Sunday, December 9, 2018

Sledding in the Mountains

Winter sledding can really be a wild, exhilarating ride, as seen in this video with my son and his friend.

Self-Worth and Finding Courage

The other day, I was visiting with one of my students who feels discouraged because the student's father is disappointed by the perceived lack of progress the student is making. "You're not stupid, right? Get to work. You're just not working hard enough."
The pain in the student's expression was emotionally raw and distressing. I simply sat and listened, validating the student's discouragement.
In such situations, I often ask myself how we develop the courage to keep going when people seem to be telling us, "YOU'RE NOT ENOUGH!" "YOU'RE BROKEN!"
One of my favorite writers and researchers on shame, vulnerability, and self-worth is Brené Brown. She said the following:
“Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong. You will always find it because you’ve made that your mission. Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence that you’re not enough. You will always find it because you’ve made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world. The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than you.”
– BrenĂ© Brown, Braving the Wilderness
When I feel low, I just keep reminding me that myself worth is never determined by the judgement of the people sitting in the stands. I try to help students find the courage to do the same.
Any thoughts on this topic? How have you be able to press through difficult times?

Update Site - Dailyesl.com



I have almost completed the complete update to my site, https://www.dailyesl.com. Give it a try. The focus of the site is on everyday language, and each listening activity has questions and discussion tasks.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Trainyouraccent.com

Hi everyone. I am always experimenting with increasing engagement and learning on my sites. Here is a possible new quiz format and style for creating questions about the listening activities students here.
What do you think? Are these questions with immediate feedback helpful? Please let me know.

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day is a day is a time of gratitude. I’m thankful for:

- A good family who cares, listens, and feels;
- Good friends who remember our family in small acts of kindness;
- A very rewarding job that provides a deep well of opportunities to learn about the world;
- Daily moments of wonder and mystery that allow me to reflect on how limited my understanding is of our existence;
- Constant reminders on how I need to be more compassionate for those who struggle beyond my awareness;
- Uncertainty, which keeps me searching for new knowledge instead of just holding on to what is finite and comfortable;
- Animal companions at home who don’t hold grudges and love you no matter how hard your day has been;
- Nature and the mountains where we live, a place where I can hike, run, and soak in solitude and wonder;
- A warm home, something so many people live without in despair;
- The lessons of struggle to humble me;
- Strength to rise each morning;
- Food and clothing;
- Contentment;
- Inner peace;
- Me.
What are you thankful for?

Friday, November 16, 2018

Kindness Needed More Today

Having worked with students for over thirty years, I’ve slowly discovered the importance of the simple things that connect us all and our humanity. Perhaps the greatest thing we can do is to make a difference in someone else’s life.
I wish I could say that I learned that in the first few moments of my career, but it has been a process that has helped me view people more expensively beyond my own ethnocentric worldview.
I’m deeply grateful for the thousands of students and teachers with whom I have worked the years who have shown me kindness as well. Enjoy the video. Feel free to share your opinions on the topic.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Trainyouraccent.com

Hi everyone. Here's an update on one of the projects I am working on right now.
To make my sites more responsive to all devices, including mobile phones, I am slowly updating my sites, and I invite you to visit the new version of my site, www.trainyouraccent.com.
Eventually, I will do all of them, but I am starting on one of the smaller sites first. Please let me know how the site works for you.