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One of the greatest things I've learned throughout not only my own education, but also the education of the students that I have taught, is that you don't have to be extremely smart to excel in school. Of course it helps to be a genius but really anyone who really puts their mind to their work and puts forth the effort can do well in school. I find it's usually things like forgetfulness and lack of effort that cause grades to slip, and less about not understanding material. There definitely are students who don't understand a concept or struggle with a certain subject, but for the most part students who struggle in all subjects are forgetting to do homework, not taking notes during class, or simply not studying for tests and quizzes. A lot of it comes down to organizational skills. Many of these students just don't have the strategies to keep organized. A few simple things seem to really help children remember to do work: 1. Write it down! I've found that the biggest reason we... read more

I finished a book this week called "Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Picoult. It was an excellent read in that it was not only well written, but the subject matter was extremely thought provoking. The premise of the book is that a student, who finally has enough of all the bullying and tormenting he's had his whole life, snaps one day and goes on a shooting spree in his school similar to Columbine. The book details the events leading up to this, as well as the trial, and it is such a great story. I found this quote today, written by Martin Luther King Jr. and I thought it fitting considering the book I just read and the upcoming holiday in honor of someone who stood up for equal rights for all; “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” I can think of times in my past where I was less than helpful when other kids were bullied around me. I wouldn't stick up for some people, for fear of being bullied myself. I can even recall times... read more

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