Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society provides grassroots leadership and an inclusive process, with a voice for all community members, to ensure that our community grows and develops in a way that incorporates an environmental ethic, offers a range of housing and transportation choices, encourages a vibrant and cultural life and supports sustainable, meaningful employment and business opportunities.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Michael's Musings

"Major concerns of childhood continue through the years"
By Michael J Morris
Just the other morning I was having coffee with a friend, and told him I had no idea about a column which is pretty usual for me.
"You will think of something," he replied.
Never did I think that this week I would have been writing about my mother, Muriel E. (Hunt) Morris, and some comments she made at a retirement party for her when she retired after teaching at Chapleau Public School after 32 years in 1970. Mom also taught four years near what is now Thunder Bay.
Anyway, I came across  an article from the Sault Daily Star by the late Margaret 'Maggie' Costello, a distinguished American reporter and actress who had moved to Chapleau . Maggie had done a column about the party. It became the basis for my weekly column in the Chapleau Express, also posted on my own blog.
And why, you ask, am I sharing a different focus on that event with you which occurred in "that place somewhere in Ontario", called Chapleau.
I am because of the overwhelming response I have received on comments my mother made at the party about teachers, parents and children.
Here they are as taken from the story by my good friend Maggie who I wish was here so I could thank her.

  "There have been many changes in education, but the function of teacher and parents has not changed. It is to guide children into self development, to create a climate for learning in school and at home.

"The home and school cannot be divorced if we are to be successful. The child must be encouraged to make the most important discovery of all -- himself or herself!.

"The major concerns of childhood continue through the years."

"When we enter into a child's world we are not in a strange land -- we are homeward bound."
In 1968 when I was news editor at the Chatham Daily News, Mom decided to take a course and spend the summer with me. One day, the professor in typical professorial style commented that it was necessary to account for individual differences in children, and so on.
My mother raised her hand, and told him, "I think you mean all children are special with needs." Then she dropped the course.

Over the years, and in the past few days so many of my Mom's pupils have shared comments and memories of her with me which I have so much appreciated.
I was going to share some with you but decided to simply focus on her comments and let you think about them. However, I do thank everyone who has been in touch with me. I am not sure Mom would be impressed with going "viral".
As another school year draws to a close, I believe her comments to parents, indeed to  all of us, apply today as much as they did in 1970. It is also Mother's Day on May 11.
Mom died on March 4, 1989. My email is

Full disclosure: I am not now and never have been a member of the Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society; however, I did conduct a workshop for its members for which I was paid.

1 comment:

  1. Michael J MorrisMay 13, 2014 at 5:26 AM

    WOW! Thanks for all the wonderful comments made about this column... not about me but about what my Mom had to say in 1970, So very much appreciated that so many agree with her views.