What is your impact?

This week I’m inspired to write about your impact on family, friends, your community and beyond. As some of you may have noticed my long time fiddle instructor Everett Larson passed away this past week. Here is the link to his obituary: http://thestarphoenix.remembering.ca/obituary/everett-larson-1075546492

For about 8 years my parents drove from our family farm by Marcelin, SK to Saskatoon, SK (about an hour drive) so that I could take fiddle lessons from Mr. Everett Larson. Mr. Larson was a kind, patient teacher who was passionate about music, particularly the accordion and fiddle. He always focused on being precise – every bow stroke and finger pattern mattered! What I admired most about Mr. Larson was his dedication to teaching youth. He was gentle in his approach but yet set high expectations for his students to do well! From a teaching perspective, this simple approach may just be the recipe for high quality teaching. As a result, Mr. Larson’s legacy and impact on the fiddling world is far greater than he would likely ever imagine.

This reflection makes me think about my role as a teacher and what responsibility I have for having an impact on others. Although I have not had much contact with Mr. Larson for the past 15 years, his teachings, his way of life, remains with me.

To my teaching friends, think about what you want your impact to be! Don’t be afraid to ask your students what your impact is – you can only change it if you know what it is.

Lastly, my challenge to all is this – let others know what impact they have on you and thank those that influence you in positive ways! You will strengthen your relationships and walk around “feeling good” that you told them!

Scheduling Time for Yourself and Your Family

Here we go with my second blog post. It is hard to believe a week has already passed since my last post.

This week – this year – I have been thinking about my journey as a teacher through the past 10 years and my journey as a Mom through the past 10 months.

In my teaching career, I have always believed you give it your all! This likely stems from growing up with two parents who do just that in every task they do. I still believe this! Kids deserve your very best each and every day and this often means long hours spent planning lessons that are engaging and authentic, listening to students and supporting colleagues. These long hours sometimes mean that I have not spent as much time at home as I likely should. I have often filled my days and evenings with work related pieces – don’t get me wrong I love my profession and the impact I can have every day at work – but sometimes we do need to turn that off.

Through the last 10 months as a Mom, although difficult at times and a learning journey, I have taken short stints of time for me – driven out of necessity to just have a break. My short breaks usually meant going to a fitness class, going to a meeting, or going to get groceries. Although not often, these breaks were so important for my own well being. I was a better Mom when I returned from these short breaks and they enabled my daughter to have one on one time with her Dad.

Moving forward as I return to teaching this fall I am going to schedule short breaks for me and for my family. My calendar will now have a slot for “me” time and “family” time. I will schedule these just as I do meetings and appointments. I will continue to be a better Mom and a better teacher and leader as a result!

To me this post is timely for my teacher colleagues who are in need of some “me” time and “family” time. Place it in your schedule for the summer and find a place for it when you begin the 2019-2020 school year.

For everyone else – whatever your passion may be – take time for you and for your family so that you can be your very best. Although we often say we do not have time – remember you are the one scheduling your time!