Life Lessons: Educator’s Edition…
Mary Ellen Ciganovich

Welcome to a special edition of Good Enough Mother Life Lessons! With school well underway in most parts of the country, we thought it would be great to devote some time and space to the people who are so good to our kids.. educators! Hope you enjoy these special Life Lessons and happy school year to teacher, students AND their parents!

Are you happy at the moment?

Yes – that is a definite. I choose to be happy because my happiness has nothing to do
with anyone else or any material object – my happiness is only dependent on ME – Mary Ellen Ciganovich!

If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?

I would tell my 16 year old self to spend more time with family and value the time spent. I never felt like I had a family as they were very verbally abusive and mom and dad fought a lot! I have a sister who is 7 years older than I – we have never been close. I am at peace with this – not sure about sis.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?

This year I have learned to finally get my “Ego” out of the way and allow God to lead me. When I wrote my book, “Healing Words, Life Lessons to Inspire”, I thought I was supposed to use “My Story” to Inspire people to read this book and my book is NOT about My Story – as I did not write this book I heard it from my Higher Power. Now that “I” have stepped out of the way – God _ or The Universe _ etc … is leading me to places that will launch Healing Words, Life Lessons to Inspire in a BIG way!!

What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?

I want to have more speaking engagements than I can handle and an International Best seller in Healing Words, Life Lessons to Inspire with people gaining peace and understanding about themselves from reading it over and over again.

What’s your secret to happiness?

Simple it is a choice and be Happy with what you already have!! Smile and Laugh at yourself – live in Love NOT fear.

What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?

Working out at the gym keeps me healthy and grounded. I used to play tournament racquetball and since my MS was diagnosed in 1986 I had to quit playing tournaments. Also laughing and playing with my husband or my cat. I prefer my husband – he doesn’t shed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We laugh a lot together.

What’s your biggest regret?

Regret???? I was a good mom to my daughter – at least I tried to be – I always wanted to be the Mom I never had – the one thing I wish I had done with her is to travel more. We had several trips and many good memories together but I wish I had taken her overseas or taken her to see the United States Parks. We did ski some and we could have done more.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?

The one thing I hope I taught my daughter is to Love Unconditionally with no expectations, motives or judgments. By Love – I mean Love and accept yourself because in doing this any relationship in your life is simply a reflection of how you feel about yourself.

What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?

Oh my gosh – there are so many!!! I am too stubborn – my father used to say,” that I would kick a dead horse and ask it to get up!”I am a neat – a – holic and very organized! I am a perfectionist and learning very quickly as I age that I have to get over that one!!!

Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?

I am proud of the Nature Trail I am responsible for building – with tons of help of course and the book of environmental activities I left with the teachers. I am proud of my teaching career – middle school – 6. I really loved teaching. AND I am so very proud of my book, “Healing Words, Life Lessons to Inspire,” because I know it has helped and will continue to assist people on their journey long after I am gone. I am also proud of the “Truths of the Day” I post on Facebook Monday through Friday. I have done this for the past two years and will continue to do so. I try to explain them as I post them.

When were you happiest?


What ten words best describe you?

Happy. Cheerful. Truthful. Kind. Nice. Lovable. FUNNY. Stylish. Sensitive. Awesomely Strong!

What is the best way parents can help you in the coming year?

The best way Parents can help any teacher throughout any school year is to teach proper manners, respect, responsibility and discipline at home. When students have good parenting at home teachers can teach their subject and not have to also be surrogate parents. Unfortunately some parents do not know how to teach these skills because they have never been taught themselves. In these cases the local PTA could begin simple parenting classes. I would recommend calling something like a “mentoring” program.

Another way parents can assist a teacher is by looking at their child objectively. We all love our children and we know they are very special; however if your child is misbehaving or being disrespectful support the teacher. Instead of saying,” my Johnny would NEVER do that!” When you know that he probably very well did – be objective – allow both Johnny and the teacher to voice a peaceful dialogue before you come to your conclusion.

Unfortunately there are teachers in our profession who have their own issues or agendas and in those cases a parent should talk to the Principal or other official. There are also parents who did not have good school years and they will attempt to sabotage – (subconsciously) – their child’s education.

Author Mary Ellen Ciganovich is no stranger to life’s uncertainties. She has prevailed over two major illnesses, an abusive childhood, and the difficulties of single parenthood to become a whole and dynamic person. She shares that hard-won knowledge in her extraordinary book, Healing Words: Life lessons to Inspire. You can find her online at