What would your future Teacher-Self say to your current Teacher-Self if you could fast-forward 25 years? Today, a few nuggets of insight I would advise my younger self, with half a lifetime now under my belt.

For starters, R-E-L-A-X
You will never look back and think, “I spent too much time with my learners.” 

Don’t wish away today. Make it count. Blow bubbles. Play in the rain. Jump in a mud puddle. Sing a song to your child in the grocery store or to your students in class.

You can’t hit the rewind button on children’s lives. Once a day is past, it is gone forever. Be present every day and every moment. Each one is significant. The sun will set on these busy times all too quickly.
overlooking view of mountains and sunrise
Photo by Tadej Skofic / Unsplash
Don’t worry about what other people think of your children’s education.

Trust your informed judgement. Dedicated, devoted parents are experts on their children. Do not make comparisons or feel the need to justify your educational decisions to others. They can decide what seems best for their children; you decide what seems best for yours.

You are entrusted with your learner’s education. Seek the best for each child.

The educational decisions you make for your children when they are young will influence their future options. To the best of your ability, make decisions that maximize their potential pathways, not the ones that are simply most convenient for you. Learning is fun, but it is also serious business…and an honored, privileged responsibility.

The days may seem long, but the years fly fast. 
Cliché but true.
Ask for - and accept - others' help.

Don’t try to do everything yourself. Ask for assistance in specific ways and accept the fact that how another person folds laundry might be different than how you do it. It’s okay. And if you feel frazzled and others offer help, accept it.

Teach your learners age-appropriate emotional intelligence...accepting accountability for their own attitudes, thoughts and reactions.

Easier said than done with a screaming 3-year-old in the midst of a meltdown, huh? Unfortunately, many adults have not learned this skill set. In all fairness, personal improvement is a lifelong developmental journey.

spring notebook
Photo by Alysha Rosly / Unsplash
Don’t harbor spoken or unspoken designs on your children’s future lives. Support their freedom to forge unique paths and build their own lives. 
At the same time, be honest and explain the difference between paying vocations and hobby avocations, so that your students grow up understanding they need to earn a living to live as adults and the exciting goal is to be fully independent, not reliant on parents’ financial support.
Model an honest, uncomplaining and diligent work ethic for your children. Whatever your primary job, bring focus, energy and a positive attitude into that role. Radiate positivity. 

"Children Learn What They Live" - Ponder this poem poster.

If you want to understand and enjoy your learners to the max, actively practice the quality of childlikeness.

Get down on the floor and look at the world from their viewpoint. Finger paint. Jump up and down. Twirl around in circles. It keeps you young and spontaneous.

Hug your children. Often.
two koala bears cuddling on tree
Photo by C.Valdez / Unsplash

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