Hello there! :) First of all i would like to say i LOVE your blog very much and inspires me soo much. Keep on doing the things you do you awesome person. So my question is I have an exam coming up next month and do you have any tips and advice you could share? Thank you and have a nice day! :)
Thank you so much for the compliment - it really means a lot to me!
Since you didn’t say what kind of test it is, I guess you’re looking for general, unique advice? (If that’s not it, feel free to write me again:))
Well, I’m sure you know the usual advice: take many breaks, give your brain time to process stuff, always stay alert and curious, love what you do, drink water, DISCIPLINE, follow a regular study schedule, etc. etc., - you know, stuff that works for most normal people.
So what is stuff that works specifically for me? Well, honestly, I’m kind of a lazy bum, haha. I’m not really all about that iron-discipline - unlike most of the amazing studyblrs on here, I need to have FUN while studying and can’t really push through on determination alone. Seriously,
I find them incredibly inspiring, but …I’ll never be one of them. If you are, please remain as awesome as you are! You’re the light of discipline illuminating the muddy waters of our motivation! (May my tips help you see life from the other side and be glad you’re on yours)
If you aren’t, I welcome you to the brother- and sisterhood of “If it doesn’t interest me, I can’t study it” and “Once it piqued my interest, I can’t put it down” and “WHY CAN’T I EVER FOLLOW PLANS”. Let me teach your our ancient ways…
GET CREATIVE, OVERLEARN & PLAY
You will have noticed that some subjects just … aren’t that interesting to you. You know they are interesting and you know they’re valuable lessons for your life, but somehow you… just don’t click? On the other hand, there are subjects you LOVE, but you still can’t get yourself to study for them. So what’s the secret?
The secret is to use your creativity and PRODUCE something! If you produce output, you are 10000000* times more likely to remember something for life, than if you just swallow input - no matter how great your colour markers are, how often you read a text or stare at diagrams. Now, for most people this means writing summaries, which is a great way to condense a lot of information into a solid piece of writing, but let’s be honest: it’s kind of boring, isn’t it? Gets a bit repetitive, too. So what can you do? What are fun ways to play with the material in front of you?
(*rough estimation, not yet scientifically proven)
When I was in school, I doodled so much that my Maths professor once let me stay after class to tell me she was afraid doodling was interfering with my education (seriously. That happened). I wrote nothing but As and Bs in that class, but I get where she was coming from: I had mascots for each class, each with their own complex backstory, acting out concepts, voicing their thoughts, spelling out jingles, etc. and I would often refuse to leave the classroom until I was done colouring them. Yeah, it was a bit over the top, but it worked amazingly well! There’s just something about visualizing and drawing an idea that leaves an imprint on your brain. It doesn’t have to look professional (it shouldn’t, actually), but it should show how you understand this fact on a profound visual level.
When I entered university, I dropped doodling, because I thought that my notes had to look “respectable” now. That was probably one of the biggest study mistakes I’ve ever made - my notes looked boring and dry, I didn’t remember most things and I had less fun. Thankfully, I’ve started doing it again and studying has become much more effective AND fun since.
Pros: You can do it while you’re listening and it’s a great way to stay active and alert in class.
2) INDEPENDENT THOUGHT ALARM
Take ten minutes after each study session to just lie down/lean back and allow your brain to go ballistic - no, seriously, go mad, go full mind palace! Scrutinize, philosophize, find holes, find implications, question implications, question assumptions, question questions, question everything. Only then does it really seem like this is of worth to your brain - it gets to play around with the dough, roll around in it, stretch it, beat it, heat it, watch it grow or falter. It’s not just something on a piece of paper. It’s a part of your mind. So make sure you know what you let into your brain.
Pros: Great after learning a new concept, be prepared to go deep and find unexpected connections and loads of “aaaaaaah!” and “oh!” and “huh?”-moments
3) Lern MOAR
Hmm, do you smell that sweet feeling of knowing more than what the teacher said in class? Ah yes, it’s wikipedia, google and the library, my old friends! Contrary to popular opinion, most teachers are only human and cannot cover everything in class - they might even have to omit the one thing that would interest you the most and you’d never know about it, if you didn’t do independent research! It’s just amazing to fill in the blanks by yourself, to supplement the meal you got in class with some side dishes and sauces and get a filled knowledge stomach. Find books, films, songs, pictures, anything that could add to your learning experience.
Pros: Allows you to solidify the facts you HAVE to know, while also helping you amass knowledge for your personal pleasure, filling the holes you found in 2, impressing teachers on tests and in class and getting a real grasp on the topic.
4) BECOME YOUR OWN TEACHER
It is no secret that it is really, really effective to talk out loud and explain the material to someone else or yourself. So why not explain it to yourself who’s also someone else? Record yourself on tape or video and freeze a little bit of time and knowledge for future you. It is only when you’re asked to explain something to someone else without any notes that you will realize how much your brain has actually retained. This is a great way to test yourself AND allow future you a private lesson when you start forgetting it.
Pros: Great before tests, when you have a lot of material to rehash and chew through. Also +5 charisma points because you get to observe yourself on camera.
5) MAKE ART AND SCIENCE
So now you’ve actively taken it in (doodling), you’ve ruminated on it (independent thinking), you’ve filled in knowledge gaps (overlearning), you’ve taught it yourself and preserved it (video), the only thing that is left is to take the original source material and turn it into something more:
…write fiction/poetry/a song, paint pictures, invent a dance, conduct an experiment, see what you can come up with!
Example: I once had to study the layers of the earth’s atmosphere and the respective concentrations of chemical elements in each layer. I wrote a story about four of the main gases (Nitrogen, Hydrogen, Carbon Dioxide and Helium) hanging out and talking to each other. Lady Nitrogen was the arrogant princess-type (because she makes up most of the atmosphere), Hydrogen was the melancholic bum-type (because he used to be great once) and the two of them got into a bragging match about who was more important, since both of them had influenced the creation of life, while Helium and Carbon Dioxide fought about whether Helium or Carbon Dioxide’s brother Carbon Monoxide is more dangerous, since both can asphyxiate a person. To this day, this story is one of my (weirdest and) proudest creations and whenever I need to remember the most prominent gas… I just think of proud and vain Lady Nitrogen laughing in the sky.
This part very much depends on your passions: if you like music, create songs, if you like experiments, try to find victims willing participants or go measure stuff to support your hypothesis. Just take that thing, shape it with your own two hands and one true mind and truly make it yours. I promise you’ll never forget it AND you’ll have the time of your life making it.
Pros: Also great before tests, as it helps you to creatively summarize a LOT of material.
Just go nuts.
It depends on you and the subject in question how many of these tactics you are going to use, but I hope they will help you to enjoy studying for your exam. I’ve got my fingers crossed for you! :D
I know many teachers require students to keep a binder and keep it organized in a specific way to best benefit their class. The teachers check the binders periodically to enforce organization and all that. This is something I’ve grappled with as a new teacher, and I’d love some opinions and ideas.
Do you require your students to maintain a binder for your class? Do you tell them how to organize it? Do you do binder checks?
I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I want students to learn on their own. I want them to figure out how to be organized and see its benefits. On the other hand, I have realized this year that even though they’ve had teachers in elementary and middle school who have shown them how to organize a binder, many high school freshmen still don’t know how. They either don’t care or just don’t get it. I was so frustrated this year when students who were there every day would lose their warm up papers or other classwork, and then not get credit for them. And not care. At all.
The idea of doing binder checks and all that just seems so micro-managing. It seems tedious. It seems like a pain in my neck. So I would love some feedback about this. Is it worth the time and energy? Has it worked in your class? Do I just need to suck it up because it’s beneficial?
7 Things Students Think Teachers Should Do And Should NOT DO When Students Have Crushes On Them:
7 Things Students Think Teachers Should Do And Should NOT DO When Students Have Crushes On Them: How To Deal With Crushes.
1.)The most important rule: Do NOT PURSUE IT! The simplest and most important rule, yet many teachers break it. Even though the students may FANTASIES a secret relationship; In REALITY, they really don’t want one. This includes:
-Do NOT encourage it to boost your ego.
-Do NOT flirt. Not even “innocent” flirting. It’ll be damaging in the long run to both you and the student.
-In general, just do NOT do anything romantic/sexual. Use common sense.
*Note: This rule applies strictly while the student is underage and or still attending the same school. For the elementary, middle school, and high school teachers that want to pursue it, please ONLY do so when it’s LEGAL.. NOT a DAY, HOUR, or SECOND before that. For the college professors, please check your school’s rules before doing anything.
2.)Do NOT be a jerk! (Not even to try to end their crush.)It’s upsetting how many teachers break this rule as well. Just remember your students are people too. Please do not play with their feelings… It may be fun for you, but it can be hurtful to them. And being a jerk to stop the crush is not nice either. In many cases, it won’t stop them but only hurt them. Includes:
-Do NOT insult their feelings.
-Do not make extreme jokes that would hurt them.
-Do NOT shun, ignore them, or avoid them for fun or to make them jealous of other students.
-Do not extremely avoid eye contact or be inattentive when they are talking..
-Do not LIE about avoiding them.
-And finally, Do apologize when you do hurt their feelings. Do not be insensitive about it.
3.)Do NOT outcast them: Treat them like every other student. It is normal for a teacher to start avoiding a student that likes them. They fear encouraging the crush or leading them on. But this can be DAMAGING and TRAUMATIZING to the student’s moral. They still need you as a teacher.
-Do NOT ignore, avoid, shun, or deny them help on their school work when they need it.
-Do NOT unnecessary chase them away from the class. Transferring out is a LAST resort when students cross the line. If they have'nt done anything, it wouldn’t be nice to chase them away just because you do not want to deal with their feelings.
*Do Not avoid them more than the other students. If in the case you need to distance yourself, use it ONLY as a LAST RESORT if the student is going over the line after many redirections. Even that can be extremely traumatizing, so make it CLEAR that it is NOT about them personally.
4.)DO set clear boundaries, but be nice at the same time. -Consider the fact that they have to deal with the reality that they can never have their feelings return. Try to give a gentle, yet fair rejection. They’ll thank you for that. -Some teachers are clueless when it comes to a good rejection, so here are some guidelines:
-Do NOT say directly “It’s inappropriate” -They know that already.. That’s hurtful to hear. Use the line only when necessary for clarity.
-Do not say “stop it” when it comes to feelings -How is it possible to stop emotions? It only frustrates them because you are criticizing their feelings and giving them an impossible command.
-Do NOT say “That is unhealthy/unethical/unmoral”
*In general just don’t criticize.
-Let them know it’s not about them personally.
-Sugar coat it, but be clear at the same time. -A sugar coated rejection is still a rejection. So don’t be afraid to do it nicely.
-Try to be as indirect/hurtful as you can.
5.)DO tell them if anything they are doing is making you uncomfortable in any way. -Controlling feelings is difficult, but can be managed. Please informed them if they accidentally cross the line. A simple, honest but nice redirection will set them on the right track. Do not wait until it becomes unbearable or the situation goes out of hand.
6.)Do promise confidentiality, but not secrecy: -A lot of students with crushes may tell teachers personal things (abuse, trauma, etc.). Or sometimes, students may go out of line and do inappropriate actions. Follow the rules and report things when necessary. The student may not appreciate it at times, but in the long run it makes all the difference.
7.)Do still offer support and encouragement as a teacher. -It may be scary to do so because you fear that you are encouraging the crush. But do not let their feelings stop you from giving support and encouragement when needed. Remember, they still need you as a teacher.
“In this world you can do absolutely anything you choose, but you cannot do everything. Choose wisely and when you do be prepared to accept the consequences and potential rewards that may come with your choice.”
I’m not remotely a “veteran teacher” yet, but as I start off on year 7 of teaching, I have a few kernels of wisdom to pass along for those of you who find yourself becoming teachers. Or to those of you who need a refresher.
1- Most Importantly:Enjoy it!
Enjoy what you are teaching, because then your students will enjoy it more, too. You probably already know that, but it bears repeating.
2-Second advice nugget (or maybe it’s part B of that last one):Even (and maybe especially) the kid that drives you INSANE needs some positive encouragement.
So, Enjoy your students. Try your best to find something to like/appreciate about each kid, because not only will help you be more patient with them, it is vitally important for them. Maybe the most important thing they’ll get out of your class.
3-Remember: Real and Good Teaching is hard work.
So work hard, but remember to use your resources (books/curriculum, coworkers, the internet, teacherspayteachers, etc) and not to stress yourself out too much over a failed activity or a bad day.
4-Don’t let it go to your head:RESPECT your students - You are in a position of authority, but don’t be an asshole.
The worst teachers are the kind who abuse their authority to demean or belittle their students. Don’t be that teacher. And if you have a bad day, which you are entitled to do because you are (contrary to popular belief) human, be up front about it. Tell your students “Hey, sorry guys, I’m having a rough day and I’m a little short on patience right now” - they deserve fair warning. Also, if you (also because you are human) are a jerk and speak unkindly to a student or a class, apologize. You are not above apologies just because you are a teacher. Pull a kid aside and apologize to them 1:1 if you were rude to just them. Or, you know: Humble yourself and apologize to a whole class if you have to. Don’t let your role as a teacher absorb the nastiness that comes out of all human beings sometime and poison your teaching career.
5-Fact:Your attitude sets the mood in your classroom.
Don’t underestimate this power. Wield it carefully and intentionally.
6-I totally understand that it isn’t possible 100% of the time, but: Explain your reasoning for what you are doing in class!
Sometimes teachers give a directive that seems pretty pointless, but actually has a lot of purpose. Explaining the purpose of an activity can change the way a student views it/participates in it. I mean, you might know why you’re doing something, as a teacher, but the students might be sitting their like “wtf, this is dumb” unless you explain the actual reasons, at least from time to time! Now, whether it will actually help change students attitudes regarding classwork is also up to the student, but I think (sadly) teachers are prone to generally underestimate students’ intelligence - Give them the benefit of the doubt and help them see the why behind the what of the things that go down in your classroom.
7-Tip: Behave as if you are the only adult role model kids might have, because you might be.
Hopefully, God willing, your students are from loving families that take good care of them and love them and help them grow up into responsible and healthy adults … but that is not even usually the case. Everybody needs stable role models - people to emulate. You might not feel confident about being that person, but you are in a position of visibility that makes it inevitable that people will look at the way you act/live your life. Please live accordingly.
8- Seriously:Don’t be afraid to have a good time in your classroom.
LAUGH at things. If somebody says something funny (and I do NOT mean unintentionally) then give yourself the freedom to bust out laughing at it! I know this feels like I’m repeating #1 here, but it’s a little different.
9-Verbalize: Say the Good stuff.
If someone does a great job on something: tell them. If you like a student’s idea, tell them. If you think a doodle on a quiz is awesome: TELL THEM. Notice the good stuff, and do it out loud. I still remember some of the little things that teachers said to me that made all the difference, even in something so little as noticing/complimenting my perfume.
10-and I promise this is the last one, I wasn’t even going to write this many, but I have to in case anybody reads it: CARE
Just because a kid looks like they are doing okay on the outside doesn’t mean they are okay. Never type-cast your students as “lazy”, “slow”, “troublemakers” or “problem-children”. They are far, far, far more complex than some oversimplified label you might give them. You don’t know their whole story, and quite frankly: they don’t know you well enough to give it to you just because you’re their teacher. So, even if it’s hard, even if you’re sick of an attitude or behavior (which I do understand is rough - students sometimes act like you’re not human, and that’s tough to take in and not eventually dish back) please strive to AUTHENTICALLY care.
Offer to help a confused student - or, you know, if you can tell one student is having a hard time but know they might be embarrassed to ask for help, find a creative way to help them out. Take a minute to express your sadness if a student shares that their pet died. Keep granola bars in your desk, in case somebody doesn’t have a lunch or missed breakfast. Ask if somebody is okay if they seem a little off - even if it’s just by writing them a note on a post-it and subtly sticking it on their desk. Just: be kind.
SO I could use some advice. I got bit (several times) by one of my ED students last week- he’s ten and was very physically and verbally aggressive to me. Of course I understand that there are underlying issues and such going on for him and of course I still love him dearly but the whole thing was a little traumatic. He’s been suspended for a week by the head of school, though I’m not sure he knows why. Has anyone been in a similar situation? What can I do to a) feel comfortable around him when he comes back? and b) support him and help him feel safe and comfortable in the classroom?
ill be a first-year 10th grade math teacher this year and I am overwhelmed with setting up my room. I have no ideas and even less money. Please help me...
Hello! First-year teacher room set-up is seriously like a hazing event. You get keys to a room with what looks like the remains of garage sale furniture, a broken stapler, a 1980s lamp the size of an alpaca (that keeps showing back up no matter how many times you put it out by the trash), and boxes of whatever the previous occupant still needs to move out… maybe by November. And then everyone disappears. I think it’s an actual part of the new employee initiation: if you can survive this with humor and grace, you can make it with the kids.
*screeches into eternity* oMG THANK YOUU SO MUCH, YOUR CRITICISM IS PERFECT OMG THANKYOUTHANKYOU
sure thing!!! :D getting used to the more subtle shapes in bodies is a big step in art. i used to draw everyone w theses stick thin limbs and like rectangular bodies but man u gotta NUANCE that shit u gotta romance the shapes
not that one is better than the other or anything, but learning how to draw the softer bends and sways of people is definitely worth doing, even if youre going to commit to a blocky simple style. just like learning proportions and stuff because you can bring those into play in different ways in your art, accentuating this or that more effectively because you have a base to start off of!