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What They Live

I have seen this poem a number of times and have it saved at home amongst my teaching materials. It is an important reminder that adults serve as the role models for children. They see, hear, and sense are authenticity. It is all about relationships in the moment with children.

Lvsrao's Blog


                                               What They Live

                                       If a child lives with criticism,
                                       He learns to condemn.
                                       If a child lives with hostility,
                                       He learns to fight.
                                       If a child lives with ridicule,

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About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

6 responses »

  1. I used to have this on a poster in my sixth grade room. I knew the kids may not get much out of it, but on parents’ day, I always hoped it would touch someone and possibly help to make their hearts change to the better… this was great! Robin

    • I find, when I talk to former students as adults, they recall things that surprise me. I have a former student who remembers my birthday. It was the only thing he had in his daily planner in Grade 10 when he visited. It was not something I ever recalled talking about in class, but somehow he knew my birthday.

      Thank you for a lovely comment Robin.

  2. How true this is. Children do look to adults as examples. They need love, guidance and encouragement in life. Relationships are important to them as well. Thank you for sharing,

  3. I love this poem! I have it up on my refrigerator! It’s so true – I often wonder about the home lives of students who display these negative traits. And you always know which students get support and care at home!

    • You do know those things and you get a chance to counter-balance. It is interesting to see how children react when they realize the adult means the positive things they say.

      Thank you for following. I look forward to following your blog. I was about the same age when the Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan. I had not realized it was 50 years ago.


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