Friday, December 16, 2011
If you missed it or want to revisit a wonderful story of kindness check out the link below.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
The euphoria that you experience when you help others close to you translates in a feeling of warmth, a frisson, the feeling you are full of energy but very calm at the same time. Every time you make a difference for a colleague or a child by creating kindness will have a wonderful impact on you as well.
In the busy days of your teaching life take time to think about the ways in which you could create more kindness and joy in your environment. Challenge those who undermine this positive environment, for those who create the opposite are encouraging the secretion of cortisol and this is dangerous for young lives. Based on research it is clear that in the early stages of brain development raised cortisol levels can have long term negative effects as the brain is laying downing it's blueprint to build on the future growth.
Researchers compare the feeling you have when you help others, to what others feel after going for a jog - the runners high.
In both cases serotonin - the happy hormone - is secreted. Find ways to increase the opportunities to secrete serontonin in your place!!!
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion”- Dalai Lama
Today I was engaged in a conversation with my son, who as a grown man in his thirties has applied to complete his teacher training. He was discussing the teachers who had left a lasting impression on him with their kindness or words of encouragement as he got older. There were only two teachers he mentioned, one was a male teacher in high school and the other was an early childhood teacher he had as a four year old. He could still remember her kindness and he said she was like a second Mum, how about that!
We must never forget the power we have to influence the children in our care and how we influence the way they perceive education and how they feel about their self worth which has lasting consequences for their adult lives. Are we instilling an image of these children as being capable and confident within our daily interactions and through assessment? Are we showing them kindness in all that we do with them?
Let us make a difference to all children in our care through kindness.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
Friday, August 12, 2011
Ash, isn’t it just as well we don’t have locked doors! Our children know they own this place, just as much as the adults and that we trust you! Otherwise you couldn’t have got those special things for James from the sleep room! This is just one more example of how thoughtful you are and how creatively you approach problems. I wonder, as this disposition increases over time and you use it in other contexts, if this means you will be a thoughtful, engaging leader who knows his team well and ensures they are all able to stretch their talents. I certainly saw an example of this today!
Ash, you stunned me today and I felt compelled to write this story down because, for so many reasons, these are the ones worth telling!
I was sitting on the couch cuddling James, who was very sad because he had just fallen over and hurt himself. Do you know Ash, nothing that I was doing was helping. The tears streamed down his face and sobs shook his whole body. I looked around to see where his special key teacher was because I knew I didn’t know James well enough to help in this kind of crisis and thought Jo would make him feel better, faster. And then, Ash you were there! You had sized up the whole situation, had gone into the sleep room, collected James’ dummy and loved blanket and in the twinkling of an eye you were offering these to him. He looked up, breathed a deep, deep hick-up-y sigh and accepted your gift. Immediately he felt better, his breathing slowed and he relaxed. You waited around a little bit to check all was well and then off you went about your own plans, like a humble hero fading back into a crowd. Your plans, by the way, are so very often full of grit as you put your whole effort and attention into solving the problems you set yourself, so taking time out to help a friend is a strong measure of how much you value making sure your friends feel ok.
What more did I learn about you today Ash?
Do you know Ash, we write many learning stories here at Greerton about things the teachers feel are important. We call it finding the magic because we want these stories to build a picture for you and your whanau, of the kind of learner you are. We want you to know, now and just as importantly into the future, that the learning goals you set yourself, the skills you practice and the dispositions that drive your desire to keep going, even when the learning is hard, began very early in your life. We think that these stories are very powerful as you revisit them and retell them as time goes on. Stories like the way you imaginatively solved a tricky problem, or pushed yourself to the edge of your skill levels through being brave, persistent, creative and imaginative. Your folder is full of these exploits and these ways of learning. Teachers love this kind of writing but just as importantly, we want to tell the heart stopping stories of kindness, thoughtfulness and care. This is what I saw today. Out of nowhere, Ash you rescued your friend and me! You stopped what you were doing because you saw a friend in need. These are the moments that matter in life and when people like you Ash, react to someone’s distress, in this way, the world is a kinder place.
Greerton Early Childhood Centre
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
In a study carried out by Thoits and Hewitt on Volunteer work and Wellbeing studies showed that mixing with other people, getting involved in activities with others offered long term benefits. One of the key findings was that ‘doing good’ did have a powerful effect of alleviating depression.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
There was no ambiguity in the results. They carried out electrocardiograms and psychological tests. The first group experienced negative results which included a quickening heart rate which was putting pressure on the arteries. The second group who empathized immediately reduced their psychological stress. It is clear that holding a grudge is not good for your health.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
One study showed those who helped others with their work attained better results themselves. These children who helped others were doing better two years later. The children who concentrated on their own work had not progressed in the same way.
This research showed that if you help others, it will help you as well. The research also had a finding that the helper children had better self esteem and a more positive image of school.
Friday, June 3, 2011
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
What learning is happening here and how can we support it?
“Being a singer is a natural gift. It means I'm using to the highest degree possible the gift that God gave me to use. I'm happy with that.” Aretha Franklin
“Music is the purest form of art... therefore true poets, they who are seers, seek to express the universe in terms of music... The singer has everything within him. The notes come out from his very life. They are not materials gathered from outside.” Tagore
This learning story was written by Julie Killick is currently the Head Teacher at Stanmore Bay Kindergarten in the Northern Auckland Kindergarten Association.
What are the ways you are building a strong moral community in your early childhood setting? Are the values of kindness, caring and compassion visible in your place?
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
A little kindness goes a long way doesn't it! An act of kindness doesn't have to be a huge thing to make my day, I notice and appreciate little things which put a smile on my face and a skip in my step, kindness sort of oils up life and makes everything run more smoothly. Its great to be on the receiving end of an act of kindness but it feels just as good to be dishing it out.
There is a saying worth bearing in mind "If I'm not for myself who will be for me, if I'm not for others what am I for?" I think this is a great little proverb because it speaks of balance. My Mother was such an incredibly kind and generous person, she would give anyone anything! Sometimes though I wondered if she could have been a little kinder to herself, but I think she was influenced by the gender expectations of the society she was brought up in, where woman saw their role as putting everyone else's needs before their own. Maybe today our world is a little more balanced? Personally think there is a still a long way to go for gender equality!
Anyhow, back to balance, I think its worth bearing in mind, and of course if we are loving towards ourselves we are far more likely to be loving and kind to others!
So is kindness all about fluffy ducks and warm fuzzy feelings? I say not always! I think sometimes the kind thing to do is to be brave and raise the issue that has come between you and a friend and caused a disruption in your relationship. Kindness to me means I care about you and our friendship enough to sort out what has come between us, instead of tossing you out of my heart and letting resentments build. Sometimes I manage it and sometimes I don't!
At our Kindergarten in Stanmore Bay we declared March the month of marvelousness! We wanted to create more of a culture of appreciation in a fun and playful way. As a teaching team we decided to look out for anything each other, the children or parents did that we thought was a little bit marvelous, and compliment the person. We put up signs in the bathroom saying things like "Tell someone they are marvelous today! And be your most marvelous self, and Beauty all around us-MARVELOUS!" etc. Giving and receiving feedback on the marvelous moments has done a little bit of magic in our team, brought more laughter and kindled more kindness.
As a kindergarten teacher I have the privilege of witnessing many moments in a day when children show kindness to other children and adults around them. I hope you enjoy this learning story about Matthew cheering Leo on! Children are our teachers-lets be encouraged by this lesson and cheer ourselves and others on and bring a little more kindness into the world!