Bird Droppings March 4, 2012Grandpa needs to set the example As I played with my grand baby throughout the weekend the learning that occurs often through simply watching the behavior of adults around…

Bird Droppings March 4, 2012
Grandpa needs to set the example

As I played with my grand baby throughout the weekend the learning that occurs often through simply watching the behavior of adults around her is amazing. One slip with a naughty word from someone and instantly vocabulary is increased even not connecting any significance to the word. Imitating movements as we go through our day is something that amazes me as a small child tries to emulate the parent or grandparent. I received an email many nights ago from a friend several months back in Pennsylvania referring to comments I had made in a Bird Droppings, she borrowed from scripture and discussed how a house should be built upon a solid base. She was talking about how we get children to learn to want to learn.

“Education commences at the mother's knee, and every word spoken within hearsay of little children tends toward the formation of character.” Hosea Ballou

As I think back to when I was a child which was not that many years ago my wife says. We were read to and we were encouraged to read. When I started school I was essentially reading. I wonder as I work with high school students who struggle with reading if their parents ever even opened a book up with them. My granddaughter is read too almost daily and was read to while still in the womb her mother read Winnie the Pooh every night out loud.

“Example has more followers than reason. We unconsciously imitate what pleases us, and approximate to the characters we most admire.” Christian Nevell Bovee

“Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other” Edmund Burke

“Children learn what they live”, across the room on my wall from my desk is the poster from Dr. Dorothy Laura Nolte and what amazes me is every once in a while a student is drawn to it and reads through. Several students have situated themselves under my poster during class since I do not have assigned seats yet they sit in the same spot every day and periodically will ask what is this word or that word.

“You have to set the tone and the pace, defines objectives and strategies, and demonstrate through personal example what you expect from others.” Stanley C. Gault

“It is easier to exemplify values than teach them.” Theodore M. Hesburgh

I recall a situation several years back, where a family, dad and both sons were jailed at the same time. Seems this same family was where the oldest son at eleven would drive dad to the liquor store because he was not able to drive and was the least drunk of the two. Examples works both ways, today that oldest son is in and out of prison. When I think back to that same child as a student nearly eight years ago sitting in my class wanting me to read Dylan Thomas again and then borrowing my book, could I have done a bit more as a teacher.

“Example is a bright looking-glass, universal and for all shapes to look into.” Michel Eyquem De Montaigne

“The first great gift we can bestow on others is a good example.” Thomas Morell

I was fortunate growing up being in the family that I did. Examples were strong and powerful motivators and even today my children are motivated by their grandparents and all that they did in their lives.

“I've always led by example and I'm not that vocal.” Scottie Pippen

Scottie Pippen is a quiet and essential player that played on six NBA championship teams with the Chicago Bulls. My youngest son and I often talk about that team and the unbelievable stats that they accumulated during their reign. While others scores and made steals Scottie Pippen lead in assists.

“Example is leadership.” Albert Schweitzer

“Be careful how you live; you will be the only Bible some people ever read.” William J. Toms

I think back to memorable teachers and each set an example in their lives and how they interacted with students. Looking at my son’s teachers, the great ones example was a key teaching tool. Parents who have inadvertently succeeded in raising children often it is not a special formula but their example that lead their children along the pathway.

“A leader is a model whether he wants to be or not. He doesn't have to tell the group to follow his example. In fact, he can even tell them not to follow his example, but they will.” Lewis Orens, The Pine Tree Web

As I was researching this morning I found a site Home School World and so often as a public school teacher, home schooling will come up, as parents makes choices as to how to educate there children. The following is in reference to public schools.

“Do responsible parents want their children to emulate the behavior of the teachers and children there? Disorder, ignorance, misbehavior, disrespect for parents and family, and worse are the norms in such schools, so they obviously do not provide the examples we want for our children.” Dr. Arthur Robinson, Children learn by example, 1998

Dr. Robinson is the founder of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine where he and associates work on several areas of medical research and home schooling curriculum and civil defense (militia) issues. Is example a powerful tool? It is in both directions. I myself do not agree with Dr. Robinsons ideas on public school for there are equally as many and many more good examples that many children would not have at home. One aspect of learning and schooling, if done at home is that the only example is their parents, and who judges them. I watch daily home schooled children who are taught that race is a dividing line in society and only Christians will attain some sort of spiritual awareness. On most days all of my kids are together and interacting in appropriate manners. Maybe that means learning is working and or I am setting a decent example. That might be asking a lot. I almost forgot, please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your heart and to always give thanks.

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Comment by Ms. Down-to-Earth on March 7, 2012 at 9:33am

Very true - you never know what words, action, or behaviours they're picking up.

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