Teach Your Children Well

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“I Wish You Happiness”

Try this. I just might change things…..

Photo by Jack Hawley on Pexels.com

I once read that Richard Gere, that handsome actor from An Officer and a Gentleman, said that when he encounters someone who is angry or hurtful toward him, he directs this unspoken thought to them, “I wish you happiness.” I recall thinking, ” How can he be so gracious in the face of such bitterness?” I decided to give his peaceful method a try.

There was the woman in Costco that shoved her way past me. Mind you, we are in a pandemic and she might just be afraid of covid. I wished her happiness in my mind. It didn’t prompt her to turn around and apologize, but I did feel a bit better that I’d chosen to react kindly (and silently). I tried it again when a man cut me off on the freeway. He was driving a huge truck with too many tires and I was driving toward the exit ramp with my turn signal on. He sped up and gave me a finger wave and a mean glare as he sped past me. I am grateful for my reflexes because he almost hit my car. Yes, I wished him happiness rather than yelling at a man who couldn’t hear me and didn’t care. I must admit, I felt calmer.

Would this practice be effective with my husband who on occasion gets on my nerves? We know each other’s triggers after almost 25 years of marriage. I figured it can’t hurt to try. He leaves 10-12 pairs of tennis shoes in our front entryway. I moved them to the garage on a brand new shoe stand right by the door. He moved them back. Although I wanted to yell, “I worked hard to clean up that area,” I told him that I like the area to be clear of clutter. Then I silently wished him happiness. It didn’t take care of the excess shoe issue, but I felt that displaying his large stash of shoes is obviously important to him. They remain where he put them. Who knows why, but I let it go, hoping he would be happy.

What I took away from this new mental exercise in kindness is that it only harms me when I unleash anger or react without taking a pause to assess how my next move may effect my health. My amygdala, the part the brain that warns us to fight or flee, would secrete cortisol. Too much cortisol leads to serious health issues. On the other hand, if I wish someone happiness, it oddly brings me a moment of happiness, however brief. I’ll take it.

Differentiated Instruction

Research shows differentiated instruction is effective for high-ability students as well as students with mild to severe disabilities.

• When students are given more options on how they can learn material, they take on more responsibility for their own learning.

• Students appear to be more engaged in learning, and there are reportedly fewer discipline problems in classrooms where teachers provide differentiated lessons.

• Differentiated instruction requires more work during lesson planning, and many teachers struggle to find the extra time in their schedule.

• The learning curve can be steep and some schools lack professional development resources.

• Critics argue there isn’t enough research to support the benefits of differentiated instruction outweighing the added prep time.

There are 4 ways to differentiate instruction:

• Content- what are you teaching?

• Process- How will you teach it?

• Product- What will be the outcome?

• Learning Environment- whole group? Small group?

• Use Bloom’s Taxonomy (think lower-level to higher-order thinking).

• In Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy:

Remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, create. Use robust verbs in your lesson plans. What will the students do?

•A flexible classroom allows for independent, paired, and group work.

•“Wiggle chairs”, floor space, and a quiet area are essential.  

Wiggle chair
Study carrel


•Break some students into reading groups to discuss the assignment.

•Allow students to read individually if preferred.

•Create quiet spaces where there are no distractions.

Refer to Bloom’s Taxonomy when planning a lesson.

My Advice to Parents

I did not do my best with my own children in regards to parenting. It has been through years of higher education and many years as a teacher that has shown me the results of both good and bad parenting. I am committed to being a good grandmother. Although I cannot change the past, I have hope for the future, Children look to their parents for guidance and boundaries. They are their own person, not here to entertain or stroke our egos. They need love that is unconditional and faith that is unshakeable. If the parents don’t have faith in something greater than themselves, their children are left to follow whatever comes along, not having a foundation that begins at home. Without a good compass they are prey to all measure of influences. Children need boundaries that are established with consistency. Toddlers are not meant to negotiate. Teach them that ‘no’ means ‘no.’ Children need their parents to steer them in the right direction and that means towards what is age appropriate, and that which will help them live a healthy, happy life. I have learned that discipline teaches and punishment hurts. To sum it up, my advice is: Give your children Love, Faith, Discipline, Consistency, and Boundaries.

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