Vacation 2014

I’ve used the short time away to really vacation this summer…see some sites, share laughs, and enJOY the view…  By far the most memorable moments of the past couple of weeks have profoundly beenElCapitan ones not on the scheduled itinerary—those priceless snippets of time where attitude (and some hiking effort) merge to produce a breath-taking experience…  Here’s hoping your time away gives you this gift as well!  :-)

Let The Sun Shine

Van Am Gram:

Thanks to our friends at The Kindness Blog for this important reminder today…

Originally posted on Kindness Blog:

Sunshine Quote

You Are My Sunshine

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HOME is where the learning really is…

summer-sandals.jpgWe still have summer school is full swing on campus so on my walkabout this morning, I spent time visiting with learners about lessons from home.  One small group was sharing with me their “adventures” from the weekend–a trip to the Perot Museum (a personal favorite) and watching World Cup Soccer in Klyde Warren Park yesterday with Team USA on the “ginormous screen, Mrs. Van!”  :-)

We continued to visit about other options from home and these learners provided keen insight and clever ideas for all of us to consider trying at home during the summer:

  1. We keep a journal daily where we can draw and write about our experiences.
  2. Visit historical places and participate in events.
  3. Use a calculator at the grocery store so we stay on the weekly food budget (“I eat a lot, Mrs. Van!)  :-)
  4. Listen and dance to music everyday.
  5. Tell lots of stories, especially on long car trips to the family reunion…we’ve got some interesting folks in our family.  :-)
  6. Teach my parents how to use Google Maps to get places.
  7. Get outside and run, walk, throw balls, play games, and goof off.
  8. Go to the library and museums; sometimes it’s even fun!  :-)
  9. “Blow up” things in the backyard (no comment here, but I have to hope it’s supervised science experiments…)
  10. Cook and bake and eat lots of great summer foods!  :-)

What a great list of ideas!  Here’s hoping there is something you can venture forth with today or tomorrow because “Home is where the learning really is…”  :-)

 

Summer Fun with Water Safety…

As summer gets rolling strong now for our learners and their families, water safety is on my mind.  water_safetyHere are some tips from the American Red Cross:

  1. Learn to swim.  There are multiple courses offered by organizations and certified individuals in our area.
  2. Always swim with a buddy and never alone.
  3. Swim in areas supervised by adult swimmers (lifeguards at public pools, lakes, and beach swimming areas).
  4. Read and obey all the posted rules and signs, especially at the beach.
  5. Watch out for the dangerous “too’s” — too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun, too much strenuous activity.
  6. Set water safety rules for the whole family based on swimming abilities.
  7. Be knowledgeable about the water environment you are in and the potential hazards (shallow or deep, riptides, etc.).
  8. Pay attention to local weather forecasts and conditions (summer storms and lightening in particular).
  9. Only dive when the area is clearly marked for it.
  10. Know how to prevent, recognize, and respond to water emergencies.  Being proactive versus reactive goes a long way to ensuring everyone’s water safety and a fun time!

We want our LME family and learning community to have a safe summer filled with all those activities (water in particular) that bring JOY.  It’s time to splash into some safe water fun today!  :-)

Seeds of Success

The last day of school this year…hard to believe it’s really here and it’s June too!

A parent stopped by to visit today in the midst of final day (organized?) chaos SeedsofSuccessand shared this  beautiful note with me:

I’m the voice of a grateful parent whose child was in your school for the first time this year; the one who needed lots of help to find her way from the very first day in August.

You and so many have been a blessing to our family all year as everyone helped our child succeed; we are grateful for the part each person had to play.

You gave her so much more than just lessons or books or boundaries or small daily accolades; you gave her wings so she could learn to fly.

You ignited a flame in her soul, a passion to learn and grow, and to never give up and always be willing to try!

The encouragement inspired us, and everyone’s kindness was so real, but the thing thrilling my heart the most is this;

Building her self-confidence has changed her life forever because she believes in herself, and a brighter future is now hers!

WOW…may we never underestimate or take for granted the powerful impact of the work we choose to do everyday at LME!  Here’s hoping we always continue to plant seeds and be a catalyst for success!

Bravos, Team Miller, on a job well done this school year!   The bell is ringing for the last time this school year, so please have a restful, safe, fun summer break making special friends and lasting memories to cherish!  Keep checking back throughout the summer for fun reading, ideas, LME news, and much more.  :-)

Can we talk?

“The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”  ~George Bernard Shaw~

This is true everyday in the education world…we think we’ve done our best to get the communicatemessage out and then someone communicates to us otherwise.  As part of our core principles, we believe communication and collaboration builds trust.  Trust is critical to our work as educators daily.  As a parent, you have to trust we are trained and properly certified to teach, to act in a crisis situation, to make educationally sound decisions for each individual learner (your personal treasure)…the list is endless.  Likewise, when we are wheeled into an operating room, we have to trust the surgeon and the anesthesiologist have communicated various allergies, reactions, and other medical concerns with each other.  TRUST is involved on a daily basis.

My conversations throughout many school days often involve this very issue and usually include some form of misunderstanding on everyone’s part.  As we talk through each situation, offer ideas or solutions, and work our way to final resolutions in order to move forward, it is apparent the need to LISTEN first is really the challenge.

We teach our learners to “use your words” to share and “use your brain to really listen” as we communicate and collaborate together each day.  Sometimes we miss a critical step but assume we did it; sometimes we just do it all too fast.

It’s important to remember how everyone involved in any situation carries a piece to the overall puzzle…usually, it’s as simple as asking, “Can we talk?”  :-)

Red Robin…YUMMM!

RR1It was our second Principal Luncheon of the school year today…yummy food, laughs, and lots of outstanding compliments for our learners!  These exceptional students had to maintain perfect attendance (no tardies or leave early marks either), all A’s in academics, and all A’s in conduct/citizenship.  It’s a lofty RR2lunchgoal each semester and one we always enJOY celebrating at LME.  Congratulations to these talented learners for their amazing attitudes, efforts, and personal success this semester!  Thanks Ryan and the Red Robin Team, for always rolling out the red feathered carpet in our honor too…YuMMM!  :-)