When life brings you lemons, make art!

word of month character

It is always important to keep life in perspective when events sometimes seem like they are playing against us. No one has a life where everything goes our way. And if it did, how boring would that be!?!? Regardless though, the best we can do is take things as they come and make the best of them. Whenever something bad seems to happen to me, I always ask myself “what would i tell my students or someone else?”
In this case, it has been a pleasure to see so many good things come around over the past few weeks. One of them being this past weeks art show. This is the second year of this (hopefully) annual event and this years went well beyond expectations. The two young individuals responsible for this event are our very own Jackson, and his sister Ella. Jackson and his family are soon moving out of Maryland to take on new challenges and experiences. Jackson has been with us for nearly three years and it has been a joy of ours to see the progression he has made over that time. His family has always been a supporting foundation of our school as far as their support for what we stand for and what we are doing. While we will continue to build on this relationship, and hopefully train with Jackson in the future, we still wanted to put something together to show him and his family how much we appreciate their support over these pat years.

~Mr. Doug

Gratitude brings joy

word of month character

This is the time of the year when all our students are taking part in the MSP testing in the schools. With that brings a fair amount of stress on the students and therefore on the families they are a part of everyday for the next couple of weeks.
This led me to think about the idea of how much joy is in our life? As I see adults go through their life, many times we are so busy climbing the ladder of success that we don’t take time to enjoy the journey. We begin teaching our young ones how to do that very early in their life too. As students, in what seems in younger and younger ways all the time, we teach them to plan and work hard, and as they have accomplishments we(they) see them as good because they lead to somewhere. The kids are constantly planning and working on going to high school, college, a good job, relationship, always with the next goal or challenge in mind, but none of them being relished or celebrated. But are they or we enjoying the journey? Probably not!
We are not machines and when we reduce ourselves to that, we become mechanical and the joy is gone from living. To increase the amount of joy in our kids / our lives focus our attention on all the wonderful things that happen in our day to day experiences. When we are appreciative of the people and the things around us we are filled with a sense of well being and joy.
Take a minute with yourself and kids each day to show gratitude. Make a short list in the morning or evening of things you are grateful for. If you have a hard time at first it is ok. As you focus on showing gratitude in your life, your joy will grow too.