Guiding our children to shine their inner LIGHT by being our absolute best!

Posts tagged ‘fear’

The Greater Message in ‘Frozen’

About 2-3 times a year I like to set up a week-end play date for my 1st graders. I find that it helps to build community and teaches them that Mrs. Savini is a real person who doesn’t live at school!

I asked the kids what they wanted to do and they wanted to see a movie, so we looked at the upcoming listings and chose ‘Frozen’ as our week-end play date.

Today, my son and I met my students and their families for a viewing of Frozen at the local theater.

I didn’t know what to expect because I didn’t take time to read about the movie before hand. I just went with Frozen because that’s what my kids chose. I must say I was pleasantly surprised and I honestly love the way the Universe works because the message in this movie reflects my daily teachings…

Frozen is a beautiful movie about two sisters learning some tough lessons in life. In the very beginning of the movie, Elsa, the older sister is chanting, “Conceal, don’t reveal” because she has been taught to do this to hide her magical powers-her true self. Of course, this was breaking my heart to listen to because I teach children and adults the exact opposite; believe in yourself and speak your truth!

As the movie progressed, Elsa stopped holding back and just let it all out. I have always taught my son to look for the deeper meaning or special message in a movie (especially Disney movies). About this time in the movie, my 8 year old son turned to me and said, “Mom, I know the hidden message in this story. It’s be true to yourself no matter what!”

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My eyes filled with tears, I smiled and replied, “That’s a really great message isn’t it?” He nodded yes and hugged my arm.

Somewhere inside of me I knew that wasn’t the only message. I felt that there was more to be revealed and I was right. By the end of the movie the deeper message was revealed; Fear will destroy you and love conquers all.

This movie couldn’t have been more in line with my teachings and beliefs. I honestly didn’t plan this, but I am so thankful to the Universe for orchestrating this magical week-end play date.

You see, every day I strive to teach children and adults to allow love to guide them instead of fear and this movie just gave me another teaching tool!

I highly recommend seeing this movie with your children. There were several beautiful messages throughout the movie, but most important is that ‘Love conquers all’.

Lots of Love & Tons of Light,

Vicki

 

 

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Too Much Information?

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Tragically we have endured yet another senseless act of violence in our nation. Tonight I send lots of Love and tons of Light to the Boston area and then I pose this question…

Are we giving our children too much information?

Every morning my precious 1st graders enter the room with wonder and excitement in their eyes. I purposefully stand in the doorway or greet them in the hall with a smile as they unpack for their day. I do this because I want to warmly welcome them to a new school day and to be sure that I am starting the morning out positively for them.

The children walk into the room, greet their friends and immediately begin ‘morning work.’ Soon after the school announcements come on and then helpers begin setting up our morning meeting.

Morning meeting is a beautiful time because the kids show what they know by reviewing the calendar, discussing the weather and counting how many days we’ve been in school. We also sing songs and choose our morning affirmation to set our day in motion.  

If the kids have something on their minds, this is a good time for them to share their thoughts and feelings.  This morning after our morning routine and choosing the affirmation, “I am infinite,” one of my students raised his hand and said, “Mrs. Savini, did you hear about the bombs that were dropped on Boston?

I must admit that I was caught off guard because I didn’t expect to hear that this morning. I too have a 1st grader and decided that there would be no talk of the incident or watching of the news while he was awake, so I was stunned when I heard this question and then saw all of the children engaging in discussion.

I turned to the child and said, “Well, hunnie, there actually weren’t bombs dropped from the sky but yes there was an incident in Boston yesterday involving 2 explosions.”  

It was at that point that I asked the children how many of them heard about the ‘bombs’ and how they exactly learned of this news. I was shocked to see that most children raised their hands to say they in fact DID heard of the ‘bombs.’  Some heard of this from parents and others watched the news.

I took a deep breath and told the kids that I didn’t think it was something we should discuss at school because we don’t have all of the facts. If they had questions, they should talk to their parents.

I personally don’t watch the news because I find it very negative and depressing.

In that moment I wondered, ‘Are we giving our children too much information?

About 30 minutes later my kids were off to specials and I had some time to talk with a colleague and a parent in the building. I asked the parent if their child knew of the event in Boston and they said yes. They discussed it with their child because they didn’t know what they would hear at school.

Ahhhh, yes, now that makes more sense. At first I wondered why parents would allow their children to know of this event, but this made sense. Most parents were talking to their children about it because they would rather they heard about it from them instead of children, but I still had a concern…

In December our nation was shaken with the horrific event in Newtown, CT and children were given information at that point as well. Today when my children were talking of this I saw two reactions; 1) worry-fear-anxiety, 2) disconnect. Yep, that’s what I said…disconnect.  I wondered in that instance if we as adults knew the long term impact of ‘giving too much information’ to young impressionable children.

You see, I believe we live in a society where we are disconnected from one another more than we are connected and that is dangerous…that is why we have events like Newtown, CT listed in our history books…because someone was disconnected.

I started to feel that maybe giving our children too much information and exposing them to the news was somehow desensitizing them. It’s desensitizing us to some degree because we hear so much of it, why wouldn’t it do the same for our children who really have little understanding about life and death at this early and tender age?

I’m certainly not judging anyone for their decisions with their children, but I’m wondering if giving them too much information and exposing them to the very negative news that flashes across our screens (phones, computers, TV’s etc) daily is really the best option for our children.

Is it possible to just let children be children and IF they come to us with questions regarding a tragedy, THEN we answer their questions–while still protecting their innocence–as best as we can?

I believe that young children are on a need to know basis and that they do not need to know about senseless violence in our world. I strongly believe that exposing our children to this kind of event, even though we mean well, can cause more issues in the future such as anxiety, or worse, desensitization.

I didn’t tell my son about this event and he didn’t come home and ask me about it either. If he had, I would have told him that sometimes awful things happen and it’s terrible to see this happen or experience this but we should notice all of the love that rises to the top of the situation.

We should take the time to see how everyone pulled together and how everyday people turned into heroes at a very sad time.

I’m curious to hear what YOU think…Too much information

Lots of Love & Tons of Light,

Vicki

What Exactly Are We Teaching?

It’s the first full week of school in this part of New York.  Normally, this is a time of year where kids are excited to meet their new teacher, and their teachers are excited to start a new year and get to know their new students.  This year is a bit different…

As America looks to better their education system and rid the system of ‘bad teachers,’ we are seeing a system that is now based in fear.  Fear that our teachers are not teaching effectively.  Fear that our students are not getting enough out of their education.  Fear that there’s just not enough time in a day to teach what needs to be taught. Fear, that we, as teachers, are not enough.  Fear, fear, fear.

With all of this fear, we are now being driven to test our students ad nauseum.  I teach 1st grade.  Some kids are still 5 years old when they walk through the door.  Others will soon turn seven.  They are still babies in many ways, yet we are expecting them to sit and be tested for hours at a time before they have even had the chance to get to know their new teacher and the new routine.

This week, I watched as my children were forced to take several tests so that we could ‘show growth‘ by the end of the year (and the tests continue through this month).  It’s not the baseline test that upsets me.  I believe that we do, in fact, need some sort of baseline to see where our kids are at the start of the year and then again at the end of the year.  We wouldn’t be responsible educators if we weren’t measuring their growth and monitoring our instruction as we went through our year.  Any caring teacher knows that, and likely has devised their own tests or growth measures to be sure the children are in fact growing and learning.  What truly bothers me is not only how we are testing our children, but more importantly, how much we are testing our children.

The tests that we are administering to our students need to be ‘rigorous’, according to our system.  This week, I saw that rigorous apparently means, ‘so difficult that its hard for any student, even the brightest, to feel successful at the end of the test.’

This week, I taught my students to breathe deeply.  I empowered them with positive affirmations, and told them that these tests were only to tell me what to teach them through the year. Yet I still saw tears.  I still watched their breathing increase to a shallow, scared pant.  I still saw their spirits sink.  All of this because they look to us for guidance and they want to do well.  It breaks my heart that we have come to a point in education where we must begin our school year like this.

I believe that in order to truly teach effectively, we must educate the whole child.  I also believe, that in order to do that, we must touch their hearts before we teach their minds.

By welcoming our children to a new school year with test after test, we are simply allowing fear to drive our educational system.  Worse, we are giving our children the message right from the start that they are not enough.  What a terrible message to send to any person, much less a child.

I work hard to teach children to believe in themselves and speak their truth every day of my life.  This movement in education, although it started with good intent, is harshly off course.

If we truly want change in education, then we need to start educating from a place of love instead of fear.  The only way to do this is to utilize tests that show what a child ‘knows‘ at the start of the year (based upon prior learning), and what the child has learned by the end of the year.  That would certainly show growth, and it wouldn’t bruise their fragile view of themselves in the process by testing them on skills that they are expected to know by the end of the year.

I agree that we need change in education, but is this really the best change for our children? With all of the issues we face in society based around fear, such as; violence, depression, anxiety and the break down of the family, shouldn’t we be building our children up, instead of breaking them down?

I vote for letting kids be kids.  Give us, the teachers, the chance to welcome our students.  Give us the opportunity to embrace them and touch their hearts before we teach their minds.  If we continue on this path, no child will ever like school, nor will they truly be learning.  When we come from a place of fear, there is no love, and where there is no love, there is no trust.  Children need to feel loved, accepted and safe in order to thrive.  I don’t want my students or my son to simply learn in order to plot data.  I want my children to thrive.  How about you?