Who am I?
I am a mother of 2 boys. I work in nonprofit fundraising, by way of an undergraduate music degree and a Masters of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health. I'm still deciding what I want to be when I grow up. :)
How did you find FORM?
Oddly it was by reaching out via the national RIE® website to try to find a RIE®-based center near my new home. I say "oddly" because Carolyn Paetzel, one of the founders and coordinator of FORM, teaches at the center where my older son attended preschool. I just hadn't had much interaction with the infant teachers until it was time for my younger child to attend. I knew the center was RIE®-influenced, but I didn't know that FORM existed before then.
What aspect of the Educaring® Approach resonates with you the most and why?
As I'm sure is the case for many, Madga Gerber's quote "do less, observe more, enjoy most" really resonates with me. I sometimes feel like motherhood has become a competitive sport with moms comparing what their children can and can't do, what activities they're involved in, etc. Our lives are so go-go-go, and I find that mentality stressful and exhausting. I found the Educaring approach when my 5-year-old was 2 (via Janet Lansbury's blog), so I didn't have the opportunity to experience it with an infant until my 2nd child (now 15 months). Removing any sort of agenda for my child(ren) and simply observing them, appreciating who they are at that moment, and taking their lead makes parenting so much more peaceful. It allows me to relax and fully enjoy the wonder of childhood and being a mom.
What are you most grateful for?
I'm grateful for my husband, my two beautiful boys, and my children's wonderful caregivers.
What is one thing you do for yourself? Or what would you like to do for yourself?
Something I do for my self from time-to-time is to take a few hours (or a whole day) of vacation time while my children are at school and daycare to do something just for me. Sometimes it's to get a haircut and pedicure, and sometimes it's just to sit at home alone and fold laundry while watching HGTV.
If your life was a book or song, what would the title be?
Wherever is Your Heart by Brandi Carlile. The lyrics "wherever is your heart, I call home" remind me that no matter where I am, what struggles or joys I'm experiencing, as long as I'm with my family, life is good. It also reminds me that even though my mom has been gone for almost 16 years, I can still give my boys the opportunity to know her heart through me.
What was your favorite book as a child?
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
What teacher inspired you the most? How?
My mother, especially since becoming a mother myself. My mother found the wonder and beauty in everything, especially nature and children. She allowed me to get lost in my imagination and fostered my curiosity and creativity.
What 3 words best describe you?
Honest, curious, and loyal.
What is the best question anyone has asked you?
"How ARE you?" Not the "How are you?" that elicits a quick "I'm good, thanks!" Rather a "how are you, really?" that allows us to move beyond niceties and build true care and connection with people.
[Editors’ note: We hope you enjoyed meeting Hayley! Our apologies for the delay in sending this out via email - we had a technical glitch. You can continue to watch for future FORM friends posts on Fridays.]