Three Promises I Make to My Children

Three Promises I Make to My Children

Parenting is tough, like really tough. I had no idea what I was signing up for 12 years ago when my son came into this world. I have made more mistakes than I care to share, but I have also experienced more joy than I thought possible. As time has gone on, I have been able to define my personal goals as a parent.

I tell my children regularly that their are three things that I must do. Every decision that I make can be traced back to these three jobs or promises that I have made to them.

As I look at my role as an educator I can apply these same promises to my students no matter the capacity to which I serve them.

For the sake of clarification- throughout the rest of this blog when I say “my children” or “children” I mean both my biological and students at school.

1. My promise to LOVE and show you love.

Keep in mind, these three promises are in no particular order, they are all equally important.

This first promise is to make sure my children grow up to know what love is, feeling loved, and learn how to appropriately love others.

Choose Love is a popular Social and Emotional Learning Curriculum that is being used around the country. The title says it all, choose love. I want to model this with my children that in all situations you have a choice and I hope they choose love. There will be times when we mess up and that is okay. It does not mean you are a bad person, but you need to own it, learn from it, and do better by choosing love the next time.

2. My promise to PROTECT you.

My daughter is a little dare devil. Throughout her life I cannot tell you how many times I have told her she cannot do something. The conversations goes like this;

“Why not mom? I want to.”

“I know you want to, but you cannot. It’s not safe because…”

As children get older the conversations will change from “you can’t run with scissors, its not safe” to “let’s talk about why you should not vape and how dangerous it is for you.”

Protecting children in a school setting can look different. It can be protecting students physically, such as having crisis plans in place to ensure the safety of all students. But protecting a child is no only from physical harm, but emotional, social, and mental harm as well. Just a few examples are cyber bullying, dealing with struggles of life in and outside of school, and equipping students with the skills needed to survive and thrive after school.

Letting children learn from mistakes is a part of growing up; therefore, make sure you can clearly identify what you are protecting them from and why this is not a good learning opportunity. If you cannot identify those, then you may actually be keeping a child from growing.

Continually reflect.

3. My promise to TEACH you how to be a GOOD HUMAN.

My husband and I say this often to our children- just be a good human. Be kind, be accepting, be generous, be selfless… the list go on.

If you notice, none of those attributes are political. I do not have to impose my beliefs on children to communicate how to be good. If anyone disagrees and thinks that being a good human needs to be addressed cautiously in the classroom, please feel free to write to me so we can start a dialogue.

Every day when I leave for work I tell my children at home “be a good human today.” I have said the same thing to my children at school as well. I hope when children see me they are able learn from my example of what it means to be a good human.

I also recognize that leading by example is not enough. The promise is not “to SHOW you how to be a good human.” It is to “TEACH how to be a good human.” Teaching how to be a good human must be intertwined with the daily learning at school.

Imagine an entire school where every person lived by that phrase- be a good human.


Yes, people make mistakes, but that is the beauty of school. Children get to learn and have loving adults in their lives to help guide them.

One of these promises alone will not do. I have to live by all three when I am parenting at home and as educator at school. If one fails, the overall well-being of the child is at risk.

A Student Guide to Learning from Home: Communicating with Your Teacher Edition

A Student Guide to Learning from Home: Communicating with Your Teacher Edition

I have been getting lots of great feedback and requests for new editions and the top requested one was an example of how students can correctly email their teachers. I remembered back in my Keyboarding class we were taught how to make envelope labels and format a letter, but now we need students to know how to creat a subject line and write a short and concise email to their teachers. This is my motivation for “Communicating with Your Teacher Edition” of A Student Guide to Learning from Home.

This graphic is a two part edition. The first is an infographic with important information to help format your email and the second is an example.


Educator’s Lifesaving Tip 3: Organization

Educator’s Lifesaving Tip 3: Organization

My original post was going to go something like, “Top 5 tips for being organized as an educator…” I planned this about 2 months ago. A lot has changed in 2 months.

Uncharted Territory

Overnight, teachers across the world were asked to change their delivery of instruction to digital learning. Every student was asked to begin a whole new level of self monitoring and pacing to complete weeks worth of education digitally. This is not even addressing those who do not have consistent access to internet, both teachers and students. Students who became full time babysitters while parents continued to work or teachers who began working from home while also having children of their own at home with them. Or the millions of people who may be scared as they watched people around them struggling with COVID-19.

What teachers have been asked to do is unprecedented.

As I sat down at my computer to write I told my husband I did not know if I wanted to write about digital learning. Yes, that is what people are searching for right now, but a large part of me is desperately missing normalcy. He suggested I got and search for inspiration; looking for a way to find normalcy in my career and yet staying relevant with what people are needing. So, naturally, I got on social media and this is what I saw:

“Let them sleep in”

“No need to get dressed for the day”

“Use screen time so you can get your things done.”

“Children should do no more than 2 hours of school a day while at home.”

“I can’t believe my child had an assignment for EVERY CLASS!”

And then there are the jokes that gave me a good laugh:

“There are parents all over America that are just realizing the teacher is NOT the problem.”

“Day 1 of homeschooling- trying to figure out how to get this kid transferred out of my class.”

“All these kids learning Common Core math, bout to learn how to “carry the one” from their new homeschool teacher.”

This last week has been a whirlwind and it is not over.

Without knowing exactly how long we will be doing digital learning, teachers have to plan for the worst, the rest of the school year, and hope for the best. Not only do teachers have to figure out how to continue to deliver instruction digitally and meeting the needs of all students with a variety of different circumstances, we also have to provide adequate resources to working parents.

In my household, I have a 9 year old daughter and a 12 year old son who have the privilege of spending A LOT of the foreseeable future with me. We are also fortunate that my husband is a blog writer and has mastered the art of working from home.

After day 1 he told me I would not survive. I woke up and immediately started working in the clothes I had slept in, I took lunch around 2:00pm and finished working after 7:00 that night. I am an extroverted work-aholic and I needed help. He sat me down and we came up with a game plan for me while working at home.

From this conversations my blog post has changed to “How to Stay Organized While Teaching From Home”

Tip 1: Morning Routine

He suggested I treat my mornings like any other morning.

  1. 30 Minute Workout
  2. Shower
  3. Wake Kids Up
  4. Breakfast/Coffee
  5. Look Over Today’s Schedule
  6. Brush Teeth
  7. Dress
  8. Leave the House

So besides step 8, I should try and follow the same routine (I definitely do not spend the same amount of time on step 7 as I did before). I following my routine the rest of the week and I can tell you from personal experience, I felt so much better having my mornings back.

Tip 2: Transitions

Transitions are an essential part of planning your day. How will you transition from activity to the next? What protocols do you have in place to help transitioning from PE back to the classroom? But now we are asking “How will I transition from one lesson planning, digital tool learning, answering emails to the next task?”

Schedule. Schedule. Schedule.

I even did this for the children. Each day my children have 1 hour for Literacy and 1 hour for Math. If they finish their assignment for the day in 30 minutes then they have to continue that topic for the remainder of the time. If it is Literacy they can read or do IXL for the rest of the time. For Math I have practice sheets like multiplication they can do or Prodigy/IXL.

I am doing the same. If I had an hour to answer emails or contact parents and I finish up after 45 minutes, I will spend the next 15 minutes learning about new tools and resources to make communication more beneficial during this time.

**My ESL people- currently learning about Talking Points. As I learning more I will let everyone know!

Create a schedule for the family and follow it. This will keep everyone sane!

Tip 3: Food

Social media is lit up with funny memes about gaining weight during this time and I completely understand. I want to snack. All. Day. Long. Even though I know I do not need to.

Again, think about being at school/work . When do you normally eat in those settings? Make it a part of your schedule to only eat during those time. This will help everyone in the house keep with some normalcy during otherwise potential chaos.

Tip 4: Work Space

This one may be more difficult if your house is not set up with an office. My house is not, but we did make the desk in the living my personal working area.

Having this specific space helps me feel like walking into my office. I have left my personal life at the door and I have stepped into my educator role. As I stated earlier, transitions are big and we have to have a way to distinguish when we are working and when we are home. When I am sitting at the desk everyone in this house knows I am working. When it is time for me to “leave work” I closed up my work station, put my books and computer away, and leave my desk. I am now home for the evening.

Tip 5: Personal Care

This last one may be the most important. As always, an educator can only be their best for students if we are taking care of ourselves. This still applies. Organize and establish times to take care of yourself. Here are a list of ways you can do this.

  • Coffee To-Go
  • Go on a Walk
  • Order Food To-Go
  • Online Therapy Sessions
  • Get a Good Night of Sleep
  • Read a Book- not for work
  • Do a Puzzle
  • Follow the Above Recommendations
    • Workspace
    • Normal Eating Time
    • Schedule- you and children
    • Routine
  • Be Easy on Yourself- we are all learning and we will all make mistakes. Guess what, it’s okay.

The one take away I want anyone who is reading this is- the more organized you are will not only make the transition to digital learning easier, but it will help establish positive habits that will carry over into every day work life. Schedules and routines are your best friends. Use them wisely.