My Poem: The Creation of TEAM in Schools

First, I wanted to wish you a happy new year!!! I hope everyone’s holiday was a great one! While on a school vacation and thinking back on this past year of 2014, I was thinking about my current school and the previous schools I have been in. I was thinking about personal and professional relationships built in schools and the importance of teamwork. Working effectively as a team or teams towards a common goal would make a school a successful one.

Varying from school to school, district to district, town or city, each school runs differently. Each school has its own staff, administration, politics, expectations and requirements. As a teacher of 14 years, I have been through 4 different administrators all with different expectations and different leadership skills.

Within each school, there are many teams. To name several, some are teacher leader teams, grade level teams and there is the school team as a whole. Just like in any work place, all employees or individuals have different qualities, personalities and skills and it is up to the team to use that to its full potential.

Below is a poem I wrote about the creation of teams in schools.

                       The Creation of Teams in Schools

T: Together, each and every person is on the same page working together effectively completing similar task(s) and ultimately realizing their true potential as a whole.

E: Each and everyone acknowledges and respects others’ opinions and thoughts as they are helping each other achieve a common goal.

A: Asset: Each and every person is an asset possessing his/her own qualities that could lead to generating performance greater than one or few individuals.

M: Mutual respect is given to and received from each and everyone on the team creating an environment that allows each member to freely express and share their skills and valued opinions leading to mutual commitment.

 

The team is defined by those who are apart of it, creating mutual respect and sharing common goals.

 When each member of a team unites, each and everyone’s ideas and skills make an effective group as a team molds.

 Each individual is committed and dedicated to educating each and every young mind to the highest potential and degree,

 Producing and sharing products, reports and data making a school the best it can be.

 An educational program or school is successful if the team is consistent, productive and dedicated to a common goal throughout the school year. 

 It is filled with unique individuals of who are all leaders, motivators and humanitarians wanting to make a difference showing they care. 

 For everyone involved, the time duration in a school year consists of 180 days of which can be tedious and challenging at times, 

 Facing many obstacles that include political tension, increasing employee requirements and changes and data driven reports making the workplace challenging sometimes.

 But as a team, one of the common goals is to overcome those obstacles, requirements and tension and work together to make the school the best it can be,

 Because reaching and educating each and every child in a school is the ultimate goal that unlocks each child’s potential, that is the key. 

 A team is the best if each and every member believes in and is committed to the common goal,

 Which is feeding each and every young mind with every bit of knowledge adequately seasoned in the educational bowl. 

written by: Mary Tran

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My Poem: The Short Story of The Holiday Challenge

The holiday is quickly approaching and we have been so busy at school and at home. At school, we did various holiday arts and crafts, decorated our bulletin board with a winter theme, sang and read about winter and snowmen. At home, my kids wrote their wish lists, decorated our tree, drank hot chocolate and read holiday related stories.

At home, I also mentioned to my children how there are other people who don’t have what we have. They don’t have a tree to decorate and presents under their tree. I mentioned that there are some children at mommy’s school who don’t have enough clothes to wear and food to eat. I also told my children that I have been collecting donations for those in need at the school I work in. Last night, while we prayed before going to bed, we listed the things we were thankful for and we prayed for those families who are in need.

When I write poetry, I am moved and motivated. I usually write from experience and observation. Below is a holiday poem I just wrote that I would like to share with you. I hope you take this poem at heart and take the challenge. Happy holidays to you and your family and may the new year bring you happiness and peace! Enjoy the poem!

IMG_5293       The Short Story of The Holiday Challenge

 As I drive by the homes in my town each day in December, I see holiday decorations galore,
I see lights on the trees outside, child sized electric reindeer and plastic snowmen, and wreaths on each door.
 
The radio stations play various holiday music from oldies to modern-day,
They play Elvis’s Blue Christmas and Michael Buble’s Jingle All The Way.
 
My emails are loaded with sale after sale from every business and store,
Publicizing late night holiday hours, discounts, coupons, sales and more.
 
The parking lots are packed with not a parking space in sight,
Especially on weekends from morning, noon to night.
 
As I observe, sit and contemplate about the hustle and bustle during this December holiday,
I think about what the real meaning is and asked people what they think and would say.
 
A few say it is a time for drinks, parties and gifts under the tree,
Several others say it is about Santa, stockings, eating cookies and drinking tea.
 
For some, it is a time of sorrow, with loved ones who are not present or far away,
Thinking about people in their lives who have passed away or a soldier serving their country they say.
 
I also spoke to some people who cannot afford gifts, decorations or a tree,
In addition to much-needed furniture, clothes and sometimes food, so sad to see.
 
I say it is a time to celebrate love and family and doing a good deed,
Having positive thoughts, putting a smile on someone’s face, and helping others in need,
 
It is a time to celebrate and respect various religions, cultures and beliefs,
To be open-minded, accept, educate and learn other’s beliefs,
 
Some tend to forget the true meaning as they indulge in their rewards, possessions and material things,
They tend to overlook other’s needs and religions focusing on gifts and diamond rings.
 
Challenge yourself and find your true meaning of the December holiday,
Look deep down at yourself and others around you, and maybe you will see the true meaning of the holiday.

Written by: Mary Tran

My Poem (#9): Unspeakable Emotions

This poem was inspired by some of my students who are nonverbal. This poem could be for anyone: a caretaker, guardian, mother, father, aunt, uncle or a teacher who has a relationship with a child who has autism. It helps to remind us that we have to keep in mind that although a child with autism is nonverbal, she/he will be able to hear what we say in front of them, see what we do and sense our emotions and feelings. We have to remind ourselves to have patience for the child, be respectful and have high expectations. 

                                 Unspeakable Emotions

 Sometimes, you forget I exist because I am quiet at times and cannot speak,

I am eight years old, I am not aggressive, I can be timid, mild and meek,

I may not speak, but with my keen sense of hearing, I do hear your words,

Sometimes your words are kind and other times, they can pierce through me like swords,

Even though I don’t understand every word I hear, I see your gestures and facial expressions as you pace back and forth and shout out words,

As I shrink into the corner of the room, my feelings tell me they are hurtful words and make me want to run and fly away with the birds,

I am confused because you tell me you love me and other times, you push me away not wanting to look at me,

You know what? I am a nonverbal autistic child who cannot express all my emotions…I am me!

So please have patience, respect me and have high expectations for me,

I have feelings like you and if you understand me better, you will love me more, the true me!

by: Mary Tran

My Poem (#8): Pay It Forward

I recently helped a student who is in need at my school and it makes me feel good knowing that I “paid it forward” and “made a difference.”  I am positive that the student I helped will be thankful for it and put smiles on her face. My husband and my children are aware of this good deed as I am hoping to be a good role model for my children. As I “Pay It Forward,” I hope my children will do the same now and for the rest of their lives. The attached URL link is on youtube.com and it is exactly what my poem is about.

I also thought about the movie, “Pay It Forward” made in 2000, based on the novel of the same name by Catherine Ryan Hyde. It starred Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and Haley Joel Osment. A little boy did a good deed to others and they in return did good deeds to others and so on. If you haven’t watched the movie, it is a must see!

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Here is a picture of some things I collected of donations from various people for a student … paying it forward

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                              Pay It Forward

With all the negativity surrounding us, I tend to forget that there are positive and generous people out there,
There are people who want to “Pay It Forward” and show they care,

I pay it forward in hopes that others do the same,
Being humble, not wanting popularity, riches and fame,

I do one or more kind action to you and you do one or more kind action to another,
Maybe to a stranger, a friend, a relative, your mother or brother,

But I am making a difference and paying it forward to someone in need,
Putting a smile on my face and someone else’s, yes indeed.

So please, if you can, pay it forward to a person in need,
Because it will be a better world to live in, it is a good deed.

By: Mary Tran

My Poem (#7): My Lost Boy (A Child With Autism)

As I work with students with autism, I see many similarities and many differences in all the students! They are all special and all unique! Some need hugs and some do no like hugs, some children need sensory input and others do not and some children are ok with a high level of noise and some are not. Below is a poem about a child who does not like a high level of noise.

My Lost Boy

Find me mommy, find me,
Find me daddy, find me,
I’m overwhelmed and consumed by lots of noise,
By other kids around me screaming and playing with toys,
I don’t know what to do but I don’t like it,
So I hide in a far away corner by the fence and sit,
Crouched in the corner, I cover my ears,
As I rock back and forth, my face is covered in tears,
Take me away to my quiet bedroom,
Where there is peace and quiet, as I was in mommy’s womb,
“Tommy, where are you?” I hear from afar, “Where are you?”
I want to respond, I really really do!
As I tremble and rock with my eyes closed, I just can’t respond,
I want to say mommy, I am here, just bring your wand,
With your wand, you can zap me back home,
Where I can freely play and roam,
Then I felt a touch and a hug,
I opened my eyes and I felt a familiar tug,
My mommy found me!
My daddy found me!

Hooray, I am found, hooray, hooray, hooray!

Written by: Mary Tran

My Journal/Poem(#6) : It Is Funny How Things Turn Out!

After my son got sick recently and threw up, the minor disagreement my husband and I  had was pretty much forgotten. It made me think and this was what I came up with.. Enjoy!

 

It Is Funny How Things Turn Out!

My son found a paper bill under a bush after he said he wanted to save up for a special gift for his friend who was admitted to the hospital for being really sick,

The bill turned out to be 20$! He was so happy, he jumped in the air and thanked good ole’ St. Nick!

A couple had a bickering disagreement before bedtime and 2 hours later their 2 year old son throws up from being sick,

This unfortunate incident allowed for the couple to care and comfort their son bringing together the sad and loving couple quick,

A homeless and very lonely man with hardly any money walks by a begging mother and her crying baby. Without hesitation, he hands them 75 cents,

On his way to a bridge which was what he called his home, a stranded puppy runs to him, licks his face, bringing him the biggest smile.. It all made sense!

Life is funny sometimes: you’re sad one minute and you’re laughing out loud another minute,

Life is also interesting: you’re joking one minute and you’re crying another minute,

It is funny how things turn out!

Written by: Mary Tran

 

My Poem (#5): You Are My Support (From A Child’s View)

When I observed a child at the park just the other day in crutches, she sat and watched her mother play with her little brother on the slide, on the jungle gym and on the swings. After sitting for almost 10 minutes, her mother and brother (toddler age) walked to her sister and  helped her sit on the adapted swing. Her brother who could not be more than 4 years old, pushed her on the swing. It was a touching scene! The girls’ eyes lit up and she smiled and laughed as her mother took pictures on her phone. After coming home that day, I thought of this park image that was stuck in my head, my students and my children and came up with this poem below.

 

   You Are My SUPPORT 

When I feel unattractive, you make me feel like I’m the most beautiful person around,

When my world is dark and a blur, you give me light and clear my path,

When I feel small, you make me feel like I’m the center of the universe,

When I feel embarrassed, you find ways to make me feel confident,

When I am afraid, you make me unafraid and fearless,

When I am ignored, you make me feel like I am the only one who exists,

When I feel helpless, you make me feel strong and competent,

When I am unaware, you help me feel cognizant and receptive,

When I am anxious, you comfort me with your magical words and hugs,

When I am tired, you tell me it’s ok and make me comfortable so I can rest,

When I succeed, you give me endless complements, praise and high fives,

When I am happy, you are even happier!

You are my mother, father, sister, brother, grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, cousin, teacher and friend,

You are my support, my caretaker, my angel, my heart, my love and my shoulder to cry on until the end.

 

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