Travel (Go!)

A Weekend for Two in Mindo, Ecuador for Less Than $100!

Ecuador is a magical place. From it’s capital, Quito, you can visit pretty much any part of the country in just a day-trip or small weekend excursion via bus. The country has so much rich culture to offer, and the views aren’t half bad either. 😉 From one coast to another, Ecuador is made up of beaches, mountains, and jungles. The hands-down BEST weekend excursion opportunity from Quito is to travel 1.5 hours South to Mindo. Mindo is a quiet…

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Travel (Go!)

20 Pics that Will Make You Want to Travel to Ecuador with Your Best Friend

One of the best decisions I’ve ever made was to study abroad for a semester in college. When I signed up to go, there was only one other Spanish major who planned to study abroad in Ecuador that same semester. I didn’t know her well at the time, but, when you travel the world with someone, you quickly become very close. Randi is now one of my dearest friends, and our adventures together in Ecuador were top-notch. Ecuador is a…

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Teach

Teacher Thoughts: Making Literature Relevant to Underachieving Students

A hot topic in chapter three of Adolescent Literacy (Beers, et. al) is the definition of “reading.” Today’s adolescents are “Digital Natives,” meaning they have grown up in the age of technology and are accustomed to the language it requires. Yet, with the increase in digital resources, there have been more restrictions on what qualifies as “reading” in the classroom. Underachieving adolescents, however, do not typically show interest in these old-fashioned forms of reading. In my own schooling experience, for…

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Teach

Teacher Thoughts: Teaching Writing by Being an Active Writer

Teaching writing is arguably one of the toughest part of secondary English education today. In a world where teenagers type their thoughts, feelings, and stories in 140 characters or fewer, writing pages on pages of research essays or narratives seems like a daunting task to teach, not to mention the decreasing knowledge of grammatical conventions that students are carrying into high school. To fight this battle, secondary educators must understand that they cannot effectively teach writing without showing their students…

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Teach

Teacher Thoughts: Preparing Students for Workplace Skills

Literacy has an ever-changing definition. The skills required to be literate change with the times, and in today’s world, the skills required to be literate in the workplace are rapidly changing. Simultaneously, the demand for such skills is increasing. Students must be taught how to be successful in the workplace, and they can be taught these skills in their Language Arts classes, as shown in chapter ten of Adolescent Literacy (Beers, et. al). I’ve enjoyed reading through this book and…

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Teach

Teacher Thoughts: Defining Progress

After reading the first chapter of Adolescent Literacy by Kylene Beers, Bob Probst, and Linda Rief, I have been awakened to the flaws in today’s educational philosophies. The most recent and current educational reforms have been centered on measuring progress through standardized testing. The definition of progress in education, however, varies tremendously from most other definitions of progress in life. …

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Learn

2017 Liebster Award Nomination

I’ve been blogging for about two months now, and, while some days are full of amazing accomplishments, many other days are filled with an overwhelming sense of inferiority and hopelessness. It’s one of those “the more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know” situations. With another full-time job, it’s hard to find the extra time and motivation to devote to learning more about the blogging world. Being nominated for the Liebster Award 2017 was just the…

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Teach

My First Week as a First Year Teacher

My first full week as a first year teacher has been quite the adventure. I’ve already experienced a roller coaster of emotions. I have some of the most amazing students, but some of those amazing students are quite challenging. I’ve managed to keep a smile on my face and passion in my voice as we covered basic skills for constructing and presenting a formal speech. For some classes, this was an easy task. For one class in particular, we spent 55…

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Grow Spiritual Journey

Outgrowing an Exclusive Faith

Last year I read a book that changed my life forever. It’s a memoir called Post Traumatic Church Syndrome by Reba Riley. Riley wrote about one year’s worth of rediscovering faith by opening her mind to other religious practices. Essentially, she had been hurt in the past by the Christian faith, yet she felt called to embrace faith in all aspects, to explore what it means to believe in something more across different cultures and communities. It’s a truly remarkable book full…

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Teach

School Year’s Resolutions

Tomorrow is my first day at my first teaching job. Tomorrow, I’ll be in my classroom, as I have been for the last month now, but this time kids will actually walk in. I’ll be the first adult face that some of these freshmen meet as they start their new journey at a new school. I’ll be the last face some of them meet on that day. Tomorrow I’ll get to shake hands with the students on my roster. I’ll…

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