Tuesday, 3 February 2015

My Ideal Educational Philosophy

In an ideal world, I really believe that the majority of people who are involved in education, whether they're a teacher, administrator, coach, counselor, are anything else, would have a genuine care for kids. I also think that most educators really are trying to do the best they can with what they have, and they probably feel that their style or philosophy of what they're doing is the best way to do it. So while I also have my own beliefs of how things should be done, and how I eventually want to do things when I become a teacher, I am aware that my beliefs can be subjective, and I would hope to be flexible enough to change and evolve as a teacher, as my beliefs change and evolve.
As of today, I sincerely believe that regardless of style or philosophy, there are certain parameters that need to be a part of every classroom, such as discipline, accountability, tolerance, care, and maybe a few others. But the irony to me is that, over the years, the way I define these things, what they mean to me, and how they are carried out, probably will change, as have other things in life. I think that a good teacher, has to be aware of these changes, not only in themselves, but in their students as well, and they should be versatile enough as a teacher to be able to adjust to these changes and remain effective.
The reality today is that the learning environment for our kids has expanded greatly. Kids are learning from TVs., from the internet, from friends, from music, and host of other things, teachers have got to be able to get their attention for the short time that they have them, and get them to learn; Whether they like it or not, and whether they know it or not. And unfortunately most of today's kids don't respond as well to some of the more traditional teaching styles, and thus their learning can be inhibited, regardless of the importance or quality of the information you are giving them.
In a lot of ways I am in a privileged position as a campus monitor in that I am a staff member, and now I can see how things work on that side. But as a monitor and a coach, I also am around the kids a lot and I develop relationships with them that while still professional, they are less formal then traditional student/teacher relationships tend to be, and I can get a sense for when they're really learning, and when they're just getting (or not getting) a grade.
I can also hear from them what they say about teachers such as, who they like, who they pay attention to, and who makes them want to learn. After looking at it from both sides, when I think about which teachers I think are the best, it doesn't have anything to do with male/female, black/white, older/younger, short/tall, coach/science teacher, or anything like that. They do all have similar qualities in that they care first of all, they are all willing to be creative and try new things, and they are all aware of discipline and accountability, all with a touch of humility as well.
For teachers today, it seems being effective for a long period of time carries a big responsibility in that it's a constant challenge to learn, evolve, and adjust to the natural ebbs and flows of life. There is no comfort zone, so to speak, where you can see growth in a class one year or even a couple years, and you can figure if you do what you did with last year's 8th graders, next year's 8th graders will respond the same way. There is a constant challenge to gain knowledge, and knowledge itself is becoming more and more subjective every day, making that challenge even harder.
What was so important or essential to know last year, you might find it just isn't so anymore, or it has been replaced by something just as or more important to know, like the year the internet came out, encyclopedia's became instantly expendable, or after midnight morning January 1st 2000, Y2k became a little less important. Not to mention that what becomes important knowledge to one person may not mean anything to another. The kid who is hungry everyday and has to fight to eat, or for clothes, or for love, they may not care at all about the square root of nine, or who shot who at the Battle of Gettysburg.
To me there has to be some relation to this wealth of knowledge that we are trying to teach these kid's, and the real lives that they are living. The other half of having knowledge as a teacher is being able to deliver that knowledge to their students in a way that their students can both hear, and absorb. Knowing how to deliver that knowledge effectively, and really get student's to absorb and learn it, is knowledge in itself.
During my younger years as a student, I always considered myself to be smart, I always felt like I knew at least a little bit about a lot of things, but I was never a consistent student. My individual motivation never came from really wanting and trying to learn the information, I was an athlete so my immediate motivation was to be eligible to play, and once I realized I wanted to go to college my motivation was to be good enough to get into college, after all that there was getting good grades, even still that wasn't just for the knowledge, but more for my parents, or maybe to get a job.
I do however remember certain classes that I was already interested in, but even more I remember certain teachers or professors who were able to spark some sort of interest in me and ended up making me want to learn more. But, in my scholastic career, these situations were rare. I tell people all the time there is probably 10% of what I learned in college that I still remember from my classes, what I did learn and I do remember are such things as keeping a schedule, how to formulate thoughts and put them on paper, punctuality, keeping a budget, and whole lot of other useful things that you learn from life as a student, that would have been useful had I learned them earlier. I guess I would like to be the type of teacher that can somehow put some of these real life things into learning and give my students not only information, but also help prepare them for life in the real world.

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Does Bilingual Education Help the Non Immigrant?

Language, education and young people are all very dear to me and I have been reading some interesting articles this week about the children of immigrants here in the US and the language they prefer to speak and the language they are being taught. As a matter of fact, the results are staggering as to what the young people are asking for having been born and raised here or even those brought over by their parents.
We really need to start getting the facts concerning languages and our country and its rights. I can write this article without any conviction because I was raised overseas and went to all Spanish schools and was never offered the opportunity to learn in English, why should I? I was in Colombia, South America; they were not worried about whether or not I needed an education in English or whether I even spoke Spanish. After all, I had chosen to go there which meant that their standards did not change; I would be taught in Spanish.
I have been an educator for years and the facts are there for the schools where we offer bilingual education, we are handicapping the children to never learn properly. In California alone there are more than 10 high schools that have over 40% of the teens still not proficient in English, just imagine what it is in other states as well. The other statistic in California shows that more than 2.5 million kids statewide have failed because of bilingual education. The other sad thing is that teachers with years of experience are being pushed out of their jobs because they don't speak Spanish and those who spoke Spanish were being offered a $5000 bonus to keep their students in Spanish instead of English.
The ironic thing is that as a teacher and a parent, I have said for years that we need to stop the injustice not only against our teachers and schools but mainly against the non-native English speaking student. Trust me as a language teacher; in order for the student or anyone to learn a language properly, immersion is the only way to learn it both effectively and quickly.
Many of the immigrants who come here bring their children for education because they want them to learn English. That is why they make the sacrifice, however they come over and then we put them in bilingual education and they are trying to function in a false world.
Children have even been interviewed and when asked what country they live in, many of them responded Mexico because they could not tell the difference as to what they have now and what they had then. The reason for that is because everything is all in Spanish in school, where they shop, live and function, etc.
We need to get more involved and encourage our schools and districts to look at these facts and do what is best for the student and not what one man happens to convince America. As a matter of fact, if you look into the facts carefully, you will find that the man who is advocating so much that we need to keep bilingual education is profiting from a $500 million dollar business.
So, how is it in your state or country? Let me hear from you this week!

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Toilet Paper & Paper Towels - Why People Buy These Paper Products & Dispensers

Research has shown that the use of toilet paper and paper towels in restrooms is the best option for good personal hygiene. Today, there are more choices than ever before when it comes to restroom paper products and dispensers. This article lists ten key factors with supporting rationale for the choices people make when buying toilet paper and paper towels.
1) Environmentally friendly - Purchasing paper products made from post-consumer recycled material is becoming a very popular choice.
  • Buying recycled products is the best option considering the extreme alternative is either the complete deforestation of the world's forest or the complete ban on toilet paper and paper towels favored by environmentalist.
  • Studies show that the use of recycled paper towels versus warm air dryers can actually reduces the bacteria left on hands by up to 254 percent while still saving our forest.
2) Availability - Universal dispensers for either folded or rolled paper products may be the better choice.
  • Many manufacturers sell proprietary dispensers with special features. Once installed, these proprietary dispensers force the facility to buy only the manufacturer's paper products.
  • Paper products and dispensers that are designed to universal standards for size and application can avoid the potential shortages when a proprietary product changes, goes out of production or has unexpected supply chain shortages.
3) Waste - The following product choices can cause increased waste.
  • Folded towels generate more waste than roll towels because users tend to grab more than needed and rarely unfold them to maximize use.
  • Toilet paper that is less expensive (narrow, small sheet size, single ply) often forces greater use than necessary per application.
  • Single roll toilet dispensers can result in waste when partially used rolls are discarded during routine service.
4) Quality - Because of the low profit margins in this industry, the old saying "you get what you pay for" is very true.
  • Users care about toilet tissue more than all other janitorial products in a facility. They often complain about paper products which are too thin or too rough.
  • Lower quality paper products and dispensers can send the wrong message about the facility to the ultimate users/customers.
  • Poor quality paper tends to lead to over use. People use more of the product to compensate for the poor quality, which leads to more waste.
5) Quantity - The most popular restroom paper product is the jumbo roll.
  • The last thing people want is to find themselves in a restroom without toilet paper.
  • Running out of toilet paper is also a concern for janitor. Too little can mean an angry customer creating a real mess.
  • The use of jumbo rolls reduces the time spent changing paper, allowing the janitor more time to do other restroom clean-up task.
6) Cost - Both product cost and maintenance cost can lead to the final choice of the paper products and dispensers to be used.
  • The possibilities for waste described earlier in this article must be factored into overall cost.
  • Folded towels (single-fold, center-fold, or multi-fold) are more portable than rolled towels. Some people may take these folded products for use at home, adding cost for the organization paying for them.
  • Single roll toilet paper dispenser often requires an extra roll of paper to be left in the room. The extra paper roll can become a free gift to some users willing to take it for their own personal use.
  • The janitorial labor to fill folded towel dispensers is often greater than the labor to fill roll towel dispensers.
  • Retrofit cost to change the dispensers for an entire facility can be very costly.
7) Traffic - The frequency of restroom use is an obvious consideration.
  • Private offices with limited users can be treated more like a home bathroom.
  • Public facilities serving all users that may pass through the area should have a duty cycle study done to aid the final choice of paper products and dispensers.
8) Volume - In addition to the traffic consideration above, the potential number of users at the same time and the desire to avoid lines must be considered.
  • Public restrooms near sporting events, theaters, train stations, etc where large volumes of users may often enter at the same time should be capable of handling the peak volumes.
  • While time delays on paper dispensers make sense for reducing paper waste, these time delays may not make the best sense at peak volumes.
  • Dual roll and/or jumbo roll toilet paper dispensers can help to prevent running out of paper during a single event.
9) Sanitation - The hands-free paper towel dispenser is quickly becoming a standard for many facilities.
  • Hands-free (also called touch-free) paper towel dispensers, both automatic and semi-automatic (operated by forearm contact), have been on the market for quite some time. High maintenance cost is the only thing preventing hands-free dispenser application from expanding more rapidly.
  • Caution should be taken not to move too fast in converting to hands-free dispensers. Many facilities have made the switch only to find they had to spend the extra cost to switch back for other reasons.
  • Hands-free paper towel dispensers often come with a time delay to prevent waste. However, if a user must stand and wait for another towel, they are likely to walk away with wet hands. Wet hands spread 1000 times more bacteria than dry hands.
10) Aesthetic concerns - When trying to satisfy the many choices, the typical buyer sometimes weighs aesthetics (size, shape, appearance) of the paper products and dispensers disproportionally.

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Research Paper in 60 Minutes

Assignments are prepared best when they are given much time and attention, but sometimes time deficit and busy student life require a skill of writing papers very fast. If you know what I mean, this brief guide on writing research papers in emergency regime is for you.
One of the most useful ways of writing research papers of any type is to develop a draft outline of what you have to cover. Let's assume your research paper deals with advertising, but this topic is too broad, you should narrow it to more specific subject. In this, I advise you to follow the rule of "inverted pyramid", starting with broad overview of subject and narrowing your focus down to the pyramid's head, where your specific topic is formulated. For instance, the topic of advertising can be narrowed down to "Advertising techniques of Absolut Company". In your outline, make a list of general points you want to make and notes or references that can support those points. Your strongest point should be the last in your list.
It is important to gain idea about what your thesis will be. If you don't have any vision yet, spend some time brainstorming and noting your thoughts. Still, it's normal to start your research without thesis or to change the thesis in the course of your research: as you learn more, your ideas on the subject change.
When you have a thesis, make sure it is not a mere statement of fact, like "advertising is used to raise brand awareness and sell products to customers". A good thesis should make a strong claim about something, in the way: "advertising is the most important element in Absolut differentiation and positioning strategy. In its turn, the company changed the meaning of advertising in entire liquor market". Also, your thesis should not be too broad. For instance, such thesis as "The paper will discuss the effectiveness of radio, TV, and printed advertising and their role in the economy" is too broad for most papers and takes too much time to elaborate.
After you have done developing your draft outline and decided on your thesis, you have to "fill in the blanks". On this stage, many students stumble since they are used to linear approach to research writing instead of shotgun one. If you are absolutely unfamiliar with your topic, a good method of starting your research is to read good encyclopedia article. This will give you overview of the subject and provide you with good ideas for further studying. Also, pay attention to structure of encyclopedia article. This may provide you with your own ideas as to organizing your presentation. After you gain insight into the topic, the process is easier. To act fast, use search engine to find related info or apply to source that provides you with comprehensive journal and magazine articles, . HighBeam of Google Scholar. Teachers value peer-reviewed articles and scholarly books, and therefore you should pay close attention to them to leave teachers satisfied. Encyclopedias and journal articles should be the first resources you apply to, but you are not advised to use encyclopedia article as the source of your work unless you are required. If you need current figures or specific facts that are extremely difficult to find, use a reliable website. After you collected all the information, you can find some interesting alternative opinions on the subject. Try to find opinions pro and contra discussed point, but don't forget to site the resources you use. Every time you use a resource, you should refer to it and include it into your bibliography list. What is even more important, you should produce your own opinion on the subject and your own analysis of discussed topic. This is the moment where your paper acquires real academic value. Do not fear of being wrong, the most important thing required from you while you learn is ability to think and analyze, therefore any original analysis is valuable.

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Pre-Write Posts When You Create a Blog

One of the best things that you can do when you are creating a blog is to pre-write out a bunch of posts before you even get started on your journey. Many people start blogging part time and they find that sitting down every day to create new content on their topic to be difficult. This is especially true if you only have so many hours and you also need to do some promotion on your site.
When you save a bunch posts, you can easily make sure that you are publishing every day to your blog. This will keep the search engines checking on what is going on at your site. They like to see updated and new content on sites. This helps to keep you ranked well. The best thing to do is to sit down and write about 20 posts in advance.
How to Write in Advance to Create a Blog
Step One
Do your keyword research for each piece of content that you plan to write. Yes, you can just write whatever comes to mind. The problem is that without keyword research, you are going to have a hard time being found in the search engines and getting the traffic that you need to make money. You can do all of your keyword research at one time. Keep a sheet of paper or a word document open to list all of the possible keywords that you can use for your content for your blog.
Step Two
Write your content in batches of 5. It can be difficult for many writers to write 20 articles based around the same topic. Splitting this task up into batches of 5 articles can make it a lot easier to get the work done to help you to make money with it.
Step Three
Create unique titles for each of the posts that you are going to create. You want to make sure that you are not just writing the same information over and over again. There are many ways to make sure that you are taking a topic and using the posts to explore different avenues of it.
Step Four
Write the posts. You want to make sure that you create large posts that can be seen as giving a good amount of information to your readers. Shooting for about 500 to 1000 words is usually a good way to make sure that you are not just giving too little information out.
Step Five
Save the pre-written blog posts as drafts in your blog. When you create a blog, the program that you use to post will give you the option to save drafts. Once you have saved the drafts, you can choose to publish one a day for the next few days.

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Effective and Productive Tips Online For Writing Essay

You may be walked out of a class and got the homework of writing an essay. You must be confused about writing an essay as it should be meaningful, interesting, and grammatically correct. Before writing an essay, you must follow some tips that would make your essay interesting and meaningful. Here are some great tips for writing an essay:
1) Think well and then start - Before writing any essay, you should do little research on the topic or think properly about the concept how you are going to write that includes the start up, body of the essay and in the end conclusion. Little research on the topic will really help you to write a perfect essay.
2) Create clear direction and understanding - If you want that people will read your essay to know that you are confident in writing essays and able to understand the topic, then you must have clear point of view about writing an essay. It would be best if you start with the slogan, create a direction, argument and structure. These factors are attractive aspects of an ideal essay.
3) Your thoughts and research materials requires to be organized - This will make a clear point; you should thoroughly read and understand research materials. If you read it carefully and notice each and every point by highlighting, alphabetical-Ising and make sure that you know which quote is where so that it would be easier for you to find information to address quickly and find opinionated arguments to support your flow of argument.
4) Go through the essay written by other writers - If you confused about how to write and what to write then, then you should go through the sample articles that are written by other writers. You can take a look and see how other essays are written.
5) Presentation of Essay - It is well known fact that presentation is everything. After writing essay, you should go through the essay and spell checks your essay and also check it grammatically.

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A University Education - How Much Do You Really Learn?

University, the final stage in top level education. We all know the proposed outcome of a university education, a qualification and the chance of getting a better job. But how much more does a university education give you that self studying doesn't? And wouldn't self study be a lot cheaper than spending grands on a university education?
Now I went university myself. I done a two year HND and was put straight onto the last year of the degree as my results were very good (If your results were just average they'd put you onto the second year instead or not let you carry on at all). But this is where the problems kicked in. Three years studying is a lot for anyone, especially on top of a lifetime of prior education. People lose the will to study at different times, sometimes before they finish secondary, sometime in college, and in my case towards the end of my university education. Now the work wasn't hard for me, I just completely lost interest in doing it. I would leave all my work till the last minute (Something I never did when I was motivated), rush my essays and not meet the word count. Why is this I ask, is university education too long?
Looking back, I can see that university education did help me, but wouldn't do the same for everyone. University learning is basically learning from books. You go to lesson, the teacher talks to you about book extracts, they give you a printout from a book, then tell you to go and read that book. Then for your assignment, you reword a book in your own words and give your opinion about the book or subject in the book. That's it. Like I said, university did benefit me. But if you've the skills to sit down and read a book all day, you could learn most things yourself for a lot cheaper. This of course isn't true for more practical subjects such as art, but then there's always exceptions to the rule.
So why pay those thousands in university fees if you can learn everything yourself for a lot cheaper? Well, for a start there's the social side of it. Many people before their university education are still living at home with their parents. University gives them the opportunity to gain some independence and live by themselves or with friends. It's also more social then simply going straight into work where you see the same faces everyday. There's also the benefit of having the qualification paper at the end of your university education. While self study could give you the knowledge you'd require to do a job, a lot of companies would rather hire someone that has a qualification to back up their knowledge, rather then taking someone's word for it.

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