summer concept

Things to Make Summer Productive for Kids

Many parents have always been in a quandary on what their kids can do over the summer. And with summer around a month away, they may be looking for activities their kids can do safely, especially with the pandemic still not yet over.

While the authorities already administered more than 230 million doses of the virus, it’s still uncertain when life would get back to normal. Despite this, children can still have a productive summer even if they stay home for the most part.

Here are some things that children can do to make their summer productive.

Attend Summer Class

During the school year, the children had to learn the fundamental subjects of mathematics, science, reading, language arts, and social studies. But for summer, they can learn the things they like to do after classes, like drawing, cooking, or even coding.

The children can learn to play the piano from teachers who know how to handle kids. While it can be challenging to learn this musical instrument online, it can happen if the teacher lives nearby and already received the full dose of the vaccine to ensure the children are protected.

If the children are quite advanced for their age, they may even consult with an expert at the US Geological Survey when they start their rock collection. An online reading club is also a good idea for children who are voracious readers. The important thing here is that the children acquire a new skill over the summer to make them productive during the break.

Volunteer for Nonprofit Organizations

Parents who want to teach children some life skills can encourage them to do volunteer work. While volunteering in these nonprofits may depend on the situation when summer comes, it offers many benefits for the children. Volunteering is not simply helping other people who have less in life. It is also one way for the children to learn life skills that they will need in the future.

Volunteering allows the children to connect with people from different walks of life. It also allows them to make new friends outside of their school and neighborhood. The knowledge that they made a difference in another person’s life can also make them happy. It also builds their self-confidence and gives them a sense of purpose. Therefore, volunteering offers many benefits for the children as much as they can help other people.

Volunteer work does not always mean the children have to go to the site to help. They can help other people even if they stay at home. For instance, if they have a 3d printer, they can make mask extenders for people who have to wear a mask the whole day, such as medical personnel.

Make a Podcast

kid learning online

Technology has made it easier for children to do a lot of interesting things over the summer. One thing they can do is to make their podcast. While this is ideal for older kids, younger children can still do it with the help of their parents.

A podcast is similar to an internet radio that people can access at any time. This is a medium that kids can explore to put out their stories for the world to hear. They can even combine their love for reading with making a podcast. They can use the podcast to talk about their take on a book they read recently. The kids can even create a podcast about their hobbies. Podcasting is a great way for the kids to delve deeper into their hobbies.

But one thing they should remember is to avoid giving too much information about their personal lives on the podcast. They should avoid giving personal information such as where they live or their phone numbers. The kids can limit the podcast to their interests or hobbies. They can also make a podcast with a friend or a neighbor.

Decorate the Room

Since the kids are not keen on cleaning their room, the parents can let them decorate it instead. They can give the kids a bit of leeway when they decorate the room and give them the responsibility of ensuring it stays the way it looks. The kids will feel a sense of independence when their parents allow them to decide on how they will decorate the room.

With this, the kids will have the urge to clean and maintain it since they will feel proud of how they decorated the room. Additionally, the parent will not have to tell the kids to clean up their rooms anymore because, at this point, the kids will do it without any prodding from their parents.

Even as the pandemic has limited the kids’ summer activities, they can still make it productive through different activities they can do in the comfort of their homes.

kid studying

The Value of Mathematics on Children Can Be Felt Early

In 2017, Pew Research revealed that students in the United States lagged behind other countries in terms of knowledge and skills in areas such as math. As it turns out, nothing much has changed since then.

About three years after, the exam from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development showed that US students performed below average in math and slightly average in both reading and science. This was comparable to the country’s performance back in 2003.

But why should parents care so much about topics like math anyway? Why should mom and dad consider getting professional help like virtual enrichment programs to support their kids’ math education?

The answer is simple: math isn’t just a subject in school. It is an important foundation in developing life skills that will help kids become successful in later life.

The Worth of Mathematics

kid studying

For some parents and even children, math is just a bunch of numbers and a couple of shapes and measurements. But the lessons from mathematics go beyond arithmetic.

Take, for example, a study conducted by Vanderbilt University researchers. In 2016, the group, together with the Society for Research in Child Development, showed that learning preschool math could actually help kids deal with fifth-grade math skills and knowledge.

Moreover, the preschoolers’ ability to count objects, compare quantities, and spot patterns could indicate whether these same children would thrive once they begin learning fifth-grade math.

The importance of knowing math early, though, doesn’t stop there. The same study suggests that preschool math skills can be significantly beneficial for children in low-income families. Some types of research suggest that this demographic can trail behind their peers in education and skills.

Simply put, when low-income parents allow their kids to be exposed to math while they’re still young may help them catch up with their classmates later.

Mathematics may also be valuable to children for the following reasons:

1. It Is One of the Core Subjects in STEM

STEM stands for science, technology, education, and mathematics. Over the years, there’s been a strong push in exposing kids to this learning since STEM is likely to be the foundation of the future. That includes the jobs that may be available for the students of today.

In 2018, a Pew Research study revealed that over 50 percent of students don’t pursue STEM because it is hard. However, it is also a lucrative endeavor.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), those who had graduated from STEM courses in 2019 would have been the highest-paid of all students in this period. At entry level, those who completed science and math degrees could take home about $62,000. Engineering students might earn almost $70,000.

Meanwhile, in a 2021 comprehensive salary list for STEM jobs, Indeed.com shared that a data analyst could earn over $70,000 a year. A systems administrator gets more at a whopping $80,000. The net average of a radiologist is already close to $200,000 annually.

2. Math Teaches Kids Skills Handy in Life and Career

kid studying

Mathematics forces children to think, analyze, and be creative—and these skills will make them formidable as they complete their education and eventually look for a job.

Unlike what many think, companies these days seem to hire people based on their soft than technical skills. This could be because the latter can be easily developed or trained over time. Soft skills are a lot harder to change since they can already be deeply ingrained in the values and character of the candidate.

According to Indeed.com, these soft skills include organizational skills and problem-solving abilities, which math can teach. On the other hand, LinkedIn, a social networking site for professionals, also counted analytical reasoning and business analysis as two of the 15 skills that can increase a person’s chance of landing a job.

Can Kids Really Learn Math Early?

The parents’ apprehension on exposing kids early in subjects like math may stem from the idea that they may be too young to understand the concepts. But a study relayed the plasticity of the brain—it can change as one learns.

In 2014, the researchers of the Stanford University Medical Center discovered through brain imaging scans that children could definitely shift from counting to pulling information from their memory. Thus, in a year, kids may already solve math problems more quickly and understand at least the basic concepts more easily.

Note, though, that the positive changes in the brain structure don’t happen overnight. In fact, they are often a by-product of repetition and regular mathematics exposure. Hence, allowing the kids to explore the subject early could be the ideal way to help them cope with math as they grow older.

people at a seminar

Why Adults Need to Continue Aiming for Personal Development

Aiming to achieve personal growth and improvement is an excellent goal, especially if you want to fulfill big dreams. You need to continue trying your best to show excellence in whatever you do. Unfortunately, most adults find it difficult to continue achieving personal development. The moment they start pursuing a particular career, they forget about trying out new things. This often happens because most of them are too busy with fulfilling multiple obligations. Some are too focused on their current careers, while others are juggling between work and family life. If you are experiencing the same scenarios, you need to start changing your routine. This means you need to start making time for things that will help improve your quality of life.

Improving Your Lifestyle through Continuous Learning

If you are interested in leading a successful life, you need to make sure that you are willing to keep going out of your comfort zone. This means you have to lead a life where you prioritize growth and improvement instead of stability. To achieve this, you need to explore new opportunities to improve your knowledge and skills about a certain field. Here are a few ways to do this:

  • Prepare a list of short-term and long-term goals—One of the best ways to motivate yourself to learn something new is to set personal goals. You have to keep adding items to your goals list so you can be encouraged to grab new opportunities. This means you need to continue challenging yourself so you can achieve something better.
  • Turn your mistakes into opportunities—Don’t be discouraged whenever you face obstacles or failures. Make sure to accept your mistakes, but learn how to turn them into opportunities to do better. The key is to maintain your confidence and self-esteem so you can overcome any obstacles.
  • Find diverse and reliable learning tools and sources—Train yourself to research various learning tools and sources. You can find a personal mentor to learn something new. If not, you can browse the internet and start checking out informative resources. The key is to prepare a list of the specific skills or knowledge that you want to learn.
  • Schedule time for fun and excitement—Keep in mind that there are learning activities where you can gain new skills while having fun. For instance, you can enroll yourself in dance classes. You can look for a rehearsal room for rent and invite your friends to join you. With this, you will gain a new skill, pursue a new hobby, and find time to have fun.
  • Surround yourself with successful and inspiring people—Allow yourself to be exposed to people who can help you find inspiration to succeed in life. They can be a mentor, a friend, or even a relative. They don’t even need to become a popular person. They need to have the wisdom and knowledge that helps motivate other people to reach their maximum potential.

woman taking notes

Understanding the Impact of Growth on Personal Success

Feeling satisfied with where you are in life teaches you about resilience and humility. Knowing that you can appreciate your current achievements will definitely bring you joy and happiness. However, you also need to allow yourself to explore new and excellent opportunities. Doing so does not mean that you don’t feel grateful about your current lifestyle. Aiming for growth and change only helps you understand that you are more than capable of achieving bigger dreams. Here are some other benefits of aiming for growth and improvement in your life:

  • Realize your real potential—Some people believe that they can only master certain skills. As a result, they get scared about trying out new things. However, if you embrace growth and improvement, you can explore and uncover untapped skills and talents.
  • Manage negative thoughts and emotions—Aiming for growth also teaches you to become more mature about your emotional health. With this, you will be able to handle negative thoughts and emotions more effectively. Also, you can easily manage stress and anxiety, which may hinder your ability to show excellence.
  • Improve your health and well-being—You will also slowly learn more things about yourself. With this, you become aware of your needs and preferences. You also begin to understand the importance of taking care of yourself and maintaining your overall health.

Sticking with a stable lifestyle can be tempting, especially if you have already developed a routine. However, you need to realize that sticking to old habits will only prevent you from reaching your potential. As a result, you end up losing the chance to grab excellent opportunities to lead a better life. This can become a problem, especially if you are exposed to an environment full of competitive people. Thus, find some time to evaluate your lifestyle and start making an effort to gain new skills and abilities.

online class moderator

The Road to Postgraduate Education for Aspiring Professionals

The job market is becoming more competitive than ever. There was a time when all you needed to land a good-paying job and climb the corporate ladder was a bachelor’s degree. Nowadays, employers are looking for professionals with more specialized knowledge and experience in their respective fields.

Returning to school to earn an advanced degree may not be something that interests you. Why would it if you already have a job that pays well and offers you financial stability? Becoming a student and attending classes once more doesn’t seem like a good way to spend your free time.

But if you’re stuck in a job that no longer challenges you and, therefore, is wasting your potential, then earning a postgraduate degree might be the answer you’re looking for. With an advanced degree under your belt, you’ll be offering yourself more opportunities for career growth, increased earning potential, and a wider professional network.

However, for this degree to work in your favor, it should be in line with the career that you are currently pursuing. There are plenty of fields that you can choose to apply for in a graduate school, so you should decide wisely. Here are three areas where a master’s degree can really be beneficial to your career:

Business Administration

Business management, accountancy, human resources, and health information. These are only some fields that you can excel in when you have a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. The world of business organizations is ever-changing. That’s why advanced or lifelong learning is needed to succeed in it.

Through the business administration program, you can develop a global perspective on how organizations operate and gain advanced technical skills to be at par with business leaders in the industry. You will also enhance your problem-solving and strategic thinking capabilities to better handle your future circumstances.

The courses that you can take during this graduate degree will tackle leadership and organization, business policies, and marketing and financial management, among others. These courses will equip you with the knowledge and skills that you will need to truly excel in the world of business.

Computer Education

Information research science, software development, and computer literacy education. These are only some fields that you can excel in when you have a master’s degree in computer science. Knowing the concepts of this field is one thing, but having the capacity to transfer this knowledge onto others is another.

By studying computer education further, you can become an expert in developing and modifying coding languages, performing experiments on new software, and publishing your research findings in professional journals to help others in your field.

In the academe, earning an advanced degree in computer science can allow you to understand the intricacies of technology better. You can also learn how to apply your newfound knowledge to mold the future generation of trailblazers.

Public Administration

Young woman studying at home

Healthcare, public service, and non-profit organizations. These are sectors that you can potentially belong to where having a Master’s Degree in Public Administration can be highly beneficial. This program was created specifically for people in the pursuit of knowledge to serve the public better.

By undertaking an advanced degree in public administration, you can learn about the academic theories revolving around the public sector and gain practical skills by applying these theories. You will also have the ability to promote a more ethical approach to serving the public among your peers.

To have a leadership position in government or non-profit organizations means that you have the power to make decisions for your community. And with great power comes great responsibility. Earning a master’s degree can help you advance your knowledge and create informed policies through scholarly research.

How to Begin Your Postgraduate Degree

Many professionals who considered attending a graduate school were discouraged by the fact that they will be adding more responsibilities to their plates. And that much is true. In pursuit of advancing your technical skills and knowledge, you will have to sacrifice your free time as well as resources.

An average master’s degree can take one and a half to two years for full-time students and longer for those who are juggling a full-time job alongside it. But this duration greatly depends on your program, specialization, school, and ability to comply with your requirements.

Fortunately, many graduate schools have begun to offer their programs through online modes to accommodate professionals’ schedules. This eliminates the hassle of traveling to and from classes, adjusting to a fixed schedule, and going through rigorous bureaucratic processes.

Through virtual programs and remote learning, you can earn your postgraduate degree in your own time and at your own pace without outside pressure. Not only will you be opening yourself up to a world of possibilities, but you will also be learning about something that you are passionate about.

online class moderator

Alternatives If a Four-year College Education Isn’t an Option

In most, if not all, constitutions around the world, education is cemented as a right that all citizens should have. But even with this notion, a college education remains to be a privilege. In the United States, only 36 percent of the population spent more than four years in higher education and have at least a bachelor’s degree. In 2019, only 36.6 percent of women had a bachelor’s degree, while there were only 35.4 percent of men.

Many people don’t pursue a college degree for many reasons. For one, they feel that furthering their career lies beyond the four walls of a classroom. But for many, a college education is too expensive. Private universities and state universities’ tuition fees for a four-year degree costs about $45 to $55 thousand per year. There are many options for students who wish to finish their college education. There are scholarships and loan opportunities. But their socioeconomic situation most probably gets in the way. They needed to focus on work to start earning a stable income.

Fortunately, there are many other learning opportunities and recognition other than a four-year college education. We need to find the best one for us and our choice of career.

Recognition of Prior Learning Certification

If there’s one thing that we have that full-time college students don’t have, it’s work experience. Our need to start working right after high school can lead to rewards for our education. This is where a recognition of prior learning (RPL) Certification will come in.

By getting an RPL Certification, we’re getting our work experience officially recognized. For example, suppose we have experience working in an office, holding a management or supervisory position, or even owning a business. In that case, we can get an RPL Certification for business. This will help us polish our résumés and further our careers. Just because we didn’t sit down inside classrooms, wrote papers, and took tests, it doesn’t mean that we didn’t gain a wide range of knowledge, skills, and mindsets.

Massive Open Online Courses

Young woman studying at home

Whether educators would like to admit it or not, the internet has helped a lot in furthering the education of many. The best way it did so is through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). These courses are readily available online, and they’re often free of charge.

Many high-ranking universities such as Harvard University and Yale University offer free courses for the public. But private companies are also offering free online courses. An example is Google through the Google Digital Garage. One of the classes that we can take is the fundamentals of digital marketing. This course has the seal of approval from the Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe and the Open University. After going through the 26 modules and 40 hours of the course, we can get officially certified by the said institutions.

Coding Boot Camps

Today, being tech-savvy is no longer just a huge plus on our résumés. It’s a necessity. The good thing is there’s a dedicated learning opportunity for this, which are coding boot camps. Unlike MOOCs, coding boot camps come with a price. But there are many benefits to them.

One is that we could directly learn from experts in a concentrated setting. We can easily reach out to them so that we could have a more thorough learning experience. Second, we get to meet people who have the same professional interests as ours. Who knows? Maybe we will meet our future partners for a tech startup at a coding boot camp. Again, much like the previous examples above, coding boot camps come with a certification widely recognized by employers around the world, making it a little bit easier for us to secure a job.

Technical and Vocational Education and Training

If we’re already sure about the career path that we’ve chosen, then going through Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) may be the best learning opportunity for us. This form of education is already specific to the job that we would want to have. Here, we’ll learn the tricks of the trade before we start the actual jobs. After going through the training, we will earn the proper certification that will help us capture the attention of potential employers.

Don’t get it wrong. Earning a college degree is essential. But because not everyone can pursue it, it would be good to present an array of viable options that would help them have a successful career. With the technology, teachers, and other learning institutions that we have now, it’s clear that we can try different alternatives beyond our primary and secondary education.

Making a Career of Your Passion

Everybody wants to earn money doing what they love. Whether it be making art, creating smartphone applications, playing video games, or writing novels, a lot of people start out dreaming up careers around hobbies that give them a sense of fulfillment.

There are considerations you have to make to determine whether this is a feasible option for your future. Profiting from activities you're passionate about is different from doing them simply because they make you happy. The sooner you determine whether your career and your passion should be the same or best kept separate, the better you'll be able to plan for your future.

Your Level of Mastery

Mastery is integral if you are to profit from any skill. If you're considering becoming a professional pianist with annual recitals in your hometown of Colorado, you have to identify the steps you'll take to get there. Signing up for beginner piano lessons is your top priority, and then you have to figure out how long it would take for you to progress. The financial investment you'll make is also among your top concerns because this is one of the many professions that require formal education to truly excel in.

Perhaps it's not piano concertos you see in your future but managing your own music studio. The level of mastery you need won't be the same as that of a professional pianist, but you'll also need to learn how to manage this kind of business. This makes a bachelor's degree in business courses a fitting choice. Your goal then becomes to achieve a certain level of mastery in playing the piano and running a business.

Your Desired Lifestyle

Do your research on how much money the people in your desired profession make. The influential ones that bag six figures might be your role models, but it's better to stay on the safe side and assume a more practical role in your industry.

When you have an idea of how much the average artist, IT specialist, or author makes, you'll be able to see whether that'll be enough to support your ideal lifestyle. If it doesn't, then perhaps you should invest in another profession with a higher earning capacity. Consider pursuing a more financially stable job before slowly making a side hustle of your passions. Following the earlier example, you can take a job in the corporate world and offer piano lessons on the weekend to children in your neighborhood to start.

The more realistic your plans are, the more likely you'll be able to turn your aspiration into reality.

Your Innate Gifts

young people dancing in a studio

You can be passionate about something and not be gifted in it. Some examples of this are people who are passionate about music, books, dance, and cooking. Just because you feel strongly about them doesn't mean you excel in them. At the same time, just because you don't excel in them doesn't mean that you can't turn them into a career. Simply becoming aware if you're gifted in the same things you're passionate about will help you make feasible projections about the profession you should pursue in the future.

Maybe your innate gift is in managing a business and not in playing the piano. It could also be the other way around. You could be an especially gifted pianist with no administrative skills to run a music studio. It's also possible that playing the piano will continue to be just a hobby. There's nothing wrong with that because it's there to make you happy.

Simply recognizing your gifts, passions, strengths, and weaknesses can fast-track your progress in the right career.

Take your time

Reflecting on all these in one sitting won't be enough to make the best choices for your future. Take your time exploring the different ways you can make money doing what you're passionate about and exert effort into recognizing your innate gifts. These two can be completely different things, but you can still maximize both to land the career of your dreams and live the life you want.

child attending online classes

How to Make a “Classroom” Feel Like Home

Home schooling is most effective when it is done in an environment that is conducive to learning, which, in most cases, takes the form of a classroom. But while students are taking English PSLE in Singapore while COVID is still a threat, how can parents create a learning environment that will inspire their children to learn and stay focused on their studies despite the unusual set-up of online learning?

Here are several tips on how to create a “classroom” at home for your young learner:

Isolate a space dedicated to learning

As adults, we tend to be more productive when we work in a space that we associate with work. It’s the same for kids, who have higher levels of focus when they are in an area that they associate with school. Hence, instead of letting them take home classes in the living room, the kitchen, or an area in the house that is not associated with learning, set up a space for them that is dedicated to schoolwork, such as in the home office.

It is also not recommended to set up a learning space in their bedroom, since bedrooms are a place for rest and play. Having your child learn in an area that they can associate with school only will keep their school and personal lives separate, which can help reduce anxiety and stress levels as well as maintain concentration.

Make it look like a traditional classroom

Some children learn better if they study in an area that mimics the traditional classroom environment. If your child wants to have their own “mini classroom” at home, get some things that can make their study space look like a traditional classroom, such as high-quality tote trays for school, mini blackboards, educational posters, and display boards. Don’t forget to get your child’s input, too. Better yet, let them pick what they want to decorate their space with.

child taking notes attending online classes

…or not

One of the advantages of an home schooling is that your child gets to learn in a non-traditional environment. You can use that freedom to create a learning environment wherein your child will feel inspired to study. Unlike a traditional classroom, you can use bean bags, playmats, standing desks, and other things that will help your child retain focus. If they feel restless, which is common with online learning, the feeling of not being in a traditional classroom can help them regain concentration.

Establish a routine

Children thrive from routine, but with online school, the routine that they’ve grown so used to at school is no longer the same. Help them ease into the new routine by creating a written schedule. When they can see what to expect next, they will feel comfortable with the predictability and are likely to be less restless. It also helps to incorporate regular activities during breaks so that they can get off the computer, such as exercises, snacks, and games.

Minimize distractions

The number one challenge of home schooling is the distractions present at home. There are many things that can distract your young learner from classes, such as neighborhood noise, other family members, toys, the TV, and phones. And sometimes, it only takes one distraction to ruin their entire focus for the rest of the class.

To prevent distractions from getting in the way of your child’s learning, learn how you can minimize them as much as possible. This can include shutting off noise-making electronics, telling other family members to be quiet, and letting out the dog while your child is in class.

Creating an environment that is conducive to learning is the best way to help your child succeed in an online school. While the current set-up of distance learning is not ideal for everyone, making these small adjustments can result in a big impact on your child’s comfort, ability to focus, and willingness to learn despite being in a non-traditional “classroom.”

students in class

Best Practices for Schools According to Choice Theory Expert WIlliam Glasser

William Glasser and his work The Choice Theory is one of the most renowned theories of Modern-day Psychology. It tackles the inherent truth of our psychological problems and why schools in the modern-day setting do not work.

For William Glasser, schools are stuck in an unhealthy cycle of punishing students when they do something wrong. Schools are addicted to disciplining students more than they are willing to teach them. They also do not reward students enough to facilitate a healthy experience.

This is pivotal in enriching how much children can learn from schools and whether they are willing to stay in school. To counter this, William

Glasser explained how his theory could help schools, teachers, and students alike. Here are some best practices for schools, according to William Glasser.

Early Education

Early education is an essential part of a child’s progression. It is a time when they are discovering the world and receiving feedback from it. William Glasser believes that B.F. Skinner’s learning theory is a fundamental theory that should be integrated into various schools and daycare centers. Glasser explains that younger children learn from their environment. They also depend on what is given to them. Punishment isn’t an excellent teacher, and children know that, so through reinforcement, they can learn much better.

Reinforcement plays a significant role in early education. Rewarding younger students, either through intrinsic or extrinsic rewards, can aid them in learning. It can also teach them that school isn’t a bad place. It’s an organization that aims to facilitate play, learning, and growth. All of which are essential for every child as they grow up.

However, Glasser also explains that as children grow up, they start to choose their behaviors. This is something he was adamant about in his book. So Skinner’s operant conditioning might no longer be enough as students transition to the next learning level.

School Administration

When visiting a consortium, Glasser found that many schools are only doing enough to get by. There aren’t many schools willing to lend out an extra hand to enrich student potential, and it didn’t matter if there were a couple of hard-working students willing to take on the extra credit.

Glasser explains that, much like bosses at work, school administrators force students to do what they want them to do, and they punish them if they stray from the path. It is a destructive process as school administrators have the illusion of believing that the current school system is right.

Student writing
William Glasser proposes school administrators to question this. If the current school system is right, why are there so many low-performing students? Additionally, why are the best-performing students not becoming the best students they can be? There needs to be a reform in how school administrators think because they are inclined to let students learn subjects they do not necessarily need in their later life stages. They are stuck in the monotonous practice of memorizing certain terms and knowledge without much benefit aside from passing in class. Passing in class isn’t even a good enough reward anymore. Students are only doing it because they don’t want to be punished. This kind of school administration has many faults and only serves the school itself when it should be the other way around.

Glasser suggests a more joyful school environment that rewards students for the good things they do. Additionally, when a student does something that is wrong or has a hard time learning a subject, they don’t fail. Instead, they are better taught. The grading system should never have a failing grade. It should only determine whether if a student needs more attention or not.

Quality Schools and Extra-Curricular Activities

When William Glasser interviewed a couple of high school students from Alma, Michigan, the audience heard a shocking fact. Students aren’t doing their best in school despite what their grades say about them. A high-performing student with all A’s isn’t doing his best as much as a low-performing student with failing marks. It is in their extra-curricular activities they do their best in, a class that doesn’t even reward them with grades. Why is that?

It’s because extra-curricular activities are fun and teach things that students can apply in their daily lives. They get to learn something they are interested in, and because of that, students are more willing to give it their best than their actual classes. Schools should look into their extra-curricular activities for consideration and question if they facilitate such learning in their main classes.

Ultimately, schools should be a place of learning, not a place of punishment. Many of our current school systems rely on segregating students by grade and judging their performance depending on how they do in classes they won’t even need in the future. Schools should make a change, and at the heart of that change should be student learning.

Up Your Musical Career: Find a Music Mentor

Whether you’re a music student or already a professional creating awesome tunes, you cannot deny that pursuing a career in the music industry is fun and exciting. But you have to acknowledge that it can take more than dedication and motivation to make it big. You need to have someone who will help you do away with bad habits – someone who can help you improve your technique. You need a music mentor.

Other than the technical skills that you will get from them, a mentor will also help you create connections and build your network, which is helpful for your career. Now, the problem is where and how to find a reliable mentor. Not to worry, though, here are some things you might want to bear in mind:

Consider your teacher

One of the first people you need to look at is your teacher. Whether you are a student at Julliard or someone attending private lessons with your piano teacher, your instructor can serve as your mentor. First, they already know your skills, and they can create a program that can work for you. Second, they might have connections with other music teachers and even producers in the industry. All these are what you can harness if you decide to make your teacher a mentor.

man playing the piano

Find training and conferences

Conferences, training, and seminars are not only great places to meet musical collaborators or producers who take a liking in your craft. You can also find people here who can help you advance in your field. This is why you need to attend masterclasses and similar events spearheaded by a renowned person in music.

However, you need to keep in mind that competition can be tough, so you need to stand out. Prepare your best material and hand it over when you have the chance. Some of them might be willing to take it, knowing that musical personalities are also on the lookout for great talents.

Be mindful of the traits

Granted that you have secured meetings with your mentors, you need to check first if your values align with them. Yes, you seek mentorship from them, but you are not supposed to lose yourself in the process. If your mentor is domineering to the point that they are out to strip you of your musical identity, you can reconsider things. A mentor should be understanding and appreciative of a person’s craft. His criticism should be respectful, not judgmental.

Learn to walk away

Mentorship is supposed to be a collaboration. It should be about encouragement and constructive criticisms. It’s a two-way relationship. If you’ve been an apprentice for some months, yet you gain nothing, or your style does not improve, don’t waste any more time. Find another mentor that respects you, your craft, and your time.

Be guided

Having a mentor is like having a guide in the music industry. So you need to take the time and exert effort to find the one that suits you and your philosophy. It can take longer, but it’s much better than finding the wrong one at the soonest time possible.

 

online class moderator

4 Simple Ways to Teach Online Classes Better

With a global pandemic at large, many people’s daily routines have been inevitably shuffled. People how once worked outside every day have to make major adjustments. Those who work in the office find themselves working from home. And even schools have changed their approach to that of remote learning. We as a society rely more on the Internet for formerly face to face tasks such as working and going to school.

As months go on, people have begun adjusting to what’s become the “new normal”. However, adjustments don’t come easily, and it can be hard for those who are used to one format to adjust to an online one. Especially in the case of teachers, online teaching can be quite a struggle. Teaching in a live classroom can be difficult as it is, but suddenly having to change to a format where you constantly look at a screen, it can be a challenge.

It’s Different But also the Same

While teaching online does come with its differences, many of the skills needed to be an effective teacher still carry over. There simply needs to be some adjustment and fine-tuning to make your teaching strategy effective over video streaming.

We’re going to look at some pointers that can assist you in creating an engaging atmosphere and make distance learning a great experience for both you and your students.

Invest in Your Equipment

Being that the computer will be the primary tool you’ll be using to connect to your student, it simply makes sense to invest in a good machine that will help you get through. Video and audio streaming technology have progressed far enough that we don’t need extremely high processing power to do it effectively- but it doesn’t hurt to have a reliable computer to help you.

Consider also the room you teach in. Having a plain background and a sound-proof or quiet room will be very helpful in reducing distractions in your lessons. Especially if you’re teaching something that requires intense focus. Giving singing, guitar, or drum lessons basically require you to have a quiet environment to teach effectively. There is software-based noise cancellation technology to aid you in this regard, so you don’t have to worry about spending too much on noise-canceling foam.

online class process

Prepare Your Slides

Presentation slides used to be optional; most if not all schools had a chalkboard or a whiteboard that the teacher can use to add a visual aid to their lecture. As time went on, more and more teachers are using presentation slides in place of writing on the board, and it might be for the better.

However, with the shift to an online platform, having visual aids are almost a requirement. Looking at a video of a teacher explaining something for 30 minutes to an hour doesn’t really make for an engaging class. As a teacher, you need to utilize slides to their fullest potential. Create easy-to-read slides with readable fonts (even on smaller screens). Instead of cramming as much information as you can in one slide, it’s better to spread them out. Having a lot of slides in your presentation file is perfectly fine, as you can send it later as your student’s studying material.

Utilize the Cloud to Your Advantage

The Internet is not just a place where you can meet, it’s also a place where you can store valuable data. And as we all know, file-sharing is an integral part of Internet culture. So why not take advantage of the cloud to better aid your students?

You can use cloud storage to host multiple files, from videos to audio files, from PDFs to JPEGs. This is a great opportunity for you to let your students access multiple files of the same thing. You can send an online version of a classic book that you’d like them to read, or store videos of your classes for later perusal. You can also make browser-based tests to make giving out tests and quizzes easier.

Using the tools available in the cloud is among the skills you need to develop to teach online better. While the skills such as test-making, material-gathering, and the like remain the same, the way you give them has changed.

It’s Still a Classroom

Being that the major change is the ‘feel’ of it all- being online versus face to face, a teacher can easily fall into the trap of thinking that it’s not like a classroom anymore. But it is. Whatever skills you had as a teacher before are still very much applicable in the online setting. Your communication skills, empathy, and technical knowledge are still very much a large part of your teaching arsenal. The change is but the way we reach our students, but all in all, it’s still the student-teacher interaction that matters the most.