Mini Monet V

Finally the genius, the minuture artistic savant of abstract painting has taken some time out of his busy schedule to paint himself something for once.  

No fanfare… no time lapse video… just the finished creation blending artistic vision and artistic ability with the fact that his parents think that everything he does is amazing and you have a genuine masterpiece: 

Survey Says…

Everyday is a sunny day because of you.

Those of you that read this blog religiously (hell let’s face it, those of you who have read this blog once or twice) know that my take here isn’t to publicize my opinions on the rights or wrongs on raising a child, nor is it for me to take a stand on recent events or political ideologies currently in the media… I’m more of a “can you believe this actually happened” kind of writer… a mediocre story teller if you will.

With that in mind, I recently read an article that was sent to me about the relationship between parenting and happiness. The article was based on two schools of thought. The first based in part on a 2004 study by Nobel prize-winning economist Danny Kahneman in which he stated that academia has long believed that parenting “is a driver of unhappiness.” The studies conducted and reviewed don’t necessarily say that parenting makes you unhappy, but that parenting doesn’t actually make you happier. Part of the study surveyed almost 1000 parents and found that child care ranked sixteenth in pleasurability out of nineteen activities. (Among things they preferred to parenting: preparing food, watching TV, exercising, talking on the phone, napping, shopping, housework).  HOUSEWORK!!!!!!

I mean don’t get me wrong there are times where I wish I could just binge watch an entire season of The Wire without having to hear my son tell me he wants to watch Bubble Guppies or that he wants some more apple juice. But to say that my life hasn’t been improved by having my son around would be ludicrous.

Maybe it’s not perfect every second, but as a whole, evaluating what my son has ADDED to my life is immeasurable. In a 2013 interview NPR science correspondent Shankar Vedantam, says “there’s a difference between happiness measured on a moment-to-moment level and happiness measured at a larger level”. No cleaning puke and potty training does not rank up there with seeing your favorite band live in concert and certainly pales in comparison to eating ice cream out of the container and watching a whole movie on Netflix without interruption. But, according to Vedantam, parents report “significantly more meaning in their lives than non-parents even though on a day-to-day basis parenting may be a grind.”

I guess for me, I really don’t need any scientific research or studies to tell me my life is infinitely better since my son was born. Then again it’s nice to know that there is some consensus of how stressful parenting can be… but overall how absolutely rewarding it can be as well.

Elton John said it perfectly: “I hope you don’t mind… That I put down in words… How wonderful life is while you’re in the world.”

Credit: NPR.org. Does Having Children Make You Happier? February 2013.

The Value of Student Work 

Entering a new school is something so extremely challenging. “Students First” is a motto that has been at the forefront of my career in education. Effective educators are dedicated individuals, dedicated to one thing first and foremost… their students. Excellent educators are able to effectively build a positive and safe school environment; however, the main goal is to create a learning environment of effective teaching that meets individual students’ needs in order to help them become lifelong learners that are self-motivated and value the effort it takes to be successful.

I have worked tirelessly throughout my entire career to create a positive school culture. I know that entering a new building the first task will be to make sure that I can contribute to that positive culture and climate. As a school leader I know that I will face many challenges in a new building, but supporting a welcoming and positive school culture goes a long way in helping to bridging the gap between the already established school community and myself, “the new guy.”

It will be imperative for me to help create an environment where the entire school community shares the same set of norms, values, and expectations in order to support the emotional, physical and academic well-being of our students.For me this starts with making sure that our students feel that “this is their school.” The best way to foster that belief is by creating an environment where students’ work is valued, appreciated and rewarded through display in the school itself. When I walk through my son’s daycare it feels like a place for kids, by kids (and not just because there are numerous toddlers running a muck). There is art work, (scribbles and master-pieces, writings and photos of children working and having fun posted everywhere). The work depicts the students effort, not just something that shows that they are “smart,” but shows that their hard work, effort and process is valued as well.

This is the type of environment I want to be part of as an educator. An environment that values effort and process, not just the product that is being created by our students. I am excited to begin my new journey as a school principal tomorrow. A journey that will start with a model of what we will value… The work of our children. I’m excited to display some beautiful paintings done by my son.

That is until my new students create their own…

 

Mini Monet Part III


So another master piece created by the one and only JCF.  He is a sevant.  This kid is going to make millions selling his artwork, I know it… or he is going to stay in school and get a well paying job when he graduates.  Either way… It’s a win-win.

I have to say… And this isn’t just a typical parent response, but I like this kid’s artistic style.  It’s abstract… It’s colorful and whimsical… and it makes you happy. But that brings us to the million dollar question…

“When is your child’s artwork expendable?!!!???”

There is a very systematic approach to figuring out exactly how to approach this situation:

     WHAT IS IT?                          WHAT TO DO?

    Unidentifiable?                       Throw it away

Title Matches Pic                    Keep a week

I can tell what it is                   Keep a month

It says “I love Dad”                  Keep forever

Little man painted a beautiful work of art for Mima’s birthday… 


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Check out Jackson’s other works of art below:

Mini Monet I https://newdadchronicles.wordpress.com/2015/07/23/mini-monet/

Mini Monet II https://newdadchronicles.wordpress.com/2015/10/28/mini-monet-at-it-again/

Weekend Thoughts

Sometimes when things seem so increasingly impossible to handle, all it takes is one smile to change the course of a day.   

Pancakes and a smile= breakfast of champions. 

 Big boy wearing his big boy shades… first day in his front facing car seat.  

  An artist’s work is always better when it is gifted to someone special!!! Jax ❤️’s you Mima