Teacher qualities to look for are unlikely to be the same from parents to students to administrators. Everyone generally agrees on: kind, nice, “good teacher”, knows content, but this is not enough to define a stellar teacher. During my years as an administrator, on occasion, I’ve had to deal with teachers who were incredibly popular with the parent population, but quite frankly were not great based on the teacher qualities I looked for.

As one who has interviewed hundreds of teacher candidates and filled numerous teacher positions K-12, I look for and will probe a candidate repeatedly in relation to certain qualities/characteristics that I believe are essential to a great teacher. Here are just a few of those teacher qualities:

1. Deep understanding and knowledge of the content. Every great teacher has deep understanding and knowledge of the content they are teaching. This is a given. After all, who wants an AP Biology teacher who doesn’t have a firm grasp of higher level concepts of biology? Yet, I am sure that some of you reading this have had a teacher or two who really didn’t have strong or deep content knowledge, and I’m willing to guess that this teacher was probably not the best teacher you ever had.…

I’ve been working as an online writing tutor during the last 10 years or so, and this has helped me understand the feelings of isolation that so many students that I work with are experiencing.

I often hear my students explain that they don’t really understand their assignments, what it is their instructors are looking for, and that they only rarely will receive a response to their emails when they are asking for help.

Often they feel lost, so they are pretty grateful for finding me, at least a real person they can connect with.

Additionally, quite a few students have never ever visited, nor are they aware of, their school’s library, be it online or in a physical building, and this causes many problems when they are assigned research papers.…

Lainie is a single mom traveling with her 12-year old boy Miro on a journey that started 2 years ago and is aimed at lasting 8 years. They both volunteer in the places they stop and they work together on the blog Raising Miro.com.

She chose the unschooling path, or more precisely, worldschooling, while they learn lessons of compassion and about being true global citizens. Their blog is more focused on podcasts, where they talk about their life on the road and interview some really cool travelers and unschoolers (although still full of texts and beautiful pics).

Now, let’s move to our interview. Both Lainie and Miro have specific questions, so pay attention to who is being addressed.

Lainie, you travel by intuition, you stay for many months in one place like Guatemala (8 months) and then choose to stay way less in others like Costa Rica (2 months on different occasions). How do you decide, or feel that´s time to move on?

Lainie: That’s a really great question. However, there really isn’t a formula answer, as each situation is different.What I can tell you is that both Miro and I have the same reflex, the same response to the places we visit. There has never been an opportunity where one of us has liked the place and the other …

By the End of Kindergarten:

  • Children have an understanding of how our alphabetic language works. They are learning that sounds and letters are related.
  • Children may be able to locate and begin to use some high-frequency words from shared reading and writing books that have been added to a class word wall.

By the End of First Grade:

Phonics skills are taken from words that children encounter in their reading and words they commonly use in their writing.

They include:

  • High-frequency sight words, many of which do not follow spelling patterns, are often learned through the use of a word wall. For more information see Sight Word section of this web site.
  • Words with consonant digraphs and have a known word for each digraph (sh, ch, th).
    For more information see Letter Sound Correspondences Model 1 and Model 2.
  • Words with the most common word families. For more information see High Utility Word Families.

By the End of Second/Third Grade:

Phonemic awareness is an oral language skill. It is the awareness that phonemes exist as abstractable and manipulative components of spoken language. It is not phonics, and it is more than auditory discrimination.

Phonemic Awareness Tasks

In short, children have learned to communicate effectively.
Talking to and with children develops their receptive and expressive skills using this language. As they refine and extend their language skills, children learn new words, new meanings for familiar words, and new ways of saying things.

They develop an awareness of the sounds that make up spoken words and the ability to manipulate those sounds known as phonemic awareness. Let’s take a look at the most common examples of Phonemic Awareness:

If you walk into our school, you can tell the environment radiates an atmosphere that is completely created for children. The bright and large rooms are full of laughter and dedication. There are several outdoor play areas to ensure a developmentally appropriate learning and playing where children can develop their skills.

The teachers will provide each individual student with the support and commitment they require to feel confident learners and individuals. New school energy gets driven by a few important trends:

  • Student-centered. We have learned from software and marketing developments to consider user experience in a deep way. That has resulted in a totally renewed focus towards learner experience. Nellie Mae’s Education Foundation states that student-centered teaching and learning will engage students in their personal success, and will also incorporate their skills and interests into the process of learning.
  • Access. Today, internet access is far cheaper than access to textbooks, so providing take-home tech devices to allow for anytime-anywhere learning would absolutely make sense.
  • Next-gen learning. Modern-day learning models are blending face-to-face and online learnig experiences to come up with competency-based and personalized learning sequences.
  • Broader aims. It’s absolutely clear that relational skills and mindsets are just as crucial as academic knowledge.
  • Projects. Our economy is project-based, and project-based learning is a good way to integrate academic subjects and to

It’s Sunday morning and I am working, clearing out emails and reading a few too.  One of my favorite daily emails is from Seth Godin.  Everything he says is succinct and yet still has the ability to make me think, usually for far longer than I want. 

This morning I wake up to his latest blog entitled, “Living with doubt…..is almost always more profitable than living with certainty”.  

How true.  As small business owners, we are constantly faced with doubts, you don’t  believe what kind of ideas come to my mind when I am full of doubts.

Recently I thought about getting an MBA degree, so I would have a valid background. I did a proper research and I know it’s kind of pricey but there are also online MBA programs that don’t require GMAT and are more affordable. I found a few great websites that list MBA that are also included in top rankings. Can you imagine that you can get an MBA for less than 9K and you don’t need to pass any extra exam? 

I know an MBA degree is not making you successful if you are a small business owner but I think it can be helpful. Okay, now my other ideas.…

What exactly is ‘storytelling’? Well, that’s easy, telling stories, of course! Today, you can find so many diverse, fantastic, and sometimes very overwhelming ways to do some great storytelling.

What I would like to explore is the traditional, oral way of storytelling, and this has been a part of our human culture and life since we left Africa some 200,000 years ago or more…

Maybe storytelling was the key reason why languages could develop in the first place, as our human minds began to wonder, inquire, and think.

Why are we telling stories?

Whether in cities, in schools, or in caves, storytelling has always been the most important and innate form of human communication. We all tell stories.

The horrors and happenings on the news, the story of the day, the story of our lives, gossip on the workplace, it goes on and on, and our brain is hard-wired to listen, think, and express ourselves in terms of beginning, middles, and ends of stories. This is more or less how we see and understand our world.…

Remember the excitement you felt when your parent put a crisp dollar bill in your hand? Or counting coins in your piggy bank, saving up for that new toy or trip to the arcade? The next generation of American children may never know this feeling if a growing handful of Internet companies have their way.

Beginning this spring, parents will be able to give their children money through the Web so they can spend allowances without ever leaving home. And startups building these so-called electronic wallets are betting parents will opt for the convenience of online shopping and the ability to track how their children are spending money.

“Kids and teens are very into computers and the Internet, but they haven’t been able to participate in e-commerce until now. There is a better future if we help our kids learn how to save, spend, and donate wisely.”

And entrepreneurs undoubtedly see their future in dollar signs as kids’ fascination with the Net grows. Kids and teens have tremendous buying power.…

Well, our organic products may be some of the coolest on the market, but have you noticed your online sales slumping? Worse, has your e-commerce failed to take off altogether?

Perhaps the problem is the ambiance of your website, or lack thereof. When marketing organic food, personal care products, clothing, etc, it’s important to remember that your audience is savvy and seeking an elevated customer experience.

Take Motherlove, for example. It’s a 20-year-old company specializing in holistic, organic body care products for babies, pregnant women and breastfeeding.

Using environmentally friendly marketing, such as an electronic press kit, is only a fraction of what Motherlove does to create an online ambiance. Entering this site feels like walking into a lavender-scented, holistic store stocked with therapeutic oils and balms, books, information and even a library of plants and herbs and their healing properties. It seems less like a website aiming to make a buck and more like a warm, comforting atmosphere.…