This blog is a story about ‘Baby Face’ and choices. It is my last blog for 2021. NO cognitive load theory; or information about ‘effects’ that can place demands on working memory; and hyperlinks to research articles. Just a story about ‘Baby Face’ and choices. And a bit of reflection.
Who is (your) ‘Baby Face’ (Faces)?
Take some time every day to really reflect about your Baby Face/s. Journal what you learn.
I started functioning as a private occupational therapist at a mainstream high school in 1998. I have therefore dedicated more than half of my working career of 42 years working with older primary school learners, high school learners as well as adult learners. Over the past two decades hundreds of learners crossed my path and is still crossing my path, but I still remember my first high school referral very well.
2. My first ‘Baby Face’
My first referral was an attractive looking blond boy in Grade 10. Like many other children he had concentration difficulties, some underlying learning challenges and was at risk academically. His parents were however desperate as he was also a ‘naughty boy’ despite his charming personality. He had a girlfriend that was a prefect but that did not really make a difference to his choices in life. Art was one of his subjects so one day he convinced me to buy a painting, titled ‘Baby Face’, from him as he needed money. I then became the owner of ‘Baby Face.’
3. The accident
In his Grade 11 year the boy was in a motor bike accident and as a result sustained severe head injuries. This was directly related to the wrong choices this boy made in his life. The neurosurgeon believed he would not be able to complete his matric. But we decided it was better for him to go back to school. With the support of his teachers, his parents, myself, and other professionals, he passed matric. I still have the little card somewhere that he gave me when he passed. It said: “Thanks Ma’am for helping me to pass matric.”
4. A Sad Ending
Due to his lifestyle choices, the boy sadly lost his life at a young age. He did do some studies after matric but he really struggled to remain focused and on the right path. Although he did not fully change his life around yet, he started going to church in the time before his death. His mum told me at the funeral, “Estelle, we did what we could for him.” But he made his choices…
5. The Meaning of ‘Baby Face’
‘Baby Face’ has been in my home practice area for more than two decades. This special painting represents all the children that have crossed my path and still cross my path. I strive to help all my referrals to develop the skills they need to ‘Be More’ effective in one or more areas of their lives. I want them to learn, grow, develop themselves, make the right choices (based on the right values), persevere, and not give up.
6. 2021 & My Baby Faces
I have reached the ‘compulsory retirement age’ for public servants and educators in South Africa on 26 November 2021. Fortunately, I am self-employed and not a public servant or educator. So if I have ‘Baby Faces’ to help, I will continue working. I have developed so many new skills (like creating e-books, developing online courses, sending out a newsletter, blogging, etc.) in the past 2 years (since Covid). And, I have lots of ideas for the next few years. If it is God’s will, I am sure some of my ideas will become a reality.
All my ‘Baby Faces’ have inspired me to develop myself over the years and in the process helped me to Be More.
I therefore want to continue sharing what I know and empower younger generations to Be More.
7. Who are you Baby Faces?
We all have different ‘Baby Faces’ in our lives. It can be our clients, our patients, our own children or any special person or people in our lives.
Do what you can, while you can for you ‘Baby Faces’.
Help them to Be More and become who God wants them to be.