Tag Archives: ripple effect

glitter, glisten, smiles and sparkles

Add a sprinkle of glitter to make your day sparkle

Children love to create artworks using pencils, crayons, paints and anything they can stick to a surface using glue. With access to a variety of materials, they can be absorbed for hours creating their masterpieces.

While they might select from the materials offered, I found the one thing that few children could resist was glitter—and the more of it, the better.

There is nothing like glitter to add a bit of sparkle to the day. The only trouble is, glitter is so light and so small, that it goes everywhere—on the artwork, on the table, on the chair and on the floor. It sticks to the hands and is smeared on the face and takes forever to remove from the hair. But everyone loves it nonetheless, and it adds a little brightness to the day.

Smiles are like glitter in that they also spread easily and brighten the day. However, they are not nearly so messy, cost nothing, and require no cleaning up at all.

I think smiles are the glitter we should add to the artwork that is everyday life. And if there’s one thing about smiles, the more you give, the more you receive. Smiles come from a bottomless well, from a source that never dries up. A sprinkle of smiles will make anyone’s day sparkle, and who knows what difference a smile can make to another’s life.

The Ripple Effect by Tony Ryan

I often think of The Ripple Effect, written by Tony Ryan, and its inspirational stories. I especially enjoy this quote by Bette Reese included in the book: “If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.”

quote about effectiveness and size by Bette Reese

One of Tony’s stories describes the following scenario:

“As you enter the freeway, you discover that the traffic is heavier than usual, and is moving quite slowly. You then notice that the young driver in the car beside you is trying to enter your lane, because her exit is coming up. No-one is letting her in, and she is becoming tense and upset.”

Tony then describes the turning point in her day:

“You stop, and wave her in front of you with a flourish and a smile.”

and the ripple effect:

  • “she returns your smile, acknowledges your thoughtful action, and drives on
  • her tension dissipates, and she arrives at her company office feeling buoyed by your little effort
  • as the main receptionist, she is the first to greet the hundreds of people who enter the office each day
  • with her positive greeting, she decides to brighten up the life of every person she meets throughout that day
  • because of her efforts, many others in the business district are inspired to focus on their own positive efforts.”

Like glitter, we can never know how far the effects of our smiles might travel. There can never be too many smiles in any one day, especially in a classroom filled with children.

man glisten a flash fiction challenge by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about man glisten. It was a fun term coined by two men with glitter in their beards. What more could it embrace? Look to the unexpected and embrace a playful approach. Go where the prompt leads.

I’d only come across the word “glisten” before in the Christmas carol, Walking in a Winter Wonderland.

But Charli’s prompt reminded me of an incident in my childhood that had absolutely nothing to do with glitter or glisten (I don’t even remember glitter in my childhood) but loads to do with smiles. I’ve rewritten the incident to include glitter and other alternative facts. I hope it gives you a smile.

Glitter smiles glisten

Relentless rain meant no beach for the country cousins. They spent eternity on the verandah, making artworks, playing games, and bickering.

On the last day, when Mum said to clear space for their mattresses, they fought over who’d do what. Toys and games ended up in a haphazard tower with the glitter bucket balanced on top.

When Dad bent for goodnight kisses, he stumbled and demolished the tower. Glitter went everywhere—including all over Dad. The children gasped.

“Your hair glistens, Dad,” smiled the littlest.

Dad smiled too, then everybody laughed.

Dad wore a hat to work that week.

Writing Skills workbook with Strike Me Pink

I previously wrote about this incident for inclusion in a Writing Skills Homework Book published by Pascal Press. Workbooks such as this are very different from the teaching resources I now share on readilearn, but: it was paid work.

This version is closer to the truth.

Strike Me Pink!

Because we lived near the beach, our cousins visited one Easter. Unfortunately, it rained all weekend. Just imagine eight children under ten years old and four adults cooped up in one tiny cottage. Everyone’s patience was wearing thin. We children were starting to whinge and niggle each other. The adults were trying to keep cool and prevent us from hurting each other.

One night when it was all too much, the children were sent to bed early. Four of us were on mattresses on the floor. The line for drying washing, strung across the room overhead, held only one item: my pink dressing gown. I had carelessly tossed it there out of the way.

When Dad came in for a goodnight kiss he thought we looked like a row of toy soldiers in a box. Bending down he exclaimed, “Strike me pink!” And he was! The dressing gown fell from the line and draped over his shoulders like a cloak. What mirth erupted at the sight of my father looking like a pink general. The tensions eased and smiles returned to everyone’s faces.

The next morning was fine as our cousins left for home. We hadn’t been to the beach, but we did have a story to share that would bring a smile to our faces for many years to come.

Note: I don’t know how many others used the term, but my Dad often said, “Strike me pink” to express surprise.

Thank you blog post

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

 

 

3 Inspiring educators

Like every other teacher, I want to make a difference in the world.

The thought that I could make a positive difference to the life of another is both empowering and inspiring.

To do so, I seek out others making a positive difference and pay it forward, hoping that the ripple effect will carry it far and wide.

flag on twitter

Three inspiring educators who have positively influenced me are:

Brian Cambourne

Brian is an amazing literacy educator from whom I had the extreme good fortune of learning many years ago. I have written about him before here and here.

Brian’s work focused on the conditions necessary for literacy development. His influence has spread beyond the classroom with the application of the conditions to learning in the workforce demonstrated.

Tony Ryan

Tony is an amazing educator who does his best to be the change he wants to see in the world. He talks about future-proofing and using innovative thinking to solve problems of both local and global importance.

Anyone who believes ‘that education is the most important profession on the planet’ and does everything in his power to support teachers to be outstanding, as does Tony; must be pretty good in my books.

One of Tony’s books The Ripple Effect is particularly apt for mention in this post. Tony says,

“you must believe in your personal power to create ripples that spread out and change the world. In fact, if it is not you who is going to do it, then who else do you think is likely to make the effort? Remember that every change on this planet begins with a human being somewhere, somehow. It may as well be you.”

This year Tony has started a new project called The Earth Movers Foundation which ‘helps young teenagers to create solutions to local and global issues. And they get to choose their own project. No adults will be telling them what project to do. They decide for themselves.’ Sounds pretty good to me.

Ken Robinson

Ken is another amazing educator. I fell in love with his ideas when I listened to his TED talk Do schools kill creativity? which I have also shared before here.

The statement on his website declares that

“Imagination is the source of all human achievement”.

I could not argue with that.

Ken introduces this short video The writing spirit which presents quotes from artists, thinkers, writers, innovators and snippets of interviews with writers. Just incidentally, and exciting for me, Richard Bach is included. Richard is the author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, one of my favourite books for its inspirational message.

It is more than likely that these educators have no idea how they have influenced my life (and others as a result).

How wonderful might it be to know of the positive influence you have had on someone, and to have the opportunity of letting others know that they have positively impacted your life?

This is the purpose of The Butterfly Light Award which was bestowed upon me my Lisa Reiter, a lovely lady who is herself inspirational for her courage and her positive attitude which she shares with others through her blog Sharing the story. Thank you, Lisa. I am honoured and accept with pleasure.

As with any award, it comes with conditions:

  1. You should write an acceptance post, making sure you link back to the blogger who awarded you and thank them. You MAY NOT lump this award in with a batch of other awards.

Thank you Lisa Reiter!

  1. You must individually name and re-award to a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 9999999 bloggers. You must let them know either personally with a comment on their blog OR a pingback.

As I have been writing about educators, I am going to stick with that theme. A quick visit to these blogs will explain why I have selected them.

Ruth Mancini

The Nerdy Book Club

Two Writing Teachers

Raising a literate human

3.  You should link back to Belinda’s blog either to http://idiotwriting.wordpress.com/about/ or http://idiotwriting.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/i-love-charismatic-geeks/

Done!

  1. You must write a short paragraph entitled either “How I’m Spreading Light” OR “How I’m A Positive Influence” (what Lisa calls ‘the squirmy bit’).

Done! See beginning of article.

5. Display Belinda’s lovely “Butterfly Light Award” badge on your blog.

Thank you, Belinda. It’s a pleasure! We can never have too many butterflies!

butterfly-light-award

Note: The beautiful framed quote, pictured at the top of this post, was made for me by a wonderful lady, the mother of two of my students. They all share my love of butterflies! I thank them for sharing their appreciation of my positive influence.

I welcome your feedback. Please share your thoughts about any aspect of the article.