JOYful pearls of wisdom…

A 5th grade conversation went like this today:

  • Student:  Here’s question for you today!
  • Me:  Great!  Let’s hear it!
  • Student:  Do you have a favorite ornament that is dear to you, Mrs. Van?
  • Me:  You bet I do and thanks for asking!
  • Student:  Please write about it and send it to our class so we can grade your paper.
  • Me:  Sure ‘nough; consider it done!

Here’s hoping my writing passes their test . . .  🙂

One of my favorite words in the English language is “JOY.”  While happiness is wonderful, it concentrates more on a circumstance of life, a moment in time, or a specific situation.  Happiness is something we can achieve; JOY is something we are given.  JOY is unpredictable–it cannot be downloaded, legislated, turn on with an electronic device, earned, or even inherited…JOY is simply given to us.  JOY is a deep, soulful reaction bringing extraordinary delight to the receiver.

There is an ornament I keep close at hand all year (it hangs on my tree during the season, but is shown here on a sprig of rosemary–also from Granny’s original plant).  This little ornament proudly displays my favorite word, JOY, lovingly embroidered by Granny’s hand.  We had a conversation one day about the difference between happiness and JOY.  This special ornament was her way of always reminding me of her “JOYful pearl of wisdom” (she had a real knack for sharing lots of pearls of wisdom through the years!).  She told me if I was “ever to receive JOY in life, make a way for it to come to you…happiness is great, but JOY is the best gift ever!”  🙂

So, of course, here’s the question for you today:  Is there a special ornament you or your family treasures most and what’s the story behind it?  Here’s hoping you share a JOYful pearl of wisdom of your own this season!

Stand Tall!

“Walk as proudly as you can and the world will look up to you…” so says a special character in one of my favorite children’s books, Stand Tall, Molly Lou MelonI shared this particular story today with a young learner who was struggling with self-esteem concerns.  When I’m involved in an office intervention with a child, I listen carefully to their side of the story first.  While gathering facts from all sides, the core issue of the behavior comes into clear focus; there is always a key reason for any behavior.

In the story, the unique little girl, Molly Lou Melon, loves her grandmother who shares valuable pearls of wisdom with her granddaughter before she moves to a new school.  Once at the new school, Molly Lou experiences a challenging time with another student in particular although several other learners befriend her easily.

The message of “believe in yourself and the world will believe in you” stretches into all areas of our lives.  Sharing valuable lessons through stories enhances learning opportunities with young students.  If your child is struggling with an issue in particular, look for positive examples and stories to help illustrate your point during quiet conversation.  We can offer ideas as well so don’t hesitate to visit with us about it.  Here’s hoping we all remember to Stand Tall, Miller Learners and Leaders!  🙂