professional learning

Churchillian Mantras to Live By

This month’s #blogamonth topic is about embracing the NEWs. A new year brings forth abounding NEWs. Whether it’s new students, new classes, new subjects, new roles, new learning, or all of the above, the NEWs (not to be confused with the news) keep coming and are personal to our own experiences. One way to take on the NEWs is to adopt a mantra or theme.

I second guessed sharing this particular post, as it has veered off into more personal writing and has become less about teaching and parenting, but because the mantras I have chosen can be applied to all kinds of NEWs and challenges, I have decided to go ahead and share.

This year more than ever, I will be relying on mantras to help me take on the NEWs (and maybe even the EVERYDAYs) that lie ahead. I plan on having these visible to me in my office and home to guide me through the NEWs and challenges that arise.

Most of my known NEWs for this year include your usual new school year changes and ones that I look forward to, despite the butterflies that, since starting school as a kid,  I seem to experience every September. Outside of work, there will also be some  exciting NEWs. Steve and I are sending our oldest, Elsie, off to full day kindergarten, Archie and Steve are welcoming a new daytime playmate (which means Steve will be running after two busy toddlers), and I am finally at a place where I feel I can dedicate more time towards my studies. Although these NEWs also mean we will be very busy, they are changes that as a family we are all  excited about.

Less exciting is the sad NEW that my extended family and I will be facing together—helping my dear dad with his fight against cancer. This is obviously the scariest of all of the NEWs I am facing this year, and the real reason I am reflecting on mantras to encourage me through it all.

“We’re all in it together.” – Sir Winston Churchill

While reflecting on what my mantras should be, I immediately thought about my dad and how he has taken on life’s challenges. Those close to me know that he is our family’s foundation, my kindred spirit, a real stand up guy, and one that has humbly taken on numerous challenges in life, including the death of his dad (and from what I hear, an equally kindred soul) at the young age of 12. As a huge Sir Winston Churchill fan, my dad often shared (and still shares) many of Churchill’s words of wisdom with his kids, particularly when we were/are facing challenges. With this in mind, I have decided to take on my dad’s Churchillian outlook on life and adopt some of Sir Winston’s most famous words as my mantras this year.

A few of Churchill’s words that I feel will serve me well this year are:


These words will serve to remind me to take things one day at a time and not think too much about the what ifs (an unhealthy habit of mine).

To me these words are pretty much self-explanatory. As a family, we will very certainly be going through a tough time, but the ONLY option will be to support each other, endure, and  keep going.


We spend our lives hearing that we just have to do our best, when the truth is, sometimes we need to do more than that. My dad embodies this. He has always been a hero of sorts in my eyes, and in extraordinary circumstances, he has always been able to reach within himself and do for others what he probably wouldn’t even do for himself (and all very quietly and humbly I must add). Having someone like this in my life has always provided me (and I’m sure many others) a real sense of security. It is now his turn to rest in our security, knowing that we, as a family, will not just do our best, but that we will do what is required to support him.

My darling dad! Je t’adore Papa!

1. What is your mantra for 2016-17, where does it come from, and how does it motivate/implicate you?

2. Where do you find a source of direction or inspiration for the start of the year?

3. How do you embrace NEWs?

Join the #blogamonth challenge to share your thoughts on NEWs and mantras.

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