Monday, October 17, 2016

New class format

For the past few years, ever since I started teaching, I have tried to be open to new ways of teaching, using this and that to come up with what I think is the best mix of traditional and progressive teaching for my students. One thing I have studied a lot about is how student's learn better when they have more ownership in how they learn. I have also studied and read a lot about how learning should be "real life" so that students can use what I do in class to help them succeed in whatever pathway they take later on. Much of the new format - getting away from worksheets, working in groups, hyperdocs, self-assessment - are all skills that students will need (or are getting away from skills that students won't need) as they progress in their scholastic and vocational careers, as well as in their relationships in the future, for both business and pleasure.

Compare and Contrast 2 of the 8 keys

The two keys that I need to work on the most are flexibility and balance. I many ways these are similar keys. Flexibility and balance both deal with time management. How do I spend my time? Do I have wasteful habits, or do I need to change some of my habits? They also both affect how we interact with others. Do I spend enough time with friends, family, etc.? Do I interact in a positive manner and listen to what they say?

Flexibility and balance affect different parts of my life. Flexibility is about not getting stuck in a rut, or never changing my mind. It is more outward, listening and interacting with others and being respectful and open-minded about their ideas and needs. Balance is about focusing on what is important at the time for me. It is a more internal check list of what is important.

What I Have learned from the 8 keys

There are many things to learn from the 8 keys of excellence. These 8 keys can govern just about every aspect of our behavior, from honesty and integrity to hard work. They teach us how to get along with others and how to not give up. They even cover how to accept your failings, and resolve to do better, how to manage your time, and how to be open to new ideas. Although I have studied the 8 keys for a number of years as I have taught this class, it is always a good reminder to me that I can always do better, work harder, and remember that the 8 keys are trying to help me be a better person.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Flexibility and Balance

Flexibility means to allow yourself and others to change. You don't always have to be right, and things don't always have to be done your way. As the only female in my family, there are many things that I would like done differently, such as the cleanliness level of the house. However, if I fought with my husband and kids all the time over my house being spotless, we would not enjoy each other's company and we would both be frustrated all the time.

Balance means to not let yourself concentrate on one activity to the exclusion of all else. At times in my life, this has been a weakness of mine. When my kids were babies, I didn't play volleyball, I didn't go out very much, and I spent all of my time looking after my young kids. Many young parents do this, partly out of necessity as it is expensive to hire a babysitter. Even though my kids are now old enough to be on their own, I still feel guilty when I take time for myself to go out with a friend to a movie, or play volleyball instead of being home to help them with homework or cook dinner. This key is a constant struggle for me to take time for myself and not just work (teacher, mom, maid, cook, etc) all the time.

Commitment and Ownership

Commitment is to do what you say you are going to do. This happens often in my life. When I was younger and played on a team, commitment meant showing up for all the practices and all the games. As a teacher, commitment means showing up everyday, prepared with a lesson that will hopefully be the best for my students.

Ownership means to take responsibility for your words, actions, and thoughts. This is another key that happens everyday in my life. For instance, I accidentally broke the top to my husband's portable printer. He was really angry. I could have pretended I didn't know what happened. I could also have pointed out that he left it out and open on the floor so that it was easy to trip over and break. Instead, I admitted I had broken it. There are many instances when our thoughts, words, or actions aren't correct for the situation. We need to be courageous enough to remedy that.

Speak with Good purpose and This is It!

To speak with good purpose means to use our words wisely and respectfully. As a teenager, I was around swearing a lot, and I got into a bad habit of using swear words when adults weren't around. Obviously I could control what came out of my mouth, as I was able to speak good words in front of my parents and other adults. When I went to college, one of my roommates was offended by the swear words I said. She told me it didn't sound good, it didn't sound intelligent, and I was smart enough to speak better. That stuck with me, and I rarely say swear words to this day.

This is it means to live in the moment. There are many people who think of their life in terms of "When this happens, I will be happier" whether it is a better job, a better place to live, or just a "better" anything. I am able to be appreciative of the opportunities I have now, even if I am not satisfied with everything in my life. It is O.K. to want to better yourself, it is just not O.K. to want it so much that you can't appreciate what you have now.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Integrity and Failure leads to Success

Integrity means to be honest. I try to have integrity in my life, and this has been noticed by other people. Once, when I was over concessions, the till was short a number of dollars. I was upset, thinking I would get blamed. However, the person in charge said they knew it wasn't me because of how I show honesty and integrity every day. They later found the money, but I felt better knowing I wasn't suspected of stealing the money.

Failure leads to success has happened in my life many times. As a performer, whether on the athletic field or in an auditorium, there have been many times I have failed. For instance, I broke my foot my junior year and had to sit out much of my basketball season. At the end of the season, I felt like a failure and almost didn't go back out for basketball. However, I went out and at the end of the season, won the defensive MVP and the overall MVP of the team.

The Name Game

A long time ago, a young couple moved from West Virginia to Washington. They built a cabin, and started a life there. However, there were a bunch of wild critters around, like skunks and porcupines. The young lady wrote a letter to her dad and asked him to come get rid of the critters, since he was such a good backwoods trapper. A few months later, the dad showed up. "Ah'll get rid of them thar critters fer ya," he said. He set a trap and the next morning, a porcupine was in the trap. The dad went to get the porcupine out of the trap, when, like porcupines like to do, he whipped his tail at the dad and tried to get him with his quills. The dad jumped back quickly, then called out, "Don't worry none. That porcupine dint get me. There's no qualls n me." (Snoqualmie - the pass in Washington)