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To my fellow educators and students,   I know that it is very tempting to give your students answers to their questions immediately, but sometimes it's best to let a student struggle a little. Asking students why they are doing what they are doing can help students to make lasting connections that go beyond that next test or ACT exam. This approach can be frustrating for both teachers and students at times, but it is quite rewarding.   I have a student who was completely scared about sharing their opinion on an answer they gave. Throughout most of the lesson i refused to give them a yea or nay answer. I asked them to talk it out and see if they could understand why they did what they did. The student was correct, but having students explain their answer and even get frustrated with me some helped this student achieve deeper understanding of the material. 

I am not interested in following the books to teach a lesson; I am interested in getting students to be excited about the work that they do.  I want my students to change.  I want my students to learn how to put their work into action.   If you haven't seen this video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXpbONjV1Jc - you should!

I'm a student at the University of Oklahoma who excels in English literature and writing subjects. I'm also a member of the Oklahoma National Guard, with who I have achieved a certificate of completion of a Public Affairs Specialist course. There, I learned valuable journalism and writing skills that I hope to teach to others. Education is a gift and I want to share it with others!

I remember going to school and feeling like something was wrong with me because I was good at mathematics. Especially, since nearly every teacher felt the need to re-iterate how girls were not as good at mathematics as boys based on what ever random statistics at the time.   However, I excelled and kept going. I got a degree in mathematics. So, what made me different from all the other girls that got discouraged. Natural ability for mathematics; however, when I reflect that's not the whole story. As I went to college, there were other girls that were great at mathematics, but once again got discouraged. So, what made go on to pursue degrees is Computer Science, Mathematics, and Computer Engineering.   I got the same discouraging information as everyone else, but I kept going. Why?  1) "Fighter" Personality My personality is such that when someone tells me that I can not do something, then I wanted to fight that much harder to prove them... read more

Did you pay for college in 2014? If you did it can mean tax savings on your federal tax return. There are two education credits that can help you with the cost of higher education. The credits may reduce the amount of tax you owe on your tax return. Here are some important facts you should know about education tax credits. American Opportunity Tax Credit: You may be able to claim up to $2,500 per eligible student. The credit applies to the first four years at an eligible college or vocational school. It reduces the amount of tax you owe. If the credit reduces your tax to less than zero, you may receive up to $1,000 as a refund. It is available for students earning a degree or other recognized credential. The credit applies to students going to school at least half-time for at least one academic period that started during the tax year Costs that apply to the credit include the cost of tuition, books and required fees and supplies.   Lifetime... read more

I have a few ideas about the way the education system should work and what its goals should be. For one, I believe the primary goal should be to impart knowledge and convey understanding. Not to "weed out" students, stratify the class into distinct performance and grade levels, or even to "challenge" the students. All those things can happen naturally and spontaneously without any extra effort from the administration.   What good is an educational system or institution if the knowledge doesn't stay with the students because they binge and purge facts like intellectual bulimics? With terms like "cram", "all-nighter", and "data dump" becoming more and more frequent before and after exams, it's clear that something is seriously wrong with our standards and objectives. Are we trying to produce thoroughly skilled and educated professionals or trivia game contestants? Blind memorization is not the same as understanding and... read more

But there's always MORE math! That's what I told one of my students a month ago, and I meant it. I've dealt with math in every role from student, to teacher, to tutor and I can honestly say that the more I learn, the more I'm sure that I've barely scratched the surface of what's out there. A scary thought considering I've been educated in the subject for nearly 25 years. So what is a high school student to do these days with so much scary math out there?   I have one piece of advice: focus. That does NOT mean fixating on every minor detail you come across in order to then extract meaning from each individual piece of information and then put it all together at the end. That's not focusing, that's suffering. Nobody learns the ABC's all at once. Neither should you attempt to do it with math.   In order to focus, it helps to (temporarily) ignore the minor details and devote your attention to "the big picture." You want to quickly identify and master... read more

It is “common sense” to believe that we share the same sense of commonality amongst all others within society. However, we should never assume what is common to one’s self is necessarily applicable to the entirety of humanity. Each and every individual is independently designed to learn, grow and facilitate thought at his or her own pace to which cannot be labeled as common, but rather should be seen as unique. As unique individuals we must help one another to learn our own common knowledge in order for him or her to flourish. What is not necessarily “common sense” is the understanding that we, as members of society, are responsible for the facilitation of all other’s level of common sense. A powerful way to prevent others from engaging in those behaviors that may irritate ourselves we must educate rather than discriminate and judge. So maybe next time, rather than judging an individual’s faults as a defect of “common sense,” pursue the opportunity as an educator, friend, or simply... read more

     It is extremely important that all students (and preferably their teachers) understand how they learn.  Once I realized that I learned best through reading and doing, education became easy for me, but I was in college by then.  Oh, how different things could have been if I had learned this early.  Teachers may realize it, my 6th grade math and English teacher knew it, but she never stopped to explain it to me.          The first time I meet a student I like to give them a Learning Styles Inventory like VARK which has printable inventories and a separate inventory for younger children or Education Planner which is geared toward the college bound and has some great resources for students, parents, and counselors.  Once I have assessed the student's learning styles I can gear all lessons to fit that particular student.         Teachers are forced to adapt lessons... read more

The education system, such a complex and convoluted series of practices and hierarchies, where does the student of the 21st century fit? Education now-a-days seems to have a greater goal of higher efficiency compared to student individuality in the class room. With a ballooning population, low teacher salaries, and out dated resources, we are in for a crisis situation in the coming decades with our current system. So many individuals I know that have entered the teaching field with the mind set that they are going to shake things up, and really start to perpetuate a difference, have more often than not been met with stark opposition and resistance. Something that people may find counter-intuitive at best. The education system isn't going to change overnight, that the beauty of incorporating a tutor into a student's life. This gives the student the individual one on one attention that a growing, curious mind deserves. I'm a scientist in my day to day life, holding a BS in Microbiology... read more

Everyone knows education is vital to learning. You learn facts. You become familiar with a process. You discover tricks and tips and mnemonics. You notice details. You explore possibilities. The flow of information from source to student can be like a river or like a trickle. Either way, this is all contained in the education part of learning. But this is only one-third of learning.   Where are the other two-thirds? Hidden inside the other two 'e's.   First was education. The second is edification. If your spirits are not uplifted, if you are sad or frustrated, if you are tired or bored, learning can't happen. No matter how many times you rinse and repeat, your brain does not absorb the information. The simplest form of edification is entertainment. When at a loss, I have been goofy for students, (yes, on purpose!) to get a laugh and to break the tension. Two of the highest forms of edification are positive reinforcement and affirmation. Hearing and seeing... read more

Playing online word games - word jumbles, crossword puzzles and the like; Reading newspapers, magazines, journals and novels; Entering essay-writing contests is a great way to hone your writing skills; My all-time favorite passtime -- solving jigsaw puzzles; Downloading apps or playing video games on math or English skills; Scrabble is a great boardgame that draws on vocabulary reposits. In fact, just doing an internet search for "educational games" will produce a mind-boggling variety of results!

Education does not end with Summer break nor graduation.  Education is a long-term, life-long pursuit. The mind loves the stimulated with new and exciting subjects, or input!  Students and non-students alike must maintain their minds alert, through books, dialogue, and exchange of ideas.  We live in a hyper-culture, with too much emphasis on success=equals material possessions.  Although this may be a reality, success=mental growth, thought, reflection and great perspective on life and the Human Condition.   Never stop learning, Time spent on the beach, at the desert, the mountains on great vacations must be subsidized with time spent in books, new thought, picking apart what is, challenge your thought process to grow and create. Learning is a creative mind-set.   Development of the mind needs to be your highest priority.  

When parents think about the key factors for academic success, they often look at standard pillars of solid education: (1) a collection of good educators, (2) a wealth of solid academic resources, and (3) a diligent routine of practice and study. These components are certainly essential pieces of the puzzle, but they overlook the keystone underpinning that affects every aspect of learning: nutrition. ?Food provides our bodies with necessary nutrients to run smoothly and efficiently. It keeps our immune systems operational, our musculature robust, and our mental faculties sharp. Just like automobiles, our bodies function better when our fuel is of higher quality. If we want optimal performance, we need to be ingesting a steady stream of nutrient rich food. How can we expect our brains to be fully functional when we are feeding them subpar sustenance? ? ?The difficulty for us is that the marketplace is flooded with garbage. At every turn in the grocery store, we are bombarded... read more

I believe that students need to take a couple of weeks right after school is out and have fun! They have been cooped up, studying hard and walking that line of following rules and being told what and what not to do for quite a while.  They have been stressed with finals and trying to get every last good grade possible to ensure either passing to the next grade or upping their GPA's .  Summer continues to get shorter and shorter with schools starting now at the end of July, so let them be kids, have fun and relax.  Now this is not to say that maybe reading a book here and there or prepping for SAT's or other important tests should be totally forgotten but on a bit of a slower pace than in the regular school year. Getting on the internet and using educational resources and tools that make learning fun and not feel like school is a good way to keep their minds sharp also.  Traveling is one of the most educational experiences there is if possible over the summer...maybe... read more

     Under Harmer’s theory, affect, agency, achievement, attitude, and activities are all crucial aspects of motivation. To focus on improving affect positivity, teachers can try to minimize their time spent as controllers, introduce more colorful (and carefully chosen colors of) classroom decorations, and aim for more activities and class discussions on topics that the students find interesting independent of their language learning.        To improve motivation with activities, teachers should attempt to strike a balance between challenge and exhaustion. Very simple activities will not motivate the students, and will cause affect to decrease if used after students have proclaimed them to be “too easy” or if used frequently/repetitively.        To improve motivation via achievement, teachers must first determine what kind of achievement is important to their students. In some classrooms,... read more

What does Tutor Smart mean? It means that if students know that they are going to be struggling with their work in their classes, they always know to get a tutor ahead of time. Being tutor smart is the key to getting all of the help that is needed in order to achieve goals and accomplishments. Stu dents should want to be tutor smart because getting set up with a tutor ahead of time will result in better grades on assignments, a better understanding of what their assignments consist of, and what their teachers, and/or professors expect of their students. Tutor Smart also means that tutors always know how ot help when students ask for it, and it means that students should plan ahead if they know that they are starting to struggle with their work. This also goes for college students and adults who are taking classes for the first time, or if they are starting a new school semester. As a tutor, I know that students can do better in school if they just learn to get the help that they need... read more

My Favorite web sites and apps are web sites that I can view on the go, such as whiotv.com, facebook.com, and gmail.com. Other web sites that I like are mylifetime.com, wetv.com and more. Enough about that. What are my favorite web site resources? One of m y favorite site resources is biblegateway.com. This one is for people who study religion but it is also for people who already know about religion. Another resource site would be ask.com. The thing about ask.com is that I can type in a question in order to  do some research and the site would come up with great search results in order for me to find the best answer. Google.com is my all time favorite resource site because I can google anything I need to know and I can easily research the information I need, whether it is for students, or for myself. Sites I would recommend would be google.com, ask.com, and also bing.com, but the main site I would recommend is englishgrammar101.com. This is because kids who are in school, or... read more

Willpower is unique to humanity. It is the keystone characteristic that is directly responsible for our technological advancement over the last several hundred thousand years. Willpower can be defined as the capacity to restrain our impulses and resist temptation in order to maximize our long-term success. It is the expulsion of energy to fight off innate survival based urges to exponentially increase future advantages and benefits. It is the driving force behind all civilizations, and it is what prods humankind forward to learn and grow. When we turn down a bite of cheesecake, step away from a mind numbing reality sitcom, or push off a nap to get some work done, the credit goes to willpower. It is this ghost like aura of control and discipline that we rely on to extend our existence and maximize our accomplishments. When we watch highly successful individuals exercise routinely, read voraciously, and work tirelessly, we are impressed with their ability to resist instant gratification... read more

With the technological push drowning us with zillions of interactive make-life-easy options, people are loading up on technology like sugar during WWII! Kids have Wii's, iPads, smartphones, 4G connections, Kindles, and more. And that's at home! Many schools have joined Mission Technology in an effort to help children remain engaged in the classroom amidst our changing world. People think if they have the latest technology, they're the 'best on the block'! People believe that technology helps make reading and math easier for kids and communication easier for adults (which means gossip). People believe that if their HDTV streams Netflix movies while they check their online dating account using their ipad, and upload pictures using their smartphone, they've hit the mother load! While others allow their little ones to paint, sans the paint and the teens get to facebook and tweet and instagram on their smartphones until they fall asleep! Here's the truth. Unbalanced technology... read more

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