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I was born in Mesa and lived in both Arizona and Utah. I attended four different high schools and moved back to Mesa my senior year. I love to travel and explore; I studied abroad in England, Scotland and France and had a blast. Music and writing drive me. I am a hard worker, when I am motivated to be. I am a passionate girl who loves people. I love friends but I also love my quiet time. Most importantly, I love to Love. I am a writer, an educator, a learner, an explorer and yes, a Mormon. I am blessed and I love my life. I am currently serving a mission for the Lord through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Italy until January of 2016.

My motto

My Motto
Love and Be Loved

Monday, June 18, 2018

Returing to Italy

Content Not Available

Ghana Part Two

We began our adventure in Accra. We visited the Temple and did some sightseeing, led by our local friend and tour guide Desmond. After two days we went to Cape Coast, where we lodged for four nights. We visited Mankessim, another small village, and did some sightseeing around the city there. I got a tummy sickness for a good two days out the top and the bottom. After Cape Coast, we took an awful Tro ride to Dunkwa, where we lodged three nights. We then stayed at a members house in Nkanfoa before heading back to Accra for one night. Then, our flight got canceled and the airline put us in a hotel for one more night.

Ghana is a tropical rain forest, at least where we are (in the central region- Cape Coast and surrounding). It's amazing to look around and see green everywhere anywhere you go. A lot of the fruit is green even when ripe. Bananas, plantains, mangoes, papaya, small oranges, coconut, apples, pears, avocado, watermelon, eggplant, and white pineapples are some of the common fruits. They grow cabbage, peppers of all kinds, tomatoes, cassava, white yam, sweet potato, peanuts, rice, corn, wheat, cocoa, onions, and others that I don't know what they are. There are not many flowers here. The equator is immediately south of Ghana, and so the temperature is consistent year round with high humidity. We are in the rainy months now, during the summer, and it seems the humidity builds up high until it finally rains, making the days hotter and stickier.

Trotros are their way of mass transportation. A van will have four or five rows of seats, holding anywhere from 12-18 passengers. There are a driver and a mate. The mate collects money and lets people on and off. The drivers usually are totally crazy and ignore the speed limit. I swear they are a death trap. No A/C but the windows provide wind. No way to use the bathroom if you're on a long route. The stations are just the Vans parked everywhere with people walking around seeking food and goods off their heads. A crowded and messy place.

Thursday night, our last night in Cape Coast, we had extra time. We went to visit Mankessim for the day (Weston's first mission area) but we did not find people at home and weren't very successful, so we got back home about 4:30. We had time to pack and Clean up and relax some, then went out to get dinner. I got an egg sandwich and Weston wanted rice. So we started walking toward a restaurant someone had shown him the other night, and suddenly there is all this commotion and people running in the direction we were going. As we pass the next couple of houses we see a building on fire. Turns out that is the exact restaurant Weston had in mind to get rice from. It wasn't on our street but you walk up to it from the street we were on.
Fire tank trucks got there quickly enough. Everyone was in commotion though, running to look, yelling, standing aside watching. Some people were helping. We were going to keep walking in another direction but we ended up staying back away. It was a knee-shaking sight. The entire kitchen and restaurant gone, engulfed, as well as the roof next door but that's it. We saw the owner and his wife and employees rather distraught. We watched it all happened and then calm down. Weston in his goodness had all he could do to not run and help in some way, but he didn't do so, thinking of me. 
Fire is not a pretty sight and not happy. We started walking then but decided to just head back to our hotel. Weston got an egg sandwich from the same place and returned. Everyone had been in such chaos, drivers not paying attention and people worrying. There was a good number of people helping out but lots more standing on the side watching.

How was Ghana? Here is my answer: It was good, it was very different. It was an experience. An experience worth having, but I don't know that I would go back. It's very rough compared to what we are used to in the USA and it really takes some adjusting. It's a good place. Weston wants to start a business there, so maybe that will take me back after all. For now, I am just happy to be home and happy to have experienced a small piece of what he experienced for two years.

>>More writing to be added later.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Akwaaba wɔ Ghana (Welcome to Ghana)

28 May 2018

Thoughts on visiting Ghana for the first time

Weston served his mission here in the Cape Coast area of Ghana, the southern part of the country. I have seen many pictures and heard many stories of the two years he lived here. While I served in Italy, it was really neat that I also got to meet Ghanaians there and try one of their most common dishes: fufu. Being here in Ghana is a totally different experience. Partially it's what I expected and a lot of it I just wasn't prepared for.
I expected there to be a lot of dirt streets and hut-like houses. This is correct.  However, I didn't know it was so hilly. Steep dirt roads up and down, with gutters and potholes carved by water. Dusty. Houses without air conditioning  (not one so far). And though I did expect it, I wasn't prepared for it. I knew I wouldn't be prepared for the walking but that's another topic.
The humidity? Awful! I've been in it before but I'm just not used to it. It's absolutely miserable. I don't remember this feeling. The humid heat is very draining.
My experience riding on a tro-tro is not bad, but I definitely won't brag about it or seek after it. Finding a bus back to Accra at the end is my hope. Trotro drivers are absolutely crazy, and the same goes for taxi drivers!!! No respect for speedlimits, or seatbelts, or windy roads. They frequently have police traffic stops on roads and drivers will just pay the police to get through without a fuss.
Photos: Osu castle and the square in Accra

The people are all very kind, aside from that. You walk down the street and everyone will greet one another. They are welcoming of people. They are generous as the can be. They are not very patient though while driving or in tour groups. The people selling stuff get very pushy.  It really is realisitc for Ghanaians to see “white people” and be shocked. A lot of them will see us white people (oboroni) and shout it out. Weston shouts back obibini (black person). It's cute when kids do it, but the adults can get uncomfortable. We were visiting independence square in Accra when an 11-year old called out asking for a picture with us. Why? I thought. Well, said Weston. We're white people. And then I thought, in America, if we tried to treat “blacks” like that it would end up on the news in some contorted way about racism. People ask us for money because we are white. It seems that everyone has their viewpoint on others.
So far we have visited Accra, Swedru, and Cape Coast. Swedru Is dirty! It made me uncomfortable the whole time.  It makes me wonder why the people are OK to let it be so dirty everywhere. Weston and I have had a few long conversations about this… it's not bad. It's just different. But I feel like they could have so much more! They chose to live how they live  (for the most part) because that's how they were raised and that's all they know, and it's good enough for them. Me? I don't like having to survive every day. I feel so blessed to have what I do at home. If I was born and raised here though, maybe I would see it differently? I'm all about simplicity AND comfort, and toilets. I'm really grateful for my flush toilets and toilet paper.
In Swedru,  we just walked around popping in to members houses. They all live within walking distance. We visited a good 7 or so houses seeing lots of people in between.  I finally got to meet Priscilla and Patience, of whom Weston has always spoke fondly of. And the former bishop of the area, brother Wallace, owns a private school. He had his students perform a cultural dance to welcome me to Ghana for the first time. A very neat experience! We both loved seeing the school and greeting all the children. Lisa is a child of one of the church members, and she fell in love with me from the first moment she saw me- mesmerized I'm sure by the unusually pale skin. I fell in love with her, too. (See her holding my Lego buddy)
In Accra we visited a castle, and out of all we saw the plastic trash on the beach amazed me, especially after having just developed a lesson all about oceans and plastic pollution. They use so much plastic here and it collects in gutters, on the ground, in the water. Again, why doesn't this bother them?
Street markets are everywhere. That's how they shop. An entire street will be lined with different stands selling different things. You go to the next street and fond the same thing, maybe slightly varying. People buy from each other and they know each other. Everyday, as needed. That's just how it goes. Unless handmade, all toiletries and household goods are imported.
There are goats, chickens, and cats everywhere. The goats are small! There are a few dogs.
The language is all over the place. English is not their first language though most can speak it. They speak Twi or Fante. I'm impressed at how well Weston was able to teach himself their language so he could speak it. Members and others love him. They have been so excited to see him again, even for such a short period of time. His heart and soul was truly planted in this country.
On that note, it was only the fourth day here when i realized we still have nine days left!!! And my heart sank. I'm ready to leave. The food is good, no complaints, except I'm already bored of it. I was not made for Ghana. Ghanaians are physically and emotionally strong people, but I feel very weak in both areas. Again, the people are really amazing. I don't understand them, but they gems.
I'm having fun doing fabric shopping. Their little street markets can be rather fun. I'm learning about their schools,  about the people here and how km they live. Americans have a lot of misconceptions about Africans in general, and Weston keeps reminding me that Ghana does not represent all Africans. Ghanaians represent Ghana.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

STEMSS CRUISE EL, Mexican Riviera Cruise- Puerto Vallarta

 Day Five Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Today was a great day. An enlightening day. We booked an excursion for today going to the Yelapa and Majahuitas beaches and snorkeling, where I expected thoroughly to see more wildlife, like birds, sea turtles and whales (my two biggest hopes!) and so on. We saw a whale briefly, and fish and jellyfish while snorkeling. We also saw lot's of iguanas about, and we did, in fact, see a couple blue-footed booby birds on an island in passing. But the tour just really focused on entertainment and fun. They fed us lunch on the boat but not any local food. The tour guide named Pablo was from Mexico and was so familiar with the area, which was a nice touch.

As we walked through the small village up to the waterfall, we passed a kid running down the path carrying a list. He stopped the kid and read what the list said- a drink and just a list of a few items to buy from the store. He read it to us, gave the list back to the kid, and the kid ran back on his way. It was like a movie! So casual and the kid thought nothing of it. We also passed some little kids with shells set up selling with a cute little song for $1. Culture. So very cool to see. It was a good mix reminder of Ghana and Italy for the both of us. You used to be able to climb up past the waterfall, but several years ago there was a huge rock slide and it is closed off beyond the falls.
As for snorkeling, we had to jump in the water from the boat and it was absolutely freezing! It shocked me and kind of took a while for me to calm down and actually breathe. We did see some jellyfish, and cool colored fish swimming around. We couldn't go too far out as the water got thicker and foggier. (Also- the pollution in the bay was awful. There was a distinct ring around the whole sky.) I enjoyed the snorkeling but I wanted to see more. We got to kayak for several minutes and then decided to go back to the catamaran (our boat) and eat lunch. Shortly after we moved on anyway. On the way home, we saw some fins in the water so it was either dolphins or like manta rays. We did see a school of fish swim by. And lot's of birds. On the way to snorkel in our spot, we did see a few Blue Footed Booby birds on the islands!!!

I think that if you are going to visit a place, you need to immerse yourself in that culture/lifestyle and leave your own behind temporarily. If you are going to live there, then there definitely needs to be a merge that takes place. On the tour, they were really focused on having fun and partying with music and drinks on the boat, but I really, really had hoped to focus more on the wildlife. Still, it was a worthwhile adventure today. After looking in dozens of shops looking for the perfect dress i wanted, we ended up buying a shirt from a lady and as we got chatting we asked for the best food to eat, and she called a friend to deliver food and we ate outside. A quesadilla with chorizo, al pastor, and carne asada, and beans. Absolutely delicious. Weston loved it. By the way, it was his birthday! Then we asked about taxi prices and she gave us what it should be. They bought us a coke and gave it to us before we left. Sandra and Gilbert (Berto). Nice people! Weston told them he would find them on Facebook. Perhaps we'll come back to visit them. It was just great to mingle with the locals and see how friendly they were to us.  That was a lot of fun for us and I think Weston loved it. We got to check out some of the Malecon and El Isla Cuale. An 11 hour day... we came home at 7:15 to the ship, showered, and were supposed to go to the shark tank activity but did not as we were late... instead to went to get a Clue and a free art show thing, showing Salvador Dali's art film.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

STEMSS CRUISE EL, Mexican Riviera Cruise- Mazatlán

Fun fact: Mazatlán means "place of deer" in the Aztec language. License plates in Mazatlán feature a tomato, the area's leading agricultural product and principal ingredient for tasty salsas.

Day Four Tuesday, March 13, 2018
It's about time for bed and I just don't quite feel like writing at the moment. We watched Wonder, the movie, tonight. I enjoyed the book of course and there were many more details than the movie; the movie really skimmed through a lot of it, though still enjoyable to watch. There is a dive-in movie screen with pool chairs in front of it, the pool in behind, and the roof slides open to let the sky in. There is also a theater on the opposite end of the ship, meant for shows and performances. We are on the Splendor, and each ship is slightly different with different things or designs.
This morning was a good start. We got breakfast and were all ready to go just a few moments before leaving time at 8, and we ended up having to wait a few minutes anyway. We went on a group tour/excursion about an hour bus north of Mazatlan to a small town in La Chicayota, Sinaloa. The we were off to the beach to visit Las Labradas. Labradas means carvings, and we explored the petroglyph's on the rocks on the beach there. Our tour guide (I think his name was Pablo, I can't remember!) turned out to be an oceanographer. He is a scientist! He was born and raised in Mexico and went to university to study such, and speaks fluent English. We were really lucky to have him. We spent a good hour or so on the beach, exploring the south part and then the north. The basalt rocks came from a volcano hundreds of hundreds of years ago, and carvings are about just as old. Water, wind, and people touching the carving help them disappear so they really focus on preserving them. They even had a live working scientist camp set up on site at Las Labradas. One thing I noticed is that further up shore, the sand is much more coarse (like sea-shell sand) where closer to the water it is very fine sand.
After the beach, we drove back into the town of La Chicayota and the Corono family made us all lunch. It's a really small town, maybe only 200 people live there. The family owns a little (little) store and it's right by the community center. Running water while we were there was down; they had issues with plumbing in the whole town, but they did have a toilet. Anyway, the family cooked us wonderful food- tacos with carne asada, al pastor, shrimp, and marlin, and then there were beans and rice and cucumbers and homemade drinks. Delicious. It was a wonderful experience to interact some with the people. Weston absolutely loved it. It was such a real, non-tousisty, authentic experience.
It was through a tour place but the guy worked with ONCA. See this website and see a picture at this website https://www.instagram.com/p/BgZJVA7lfdl/ 

When we got home, we had a little nap, cleaned up, had dinner at the buffet (they have almost the same food as the diner does for dinner, you just don't get waited on), and then watched our movie as I mentioned.

pueblosamerica.com says the following, "In La Chicayota (Chilacayotas) there are 56 dwellings. 100.00% of the dwellings have electricity, 97.87% have piped water, 78.72% have toilet or restroom, 55.32% have a radio receiver, 87.23% a television, 76.60% a fridge, 44.68% a washing-machine, 14.89% a car or a van, 2.13% a personal computer, 0.00% a landline telephone, 65.96% mobile phone, and 0.00% Internet access."

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

STEMSS CRUISE EL, Mexican Riviera Cruise- Cabo San Lucas

Day Three Monday, March 12, 2018
Tonight the boat is rocking quite a bit, but today we set anchor in Cabo San Lucas. I was really tired waking up this morning. We had a mini session about culture this morning and got introduced to the scavenger hunt for the day on culture. (I didn't do so well on it, but some of the pictures were taken for it). We ate breakfast and came back to get ready. Karen so kindly got us stickers that we had to have for the tender boats. Cabo is a tender port, meaning the ship can't go all the way into port because the port is too small- and we board boats to get to and from shore. We got sticker number 1, group 1, but we were still getting ready when they called for us at 10:30 and then we got off a bit late and I just got grumpy. However, we finally got there and it was fine. The first sight getting off the boat, and returning to the boat, was a military man walking back and forth carrying a huge machine gun. Welcome to Mexico! We wasted $8 on a taxi-bike ride to downtown- we walked around a bit. My goal is to buy a nice dress at some point, and maybe a blanket (though I could just as easily get either at home). Prices were ridiculous! They were charging USD for everything and it was crazy. Or maybe I misunderstood. We gave up and walked all the way back to the beach, after completing the scavenger hunt.

I learned some things from the scavenger hunt- awareness is being culturally minded, people-minded. It opens your perspective to learn and see as others do. Sometimes you don't notice things until you look for them. Schools, plants growing out of concrete, military, etc. 
The beach was wonderful. Clear, blue water. Cool water, warm sun. Perfect combination. Clear skies- I think. The caramel colored sand felt like brown sugar under my feet, coarse and grainy. Weston occupied himself with searching for crabs but instead found a great collection of...like abalone... oyster/clamshells.... something very pretty, though not sure if they have a name. He was excited by this and brought three back. I enjoyed the water.  I had a mini panic attack once I got out in the deep water- for no reason! It just happened where I suddenly felt, stuck and couldn't breathe. I sure hope snorkeling goes well on Wednesday.

We came back to the ship about 3 PM to clean up and eat lunch. Pirates pizza- authentic Italian: my approval. Kind of tired-hungry cranky, we came back to the room and ended up taking a much-needed nap. We have not participated in many activities, but there are still lot's to come. Weston submitted his application for Grad school into the 4+1 program! We had dinner in the dining room: Braised Rabbit (didn't look like it), lamb shank with root veggies, and coconut lime cake... different, I liked the cake. I ought to be working on more homework, which is why we came back to the room, but we are enjoying ourselves and the downtime, and I'm enjoying this chance I've created for myself to mandatory write every night. We could have done more tonight like there was the 88 Keys piano show, and comedy shows, but we are so tired. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

STEMSS CRUISE EL, Mexican Riviera Cruise- Setting Sail


Day One Saturday, March 10, 2018
We embarked the ship early, arriving in Long Beach much earlier than expected. Randy and Kat are cool people; they rode with us over here. It is a rainy, foggy, chilly day. Somebody got hurt- fell on their back or something. We had to wait to embark for an ambulance to take her. We watched them leave and saw blood on her back as the pulled her out of the wheelchair. Then we sat and watched as the ship left the dock... the giant waves, the boats following it. The black, diesel smokestack.
This place is cool.
Already, we have seen so much food wasted. Mountains, and mountains of food. I absolutely hate that. I wish we could teach people not to waste.
We got free lunch and ice cream. By free I mean it is included.
It's cozy. Like a hotel, rather homey. Weston found his cute and cozy little perch in the window seat- it's perfect. He isn't 100% convinced he likes this and all the excess involved with the cruise, but I know he will enjoy it all. We are going to have fun and it's just so fascinating the things we can see and learn.
Dinner was like a dine-and-dash. Three-course meal! Salmon tonight. Yummy. We went to a Clue show as well and it is a mystery throughout the whole cruise as we will collect clues. Clever idea.
It is very choppy tonight, windy ridiculousness and wild waves. Not nausea but just a feeling of dizziness in the head, throwing off the vestibular system. To bed early and we're excited for breakfast.

Day Two Sunday, March 11, 2018
There was a confusion this morning on time... Today is daylight savings time and so most of our phones changed, as well as the app. But when we got to breakfast they said it was only 6:30, not 7:30! So I guess we lost some sleep. I don't even know. The ship stays on the time that we were at when we left no matter what and that's what we go by, but I guess the app didn't keep up.
We had some great PD today. It's always very hard to sit still for so long, and lot's the teachers complained a lot. Mesh of personal ~ professional life = uncomfortable for Heather. I'm OK sharing mine, but it's odd to see others in an unprofessional yet professional scene. We went over the goals of the grant and all the logistics, and I wrote it all down in my "interactive notebook". Karen did what she calls Sciencetelling- we got to choose little Lego buddies and name them, and they will be like our Flat Stanley's for the trip but it was also as a strategy idea for use with kiddos. Mine is named Lydia Claudia Cordilia Renae The Adventurer.
We got to sample some lesson plans as well. The highlight for me, I enjoyed a lot having the guest speaker/scientist/conservation specialist share her story with us! It was way super cool. I have notes written down so I might have to take a picture of them to save typing time. Brooke Bessesen is her name, also a local children's author in Arizona. Really inspiring for me, looking at geography and science as future career possibilities within teaching.
We could feel the boat rocking, back and forth, back and forth, especially in the conference room with no windows. It was warm today, sunny. We got time to hot tub as the sun set tonight, shower, have a long fancy dinner (prime rib) and enjoy the evening. Weston hung out working on some school stuff and reading for the day. Excited for Cabo San Lucas tomorrow!

Monday, November 21, 2016

What are ways that we can implement individualized learning for any student in all subjects?

I grew up attending Acorn Montessori School from grades K-6 where the methodology for learning is much different than direct instruction and other "normal, public" school settings. The Montessori approach is very hands-on and inquiry based, or self driven. Throughout my pre-teaching journey, I have noticed the lack of this individualized learning in schools, and though it is not the only way to teach, I feel like it is how we naturally and should be implemented more than it is. I am passionate about strategies and ways to teach that promote individualized learning, and I hope that you will benefit from what I share today.

As a guide for my workshop, I used the concept of 20-time to facilitate my workshop. This idea is geared towards older grades, especially junior high and high schoolers, but is also scaffolded for and would be great to use with elementary grades. Thanks to 20-time, today's necessities like Sticky Notes and Google maps were created. Use this website and information as a tool to give that same opportunity of creation to your students in your classroom.

This project starts with a goal or a vision. It needs to be more than just a performance goal, though. It needs to be a learning goal, like a SMART goal. A performance goal is like wanting to run a mile in 8 minutes, but that's it. A learning goal plans how to get there, studies the steps, and measures progress and results. 

"Sir Ken Robinson explains in The Element that when someone doesn’t know how to read and write, we don’t assume they are incapable of literacy. Instead we know that they haven’t yet learned how to read and write. In a similar manner, he explains, when someone isn’t creative, we should not assume that they are incapable of creativity. We should assume they just need to be taught.
I am trying to teach my students how to be creative.
They choose what they will learn based on what they wonder about, what they are good at, and what they are passionate about." 

Start on a small, simple scale of this project to get the feel for it. Write:
2 things you love to do or learn
2 things you are good at
2 things you wonder about life
Now go have some fun!


Independent study is a different way of learning and is also an example of the workshop. In independent study, a student is guided by a teacher but usually does not take classes with other students every day. The student works independently. Independent study is available to children and adults. Here is a great introduction to independent study in California, and here is a more in-depth example of what it entails. 

There is a student in my current third grade class who just seems to know everything that you would never think a third grader would know. He zooms through his work and then gets bored, distracting the other students at his table and always has much to say off topic. This student needs deeper work or a project to work on (like any of these listed) in that "extra" time he has. So, things like 20-time don't have to be used for the whole class, but can be used on an individual basis or even as an incentive. You can also check out what Scholastic has to say about independent studies. The linked article talks about a school in North Carolina that has developed this learning method with students and it's amazing the results that have been shown.

Some more ideas...

Makerspaces is a new term coming into the world of education, or becoming more popular. Do you have techy students in your class? Try using recycled technology devises as learning tools that they can take apart, rebuild and explore. 

Dreambox is a tool that my school has just recently introduced to the students. Students start either at grade level or from kindergarten level, and as they answer each problem the math program automatically moves them up or down to where they should be. This is what makes it wonderful! They can work on iPads in class or any tech device, even at home, on their own and at their own pace.

Flexible Seating is a wonderful way to individualize the classroom! Very dependent on where you teach and the policies of the school district, you may have to be super convincing to let this swing. As this article explains, you slowly make the change in your classroom so it's not a budget breaker do remake your classroom over fall break. Some people love working at a table or desk. For others, it makes then feel trapped and they just want to kick back and prop their feet up. With great planning and great classroom management, you can implement even one or two parts of this flexible classroom into your own to really give students the freedom for their own education. I know of one teacher who uses the blue fitness ball for one of her two desks "chairs" and I also see accommodations for gifted or special needs students.

Kiddom is more of a resource that teachers can use, but it seems to be effective. Teachers can supplement their work online with what they do in class for blended learning, it can be implemented for individual practice and also as a self-guided type of learning that puts the each student in charge. Check it out! We are all about choices these days.

Learning contracts and choice boards. While I was at Acorn, each week my teachers would give us a contract, or a schedule for the week of what we would be doing. The days marked across the top and the subjects down the side, we would know exactly what is happening. Group and required work would be obvious, and then there were other activities that we could work on once we were finished with all of the have-to's. This would be great for students to keep track of what the class is doing, or to have for individual students who may want extra work or even need less work. Choice boards are somewhat similar, but maybe students will only pick at least three of the activities provided. 

Here is a list of some final resources you can check out that I read or skimmed through in my studies:

  • http://hechingerreport.org/how-finland-broke-every-rule-and-created-a-top-school-system/
  • https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/partnering-with-childs-school/instructional-strategies/individualized-instruction-vs-differentiated-instruction

Sunday, May 8, 2016

I am caring because...

The question I'm going to consider for this entry is based on failure, something that I learned from disappointment in an activity. All of the students in my school were given a writing prompt from the principal to complete, and upon completion could participate in a special recess. The writing prompt was "I am caring because..." and they had to finish the sentence. The problem was that they did not understand what the word caring meant. My mentor teacher had given a background on it, we discussed it and the students even gave examples of what it meant. Then we sent them to work. They all came back not knowing what write, asking what the word meant, showing us sentences that didn't make sense, and the biggest problem, that they thought the word was "carrying" not "caring". My teacher finally stopped the class and discussed it again, giving very clear examples! But the students still just not understand how to respond to the prompt because they didn't know what the word meant. 
I'm sure we could have gone to the internet to look for some extra help with the language barrier, but by that point there was not much time left in the day. By the end of the time period we just scratched the activity and I don't remember what my teacher did with it, but I do know they got their recess. Sometimes simple lesson plans do fail! And that's OK. Perhaps we needed to provide a better background and understanding to allow for a more clear definition of the word. That was a writing afternoon disaster I will always remember.

(From early March 2016)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Happy Day

Just as I think that my dreams will go flat, just as I'm on my breaking point, just as I slack and am about to give up and think my dreams and goals might not really happen... I get this friendly little reminder that yes, I make a difference, and Heather, that difference doesn't go unnoticed. Someone really does see me! I got the invite a while back to the award program tonight and was told it was for Excellence in my Education Studies. I didn't find out what it was for until I received it tonight, and I was pleasantly surprised and grateful.

Homework is not always fun. Papers are usually not easy to write. School is difficult. Teaching is very difficult. There is never enough time in a day, a week, a month, a semester- it always flies right on by. But you know what? I Love to learn and I Love to teach! This life is all about learning and I want those around me to gain knowledge of the very best they can. I just cannot stress how important our knowledge we learn now will be to us later (think of the eternal perspective...)

Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.” -Doctrine and Covenants Section 130

I am grateful for my advisers, faculty and professors at MCC. Seriously, attending a community college has been the greatest thing for me! Opportunities to get involved, make friends, travel, learn, grow, expand my diversity, be awesome. Community colleges are intimate and personal. There are SO many opportunities and I would recommend Mesa Community College to anyone. It's a love/hate relationship at most times, but overall I have Loved it. Nothing could have better prepared for me for a university than MCC. Did I mention how much cheaper it is? Did I mention you can get scholarships (easy) and go to school with money in your pocket? Then earn even more scholarships to later transfer to a university? Well I wasn't planning on making this spiel, but there you have it.

MY POINT OF THIS POST is that I am grateful for my life! I am grateful to be a part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so excited to serve Him for 18 months. I am excited to be a teacher. I Love my family, I love my friends, I Love me! I am blessed to live in America, even Arizona. Challenge: Wake up tomorrow and think, what is good in my life today? Yesterday? In the future? Dwell on that goodness! Give thanks. Give love. You are YOU and you don't need what anybody else has. In my opinion, from my beliefs, if we all follow God's path and try to be more like our savior Jesus Christ, than we can be happy and appreciate even the worst of storms. Look at the world around you: good or bad, God has a plan for it. Life is amazing. Make the most of what you have now.