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edu180atl: nicole martin 9.13.11

I have learned a better definition of appreciation.

Today I participated in our Parent University program, reading Richard Weissbourd’s The Parents We Mean to Be.  Like the conscientious student I’ve always been, I highlighted the book from start to finish to prepare for the meeting.  However, while reading I focused on and connected with the book as a parent, not as an educator.

Only when going through and re-reading my notes this morning before today’s meeting did I come across this little gem: Weissbourd defines appreciation as “the ability to know and value other people, including those different from ourselves in background and perspective” (p. 38).  Weissbourd believes that parents must model appreciation of others to instill this vital characteristic in our children.  So as a tribute to his philosophy, I take this one step further, sharing my appreciation today of

… the kitchen staff’s freshly-brewed coffee,

… my coworkers’ endless intellectual challenges, support, and humor,

… the Kindergartener who made me stop and view the fish tank, naming each fish,

… the leaders of my school who appreciate both meaningful learning and a good prank,

… second graders’ excitement about Tweeting , and

… a student sticking up for a peer on the playground during a kickball game.

As educators it is our responsibility to extend Weissbourd’s parent message to the walls of our classrooms and halls of our schools.  I challenge each of you to model appreciation today and every day.

Nicole Martin (@nicolenmartin) is parent of 2 little girls & Director of 21st Century Teaching & Learning @ Mount Vernon Presbyterian School 


Weissbourd, R. (2009). The Parents We Mean To Be. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. And I appreciate you for bringing this topic up . . . Thanks.

    September 13, 2011
  2. Nicole:

    Thank you for your refreshing and honest post from yesterday. It was a lovely piece that got me thinking about the importance of taking in the moment and trusting that each simple moment is full of learning and teaching. It is important to be open to what our students experience so that we learn what engages them and affirm the way they see the world. That kindergarten student who knew the names of the fish in the tank was sharing something very precious.

    Thank you!


    September 14, 2011
  3. Diane Nania #

    This was a lovely post, allowing me to appreciate my daughter even more than I thought possible!

    With love,
    Nicole’s Mother

    September 16, 2011
  4. Jen #

    Thanks for this amazing post!

    September 22, 2011

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