6 Golden Nuggets for New Teachers

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Every year, teachers all around the world embark upon a new, and exciting adventure. This adventure has its fair share of ups and downs. In spite of that, this adventure will allow for countless opportunities to serve and positively impact current and future generations of students. This new life is called teaching.

Here are six important pieces of advice for new teachers as they prepare for the world of education:

1. Shadow other teachers. Take the time out of your schedule to shadow other teachers (regardless of subject matter). You could learn some very valuable information.

2. Don’t be afraid to say, ‘I don’t know.’ You’re new and it’s ok not to know everything. Sometimes not knowing allows you to see things from a different and unique perspective that can be seen in a positive light. Embrace wht you don’t know.

3. Treat all students equally. Sounds pretty self-explanatory, however, some teachers favor their own students over others. At the end of the day, all students deserve to be treated the same. Try your best to treat them all as one.

4. Always over-plan. When brainstorming lessons and thinking about class activities, it’s hard to gauge how long it may take. It’s better to have more planned than not enough.

5. Be Proactive With Parents. Parents can be your greatest allies or your worst enemies. You have their prized possessions held captive in front of you every day. You don’t need to agree with parents all the time. Do what’s right and communicate through logical, levelheaded statements.

6. Enjoy Yourself. Make sure to enjoy your first year as a teacher. It’ll never happen again. Laugh with students on occasion, but also ensure your studnets know their boundaries. If you can keep this perspective, and help your students to balance work and play, your first year as a new teacher is going to be nothing shy of successful.

5 College Myths You Should Know About

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Whether you believe them or not, college myths are there, and always talked about during application season. Academically focused or regarding the college experience, these “falsehoods” undermine students from great opportunities every day. We’d like to put some of these myths to bed so that you can sleep knowing the truth when choosing the college or university that is best for you.

Myth #1 -You won’t be admitted in to a college if you did poorly in high school. Colleges look for improvement in performance as a sign that you can, and will put in the time and effort. Just don’t plan to play catch up in your last year as a senior.

Myth #2Your major/career should be decided before you choose a college. College is your time to explore. A large number of students discover their ideal field and/or major while taking a course they weren’t initially interested in.

Myth #3In order to get good grades, you’ll have to live in the library. When it comes to college, balance and moderation are key—and that’s what school life was designed for.

Myth #4Cost and value are the same. Just because a college may cost more doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a better school. There are so many factors that go into the cost of a school – including aspects other than academics. So make sure you don’t equate expensive with academics.

Myth #5Only the very best students receive financial aid from colleges.If you are admitted to a college, the board wants to help you and make it possible for you to enroll. True- top performing students may receive “merit-based scholarships”, but the majority of financial aid goes to students in need.

4 Creative Ways to Bring QR Codes into the Classroom:

Scanning QR code with mobile phone

So what exactly is a QR code? ‘QR’ is short for “Quick Response” and this code is, more often than not, in the shape of a square. It looks like a pixelated bar code You can use any mobile device with a camera to scan and read this code. The code will point your device to the web-based location set up by the QR code generator.

QR codes are easy to produce and fun to make, and they’ll keep every student’s (and parent’s) attention. These pixelated bar codes could easily be described as digital magic. Here are a few ideas of how QR codes can be easily integrated into the classroom:

  1. Back-to-school night. At back-to-school night parents usually end up with a mount of papers that they may or may not keep for reference throughout the school year. Use QR codes to pull all of the important information from these papers so students and parents can retain it for further use on their mobile devices.
  2. Contact information. Your contact information can be generated into a QR code, and thus give parents access to your preferred method of contact.
  3. Important events. QR code generators can also create important calendar events for which parents can scan the code, and load the event into their preferred calendar application.
  4. Educational stations. If you are meeting with multiple families at one time for parent-teacher conferences, you can keep the rest of the families waiting in line busy with educational stations. Use QR codes to pull up educational videos or games to keep families productive while waiting.

What are some ways you would like to see QR codes put to use in the classroom?

Back to School: 5 Tips to Owning Your A.P Classes

AP Classes

If you didn’t already know, A.P courses are designed to demand academic excellence from you. If you have enrolled in one of these courses for the year, you should expect a challenge because teachers are trying to encourage a higher level of analysis and critical thinking in an effort to prepare you for the real world.

Yes, these courses are difficult. And you’ve most probably heard all of the horror stories, be it not passing the AP exam, or ending your social life. The fact remains that this is the time where you have a real opportunity to explore your favorite subjects in depth, as well as learn a thing or two about yourself.

Here are some pointers to help you master, and exceed in your AP classes.

  1. Select your A.P classes wisely. If you already know your future college major, and are settled on becoming what you always wanted since you were a kid, then select an A.P course in that subject area. For example, if you’re considering pursuing a medical career, an A.P chemistry course will provide you with the chance to test the waters. Most college institutions also offer credit for these courses.
  2. Don’t procrastinate! It’s true- the amount of work for an A.P class is unruly. A good tip is to manage your time by allocating a certain number of hours a week to your classwork. As simple as it sounds, make a to-do list. These have been proven effective for many high school and college students.
  3. Study in every possible way. If this is the first time you’re taking an A.P course, the best way to excel is to try out multiple different study methods. Use flashcards, join in on study groups, read and re-read, or become best friends with your highlighter.
  4. Set realistic expectations. Have a steady grasp on how the course is structured, how the point system works, and how your overall grade is calculated. A big factor of success is the prep work that goes behind it.
  5. Talk to your teachers. Your teachers are your friends, not your enemies. If you are struggling with a concept, get help. If you prove to your teachers that you are dedicated to success in the course, they will dedicate themselves to help you succeed.

5 Tips for a Standout College Application Essay

College Essay

One of the scariest parts of the entire college admission process is writing the dreaded college essay. Your essay reveals something important about you that your grades and test scores don’t—your personality. It can give admission officers a sense of who you are, as well as showcasing your writing skills. Try these tips to craft your essay.

  1. Storytelling: Pick a true story that’s linked to a problem you’ve encountered in the past. This can include any trials and tribulations, a phobia, a personal flaw, a major change. Whatever you pick, end the essay on a positive note.
  2. Opening line: Admissions offices sift through dozens of essays a day. Wake them up with something unexpected, and attention grabbing.
  3. Understand the college’s values: The key to writing a standout essay is to portray how your personal goals align with the college’s mission. How will you add value to the college?
  4. Get feedback: Share your first draft with your family, friends, and mentors. Consider their feedback and make any necessary changes, but remember that this essay represents who you are, so keep your writing voice consistent.
  5. Proofread: Grammatical and punctuation errors, along with spelling mistakes can hurt your chance of being accepted. They show a lack of care and quality control in your written work. If English isn’t your greatest strength, seek help. If you can’t find expert help, there are many online services that can provide assistance. Be absolutely sure to proofread your college essays before hitting submit.

EdTech: Now and Then

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Technology is most probably the core domain of our lives; be it in education, amidst travels, in entertainment, and more. Have you ever taken a second to wonder if technology is leaving a positive impact on our lives or if it’s contributed to a physical dependency we’ve created for ourselves?

A few years ago, technology in education was a controversial topic amongst society. Everyone had opposing views on modernizing education and making it technology aided. There were a huge number of positives and negatives to this issue. But, educational institutions soon realized the importance of technology in education. Its positives outnumbered the negatives, and now, with technology, education has taken a whole new meaning in the name of transformation. Technology and education are an award-winning combination, if used together appropriately.

Educators, students, and parents have a variety of learning tools at their fingertips. Here are some of the ways in which technology can prove positive in the education industry:

  1. Teachers can collaborate. They can communicate with others across the world in an instant, meet the shortcomings of their work, refine it and provide their students with the best. This approach definitely enhances the practice of teaching.
  2. Students can develop valuable research skills at a young age. Technology provides students with instant access to a plethora of quality information, which leads to learning at a much quicker rate.
  3. Students and teachers have access to invaluable material. The Internet provides a variety of knowledge and doesn’t limit either students or teachers to one hard-stop opinion.
  4. Online learning is now an equally credible option: Face-to-face interaction is huge, especially in the younger years, but some students work better when they can go at their own pace. Online education has continued to be the game changer.

5 Unique Ways to Celebrate Women’s Equality Day

Women's Equality Day

Today, we celebrate Women’s Equality Day, commemorating the Nineteenth Amendment giving half of humanity the right to vote outside of Wyoming; today, we recognize all of the advances made by women.

On this special anniversary, it’s rewarding to look back and honor the brave work of the suffragettes long ago. However, what we must understand is that the struggle for other basic rights (i.e education, health care, unfair pay) in America, and all across the world, still lives on.

Join us and other organizations around the country to celebrate Women’s Equality Day by doing one of the following:

  1. Register to vote.
  2. Share this blog with your friends. Your reminder can inspire someone to take a stand on important issues.
  3. Sign a petition. There are a number of petitions on the Internet, covering a range of topics. Sign up for a petition near and dear to your heart, and get involved!
  4. EducateOne. We give you an opportunity to join our educateONE movement and create an impact. For every sign up, we will donate one free lesson to a
    an underprivileged student. Our educateONE program is driven to close the gender gap that exists today by  empowering the next generation with this unique opportunity.
  5. Pay a virtual visit to the online National Women’s History Museum. The museum educates, inspires, and empowers the future by integrating women’s distinctive history into the culture and history of America.