The Doctor is in!!! After his brief stay overseas, Dr.
Manute is pleased to be back stateside answering questions from
Manute is a well-renowned world traveler, guest speaker, and educational
Manute holds multiple degrees in several educational fields. He has
stateside and international school communities. He has extensive
experience (25 years) in school administration. He also has worked
at the university level, supervising teacher interns and teaching
undergraduate courses. You
can contact Dr. Manute through the form at the end of this
A couple of months ago, I responded to a question about whether
curriculum or pedagogy was more important to teaching. I'm going
to follow up with some more thoughts.
A few issues back, we addressed
the question: "which was more important, knowledge of subject
matter or pedagogy?" Last time we focused more on the
importance of subject matter and how one acquires it. Now we will
address pedagogy and where it fits into the picture.
Basically, pedagogy is the
science of teaching, or the how to. Without it, there is no
transfer of knowledge or skills. This is not the same as someone
learning on their own, we are focusing on someone teaching someone else.
Let’s use the example of a
master carpenter, one who has the knowledge and understanding of tools
and building procedures. Now, that person is going to teach those
skills to an apprentice, how does he do it?
First of all he must decide
what skills he wants the apprentice to learn, then determine what the
apprentice already knows. From there he makes a step by step plan
of objectives and outcomes and decides on which skill to teach first.
To actually teach the skill he can use several methods such as modeling.
From there the apprentice practices on his own under the guidance of the
teacher. The teacher observes and makes decisions based on those
observations. Do they move ahead, do they need to re-teach, these
are decisions the teacher will make. Once the teacher is assured
the student is ready to move on, they move to the next objective and so
on. This is an over simplification of the teaching process, but
basically this is it. This process is used everyday, and not just
in classrooms. How did you learn to cook from your parents, or
wash your clothes or change the oil in your car? You were taught
using a process.
Now, the art of teaching has
been refined to include the latest and proven techniques that enable
teachers to reach all students. This is the science of teaching.
So, which is more important, knowledge of subject matter of pedagogy?
I say both are necessary for effective teaching to take place and one
without the other just won’t work.
Where do teachers acquire these
skills? It is an ongoing process that starts in their
undergraduate work and continues through the last day of their career.
Effective teachers never cease to refine their skills through classes,
workshops, colleagues and professional literature. Effective
teachers are the ultimate life-long learners.
I hope this helps clarify the
question about subject matter or pedagogy, unfortunately there are those
in education who only look at one area and indeed are wearing blinders.
Education is a process that is very complex yet very simple, and the
longer you are in it the more you realize that.
Yours in teaching,
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Hand is an
educator's resource for using some of the coolest technologies
Learning in Hand is
written by Tony Vincent. Tony taught fifth
grade in Omaha, Nebraska for six years, and three of those years
his students were pioneers in educational handheld computing.
Then, as technology specialist at Willowdale Elementary, Tony
brought the newest technologies into classrooms. Whether it was
digital video, blogs, email, podcasts, or handhelds, Tony helped
Willowdale teachers and students understand the usefulness of
new technologies. Currently, Tony is self-employed as an
education consultant. He conducts workshops, presents at
conferences, and writes books based on his teaching experiences
and passion for new technologies.
Always excited to
share, Tony has documented much of what he knows about handheld
computing and podcasting on his website, learninginhand.com.
There you'll find useful software collections, the best webs
links for handhelds, complete lesson plans, and an informative
Tony is a teacher who
wants to make education effective, relevant, and fun. He knows
handhelds are small computers that can make a big difference in
classrooms! He hopes Learning in Hand inspires and motivates
teachers to use technology that students crave.
I hosted a live "iPad Party" on Ustream
Saturday. I was joined by Sara and Rosy, and
we took a first look at Apple's iPad together. It was 90 minutes of
exploration and some silliness.
We answered questions from the couple-dozen people in the live chat
room. We also answered questions that were submitted through Google
Moderator. Here are some of the questions and answers:
"Do attachable microphones work with the iPad?"
My Belkin TuneTalk does not work with iPad. My earbuds
with mic did work. However, only the left channel recorded, so playback
came through only one side in my earbuds. All this is ok because iPad's
built-in mic (which is at the top of the device) is pretty good.
"Can the iPad be remotely controlled? This
would be handy if it was connected to a videoprojector in a
classroom." jjedtechguy, Salem, OR
So far there are no apps to remotely control iPad. It
would be cool to be able to advance slides with an iPhone or iPod touch,
"Do iPod and iPhone power adapters also
charge iPad? Do iPhone/iPod attachable batteries work"
iPad need a 10W charger, so most iPhone and iPod power
adapters do not charge iPad. In fact, most powered USB hubs won't even
charge iPad (or they charge very, very slowly and do not charge when the
device is on). Newer Macs can charge them. Apple recommends for the
fastest charge to use the included power adapter. My iPhone battery pack
does charge iPad.
"In the Steve Jobs demo it appeared that no
flash plug-in existed. Will this limit on-line sites students/teachers
can access as learning tools in the classroom?" Mr Steve,
The lack of flash does limit the iPad's ability. Sites
like Discovery Streaming and sites with interactive Flash content don't
work on iPad.
"Can you print over WiFi from the iPad?"
Printing is not a built-in
function. However, there is an app for that. I bought Fax
Print & Share and was able to print from the app to my
network printer without any setup. It prints PDFs and images, so you
just have to save to those formats to print.
"Can you edit a Google Doc in the browser?
(Currently you can't do this on an iPhone or iPod touch)"
You can edit a Google spreadsheet, but not Doc in Safari
for iPad. This seems to be a limitation Google imposes, so hopefully
they flip the switch to allow editing of word processing documents soon.
There are apps that open and save to Google Docs, but I really want to
do it from the browser like I do on a desktop computer.
"Can you project "apps" or is just
Keynote and Video?" SMeech, Kenilworth, IL
The VGA adapter does not output a mirror of the iPad's
screen. Apps have to be specifically programmed to output to the
"Can voice memos be made on the iPad like
they can on the iPhone (http://www.apple.com/iphone/iphone-3gs/voice-memos.html)."
jjedtechguy, Salem, OR
There is no Apple Voice Memos app built-in. I downloaded
the free Voice Memos app from the App Store. It works just like the
iPhone version with one important exception: it cannot run in the
background. That means you can't continue recording when you leave the
"Is there a place for Presenter Notes in
Keynote for iPad?"
No. Keynote does not support presenter notes. In fact, if
you sync a desktop Keynote doc to iPad, it removed the any notes you
might have already had.
"As a teacher or administrator, can I load
applications on a set of iPads at one time, or do they have to be loaded
individually? Can I load a set of applications on each device at once,
or again individually?" Bruce A, Grand Rapids, MI
iPad syncs just like iPod touch and iPad. Apps on the
syncing computer are transferred to all iPads you sync with. I haven't
tried to sync multiple iPads simultaneously. This may not work like iPod
touch because of iPad's 10W power requirements. So iPad may have to be
synced on-at-a-time to a computer (but that computer can have many iPads
synced to it no problem).
"Can/Will apps developed for the iPad format
(Keynote, Pages, Filterstorm, etc.) also work on an iPod/iPhone?"
C Chausis, Lincolnshire, IL
There are 3 kinds of apps in the App Store:
iPhone & iPod touch: These are the apps we're known and loved
for a couple years. They work on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
iPad only apps: Pages, Keynote, Numbers, and many other apps are
iPad only. They will not load on an iPhone or iPod touch. They have
their own section of the App Store and their own section in your
Apps Designed for both iPhone & iPad: These apps have a + icon
in the App Store and when downloaded, it like having 2 apps in one.
There is an iPad version that takes up the full screen and there is
also included an iPhone/iPod touch version for the smaller screen.
are six modules designed to test the basic ability of an
individual in terms of Memory & Concentration. Needless to
say this is the most important basic skill for not just to
survive but also to thrive in this competitive environment.
Each of the six modules tests the six variants of Memory &
Concentration in an individual, namely:
of these modules runs at three different levels, from easy to
At each level, the individual's performance is depicted as
A feedback has been built into the software for all these 18
levels depending on the marks one scores during the
Each individual can assess his/her performance any time by
clicking on "history", which gives complete details
of date and time of taking the tests, marks scored each time
and even time taken to do the test. This builds the confidence
level and encourages more participation to eventually
culminate in improvement and enhancement of memory and
Essentially, this software is a SELF AWARENESS tool that
surely motivates the individual to realize one's capability
and seek or be receptive for improvement. Also, if repeatedly
done over a period of time works as Training tool to enhance
software package is specifically designed to help young
children to learn basic skills that will help them in
school. Continued follow-up will give these young
learners success as they mature.
Three versions of the software exist:
Individual Software on either CD or Online, Family
Version Software, and an Institutional Software package.
StarTeaching wholeheartedly supports
and endorses this software. It will make a difference
with your child or student.
For The Things They Don't Teach You In College
Revisiting the SQ3R Reading
Many teachers have used the SQ3R reading
strategy successfully for years. For new teachers, this can have
a positive impact on whatever class, grade, or subject you are
teaching. Reading is a vital skill in every class and every
subject area, and a strategy to improve students' reading while
working on specific class material is extremely beneficial.
SQ3R is an instructional strategy for improving reading
comprehension. It is an acronym for Survey, Question, Read,
Recite, Review. Each of these activities focuses on a technique integral
to the reading process. The uses in the language arts seem rather
obvious, but SQ3R is great for other areas too. This can be used in
social studies classes when reading through a new section of the
textbook. Science teachers use it to kick off new units and in new labs.
Math teachers can even use it to teach students to take notes from their
books. Possibilities are endless.
Like any other technique, you will want to teach this carefully to your
students and discuss each part together in class. While there are many
ways of interpreting and using the SQ3R strategy, in this article I'll
be sharing how we use it in our classroom.
'Survey' refers to skimming the reading quickly. Students look for items
that catch their eyes - titles, headlines, photos, pictures, graphs,
bold-faced or italicized words. Sometimes I refer to them as 'sticky
words' since the reader's eyes tend to stick to them. After the quick
scan, students write down the first six items their eyes 'catch' upon.
Just a word or short phrase is fine, as we want to keep this part short
'Question' is the part where students make predictions and pose
questions about what they've surveyed. We have students create and write
down three questions in complete sentences based on what they surveyed.
Complete sentences requires students to think carefully about the info
they skimmed, and put it into a logical organized form. Early on,
students may pose rather simple questions. We do not allow easy yes/no
questions, those with one word answers, or questions they already know
the answers to. We even spend class time discussing what makes 'good'
Once the pre-reading is finished, the 'Read' part is just that - the
students now read carefully through the section, paying attention to
everything on the page. It's important to find the answers to their
questions. We have the students then answer their posed questions in
complete sentences. Sometimes students may have posed questions that are
unanswerable or not found in the reading. We do allow students to state
that the answer was not found in the reading. That's ok, as long as they
don't make a habit of it. If such a habit does form, simply require
students to state where they could find the answer.
'Recite' refers to putting the data from the reading into a new use.
We often create short freewrites to discuss the implications of the
reading, or its applications. You can also create writing topics for
students to respond to.
'Review' is, again, self-explanatory, as students review the material.
We have students create quiz questions based on the reading, just as if
they were the teacher. However, they are not allowed to use their
questions posed previously! Students can create ten multiple choice or
true/false questions. Sometimes we assign creating fill-in-the banks
statements, or even have students make their own essay questions or
writing topics. You could even have them create crosswords or other word
To make the SQ3R technique easy to do and grade, we've created a form
that is used through our school. It is specific enough to cover all of
the areas, and yet general enough to allow individual teachers to adapt
and customize this strategy to their class, students, or current
The SQ3R technique is easy to use and adapt yourself, once you and your
students are comfortable with its components. We've used it as a warm-up
activity, as a closing activity, and as a sponge. It is also useful when
you need easy-to-follow plans for a substitute. Most importantly, this
is a powerful, yet simple, tool you can use in any class to improve
students' reading skills.
latest articles are focusing on 21st Century Learning and the
latest research to drive 21st Century Teaching.
What is Social Media? Wikipedia defines
it as: “media designed to be disseminated through social
interaction, created using highly accessible and scalable publishing
techniques.” In other words, it supports the human need for
In an article posted on March 3, 2008
by Claudine Ryan for ABC Science Online entitled “Blogging boasts your
social life: research” they state: “that after two months of
regular blogging, people felt they had better social support and
friendship networks than those who did not blog.” This is exactly what
social media is all about.
On the negative side, there are some
psychologists who fear that social networking will contribute to the
death of emotional intelligence. In a blog posted September 18, 2009, by
James Gurd entitled “Does social media kill communication skills?”
he responds to this idea by showing that social media merely reflects
and amplifies a person’s interpersonal skill, which is a very good
thing. He talks about how there is worldwide monitoring of what is said
on the Internet. That when something is posted that raises people’s
awareness to a topic a conversation grows through blogs and twitters
that analyzes, dissects, and looks at all sides. This is conversation
and learning at its best and certainly dealing with emotional
intelligence. Another point made in reference to twitter is the fact
that getting an idea down in only 140 characters actually helps people
to focus and become better communicators.
In this following video the question is
asked: Is social media a fad? It goes on to show that not only is it not
a fad; it’s more like a revolution. The numbers are staggering when
you look at how many people are using social media on a daily basis and
it continues to grow.
This next video is said to be the
number one watched video on YouTube with over 126 million views called:
Evolution of Dance. Take a look at it with the question: why is it
Now that you’ve watched it why do you
think it’s number one? My thoughts are that it speaks across several
generations. When I watched the video it brought back memories. It also
encompasses so much of what social media is about. It is very visual and
musical that speaks to two of our intelligences. For some that watch it,
they probably attempt to imitate what he is doing while watching it.
That brings in another intelligence. The bottom line is that connects to
us and we connect to it.
To sum up about social media, the
hardest part about communicating in text about this subject is the fact
that it is so interactive. I just wanted to use videos to explain. In
doing the research I also saw that social media is becoming a major
topic within the business community with many websites dealing with how
to use it. It is connecting from advertising in business to our everyday
personal lives to changing the way politics work. That is powerful.
Mark Benn earned his B.S. from Western
Michigan University and his Elementary Certification from
Northern Michigan University. He is a 21 year teaching
veteran of 5th and 6th grade students at Inland Lakes Middle
School in Indian River, MI. He is currently working on
Masters of Integration of Technology from Walden University.
Prior to teaching, Mark spent 11 years as Department Manager for
Sears, Roebuck and Co. dealing with emerging technologies.
He has been married to his wife Bonnietta for 32 years with one
daughter and two sons. In the summers, Mark works for
Mackinac State Historic Parks in the as a historical
Does Your Kid Have a Great Teacher? Here's
How You Know
By Christina Riggan
Riggan, a twenty-five
year veteran of public schools, and a former teacher in a
primary (K-5) school in Austin, Texas, has worked with a variety
of grade levels from Kindergarten to adults. Her certifications
include Kindergarten, Reading, ESOL, Language Arts, and she
holds a Principal's Certificate and a Master's Degree in
Curriculum and Instruction. She is currently a full-time writer,
her chosen area of focus in writing books (fiction and
nonfiction) and articles that might help parents, teachers, and
students. She is married to David, her husband of thirty-eight
years, has two happily married sons, and four wonderful
After meeting with your child's teacher spend some some
time thinking about these ideas listed below to help you decide if you
have a great teacher for your child. And even though most people
make up their minds about whether they like others or not in a few
seconds, give your child's teacher a fair shot and meet with her several
times to learn enough about her to make a decision. These may help
serve as a guideline for you.
1. Does she care about your child in every way? A great teacher is a
trained observer of children and looks out for signs of poor learning,
social adjustment problems, poor vision, poor hearing, learning
problems, and whether he/she is happy or not. These are documented and
based on many observations and are not a subjective and momentary
2. Does she listen to your concerns and your child's concerns? Does she
ask clarifying questions about your child's dreams, goals, desires? Does
she make plans and set goals with this information?
3. Does she exhibit good values, is she moral and honest, and considered
respectable? He/she may have different values than yours but they
would not be considered a harmful influence or morally bankrupt.
4. Does she respect your family and demonstrate that by being courteous
and considerate? Examples of this would be: Answering your questions
with courtesy, respecting your family situation- whatever that may be,
returning phone calls or emails promptly, setting up conferences when
requested or needed.
5. Great teachers respect the importance of good grades and test scores
but also value the learning and growth that may have occurred that
grades sometimes cannot measure. She is able to demonstrate this
growth through understandable and acceptable measures. Examples might be
learning journals, performance tasks, benchmark tasks, essays,
experiments, reports etc.
6. She communicates clearly, fairly and as frequently as is humanly
possible and as much as that family may wish. Examples of this may
be: Newsletters, letters, phone calls, announcements of events. Others
might include letting you know your child is failing in time for him/her
to recover his/her grade before the end of the reporting period.
Or if your child has been sick for a week, he/she is not required to
complete every worksheet he/she has missed but only the most important
ones for learning.
7. She is equitable or fair with all students. Examples might include
giving everyone a chance to redo a problem on the math exam because
everyone failed that problem. She doesn't punish the whole class
for the infractions of a few.
8. She values the immense possibilities from learning through taking
risks, errors, and mistakes and sees learning as a journey. She
encourages a low-risk environment in the classroom. Kids are encouraged
to take risks and are not chastised for mistakes.
9. She is knowledgeable about and values cultural, racial, and religious
differences, and teaches diversity in the classroom. This means it is an
integrated part of her curriculum all year, not just for a holiday.
10. She is academically competent and thoroughly trained in all areas.
She may have a certification of training for a special form of learning
and that's okay. But she should be certified in the main area of her
teaching. If she is teaching all the math for fifth grade, let's make
sure she has a degree in math or the requisite educational hours (this
could be 18 hours at the collegiate level).
I hope you have found this information helpful. Remember to give your
child's teacher a chance and interact enough before making any
judgments- just like you would like her to do for you!
Be Sure to Check Out
Our Website Store for Specials:
Learning is a method developed by Dr. Charles Findley in the mid 1980's
as part of his work on designing the classroom of the future for the
Learning (CNL) is that learning which occurs via electronic dialogue
between self-directed co-learners and learners and experts. Learners
share a common purpose, depend upon each other and are accountable to
each other for their success. CNL occurs in interactive groups in which
participants actively communicate and negotiation meaning with one
another within a contextual framework which may be facilitated by an
online coach, mentor or group leader
considerations motivate the focus on CNL.
CNL is sound educational
practice. Researchers and educators have contrasted collaborative activities
with two other categories-- competitive and individualistic. Competitive
activities, for example, include those in which only one person can win,
or where learners compete for grades, rank, or status, rather than when
all members focus on achieving mastery or competence. Individualistic
activities, for example, include working in isolation with no
interaction with others, or when a learner interacts only with a
self-paced manual or CBI, rather than when all members share ideas with
The overwhelming conclusion of
research in the goals of learning environments is that
collaborative,cooperative goal directed activities facilitated by
qualified experts leads to higher achievement. Overall higher
achievement translates into higher productivity.
CNL is sound business
practice. Much work in the information age enterprise involves
collaborative, team oriented tasks. Learning workers share information
with one another in order to accomplish common tasks in a small group.
Professionals share information with each other, and learn something
about each others' specialization in order to reach consensus on a
common problem. Assembly line workers have increased productivity when
workers learned from each other how their different individual parts of
the task fit together to produce the whole. All of these different
learning workers are engaging in activities which involve collaboration.
Life-long learning in the
workplace is becoming a necessity rather than an ideal. The need for
collaboration is great and will continue. By facilitating collaborative
methods of learning, we could help workers acquire individually and
collectively the rapidly, changing knowledge required in the high-tech
Collaboration is a
condition of learning in the information workplace. While the worker in the industrial era factory learned how to
manipulate objects and memorized actions, the worker in the modern
organization learns how to think, learn and apply information to a task.
Workers need to engage in
activities that allow them to approach problems from different vantage
points, testing out assumptions,and redefining meanings,i.e. creative
thinking in order to develop new viewpoints. Workers need to engage in
the social,collaborative exchange of ideas in order to pose hypothetical
problems, general hypotheses, conduct experiments and reflect on
outcomes. Basically, workers are learning in groups to make meaning out
of information. Not only do workers need to make meaning out of the
information but in order to actually perform their jobs they need to be
able to share that meaning with others.
’s legendary Dogman returns in
Nagual: Dawn of the Dogmen by Frank Holes, Jr.The third book in the series is a masterful blend of
fantasy and folklore, delving into the pre-dawn history of the
mysterious creature and then rushing forward to the present day.The supernatural beast is seen from two fronts.The first encounter, part of a 1700s French fur-trader’s
dream, chronicles the cultural clash between the indigenous,
prehistoric civilizations and the Nagual, the half-man,
half-canine skin-walkers, a clash where only one side can survive.We then return to the modern day as the Dogman rampages
across the fields and forests, the farms and camps of Grand
beast is hunting for the remnants of its stolen, ancient treasure
that will give it immortality and unlimited power.Can two young camp counselors put an end to the chaos
without losing their lives?
Part mystery, part science fiction, Year
of the Dogman is an imaginative, compelling, and adrenaline-pumping
adventure. Author Frank Holes, Jr. takes no prisoners in creating a
diabolical creature that leaves the forest to prey on the hapless hamlet
. When night falls, the nocturnal beast, Dogman, scares the living
daylights out of anyone he happens upon as he searches for a timeless
treasure stolen from a Native American tribe. In the midst of the chaos, a
young teacher is forced to put two and two together no matter how high the
cost to rid the village of the treacherous man-beast who thrives on
destruction and terror.
In The Haunting of Sigma,
Frank Holes, Jr. returns fans of the legendary Dogman to the wild world
of cryptozoology in
.This darker, far more
sinister prequel to Holes’s first novel fully establishes his hold
upon the imaginations of readers all over the
. June 1987 ushers in the
hot, dry summer season, but something else far more horrifying has taken
up residence in the deep wilderness in
.The Dogman, a supernatural
combination of canine and man, has returned to wreck havoc upon the
tiny, sleepy community of Sigma.
Based upon the
epic Greek tale of The Odyssey, yet set in the American Wild West, The Longquist Adventures: Western Odyssey chronicles the journey of a young boy and his guide through a perilous
world of dangerous encounters and fantastic creatures.It is a world of gun fights at high noon, stampedes on the great
plains, stagecoach robbery, and an ultimate showdown with a ruthless,
powerful gangster aboard a turn-of-the-century paddlewheel in the San
Francisco Bay.Can the
time-traveling boy and the law-abiding Marshal restore order to the
chaos of the American West gone truly wild?
A Place for Teachers New To The Craft
Be a Mentor
by Jill Gurr
Jill Gurr is founder of the non-profit
organization Create Now! She has mentored more than 50 high-risk
children and youth and has trained hundreds of people to mentor
thousands of kids. Learn more at www.createnow.org
or email Jill at: email@example.com
WHY, WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
Half of the U.S. youth population (17.6 million kids to be exact) is
considered to be “at-risk” of getting into trouble with the law, or
“high-risk” and already in trouble. This isn’t a problem only in
the United States. Street gangs, drug addiction, child prostitution,
abuse and neglect are major concerns around the world.
Our children need help!
It’s easy to turn your back and ignore the problem, but what will you
do when some kids jack your car? Or rape your daughter? Or spend their
entire lives on welfare or in the prison system, on your tax dollars?
DISCOVERING A SOLUTION
One solution that has been proven to work is mentoring. A mentor is a
loyal advisor, a teacher or coach, sponsor, guide, confidante and role
model. He or she is a special friend who serves as an advocate for the
needs of someone else and makes an effort to bring out their best
I learned this first-hand in 1993 when I mentored a group of teenage
boys who were incarcerated at a Los Angeles detention center for a
variety of crimes. As a produced screenwriter, I wanted to share my love
of writing with troubled kids in hope of inspiring them to change their
I had a great idea for a story about two rival gang leaders from
different ethnic backgrounds (Latino vs. African-American) ending up at
the same detention camp where they had to resolve their differences.
During the next few months as I worked on our script with the boys, my
Screenwriting Workshop went through all kinds of changes. In the end,
the boys completed writing the script with me and it was optioned by
producers. The best part though was that a number of the kids who were
illiterate learned how to read and write through my program. I witnessed
other remarkable changes as well -- a tough Chicano gang leader had
tattoos removed from his body, and several of the boys wanted to go to
Thrilled with the results of this experience, I quickly came up with
another idea for a screenplay and started a new Screenwriting Workshop,
this time at a co-ed detention center. Again, these girls and boys were
transformed through their experience of contributing to a screenplay,
but especially from my interactions with them every week as their
mentor. They opened up their hearts, shared their problems, and
flourished under my guidance.
Inspired by these successes, I founded a non-profit organization in
1996. Create Now! matches writers, artists, musicians and other creative
individuals in Los Angeles with high-risk kids who live in
court-mandated institutions, such as homes for abused and neglected
children, runaways, homeless kids and those in trouble with the law.
Through Create Now! I’ve personally mentored more than 50 of these
kids and I’ve trained dozens of other mentors to work with high-risk
youth. Create Now! has reached thousands of the most troubled children
in Southern California.
SO, JUST WHAT IS MENTORING?
You may wonder exactly what is mentoring. It’s not tutoring, which
involves the teaching of a skill or discipline. Mentoring depends on the
nurturing of a close, personal relationship. While helping with
schoolwork can be a part of it, that’s just one aspect. Mentors
inspire us to try harder and give us the confidence to reach for more
ambitious goals. They teach us how to make good choices and open doors
to new opportunities that normally wouldn’t be available.
A mentee, or protégé, is a novice, student or learner. At-risk and
high-risk kids can be of any race and religion. They generally come from
disadvantaged homes in poor communities. All children need the support
of a positive adult, but these particular kids especially need help.
Research has shown that kids who are mentored have improved school
attendance and better academic performance, a good appearance and
attitude, less hostility, more self-esteem and many other improved
qualities that are too numerous to name.
A SUCCESS STORY
Tasha is another perfect example that proves mentoring makes a
difference. She came from a poor community in South Central, Los
Angeles. A bright girl with many talents, she didn’t get along with
her family. When she was thirteen years old, Tasha began running away
from home. She hung out with boys who got in trouble with the law. She
was sent to detention camps and different institutions over the next few
I met Tasha at a detention facility when she was almost sixteen. She
eagerly signed up for a Create Now! TV Writing Workshop with a
professional sit-com writer who prefers to remain anonymous. When Tasha
returned to her home in South Central, her mentor continued to visit her
weekly. They formed a strong bond.
Her mentor moved to another state, so Create Now! provided Tasha with
two additional mentors who helped her periodically. Her original mentor
stayed in touch via phone and email. When Tasha graduated from high
school, her mentors helped her apply to USC Film School and arranged for
a scholarship. She was one of only fifty people in the world to be
accepted into their film program.
Tasha graduated from college in December 2004. She got a job teaching
disadvantaged middle-school children how to make their own videos. One
of her mentors helped her get employed as a production assistant on a TV
show and she’s now on the way to a lucrative career in the
entertainment industry. We’re all very proud of Tasha.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME, THE MENTOR?
Mentors benefit greatly from their experience. It’s a powerful feeling
to know that you’ve made a difference in someone’s life. Most
mentors grow on a personal and professional level through this process.
Many people who mentor develop leadership abilities and have a more
profound understanding of children. Their own family bonds strengthen,
plus they receive admiration and respect from their own peers.
There are different kinds of mentoring. Here are a few:
1. ONE-ON-ONE MENTORING
This is traditional mentoring, sometimes referred to as a “Special
Friend” or a “Big/Little” relationship. You’re paired up with
one child and the relationship tends to be close. Don’t take this
involvement lightly and make sure you maintain your commitment.
2. GROUP MENTORING
With group mentoring programs, one adult volunteer builds relationships
with a number of young people. Meetings can take place with a focus on a
particular project or an ongoing activity.
3. TEAM MENTORING
A group of two or more adults work together as a team to mentor a group
of youths. This system focuses on team building, leadership development,
and community service, but it can be used for any type of program.
4. FAMILY MENTORING
Low-income families face enormous pressure getting food and shelter. The
stress can severely disrupt family life and lead to homelessness. These
families can be matched with mentors (possibly your entire family) who
work with them over an extended period of time. By connecting
disadvantaged family members with useful community resources, helping
them to develop life skills, and strengthening their foundation, you
help the family to overcome challenges.
By using email and chat rooms on the Internet, mentors can reach
children all over the world. Many forms of computer-assisted learning
are becoming popular, as students have access to computers at school,
libraries, and their homes.
Think carefully about what your needs are and how you can best serve
at-risk and high-risk youth before you decide which type of mentoring
program is right for you.
OKAY, I’M IN. NOW WHAT?
There are a lot of things that you can do with your mentees. Many of
these kids have never been out of their own neighborhoods. You could
take them on a trip to the beach, a hike in the mountains, a movie, a
meal, or a visit to a museum. Expose them to cultural events like the
theater or the circus, or just hang out and talk.
Most importantly, LISTEN! All kids need to communicate and vent. It’s
important to hear what they say and be as open-minded as possible. Most
kids need reliable adults with whom they can talk about their fears,
dreams, and concerns. Mentors serve as sounding boards, and when asked,
someone who can give trustworthy advice.
At-risk youth may not have any adults in their lives with the time,
interest, or ability to listen to them. High-risk youth who live in
residential institutions will rarely confide in staff members,
administrators, or even psychologists for fear of punishment. Yet they
might confide in you because of the trust that you’ve developed. It
usually takes time, but when they know that they can count on you,
they’ll start to open up.
Mentoring requires commitment and responsibility. You must keep your
word and be dependable to have a positive effect. If you break your
word, you’ll do more damage than good.
These children have been let down by adults most of their lives. Imagine
if you come along, full of hope and excitement, and reach out to lend
them a hand. They take it and off you go, spending time together and
bonding. They slowly open up and start to trust you.
But then something changes in your life; perhaps you get a different job
in another part of town, or you’ve got a new boyfriend who takes up
all of your free time. Abandonment can be devastating to any child,
especially these kids.
It’s okay if you only have sporadic time available to mentor, since
even a short amount of time devoted to an at-risk youth is better than
nothing. But it’s essential that you communicate this clearly to your
mentee. The most important thing is not to set their expectations high
only to let them down later.
These children represent our future. Through your support as a mentor,
you can introduce them to a larger world where they’re a contributor
instead of just another statistic.
WHERE TO SIGN ON
No matter where you live or what you do for a living, you can impact a
child’s life. To learn about mentoring opportunities in your
community, visit the National Mentoring Partnership at http://www.mentoring.org
If you live in Southern California and have a creative skill that
you’d like to share with at-risk or high-risk youth, please contact me
at <?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = SKYPE />
or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org
You’ll make a big difference in your community, and the world!
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"The House With The
How do you see the world?
The little girl lived in a small, very simple, poor house on a
hill and as she grew she would play in the small garden and as she
grew she was able to see over the garden fence and across the
valley to a wonderful house high on the hill - and this house had
golden windows, so golden and shining that the little girl would
dream of how magic it would be to grow up and live in a house with
golden windows instead of an ordinary house like hers.
And although she loved her parents and her family, she yearned
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So sad she didn't go any further and turned, heart broken as
she remounted her bike ... As she glanced up she saw a sight to
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little house and its windows glistened golden ...as the sun shone
on her little home.
She realised that she had been living in her golden house and
all the love and care she found there was what made her home the
'golden house'. Everything she dreamed was right there in front of
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Acceleration is the change in
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"accelerating" - well, that's what they'd say in a Physics
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What is an 'Acre'?
An acre is a unit of measure
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In 7,032.5, which digit is
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In 5.9, which digit is in
the tenths place?
In 7.49, which digit is in
the hundredths place?
In 7.06, in which place is
In 0.69, in which place is the 9?
In 7.80, which digit is in the
In 0.83, in which place is the 3?
In 1.6, which digit is in the
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Tony is a teacher who
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teachers to use technology that students crave.