Monday, 13 October 2014

So much to feel grateful for!

For Thanksgiving this year I have so much to be thankful for. About a week ago one my lifelong dreams came true. It was just a few months ago that I wrote a post about not needing that paper that says I can teach full time. Well, the time has come...and I have been granted that paper! Let me tell you about the whole process.

Every school year has a reorganization process. "Reorg" as we call it. Well, when that happens, numbers are juggled and students are officially placed into their class for the school year. At this time we find out where we need extra teachers and sometimes alternatively lose teachers. Occasional Teachers, like me (well previously occasional now) get to apply to all of the new positions available. Well, not ALL, we are limited to 10 applications. Reluctantly, I applied to 10. I say reluctantly because I was literally giving up my dreams of becoming a teacher. I started to wonder if I was on the right path or not.

So, you can imagine how surprised I was when I received the first invite to an interview! I was over the moon excited, not at all worried about the interview. I was literally smiling from ear to ear! Then half an hour later when I got invited to another interview - well, let's just say I was happier than over the moon. Is that possible?

I've worked pretty hard over the couple of years to do my best in my teaching practice and let me tell you, did this ever pay off! During my first interview, I literally surprised myself. Despite all of my ego's attempts to muster up fear, I just wasn't nervous at all. Instead I focused on sharing my light, talent and desire to be the best that I can be. I left feeling like I didn't leave anything out, I totally nailed it! This was for a Grade 5 position, a grade I've taught before.

My second interview was for a Grade 8 position, something I haven't explicitly taught BUT it involves a rotary program where I will mostly teach Drama/Dance to Grade 7/8 students - OKAY - dream come true...how do I insert a million hearts here?! Even though teaching D/D is a dream come true, I was incredibly nervous for this one...but I went in and did my best...ironically though, I nailed that one too!!!

The waiting game, luckily the board wants these jobs filled ASAP so I didn't have to wait long. Interviewed Wednesday and Thursday and I was called on Friday. Guess what?! I was offered BOTH jobs! Phew!!! Finally some sort of confirmation that I'm on the right path in life. Which one did I choose? Grade 8 of course...after all, I teach dance, I have a summer camp that involves dance, LOVE dancing and most people know me as a little quirky girl with a zillion accents - british, australian, etc...I'll be the best drama teacher...hahaha

I splurged on an iPad as a reward!

I can't explain the amount of comfort, calm and ease that washed over me once I accepted a full time teaching position. It was an instant reward for the years of hard work I've put in. Not to mention the incredible high of totally rocking both of my chances at permanent. In fact, both principals told me I have amazing interview skills and the position I turned down was sad to lose me. At the risk of sounding conceded - yay me!

To go further here, I met my new teaching team on Friday and it's like I fit right in, they were so welcoming and I'm looking forward to getting to know them, teaching my students and the constant paycheques 12 months a year! lol

Okay, that was a mouthful of gratitude, my heart is definitely happy. BUT I have more to be thankful for! Yesterday I got to spend time with my family. I am so grateful for all of my family, I'm proud of them and feel lucky to have them! Even though distance stands in the way, we found a way to meet and make the most of this wonderful holiday weekend.

My sweet little niece Abbigail

My sister, niece, and brother

Oh and not to forget those friends who share in the excitement of your dreams coming true, feeling so grateful for those friends who understand how long of a journey this has been for me. Feeling grateful for those who made this a special event and showered me with kind words and support. I don't know what I would do without you :)

An angel of caring and lucky bamboo

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Math is SCARY!

Alright, time to make a little confession here. I'm terrified of teaching math. I teach it. I try my best. BUT I worry that I'm not doing the best job all the time. When I was growing up this was the most difficult subject for me to learn and I remember my brain hurting A LOT!!! Phew, feels good to admit that out in the open.

Giving my best to teaching is something so important to me, so when I finally admitted to myself that I wasn't giving the best to my teaching when I was ignoring my fear of math I knew something needed to change! What did I do? Well, I signed up to take an Additional Qualification course in Mathematics for the Primary/Junior level learners. And was it ever the right choice! I'm one week in and I already feel more confident. I've met other people who experience some of the same feelings surrounding math. I've also learned a bit more about myself and how NOT scary math is...boy is that a relief!!!

I am a creative thinker and everything but a mathematical thinker. At first this made me really nervous to enter a course with people who were probably really MATH SMART....however, some sort of magic led me to the right course, where I got to meet a colleague/professional who is also a creative thinker BUT she is also a math thinker...does this give me hope or what?!

This week has been a reminder for me. A reminder that we do the best we can with what we know and where we are. As long as we strive to do better than our best we are doing a big favour to ourselves and students!!! I can already tell that this course will make me a better teacher and person...

If I could figure out how to upload my first powerpoint presentation that I created for my course to share I would...instead I will share a link on how math and our emotions connect...we have to take care of us before we are in a state of mind to learn...Heart Math




5 Pics that make me smile...

 So, I decided to join in on a link up this week to share 5 pics that make me smile...the past 4 weeks have been pretty busy with back to school (I know this word "busy" seems to be a pattern in my posts - maybe I need to evaluate some things). It was really nice to wake up this morning and not have anything to do - except get a hair cut and enjoy a trip to the farmer's market! Mmm fresh baked goodness and fresh produce from local farms! When I came home I noticed that my good friend Shaunacey had shared this link up and I thought - yeah I'd like to look through my pics and find some that bring a smile to my face, and share them!

This is a flower one of my students gave me at the end of the last school year. It pretty much sums up my blog and I was incredibly grateful for this gift of appreciation. It brought a smile to my face the day she gave it to me and it still brings a smile to my face!

Here's a picture of me thinking my groove moves are so cool. Just your average day in Brooklyn ;)

Clearly I'm sharing my expertise on solving crime with Spiderman!

Ahhh the joys of allowing an 8 year old to doll you up!
Hair and makeup...I'll share her number if you ever need to be pampered...lol

My sweet little niece, how could you not smile at such a beautiful angel!

Looking back at pictures makes you think about people, moments and special memories...and sometimes it causes you to feel gratitude or makes you want to pick up the phone and connect with people that make you SMILE...seems like a nice start to my Saturday!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

"What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?" - George Eliot

"What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?"
                                                                                                    - George Eliot

I came across this quote the week before school started. It is so powerful and thought provoking.  When I read the quote, it made me think about all the ways that I extend and help others. It also made me think about the amount of people that I know that spend WAY too much time thinking about themselves and way to LITTLE time thinking about how to help others or how they might be impacting the life of another both positively and negatively. This needs to change.

I'm not saying that we shouldn't take care of ourselves - my blog is about taking care of yourself...what I am saying is, we need to constantly recognize the light in one another and we need to understand that life is abundant and there is enough for everyone. There is no need to be intimated by what others have and what others are. We all hold beauty in our being, there is no need to compete for it. Beauty shows up in all of us in unique ways, we need to celebrate that for ourselves and for each other.

And sometimes, just sometimes - we need to remind one another that we each hold beauty...because sometimes we forget and need someone to lead us back in the right direction.

Don't ever forget...

                                                                                          ...and so is everyone else.

This quote also made me think about where I could work on this, and how could I make things less difficult for both the people in my life and the ones I meet along the way...at the risk of sounding conceded I think I do this naturally, I'm always looking for ways to help others. Can one do this too often? Hmmm...perhaps in my case that might be true, except it's something ingrained in me and I believe I can't help it. I've tried to not be as helpful or caring...it backfires and makes me feel awful. And so, I find myself extending a helping hand before I even realize what I am doing...the part that I am challenged by is the lack of people in the world who are like this...while I respect that we all show up differently I can't help but wish that people were just a little nicer. And sometimes it feels like I don't know many people who try to help make life less difficult for me when I am going through a tough time. Maybe people do try to make life a little less difficult for me. It's just I just don't see this showing up in my world all to often. This makes me wonder whether it is happening and I'm not open to receiving it or if what I'm noticing is actually a truth...perhaps I need to practice being open to the same amount of help as I give out. Meditation time? I think so...


I'll leave you with this...how are you making life less difficult for others? What are you doing to increase the joy and success in your life by lifting others up? Are you doing it enough? Could you do it more? Are you receiving and not giving? Are you giving and not receiving? Where can you work to hold balance in this idea of working to help others and humbly accepting the help of another without fear of judgment...





Monday, 1 September 2014

Back to School: Behind the Scenes

Many people have been preparing over the last week for back to school...Parents are getting all the gear ready for the hustle and bustle to begin, while teachers are getting the rooms and supplies ready for all the little munchkins. While I recognize that most parents respect and have some idea how much work goes in on the teachers behalf, I'm not sure they fully understand the amount of preparation that goes in on our behalf - it's A LOT!

For the last 3 years (I've been a teacher for 6, yet only teaching for 3 - whole other story) I have spent so much time and energy setting up a new classroom. This isn't just including the material things, like the bins for workbooks, table bins with supplies, it's so much more. I want my room to be inviting for the children, so here is a glimpse at all that it takes for me to prepare: climbing up a ladder to put up bulletin board paper and borders in those hard to reach places - this is physically exhausting when done alone (which is almost always the case), rearranging desks (sometimes including the table height), shelves, organizing books, materials, writing out the poem of the week, posting inviting posters around the walls, etc.

It is so important to me to create a space for learning that is inviting for my students - it needs to be calm yet stimulating in just the right way, it needs to provoke creativity and a desire to learn, it needs to make them feel safe and respected. For me, it takes some mental preparation and I usually rearrange the furniture about 100 times before it's just right for the year. It's like classroom feng shui. My classroom is made up of colours of purple, blue and green - my three favourite colours...not actually allowed to have 3 according to most children...but I like to bend the rules ;)
Sometimes I feel like pulling my hair out during the process of setting up my class and perhaps I shed a few tears of exhaustion but in the end it feels good - because of "the moment".

The moment when...those little faces see their classroom, their desk, when they soak up the excitement for another year - it's totally worth all of the effort that I put in. It really is amazing to see the children become so excited for a new classroom and eager to learn. The back to school buzz is pretty awesome.

Back to the 'behind the scenes' part of this blog...the amount of work that goes in on the teachers behalf is pretty much endless...Besides setting up my classroom, preparing notebooks, name cards, pencil bins, etc. I've spent about 2 hours a day over the long weekend getting some things ready for the first week. I've made play-doh, a little treat for the teachers, first day activities, day plans, I've laminated, I've gathered, I've meditated on just the right welcoming for my little ones this year, I've worked on a calendar, I've gone supply shopping, and literally dotted my i's and crossed my t's with all that I can think of. Will it be enough? It never is in teaching. There is always something to do, plan, prepare...it's the nature of the job. Do I love it? Bottom line - yes I do - I even get excited about back to school and planning for my students. Is it hard work? You bet it is...Will I sleep tonight? Probably not...I'll be playing over the day in my mind and stressing over whether I've forgotten something.

So for all you parents out there who have excited little children tonight...know that the teachers are excited too...we won't sleep well either, and I hope you respect that. We won't sleep because we are preparing for how best we can care for your children this school year...how we can transform their lives and bring magic to life ;)

Wishing all you little ones and your families a happy first week of school!!!





Wednesday, 13 August 2014

This Baby...

On January 6th, 2014 the sweetest baby was born into my family. My sister, whom I love dearly had her first baby, a little girl named Abbigail Jane...most of my colleagues were waking up on the 6th to head back to school after the Christmas break. When I woke up to get ready for work I received a call from my brother-in-law letting me know that my sister was in labour...it was go time!


My family and I drove through quite the snow storm with great anticipation to meet the little peanut! Okay, so I know that the arrival of a new baby has beauty and all sorts of good feelings for most families, but this was beyond a normal level of beauty for our family than you can imagine. Both of my parents are only children, whose parents passed away before we were all born. This meant, we didn't really have grandparents. My mom was raised by her Aunt who became our 'Nanny' and someone we loved very much...so I'd say, I got to experience some of what it was like to have a grandparent but our family has been small and baby Abbigail means our family was getting bigger...

Growing up, it was pretty much just the 5 of us...with a lot of great friends surrounding us, it was great! When I got the news that our family would grow with my brother in law, I was ecstatic! However, when I got the news that our family would grow with a new baby - I was beyond grateful, happy, excited...every possible positive word you can think of...insert here...lol

Abbigail is now 7 months old, and because my sister lives so far away we haven't seen her as much as we would like. This makes our visits so much more meaningful in a way. From the moment I met her I knew she was special, it's just now that she is a bit older she is more interactive and engaging. She has a smile and giggle that can light up a room! She is a pretty happy baby with a very nice demeanour. Her smile is instantly contagious! While she was spending a week with us we brought her to her very first Jays game, the little cutie lasted almost the whole 19 inning game. That's right...the Jays decided to stretch out the game and really develop Abbigail's love for the sport...thankfully they won at the end of it all...

Abbigail smiling away!

Little Abbigail loved the crowd...she loved the clapping and the energy of the people...it was really neat to see her so interested and happy about it all. (I think she has good taste in sports) She was really well behaved and quite the trooper even after we left the game...we stayed until the 16th inning and then had to leave given the concessions closed at the bottom of the 7th inning...we were slightly hungry. Abbigail was an angel through dinner, the subway and finally zonked out in the car...actually she may have out lasted her Auntie...lol

Essentially, my point is..I'm absolutely in love with this baby. She has brought so much light into our family, the world and I'm so lucky to call her my niece. I am excited to see her develop and help her learn and grow...and what is also really great about this baby is that she has a pretty awesome Mommy...I never saw how loving my sister was until she became a Mom, and let me tell you...she is such a good one. She loves Abbigail so much and is gentle, kind, caring, giving, receiving all the greatness that comes with being a Mommy. (she has a pretty awesome Daddy too) I'm so excited to watch them grow as a family and I'm beyond excited to watch Abbigail develop into a little lady and can't wait for her to start talking!!!

Abbigail and Auntie Becca

Abbigail and Mommy

Kids make life pretty awesome...especially when they are apart of your family <3

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Little Yogi's that Groove n' Give Summer Camp 2014

Throughout my teenage years and my early 20's I spent time running summer camps for big companies or for other people. While, it is still a fun and different experience than working in a classroom during the school year - it definitely doesn't beat opening your own summer camp! About a year an a half ago one of my best friends and I were having a conversation about our summer plans. She had been battling a very bad lung infection and slowly overcoming the damage it caused for her lungs and I was gearing up to apply for summer jobs. We were talking about what type of summer jobs were out there and what we could do...when suddenly we came up with opening our own summer camp!!! Not just any camp though, it was going to incorporate our new ventures and our personal ideals. We started collaborating about what this camp would look like. What would we wanted the campers to learn and experience? My friend Amanda and I met through Yoga (something so important to both of us) and she was about to complete her teacher training and I was about to become a Groove facilitator (dancing as a way of awesomeness). We knew we wanted to share our love for Yoga and Groove with the campers. We started thinking about what else we could incorporate? This was seriously a time that we got to design what we shared and I was over the moon excited about it!!!

Amanda and I celebrating St. Patrick's Day 2012

After much scribbling and creative babbling we decided to call our summer camp experience 'Little Yogi's that Groove n' Give'.
https://www.facebook.com/LittleYogisThatGroove?ref=hl
groovin.yogis4kids@gmail.com

Our idea was to have the campers Groove and do yoga everyday and MUCH more. The more just kept getting more and more exciting as we thought about what to incorporate into our camp. The campers would of course have the daily crafts that help make memories. Except, we wanted the campers and families to receive more than the normal camp experience that we all know and love - something that would impact they way the children live, be, interact, and love. We wanted to help raise awareness of how they treat others, themselves and help raise their awareness of the community and globe around them. For our first year of camp we decided that one way the campers could give back was to raise money for another child in need of help. We chose to work with Make-A-Wish foundation. We collaborated with them and arranged a 2km race for our campers. They operated the whole thing! They raised the money and with our help they trained for their race. Eventually at the end of camp, they ran their race and raised over $500 in one month! It was truly magical to watch the selflessness become a part of our campers being.
Make-A-Wish: https://makeawish.ca



The next thing we wanted our campers to learn was how to respect and interact with elders in their community. We decided to have the children volunteer in a retirement community. The campers met a variety of people and listened to their stories attentively. The smiles on both the faces of the campers and the residents was heart warming. We taught the residents yoga, Groove, about the provinces, we made crafts and most of all...we shared love.

Our first year of volunteering at the retirement community

Last year we also had our campers visit places in the community to learn more, we had a visit with the police, firefighters and nature...By nature I mean, the children chose something to do to give back to it...they decided to make birdhouses for the park and hang them.

Above all else in camp, we wanted our campers to feel safe, loved and supported while they develop and find part of their authentic self. To do this, we encouraged listening, caring, and helping. We gave out love bombs (giant group hugs - with the conscious thought of love and healing) when campers were sad, hurt or in need. We shared strategies for resolving conflict in peaceful ways and encouraged sharing feelings and respecting them (think back to my post on the 7 Habits..."seek first to understand, then to be understood"). Overall, we left camp last year with a complete buzz of energy, and the feeling of success. The success came from positively impacting the lives of children of a variety of ages.

This year, Amanda and I couldn't wait to start planning out our camp adventures. We had full enrolment with returning and new campers. It was amazing to see how the campers shifted throughout the school year. How they became more of their authentic self and we are so happy we got to meet new campers that really made this year's experience enriched with AWESOMENESS. Our focus this year for the community came from something that I saw in a 7 Habits school. We created Boxes of Love...the campers brought in things they no longer needed and we talked about what we could do with it all...they decided to donate them. We donated old clothes, shoes, toys and books. We donated food to the local food bank. Our camps took a tally of what they had and took care to organize and package their donations.

We also had contact with an orphanage in Africa that Amanda's family runs. We had a Skype date with the children, wrote them letters and made them bracelets. The campers were so interested to learn about life there and many of them decided that one day they might find themselves in Africa sharing and helping. This really touched my heart. To immediately see how passionate the kids here became on helping and connecting with children who need extra love and support was amazing. The campers couldn't wait to volunteer again and remembered some of the folks from last year. This year they did piano performances and questionnaires. And our last learning for the week was about a ReTHINK campaign that Amanda's brother is doing. He is riding a 'elf' across North America to promote sustainable living. Our campers got to learn about his journey and decide what they were going to 'rethink' in life about how they use our resources.
Tumaini Children's Foundation: http://www.tuchifo.com/index.htm

The week was filled with learning, understanding, compassion, love and SMILES. As exhausted as Amanda and I were by the camp's ending, there is nothing in the world more rewarding than embracing the interests of children and helping them learn and grow into better more aware, authentic and loving people. It makes my heart full of love, energy and it makes me want to share our message and experience with many more children. In sharing with many more children, I hope to someday shape their lives by helping them become more conscious, loving, authentic beings!



Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Where Is The Summer Going?

So this summer has become a busy one..a good busy though. Since school ended so much has happened. I spent 2 weeks scoring EQAO testing (provincial testing for the little ones). As tedious as the scoring was, I felt that it was a really good experience. My favourite part of the 2 weeks was meeting a handful of colleagues that I now get to call friends. Each day my dear friend Amanda and I would arrive and meet up at break times and slowly our table of two grew to a table of 3, 4...5, 6 and then 7...knowing that we would meet at break kind of helped us get through all the scoring. I'm sure that I will continue to get to know my new friends and I'm really looking forward to our first dinner night!!!

After the scoring was done I returned home and spent an amazing week with two little girls that I truly adore. I've been a Nanny for 2 families in my life (both experiences come with incredible stories) and one of the families are from Barrie. It has been 6 years since I have been the Nanny for Lauren and Victoria. When I was their Nanny they were 3 and 5 years old. I love spending time with the girls so I have spent about a week each summer with them, something they like to refer to as 'Becca Camp'. This week has become a week of adventure, fun, learning and lots of LAUGHTER! I enjoy hearing about their year at school and sharing the things that I have experienced throughout the school year.

I always arrive early Monday morning during Becca Camp to a mini book that acts as an itinerary for the week. This past week included a day of cooking, a trip to the ranch for some horseback riding (both of them had their first experience riding a horse), a pj and movie day, Wonderland and a day of pampering. As you can see below the girls really know how to pamper me...



What I love most about our visits is that the girls feel completely safe to share with me. They tell me how they are feeling, what makes them feel happy, sad, scared and curious. I also love see how much they grow into the women they will be one day...each year they become more beautiful, kind, loving, understanding and respectful. Even though the week we spend together goes by so quickly, I know I will see them again and we will continue to laugh about anything, create little movie theatres. Okay, a little back story here. When I was the girls' Nanny I would help them build whatever they imagined...we built a pretend campfire in the middle of January once (including fake sticks and real marshmallows for roasting), we built a rocket ship that was life size - it had buttons and everything! And, their favourite was the movie theatre - which they continue to run every time I visit. This past week the show was in 3D - so I had to wear a pair of sunglasses for the entire movie.

It means so much to me that they admire the things we did so much that it will forever be a part of their memories and I look forward to creating more as time and age shifts...I wonder what I will be able to convince a 11 and 13 year to build next...


p.s. this week I am running a summer camp that I opened with one of my best friends and colleagues called 'Little Yogi's that Groove n' Give' so my up coming blog will talk about all of the fun adventures from camp this year!
Check out our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LittleYogisThatGroove?ref=hl



Sunday, 13 July 2014

A Trip To The Doctors...

Just over a week ago I found myself sitting in my doctor's office waiting for that yearly examination, and of course I was listening in on the conversations around me. I'm happy to report, that all was well there...lol...however, shortly after I found myself sitting in the waiting room for the medical lab for some blood work, I realized that this "medical lab" (shall remain nameless) just wasn't in the business of making people happy. As I was sitting and waiting to be called into a room, a woman walked in and was sent away because what she was asking might have required just a little extra effort on their behalf...

I'm wondering when this place became such a business and why they feel entitled to make us (the clients) feel like we are just a number? Isn't the sheer fact that we may have a particular health concern we might be worrying about that put us here in the first place, enough???

Today's blog goes to the woman who wanted to be cut a little slack in the medical lab...she had made an appointment in the afternoon across town, however was stuck in this building for a couple of hours and was wondering if they could help her out and switch it to this location...she was super polite and hoping to save just a little headache out of her day...however, the medical lab lady thought it was too much of a hassle because she would have to have the paperwork faxed over...pretty sure that is why we have fax machine's...but okay...the lady ended up leaving and I was pretty annoyed by this for the woman, and found myself biting my tongue...lately I just feel so much like I want to speak up for the right things to be done for both myself and others. And believe me, I am the first person to feel empathy and understanding for even the employees and how they are feeling. It just so happens that I've had multiple experiences at medical lab's where the employees just jab you and are so rude.

A few minutes go by and the employee who couldn't be bothered to help the lady out tells me to wait in cubicle 4...I'm thinking "oh great, she's likely going to jab my arm". Then to my surprise this beautiful woman enters my cubicle with a bright smile and restores my faith in the healing arts....she was kind, considerate and patient...all of the qualities it takes to be in the profession. I felt incredibly relieved.

I do think that the medical field needs a huge makeover in the people skills department...there is no need to make people feel stressed, just simply adopt the attitude of being kind, doing what we can with what we have, and maybe...just maybe...exchanging a couple smiles and nice words...maybe I will spend some time advocating for this when I find myself in these situations.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Style Challenge Ends...

For the past three weeks I've enjoyed taking some 'selfies' and checking out the combinations of many beautiful women. Not gonna lie...the summer colours were my favourite...The challenge came to an end this week, and although I won't be seeing these wonderful women in the challenge group every morning, I know that our virtual friendship has just begun! Who knows...some of us might even step it up and meet in person!!!

Just a couple fun pics from the past week...




Okay, this last picture isn't an outfit...however, it is my new favourite (and colourful) summer beverage....Watermelon, Strawberries, Limes and Amaretto...blender...ENJOY!

And of course, check out these awesome women, their amazing words, and fun outfits!!!



Friday, 4 July 2014

The Best Teacher in Grade One (no offence to anyone...lol)

Alright, so today I found the story...and as I promised...here are some pics of the cuteness :)




Thursday, 3 July 2014

It's Her Magic...

The school year ended last week and my student's definitely did their best to make me feel special. They showered me with cards, letters, gifts, and hugs...one of my favourite thank you gifts was this beautiful flower (the colours! right? how'd she know?)


As much as I appreciate gifts from my students, the cards are what makes my heart happy. The notes and kind words from parents thanking me for how hard I worked all year and the printing and writing from my students...and the eraser marks - all because mom and dad said to use their neatest printing. One student decided to write a whole story! This story melted my heart a little...okay...ALOT.

The story started by students wanting to enter my classroom. The little girl literally drew me with a beaming yellow light surrounding me and students calling out..."it's her magic!!!" in speech bubbles. Then there was a picture of the Principal coming by the room shouting "what's going on in here" ...with a secondary speech bubble that had the Principal saying "oh...her magic".
Like really??? The story continued by capturing our class trip to the Science Centre where I got the class lost in a forest (this never actually happened) and we were all found by this "man"...AND...out of no where it becomes a love story...I some how lived happily ever after with the man that found us in the forest...the last picture was myself and this prince charming and hearts all around us...

Okay, I admit it...sometimes I feel like I will never meet my person...but the hope, wonder, and pure love coming from this 7 year old definitely gives me a kick in the butt...because I don't actually know when or where...but it will happen (perhaps in some random forest when I am lost with not 1 but 20  - six and seven year olds...) lol

I really wanted to post a picture of the story today, but somehow in all of the packing of my teaching materials, it has been misplaced. Since I don't know what Grade I will be in next year I had to pack up EVERYTHING. It made me realize how much I have invested in this career (the one that won't even recognize me as permanent yet). Seven boxes, one pack of pre-written poems on chart paper, a classroom mascot, and pack of Mr.Sketch markers later and my basement is packed. All in all I end this school year feeling full of magic that shapes children's lives, a heart happy, and a mind that is curious...will I need my primary, junior or intermediate brain come September?


Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Check out these awesome BLOGGERS!

<a href="
" title="Check out these awesome Bloggers style and their Blogs!!!">Check out these awesome Bloggers style and their Blogs!!!

Life is pretty good when you have a bunch of amazing women embracing style!!! Day 3 of the Style Challenge and I'm feeling giddy...I'm giddy because: I'm taking selfie's (and actually not minding it), my heart is being filled with the kind words of an awesome group of women, I'm actually pumped to get dressed in the morning...AND the outfits incorporate COLOUR...aside from being able to pick out anything in my closest and love what I'm wearing every day...I totally feel empowered by the amount of women across the globe wearing similar outfits - ALL supporting one another on a journey of fashion, empowerment, style (not just in clothing - but by welcoming and rocking their own 'chic-ness')
So, we've all decided to do a link up...share our blogs with our blog readers and invite them on this journey of fulfillment in kind words that appreciate each person's beauty and AUTHENTICITY! 
(hope I've copied the link up directions correctly)
In light, 
Becca

Colour Fun!

Okay, admittedly it has been quite some time since my last blog...however, it has been report card writing time at school and I've been experiencing a lot of 'stay or go' feelings about NYC. There is something about the soil there...the fact that you can feel the hustle and bustle of the city but walk outside and in a few minutes you can still find some nature. Yup. The thoughts about moving there have been consuming me. I've decided to let it go for right now, and let whatever is meant to happen...happen.
Back to report consumption...well...among all of the others things teachers have on the go, there are about 3 times a year where we are scrambling to get these reports written. Although they are informative to parents and I am becoming a pro at writing them, they are incredibly time consuming. I've created a little reward system for myself during report card writing season...If I complete a certain amount in a given amount of time then I provide myself with a glass of wine or yoga class OR even better...a little bit of GROOVING! And then I return to the computer and write again...hahaha
Anyway, round one is done...printing is on Monday, then editing and they are shipped home for parental review...lol...pretty sure since I have completed round one, I'm good for a decent reward! Well, I've decided to reward myself with a fun little summer style challenge...TOTALLY out of my realm. Love fashion. Love clothing. Never considered putting this much support into what I choose to wear though. I'll get back to why there is support in a bit...first I want to share why I have titled part of my blog the way that I have...colourful...
I love colour. I love incorporating colour that flows nicely in all areas of my life. Each day when I'm getting ready I choose a colour to focus in on for my outfit and I go with it. Most of my outfits or writing will have a pop of colour (note to self - when revamping blog...look into changing font colour). I love colour in nature the most...the spring/just about summer time is my absolute favourite! I love being outside and admiring the natural colours coming up...from flowers blooming to the richness in greens all around, sometimes I just simply can't get enough...aside from it being beautiful, it's incredibly relaxing and peaceful to just be outside and enjoy the colour that surrounds us daily. When my students ask me my favourite colour...I always respond 'I have three...can I share all three???' and of course they say no, just one. And so I share all three anyway...lol...'purple, blue and green...all shades of all three!' Really, I don't even think there is a colour I don't like...I like all sorts of colours and I literally have a bit of everything in my closest too, and I love colour in meals...I think it is so awesome to make a plate of food that looks rich in colour...mmm
Okay, back to the style challenge...my point above, I already loved putting clothes together based on colour...now with the challenge an interesting spin has been added and it's kinda fun...PLUS...it's a huge confidence booster...and got me out of my lulu's...it's been easy to say, well I work with kids, I need to be able to move around easily - which is 100% true...I do...but I also get to add the fun accessories and find other things that can keep it comfortable but make it fun, classic, and chic...a friend of mine joined a group doing this as she came off of maternity leave, she told me about it and I decided to join...essentially you are given a list of 'must haves' (everyone's might be slightly different) for the challenge and then over 3 weeks each day you are sent suggestions on how to pair your finds...it's been a lot of fun to have added a few new pieces that can be paired in a variety of ways to make lots of different outfits...and there is a group where you post your fun finds and combinations and discuss...in other words, FUN! FUN! FUN!
My intention with my blog is to appreciate beauty as much as possible, and whereas somewhere along the line in life we all have tough stuff to deal with, I want to help inspire ways to lift people by helping them find even the tiniest bit of beauty in their life and just keep it growing...focus on it...so I encourage you to start by really embrace the colours in nature right now. Even when you are driving...there are plenty of colours happening right now...and maybe even pay attention to which colours you always wear and whether you can find ways to incorporate more colour in your life...maybe through food...drink...makeup...
Anyways, wishing you all an amazing weekend filled with purple, blue and green! hehehe...

Monday, 26 May 2014

Simply Blessed With Natural Habits

Wow. The last week and a bit has proven to be very life changing for me. Last week my blog talked about my trip to New York City and finding myself empowered by my adventures. I'm still very heavily weighing my options about spending more time there. Do I invest in some much needed weekend trips? Do I spend some of the summer there? Do I just pack up and move? Time to meditate? lol
Simply Blessed. The title of my blog today is referring to a trip I literally just took to Buffalo. My Principal invited myself and a few other amazing teachers to partake in a Symposium called 'The Leader in Me'. This Symposium is inspired through the great work of Stephen Covey's '7 Habits of Highly Effective People' and implementing the habits within a school culture. The 2 day experience was very transforming and empowering. This system basically gives us a toolbox to teach children and people to be GOOD people. Naturally I use a lot of the principles already in my own daily life and so you can imagine that it trickles down to my students. The part I love about implementing the 7 Habits in the school system though is that it gives educators and students the language to then take action to become good people.
The closing keynote speaker at the Symposium had the entire auditorium in tears (okay - maybe I'm exaggerating...but my table group was in tears). Muriel Summers is the lady responsible for making this possible in schools and she was incredibly warm and loving.
The habits are;
1. Be Proactive                                                                            
 2. Begin with the end in mind         
3. Put first things first                      
4. Think win-win    
 5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood   
6. Synergize (collaborate)
7. Sharpen the Saw (take care of you)
(from Stephen Covey's book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)
I have only recently started to become fully aware of the 7 Habits and how effective they are in practice. I've been listening to the audio tape on my drive to work. Like I said, most of them are already a part of ME - but the one that I have committed to work on for myself that I don't otherwise do is Habit #4 Think Win-Win...here's the thing about me, too often I think Lose-Win...me being the lose...and not because I want to lose, but because for some reason I think other people need the win more than I do...and actually...it kind of breaks my heart a little that I've felt that way in the past. I've literally compromised my well-being, my intelligence, my needs - all in the name of making someone else feel good, 'win' or shine. When in actuality I should have been thinking 'win-win'...somewhere where both people walk away feeling happy and content...I have a lot of things to be proud of that deserve equal light and there is absolutely no reason for me to compromise to the point where my needs are not being met...so my personal goal for the next however long it takes...until it's embedded in my DNA is to improve my 'think win-win' mentality.
Okay, back to Muriel...this woman took these ideals and used them in her school to build a culture of students who respect one another as people...and she extended it so much as taking care of the lives of her staff also. When she spoke I felt a really warm feeling of love and care in my heart.... for me, it was like everything that I love about teaching children came flooding back into my heart. For the last 10-15 years I have felt that the education system was truly failing to meet the needs of the HUMAN beings passing through. I felt like the heart and compassion needed to educate young people was missing. Everything about the 7 Habits puts becoming good, loving people first...get it...first things first...you can't learn until your soul and being feels loved and safe. Gosh I'm incredibly lucky for having participated in such an inspirational event. lol
So much of what Muriel said resonated with me and one of them was this quote;
"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why."
- Mark Twain
Amazing. Celebrate life people!!! Your presence on this earth is on purpose and likely for a pretty stinking cool reason...but...as much as I loved what she said, I don't think I have entirely realized my purpose. I know a lot of what my purpose is...but there is so much of the 'why' that hasn't presented itself yet. I've had many traumatizing experiences, uplifting experiences and inspirational ones...and really everything in between also...but there is something that just hasn't clicked...but in hearing Muriel speak about motivating children to be their best person as they find their why, I felt a huge sense of hopefulness shoot up and down my spine, that I, like her, will eventually find my 'why' and change people's lives...
I would absolutely love to hear from you about your 'why' ... Have you found it? What's it feel like? How did you notice it? If you haven't found it...what are you feeling? What are signs that are showing up for you?

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Incredibly Brave or Wildly Dumb?

So it has been a couple of weeks since my last post...life consumes us sometimes...in good ways and in bad. Luckily over the last couple of weeks I've been consumed in the good. Between a couple of meetings with my editor, writing a little more...oh and an amazing trip to New York City - and let me tell you this place has the capacity to tell many stories. It inspired me to write more...right from the moment I arrived at the airport in Canada to wait for my flight until the moment I boarded to come home this morning. This place really has you explore your power.
On the evening that I flew in, my friend was at an event so I found my way from New Jersery to the Village...I contemplate this trek being one of the sketchiest moments of my life...my flight had been delayed a couple hours, so what was meant to be a 9pm subway ride turned into a 12am subway ride. I met an incredibly nice couple that were on my flight and they brought me to Penn station (my first NYC heroes) lol...they got me on the right track to the Village...after saying our goodbyes, I got on the Subway train and immediately realized I was either incredibly brave or wildly dumb. Who takes the subway in an unfamiliar place, with basically no idea where you are going at midnight??? With luggage??? Why didn't I just go onto the street and take a cab???
As much as my heart was beating with all of the bizarre stares I was getting, I felt slightly empowered that I was actually navigating the City semi-independently...then the train stopped and it was time to get off...I needed a big gulp of strength, because as soon as I stepped onto the plat form, people disappeared (except for a few scary stragglers) and I started to panic...which stairs to take?! So, I befriend this man (hero #2) passing by and ask him kindly to get me to the street...he laughed and agreed...FINALLY I'm in the lively streets of NYC...I call my friend, who has started to panic because she hadn't heard from me in a bit, luckily she was just arriving home from the event and races down to meet me...I've never been so happy to see a familiar face as I was at that moment....this might not be the most sketchiest moment in another person's life...however, it did a number on me.
I'm curious...was it incredibly brave or just wildly dumb of me?! Luckily I was accompanied the rest of the weekend...I had a total BLAST!!! I can't quite figure out my favourite part - exploring the streets and passing through Little Italy, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square fun, Broadway, Piano Bar, and much more!!!
Since my blog's purpose is to appreciate the beauty in life, I must touch on my entire trip being fruitful and inspirational...when I landed in Toronto this morning I immediately wanted to return to NYC...this city is incredible, the way of life is chic, inspiring, a ton of fun, and just simply AWESOME. I've met some really great people...it was really neat to learn about the people I met and realize that 'everybody has their story'....the subway story is only the start of my weekend's adventures and a small story in the grand scheme of my life...lol
Do I see myself living there at some point???...quite possibly...soon.

Monday, 5 May 2014

The Best Way to Check in and Recharge!

This past weekend has been filled with complete abundance for me, and likely for more than a handful of women I consider my closest friends. These women are angels in my life. They have taught me so many things and loved me unconditionally. More than just listening and sharing their feelings, they honour my being and path. They truly seek the best for me and I for them. They are so safe, caring, kind, beautiful and compassionate - I really can't imagine life without them. From an a great dinner catching up with an old friend, to celebrating 30 years of another, and having a slumber party with my angels...my heart is overflowing with love as I write this post...
What I would like to focus on and share with you all today is how to truly nurture the 'girl friends' that you have in life. Far too often we have made excuses not to acknowledge what our friends truly need from us (we are all busy with work, children, boyfriends, husbands - these all fall under the category of excuses...) The truth is, in order to show up for the 'excuses in your life' - which also happen to be beauty in your life, at your best, you need to replenish yourself with the women (or men - actually...I'm not sure men have as much difficulty allowing guy time as women do) who feed your soul. These are the people you can trust...but in order to be a good friend effectively you have to show up on the in between...it includes the big ways too like; investing in some quality time, sleepovers, chats, dinners, etc...but also - but be there in between also...the world has made it way too easy to check in with your family and friends - a simple/quick phone call or message/email to let your friends know you care is the best way - you never know - your friend might be needing exactly the message you decide to send...and then setting dates to meet in bigger ways through events, dinners, etc.
I invite you to think about all of the amazing friends that you have surrounding you..and ask yourself:
Are you present enough in their life?...
Have you connected with them to know enough to know what is going on in their lives?
Have you honoured their path as much as they have honoured yours?
How could you make the friendship richer?
We are all at different stages, and I feel truly blessed to have a group of women who are at different stages than I - but - fully support and understand where I am at - AND - they show up for me. The feeling is mutual - I show up for them in the way they need also. What truly makes a friendship stronger and fills it with love and support is the ability to acknowledge where you are in your life, where your friend is in life, and meet somewhere in the middle so that both friends needs are met...
I care deeply about my friends and it is extremely important for me to be there for each one of them and so this topic is incredibly important and sacred to me...know that your friends need you just as much as you need them and sometimes that means stepping outside of the 'grown up world' and being that silly playful friend, like you are 8 years old all over again...it's incredibly empowering, fulfilling and FUN!
I hope in someway today's post inspires you to invest some time with your friends honestly, in a way that honours both you and them...to keep your connection to life and friendship as strong as possible.
And...so I will leave you with this quote...
"Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity."
– Khalil Gibran

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Community

This past week I received the first sketch of the main character for one of the children's books that I have written AND I was completely ecstatic when I got it! The little character is PERFECT! I am seriously trying to contain myself as I wait for the rest of the process to unravel...It was a really cool feeling to open a package for this purpose - almost like another step in my journey as been unlocked and life has given me more opportunity to be authentically me. And as much as I want to surprise the people in my life with the final product, I need to share my excitement.. It got me thinking about who is in my life and who has supported me through my journey and who will still be there once my books are published...and so this past week I've also been taking a look at my 'community'. By this I don't mean the place in which I live and am therefore a part of...I mean the people and places I associate myself with. Especially the people. I am incredibly lucky and blessed to have the people in my life that I do, that goes far beyond my family. I have a community of beautiful best friends, friends, yogis, groovers, and just people I've met along the way in life. Some of my community members I can't imagine life without and I thank my lucky stars for them.
I've decided to spend the next - how ever long it takes - sending  thank you notes to my community - for being in my life in whatever way they have been, supporting me on my journey - some people have played a bigger role than others but I thank each person just the same. I have also shown the people that I care about that I care about them, and I will ALWAYS do that regardless of what life has to offer...and my message for today is to invite you, others, anyone to join me in this 'gratitude' shift...appreciate the people who make a difference in your life, the people who have believed in you and your dream - sometimes more than you have...because there comes a time when your dream comes to fruition and those people need to know they helped you in some way shift into the person you have become. This gratitude shift is meant to be different than your average 'thank you' -way bigger than just a simple thank you...it's telling the people why you thank them and showing that you want them in your life regardless of where life takes you...
Today's blog is short n' sweet - because - well...it's absolutely beautiful outside and I can't wait to get back out there and soak up some time with the sun! I hope you get to also!
If you took the time out of your day to read this or support me in some way - please know that you are part of what I'm feeling grateful for on my journey...

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Be. You.

We have all seen the quote "be yourself, everybody else is already taken"...but I wonder how often we sit back and instinctively listen and live the message that it has to offer. I can recall many times where the integrity of myself has been compromised by my own allowing. For far too many years I placed my needs aside to meet the needs of others first. I did this because I wanted too, but there became a time where my needs weren't being met by me or others. This goes back to the feelings of unworthiness or not being good enough to do what I feel I'm placed here on this Earth to do.
Learning to be me ALL of the time has been one of the most incredible journeys I could have asked for in life. Through deep meditation, love, trust, education, quality time with people who truly adore me, movement, and perseverance I have found a way to BE ME without compromising the likes of others but by actually enhancing both myself and others. This is very liberating. Speaking my needs, honouring them first and then showing up for people makes me a better listener, confidant, teacher, daughter, sister, friend, lover, and much more...it makes me braver, stronger, freer, clearer - you get the point. We all have days and moments where we think "should I have said/done that?" but wouldn't it be nice to seriously just admit you made a mistake and fix it instead of dancing around it?
I'm pretty sure mistakes are a part of human existence and part of the beauty in making them is fixing them and building something stronger for yourself and possibly others...I've never really had a hard time admitting my flaws...I can do it. The only thing is - it takes me a bit to admit. lol. By this I mean...I may get an a heavy discussion with someone and be totally stubborn about my opinion - but then with time and space I can come back and make a point to admit where/when I am wrong and give credit to the other person. In a perfect world - I'd like to see others do this more easily - like really - get out of the EGO mind and just admit you were wrong or slightly off or whatever and appreciate whoever was right. Anyways my point for today is to BE. YOU. practice it. be patient with it. honour it. love it. trust it. respect it. respect others BE. YOU. moments. have fun with it. LISTEN to it. By being you, you say yes to your body, mind, soul and every part of you radiates!!! This doesn't mean you won't have to compromise is some ways for others but be honest about it and understand that by compromising we are showing respect and love and honour. Do the things you need to do to find your BE. YOU. and believe in what it tells you. It might be working out, walking, yoga, talking, dancing...it could be anything. For me finding the strength to be me involved a lot of Yoga but mostly GROOVING. This notion of moving MY body in a way that is authentic to me and listening to what it needed gave me the most power to be my BE. YOU. as much as I possibly can....
Cuteness: here's a BE. YOU. moment from a sweet child in my class...I've talked a bit about all the Spring Love happening in my class and the crushing...well it's settled down a bit like I knew it would...but the other day we were lining up and this little boy was being just a great little boy - polite, funny, kind, respectful and fun...I said to his friends "wow - you guys are lucky to have such a friend. He's a great guy!" and sure enough his little crush steps out of line and flails her hand out toward him and says "I know - that's why I'm ATTRACTED to him" and then saunters back into line being her BE. YOU.
No fear, no worry...just an honest comment that probably made the boy feel pretty good! Pretty sure I have the best job in the world.
On that note - have an incredibly awesome EASTER weekend. BE. YOU. and love it. Notice it. Honour it. AND - make a point to tell people all the goodness you think about them - especially if you are attracted to them ;)