Dairy Queen Leads to Reflecting – Teaching

This summer I have a few big things (a short learning opportunity) that might be happening in August – fingers crossed! For this reason, I did not seek a summer camp job although that would have been awesome!

I just started working at Dairy Queen and have survived my first week! I needed something to do this summer and also needed to make some money. I had previously worked at Wendy’s and then took a year off from work because I completed my internship in Yorkton and then when I came back to Regina, my last semester of classes kept me busy enough without a job. At Wendy’s after my first two months there, I became a supervisor. I worked all positions and was comfortable with the operations and serving customers in a quick service food industry. The job kept me busy, kept me doing things and kept me on my toes! And so, I decided that Dairy Queen would be a good fit for this summer.

DSC00186 by number657, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License  by  number657 


I was at the bottom of the pyramid this past week as the “new employee”. (One of my former crew members from Wendy’s is working at Dairy Queen and she one of the supervisors – how’s that for role reversal!)

Sure, I have worked tills, made sandwiches, worked drive through and made some ice cream at Wendy’s but at Dairy Queen, there is much more ice cream and a completely different point of sales system (tills). The ice cream is a learning curve, but after the first few days, I am starting to get the hang of it, although there is room for improvement! The people I am working with are great and my new bosses are amazing. I feel like I fit in and am starting to get into a routine at work. There is however so much more for me to learn in terms of procedures, daily schedules, where all of the stock is kept, properly making all the ice cream treats and drive through positions. I am starting to get the hang of things and look forward to the weeks that will follow.

In general, the other employees and supervisors have been really supportive and helpful – I am so lucky! However, I have found myself being reminded of how as a teacher I will interact with my students, which comes from how some of my supervisors interact with me:

  • I was learning till and where the locations of the buttons were. The supervisor working with me didn’t provide me the answers right away. However, when it took me a long time and I  was serving customers and I was struggling, I was provided with assistance, not all the answers.
  • I was reminded of the importance of giving students time to reflect, to inquire and to figure things out for themselves. If we do everything for our students right away and do not let them learn and explore by themselves, what are we teaching them?
  • It is important to be there to offer assistance but our students also need to be independent and to know that they can ask for help and you will be there for them.
  • Tone of voice is important when explaining and giving directions. I do not know everything yet and I do still need assistance and clear directions on where things are, how to accomplish tasks, or the order in which they should be done is very helpful. 
  • There is always a learning curve – sometimes we catch on quicker and other times, it takes us longer to process new information and skills. 
  • One role of the teacher is to help facilitate and to guide learning. I believe that there will be a division between teachers and students but that they need to build strong relationships and be able to communicate effectively with one another. No student should feel bad because they do not know something or think that they are not good enough. Their should be high expectations and goals for students to reach and surpass.
  • Teachers should ensure that their tone of voice is welcoming and that students know their teacher’s communication style.
  • Students do not know everything, just like teachers do not know everything. It is okay to learn together and it is good for students to ask questions and to clarify understandings.
  • It is important for direction and that students know what is happening throughout the school day, where things are to be kept and their teacher’s expectations.


I didn’t think that working at Dairy Queen would have me reflecting on teacher/student relationships, but it did and I am glad. I was reminded of how I want to treat and interact with students in my classroom. I want:

  • Clear and open communication where my students feel comfortable, respected and that they belong
  • Positive relationships between students and teachers
  • Expectations and goals for my students
  • For students to ask questions, to ask for support and guidance
  • For students to work together and learn from one another
  • To be able to support my students and to help them achieve success
  • To create a safe learning environment

I wonder what I will learn and reflect on next week …


Daffodil Principle

Re-blogged from Darci Lang`s Blog – Focus on the 90 % – The Daffodil Principle

The Daffodil Principle

Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, ‘Mother, you must come to see the daffodils before they are over.’ I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead. ‘I will come next Tuesday’, I promised a little reluctantly on her third call.

Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and reluctantly I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn’s house, I was welcomed by the joyful sounds of happy children. I delightedly hugged and greeted my grandchildren.

‘Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in these clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see badly enough to drive another inch!’

My daughter smiled calmly and said, ‘We drive in this all the time, Mother.’

‘Well, you won’t get me back on the road until it clears, and then I’m heading for home!’ I assured her.

‘But first we’re going to see the daffodils. It’s just a few blocks,’ Carolyn said. ‘I’ll drive. I’m used to this.’

‘Carolyn,’ I said sternly, ‘Please turn around.’

‘It’s all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience.’

After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand lettered sign with an arrow that read, ‘Daffodil Garden.’ We got out of the car, each took a child’s hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path. Then, as we turned a corner, I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight.

Field of yellow daffodils.

It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it over the mountain peak and its surrounding slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swathes of deep orange, creamy white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, and saffron and butter yellow. Each different-colored variety was planted in large groups so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were five acres of flowers.

‘Who did this?’ I asked Carolyn.

‘Just one woman,’ Carolyn answered. ‘She lives on the property. That’s her home.’ Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house, small and modestly sitting in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house.

On the patio, we saw a poster. ‘Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking’, was the headline. The first answer was a simple one.’ 50,000 bulbs,’ it read. The second answer was, ‘One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and one brain.’ The third answer was, ‘Began in 1958.’

For me, that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than forty years before, had begun, one bulb at a time, to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountaintop. Planting one bulb at a time, year after year, this unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. One day at a time, she had created something of extraordinary magnificence, beauty, and inspiration The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration.

That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time–often just one baby-step at a time–and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world .

‘It makes me sad in a way,’ I admitted to Carolyn. ‘What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five or forty years ago and had worked away at it ‘one bulb at a time’ through all those years? Just think what I might have been able to achieve!’

My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. ‘Start tomorrow,’ she said.

She was right. It’s so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask, ‘How can I put this to use today?’

Use the Daffodil Principle. Stop waiting…
Until your car or home is paid off
Until you get a new car or home
Until your kids leave the house
Until you go back to school
Until you finish school
Until you clean the house
Until you organize the garage
Until you clean off your desk
Until you lose 10 lbs.
Until you gain 10 lbs.
Until you get married
Until you get a divorce
Until you have kids
Until the kids go to school
Until you retire
Until summer
Until spring
Until winter
Until fall
Until you die…

There is no better time than right now to be happy.

Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

So work like you don’t need money.

Love like you’ve never been hurt.

Dance like no one’s watching.

If you want to brighten someone’s day, pass this on to someone special. I just did!

Wishing you a beautiful, daffodil day! Happy SPRING!

band trip

Yesterday I had the opportunity to accompany 67 grade 7 and 8 band students to Yorkton, Saskatchewan yesterday. The students participated in a workshop with a guest conductor and then they went swimming at the Gallagher centre.

It was great to see these students come together and play great music. The band consists of students from three different elementary schools in Regina. These students meet once a week as full band and some know each other through other groups.

When the kids were swimming it was nice to see all of the students together having fun. No one was left out and they had a great time.

I was reminded of band trips I took in elementary school and high school and the fun I had and the friendships I developed.

Music brings people together.


May 13, 2012

Today is Mother’s Day

Thank you mom for giving birth to me and for raising me.

Thank you also to the many people who have been motherly figures in my life:

  • Karen
  • Shelley
  • Nicole
  • Kelly
  • Maureen
  • Rhonda
  • Kim
  • Mandy
  • Peggy
  • Lynn
  • Yvonne

Thank you to all the other women in my life who believe in me, trust me and have given me the chance to succeed. I don’t know where I would be today if you all had not been or continue to be a part of my life today!