The Learning and the Brain conference is one I highly recommend to all educators. Thanks to Book Smart Kid, I was able to attend. It did not disappoint. The speakers passion and shared visions inspired and affirmed some of what I’ve long believed as an educator. I admit, though, that some of what they proposed was challenging.
What inspired me most during the conference is how much the cognitive scientists agreed with the philosopher’s of educators who taught me many years ago that the work of children is play, and that it should be preserved. That the brain is the most malleable during childhood and how much development is still happening for teens. That educators should strive to maintain positive, nurturing relationships with children because it enhances the educational environment of a child and that the educator and the learning environment must tease the curiosity of a learner rather than squash it.
The challenges I took away had more to do with letting go of what the system convinces us we must do. To throw out old time-wasters such as the ever popular Calendar time with younger students and homework. And to think more about filling the students work day with activity and work rather than the educator being the one talking, working and decorating.
Another challenge is for educators to stop filling the day with boxed up one-dimensional curriculum. Today’s children need to step our in courage to learn to make mistakes. It’s in the mistake where many learning opportunities lay. Teachers also need to become open and model their own mistakes and share what they’ve learned from their own mistakes. Scaffolding is a word that was used often at the conference and it makes sense because of the conference speakers emphasis about learning orientations. There was no science to back up the difference in learning styles. Instead, the differences are now called orientations. One student may be creatively inclined while another analytical while another might be motivated to learn by how practical the content studied.
There is much more to report, but I’m still processing much of what was presented. More soon.
The last time I experienced so much snow around me was in Boise, ID with my daughter and today, I woke up to this in Seattle! It will probably melt soon it, but it’s a perfect “excuse” to sit in bed and write. It’s either that or go out and create a snow man of sorts. I did put on my very warm socks with the intention of taking some snow pictures later and taking a cold walk. We’ll see.
It’s also a great time for me to process some things. I think I seriously need to divulge because lately, my dreams are weirder than ever. I dreamed about mosquitos taking over a dish I was about to eat. I dreamed about a dog and how it killed an alligator that was in my bedroom and about trying to change a diaper and not being able to do it and last night about plants camouflaging to look like spiders!
So, I decided I needed to socially put this out there in hopes that it’ll alleviate some inner stress, face my struggles and hopefully help others who may be facing hard realities.
One thing. I am a true introvert and I don’t like to have attention drawn to me. So there’s that. And then my kids. First of all, they blow me away with their emotional intelligence. They have been open about their struggles and as a result, they face them head on while also (no doubt) helping those that struggle as they do and I’m encouraged to do the same thing.
So, I’ve been married for 24 years, but my marriage is ending and I’m separated. Even writing it down brings home it’s stark reality. But, strangely, writing about it also brings some peace. This is my very difficult reality and I’m not always together. People around me need to know why.
But, at the same time, I have healthy outlets and meaningful relationships. I also have a great therapist who I can see, if needed. I’m also a believer and so there’s the power of prayer. I have peace. But I still needed to be open with you.
My family, friends, readers. I need you and I value you. You are important in my life.
Thank you for allowing me this platform, this snowy day to truly update you.
~Peace and more peace….
“Ho, ho, ho!” I don’t think that’s what a merry laugh really sounds like. I usually hear “Hah, hah, hah, snort, clap!” Maybe Santa was actually “Ho-ing”in an attempt at lifting all he had to carry this year? Maybe he wasn’t laughing at all??
But, seriously, Merry Christmas to you and Merry “other-holidays” to others.
I wish you well in these days that most agree come with a mixture of Merry-ness and all sorts of other “nesses”.
As the year comes to a close, I wish it farewell. Thankfully, it went fast! I’m trying not to dislike it and instead see it for what it is, an opportunity.
The opportunity to break. To finally reach a breaking point, to reach a sort of end and completeness. An”end” to things feels sucky and dark. But, the dark side’s power is a sham. As a matter of
fact, belief, faith, I think it has deep purpose.
I’m no expert. I’m no preacher, but I did watch some Star Wars movies. Old and new. The force is with us. (Look it up: mental and moral strength)
At some point, we can drag ourselves from this pit with the force, there waiting for us (if we want it) is the ever always heroes of: faith, hope and love.
And yes, the greatest of these is LOVE, but don’t discount FAITH and HOPE. These are BIG too. If needed, look at these as the branches of government. You get the idea.
Right now, if there is a sort of a dark power rising up in your life, step on the fucker with a foot of faith and hope. Even just a flicker will snuff out the power of the deadly red saber.
~May the FORCE be with you.
I want to share a post I just wrote on my other blog. Why? Well, it’s kind of proof to myself that I have, in fact, been writing. No, I have not written much fiction, or my next novel or whatever, but I have written. And today, I realized that if put together just so, I might have the pieces s of a potential future book about tutoring young children…so there. 😉
Anyway, to update, I have been pretty busy lately, not with just writing necessarily, but with 3 part-time jobs. And one of these jobs isn’t quite like the others, but I do know why I like it, more on that later.
But, for now, I want to share about a conundrum. The holidays are coming at a fierce pace and I’m not ready. I told myself that this year I wanted to enjoy the holidays, but what does that look like for a busy woman? What can be accomplished without spending too much money and with little planning time? And sadly, I don’t have a dining table!!
Anyway, that is my conundrum that I feel it has been self-imposed. Though I may have an imaginative mind and devotion to traditions, I had completely forgotten about how one of my jobs is linked to the one tradition, that happens every year,
that I hadn’t really cared to participate in: Black Friday! But, here I am, a cashier on the busiest shopping days of the season. How’s that supposed to make my holidays merrier?
But, that said, as cashier in the heart of Seattle, I have enjoyed chatting with tourist/customers and learning about various cultures and their favorite traditions and foods. I have enjoyed getting to know new co-workers and experiencing challenges in a field I know nothing about.
But, I have also struggled with time management, time for personal relationships, marriage, homework, cooking meals, etc… and finding balance with life in general. My dreams, melt-downs and messy house tell me so. Of course, perfection will never happen and I don’t expect to have all the answers, but I trust that if I follow the way of peace and kindness, I will be okay. But, along the way, if you experience my dark side, I’m sorry. Really, I am.
I want to be a Jedi. I need to be a Jedi.
I haven’t slept very well for a while. I keep waking up at odd hours and one night when I woke up, I reached for my phone and started surfing the web and heard a buzz near my ear. Not wanting to panic or wake others, I shook my hair out and walked quickly to the bathroom to find the bug. I had spotted that ugly black bug earlier in the day and forgotten about it, but with the attraction to the light of my phone, it let me know that it still lived.
I was confused and having de ja vu. This bug was sizable and though I’ve experienced a spider or two here in Seattle, bugs were pretty much off the radar. Had I brought this bug here from a recent trip to Texas? Where had this bug come from??
The next evening, knowing the buzzing bug still lived, I delayed going to bed. I didn’t care to share my bedroom with an ugly bug. I remembered it’s attraction to the light, and so I experimented. I left lights on outside my bedroom hoping to draw the bug out. I waited until a little after midnight and with heavy eye-lids, finally, I decided (cleverly I thought) to place a nightlight strategically close to the window (where I saw it last), but far from my side of the bed and then I went reluctantly to bed.
I struggled to fall asleep “tenting” a sheet around my head, not wishing to have a buzz near my ear or face. I finally fell asleep convincing myself that the bug would be more attracted to the night-light than my face.
The next day, after waking up, and thinking my plan succeeded, I walked to the bathroom peering around both hoping and dreading to see the bug. But, it wasn’t there. It was early, and still dark outside, so I returned to bed and dove back under the covers and tried unsuccessfully to go back to sleep. So, I tented the sheet around me, pulled out my phone, dimmed the screen and read until I got sleepy again hoping not to hear a bug buzz near me. I finally fell asleep again.
An hour or so later, I woke up with a sore head and not feeling rested. I went to work foggy and my stomach starting to ache.
I stayed at work feeling yuck and then went home gratefully. When I got home, I walked into my bedroom pulling and ruffling the drapes, hoping to see (and not see) the dreaded bug. It wasn’t there?! And that’s when I decided that I must’ve eaten it. I have no proof of it’s prior existence nor do I have proof that I ate it (except my stomach issues), so I concluded and accepted that I must’ve digested the thing. Ugh.
And then, (to make matters worse!) as I’m sitting here typing this bug story, I researched the bug I saw and it matched something called a kissing bug!!! Holy *&$#@! This kind of bug sucks human blood after the victim is sound asleep. Yuck.
Later in the day, I took a nap (in the living room) because I still had a headache and face ache and it all started with my encounter with a stalking bug!
The only thing keeping me from completely not wanting to go to my bedroom tonight is that I still have not found the bug and I have no proof of a bite like the woman in the story, so, that is why I believed that I ate it. UGH. So, at least, the bug is gone.
~sorry, no peace from me today. 😦
If I’ve not mentioned it recently, I’ve been tutoring elementary students in reading since January of this year. I’ve been slowly trying to increase the number of student’s that I tutor without getting overwhelmed myself.
It’s September and school is in session and so, it begins.
Though the first few weeks, (even longer for younger students) are mostly about learning routines, the reading and homework soon begins and if you’re a parent of a student who struggles, then all the everyday stresses are compounded by the stress of your struggling student trying to keep up with his peers on top of all the “regular” stress of a new school year.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help. A student who struggles with reading needs intervention from family, but also from professionals. Reading is the key to mastering all subjects. The more help and attention a student receives, the better.
Progress is attainable. I’ve seen it.
Try to think of a time when you knew you had to do something, but were afraid to fail or disappoint. Okay, now think about what happens when that something becomes imminent. The anxiety increases and so (it appears) certain behaviors show up in order to put a bit more distance between the inevitable and feared task. I don’t […]
It could be that I need more Vitamin D
Or it could be that I still need to be free of
That place which lures and entices me and
Is filled with haunting memories of times
That we shared heated moments and burning tears
Sometimes it’s as simple as this I fear, but I find my self unwilling
Unwilling to make a complete break with the past, because there are things
There that I still hold dear. It’s not all meant to be cast away. Some things
Are meant to be kept forever in the special place of the heart where no one else sees
No one can see the riches of heart memories, because they’re often for our eyes alone.