This post is sponsored by Mom Central Canada, but aside from the idea it’s 100% me. is a community of people who share a passion for learning. From the teachers who make lessons come alive to the students who are eager to learn more and every parent, friend, aunt, and neighbor in between, there are many who share SMART® Technologies love of learning. After all, every good idea in the world exists only because somewhere along the line, someone cared enough to teach and someone was engaged enough to learn.

I’m a teacher. I’m a mom first and foremost, but I am and will always be a teacher. Before I had a B.Ed I was a teacher. It’s just the way I was made. Some people just are.

I remember very little about my “favourite teacher.” I place those words in quotes because I’ve had many great (and rather poor) teachers but she’s the one I really remember. She was my kindergarten teacher, now retired and going by a different name after a divorce, and it was her influence that inspired me to teach at just five years old.

I could read when I started kindergarten, and she did what not many would or could do. She put me into a grade one classroom for reading and math, and worked with the grade one teacher to have me put into grade two after kindergarten. That just doesn’t happen around here anymore, and it was the perfect arrangement for me. I remember her a a kind & gentle woman who really took the time to get to know me as a person, and as a learner. I remember singing with her on the carpet – The Farmer in the Dell, specifically. I remember my special cubbyhole. Everyone had one, but I sure thought mine was the best one. I remember bringing her homemade baked treats and watching them sit on her desk until Friday – the one day she allowed herself to eat junk food. I remember details like I don’t remember about any other year of school (and there were 20 including preschool and university, so that’s saying something) and when I think of her, I smile.

It wasn’t the curriculum I learned – though I’m sure she did a great job of that even if I don’t remember. It was how she made me feel that I could be anything I wanted to be. What I wanted to be was just like her. The ultimate compliment for a teacher.

That was decades before SMART Boards became commonplace in all public school classrooms. I can’t live without mine and use it all day long. I can just imagine what we could have done as students if we’d had them. It would have been magical! (video link) SMART Love of Learning has a Facebook group you can check out. Join and you can enter to WIN a SMART Board interactive whiteboard for your child’s school or a school of your choice! Simply click on the ‘Win’ tab to enter. If you’re a parent or teacher interested in raising money for a SMART Board interactive whiteboard for a school in your area, click on the ‘Toolkit’ tab.

Welcome them to Motherhood with Books!

lbbWhat better way to encourage literacy amongst the population than welcoming babies into the world and women into motherhood with books.

THE LITTLE BIG BOOK FOR MOMS is a magic wand for new mothers. It instantly provides in one silver gilt-edge book a treasury of fairy tales, nursery rhymes, songs, games, and activities for new moms to do and read with their children. I recalls when my oldest child was a baby asking readers of my personal blog what I could sing to him other than the alphabet. I could have really used this book! I now keep one on a table close to where we read bedtime stories every night and it’s an awesome resource – the perfect book for every mom who doesn’t want her little ones to miss out on the classic tale of Princess and the Pea, or wants to be reminded of the words to Rub-a-Dub-Dub, play I’m a Little Teapot and Itsy, Bitsy Spider, learn how to create shadow puppets and who wants to make recipes that are especially yummy like Frozen Chocolate Bananas. In other words, this is a book for moms who want to be special moms and who want to bring memorable activities to their little ones. And, when everyone has finally gone to sleep at night, there are essays just for Mom by Anne Lamott, Susan Cheever, and Amy Herrick.

THE ULTIMATE ORGANIZER FOR MOMS is a one-stop, indispensable resource to encourage communication between parent and child. It goes from pregnancy through year five, and is a perfect gift for every new mom and mother-to-be. It will make her life easier with great organizational tools & places to record things like her child’s medical records, birthday parties, playmates, teachers, favorite toys, baby sitters, and those all-so-important “firsts” but it will also give her bragging rights to say “Yes! I’ve kept a baby book for my child.” The Ultimate Organizer for Moms comes with a front and a back pocket and is held snugly together by an elastic band.

What a charming gift the combination of these books would make for an expectant or new mother!