New Year’s Thoughts

“People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” – Theodore Roosevelt

This quote imgreswas recently brought up at a meeting I was in.  I thought about it for many days after hearing it and decided to write down some of my thoughts. However, the holiday break happened and my thoughts stopped for two weeks! It’s funny how when you’re out of your routine the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality can kick in!

Of course, I happened to remember the post I had begun (all two sentences of it) right before bed the night before we returned to school.  I lay awake for quiet some time thinking about the above quote. Being a teacher I think of the students immediately and how it’s important at the beginning of the school year to show them how much we care.   It made me think about the little things that we take for granted on a daily basis; a hug as a student gets out of the car, a smile walking down the hall to a familiar face, the simple “hello” or “happy new year” greeting upon returning from winter break.

Then, with this quote still in mind, my thoughts drifted to my colleagues and peers.  In the same way we show our students how much we care it’s so important that we don’t lose sight of the little ways to show one another we care and value each other.   Each one of us has so many things we are juggling in our own everyday life.  Our students, our family, pets, friends, the list goes on and on.

I will admit, I’m not really one for New Year’s resolutions. However, sitting at brunch with some friends on New Year’s Day one of them mentioned forgetting to make a resolution.  What if we all resolved to do one act each day to show someone different that we care?  I know it may seem insignificant and small.  However, what if we could speak to someone new each day?  Maybe we could be more caring out in public as well.  Actions like holding a door for someone, letting them over a lane in traffic, honestly there are so many ways to show we care.  How will you show it?

What it really comes down to for me is a word that has been brought up over the past year or so a number of times.  Mindfulness.  If we are more mindful of ourselves and one another, what a nice environment we can help to create.  Will you join me in this?   Happy New Year and here’s to being mindful and showing others we care in 2017.

Learner, Thinker, Writer: Erin Collini serves Trinity School as a Lead Teacher in PreK.

Timing: less than ideal

Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 9.05.39 PMIt truly is a wonderful time of year.  As we look around and see all the holiday decorations, hear the sounds of giggles discussing what the elf has done to each house, and cheerful music fills the air, it’s so easy to become overwhelmed with the lack of time and our lists that are pages long.

Just before Thanksgiving, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity, along with about nine other colleagues, to take part in a regional NCTM conference for teachers of mathematics.  While the timing seemed anything but perfect as we were about to be out of school for a week, I knew this was something that I wanted to be a part of.

As soon as we heard the opening session, I knew I had made the right decision to take part in this conference.  Each session I attended gave me new and exciting ideas that I could use in my classroom.  What I loved was it was easy to come back and apply the knowledge I took away immediately and not just say, “I’ll try that sometime” and file it away never to be seen again!

I say this to simply encourage others to take the time to really look into professional development opportunities.  The timing may not always seem ideal and it may take a bit of planning and creativity with life in general.  However, I can say without any doubt, if I had let this chance slip by I would have deeply regretted it.  Not only did I come away with some wonderful ideas for my teacher tool belt, but this also gave me a chance to collaborate with colleagues that I might not be able to on a regular basis.  It grew friendships, trust, and camaraderie with people whom I see and interact with everyday.  It grew confidence in each one of us to come back and share with our teams how these ideas can easily be applied to our teaching.


Learner, Thinker, Writer:  Erin Collini (@BusyGirlCollini) serves the Trinity School community as a PreK Teacher.

Are they listening?

I’m sitting here at my computer writing what has to be the 4th draft of what is supposed to be my blog entry for Flourish…..I’m stumped.  I keep hitting a wall.  The moment I think I have something to write about, POOF!  My idea simply vanishes into thin air.  With my frustration growing quickly, I sat back, closed my eyes,  and began to listen to the sounds around my room.  I heard the air gently blowing through the vents; the projector’s subtle shaking from people walking upstairs above my classroom; and the muffled voices coming from the Lego’s class in the adjacent room.  Then it hit me.

Do my students really listen to me?  It’s so funny to think back on the day.  More often than not we wonder if our students really hear what we are saying. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a teacher say, “They just aren’t listening today!”

I know they hear us but do they really absorb it?  Recently I had a parent from a previous year approach me and quote something her child had said to their family at the dinner table the night before.  When she asked where her daughter heard that phrase she promptly replied “Miss Erin!”  I died laughing! Now of course it was nothing inappropriate, just a silly word I use sometimes.  It really made me think.  Just when you feel like you may have lost them to the daydreams of snack and recess, something happens that makes you know they do hear what you’re saying and do take it in.  Just this week a student quoted me from the previous day, word for word!  Once again proving, they are listening.

Whether they admit it or not, our student truly look up to us.  Model the behavior you desire and I think you’ll be pleased with the results.  I know I have been!

Learner, Thinker, Writer: Erin Lindsey serves Trinity School as a Pre-K teacher and Technology Integration Specialist.  You can follow her on Twitter @MissErinsPreK.

Growing by leaps and bounds!

As we approach the end of the year I can’t help but think back about the first day of school.  With exactly half of my class new to Trinity School I was just as excited and nervous, if not more so, than the students I would greet any moment!   As they walked down the hall there were big smiles, tears, and cries of joy to see friends they had missed over the summer.  They all have one thing in common.  Not one will leave this year unchanged or less knowledgeable than they arrived.

We as educators are very much the same.  Can a single one of us look back this year and say there is not one or more things that have learned or gained knowledge of? Can we say we have not mastered or begun to master a new skill?  We have all met new people and built on existing friendships.  We are no different than the students we serve.

Each day we come ready to take on new challenges, face existing ones, and find solutions.  How we go about this as individuals differs from person to person.  However, the end result is always the same….we get things accomplished.

Just as we encourage the children to talk through their problems to find a solution we as adults should be doing the same thing.  How much time is wasted out of frustration or complaining about something new?  Instead why not think about it as how fortunate are we as a community to have such a diverse and driven staff here?!  So many of us have such varying skills and talents to share with one another.  Instead of having a panic attack or mini meltdown, why not ask a colleague, “Hey, how are you with using Google Drive?”  If that is not their strong point I bet they may know someone who could help.

Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask.  We are all learning and growing together.  Just because you ask for assistance doesn’t make you a failure, it’s simply a way you are adding to your professional playbook!

Learner, Thinker, Writer:  Erin Lindsey serves the Trinity School community as a Pre-K Teacher.

“I’ll do that sometime…”

So I saw the email about this blog on Sunday night after a pretty tough weekend.  I thought, “I’ll do that sometime” and then just dismissed it from my brain.  With so many things going through my head the question, “WHY?” was front and center.  Why is a question we ask often. In my case I just lost a dear friend and I was asking,  “Why was such a young and amazing person taken from this earth so soon?”

It got me thinking of the statement above. “I’ll do that sometime.”  Sometime is now! Why not do it now?  I’ve never written a blog post but why not!?  That doesn’t mean I can’t.  What else is there that I’ve never done that I can do today?  So many times we shy away from things (i.e. this blog post) because we think, “oh I’ll do it another time.”  That time is now.

I’ve learned that it’s easy to get bogged down with the “to do” list for the day, week, or even month for that matter.  It’s best to simply take hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute.  Otherwise we will just overwhelm ourselves and do not enjoy the little things in life.

Take time to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.  Listen to the laughter of the children, feel the sun as it radiates on you, take time to be alone in thought.  Most of all, be grateful for each day, task, and even the “to do” list item in your life.

Learner, Thinker, Writer: Erin Lindsey teaches Pre-K at Trinity School