I had an awesome conversation the other day with a friend who works for an organization that helps people improve their lives through mentors and micro loans.  Poverty is a world-wide problem that can be solved in a variety of ways, but often is best changed with a personal connection and a little bit of time.

Find a Mentor

A mentor is one of the best tools to change your future. Chances are they have been through something similar to what you would like to accomplish. It is also likely that they have had someone else to give them advice or bounce ideas off of. You need someone that understands where you are coming from and believes in you.

The best way to find a mentor is to talk with people that are a part of a group that are doing or studying what you are interested in. As you have conversations with people you will begin to recognize where others are in their own journey, and that they might have some experience to share with you. They might be a part of a Facebook group, or a group on LinkedIn. Introduce yourself and be patient. Ask questions for others to answer. Be willing to talk about things you know, and answer other peoples’ questions. When you find a person that might be open to mentoring you, simply ask them if they have time to talk about a few things, or answer a few of your questions. Be patient. Don’t follow up immediately. They’re busy doing their own thing and they’ll respond when they can.

It’s important to be willing to take other peoples’ advice. They don’t know you or your situation, so they’re giving you honest and legitimate steps that have worked for them. If you aren’t willing to try something new, that is your problem, not theirs. Be gracious about what they are providing to you for free and because they’re nice.

You may arrange a professional mentoring relationship that guarantees time and advice that you are paying for. This can be a good way to get personalized advice and the relationship benefits both of you.

There are a lot of people in the world that are at different stages in their own process. You will eventually be a potential mentor for others as you gain experience and knowledge. Be open to helping others just as some might have helped you.

You Can Do Anything

Whatever it is that you want to learn, whatever it is that you want to do, you can do it. You have the potential. You have the tools. You have the support you need, it’s just finding it. Be willing to talk about what you’re doing. Be willing to listen to other peoples’ experiences. Take what you’re learning and apply it to your day.

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Why do we have to study the English Language you ask?

One of the questions that I get from students is, “Why do we have to take English when we already speak English?” The best reason I can come up with is that it’s less about the language itself, and more about learning how to communicate.

 

Communication includes sending signals and receiving signals. That’s basically it. How good are you at communicating? Miscommunication happens all the time. Especially if you communicate through text or email messages. Do you mean what you wrote to come across happy or angry? Does the recipient know that?

Body language is an important part of communication when we are in the same room with someone. It’s easier to understand meaning with words, volume, tone, and body language. It is a lot less likely that the message someone is sending is going to be misunderstood. And even if it’s misunderstood, there is the opportunity for instant clarification. The receiver can ask questions to make sense of the message.

Students haven’t always been taught how to communicate in school, with teachers and administrators. The only adults that they regularly interact with live in the same home as they do. They are familiar and not threatening. Teachers and administrators shouldn’t be intimidating, but young students don’t know or understand this very well.

My objective this year, is to explore how students and teachers communicate with each other. Hopefully the stories and scenarios provided will help you to figure out a more successful path for your student, or maybe even yourself.

I would love feedback or questions. If there is a specific situation that you need help with, let me know.

I’m on Instagram @lit_teacher_dave, or on Facebook here.nametag.png

Shoot me some questions or comments there.

Good luck this year! You got this!

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Dave