Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Hurricane Season

The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June to November.

According to the National Oceanic and AtmosphericAdministration, a hurricane is:

“A hurricane is a type of storm called a tropical cyclone, which forms over tropical or subtropical waters. A tropical cyclone is a rotating low-pressure weather system that has organized thunderstorms but no fronts (a boundary separating two air masses of different densities). Tropical cyclones with maximum sustained surface winds of less than 39 miles per hour (mph) are called tropical depressions. Those with maximum sustained winds of 39 mph or higher are called tropical storms. When a storm's maximum sustained winds reach 74 mph, it is called a hurricane.”

Here are some classroom activities that students may enjoy doing in order to learn more about hurricanes.

What lessons do you enjoy doing in order to teach about hurricanes? Please share.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Be Unique

In One of the above from Seth Godin's Blog, Seth Godin shares,

“In order to be “one of the above” you have to begin by being willing to be ‘none of the above.’”

When we are young, we spend so much time trying to fit in and be like everyone else. We think that if we are like everyone else, we will belong.

Teens want to be part of the group and not stand out. They want to blend in because they think that if they are like everyone else, they will be accepted. It is this desire of acceptance that leads many down a dark path. When they finally realize that they don’t need to be like everyone else and that they can be themselves, they can shine in their own self-acceptance.

This is a hard lesson to teach students. They don’t believe that I understand how they feel. They think I’ve forgotten what it is like to be their age. They think that things are different during this time than it was when I was there age. Though events may be different, I don’t believe individual feelings and desires have changed that much.

In the same respect, I feel that new teachers are in the same boat as a teenager.

New teachers want to belong to this new group they have finally been able to join. They want to look like all the other teachers and be accepted. They want to be just like the veteran teachers so that they won’t stand out.

But I think it is important for new teachers to stand out. Their enthusiasm and excitement are sometimes a needed shot in the arm for veteran teachers. New and innovative ideas come from these new teachers. While overall teaching hasn’t changed a lot, fun new strategies can be shared by new teachers. Sometimes veteran teachers may get a  little dusty and it is this influx of new teachers that can get rid of the cobwebs and bring new life to a faculty.

I like to encourage new teachers not to be afraid of their newness. Don’t curb your excitement about your new career. Be willing to share your new ideas and don’t be discouraged if the veteran teachers are not as excited as you are. Be willing to try your new ideas and if they don’t work out as planned, keep trying.

But also, don’t think that you know everything and that the veteran teachers need to be put out to pasture. New teachers can learn a lot from veteran teachers’ experiences in the classroom. Be willing to listen to advice and if you disagree, just listen and do your own thing. You don’t need to debate everything that you don’t agree with.

Being a new teacher is a wonderful thing for all. It usually takes a few years for a new teacher to feel accepted. Sometimes it happens when another new teacher arrives the next year and you are no longer considered the new teacher.

It is okay to be unique and stand out. This may be what is needed in order to be successful in the classroom and even in real life.

How do you stand out? Please share.


Monday, September 16, 2019

Taking Risks

In Being stuck is reasonable from Seth Godin's Blog, Seth Godin shares,

“If you truly want to get unstuck, if you want to move to higher ground or do something more worthwhile, the first question to ask is, ‘Am I willing to be unreasonable, at least for a while?’”

It is hard for me to take risks. I like to follow the well-worn path that others have taken, and it doesn’t require too much energy. Let’s face it, I’m basically lazy.

But sometimes I decide to take a risk and do something unreasonable.

When I decided to write a book, everyone worried that it might be a scam. I took a chance and wrote it and it was a wonderful experience. At the time, everyone worried that I was taking a big risk and wasting my time.

I am in the middle of setting up an online course for Furman. I had experienced friends who told me to stay away from doing this, but I took the risk. I had never done this before, and I was curious. At least now I will have the experience and if I decide to do this again if asked, I will be able to make an informed decision.

When we are hiking, sometimes my husband will be curious to see where an unknown path is going. I am a little skeptical about going somewhere I don’t know but he is the adventurous one and we go on our new adventure. Usually, it ends up somewhere wonderful.

This is a really hard concept for students because many times they have faced so many failures when they try something new. I try to explain to them that they should consider these situations as opportunities and not failures. If they haven’t tried something new and taken a risk, they would not grow as a person. They would never find out if they like something they haven’t tried before. They might find something exciting that they love but would never have known if they hadn’t tried.

Even if it feels a little unreasonable to try something new, I think that if it doesn’t risk bodily harm or financial ruin, it is worth trying if I want to do it.

How do you feel about taking risks? How do you get your students to take risks? Please share.