Because Embracing the Suck Just Isn’t Good Enough

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Photo by Mohammed Hassan on Unsplash

The year 2020 is not responsible for the content…

I never liked holding a particular year responsible for all the rottenness committed by humans. A year is just an innocent unit of measurement that the human race fills with deeds both good and bad while we all complete an orbit around the sun. In spite of this was still happy to encounter some Christmas music on the radio today knowing that soon this year would be wrapping up. Changing the calendar to 2021 will be a symbolic gesture, but a pleasant one.

The Mandatory Country…

Consider the Influence of one of the Least Politically Diverse Areas in the United States

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The Need For Diversity

A lack of diversity leads to a lack of innovation. A lack of diversity leads to groupthink. A lack of diversity leads to stagnation. The need for diversifying systems, organizations, living spaces, in the areas of race, ethnicity, color, culture, gender, religion is an ongoing struggle. There is no doubt that diverse organizations that embrace the influence of all cultures, genders, religions, races, and ethnicities are stronger, innovative, and more adaptable to change.

Why Political Diversity?

Where there is no political diversity there is a danger for the citizens. A single party ruling a country unchecked can be authoritarian, suppress opposition, operate with a complete lack of transparency, indulge in corruption, and abuse human rights. …

A Quick Start Guide to Teaching Reading Skills

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Previously on How to Help Your Child Become a Better Reader: A Quick Start Guide to Reading Conferences

Reading Conference Recap

The above link is to my Quick Start Guide to reading conferences for parents. My goal is to provide parents with easy access to proven techniques for teaching reading without educational jargon. The first article is on why and how to begin reading conferences also known as reading time with your child. Reading time is simply listening to a child read a book that is on their independent reading level and providing the child with positive feedback on the good things that they are doing as a reader. …

A Quick Start Guide to Reading Conferences

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This article is the first in a series designed to help parents help their children improve their reading skills without educational jargon.

A Reading Conference is a technique used in schools to help students improve their reading skills. This technique works to support school-based or home-based education. If the parent can read the parent can teach a child to read, specific knowledge or training is not necessary.

There are three requirements:

  1. A child
  2. A book
  3. An adult

To help you think about the process here is a quick analogy. Teaching reading and teaching driving. Typically the adult teaching driving had no special training. If you can drive a car you can teach driving. …

When you are tired of being SMART

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Photo by Bobby Burch on Unsplash

Ever Heard of George T. Doran? Me neither.

SMART Goals are a business acronym used in personnel and project management. The acronym SMART was coined by George T. Doran in the 1981 issue of Management Review titled, There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives. Doran did not get into the weeds about what was the definition of a goal v. objective. He noted that it depended on the organization. He tended to use the term objective in the article. His original definition is as follows:

  • Specific — target a specific area for improvement. …

Kindergarten Teachers are the Keepers of Civilization

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Photo by Yves Alarie on Unsplash

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

I am a recovering educator, or so I have written in my description. That is English for semi-retired. I have had the privilege of working with teachers at all grade levels. However, it has never been a secret that I hold kindergarten teachers in the highest esteem. Kindergarten teachers are all that stands between civilization as we know it and the civilization depicted in the movie, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Actually, the kindergarten teachers are protecting us from what would probably be a less well-organized version of Thunderdome thirteen years from now. …

What would future me say? A support for positive behavior change.

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Photo by Victoriano Izquierdo on Unsplash

To begin positive behavior change I start by asking myself, “What would future me say?”

Time Travel

Every person alive is a time traveler. We are all on a journey from the present to the future traveling forward in time. The reality is the future does not exist. It is nothing but a concept that we construct in our mind which is useful for planning. For example, planning for the future can be as mundane as putting some frozen chicken in the refrigerator to defrost for dinner tonight. Planning for the future can be as complex as preparing to spend the rest of your life married to your partner as you purchase an engagement ring. …

Will We Ever Let Money Improve the World?

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Photo by Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash

The Problem With Productivity

What happens when we can produce goods cheaply using automation and a minimum of human labor? How do people who lost their jobs to robots survive? More importantly, (to the automated manufacturers) how do people pay for the goods that are being produced?

Alan Watts: Money = Information

Alan Watts, a British philosopher who brought eastern philosophy to the open minds of the west coast in the 1960s asked and answered the questions listed above in his lecture, On Money, Guilt and the End. His quiet and calm thoughts regarding basic income continue to be debated with great emotions today. …

A Quick Start Guide to Book Levels

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Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash

Just Right Books

Finding books that are just right for your child is an important first step on the road to helping a child learn to read. Too often children are presented with books that are above their ability to read independently. Allowing children to experience books that they can read and enjoy without adult supervision or support provides practice that builds confidence and reading skills. Parents understandably want to move their children forward to read more complex books sometimes before they are ready. Schools are required to teach content that is on a student’s grade level rather than their independent level. In some cases, children become frustrated with the process of learning to read. The rule of thumb is that by third-grade students are no longer learning to read and should be reading to learn. …

Reading time: A quick start guide

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Photo by Jerry Wang on Unsplash

Many parents are now parent-teachers. Teaching a child to read, or helping a child become a competent and fluent reader is one of the most rewarding and challenging things anyone can do. I want to help parents and caregivers enjoy this process with their children.

Quick Start

  • Find books your child can read independently.
  • Listen to your child read.
  • Compliment your child.
  • Teach one quick strategy.
  • Repeat.

Independent Books

For Reading Time use books that your child can read with almost 100% accuracy. In other words, they can read almost all of the words without having to ask for help. A child should also be able to comprehend or tell what the book was about and the major events that happened. The child should also have good fluency or read without struggling when they read an independent book. In some cases, an independent book can be a book with only pictures. …


Alex Wray Jordan

That was me, that is Alex, a recovering educator, writing about how to live a good life. B.S. Psychology, M.Ed. Special Education, Ed.D. Educational Leadership.

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