It is never too late to be who you might have been.
responsibility may be defined to mean that you and you alone are
responsible for what you are and what you do. It is an unusual quality.
Mediocrity and failure can often be traced to a lack of personal
goes fishing on week-ends, mumbles and grumbles and doesn't communicate
around the house because the little flower he married has gained 30
pounds, wonders why he isn't getting ahead, gives him the silent
treatment when he shows up late, and sleeps in the morning instead of
getting his breakfast. "She has made me what I am,"
Blanche yells at the kids, nags her husband and can't keep the house
clean because her father was too strict, her mother was lazy, her
husband doesn't appreciate her, she needs a new stove and she's going to
get a real good nervous breakdown if people don't start understanding
cop-outs, excuses, justifications, defenses, negative affirmations.
"I am not responsible for what I am and the way I act," these
people are saying. "Other people are making me act this
a wonderful quality when you find an individual who is
different....one who has total personal responsibility. One who
says, "I and I alone am responsible for what I am and what I
do. I shall not blame you for my weaknesses or failures. The
challenge to make my life a successful, meaningful experience is not
yours. It is mine." One of the most inspiring articles
ever to appear in the English language aligns itself with these
qualities of initiative, personal responsibility and
in 1890 by Elbert Hubbard, publisher of a small magazine called The
Philistine, its impact on individuals throughout the world was
astounding. The short article relates the story of a young lieutenant
who was asked to carry a message to the leaders of the insurgency during
a war between the U.S. and Spain.
from The Public School Administrator
Life is an
escalator: You can move forward or backward; you cannot stand
How to Earn Straight A's
It is that time of year
when students are winding down in their educational programs.
Many students are preparing for college. It is important to
remember not to go to college until YOU are good and ready. You
will never do well unless you really want to be there. Here are
some ideas of what it will take to get those higher grades:
A Sit in
front of the class
Listen more than write.
See if the instructor will review your paper before the
A Plan to study two to three times class time.
A If you do poorly on a test, ask for a
A If you must miss a class, ask what you will
A Test out of classes.
A Schedule a break in the day.
Excerpts from Next
The food served in
schools is getting a lot of press lately. This story gave me a
One day instead of
serving the usual hot meal, the school cafeteria handed out peanut
butter and jelly sandwiches.
After lunch, a
satisfied first grader marching out the door complimented the
cafeteria manager: "Finally, you gave us a home cooked
Avoid These Common
When helping others to
learn we can make common mistakes. We might:
Fail to focus first on
important external issues....such as friends, community or
school. We often help the child to learn to "get
along." The problem: That kind of help
does nothing to promote the strategic goal of learning.
knowledge instead of skills. We must demonstrate correct
behavior and offer time for practice and feedback. Simply
telling or giving printed material is not enough.
Try to jam everything
into a short period of time. Real learning takes weeks of
time and effort. Short sessions over a longer period of time
experiences either too early or too late. As a result
learners either forget what they learned or develop bad habits
that are hard to overcome. Make sure the student is ready
for learning to take place.
packages that don't result in true learning. When buying an
instructional program, ask for proof that the program works.
Challenge is a dragon with a gift in it's mouth....Tame the dragon and
the gift is yours.
Listening to Others.....
Almost all problems in
listening can be overcome by having the right attitudes.
Remember, there is no such thing as disinteresting people....only
disinterested listeners. This is especially important for those
of us who are parents. We are so very busy, we often listen to
our children while doing something else. Think....would you
respond in such a way to a friend, a boss, an instructor?
Act Like a Good
Listener....Be alert, sit straight, lean forward if appropriate,
let your face radiate interest.
understand....Do not just listen for the sake of listening; listen
to gain a real understanding of what is being said.
React....The only time
a person likes to be interrupted is when applauded. Be
generous with your applause. Make the other person feel
important. Applaud with nods, smiles, comments,
can't listen while you are talking. Communicate; do not take
Empathize With The
Other Person....Try to put yourself in the other's place so that
you can see that point of view.
you don't understand, when you need further clarification, when
you want the other person to like you, when you want to show you
are listening; but don't ask questions that will embarrass or
"put down" the other person.
Concentrate on What
The Other Is Saying....Actively focus your attentions on the
words, the ideas and the feelings related to the subject.
Look at the Other
Person....Face, mouth, eyes, hands, will all help the other person
communicate with you. Helps you concentrate, too.
Shows you are listening.
Appropriately....But don't overdo it.
Leave Your Emotions
Behind (if you can)....Try to push your worries, your fears, your
problems away. They may prevent you from listening
Get Rid of
Distractions....Put down any papers, pencils, etc. you have in
your hands; they may distract your attention.
Get The Main Points
(the big story)....Concentrate on the main ideas and not the
illustrative material; examples, stories, statistics, etc. are
important, but usually are not the main points. Examine them
only to see if they prove, support, define, the main ideas.
for Communication....Only part of the responsibility rests with
the speaker; you as the listener have an important part. Try
to understand and if you don't ask for clarification.
React to Ideas, Not to
The Person....Don't allow your reaction to the person to influence
your interpretation of words. Good ideas can come from
people whose looks or personality you don't like.
Mentally....When you are trying to understand the other person, it
is a handicap to argue mentally while you are listening.
This sets up a barrier between you and speaker.
Use the Difference in
Rate....You can listen faster than anyone can talk so use this
rate difference to your advantage by trying to stay on the right
track, think back over what the speaker has said. Rate
difference: speech rate is about 100 to 150 words per
minute; thinking: 500.
Speaker....You may cause the other person to conceal ideas,
emotions, attitudes by being antagonizing in any of a number of
ways: arguing, criticizing, taking notes, not taking notes, asking
questions, not asking questions, etc. Try to judge and be
aware of the effect you are having on the other person.
Adapt to the speaker.
judgments....Wait until all the facts are in before making any judgments.
Fun!....Develop this attitude. Make a game of seeing how
well you can listen.
Adapted from Public
To be granted some kind of
usable talent and to be able to use it the fullest extent of which you
are capable....this, to me, is a kind of joy that is almost
unequaled. I have found it in music; my father in farming.
I know others who have found it in practicing medicine, or running a
bakery, or driving a truck....in running a bakery that makes the best
kind of bread, or in driving a truck better than anyone else.
That's the kind of achievement that makes a person happy.
A daughter of a friend recently took a
notebook with her on the family vacation. While her sisters were
playing she took the time to record the vacation in her notebook,
including pictures. Lately, I have once again been recommending
this activity to parents. It is an excellent way for the student
to prepare himself for learning and a great activity for the
summer. The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
suggest the following guidelines:
- Journals are neither diaries nor
learning notebooks, but borrow features from each. Like
diaries, journals are written in the first person about issues the
writer cares about; like learning notebooks, journals often
concern a particular subject or topic.
- Journals may divided into several
sections...one for each subject and another for private
- Journals should not be graded, but
children should be rewarded for keeping a
- Children may do short entries for
each subject area in which they are working.
- Write with your student. The
fact that you also write gives the activity more meaning.
- Have your child read an entry aloud.
- Skim through the journal and write
responses when appropriate.
- At the end of a given period of time
(a month, quarter, etc.) have your child put in page numbers, a
title for each entry, a table of contents and a conclusion. This requires journal writers to treat their
documents seriously and to review what they have written over a
period of time.
- Of all writing tasks, journals may
be the most idiosyncratic and variable. Therefore, journal
writing can be modified in any way to meet the needs and abilities
of the student.
Journal writing encourages better
writing skills and helps students clarify their thoughts about what
they are learning, doing, seeing and hearing.
Adapted from School
Public Relations Service
What your child does
after school in relation to homework and preparation for learning activities may benefit from your assistance. Establishing a
routine for homework and study will aid in overcoming the many
distractions and attractive options that may prevent involvement in
By setting aside a
specific amount of time every day to be used for studying, the child
can more easily adjust his or her goals to fit this schedule.
This makes beginning the learning activity more fluent because other expectations
or needs are always considered relative to, rather than in competition
It is also helpful
to know that if the necessary amount of homework is
satisfactorily completed, other options can be started immediately Thus the
child can feel rewarded for efficient learning. The place of
study is usually as important as time; a private area, free from
will help the student work more productively.
Nilson, How to Manage Training
What Children Need And
Parents Can Provide
matter what they have, where they come from, how much schooling they
have, how much money they make....all parents can build their
children's self-esteem according to author Joanne Koch in Families
in Touch. She defines self-esteem as "feeling good
about yourself, believing you can do things, believing you can make
who have high self-esteem are more likely to do well in school, make
friends, make healthy choices, feel they control their lives, feel
good about their work and their relationships, share their thoughts
and feelings and refuse to engage in delinquent activities.
"Children who have high self-esteem will make mistakes, but they
are more likely to learn from their mistakes," Koch says.
Children need certain things to develop high self-esteem....even from
Your time and
attention. Set aside regular times to be with your child.
Make time to talk with your children.
answers to their questions. Even when children don't ask, doesn't
mean they don't have questions.
Respect for their
feelings. Youngsters desperately want to know if they are
normal. Are they smart enough? Do others really like
them? These are not trivial concerns.
Respect for their
growing independence. As they show the ability to make
appropriate choices, allow them to make more choices for
Clear limits that are
enforced. Reasonable limits help children learn responsible
Respect for their
dignity. Refrain from overly harsh words or punishments when your
Your beliefs and
values. Your children need to hear what you think is right
and wrong and why you think that way.
Lost of praise.
When parents are quicker to praise than to criticize, children
learn to feel good about themselves and they develop the
self-confidence to trust their own judgment.
self-esteem. If yours is shaky, do what you can to improve
it. Children whose parents have high self-esteem are more
likely to have it themselves.
models. Children learn by example as well as teaching.
Make sure your own actions reflect the standards of honesty,
integrity and fair play that you expect of them.
Adapted from Illinois
Association of School Boards
Character is doing what's right when nobody's looking.
What Values Do You Promote?
parents teach values, whether directly or indirectly. By their
behavior, parents convey their personal values every day.
Children learn more from example than they do form any other source,
including lectures. Here are some values that we teach our children,
whether we realize it or not:
work. Whether you are satisfied or disgruntled, both convey
your work ethic.
Others. Do you get along with family, neighbors and
Due process. Are
rules and regulations clearly spelled out to your children, along
with reasons. Is discipline fair, consistent and applied
priorities. Is the child who shows effort and improvement
given as much encouragement as the child who makes top
grades? Is the child who shines academically given the same
recognition as the star athlete.
winning and losing. Do you encourage fair play and good
sportsmanship? Or do you emphasize winning at all
Are you constantly comparing your childe with other's
Studies repeatedly show that involved parents promote good
attitudes toward learning.
Children appreciate hearing words like "please" or
"thank you" from their parents. A smile and acknowledgement
for a job well done may go a long way toward the promotion of
Most likely, you can think
of many additional ways in which you influence your child's
values. But the message is clear; Children watch what you
do more than they listen to what you say. They do what you
Association of School Administrators
Building Stone of the U.S. : The
NIST Test Wall: What stones do we use to build? Which
stones weather best? Some of these questions can be answered at
this website, which examines a test wall of building materials
constructed in 1948. A great feature allows students to look at
stones from different states or countries (many of the stone samples
were collected in 1880) and examine the differences between the
materials stored inside and those built into the wall and exposed to
Online Anthropology Exhibits:
At this site the "History of Eating Utensils'" has simple
explanations of how knives, forks, spoons and chopsticks came to be
used commonly for the consumption of food. Look a little farther
and you will find online exhibits that can supplements many areas of
the curriculum, such as "The Pacific Voyages of Rollo Beck,"
Native Alaskan Graphic Arts," and "Ceramics of the Persian
The Shape of Life: This
site is a compelling eight-hour series with accompanying educational
materials that tell the story of the great diversity of animal life on
Earth. Throughout the website are incredible video clips of sea
life. Evolutionary modifications are featured prominently. http://www.pbs.org/kcet/shapeoflife/index.html
The Magpie Sings the Great
Depression: This website presents almost 200 poems, articles
and short stories and many graphics and photographs from the Magpie,
literary magazine of Dewitt Clinton High School, encompassing the
years 1929 to 1942. Students can catch a glimpse of student life in
New York City during the years of the Great Depression and the power
of literacy magazines.
Silk Road Seattle: This is
an educational project using the "Silk Road" theme to
explore cultural interaction across Eurasia from the beginning of the
Common Era (A.D.) to the Sixteenth Century. Translations of
primary texts are available. http://depts.washington.edu/uwch/silkroad/index.html
Teaching Time: A software
developer in the UK created this site to support teaching time using
analog and digital clocks. Initial teaching can be done using
the whole class clock. Worksheets are available for individual
or group work and when students are more proficient there are
interactive games, all with clocks.
Virtual Ocean: Part of the
website "An Introduction to Microscopy," these pages show
what sea creatures can look like in the larval form, as well as
microscopic algae, sea squirts and other smaller, often overlooked sea
dwellers. Included on the main page is a link to the
"Smallest Page on the Web," which highlights microscopic
life in fresh water. http://www.euronet.nl/users/janpar/virtual/ocean.html
Have a Beautiful Month
From the Staff at Knowledge
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