Tuesday, February 23, 2016

"I am a failure"

We are all human. We all fall short. Have you ever had one of those “I am a failure” times of your life? I know that I have. Guess what? We all have.

I feel like we don’t like to talk about failures. Our pride makes it so that we don’t like to admit when we failed. Failure can kind of be taboo, we don’t want to confront someone when they are acting out or behaving ill. Failure is normal. Failure is going to happen. Your failures do not define you. I think that the way you respond and handle your failures is what can define you.

Have you looked back on a situation and thought “well I definitely could have handled that better”? We can fail in all areas of our lives. We can feel like we had a parenting fail, we can feel like we failed our parents, we can feel like we failed God, we can feel like we failed our friends or family, and we can feel like we even failed ourselves. What about failing a test? Failures are going to happen! All of the above is going to happen. Maybe not all of them will happen for all of us, but each of us will experience some of them. So what do we do when we fail?

1.     1.  Confess your failure.
My parents have come to me and told me that they are sorry for something. They have come to me, their daughter, and admitted a time that they failed. They have told me when they failed me and other times that they have failed. Let me just tell you that I have not looked up to my parents with more pride and joy than when my parents humble themselves before me and ask for forgiveness and admit defeat. Also, I feel so much better even if I just confide in one person. Don’t stop there though. Make sure to confess to God. He already knows, but telling him about it will make you feel so much better.

2.     2.  Ask for forgiveness.

If your failure has hurt someone else, you definitely should go to that person and ask for their forgiveness. Ask the Lord for forgiveness. There is no place too deep or too far for the Lord to reach you. He is always there, sometimes your just have to put yourself out there to reach Him. Forgiveness is there and available for you if you genuinely want it and seek it out.

3.      3. Forgive yourself.
I was on the phone with my little sister last night and she made a comment that made me stop. She said “We are our worst critics”. First of all, how did my little sister get so smart? But she is right. Sometimes the hardest part of failing is to forgive yourself. Forgiving ourselves are not necessarily easy, extending grace to ourselves, and loving ourselves is often times harder than we think.

And finally…..

4.      4. Reliance.
Rely on God and rely on the supporters in your life. Even though it is hard to admit our failures, there is so much strength and encouragement when you have supportive and loving people in your life. Having that support system is crucial to overcoming hardships and even our own ego. I have an incredible support system in my friends and family and definitely in my Lord and Savior. Trust me, relying on others is sometimes the hardest thing to do; but it is worth it! Oh so worth it!

Your failures do not define you, and that is a lesson that I am constantly having to learn. I can really beat myself up over a mistake or something that happens in my life; but thankfully those things do not define me. The Lord is constantly loving and present in my life. He extends grace and mercy when I definitely don’t deserve it. He has blessed me with amazing people in my life to show me more love and support than I can ever imagine. Keep your chin up, it’s all going to be okay.

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." (1 Peter 5: 6-7)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Enhancing Learning with Videos

Videos. So much comes to my mind when I use that word; and most of it is not educational. However, there is this really cool video that one of my teachers showed in class when discussing integrating music in the classroom. I have attached said video below.

Here are a couple aspects of video literacy:

1. Viewing a video- like the video posted above, viewing videos can be very effective in a classroom. There are some guiding questions to ask that address the core concepts when viewing a video. They are as follows:
         I. who created this message?
        II. what creative techniques are used to attract my attention?
       III. how might various people understand this message differently?
       IV. what values, lifestyles, and points of views are represented or omitted?
        V. what is the purpose of this message? (Jolls, 2008, p. 37)

2. producing a video- There are some guiding questions to ask that address the core concepts when viewing a video. They are as follows:
        I. What am I authorizing?
       II. Does the message reflect understanding in format, creativity, and technology?
     III. Is my message engaging and compelling for my target audience?
     IV. Have I clearly and consistently framed values, lifestyles, and points of view in my message?
      V. Have I communicated my purpose effectively? (Jolls, 2008, p. 37)

There are also different types of education videos that can be used in the classroom:
1. documentaries
2. virtual field trips (one of my favorites)
3. dramatizaton- such as Hamlet
4. video story telling

I think videos can add some depth to a lesson as long as they are used properly. If not used properly, like other visual and audio aids, I think can become distracting for some students. I think intentionality is a huge part of adding visual aids.

Smaldino, Sharon E., Deborah l Lowther, and James D. Russell. Instructional Technology and Media for Learning. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall, 2008. Print.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

I'm a Visual Person!

Have you ever heard someone say: "I'm a visual person"?
If your answer to that question is yes, what do you think that they meant by that? Are they talking about being a visual learner? or are they talking about being a visual thinker? or are they just saying it because it seemed like the cool thing to say?

Well there are some kids who indeed learn visually. There are six types of visuals when it comes to visual literacy. Those six types are as follows: pictures, drawings, charts, graphs, posters, and cartoons.

There are also some kids that are auditory learners. Some kids will learn a lot by sitting and listening to a teacher lecture but feel lost when it comes to a hands on or a visual activity. However, I think it is necessary to help improve listening skills in all children. There are six techniques that can be used to do so. They are as follows: 
"1. Guide Listening- to guide their listening, give students some objectives or questions beforehand. 
2. Give directions- give students directions on audiotape or as a podcast that you have prepared in advance. 
3. Ask students to listen for main ideas, details, or inferences- keeping the age level of your students in mind, you can present an oral passage. 
4. Use context in listening- younger students can learn to distinguish meanings in an auditory context by listening to sentences with words missing and then supplying the appropriate words.
5. Analyze the structure of a presentation- ask students to outline an oral presentation.
6. Distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information- after listening to an oral presentation of information, ask students to identify the main idea, and then rate all other presented ideas." (Smaldino, Lowther, Russell; 212-213)

As a student I can look around any of my classes and see some students engaged when a professor is simply lecturing (as long as it isnt 8AM!) and I can see some students that are only engaged when the professor adds some visual element to their lecture. As a future teacher I see the need to teach to all types of learners; find a way to integrate various elements of learning into my lesson plans. I want all children to feel like I am as invested in their learning as I want them to be.



Smaldino, Sharon E., Deborah L. Lowther, and James D. Russell.  Instructional Technology and Media for Learning. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall, 2008. Print.