Making the most of the time we have

I wish I had more time teaching second graders math but I don’t. The only thing I can control is the intensity of the instruction. Thanks to my incredible colleagues, I also have fifth grade math coaches that work one on one with the students needing to make the most gains in the smallest amount of time. With their help, each moment is jam packed with individualized practice and great role models cheering them on. In turn, the fifth graders are learning what it takes to be those coaches and role models. It is a win all around.

What are other ways we can make the most of the time we have?

Three year old exuberance

Last night, our picky three year old proclaimed that she would like to eat my wife’s new dinner recipe “every night until the world ends and we all die.” While the statement is perhaps a tad extreme, the sentiment is exuberayting. To love something so much as to desire it until the end, is a feeling that only comes around once in a great while.

How can we cherish exuberance in all it’s forms?

Mean pep talk

We had an amazing field trip to the Johnson Art Museum today. This is either because or in spite of the “mean” pep talk we decided to give the kids beforehand. In our most serious, coach at half-time like voices we said,” Your job this year is to make sure you are learning no matter where you are. Whether you are in this school or anywhere else, your job is to take your brain with you wherever you go.”

Now our challenge is to give ourselves the “mean”pep talks we all need from time to time.

Different light

Usually, by the time I get to my studio, the sun has set long ago. Today I had the luxury of sneaking in a few minutes in broad daylight. Everything looked so different. The yellows, seemed more springtime, the greens were almost neon. Paintings that seemed to be going nowhere, all of a sudden had clarity. I was able to capture such new perspective with different light.
How can we remember the power of looking at “old material” with a different light?

Centered in a canoe

I had the pleasure of introducing our Uruguayan neighbors to canoeing today. They had never been in a boat, let alone paddled one. What I quickly realized was the only thing that truly mattered was their understanding of the necessity of staying in the middle of the boat. The paddling I could handle on my own, but if they leaned to one side or the other, we would be (literally) sunk.

So often, I forget the importance of staying centered. I get carried away with forward moment and forget that I must stay centered in order to avoid drowning.

How to we remember to stay centered in our daily lives?