Lori Gard is a teacher, parent to four children, life-partner to her husband Brian, community volunteer and expert in multi-tasking, all of which can be combined simultaneously in any random order in her current passion, blogging. She has found each facet of her life to provide endless writing material for her blog. Lori was born and raised in the Maritimes, and has lived “up West” in P.E.I. since graduating with a degree in Education from the Island’s only university in 1999. Although she will never be a born and bred Islander, she still tries to embrace life the Island way.
Later on this week or month, you will perhaps receive and then open an envelope containing your child's tri-annual report card, an account informing you of their academic progress in school so far this year. But you might find that not everything your child has learned will be part of that running commentary.
I know from my years spent in public school classrooms and the schoolyard...that tough love can be done in kindness. I learned that consequences can be carried out with kindness. Gentle critique can be conducted with a cushion of kindness. All of this and more. All can be cradled in kindness and compassion and gentleness and love.
02/21/2017 11:21 EST
What I have realized time and time again is something so profound, it is actually simple. There is really nothing kids want more than to be liked, to be accepted for who they are. It is the greatest way we can care for children, for youth: we must show them they matter.
09/14/2016 12:57 EDT
Have we ourselves ever fallen victim to the allure that devices and screens provide? I lie if I fail to answer in the affirmative. Of course, our family battles the daily urge to reach for our screens, the lifeline connecting the isolated to the seemingly infinite. But every once in a while, there is something greater that entices.
08/22/2016 02:00 EDT
As I watched you with your sweet babies, realizing how difficult this stage of life is for mamas like you, I felt a twinge of sadness come over me. Your children are still at that stage of life where they want YOU and you alone. You have the monopoly on their attention and love.
07/22/2016 03:29 EDT
About a month ago, I went to see a psychiatrist. Earlier in the spring, I had visited my family doctor about another annoying little problem: my teeth seem to be very fragile and are breaking. I grind them at night, and even though I wear a night-guard, this doesn't seem to be protecting them from injury. Turns out, I have a mild anxiety disorder.
07/18/2016 05:14 EDT
Somewhere in the United States today, children will be sobbing because they will never see their Daddy again. Somewhere in the United States today, women will be doubled over in grief because their men will never be coming home to them again. Somewhere in the United States today, mothers will be weeping the loss of sons. Fathers will lament the loss of their boys. Sisters, and brothers, and aunts, and friends: all will be mourning. Because the lives that were taken were not just Blue or Black or any other colour or label. They were more than a label. They were loved.
07/09/2016 06:49 EDT
It is end-of-June: one would think summer and holidays would be on this teacher's mind. Instead, I have been reflecting and writing about my teaching practice, in anticipation for another school year this coming fall, mulling over my personal philosophy about care and how it underlies everything I do in the classroom.
06/27/2016 10:32 EDT
She kissed him one morning, some twenty-two years after their lips had first touched. It was something that felt strange and bizarre, new and yet comfortably familiar. And it was in that moment that she knew, even after all these years, in spite of all the pain and trouble and joy and elation they had both shared -- through the good and the bad: she knew that she still loved him.
06/06/2016 03:41 EDT
I may have never taught you, but I want you to hear this: I feel I know you. I taught you, kid. Or versions of you. Taught you in kindergarten, in Grade 3, again in Grade 5 and in Grade 7. You moved quickly through the years. And now you are finally here, at the pinnacle of your secondary schooling career. You've reached the top, kid. This is it.
06/02/2016 11:58 EDT
Sometimes we forget, we fail to remember: that even those of us who appear all pulled together and perfect (there is no such human thing) and flawless and complete to the outside viewing world: sometimes we all forget, that as individuals, we still have "moments." Moments when life isn't easy.
05/20/2016 10:44 EDT
I know that the August "me" and the May "me" are just two totally different people. Autumn was made for teachers. Ahh, yes. There is no time quite like fall and the beginning of the school year for assessing prime teacher performance. Fall is just our best time. We're at our peak. On our game.
05/12/2016 12:05 EDT
Fellow friends, as we care deeply and mourn the great losses of our friends in far-flung parts of this great nation, as we grieve for Fort McMurray -- as we grieve for others: may we never forget that it is the care that binds our hearts together, knitted tightly and perhaps even eternally with cords of love and compassion.
05/05/2016 12:00 EDT
Kindergarten is not what it used to be. It traditionally was a place with time for inquiry, discovery, creativity, invention, innovation, imagination and wonder. With the shifts in thinking, it has become in some jurisdictions an environment subjected to the perils of standardization, conformity and primarily cognitive-focused learning. If full-day kindergarten is ever to truly be a success story, it must return to its roots and core values.
04/20/2016 03:52 EDT
Children need time to imagine, play, create, be curious, read, write and dream. Children need time to explore and discover. Children quite simply need time. And without that time, they will become anxious, agitated, fearful, worried, nervous, restless, apprehensive and uneasy. The state of their mental health becomes a huge concern merely based on the decrease of time they are allotted during the school day within which to function as typical four and five-year-olds do: with child-like, playful abandon.
02/17/2016 05:27 EST
As necessary and significant as teachers know curriculum is to our work and calling: you must also realize that we will throw it all under the bus if it means assisting a child. We will put it all on the back burner if our students need us to teach them life lessons that will help them be better friends, better citizens, better people.
02/02/2016 11:03 EST
You wonder if it will ever get better. Wonder, too, if there really is a light at the end of the tunnel. Wonder incessantly if you will ever have energy again. All while you also wonder if you ever will see a semblance of your former self again. I hear you, friend, and I truly feel for you. I remember those days.
01/15/2016 02:32 EST
I am beginning to wonder if the key to not succumbing to the stress of life is found in focusing less on the overall difficulty and frustration, choosing to not let these be the centre of attention: but rather, finding the five minutes of joy in each and every day.
01/12/2016 01:38 EST
It is the Eve of a New Year. She stands folding potato salad into a glass bowl, carefully arranging lettuce leaves around the outside edge. Engrossed in the task, it seems she is intent on getting thi...
01/04/2016 04:16 EST
Can we truly celebrate Christmas the way it is meant to be celebrated: intentionally, heart-fully, deliberately? Doing so without partaking in everything the season has to offer (complete with all the mayhem and chaos)? Does every moment have to count?
12/15/2015 03:46 EST
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