Sunday, September 25, 2011

Let's Evaluate "Success"

From an early age I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to teach, and I wanted to teach young children.  I've always had a passion for helping people and I've always felt the need to be a leader.  Now, looking back now on all my accomplishments I realize how many times I failed. I am thankful, though, that I've never let that stop me from chasing what I was made to do. Too often people are intimidated by failure. It's the worst thing that can happen, right? Wrong, and this idea of failure got me thinking of success. How does one become successful? What or who determines whether or not you are successful?

I am currently a junior education major at the University of Northern Iowa, which has an excellent program for education. If I had to be honest, though, I have second guessed my ability to be an effective teacher countless times. I think that when you're talking about something you're extremely passionate about, like teaching, then at some point you're going to doubt your chances of success. That idea got me thinking, too. Everyone doubts their ability at some point. UNI is preparing me with an abundance of resources, rewarding field experiences, and challenging courses. Studying among some of the most intelligent, confident, and driven people I've met, it almost wouldn't be right not to assess my own abilities. One of the steps to success is failure.  It's going to happen at some point, but if teaching is something I've always wanted to do then how could I stop? I won't and I'm going to work hard to make it happen. I know that success can only be achieved if you work through the doubt, work through the failure, then make something of yourself. 

Check out this video by Richard St. John about the 8 secrets to success. 

Doesn't this inspire you? Doesn't this make you feel so much better about your chances of success? The key is that you can't be afraid to chase your dreams. Let your ideas be heard. Persist through failure. Challenge yourself, and accept challenges from others. Stay focused. And most of all, love what you do.

Melissa Kelly published a post on sharing 6 keys of a successful teacher:

1. Have a sense of humor
2. Have a positive attitude
3. Set high expectations
4. Be consistent
5. Be fair
6. Be flexible

I would add a seventh, be passionate. If you love what you do then it isn't work!

Check out this video that I stumbled upon about what teachers make.

You see, to be a successful teacher it isn't about how much money you make. It's about having the passion, having the drive, having the desire to help other people succeed. Successful teachers are leaders who aren't interested in gaining more followers, but instead encouraging their students to become a leaders. I want to teach because to be successful all I have to do is be myself. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

You Can Make A Difference Too

Like a lot of people, I love watching TED talks.  Listening to these talks inspires me. One of my favorite TED talks is by Ken Robinson. In the video, Ken Robinson says Schools Kill Creativity, he makes a very daring statement. He says that schools are holding children back from their own creativity.  That doesn't seem right does it? It doesn't seem like a school could do such a thing, but in a way he is right. Children love to explore, create, and share their own ideas. Humans are creative by nature. Unfortunately, by the time children reach high school they are so afraid to be wrong because in today's school system "mistakes are the worst thing you can make." On the contrary, we know that mistakes are somewhat of a good thing. The human brain functions in a way that making mistakes is sometimes the best way to learn. Robinson goes on to say that the result of stigmatizing mistakes we are "educating people out of their creativity." As a future educator, I feel like it's my duty to see each child's creative capacity for all its worth and help them hold on to that to make sure their future is bright. After all, shouldn't teachers want what's best for their students?

Another very inspirational post that I came across last week was from Angela Maiers' Blog. A lot of you may have already seen this post, but it's called You Matter. Two very simple words that hold a very powerful meaning. If you haven't seen the video, you really should. It's about this idea that everyone has the desire to feel like they matter, and the truth is every single person on this Earth does matter. My favorite part in her video was the talk about her notebook. She carries around a notebook writing down anything good that she sees, which she sometimes shares later.  Soon, the students adopted that very same hobby. It's amazing to see and hear how powerful it can be just by telling someone that they matter. A kind act like that is contagious. She's got a great idea going and it's definitely something I will take with me into my personal and professional life.

I also came across a site called Thanks For Teaching Us on a blog that I was reading last week. Sadly, I can't remember who's blog it was and I couldn't find it today. However, this is such a great site and I encourage all of you to post something to this site if you've ever had a favorite teacher and you want to thank them! I was encouraged to post on it once I read Angela Maiers' You Matter post because I have had a couple of teachers who made me feel like I mattered. It made a huge difference in my life.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Google Gravity

For the past week I have spent some time organizing my iGoogle. Using iGoogle for my blogs makes it much easier to keep up with them.  Today, I was reading Jane Hart's blog when I came across her post on Google Gravity. To my understanding, Google Gravity is a experiment with HTML 5. HTML 5 will make it easier for web pages to display graphical content without having to download any additional plug-ins. HTML 5 is still under development as of September 2011. Playing around with Google Gravity got my excited to see more. I'm interesting in seeing what the internet experience will be once HTML 5 catches on more. Everyone should check out Google Gravity for themselves!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

How To Start A Movement

This is one of my favorite videos. The idea of starting a movement seems so simple, but here it is actually broken down into parts and analyzed. Enjoy!