Tag Archive | teacher

Don’t sign up for that class

Mean teacher 17607What do a teacher and a headache have in common?

If you return to your school days, regardless of level of education, you’ll likely find one or two teachers you deemed a headache because they were either unrealistic in their expectations or ambiguous in their approach. Those aren’t the ones I mean. I’m talking about learning from a real, physical headache.

If a teacher is someone or something from which you learn, then my headache qualifies. But before I tell you how I learned, I need to clarify that this is not just head knowledge – no pun intended. I’m talking about the information that you obtain, process, and act upon as opposed to the kind of information you understand but park away in the recesses of your mind rather than apply it.

For years I’ve heard that I should drink water. “It’s good for you,” said both my parents and doctor. But in my younger years, I thought it worked better as cleansing agent for dirty feet. It had no flavor. As I grew older and understood the health benefits, I tried to incorporate more of the liquid into my diet, and it ever so slowly moved from tolerable to refreshing. That said it was still not a priority if coffee, tea or some other flavored beverage were available.

Benefits-of-Drinking-Water-Mind-MapNext I had to overcome my frugal nature – nice way to say cheap. I began purchasing bottled water but more for my husband than for me personally, until, that is, we had a real cold spell where we had to crank up the heat in the house. That’s when the headaches started. I tried all of the normal over0the-counter pain remedies, but they failed. Thanks to the internet, I discovered I was dehydrated. With only a couple of bottles of water, the headaches disappeared and did not return.

So the moral of the story is this. Make drinking water a priority in your life. Don’t wait until you are thirsty or have headaches.  Headaches can be very effective teachers, but I recommend you don’t sign up for that class.

What were you doing at 10?

Let me first put you on my page lest you think I’m investigating a crime. I’m not talking about 10 o’clock either AM or PM. Rather I mean age 10. I’ve been doing some reading on assessing your talents and gifts and discovering your purpose as part of God’s ultimate plan for your life. As human beings, we can get so distracted and off base. Many people say that age 10 is the time of life when your interests and leanings are in their purest form. I guess it makes sense then to look back if we don’t know where we should be going.

It seems like a long time ago, but I turned 10 when I was in 4th grade in Miss Lewis’ class. Miss Lewis was ahead of her time in many ways, and likely she rocked many conventional boats. I remember her deciding that a camping trip was a great way for our class to learn. To be honest, I don’t recall any scheduled classes, but we swam, hiked, played games and explored. Somehow she also convinced my parents to go along as chaperones, driver and cook. Miss Lewis would invite us over to her house and gave us opportunities to do things our parents would not. These were good things like painting her porch or real cooking. Our folks could not afford the time or extra paint/ingredients to let us do these things at home, but Miss Lewis did.

She also had an old fashioned player piano. The rolls were in good shape and not only could you pump out a proper tune, you could sing along because the words were also printed there. We had so much fun with it. Miss Lewis was unconventional in other way. She was not afraid of any question and got us involved in discussions quite often. We’d review subjects with games and other innovative methods more characteristic of today’s classroom. Though I did well academically in her class, I remember more about the relationships of the age.

I finished my 10th year in Mrs. Johnson’s class, a strict woman with shoulder length hair that appeared to be glued in place. No way would the wind move her “do.” I remember academics in her class as they seemed easy. It was in her class I realized I liked to write. Maybe I’d finally just learned the stuff I was supposed to as I recall getting a 100% on the California Achievement Test that year. Mrs. J was shocked. I guess I was her first student to do that. Whoa. I think I found my claim to fame. I wonder what I should do with it.

So how does all of this play into what I should be now that I’m grown up? I can see how these people impacted me, but I think the jury is still deliberating. I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

Why is it so hard to …

Why is it so hard to …, well you can fill in the blank. It could be dieting, exercising, working around the house or on a fun project. It doesn’t seem to matter that these are really good things especially when they are completed. After all, you do get a good feeling and a sense of accomplishment when they’re done, but for some reason there are times when you just can’t get started or if you’ve started, finished. What’s the deal with this?

A good quote may motivate you. The story about a successful athlete (like those in the Olympics) or a saga about someone who beat overwhelming odds can inspire, but the bottom line is we need to get up and do it. No one will come knocking on our door and offer to do it for us. We’ve got to move ourselves to action. Do we need to realize that our lack of action will bring consequences or do we just wait and hope we don’t reap negative rewards for our lack of effort?

I spoke with a frustrated teacher the other day and after listening, I’d feel that way, too. He was telling me about some students in his class who basically refuse to read – we’re talking English class where that’s the main focus! The problem is these students would prefer to play video games or hang out with their friends rather than read. They are  capable, but because they made other choices when it came to the use of their time, their skills in the area of reading were diminished. When the teacher apprised the parents about the problem (Guess what. The kids were not doing well in the class – surprise, surprise.), their comment reinstated the fact that the kids did not like to read. If the kids don’t care and the parent’s don’t care, it’s a whole lot harder for the teacher – not impossible, just more difficult.

The thing is, these kids illustrate some of my own struggles and maybe some of yours. I don’t like to diet and exercise and so I have to really push myself to do it if I want to lose weight. Sometimes I’m successful and other times, I’m not much different from those kids. At least I know that I have no one to blame but myself if my clothes don’t fit. Those kids and their parents probably won’t look into the mirror to find their culprit.