My Mission Statement

I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.

Monday, March 3, 2008

More on the Week-end, Etc.

Have I mentioned how much I love OM? Have I told you how it thrills me to see hundreds of kids in a room cheering for an event that is academic in nature? Do you understand that becoming a team in the pursuit of something educational just gets me crazy with excitement? I was SO PROUD to be at OM on Saturday because I truly believe that it is such a worthwhile program. The closing ceremonies exemplify all the things I love about educating children. Teamwork, self-motivation, creativity, and failing, yes, failing, in the name of learning. For every team there, you know there were dozens of failed attempts at solving every aspect of their problem. For every team, there was one kid who wanted to quit but stuck with it due to loyalty to the team, and in that moment, he was glad he did. For every team, win or lose, enormous learning occurred, connections were formed, confidence was built, and kinships were formed. And for every team, there was a coach, like me, who experienced the thrill of learning all over again through the eyes of a child. Thank you, OM, and everyone involved at every level. To borrow the words of Martha Stewart, "It's a good thing."

Of course, it's not perfect. There are parents who don't support their children or the coach or the team. But where is that NOT so?

All this OM business makes me think about books and the wonder of children's literature. How the long term programs in OM are really about telling a story. It's so amazing to me that the more kids read, the more they absorb the rhythm of storytelling, language, conflict, and resolution. So much in life is about telling a story. When a businessman pitches a product to a potential customer, he's weaving a tale, telling a story about the consumer who needs just this product, after many failed attempts they get the right thing and live happily ever after. The doctor who explains a prognosis to a patient is telling a little tale of how the main character will proceed through a number of obstacles to come out on top in the end. Teachers, of course, are all master storytellers, and their daily performances 'sell' their product year after year. Mothers are also great at weaving a tempting tale. After we do chores, we'll go to the park.

At any rate, it comes back to the value of children's literature. The foundation upon which our society is laid. The fertile soil that sets children's minds ablaze for all the other learning neccessary from spirituality to the sciences. It begins with reading, and reading begins with good books. And good books begin with authors. Well, there you go! Have a great day, my dear friends, may all your mailboxes be filled with requests for fulls.


Dorothy said...

Durn, you write good. I sound like a broken record. I think, no, I perceive you are finding your voice, the one that will take you to where you need (God needs you) to go.

Dust Bowl History said...

Congrats, Donna!
I love this post! I love the joy you express in merely being with kids as they expand their horizons! The educator in you radiates as you reflect on those present at the competition and those not. You see the educational process as a whole, not merely the peaks of competition victories. You also speak of the continuity of story, reading and the educational process. I hope many, many parents find their way to your blog. We all share victories and losses as we watch and walk our kids through their childhoods. Too often, winning is the end goal. Even in your victory, you've shown that winning has many levels of glory. Good for you! And thanks you! Becky

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman