prodigalmomma











{August 4, 2012}   Personalised learning…

For my MA assignment (just on the proofing stage – whoo hoo!) I have been looking at the area of providing more personalised learning.  An interesting discussion to investigate, if you have the inclination – all about how to navigate a national curriculum aimed at giving all a general range of skills & understanding  – yet getting to know each o0f the students in order to ensure that they have equal opportunity to access the curriculum.  I have not just been discussing children identified with SEN, but taking the broader view that each child has particular needs, they’re all individuals (fearfully & wonderfully made)

Psalm 139:14

The Message (MSG)

13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;

      you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.
Last Sunday at Church (whilst I was still waging war on this 6,000 word piece) we were thinking about God being everything you need, you need nothing else.  God knows what we need and is fully capable of providing.
wow… Wow… WOW… Does that fill you with ‘wow’ as it did me?  I was sitting listening with tingles running up and down my spine as the message from John 6 v 1-24 was unpacked and explored.  This is the story of the feeding of the 5,000 – which is one of those rather well-known passages that I (sadly) do not feel I gave enough time or thought to previously.  This story echoes events that happened in the time of Exodus, when God’s people were wandering about in the desert … there was food from heaven provided.  When we are sent on a mission, God doesn’t forget to pack the bags with what we need (I was reminded of this thought as I prepared the marmite sandwiches for DD & myself for a day out).
The story of the feeding of the 5,000 is told in all 4 Gospels… it’s a key bit of text.  The boy provided barley bread and fish – this for the day was fairly bargain basement stuff.  But look at what God did with it!  All those people fed AND baskets of leftovers… God doesn’t provide us just with what we need – but provides an over-abundance of it!  God can take the poorest gifts to do amazing things… just think of that the next time you start believing lies “you can’t do that!!! what have you got to offer??? That Mrs Moops would do a much better job of it!”
(hmm that’s something I need to think on…)
God can do wonderful things in the people you least expect  – the world could be denied a miracle by what we don’t bring.
We sang this; and again I am thinking of the complexity of leading a group of people.  And this is the picture of God all along, Christ the shepherd, Jesus as Rabbi, God as Father – these are leadership roles, ones that require intimate knowledge of that/those whom they lead…
…it’s really really hard to know a large group of people that intimately, to know how best to talk to them, or to know when they don’t need words, to know when someone needs a smile or a “well done” message – but God does this, he provides completely personalised learning / leading because he knows us so well.  
The story in John continues to discuss Jesus walking on water and calming the storm… but that I feel needs an entry of its own and more prayer reflection from myself – as the theme kinda touched a raw nerve… so more in our next!
(by the way – loving all the comments and interaction, do carry on sharing blogs and bits that may be of interest to others!)
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{July 26, 2012}   Summer is here…

Guard your thoughts and words.

It’s hot, finally the rain has been ‘shooooed’ away and we have some sunny weather.

School term is finished and I’m cracking on trying to get an assignment towards my Education MA done.  If I pass I’ll hopefully be moving on to dissertation next academic year.  I’m about halfway through the 6,000 word slog – and today actually feel like I’ve made some progress.  I love doing the reading, and trying out new things in my practice in the classroom, generally seeing how I can engage these children better and encourage them to explore this world around us… but it’s rather heavy going to pull all the thoughts, notes and highlighted ideas together and turn it into some sort of coherent piece of writing.  Blogging is a safer space for me, my writing style tends to be a conversational one – great in emails, letters, postcards, blogs… just about EVERYTHING other than academic writing (which is what I’ve set before me as my personal task).  I can meander through topics that grab my attention in a blog, muse over them and spit out my thoughts in any fashion – although I do try to see that they make some sense (dear reader).

So it’s hot, I’ve been plodding my way through piecing together this assignment and then I go to pick up DD from nursery.  Her sunhat went missing (although named) at nursery and still hasn’t been found… now I somewhat object to providing things (as we are asked to do), naming them (which so many parents seem not to… why is it the children who habitually lose stuff whose parents don’t name things???) and then they go missing.  Well I was hot, and a bit anxious (DD has had bad virus thing and is still rather snuffly) and I had a rant at the nursery worker…

I got home and realised it was so not the appropriate thing to do; a) not a good example of how to treat others before DD and her friends, b) it wasn’t an uplifting kind thing to say and c) ranting wasn’t going to make the sunhat magically reappear… so I went to bed that night feeling rather ‘heavy’ and vowed to myself to apologise.

I find saying sorry hard, anyone in my family would attest to this fact – in my head (however ridiculous this may sound) it feels like backing in or giving up.  But I did it, I picked up DD today (who’d had a wonderful day having water fights – lucky thing!) and immediately found the worker and apologised… do you know what – it felt good.  It felt good to accept that I’d done something silly, I’d recognised that fact and I’d considered the effect it may have had on another…

This may seem like “Apology 101” class – but for me this is a big step!

I’m suddenly reminded of that bit from the end of “Mean Girls” Look from 7.14 of this video – essentially she’s talking about how putting someone else down doesn’t raise you up, making another person feel bad doesn’t make you feel good and acting in that way doesn’t help you in the situation.

In this heat particularly, it can be easy to let tempers fray, words get said which are thoughtless… so think about them all a bit harder… think about encouraging someone, complimenting them or simply being someone to listen.

Can you be like balm for someone in this heat?

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways!
Reclothe us in our rightful mind,
In purer lives Thy service find,
In deeper reverence, praise.
In simple trust like theirs who heard
Beside the Syrian sea
The gracious calling of the Lord,
Let us, like them, without a word
Rise up and follow Thee.
O Sabbath rest by Galilee!
O calm of hills above,
Where Jesus knelt to share with Thee
The silence of eternity
Interpreted by love!
With that deep hush subduing all
Our words and works that drown
The tender whisper of Thy call,
As noiseless let Thy blessing fall
As fell Thy manna down.
Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess

The beauty of Thy peace.



et cetera