Chronicles of Kyle

Humble Husband * Fond Father * Enthusiastic Educator * Lover of Life

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The Peeled Potato: Motivation Monday

It has been a while since I have written because I have been super busy finishing another school year.  To read my last Motivation Monday CLICK HERE. This Motivation Monday I share with you something that has been on my mind quite a bit. Then I came across a Facebook status update from several years ago that captures the idea perfectly. I would like to share it today: I simply call it “The Peeled Potato”.

The Peeled Potato: Motivation Monday

Facebook 2013: Sometimes it’s the simple things. The other night Leah was downstairs, and I microwaved two potatoes–one for supper, the other to eat when I came back from running errands. I assumed Leah knew that I had cooked two potatoes, and on my way out the door, I asked her if she could peel the potato for me. She gave me a funny look like I was crazy, but kindly smiled and said sure. When I got back home, this is what I found on the counter–a raw, peeled potato. She had no idea that there was a cooked one still in the microwave. Even though she didn’t realize what I meant, she still did all she could to make me happy. Now every time I peel potatoes or see one, I laugh and realize that I have an awesome wife

Appreciate kind people who sincerely care for you. Recognize their efforts, even when it is not what you envisioned in your mind. In the end, they were trying to please you.

Hold on to the people who understand your awkward quirks and embrace all of your anxieties and shortcomings.

Be there for those people who hold compassion for other’s feelings central to their heart. Check in with them just as they often do with you.

In conclusion, I may be a little biased, but I am so thankful for my wife and the caring, loving mother and spouse she is. God was truly looking out for me when we crossed paths. Search for friends and mates with these qualities and never settle until you find the right people. Everyone deserves to be treated kindly. Happy Monday to everyone!

A Message to My Daughters

Daughters

Greetings! I hope this day finds you well. Family Friday was super busy, so I did not get to write like I had planned until now. To read last week’s family Friday, CLICK HERE. Today I wanted to take a moment to share something that has so much truth and pulls at my heart strings every time I read it. There is no way I could give a message to my daughters that is stated anymore eloquently than this. I ran across this on Pinterest, and I just had to share. If you have daughters, save this so that you can look back on it as well. I have shared it below:

A Message to My Daughter

A Message to My Daughter 4

A Message to My Daughter 4

A Message to My Daughter

This is a message to my daughters that I hope they can always remember. Have a great day!

Full Body Workouts: Thriving Thursday

This Thriving Thursday I discuss ways that I have moved for the week. To look at last week’s Thriving Thursday CLICK HERE. Today I share with you two different full body workouts that I did. One is a workout that can be done anywhere. All you need is the gumption to actually do it. The other is if you have a gym somewhere that has the proper equipment– not a lot of equipment but just a few basic things.

Full Body Workout #1

Full Body Workout 1

Last weekend my brother sent this to me. He said it was a good workout and something that he had been doing. I always like hearing what other people are doing. I like this workout for a few reasons:

  • Simplicity and No Equipment– I completed this workout on the area rug in my living room. It can be done anywhere which makes it nice with vacation and other traveling coming up.
  • Increases Heart Rate-From the get-go, your heart rate increases and it stays that way for the duration. I might add that the exercises are staggered, so that some are more intense than others which allows a person to catch his breath throughout. On some of the more difficult exercises, I split them into sets. The workout is still quite effective, even if you have to do this as a modification.
  • Quick and Efficient-My brother said according to his Apple watch the routine showed him burning 300 calories. This could easily be done twice a day and could make a considerable difference in weight loss. It took me roughly 20 minutes to complete it. Someone in tip-top shape could probably do it in 15 minutes.

Full Body Workout #2

For the second of two full body workouts for the week, Leah and I went to the exercise class at the local college.  Below I list what we did. This was an extremely difficult workout. Each exercise was done for a minute for as many reps as we could do.

The first five exercises I did with a 45 pound weight plate. This could also be done with dumbbells if you prefer. The videos shown below are with dumbbells and some with weight plates but we did the weight plate for simplicity.

1. Standing Skullcrusher

2. Standing Front Shoulder Press

3. Bent Over Row

4. Oblique Twist into Should Press– Note: We did more of an upward motion and raised it to the opposite shoulder. For example, if we started at the left hip, twist and lift above the right shoulder. Do one side for 30 seconds and the other side for 30 seconds.

5. Standing Curls w/ Plate

6. Medicine Ball Toss with a Partner–Note: Both people will be doing the same twisting movement into a toss. If you don’t have a partner twist and throw it against the wall.

7. Kettle Bell Front Swing–Note:  We alternated hands on each swing and did a light weight since it was for a minute. We also brought it up a little higher than the guy in the video below.

8. Next was the front isolation–I held two ten pound weight plates, one in each hand, arms extended straight out in front of me for one minute. So painful!!!

9. Medicine Ball Slams

10. To finish, we did an ab exercise of our choosing.

We did 2 rounds of what is listed above. Each exercise was for a minute as hard as we could go. Reminder: As stated earlier, the first five exercises I did with a 45 pound plate for simplicity.

Once we were finished with this, we got on the spin bike and did 30 second blasts pedaling as hard as we could and 30 seconds of rest at a slow pace for three sets. Then we did 30 second blasts pedaling as hard as we could followed and one minute of rest at a slow pace.

We cooled down by walking a few laps around the track.

Since I have become more motivated to move, I have been looking for something that will give me some equipment at home but is also very minimal, a portable workout station, and something that I can travel with if I need to. This product was intriguing to me and something that I may end up buying. Has anyone else used this? Please leave a comment down below if you have any experience with it. It seems like it is something that would come in handy. CLICK HERE to take a look.

Conclusion

I have had a pretty good week with these two full body workouts, as far as breaking sweat goes. My diet is still a work in progress. I weighed in at 230 lbs last night which is motivation to continue moving. I plan to start back with the No S Diet protocol. CLICK HERE to read about it. I also plan to couple the No S Diet with an intermittent fasting approach. This seems to fit my busy lifestyle best.  More to come on that next week. Take Care.

Teacher Tuesday: Not By Number

This Teacher Tuesday I come to you with this–know the students by name and not by number. To read my last Teacher Tuesday CLICK HERE.

Ahh, yes! Testing week! The week when all of your efforts and hard work come to complete fruition! That is the hope anyway. How sweet it is when it all works out! Students are deemed “high-performing” or “smart” and the teacher gets high praise. In this scenario, all is just peachy in the world.

The flip side of that is tension, anxiety, and the curve ball question(s) the students nor the teacher anticipated being on the test. After the the question is read, people are left saying “What the whaaaa…?” accompanied with a cold sweat and sick stomach.

What I practiced was all in vain!

Through My Child’s Eyes

Yesterday, I picked up my daughter from school. Dori is in third grade. It is her first year experiencing state-mandated testing. She got in the vehicle and the first thing she said was…

Today was my first day of KPREP!

I asked her how it went and she was pretty positive about it. She said she was able to answer all of her questions without running out of time, but there were a few that she didn’t know. I told her that was okay and that we will never know all the answers on a test.

We had also been working SO hard on short answer. She had gotten to a point that it was like clockwork. Each night, she would come home, and we would do a short answer. Based on the scoring guide, she was scoring twos (the highest score) on most of her writings. She felt really good going into it. On the way home, I asked her how she thought she scored on the short answer.

I think I got a 0 on the first one and maybe a 1 on the second one.

Father Fail

My response could have been so much better.

You are just kidding, right? The short answer is what we have practiced all year!

At that point, Dori started bawling.

Please don’t be disappointed in me.

She was crushed by my words, and I realized that this was a “father fail” for the ages. I was just attempting to push her, but it made her feel that she had fallen short. 🙁 A true testament to the stresses of test week.

You see, I had fallen victim to focusing more on the numbers that Dori might score rather than the beautiful person she is inside and out. After an apology and further discussion about the short answer questions, I realized the rigor of the KPREP short answer questions exceeded the examples we had been practicing nightly. That is not to fault anyone, but those unexpected questions or extensions to certain questions seem to always surface every year. Couple that with students’ test anxiety, and it is the perfect storm for a whirlwind of emotions that are just simply unneeded!

I talked to Leah about it later, and she said that Dori felt good about her efforts and the fact that she did not run out of time. I should have been happy with that and should not have started talking about scores or numbers.

Cards of Encouragement

The school does this wonderful activity where for each of the four days of testing they give families four note cards. Four family members or friends write encouraging words, so that the students have something positive to read before testing each of the four days. Sometimes when Dori is unsure about something she panics and completely shuts down. She said that yesterday the one thing that kept her from giving up was her mother’s card of encouragement.

As a teacher, encouragement and love should be at the forefront of any teaching philosophy, because if that is present, then rapport with students is built and there is a direct correlation with that and student performance.

You attract for bees with honey than vinegar.

I have never been of the mindset that teaching should be drill camp. This generation of students, and even my own kids, do not respond well to it. Besides, it is just not my nature to be the “hammer down” type of teacher. Let compassion and relationships be the foundation, and more times than not, everything else will take care of itself.

Conclusion

My mother, and “Gran-Gran” to my kids, wrote on her card of encouragement something that Dori loved and something that is a mantra of mine when teaching my students…

Do your best but don’t stress!

This is an interesting read on Finland’s education system and how they take a different approach to student success CLICK HERE. I might add that this post isn’t intended to have low expectations for students or kids, but the emphasis that there is more to life than just a number.

For example, last night Dori and Holly were running through the house like wild horses. They were just being kids. Somehow Holly’s fingers were shut in the door, and she was sobbing uncontrollably. My first instinct was to scold Dori, but the look on her face told me that she felt bad enough already. Later Dori came out of the bedroom with this to give Holly…

Not By Number

Bandaid with a Bit of Neosporin.

Not By Number

Sincere Note for Little Sis.

This made me smile and also put things in such perspective for me as a father and educator. Good people with great work ethics and attitudes, who offer respect and compassion, far exceed any number. Love and appreciate people for their personality and uniqueness and not by number. If the first part is in place, all will be just fine in the world.

Hold Tight to Your People

This Motivation Monday is a brief one. To read last week’s Motivation Monday CLICK HERE. Something that I often think of from time to time is simply this–your trust is valuable and should be earned. Always hold tight to “your people” and make sure your gratitude is shown to them through your words and actions. Consider these questions:

  • If you were to lose everything, who would try to help you or still be by your side?
  • Have you ever considered who your true, genuine friends are?
  • If someone close to you died, who would be there to comfort you or at least send condolences?
  • Who reaches out to ask how you are doing or to just make a connection weekly?
  • If someone spoke ill of you, would that person nip the negative talk in the bud or would he/she agree with the person and partake in negative talk?

Many of you, as you read the list of questions, can quickly start crossing people off your list. The older I get the more I see that friends are quality over quantity, all day every day. I can quickly see who is worth my time and who is not. Sure, I will be cordial to everyone I am in contact with, but I can’t say all those people have my full trust. It is no knock to anyone in particular, but it is the harsh reality of life.

It takes a few times of getting burned to realize that some people talk out of both sides of their mouths. What is important to remember is that type of person is simply weak. The only way they can find comfort is by blending in with their present environment, even if it is a toxic one.

Some Never Grow Up…

Now that I have daughters, impressionable little ones, I am even more vocal about finding true friends and to never accept bad treatment just to have a sense of belonging. Elementary is a beautiful time because kids are innocent, and for the most part, they are kind to one another. Then comes the pivotal middle school and high school years, and somewhere along the way some young minds become twisted by the outside world, to one extent or another. People become blatantly mean to others. Many of those same mean people enter adulthood, yet they never mature in that regard. Their meanness just becomes more sophisticated and hidden.

So, today’s post is not intended to be one in which I rant, but my main point is to reach out and make contact with the ones who matter. Those people who like you with no strings attached. The ones who celebrate your successes and accomplishments and never find delight in your failures. Hold tight to “your people” and NEVER SETTLE for weak people. I end with this quote from The Greatest Showman which is so true and something to always remember.

hold tight to your people

The Importance of Child Health Screenings

Today I come to you with a Family Friday post–a time in which Leah and I reflect back on all things about our family from the past and present. Today I write about something that sort of came as a shock to our family at the beginning of the school year. I share this to simply raise awareness about the importance of child health screenings and just capture the event by writing about it.

Leah and I are educators, and with Dori entering third grade, Holly starting preschool, and Kylea being in daycare, there are so many things to prepare to ensure that the start of another year is a success. It is never a sense of dread but more about excitement for what a new school year will hold, not only from an educator standpoint, but from our children’s point-of-view as well.

School supplies–CHECK!

Social Security Cards–CHECK!

Birth Certificates–CHECK!

Physicals–CHECK!

Hearing Exams–CHECK!

Immunizations–CHECK!

…AND lastly vision exams.

UGH!  Is all of this really necessary???

At least we were FINALLY at the final thing on the list, and we would be ready to tackle yet another school year.

Holly, our “little middle”,  waited quietly with Leah in the optometrist room to receive her eye screening. The first thing the nurse asked her to do was to cover her left eye and identify the pictures. Very quickly Holly zoomed through the pics, one by one, proud that she was able to identify each one.

This was just another formality. Soon all this will be behind us.

The Importance of Child Health Screenings

Then came the left eye. She started with the largest pic at the very top. Holly was nervous, hesitant, uncertain. She took a guess, but she got the picture wrong. As a parent, you want to help your child so much. You just want to blurt out sail boat. SAIL BOAT! 3D images were next.  After several more errors with identifying various images, the nurse told Leah that Holly had some vision problems, especially in her left eye.

The doctor came in and told us that Holly had 20/40 vision in her right eye and 20/200 in her left eye, which was deemed legally blind. As parents, several emotions came over us but mainly shock, sadness, and guilt. The doctors told us that she had Astigmatism in both eyes and that her left eye had Amblyopia (lazy eye).  The good news was that the doctors caught it at an early age, so it would be treatable and could become better over time by using modifications. We instantly realized the importance of child health screenings.

What was the course of action?

  1. Glasses with gradual prescription change until she could reach her full strength prescription.
  2. Eye patch therapy, not all the time, but at times where she is particularly focused in on something.
  3. Possibly a prescription of a certain type of drops.
  4. Surgery when she is of age.

This was a lot of information to process at the beginning of a new school year, but we reassured each other that this was only a hiccup in life that we would get through and that one day her vision would be much improved.

How on earth could we miss this???

More than likely she had this condition from birth and over time she adapted to a point that it was difficult for us to detect. Sadly, it became the norm for Holly and she never complained. :'(  She has always loved life and we had no idea

Were there any subtle hints?

Now that we know her diagnosis, when we look back on past pics, her eyes looked somewhat strained. The pics below were before:

The Importance of Child Health Screenings

Eye strain as preschooler

kid eye health screening

The picture below is a present picture of my little Holly after her first year of school/ PreK with her prescription. I see such a considerable difference with much less squinting.

The Importance of Child Health Screenings

Below is a picture of a notebook Leah bought Holly for her school supplies at the beginning of the year.  A few days ago Holly looked down at the front of the notebook with astonishment. We asked her what was wrong.

She said, “When I started school, the front of the notebook just looked white, but now I can see all of these colorful lights on it! 🙂

Colorful Lights Notebook

Conclusion

I share all of this with you to raise awareness about the importance of child health screenings. For more information on screenings that are offered CLICK HERE.  Screenings may seem like a hassle, and one may think that his kid could never be the one with deficiencies until the doctor is sitting down, breaking the news.  I am so thankful for the doctors who found this problem and that it will hopefully improve with time.

At her last appointment, her vision in her worst eye had improved to 20/40, and the doctor did not see any reason to increase her prescription at this point. Had this deficiency not been addressed, it would have undoubtedly affected her successful school year she had at Russell Springs Elementary School and Busy Bees Academy.

Below is such great improvement in writing her name from first of the year to the end of the year. She had awesome teachers this year and I am certain that better vision also helped in her learning process.

Child Health Screenings

I am happy she can finally see the colorful lights on the front of her notebook. 🙂

 

 

Full Body Workout and 300 Abs Workout

Today is Thriving Thursday in which I share with you something about diet or nutrition that I have focused on for the week. I am by no means a guru of fitness or diet, yet I do enjoy studying it and incorporating something weekly, even it is a few walks per week. Today I wanted to share with you the full body work that our fitness instructor at the local college shared with us, along with a 300 abs workout I always enjoy doing.

My motto is “just move”. I also feel like the magic number for optimal results is one hour on any particular day a person commits to exercise.

Start off slow. Possibly two days per week. When your body becomes used to it, incorporate three days with a day of rest every other day. Eventually go to five days with a different body part each day, or my favorite, and best bang for your buck, full body aerobic exercises. For some great additional exercise ideas, check out this website for some tips by CLICKING HERE.

Full Body Workout and Abs Workout

The last few weeks I have been attending exercise classes at the local college with my wife, Leah. This is a great opportunity to spend some time with her and also get in better shape. Above is the workout we did this week.

Below I discuss some of the things we did this week. We usually go on Tuesdays and Thursdays and go for walks or something light on the other days. With kids, this is the most realistic for us.

The first exercise our instructor did with us was frog jumps. This movement incorporates explosion and increases a person’s heart rate, while gassing the upper legs. This can be done with reps or by keeping time. Your preference.

The second was wide stance squat pulses. These also provided a nice burn. We usually do these for 30 seconds, 45 seconds, or 1 minute, depending on your fitness level.

The third exercise was narrow stance squat pulses which actually hurt me worse than the wide stance. Time was the same for these depending on level of fitness.

The fourth exercise was squat into a shoulder press. I loved this exercise because it incorporated many muscle groups–shoulder, arms, and upper legs. Decide a rep range comfortable for you in which your muscles start burning. Be your own judge with where you are at this point.

The fifth exercise was the squat with one arm raised holding a dumbbell. This again worked the upper legs and also required some balance as one arm was raised. After so many reps on one side switch arms.

Next we did push-ups in which we shifted our weight from side to side after every push-up. The other we put one hand forward and one hand back and did a push-up and the alternated our hand position. We finished with diamond push-ups with hands close together. We did ten reps of each style. I usually pick out three from the video above for ten reps a piece, total of 30.

Do the above exercises for 2-4 rounds depending on fitness level.

To finish we worked abs. This has always been my go-to ab workout. It works all parts of the core, and it also gets a good sweat going.

Conclusion

This was a nice full-body, cardiovascular workout. If interested in a diet that I use often with great results CLICK HERE to read about my No S Diet Results. No bells and whistles, just a common sense approach.  As mentioned, we usually exercise twice per week at this point and also incorporate some walking or jogging on off days.  When coupled with a healthy diet, there is a considerable difference in how we feel. I share this mainly as my own journal to refer back to or for anyone wanting some inspiration or possible ideas. Have a blessed day.

What is Drop Shipping? What is a Drop Shipper?

Introduction to Drop Shipping

Online business opportunities have all kinds of allure in this day and age. Many people want the luxury of working from home and are searching for viable possibilities. When searching the internet one model that often comes up is “drop shipping” and oftentimes the next questions is “What is drop shipping” and “What is a drop shipper?” To put the meaning into simplest terms, drop shipping is a business model that is an appealing option to make easy, risk-free money as a side income or full-time income, depending on how much extra time a person has. Today the model will be discussed in ways that money can be made and the importance of finding reliable drop shippers, should this be that route that a person decides to take.

What is Drop shipping, and What is a Drop Shipper?

What is drop shipping

Let’s say you find an item in a hot niche and you just know that it is going to sell like hot cakes. You have ideas to create your listing, you have great pictures, but there is only one problem, you don’t have room to store all the inventory. What’s worse, you have very little money to sink into inventory. That’s where drop shipping comes into effect.  A trustworthy drop shipping company has a stockpile of items that they store and ship for you when someone buys from you. There is no hefty sum of money up front. Pay as you go.

With a traditional online business, space is needed to store the inventory, be it a garage, basement, office, or warehouse space. Many people despise the clutter. Drop shipping makes you the middle man (or woman) :). You create beautiful sales copy, purchase the products for the customer, provide a forwarding address for the drop shipper company, and the company ships it for you. Easy Peasy! No risk of dealing with slow-moving inventory or large upfront investment. More time for the more pertinent parts of building a business.

How Do I Make Money?

Make Money Drop Shipping

The first step is to open a store or multiple stores. This can be through a marketplace like Amazon or Ebay. There will be a seller’s fee, but the traffic will be there quicker for your business. Sometimes using this route the profit margins can be slimmer, but your product will probably be in front of more eye balls just starting. The other option is to create a personal store. The beauty of a personal story is that there are no seller fees and one can benefit from more profit. A personal store can be created easily by CLICKING HERE. The next step is to populate the store of your choice with the very best products that are drop ship eligible. Depending on your business plan, you can then mark the prices up anywhere from 10-50%. A comfortable profit margin is one that makes the efforts seem worthwhile and can vary from person to person depending on the situation. The main thing at this point is to take action in some capacity.

How Do I Find Drop Shippers?

Finding Drop Shippers

Many people will tell you to resort to China for all of your sourcing needs. However, there are three problems with this:

  1. Sometimes you invest money but never receive the products.
  2. Sometimes the products are knock-offs and not the brand they promise to be.
  3. If a good supplier is located, shipment time is several weeks to several months

I took to the internet to find an alternative to the sourcing-from-China strategy. I wanted vetted sources that were trustworthy and companies that would get the products to customers quickly. The option that made the most sense for me was SaleHoo. If interested, more information can be viewed about the company by CLICKING HERE. Offering an online product and source directory of 8,000+ drop shippers, wholesalers, and liquidators, the options are endless for anyone looking to start an online business as quickly as possible with validated suppliers ready to work with business owners and/or business hobbyists.

Conclusion

A person can mess with long wait time from China or scour thrift shops, consignment stores, and secondhand stores, but our time in life is worth something, and this makes product sourcing much more efficient with the luxury of selling and repeating the process over and over. If you are still thinking about whether SaleHoo is a viable option for you and your product sourcing needs, Read my full SaleHoo review by CLICKING HERE.

My Top 3 Online ESL Teaching Strategies

 

ESL Online Teaching Strategies

Today is Teacher Tuesday! Each Tuesday I share my experiences about high school English, Online ESL with Qkids, or kindergarten class through what my wife, Leah, might share with me. Today the focal point of the discussion is about  my top 3 ESL online teaching strategies that I feel are non-negotiable strategies for a successful class with English language learners.

Before we get into the strategies, I want to first discuss a special week for us teachers–Teacher Appreciation Week. It is always a humbling experience to receive kinds words, and even in some cases, gifts.  I can’t express how grateful I am to just simply converse with students on a daily basis and experience the individuality of each student. Their presence is a present enough for me.

Today, while at work, my wife, Leah, sent me a text with some SUPER SWEET pictures. I have posted them below.

Teacher Appreciation Week

My wife with her kindergarten students, releasing the butterflies after finishing the life cycle unit over butterflies.

Teacher Appreciation Week

In case you can’t make out what it says, across the top it reads “I luve Miss Leu She is Butifil”

Teacher Appreciation Week

A nice note from one of my high school students.

Folks, when I receive notes like this and see sweet pics that my wife receives, it makes my worst day much brighter. I display any notes I receive on my bulletin board as friendly reminders from time to time. This is my “why” for my career path.  Get knocked down 9 times, I am willing to get back up 10 for the kids who love us, need us, and appreciate what we do. So, on this week and every week, we appreciate our students as well.

As already stated, I want to briefly discuss, in my opinion, the three most important  ESL Strategies for teaching online.

Online ESL Teaching Strategy #1: Enthusiasm

Online ESL Teaching Enthusiasm

It is human nature to be more cooperative with those willing to offer energy, patience, smiles, and consistent encouragement. I will be the first to admit that this was a big deterrent for me when I applied for Qkids. Overly jovial personalities were very off-putting for me. That sounds surprising, I know.  Read more about my experiences by CLICKING HERE.

Your personality does not have to be over the top to be an online teacher. My suggestion with enthusiasm is to find what works for your personality.  Don’t be someone you are not.  When I first started out, I was attempting to be someone I wasn’t, based on some of the promo videos for various companies. Once I settled in after a few months, I began using more of my own personality and not so much what I saw on Youtube. You do you and the enthusiasm becomes much more sincere and is not as emotionally draining.

One way to show students enthusiasm non-verbally is through a reward system of some sort. Many online teaching platforms have a built-in reward system, while other teachers also make a second reward system of their own. This shows students gratitude and enthusiasm my rewarding them before the first enthusiastic word might ever be spoken Let that create your guide to spread enthusiasm in your own unique way.

Online ESL Teaching Strategy #2: Visual Representation

Online ESL Teaching Visual Learner

This is SO important. Many students you encounter have such limited English that they are unable to do the lesson proficiently at which point visual representation is needed. This can be accomplished in two ways and preferably a combination of both.

  1. Props–These can be minimal if the teaching platform is robust with really good visuals already. However, some props are encouraged to enhance the lesson and student’s knowledge. Many students are visual learners and an object to clarify a word can be the difference in a student learning a new word and not. Prop usage must be very intentional and have purpose for enhancing the overall learning experience. Sure, props can be used to make the lesson more entertaining, but the main use should be to help the student.
  2. Total Physical Response (TRP) are hand gestures and actions that make a word or sentence more understandable to a student. These gestures prompt students while also clarifying meanings that the student may have trouble following otherwise.

Couple these two visual representation techniques together and you have the perfect combination for student learning and teacher success. Plus, the families you encounter during lessons will be super grateful.

Online ESL Teaching Strategy #3: Student Speak/Teacher Tells

Online ESL Teaching Say/Tell

Last but not least, this is probably the most important of my top 3 online ESL teaching strategies that I have not always implemented, and because of that, I received some constructive feedback when I was first starting. My approach when I started was more of a “monkey see, monkey do” approach. I would say the word or sentence and the student would repeat after me. However, the rigor of this was very low because it is fairly easy for students to simply repeat what they hear.

One day when I logged in, one of my pieces of feedback was that the instruction was too teacher-centered. I messaged my mentor for clarification. I then made the decision that for each activity I would let the student say the word or sentence first and then I would tell/correct any mistakes or reward the student for a job well done. This flipped approach made the lessons much more student-centered and offered that level of engagement and rigor that parents wish to see with their children.

I have often heard that the student talk/teacher talk ratio should be 50:50, but with this approach I feel like it is more 60:40 or 70:30, depending on the level of student and the interactivity of the teaching platform.

Less is More

Let me also note that just because I am talking less does not mean that I am any less diligent in helping the student. It means I am a facilitator and can intervene at anytime to help, while also allowing the student to learn more  by doing.

Conclusion

Many of you may still be on the fence as to whether this is a viable way for you to make money online from home. Some read this post thinking that my top 3 online ESL teaching strategies were these earth shattering approaches and might be too difficult to follow or develop, but these are strategies that anyone can implement right away. I am here to tell you that this part-time job is not work at all.  If interested in supplementing your income feel free to apply with one of the premiere online ESL teaching companies (Qkids) by CLICKING HERE.

 

 

Enjoy the Little Moments

Enjoy the little moments

This Motivation Monday I come to you with the simple advice to ENJOY THE LITTLE MOMENTS.  

A little over two years ago, we moved to a different house for a couple of reasons.

  1. We had outgrown the starter home that we moved into when we first married.
  2. We wanted a place more off the main road, away from the busy highway. The traffic scared us since we had small children.

Each time we drive by our previous house, I find myself saying the same thing–we had so many good memories in that house, and I didn’t even realize it at the time. My wife, Leah, always makes a good point that we are also making memories in our new home, and we need to pay attention as those memories unfold daily.

Life Sometimes Blinds Us

Adulting is hard. Simple as that. Many days are just survival mode at best. Factor in kids and it adds another ripple of responsibility. Work life leaves us running on fumes. Mix in after school activities, homework, supper, baths. WOW! Our tanks are completely empty.

One day I had come to a point where I felt as if I had “too many irons in the fire” and the more I tried the harder things seemed. I had goals and ideas I wanted to accomplish, but it just seemed like there was not enough of me to go around. I exclaimed WHY IS LIFE SO HARD?!? Leah quickly responded with something that is so true…

“No one ever said it would be easy, but it is all worth it.”

Leah has always kept me focused at times when I become negative or just want to quit. No one ever said it would be easy, but it is all worth it! Yes!

Play “Bocks”

So many times we get caught up in trivial things. Today I share with you a story and one of those Aha! moments that puts things into full perspective.

It had been a long week. My wife and I are both school teachers, and the day had been exhausting. We also have three daughters. Dori is 9. Holly is 5, and Kylea is 2. With us going to work and the kids going to school and daycare, dirty clothes accumulate more than we like for them to. People have died on Mount Everest, and Leah was pretty certain that this week, with a mountain of clothes about the same size, her life might be claimed as well. Leah’s goal for the weekend was to strictly focus on laundry.

As she folded load of laundry after load of laundry, there was a little voice in the living room floor that made Leah hesitate as she was folding yet another pair of jeans. Below I share with you Leah’s account of it, as she shared it on Facebook…

“Last night when we got home I immediately started working on the laundry.

While Kylea’s sisters were downstairs watching a movie with Daddy, she asked me to ‘play bocks.’

I got the blocks out, and as we were going over to play, I grabbed some clothes out of the dryer that I was going to fold as she was building. As a working mom of 3, I am always double tasking.

‘No mommy, don’t fold the clothes. Play bocks.’

This my friends stopped me in my tracks. Those clothes folded just fine this morning.”

Here is the video of that special moment that we captured.

Are our priorities truly in the order they should be? I certainly know at times I get mine mixed up. The scary thing is that if we are not careful the little things that truly matter will have passed us by and we will be saying to ourselves…

Man, we had so many good memories. I just didn’t realize it at the time.

Conclusion

I leave you with this poem that is thought provoking when thinking about this topic. Simple, yet so true…

Dust we are and to dust we shall return. What we decide to do with our time in between makes all the difference in the world.

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