Capacity for Failure

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Failure is not something we really like to think about – or embrace for that matter.  Failure sounds like a dirty word.  Something embarrassing.  We don’t want others to know about our failures.  We usually want to hide them.  How many people do you know who openly talk about their failures?  Not many that I know.

However, I think we are doing each other and our children a disservice by NOT talking about our failures.  If you have not failed, you have not succeeded.  If you take a chance, you usually don’t reach your goal the first time you try.  How many of us just got on a bike and could ride perfectly that first time?  No one I know.
By creating a veil of secrecy around our failures, we are creating an illusion for our children and setting them up for unreal expectations.  If children grow up not seeing or knowing about failure, they will expect themselves to be perfect.  Impossible.  When they don’t achieve that perfection, they feel miserable.  Worthless.
As adults, we have all failed at something – a job we didn’t get, a school we weren’t accepted to, a failed marriage, we fluked a course, we were arrested…..  The list could go on.  Of course we are not proud of failures, but they teach us something – if we choose to reflect and learn.  The majority of successful people have failed.  Not failed once, but MULTIPLE times.
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy
I love the Michael Jordan story (who can resist, especially if you’re a Tarheel).  He is arguably the most successful basketball player of all time.  However, he didn’t make the basketball team the first time he tried out in high school.  That’s like cutting Tiger Woods from the golf team, or Alex Rodriguez from the high school baseball team.  What?!  Jordan had the choice to allow himself to be crushed by the failure, or use it as a learning and growing opportunity.  He chose to use this experience to motivate him.  And…..you know the rest of the story.
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I love that Jordan has been open about his failures.  It motivates me.  There are many examples of people we consider to be experts in their field that have faced tremendous failures along the way.  Just a few examples of famous failures can be found in this article.
In my experience in education, many students are completely knocked over by failure.  I don’t mean actually failing a class – but not coming up with the “right” answer.  In traditional school, students learn to “play school.” – they know the expectations of the teacher and work to give the right answer and get the approval of the teacher.  However, when we challenge students to step outside that box to create and invent as a part of their learning, they will inevitably face failures along the way.  The high-achievers are the ones who usually get the most freaked out by this because they have ALWAYS known the right answers.
However, as students experiment and try new things they will fail.  But we need to be deliberate about talking with students about the power of failure.  The opportunities that it brings.  Failure happens for a reason – we didn’t try something in the right order, we left out a key element, etc…  The key to failure is to LEARN from failure.
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho
As educators and parents, we need to be open about failures in our life and how we have learned from them.  We need to model failure.  This will give our children permission to fail.  It will show them that failure is not the end – it’s an opportunity to learn and change.  It’s a new beginning.
If we want to create students who can be truly successful in life, we need to create in them the capacity for failure – the ability to work through failures, learn from them and try again.  We need to teach them to be tough enough to weather failures.  We need them to expect some failures along the way and help them understand these and work through them.  Their egos cannot be so fragile that they can’t withstand failures.  We, as adults, must model failures as growth opportunities for our children.
“The phoenix must burn to emerge.” – Janet Fitch
There are so many inspiring stories about how people have face failures, weathered the storm and come out better for it.  I often look back on some of these when I am facing difficult times and am reminded that I can push through a situation and learn from it.  Failure is never truly failing unless you give up.  I want more of our students to understand this.  In order to achieve a dream, you may fail at the first, second, third……. attempt.  But eventually, if you persevere, the dream is achievable.
“Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing.” – J.K. Rowling

Note: The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author. Previously published on ” The Educational Rambler.”

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Why Classes Become Boring !

By:- Ankit Dhakal “Sandeept”

“A student is characterized by his curiosity,” some wise man did say. But most times a student has no option but to be bored in the classroom. Why do students (including me) are often bored in the class? Let’s first look at a case and then my experiences on being bored.

A Sudden Realization

Yesterday (August 17, 2016), as I was studying the Himalayan evolution (chances are that you will be bored by the wiki article), I involuntarily let out these words: “There must have been a trench in between the Indian and the Eurasian Plates.” (Watch an animation of the collision here) My sister looked curious. I asked her if she had heard of Java and Mariana Trench. And then went on rambling about the evolution of the mountains in the Himalaya. When I ended, she said, “I understood just one thing.” It was that the plates collided to give rise to the mighty mountains. Other than that she understood NOTHING !.

A Little Time-Travel

Last year. . .

My teacher (with due respect) used to give a non-stop lecture on the Himalayan evolution. At first, I felt curious and understood a little. A little later, he came up with heavy technical terms. Had I gone through it earlier, I might have felt it easier. But the heavy vocab killed my curiosity. Within less than a month, I was leaving classes.

Obviously, that is the reason I am studying Himalayan evolution NOW.

Back to the Present

I realized I was in the same condition last year as my sister is now with respect to the evolution of the Himalayas. I also understood why I left classes: Because I did not understand anything, and I felt bored.

The Mistakes Teachers Make

I have not taught in any school yet. I am not sure if I can handle the noise the students make. I don’t intend to hurt the feelings of teachers. However, I am a student and I can tell what mistakes of teachers bore me. So, here I go.

Mistake 1: When They say, “This does not belong to the course.”

Whenever my teachers say, “the thing I am teaching is not in your course/syllabus,” I react by slowly bowing my head and closing my eyes. I feel doomed. An hour for something that won’t fetch me numbers in the exam (no matter how practical that might be). I respond by taking a short nap or talking to a friend beside me (either disturbing myself alone or the whole class).

Mistake 2: When They DON’T Interact

Teachers think, “Teaching is just giving lectures.” In universities like mine, where there is very little time for the course-completion, this is absolutely true. There is almost no  interaction between the teacher and the students in the class. Teacher goes on giving hand-written notes/showing presentation slides, and students (includes me) are busy copying them. The teacher does not raise questions which make me involved in the lecture. And as I have very little background information, I cannot ask anything.

Logically,

  1. Teachers don’t ask relevant questions = Students don’t feel interested
  2. Students don’t feel interested = Students don’t answer
  3. Students don’t answer = Teachers feel superior
  4. Teachers feel superior = Teachers boast
  5. Teachers boast = Students get bored
  6. 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 = NO Interaction
  7.  Also, 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 = NO Interaction

Mistake 3: When They Look Confused

What can I say about anything if I don’t know it well? My teachers are learned. They have achieved doctorates, but they do seem confused at times. Maybe they don’t have time to prepare. Maybe they feel they don’t need to prepare. I don’t know. But when they are confused, I get confused as well. I might try solving the confusion later; but only to point out their mistakes, sarcastically.

Mistake 4: When They Use Heavy Vocabulary

The first step in my education began from the letters: A, B, C. Then I was taught words: Apple, Ball, Cat and so on. After that, I was taught to read sentences, paragraphs and stories. My language skill did not develop by magic. It took time. I am still learning.

I need time to understand my lectures as well. My teachers, however think that I should know everything within an hour of lecture. So, they rush on. When they use strong vocab and do not explain them well, I am gone; stumped.

A Look to the Future

I might have to teach people who are going to outsmart me (logically as well as technologically) in the upcoming days. Let me be guided by this post then.

 


Note: The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author. Previously published on Stories of Sandeept

How Adults are Personalizing Learning

By :- 

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What is Personalized Learning?  That is a term that comes up a lot these days in the education field.  Many teachers and districts want to make learning more personalized for students, but what does that actually look like?  When you start searching for the answer, there are so many resources that you can easily get lost and overwhelmed.

I think the most basic definition, and example, of Personalized Learning is what we, as adults, do to grow in our professions.  In today’s world, no matter what your profession, you MUST continue to grow and learn.  Doctors learn new surgical techniques, new therapies, new medicines.  I certainly don’t want to go to a doctor that has never done any type of professional learning since graduating from medical school.  Lawyers stay abreast of new laws and current rulings that could affect their practices.  Civil Engineers must stay current on changing laws, new technologies, etc….

In short, if you want to continue to succeed in your profession, you must continue to learn.  But HOW do we learn?  As adults we have a choice as to how we learn.  Some of us attend conferences or face-to-face trainings.  Some read books, journals, or online articles.  Some watch YouTube videos.  Some participate in Twitter Chats or write blogs where they interact with readers.  There are so many resources in today’s world that knowledge is at our fingertips.

I think this is personalization at its best!  I continue to grow in my field in a variety of ways: professional/leadership books, conferences, Twitter, blogs, articles, videos, podcasts.  The great thing about this is, I direct my own learning.  I choose what I want to learn, when I want to learn it and how I want to learn.  When I needed to rewire a lamp, I went to YouTube and quickly found a video that walked me through the steps.  When I wanted to see what flexible seating looked like in a classroom, I found videos and articles.  When I want to see what the hot topics are in my field, I go to Twitter and participate in a Twitter Chat.  In short, I have personalized my learning.

If adults have choice in learning and this keeps us motivated and growing in our field, how would students respond to this type of freedom?  How can we personalize learning for them?  Of course there are specific standards that students must master, but there are no rules for HOW students learn these skills.

Think about multiplication tables for example.  We all had to learn them.  Some of us memorized the equations, some used flash cards, some memorized a song, some had a method using hands/fingers, some used acronyms, some wrote them out.  We all have ways that we learn best and students can usually tell you what works for them.  For instance, I know that I have to see something to internalize it – a graph, reading, chart, photo, etc.  I cannot simply hear information and comprehend it well.

So how do we personalize learning for students?  First and foremost, we have to know our students.  If we don’t know them, there is no way we can personalize instruction.  Each student has a variety of ways that they learn best.  They also have a variety of ways to demonstrate that learning.  Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m not a good test taker?”  The truth is that some people do not demonstrate their learning that way.  But that same student may be able to orally answer questions to demonstrate proficiency.  Or they may be able to create a product that demonstrates mastery: a song, blog post, online presentation, website, etc…..  Do we hold them back because they do not demonstrate mastery on a traditional test?

So how do we begin to tackle this?  There is not an easy answer.  There are choice boards, playlists, and pathways that some educators use.  But just as each child is different, their learning needs are different as well.  How many of us would have gladly learned Main Idea in reading if we had our choice of topics to read: duck hunting, soccer, art, ballet….. ?  There are no rules saying exactly what type of texts must be used….

How do we personalize?  There are a variety of different ways.  The key is to find what works for the student and make that happen.  Our students are worth it!

How do you personalize your learning and/or the learning of your students?  I would love to hear your thoughts.


Image credit: http://teachingexcellenceatefsc.com

Note: The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author. Previously published on The Educational Rambler

Teach Like Google Exists

By:- 

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I absolutely love this quote from Alice Keeler.  “Teach like Google exists.”  How thought provoking…..

Many of us – if not most – grew up in the “PG Era” (Pre-Google).  Because of this, school looked a lot different than it does today.  The teacher was the sole holder of information and he/she shared that knowledge with students through their teaching.  The only other way to acquire knowledge was through books, if you had access to them.  Many of us remember searching through the volumes of encyclopedias to do a report on Ecuador or Thomas Jefferson.  Or we had to go to the library, search through a card catalog, find that area of the library, search for the book and hopefully locate it.  Once we located the book, we then had to look through the entire book to obtain the information we desired.  This was …… time consuming.  It could also be completely frustrating.

Imagine if we asked our students today to turn off all devices and look through an encyclopedia or library to find basic information.  They would look at us as if we had just told them to build a rocket ship to the moon.  They may actually be able to do that easier than finding information the old-fashioned way.

But I think the implications of this quote go farther than just knowledge acquisition.  Traditional schools have equipped students with knowledge in the form of facts.  We memorized facts so when we needed them later in life, we could easily recall these.  Our brains were like dusty library shelves holding volumes of information that we may never use again.  But in today’s world, students do not to spend time memorizing these facts – they can be found easily by searching Google.  I visualize their brains as a complex series of pinballs bouncing back and forth to all regions of their brain as they synthesize information and use it to create new ideas.

Take a short break and time yourself to see how long it takes to search Google for one of the following:

  • The capital of North Dakota.
  • The 32nd US President.
  • The population of Spain.
  • The 18th Amendment.

How long did it take you?  I searched each one and found the answer in between 7 to 10 seconds. (depending on how fast you type.)  So, if this information can be obtained in a matter of seconds using devices, why would we ever ask students to memorize this information?  We live in a world where students have constant access to digital devices – and always will.

In a world where facts can be obtained by anyone in a matter of seconds, why are we still asking students to memorize information and testing this memorization on standardized tests?  Fact regurgitation is an antiquated skill.  If Google can pass the tests we give to students, there’s something wrong with the tests.

Please don’t misunderstand – I do think there are some things that should and must be committed to memory.  How can students learn to read if they don’t know the alphabet?  Multiplication tables must be memorized to further Maths knowledge.  However, the list of the “must memorize” items, has decreased significantly in today’s world.

If information is so readily accessible, education should not be about mere knowledge acquisition.  Education today should be about what students can DO with that information.  Rather than regurgitate, students should be analyzing, comparing, synthesizing and creating new ideas based on information.

Let’s look at the 18th Amendment about Alcoholic Prohibition for a moment.  Instead of having students only learn what the amendment is, they should be doing something with that information.  Students could write an opinion blog either supporting or not supporting the amendment and its enforcement.  Students could compare the societal conditions that led to the passing of the amendment, to current societal conditions in the US regarding marijuana usage.  After learning about the amendment and what led up to it, students could draft an alternate amendment to better address the issue.  By going deeper, students will understand the information better and make connections about its relevance to their lives and laws that are passed currently in the US.

Having knowledge now is simply not enough.  Anyone who can type, can access knowledge.  What you can DO with the knowledge is what is important now.

How are you changing your instruction to teach and lead like Google exists?


Image credit: Alice Keeler

Note: The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author. Previously published on The Educational Rambler

A New Read on Literacy: The 3 Keys to Building Lifelong Readers

reading

By: NewsUSA

In today’s digital world, there is no denying the benefits of technology in education. However, despite technology’s ability to provide students with countless books and online literacy development tools, too many students still struggle to read and too few discover the joys of becoming lifelong readers.

According to a recent study in Reading Research Quarterly, despite substantial investments by educators in reading technology, the results have been disappointing. When reading independently, today’s students are struggling more and comprehending less than their peers in 1960.

But one company has an approach that can help reverse the trend. Based on more than 80 years of research, Reading Plus believes the opportunity lies in integrating the three domains of reading: physical, cognitive, and emotional. When all three domains are developed simultaneously in one program, students become more efficient, proficient, and engaged readers, according to a white paper released by the company.

Dr. P. David Pearson, the first chairman of the International Literacy Association’s Literacy Research Panel, says, “It’s not only about becoming faster and more efficient in independent silent reading. It’s doing it with comprehension, and with the ultimate goal of acquiring knowledge and enhancing personal interests.”

Here is an overview of the three domains, according to the white paper:

  • Physical. Reading begins with a physical skill – the visual processing of text. Students who labor to read have not yet developed this skill. They spend their energy trying to process words and have little left to understand what they’ve read. Unless physical skills are developed, students continue to labor, fall behind, and ultimately lose interest in reading.
  • Cognitive. Vocabulary and comprehension have long been the focus for reading development. Most approaches assume that improvement results from student practice with increasingly complex texts. However, research shows that vocabulary is the best indicator of text complexity, yet readability measures emphasize sentence length. Matching students with the text levels that allow them to develop skills at the pace they need is critical.
  • Emotional. Tapping into students’ interests builds confidence and motivation. Students who read what they like are more interested and engaged in reading; more interested and engaged students become better readers; and better readers become lifelong readers. It’s essential to let students choose to read what they like.

The bottom line: when students read independently, they don’t engage with each domain of reading in isolation from the others; instead, they engage with all three domains simultaneously and to build lifelong readers, so should their reading development.


Note: The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author. For more information on the study and Reading Plus, visit www.readingplus.com.

Be-Aware! of the clouds, In 2017

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You said

We had our own sky

Only the clouds

Mis-lead us

By floating, And creating

Illusions,

Hallucinations,

Into our minds

Does that mean

We need to clear our visions?

Or, we need to clear the clouds?

I know,

The sky is there

And will be gone no-where,

Until we are gone !

Then,

What is the ultimate reason

For the reason?

To clear the sky?

Or, To clear the vision?

But,

What is the sky?

What are the clouds?

Which ones are mine?

And, which ones are thy-ne?


We have our own sky,no matter where we lie, in the sky or in the clouds so high. The clouds float, cover our sky , hide our visions, for no good reasons and change like seasons. Why clouds are there?, everywhere, so that we care, and its no rare, to include the clouds, in our prayer?

These clouds distract us, our thoughts, our ultimate goals, and the good reasons, for which we are here on this Earth. So, What are our goals? To abolish the clouds, the wandering clouds and to clear our sky, clear our visions, for the good reasons and be a constant season? So that, our sky shines clearer, brighter and everyone admires its beauty.

The New Year 2017 starts. We have our own goals, dreams, thoughts and better visions  and resolutions for the year.Lets not let clouds mislead us,dis-tract us and create illusions into our minds. Lets make our sky beautiful,which shines like the diamond, inside this space.

We are here “Pax Et Dolor” team wishing you grand Happy New Year 2017 and wishing for abolish-ment of clouds from our sky-s.

Thank-You so much for being with us ! Your love and support is priceless.

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@PaxEtDolor Magazine

paxetdolor@gmail.com


#Be aware of the clouds !!!

Clouds concept-Roman

Image Credit-www.happynewyears2017.org

www.freedigitalphotos.net 

 

Key Benefits of Taking PTE Academic Test

By: Catherine Walshpte

Pearson Test of English is one of the many proficiency tests available in the market for international students. It is relatively a new test launched in 2009 to assess and certify the English language. Within a short time, the test has won the hearts of millions of takers looking for a reliable, fast, and secure way of assessing the language. In fact, delivering an accurate result to the non-speakers is the prime motive behind launching this test by Pearson PLC Group.

PTE is the world’s only computer-based test conducted online in a single sitting for three hours. The test contains four sections as speaking, writing, reading, and listening delivering an assessment of the taker’s ability. That is why scores obtained in the PTE Test of English are used for measurement of proficiency while selecting candidates for higher studies, visa applications, and jobs in the native speaking countries. Hence it is essential for international students to get higher skill score to get admission in reputed institution and immigration.

Reasons to Take PTE Exam India

PTE is an internationally recognised test and used by international students globally. In the test, you will find 20 different question formats and several items. Perform well in the entire sections and items to improve the score in the test. The score is given based on the performance in communicative skills and enabling competencies in the test.

There are 14 authorised centres to book and take PTE exam India for the aspirants. Candidates need to take the test after a good preparation to get the desired score required in the application. Nothing can replace hard work, rigorous practices, and advance preparation to get the score you want in the PTE exam.

Top Benefits of Taking PTE Exam

1.Quick Exam Result: Taking the PTE, you will get the exam result within five business days. No need to wait for the exam result and waste precious time to apply for admission in the reputed universities.

2. Secure and Transparent Score: Intelligent machines are utilised in checking the answer of takers. Marks are given as per predefined guidelines to bring higher transparency in the marking system. No human rater, and thus, limited chance of getting a bias score or doing partiality. The score remains live on the official PTE website for two years.

3. Worldwide Acceptance: PTE exam is not only recognised, but scores are accepted in over 6000 organisations globally. It includes educational institutions, immigration agencies, government, and employers of USA, UK, Canada, AustraliaScience Articles, and New Zealand.

4. Real Life Questions: The test contains questions from real-life settings and academic contents instead of ambiguous questions. The questions are useful to test the ability of takers in the English language quickly.

5. Find Flexible Test Dates: PTE has 150 authorised centres which are used to book and take the test 363 days a year. Hence no problem in the search for a suitable date for taking the test.

Benefits of Booking Test with a Voucher

International students need $330 in booking the test once. Many students fail to get the desired scores in the first attempt. Taking the test repeatedly lead to financial problems for students. Buy PTE voucher to use in booking the test and get 10% discount on the original price. Contact us to buy a voucher and book the test immediately.


Note: The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author.