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Posts Tagged ‘Walking In Wisdom’

 

CHANGE IS NEEDED BY ALL

Victor S. Gonzales, Principal

La Luz Elementary School

The year 2009 looks to be an unprecedented time in American history! A very important election has just passed and we, educators, are anxiously waiting to see if our elected officials will actually “walk the walk”. Change was the term used by most, if not all politicians spoken across our country. Our economy, foreign relationships throughout the world, and the war in Iraq were the major topics discussed in debates and campaigns from all parties represented during this election season. Education, unfortunately, appeared to have been of little interest for most Americans as the campaigns progressed along. While the economy and our diplomatic relationships around the world are very important issues that must be addressed, we must not forget how education impacts our future.

Education, for most Americans, is specifically looked at and critiqued based on student performance in reading, mathematics and writing. However, most people seem to forget that public schools are also given the responsibility of teaching and modeling appropriate social behaviors to be practiced in and out of the school setting. There was a period of time when the vast majority of families taught these skills through reinforcing family values and beliefs. Recently, President-elect Barack Obama released a campaign commercial in which he reminded all of us that it is time for parents to get involved with their child’s education. He recommended that parents begin this effort by turning off the television. He’s right! The time spent watching television and playing video games could be spent engaging in conversation, reinforcing positive values which affect children’s academic and social skills.

During the past two years, La Luz Elementary invited special guests from Colorado who presented “life-long” messages for students and staff members. Robert and Terri TallTree are Native Americans who provide interactive school assemblies and professional development for students and educators throughout the country. The programs, entitled

“Walking in Wisdom,” addressed the power of self-images through the creative use of Native American storytelling, ancient songs and legends, sign language and humor. The emphasis being on self-respect and respect for life. Our kids were repeatedly told throughout the programs that they are a “gift to the world”. The gifts given to each and everyone of us include what the TallTrees call “The Three Arrows of Power”.

The first arrow is the thoughts we think. We must use our thoughts wisely. Thoughts can be more powerful than the atomic weapon, if we think about it.

The second arrow is the words we speak. The old cliché, “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me,” is not true, according to message we learned from the TallTrees. As many of us have experienced in the past or perhaps the present, words are sharp and they can cut like a knife, leaving permanent scars.

The final arrow and most powerful message given to us by the TallTrees are the actions we take. We all must learn to help one another and take care of our precious resources.

Can you imagine if all human beings, including our politicians, followed this simple message shared to us by the TallTrees? What a difference we could make in our world! This should be the “change” we are all looking forward to in the very near future!

For more information regarding the TallTrees, please feel free to visit their website at:

http://www.thetalltrees.com.

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TALLTREE PRESENTATION

Dulce Middle School

Student responses regarding this presentation at Dulce Middle School on Friday, December 12, 2008

  • “Yes, I liked it because they said true stuff about how you should think of yourself and not worry about what other think of you.”
  • “I learned about stories they had about their tribe.  I liked their presentation.”
  • “Yes, I liked it.  The story taught me who they were.”
  • “I liked the presentation because it was very interesting and informative.”
  • “I liked the program.  The thing that I really liked was the songs they performed.”
  • “They shared their stories about being respectful.  I liked the story about ‘The Three Arrows’.
  • “I liked the dress that TallTree’s mother gave his wife.  I liked it”.
  • “I learned to ‘just be yourself’ and do anything you can and want to do”.
  • “It was very wonderful. I liked the music! It was really good.”
  • “Have I made a difference?  Yes, I have!”
  • “The one thing that jumped out at me was when they said a friend is always beside you and is sticking up for you.”
  • “I liked the music, because it was so calming!”
  • “The one thing I learned was not being ashamed of what your dreams are.”
  • “I liked the music because it was awesome and sounded cool.”
  • “Where ever you go, there you are!”
  • “Yes, I learned something from these people.  I learned that you can do anything.”
  • “I learned you can go all over the world and get paid for it.”
  • “Follow your dreams. It was good!”
  • “Probably to work harder at what I want to be.”
  • “Yea, I liked it.  What I learned is to make a difference.  I really liked the music because it was calming and nice.”
  • “I learned that I can be a warrior or a leader.  I loved today’s presentation.”
  • “So, I loved what I learned about because I can do anything I want to do.  If I put my mind and heart to it I can do anything.  The music was very nice to listen to and it calmed me down and relaxed me.”
  • “It was alright, I guess!!!
  • I liked when Mr. TallTree told the story about the great lakes.

Just a note your way to share with you how positively wonderful the program was that the TallTrees presented to the Elementary and Middle

School students here in the Dulce Independent School District.  I have attached some of the students responses  when they were surveyed about

their opinion of the presentation/s. We appreciate the opportunity to have meet both of the TallTrees and listen to their music, stories, traditional ways.  Our students felt they had a calming effect upon them.

Thank you!

 Sincerely,

Barbara Ashcraft, DMS Principal

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