzfizbiz.com

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

Marlene Rattigan, Editor
Kidz Newz

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