How to help kids be happy learners through creativity, fun and continuity between school and home. -Eurydice Prentoulis – A Teacher’s view – Greece: Podcast Episode 13

Imperfect Parenting Podcast Episode 13: Eurydice Prentoulis

“Aim for Excellence, not Perfection.”

Kids need reminders that it’s OK to be human and make mistakes. We need to focus on creativity, fun, making memories and inspiring learning and keep the continuity of learning flowing between school, home and back, again.

In episode “lucky”13, Eurydice reminds of a few important things about the relationship between;  parents, teachers, kids.  We hear about the  importance of being in the moment with our kids, being creative, in the moment, letting go into getting messy and keeping a good partnership with teachers at school.

Episode 13: Take Aways:

  1. Aim for excellence, not perfection. 
  2. We must teach kids its OK to be human and imperfect.
  3. Keep balance between organization, fun and creativity.
  4. Parents and teachers need to keep continuity for kids
  5. Remember the alpha state, at bedtime
  6. Teachers and parents, take the time to inform each other about kids.
  7. Teachers and parents must inspire learning in and out of classroom
  8. Parents and teachers are allies in kids growth, learning and evolutions.
  9. Kids act out when they need our focused attention.
  10. Get dirty with our kids: make more memories than perfect days.
  11. Whatever you are doing, get kids involved.

Eurydice’s journey through teaching:  

Eurydice talks to us a bit about her history and how she discovered her love of teaching while going for her Doctoral at Columbia.

She started her teaching career in the Bronx as a public school teacher.  Some years later starting her International career teaching Ib french Spanish, in Prague, teaching 14-19 year olds.

There, Eurydice learned to make sure that in the moments classes weren’t perfect, her classes would always be unforgettable, through drama, creativity and learning through doing.  

In these years, she found that while she enjoyed teens, her true passion was younger kids.  So, she moved to a Czech state school with Montessori influence where she taught English through drama and music and much creativity.

It was a creative explosion for her with these.6-12 year olds.  She had found her true calling.

 IP Teaching:  Imperfect teaching must be embraced as we will never be in 100% perfection.

Aim for excellence.  

When we aim for excellence, we will be far more excellent than perfect when we strive for perfection.

Eurydice has taught many children and learned and grown much over the years.

Small mistakes happen, it is human.

What is of the highest importance is the level of happiness she sees in her students.

Success is seeing the students Inspired to learn, in general.  She and students and parents.. and partners do better not.. to strive for perfection..  Everyone is clearly happier.

We must teach kids its OK to be human and imperfect

Letting go of perfection is key.

How did we get so caught up in perfection in the 1st place?

What truly binds us as humans?

We have to be good role models etc.  but, we could do better.  We are often busy beating ourselves up and they see this, no matter what we say to them, directly.  We need to teach them its OK to be human.

Kids need to feel their parents enjoying them. Enjoying each other.

And, teachers enjoying their students.  Kids DO feel the intention of the teacher.

How we handle imperfection is important.

Its not that we are sloppy and constantly making mistakes, yet allow for them.

Keep balance between organization, fun and creativity.

The Dichotomy between creativity and organization.  For both parents and teachers.  Plans and work backwards.

As a parents, plans are important, yet not specific goals like having to be doctors or whatnot.  But, having them aspire to be best version of selves, in their lives.

“What would best support you as teacher .. as a parent..?”

Parents and teachers need to keep continuity for kids

 In Eurydice’s class, the expectation is fun, be entertained and that there will be so surprise within the learning.

At home, relax, have time for themselves, low screen time, or engaging together,  with parents and continue the learning through life, reading and in the ways possible for you as a parent without creating more stress around.

Read at school.  Read at home.

Eurydice reminds us that when kids are going to sleep, they are in an alpha state.  It’s a very receptive time to introduce ideas, through books, song and more.  It’s a great time to learn and experience joy together, before sleeping.

Be in the moment with your kids

Imagine what we can get done with kids instead of social media!  Being in the moment, present with our kids, is essential.

There is importance at any age to have true connection with one another.  We all need this.  Yet, kids will act out when they don’t get it.  And, if we aren’t being conscious or aware, or are too tired, we may not see this as the root if it.

You have to give time for selves.

Parents are good parents even when they need to do things on phone computer or take time for themselves.  These moments also need to happen.  We have to get things done during the day.

If we take those moments of presence and give time to the kids, its easier and OK to take time for ourselves.

By taking time for ourselves, we teach our kids its Ok to do that for themselves.  What an incredible gift for life!

Kids act out when we aren’t giving focused attention. 

And, with El just even a couple minutesx

Parents someone else doing kids work. No, but in past, yes.

After school programs where Evie supports kids and they create.

Ariels experience.  Penguin.  Show kids progression.  No judgement.

Kids know what they have done. What message are we sending them?

Success from effort. 

Reward kids for their efforts.  Don’t tell them how smart they are.  Specific feedback.  As well, the message might come that if they don’t.. then means they are stupid?

Montessori.  Kids would ask if what they were doing. The teachers would ask back, let kids assess and decide or add leave things.

If kids ask, is this messy writing? Am I bad at math?As parent/teacher make them think 1st, or what do they think we would say, and then look at facts.

Love isn’t enough? Maybe. .+ imperfection. Forgiveness, creative time with your kid, a lot of laughter.  Doesn’t matter how good whatever you are doing is.  Make books together.  Balloon speech, leads to creative writing, etc.  uses time and creative and work learning and play.  Continuity from school.  Then, really show we respect and honor learning, classroom, etc.

Remember, teachers are our partners.  Let’s inquire versus accusations.  Make effort. Be equals.  

“SEEK TO UNDERSTAND.  SEEK TO BE UNDERSTOOD.”

A quote from:  The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Dr. Stephen Covey.

Teachers and parents must be allies

Many times parents feel like the enemy to many teachers, as they seem like they are attacking the minute things go wrong.  A big part is that they don’t know what is happening.

As teacher, Eurydice knows the importance of connection and makes time to inform and update parents weekly, rather than only bi-annually as required at parent teacher conferences.  Parents often feel out of control and its scary add stressful and makes them feel helpless and frustrated when things going wrong on some level. 

We teachers need to help the children and possible situations by keeping parents in touch as best they can.  Meet parents more often, send mails or what is possible with your work load.

Parents and teachers are allies because ultimately, that is what the kids need.  They are armed with information and understand the importance of keeping circular communication for best of child.

Last wisdom for our listeners?

Keep that Circle.  All is connected. 

Keep organized, but not over the top and at the cost of creativity.

Kids prefer organization to feel safe, but not if it causes all involved an anxious reality with stress?  Relaxed, happy and some organization is main point for kids happiness and balance.

Time for both kids and and parents to breathe

Creativity feels good.  When we are creative (whatever version creativity fits you) and makes you happy.  Structure time.  And, time for you.

And, not too many after school activities.  Overloaded.  We have to be the grown ups and say no.

Kids shouldn’t be hearing about all the stress, too much.

If parents want to keep a good diet, get kids involved.  Mixed etc.

Better parenting, vs, perfect.

Get dirty, have fun and silly and enjoy the connect in with kids.

We are happier, good memories, happier, within coupling, each other. Plain silly fun.

Be relaxed and healthy.

As well, it helps us in our own adult work.

Long live imperfect parents and enjoy the journey..

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