Monday, August 24, 2015

P is for Prague

Prague. What can I write in this space that hasn’t been written before? Would it surprise you if I noticed then commented on the fact that Prague has modelesque women every 7 feet in any direction? It's actually insane. It's basically the opposite of what the streets of New Zealand are like. What if I mentioned how historic, full of history and gorgeous scenery Prague possesses?

I’m afraid that growing up in an all-French speaking school has left me unable and ill-equipped to write a post that is up to a certain medieval European standard so I will shoot you straight and swiftly. This may shock some long time readers but I believe Prague to be slightly overrated. There is nothing wrong with Prague. It was my first taste of Europe and has been a solid start to a year (possibly several) on this continent. Does it have beautiful castles?

Does it not have interesting facts like The Rolling Stones paid to light up this magnificent castle because the Czech government couldn’t afford it? Or that they have a rich history of throwing people out of their windows? Sure but every country does that. One of my main beefs with Prague is how much smoking is allowed in restaurants and bars. Those 5 days have taken at least that many days off of my life. #thanksPrague.

I also got lost every day I was there. It lost its novelty on day 4. It’s not that tough of a place to navigate but there is something about the place that just doesn’t make me love it or want to come back to it. 2 days would be enough, 3 if you are feeling like you have an abundance of time to waste. Prague is the first place I took part on a free walking tour and that was decent. Those guides know what’s up and he gave away 5 free beer for answering trivia questions (of course I won one). Other moderately good things about Prague is there number of casinos, beer at Burger King, number of pub crawls, affordable living and I met some cool people at the hostel I was staying at which made the trip worth it. I stayed here for $25 a night.

My flight from Toronto to Montreal to Prague was a breeze. Was the only person in a row of three on the way to Montreal then the plane stopped to pick up passengers so people had to change seats; not the most efficient system. My ticket said middle seat so I  analyzed the situation: a man and his wife and an empty middle seat. Wasn’t too eager to jump into that situation so waited until more passengers came aboard in hopes that an aisle seat would open up. Slowly the airplane fills up with nobody sitting in my original row. I casually sit down, buckle up and just as we are about to take flight, a French guy sits in the other aisle destroying my newest dream of flying to Europe in my own private aisle but those are the breaks sometimes. Update on Warsaw next.  

This is just another reason why The Rolling Stones are better than the Beatles. The Beatles never lit shit.” 
Tour Guide

Monday, August 3, 2015

Harder than last time

I can already feel it. It seems like I am constantly looking at my calendar in disbelief that I will be in Europe in 14 days. I can remember feeling somewhat indifferent about taking off for the first time four years ago with little expectation and the possibility of returning home in a month if things went south quickly. I now have a better grasp of what moving an ocean away entails and is making me more nervous and melancholy. I’ve loved these last 15 months and there is a part of me that feels like I might be making a mistake. Not a mistake of the country (who doesn’t love Poland??!!) or my school but there is something to be said about staying in one place, planting roots and keeping current friendships alive and strong. It’s normal to question yourself, your choices and your path right? I’m not the only one? I understand that in the grand scheme of things I’m still fairly young but 29 turns into 30 then that becomes 35 then I’m 40. Then what? I’ve also possibly made the mistake of not having a family sooner because the earlier you start, the more time you how with those monsters you have created. But I can’t just marry anyone and have a baby with them right? I feel confused and uncertain that I’m maximizing my life. It’s clear that I’m not a financial success at this point; I’m not divorced so I have that going for me. I also believe that once I’m roaming the streets of Prague on the 19th, I will think that I made the right life choice or once I stop working at my current job that isn’t exactly A1, I will feel better about my direction in life.

Moving away isn’t a minor life choice and thinking it through and wondering about different paths has to be a normal train of thought. The worst case scenario is that I don’t love my job or Poland and it is over in 10 months. The best case scenario is that Poland and my school is amazing, I see most of the things I have on my list and I find an amazing two year contract that pays me well and gives me great teaching experience. My reality will probably fall somewhere in the middle of those two options. I hope this doesn’t seem like I’m mad, sad or ungrateful, I know big changes are ahead and I’m just slightly anxious about going at it alone again.

In other events, I got a text a 2am Friday asking if I wanted a free weekend wristband to Veld. Veld is a massive electronic dance music festival with 30 thousand people, dancing and DJ’s. Here is what last year looked like:

A wristband for the weekend is around $300 plus drinks, food and people getting after it once it shuts down around 11pm. I’ve been to festivals and concerts before but this was my first EDM festival and even though it isn’t my go-to genre of music, it sounds incredible with their sound systems and it’s in an open field essentially so there is some room for a bit of personal space. Unless you are right up in the thick of it, then there’s no room. My big takeaways from Veld were:
-It got cancelled Sunday night because of thunderstorms in the area which ended up passing through but they do take safety seriously which I suppose is a good thing but people weren’t happy. I wasn’t happy and didn’t pay 300. I can imagine how people who actually looked forward to this all year felt. They also delayed it for two hours on the Saturday because of some mild clouds. Kinda lame.

-People love partying and just going for it. People, especially girls, treat these festivals like Halloween so there were some provocatively dressed women at this event. People love dressing up and escaping reality.

-Waster was $5-10. Food and other drinks not cheap either. I’m not sure how teenagers can afford it. I can’t.

-EDM is synonymous with drugs because a good percentage of people at these events are high on drugs. It can’t be safe or healthy. They do have security that does a decent job but what they aren’t showing you on the after party video is people tripping out in a field, people in an ambulance or being arrested for selling drugs to kids. Funny how that didn’t make the final cut. 

-Two people died last year.  Zero this year as far as I know. People shouldn't die at festivals. 

-While yes, some people indulge a bit too much, there isn’t much or any violence and there is generally a great vibe of people dancing and having a great time being outside and enjoying life. Not every day is a music video but might as well make it count when given the opportunity.

If you just had a long weekend, I hope it was a fun and safe one. Let’s stay in touch and maximize the rest of our summertime.

“In these times I don't, in a manner of speaking, know what

I want; perhaps I don't want what I know and want what I 

don't know.” 

Marsilio Ficino

Friday, July 3, 2015

Responsibility? I don't understand

I would rank the level of responsibility in my life about a 2 out of ten. I don’t have a house, car, kids, a wife or even a pet lobster to take care of.  These facts suit me just fine. I embrace my teenage level of responsibility. This enables me to make every decision based on how it will enhance my life and not take into account anyone else’s feelings or desires. It’s a life that I’ve designed not particularly on purpose to be Bert centred and focused.

There are 18 year old's in this world who have a very adorable little boy or girl at home, work full-time, live in a one bedroom apartment without their family around to support them and make choices not on how much fun they can possibly have but what is best for their child’s short and long term safety and happiness. Their responsibility level hovers right around that 9 level. Just because someone has a higher level, doesn’t mean that their life is considerably harder or better but is in part a reflection of the choices that person has made along with their priorities. We are as responsible as our life situation forces us to be.

Some people desire and crave responsibility. Having a job with a great deal of responsibility usually means getting paid commensurately. A person who is in charge of people and a payroll will be paid higher than the parking lot attendant who only needs to worry about people not practising how to make a baby in his parking lot. Sometimes, responsibility comes gradually. Moving away to school, getting a girlfriend, full-time job, house, pet rooster, wife and so on. Other times, it is more sudden like being left to take care of a child after they are left to you in your best friends will or having to take care of a parent who is sick and forgetful. (Mom, don’t get sick. I’m busy) While I shy away from all forms of responsibility such as making long or short term plans or owning anything that will keep me tied to one place, if a random event forced me to think of another person first or be less selfish, I’m (pretty) sure I would be able to do it. You just adjust and make a new plan. 

We as humans adapt to new realities quickly. Things aren’t as bad as we imagine it to be in our brains. While I currently am in love with my no responsibility life (example: One of my biggest responsibilities is changing the dehumidifier water in my room that I live in for free, in my brother’s basement; I think I’m getting better at it) once I fall in love (which I’m not even excited for) and get married, I will welcome responsibility. House? Sure! Car? Why not a min-van? Pets? Sure! Let’s make this place a zoo! Going from a 2 to a 7 is a drastic change but once you already have some responsibility, what’s one more person living in your house or baseball team to coach?

I would like to hear what you think your responsibility level is, if you think lower or higher leads to more happiness and how you manage the stress, if any, of having an increasing load of responsibility in your daily life. I have a three day weekend coming up and honestly have nothing pressing that needs to be accomplished. I do have to get a chest x-ray done for Poland and help someone move for about an hour but that about sums it up. Let me know if you have a more adult weekend in the works. I love you all very much. 

"The price of greatness is responsibility." Winston Churchill 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

No more school and a new niece!

First of all, my brother and his wife had a new baby yesterday so I’m an uncle for the 9th time! Her name is Eliane and I love her already! I’m heading to Toronto for Easter so I won’t have to wait more than a year to see this one! Life is good everyone.

I just finished my last assignments on Thursday and now I start my final practicum tomorrow in Kanata teaching a 4/5 class. I’m teaching them fractions, rocks and minerals and spelling strategies. Last practicum I mainly taught subtraction and a few other lessons but by the end of this practicum I should be teaching close to a 100% which is a little intimidating but apparently I’ve been preparing for this for the last 8 months so I should rock it. My main goal for tomorrow is remember all of their names then go from there. I have a friend from my section who is placed at the same school so that should make the transition a little easier and more fun. After April 24th, I will be a certified teacher (hopefully) and free to explore the globe at my leisure. I was recently offered a job teaching in Kuwait on a one year contract but I thought it over a few nights and it just didn’t seem 100% right in my heart. I feel like once you start making decisions solely based on money and you know deep down isn’t the right choice for you, is when your life starts to veer off course. I’m good at making important life changing decisions because you just need to trust yourself completely that you are making the right choice for your life at that moment. Not believing in yourself and your decision making process is a huge disadvantage. It helps having reasonable friends and family to bounce ideas off of but somewhere deep down you know the path you should follow so I’m just trying to listen to that. My current game plan is to apply to international schools in Japan and hope for the best. It’s been my dream since 2009 and I believe I would fall in love with Japan instantly. I have experience, will be a certified teacher and think I’m going to be an amazing teacher so I’m trying to be picky with what school I decide to spend the next two years working for. It’s kind of like dating. You are looking for the right fit for both parties and there are plenty of opportunities out there, you just need to search, put your best foot forward and it will all be okay.

 In other events, let me just say that this last year has flown by. I can’t believe that I’ve been home almost 12 months, about to finish school and jump into whatever is coming next. School certainly surpassed my expectations (because we all know not to have any…), I’ve met genuinely great people who will hopefully let me stay in their lives for the years to come and I learned how to be a better teacher. Yes, there is a ton of group work and some of it wasn’t the most engaging but for the most part, learning how to be a teacher is a tough thing to teach and I think Ottawa U does a good job all things considered.
Now spring creeps into our future with the promise of a hot and flip flop filled summer. No more shoveling, boots or brushing off the car is only days or weeks away. March Madness is a welcomed source of entertainment along with sugar shacks and maple syrup! Enjoy life everyone!!! That’s probably enough for today, I should have a few more posts upcoming about new jobs and unwanted life advice; I have a lunch to make!

“Do your own thing on your own terms and get what you came here for.”
-Oliver James

“Remember to always be yourself. Unless you suck.”
-Joss Whedon

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Update on 2015

Bit of an extended break between this and the last post because not a whole lot has been going on. Christmas break was great, finished my first term at Ottawa U, had an amazing Montreal New Year’s with my international friends who I love very much and now we are on the home stretch to being a certified teacher and figuring out what’s next. So. What’s next?

This past weekend I attended an international job fair at Queen’s called TORF. It is incredibly well run and organized. More than 60 schools from all over the world attended with around 300 teacher candidates. What an experience. I applied, paid and uploaded my documents a few weeks ago and at that point any school can review your file and see if you are a right fit for their school and their teaching openings. There was a list of schools attending that I looked over with a specific focus on the UAE for the possibility of making more money and being in a hot climate. If you know me at all, you might know that I’m not Type A, super organized. Getting prepared for this fair, printing out forms, making sure I had everything was somewhat of a challenge because I didn’t want to forget anything because this weekend could change my life. I had a place to stay through couchsurfing so that was an added free bonus. I went to Kingston Friday at noon, drove to Kingston and met Daphne and two other guys who were attending the conference. I got an email that morning to interview for a job in New Cairo for a job teaching at a Canadian school in Egypt that teaches the Ontario curriculum. This was my first real serious teaching interview and I think I handled it well because they offered me a job starting in August. I wouldn’t be able to save as much money as I wanted in Egypt so I declined their offer. It must be a huge struggle to recruit people to a country that is constantly in the news. I think that the media blows things out of proportion and it was more about money than safety in my decision to decline their offer.

After the interview, I went to Queen’s to register and meet with potential schools for interviews Saturday and Sunday. When you arrive they give you an envelope with information you will need for the weekend along with blue cards. Those blue cards are from schools that are interested in meeting you. I LOVE the idea of someone asking to interview me. It’s like when a girl comes up and talks to me first. That happened once……Anyway, I had like 6 blue cards and it amazed me. I anticipated maybe one card because I don’t have experience at an international school so when I saw all the cards it gave me confidence. Some of the countries included Macau, Venezuela, Honduras, Mexico, Thailand and Italy. ITALY! I didn’t even consider this school because it would be in such high demand and Europe is a goal I have in a few years. So I had 20 minutes to respond to these cards. One minute my mind is set on the UAE. The next, thoughts of Italy and South America flood my mind. All of these contracts are two years so it is a major commitment to make that I take seriously because I don’t want to bail on a school that has but its faith in me. I decline Venezuela, Macau and a few others while excitingly checking yes to Italy, Bangkok and one in Qatar. At 7pm, everyone was in the auditorium for a briefing about how the weekend was going to play out. You could feel the tension. At 8, we were free to enter the gym and talk to potential school at their booths and request an interview. It wasn’t as chaotic as I had imagined so I picked the schools I researched, set up interviews and was ready to go in 20 minutes. After that, we grabbed a beer at a local watering hole while getting excited for our interviews in the morning. I researched the schools that were interested in me and was impressed with the Italian school that has IB curriculum and teaches half in Italian and half in English. They are legit. Did not get much sleep before it was off to my 7:30am meeting with a school in Bangkok. Thailand. Sigh. I love Thailand with all my heart and couldn’t ignore an interview with them but it wasn’t meant to be. The vice-principal didn’t even know where Nakhon was! After my first interview, I prepared for my next ones. School in the UAE went ok but I knew I wasn’t qualified enough for the position. After that, a good school in Qatar offered me a job teaching kindergarten for a decent pay. I am more comfortable teaching students who are a little older and I know I’m not the best kindergarten teacher so I declined that offer as well. 3 declines, 1 no offer.
Italy next. Good vibe from the director, felt good and answered his questions. Cancelled an interview to attend his presentation. Italy was the job I wanted. Told me they would email me later on that night. Ended up cancelling my last interview in the UAE because I heard bad things about the school and because I started to realize I really don’t want to move away alone again. I’ve done it and been successful but I would love to move somewhere I had contacts and some sort of base. Moving halfway across the world for a third time alone seems much more daunting now at 28 then it did when I was 25. It would be easier if I was married and just went where my wife wanted to live. Problem solved.

In the end, Italy never messaged me and I left the fair empty handed. It was my fault for increasing my expectations. The reason I did was because I was confident I could get what I wanted. As the weekend comes to an end, I’m confident that I’m a teacher that would make a school better and I have a lot to offer. This fair was compared by the organizers as speed dating. And they were right. You are looking for the right fit, timing and shared vision. I haven’t found her or the school yet but I’d rather be too patient and picky than jump into something that I know doesn’t feel a 100% right. On the plus side, my couchsurfing host signed at a school in Bulgaria! She wasn’t even considering going there on Friday and by Sunday she was committed to spending the next two years there. Amazing. I am now lifelong friends with her and Frank so the weekend wasn’t a total write off. I’m happy for everyone that got what they dreamed and it’s only a matter of time before I write a post about how ecstatic I am about my next adventure.  

"I will prepare and some day my chance will come." Abraham Lincoln

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Student as Learner-School Assignment

Today in gym we are playing dodgeball. Boys on this side; girls on that side. Game on!
We are heading to the library in a minute. Whoever is the quietest will get to line up first. Girls line up. Boys, line up behind them.
In Math we will be doing multiplication. I will divide you into two groups, show each group the question and the team that answers first wins. Boys on the left, girls on the right.
When we go outside, we will be making snowmen. Whoever can make the biggest snowman will win! Also, whoever can create the most life like snowman will also win! Go!

Situations like this and countless others take place each and every single day all over the world. Grouping, competing and evaluating boys and girls in the same class is common place. One week into my placement I asked my Associate Teacher about how he perceives the differences in boys and girls and if he changes his teaching style to accommodate their differentiated learning. His short and simple answer was “No”. He didn’t feel strongly that boys and girls are fundamentally different and should be taught differently. We discussed how he might approach a class filled with strictly boys and he had previously taught a class with only boys and his style didn’t change. During a recent Twitter chat with our Professor and other users of the social media site, we had a debate about how boys and girls differ. The main consensus was that boys are a bit more active in class, have trouble sitting still and tend to try and make their friends laugh. (I can relate to that one) Consensus on girls is they talk more but more quietly, read and write more. When I was first starting to teach kindergarten then my next year in grade three I never considered that my class had unique needs that will differ between boys and girls. Now that I’ve had a bit of time to think about it, when I think of past students who loved talking, girls come to my mind. Boys tended to be a bit more on the aggressive side for example play fighting, sports, anything Minecraft related, and essentially acting like girls don’t exist. Stereotypically or not, girls are a bit gentler, soft spoken, loved complimenting their teachers’ on their hairstyle or new outfit. If I were to go back to that school, I’m not sure if how I approached that year would be dramatically different other than knowing what I know now about how kids learn differently on different days and in different ways. I would agree with the research that states that boys and girls develop differently but it is unclear to me how and if it is necessary to teach them differently or to segregate them like in some schools in America and other places around the world. 

An article in the New York Times by Motoko Rich (2014), he writes that “Over all, research finds that single-sex education does not show significant academic benefits-or drawbacks. Janet Hyde, a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison who analyzed 184 studies covering 1.6 million children around the globe said the studies showing increased academic performance often involved other factors that could not be disentangled from the effects of the single-gender component.” Because this subject is new to me, I don’t feel incredibly passionate one way or the other but I’m leaning towards it not being a great idea to separate the two sexes due to lack of results and boys and girls need to learn to co-exist. They need to work together and segregating them only delays the inevitable of them working, living and starting families together. Rich (2014) wrote that “Shenilla Johnson, 9, a third grader at Charles Drew, considers an all-girls class a boon. Boys, she said, “annoy you”. While that may be the case, a parent, a friend or a coach might also annoy them but they won’t have the option of simply escaping them.

In Michael Gurian’s 2001 article Boys and Girls Learn Differently he notes that “you will discover many exceptions to what we say…you will notice some boys at the female end and some girls at the male…Many things are going on in each brain and personality that can outweigh gender difference.” I do believe that boys and girls are different but I don’t think treating them differently or putting them in certain classes is the solution. Putting them all together based on their age is a bigger issue that gender differences. Some 6 year olds can be learning with 8 year olds while a 9 year old might be as developed as a 7 year old. Gurian’s (2001) article does have some tangible tips for teachers to help with these gender differences. “Because girls and women are able to hear things better than boys and men, sometimes a loud voice is needed for boys. This fact makes an interesting basis for keeping boys near the front of the physical classroom. Males and females even see things differently, with females generally far better at seeing in a darkened room. On the other hand, males see better than women in bright light.” (p.30) These facts would suggest placing boys closer to the front of the class due to their biological needs. While boys and girls develop and process information differently, there is no universal “way” to teach everyone so it is important for the classroom teacher to get to know their class and find out their interests and passions. While they’re may not be a standard format to teach boys and girls, there does seem to be a common link in motivating a class to perform and behave. Rewards.

With rewards fresh on my mind entering my first practicum placement thanks to readings by Alfie Kohn, I quickly noticed how prevalent they were in my grade 1 class. At the end of each day, my Associate Teacher would assign work dollars to 3-4 students who followed the rules, worked extra well or were a good friend in the classroom that day. These work dollars could either be put into a movie fund and after $50 has been raised, the entire class could eat popcorn and watch a kid friendly movie. (We tried watching Jumanji. Apparently not kid friendly)  The student who earned the work dollars could also save their money for a trip to the “store” where they could pick one item in exchange for 7 work dollars. With Kohn (1993) in my mind with his quotes “The whole point is to control people’s behaviour”(p.53) and “Do rewards motivate people? Absolutely. They motivate people to get rewards” (p.67) I tried to assess the effects this rewards program had on the class and if they really did “do nothing to promote this collaboration or a sense of community…an undercurrent of “strifes and jealousies” is created whenever people scramble for goodies.” (p. 64) In my limited amount of time in that classroom, a few things stood out in relation to the rewards/punishment debate. Adding the element of the movie fund, the idea that $50 dollars needed to be raised to watch a fun movie encouraged collaboration in working together for a shared goal. Giving up the opportunity for a chance at the store was seen as a selfless act and they put the class’s enjoyment ahead of their own. I believe that this helps with class building, working together and the idea that they are stronger together than alone.

Another effect I noticed is that the teacher used it to reinforce certain behaviour that is deemed “unacceptable” in a classroom like yelling out answers to certain questions or talking to a friend while the teacher is speaking. I watched the behaviour of one student change 180 degree from the time I entered to the time I left and I’m sure that receiving work dollars and positive reinforcement played a massive role in her turn around. While I agree with Kohn (1993) that “If we do not address the ultimate cause of a problem, the problem will not get solved.” (p.62)  I believe that for some children, coming to school isn’t a fun or enjoyable experience. I did not like coming to school at all as a student because I attended an all-French speaking school with Anglophone parents with little to no help outside of school. If I was given the option of a special reward for learning a grammar rule, I would have been 100% more motivated than the 0% I was before entering the classroom. Some students just need a little extra push in the right direction and maybe with an extra sticker or two, they will get the ball rolling in the right direction, gain confidence and while still enjoying the reward, feel more connected and involved in their classroom.  William Glaser would use the terms power and fun in his approach to learning and classroom management (1986).

William Glasser (1986) wrote that “when any of us are in any situation where we decide that we no longer want to learn, we stop having fun…And as you almost always remember, your best teachers were able to make learning so much fun that you may still recall what they taught even though you have little use for it now.” (p. 29) I completely agree with Glasser’s points on fun in the classroom. In my first year teaching in Thailand, while I wanted my kindergarten class to learn to read and to count, my main goal was for them to wake up in the morning excited to come to Teacher Bert’s classroom. I can remember crying the first day of school and watching my mom leave me in this French foreign land. I kept in mind that they are still incredibly young, they have the whole rest of their lives in a classroom so it was my job to get them excited about the idea of school and that learning can be enjoyable and entertaining. I tried not being overly serious or insanely demanding; I would take them outside to the playground and read them fun books. I would play and interact with students from other kindergarten classes to make sure they had some fun in their day as well. 

Glasser (1986) also notes that “The more students can fulfill their needs in your academic classes, the more they will apply themselves to what is to be learned…If you do not find your work satisfying, you will never be able to do it as well as you would like.” (p.30-31) How do we make their work satisfying? Let’s see what our good friend Vivian Paley has to say on the subject.

VIivian Paley

Paley (2006) notes in her article On Listening to What the Children Say that “There are no right or wrong answers. Get everyone talking and then find connections-person-to-person, person-to-book.” (p.122) One major theme that I have learned these last four months is that a class feels more empowered when they are given choice, when what they are learning relates to their real life and are given time to collaborate and discuss while not just listening to the teacher the entire day. It wasn’t that long ago that I was in elementary school but there certainly seems to be a shift into each student learns in a certain way and it is the schools duty to ensure instruction is tailored to that pupil. I can hardly remember the issue of choice ever being brought up and another reason I didn't enjoy my learning journey was because we would learn things that were completely useless and inapplicable in my life. For example, I can remember not ever picking up an instrument or interacting with music in any way up until middle school. How grade 2’s are supposed to be excited about learning about Mozart?

Paley goes on to write that “He was truly curious…I practiced his open-ended questions, the kind that seek no specific answers but rather build a chain of ideas without the need for closure. It was not easy. I felt myself always waiting for the right answer-my answer.” (p.123)    I can relate to a feeling that in order for the class to be moving forward and learning, they needed to move quickly and give me the correct answer. During my practicum, my Associate Teacher was extremely patient in waiting for the class to process the question and give them time to think. People are generally uncomfortable with silence but is evidently a necessary part of giving a student space and time to think their thoughts through.

While I can see how new (and older) teachers could feel overwhelmed with theories, theorists, classroom management tricks and tips, I feel that if in your heart your truly want your class to grow as people and as students, you are on the right track. This career isn’t for everyone and everyone has their own approach but if you love being around kids, think they are genuinely funny and want to help make them better human beings, teaching and reflecting are the best ways to look out for your future students.

A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying. 
B.F. Skinner

Glasser, W., (1986). Control Theory in the Classroom. (pp.23-43). New York, NY. Harper and Row Publishers. ISBN: 0-06-096085-X
Gurian, Michael (2001). Boys and Girls Learn Differently!. (pp.13-43). San Fransico, CA. Jossey-Bass Publishers. ISBN: 0-7879-6117-5
Kohn A., (1993). Punished by Rewards. (pp. 49-67). New York, NY. Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 0-618-00181-6
Paley, V. G. (1986). On listening to what the children say. Harvard Educational Review, 56 (2), 124-131. ISSN 000178055
Rich, Motoko. (2014, November 30th) Old Tactic Gets New Use: Public Schools Separate Girls and Boys. The New York Times. Retrieved from