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We all have challenges, things that require more push to get through.  Well, History was that for me, unfortunately it was before I became a teacher.  So, I didn't know quite how to tackle it, because we don't learn how to study well usually until college or beyond.  I finally decided to research the subject, read and take extensive notes.  The final thing I did was to buy an Interactive CD and tutored myself, for a couple of months, which proved to be very rewarding and successful!  Today though  ...... computers are everywhere, and so is knowledge  -- it's but a click away.

The skill that we should all learn well is Listening.  Listening is the beginning of Understanding. . . Wisdom is the reward for a lifetime of listening.  Let the wise listen and add to their learning and let the discerning get guidance.    Proverbs 1:5 Highly effective people spend most of their time listening.  To understand another's point of view is the highest form of intelligent behavior.  Piaget called this "overcoming egocentrism."  Senge and his colleagues (1994) suggest that "to listen fully means to pay close attention to the message beneath the words." We spend 55% of our lives listening, but it isn't taught in the public schools.  Good listeners don't have to agree with what is being said, just know what the disagreement is about, by having listened attentively. Taken from Habits of the Mind by Costa and Kallick Crystal G.  

Dear Parent, Welcome to the end of the school year! I just want to give you a few things to ponder. If your child required a tutor for the last school year, then your child needs to be in an enrichment program or summer school for the upcoming summer, sponsored by their current school system. If this isn't an option for you, you probably need to continue to have your child tutored at least one hour per week during the summer. Most children will regress during the summer, if they are not forced to pick up a book and/or paper and pencil. Then, the prospective teacher has to bring them back up to grade level before he or she can begin teaching the new standards for the next school year. If your child passed successfully the last school year, Congratulations! But, if their grades were below a B, then you need to have your child tutored, once again at least one hour one day a week during the summer. I know most of you think a C is okay, but here is an old teacher tale... read more

Note to Self: Learn and apply the "16 Habits of the Mind" daily -- they are the key to success. Just in case you're wondering -- what the Habits of the Mind (by Costa and Kallick) are -- let me briefly explain. These are the behaviors of successful people and is defined as dispositions displayed by intelligent people in response to problems, dilemmas, and mysteries of this world. 1. Persisting ... Most important! Stick to it whatever it is. 2. Managing impulsivity ... Next most important! Control yourself. 3. Listening with Understanding and to understand the motivation of others, put yourself in their shoes. 4. Thinking flexibly ... look at situations in different ways from another point of view. 5. Metacognition ... know your knowing -- think about your thinking. 6. Striving for accuracy ... check over it twice. 7. Questioning and posing problems ... How do you know what you know? 8. Apply past knowledge to new situations... read more

The most important questions to ask a tutor is -- What background and experience do you have that qualifies you to teach my child in his/her area of need? If their response is too general or vague, you might want to keep looking. Just because someone has a teaching certificate does not mean they can teach or reach your child.

The most important tip for starting the new year is to KNOW THYSELF! You should know how you learn, if your teacher doesn't do a learning styles inventory, you can go on the computer and do it yourself. Then, very respectfully ask him or her to include your style of learning in the daily plans, especially if the area being taught is your weak area. Teachers can not reach you if they know nothing about you. Nobody knows you better than you! Then, you need to ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR WEAKNESSES. We all have weaknesses, when you know what they are you can put more effort into those areas. Additionally, we all have strengths, everyone has something to bring to the table. Lastly, but not least important you need to SLEEP AND EAT WELL AND EXERCISE at least 3 times a week for 60 min.. The average person needs at least 7 hours of sleep for the brain to function optimally during the day, for some reason children think just the opposite, less sleep is ok. It is not! You also need to eat well... read more

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