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21.09.2015

Fourteen years ago, I taught my first group of students, and recently I gave some advice to a practicum student under my supervision. Poor guy - he probably doesn't realize that classroom experience doesn't qualify me as an expert or even mean I halfway feel confident in what I'm doing.Nonetheless, I decided to compile a list of my best advice. If you're a new teacher, here you go. I'm hitting you with my best shot:1. Forget approximately 56% of everything your university just taught you. It's theoretical methodology that only holds water in ideal conditions with high-achieving, issue-less students. The students you face will not follow the formula, and each must be treated individually. There is no "one size fits all" method for your wee ones. Take bits and pieces of the best theories and combine them with your teacher's intuition. A teacher's gut is better than an untried theory any day.2. Remember Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. If your kids are hungry, exhausted, or stressed from their parents' all night screaming fests, they can't learn. Period. Fix what you can and love them through what you can't. If their basic needs aren't being met, your love will have a much...

16.09.2015

There's been a whole lot of this in my life lately.My firstborn - my 6 pound baby boy - is tackling and being tackled. He owns a helmet and knows about defensive plays, and I have to watch as boys built like men drive him to the ground.Needless to say, my prayer life has changed.He loves football, but this is his first year. Most of the other guys have been out there before, so he's had a lot of making up to do. He's had to learn positions and plays, and he also has what we'll call a significant size deficit. (He's a year younger than everybody on his team, so the poor kid is easy to pick out of the crowd.)At this week's game, though, this happened.He got one of the two golden game coins. After each game, the coaches choose both an offensive and defensive player to receive recognition. And my baby boy got one.Now, listen. He didn't score a touchdown. He didn't catch a pass. He didn't do anything for which his name would be in lights.He just did his assignment.He was told to block, so he blocked. Play after play, every time he was in, he...

13.09.2015

A Prayer as Our 21 Day Fast Ends:"God, we've been through a lot these past 21 days. There have moments of enlightenment, times of frustration, and nonstop reliance on you. It's not easy to give up things that are such a normal part of life on this planet, and whether it was food or Facebook, substances or sleep, we all set aside something to hear from you more. We all abstained from something to grow closer to our Sustainer. As this time of deliberate separation from the world comes to a close, we pray that the real results are only beginning. We ask, God, that what you began in us during these 21 days will grow and multiply in ways we cannot imagine. Many of us were praying specific prayers, and we ask you to show us the specific answers we seek. Many of us were looking for breakthroughs, and we ask you to show us the paths we couldn't see before.Add captionBut we're also praying something else, God, and we're courageously asking it. We're asking you to show us both something about ourselves and something about you that we didn't even know would come through this time. We're asking...

12.09.2015

I had an argument with God today over trash, and He won.Shocking.I was innocently walking to my car after work, juggling three bags across the parking lot (because who doesn't need three bags full of stuff you won't actually work on over the weekend even though you tell yourself you will?).And there it was. A piece of trash. Plastic littering the serene asphalt landscape. nycography.weebly.comI saw it and had that thought we all have: "I should pick that up." And then I had the other thought we all have: "Nope. Not mine. And my hands are full."So I loaded all the bags of good intentions into the mom van and intended to head on my merry way. That's when I heard it. No, not the James Earl Jones voice of God booming from heaven. The quiet whisper of God in my spirit. "Go back and pick that up. Right now."I didn't want to. I wanted to blast the air conditioning in that van and drive away and enjoy the beginning of my weekend. I wanted to let someone else's trash be someone else's problem. But I couldn't. So I didn't. The thing about God is that He's not bossy, but He's...