Cycles, repeated patterns in life that give us structure and continuity, are certainly welcomed by me.  I teach my students to look for cycles in every area of their lives. After all, the human brain looks for patterns and will strive to make patterns out of seeming chaos.

            I have lived long enough to have witnessed many cycles come and go and return again.  I have even benefitted by keeping some of my more expensive clothing until the cycle of styles made them stylish once again.  It is possible to identify decades in the U.S. through the cycles of clothing, makeup, music and movies.  This certainly makes it easy to hold costume parties. 

            My chosen field of work is education, a profession which undergoes constant cycles of rebuilding and tearing apart accepted norms.  I have seen good come out of these cycles, and I have seen the proverbial baby thrown out with the bath water.  I have learned to accept each cycle with a grain of salt.  However, some of the cycles have developed into a worthwhile cause: all children can learn if you present the information to them at their level of understanding.

            Stages of learning as recognized by Piaget are types of cycles.  The progression from one level to the next may vary age-wise, but usually it will not vary in order or sequence.  Such cycles or stages give us assurance and a means to check our children’s growth.  I am thankful for these age-proven cycles which can serve as guide posts to me in helping children learn. 

            I also teach children about the water cycle, the rock cycle, and the carbon cycle.  As they see how these cycles progress and then repeat the process again, I remind them of the old adage, “What goes around comes around.”  I hope my students will accept the challenge to practice the Golden Rule, pay it forward, etc.  I believe the world would be a better place if we could recycle these traits of love and caring.     

-          Kay