The way you can measure a society's soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Nelson Mandela

Issue No. 30- 7th December 2006

Welcome to Kidz Newz especially to all new subscribers.  Kidz Newz is a regular newsletter with information and teaching tips for anyone involved with young children.  You are receiving this because you have attended one of my workshops, purchased a book, or you have requested to be on the mailing list.  Thank you.  Please forward this to anyone you feel it may be of interest to.

Feedback is welcome.

My PD Updates

ECCPA (Early Childhood Conference of Performing Arts) Genazzano FCJ College, Cotham Road, Kew, Melbourne 16th and 17th June 2007.  My presentation will be on multicultural music and movement.

Rising to the Occasion ' The End of Year Concert

Around this time of year, or maybe a little earlier, we see all around the country the end of year concerts (or end of term concerts in the northern hemisphere). I have just recently been to a dance concert that my son's fianc'e was in. In her dance school, apart from the teenage and young adult dancers, there are children from age twelve all the way down to 'babies' of three years. It was a wonderful event, full of costumes, music, drama and fun ' as well as the dancing, of course! They had been rehearsing for the past 3 months so it all went very smoothly. We tried not to laugh, too much, when a slightly tubby eight or nine year old got stuck inside the hoop and couldn't get out. Eventually, red-faced, she managed to extract herself (was that blushing with embarrassment or flushed with the effort of so much exertion?), reminding me very much of Pooh Bear stuck in the rabbit hole.

The most endearing aspect, however, was seeing how the tiny tots coped with all the emotion of the event, of being on stage, in the limelight, with all of those faces watching. As always with these things, they would spy someone in the audience they knew and would wave or smile or giggle. And of course, it was inevitable that they would sometimes forget what they were doing and stop, would do something completely different, would go in the opposite direction and generally behave like little children. All things considered, however, they were remarkably cool, calm and collected. All of them rose to the occasion. No tears. Nobody bashing anyone else. No screaming matches. No tantrums. They seemed to accept being less than perfect and were not the least bit fazed by their mistakes (full compliments to their teachers). The adults, by comparison, were much more critical of themselves. From the audience point of view, it was all good. There was nothing to criticize and everything to praise. (We need to take a few tips from those little ones. Even when God finished making the Earth he only declared it good, not perfect.) 

It reminded me of all the concerts for Kidz-Fiz-Biz that I ran over the years and those I've witnessed run by colleagues.  It is always the same ' the bossy boots, over-confident child who always wants the limelight somehow goes to water at concert time. There are frequently tears, a no-show or a point-blank refusal to participate. No amount of cajoling or enticing will change things. The often unco-operative child becomes compliant at concert time, while the ones who are downright obstructionist often surprise us by joining in and doing everything perfectly. All the others rise up several notches in their performance.

After the first couple of years of stressing about my concerts because the rehearsal would have been so appalling, I realized that the more shambolic the rehearsal the better it would be at the concert. I learnt to recognize that they would all rise to the occasion. It never ceased to amaze me. I only felt concerned when it was too good at rehearsal! Thankfully parents are so wonderfully understanding at such times as they only want to see their little darling performing.  However they perform, it is endearing to parents. So, as you go off on your well-earned Christmas break, remind yourself that providing this opportunity for parents to see their children on stage, and for the children themselves to have this opportunity to perform, is a wonderful gift that you give, even if at the time you felt like tearing your hair out.

Quotes of the Week

"I have always struggled to achieve excellence. One thing that cycling has taught me is that if you can achieve something without a struggle it's not going to be satisfying."  Greg LeMond ,Cyclist, 3 Times Winner of the Tour de France

It's easy to make a buck.  It's a lot tougher to make a difference.  Tom Brokaw

Remember: You don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.

Entertainment

I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my doctor's permission to join a fitness club and start exercising. I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But, by the time I got my leotards on, the class was over.

Feedback

I learnt loads of things that have been really useful to improve my practice.   It's been great, thank you!  Rachael Huff, Hereford UK

There were good rhymes and songs.  Katie Bradford, Hereford UK

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I would like to take this opportunity of wishing you all the compliments of the season.  This will be my last newsletter of the year.  Like most people in Australia, I will be taking a break too.  I've had a good year and trust you have too.  2007 is shaping up to be a blockbuster.  I look forward to being in touch in the new year.  Meantime, enjoy your Christmas festivities and a well-earned break.

About The Author

Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA

Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at festivals. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her 'Kidz-Fiz-Biz' program.
Kidz-Fiz-Biz
57 Henry Lawson Walk, East Perth WA 6004
T: +61 8 9325 1204 M: 0410 64 2781 E: info@kidzfizbiz.com

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Until next time - continue being a legend in your classroom.

Marlene Rattigan, Editor
Kidz Newz

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