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This reflective journal lays out 8 core principles that will help you discover how you can put them to use in your life. You will have the opportunity to journal about your progress and document success stories that have resulted because of the use of these core principles. So take your time and feel good about yourself as you journal about your trip down the road to becoming your personal best. Your job is to review the principles and reflect on the questions that are posed below and reflect about your progress as you implement them in your life. Good luck and have fun.
Who should Use This Journal?
If you are interested in permanent help, not temporary relief you should read and use this journal. Parents, teachers, teenagers, employers, coaches, and those in the self help industry can all benefit from using this journal for personal self growth. It is designed to provide the framework for lasting change and an opportunity for lifelong success. The beauty of the journal is you decide how you are going to make the changes and you can evaluate your life one step at a time.
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2 Corinthians 10: 4-5 KJV
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds ; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
I was first introduced to this verse as a relatively new Christian in 1992. In reading it and memorizing it I discovered a few very important points about life, and by that I mean not just the Christian life:
Our thoughts are only the beginning. As we think we can slowly begin to say things to others about ourselves or about them communicating information that is untrue and use a jaded mind in doing so. So our thoughts lead to words.
As we speak we can begin to mull over in our minds courses of action that could be taken that in most instances are based upon false conclusions and could have devastating results. Our words lead to actions.
Most times these actions are taken with the wrong attitudes and have nothing more than selfish motives. The actions could be taken in anger with the motive to hurt someone or for revenge.
Please click the links below and listen to the following podcasts. They discuss our areas of responsibility, our thoughts, words, actions, attitudes, and motives. If you are using the hard copy version use the link that is shown.
Responsible Thoughts https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7YYeIComheYaElySnpFNDZoUGM/view?usp=sharing
Responsible Words https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7YYeIComheYX21wQzFPaEtyclk/view?usp=sharing
Responsible Actions https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7YYeIComheYUncyek9BZzVvRU0/view?usp=sharing
Responsible Attitudes https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7YYeIComheYSlFNakRtYkV6Z1U/view?usp=sharing
Responsible Motives https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7YYeIComheYTWx5dlZNczN0TDQ/view?usp=sharing
All of these podcasts were done during 2013 and were part of a blog talk radio broadcasts. They were done as tips for everyone to show the progression of thoughts to actions and why a person’s attitude and their motives are so important.
This reflective journal is designed to give Christians and non-Christians an opportunity to see the power of God’s word and to use it to help change the way they think. I have offered ten topics for consideration with a scripture verse as a starting point. The reader then works to discover more scripture that relates to the topic of their choice and journals about their progress and experience in trying to change the way that they think. Always remember it is our job to do our best, but we should trust God to make up the difference.
All scriptures verses were taken from The New English Version of the Bible unless otherwise noted.
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Before You Read This Book Please Read This
There are people that we absolutely can’t stand. There are those that lie, cheat, and steal. There are whiners, complainers, gossip hounds, and sneaks. There are some who are so arrogant and are such a know it all that a conversation with them is almost painful. There are those that are so angry that we avoid telling them things that they don’t want to hear because we fear their reaction. Then there are those who are absolute criminals who don’t have a conscience who do things that are designed to inflict pain and suffering on other’s. Professionals who work with these people are trained to look beyond certain behaviors and convince themselves that they like the person but don’t like their behavior. Good luck if you are a teacher because kids who exhibit certain behaviors are just plain unlikeable, and in reality they know that they are unlikable and it may even be his/her way of getting the negative attention that he is starving for. The adults who exhibit some of the behaviors mentioned above were once kids who learned how to get away with things like disrespect, irresponsibility, and non-compliance as students and now have taken their deviance to a level that their life and the lives of others are being negatively impacted.
It doesn’t matter if it is organic or learned certain things just can’t be tolerated. Some of the behaviors are so inter-generational and so ingrained that that we can believe that the person is determined and that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and up bringing or genetics is the issue. In reality though we are only influenced by our genetics or upbringing and there has to be a switch in thinking as we change our response to negative influences. By the time a child starts kindergarten certain conclusions have already been drawn and he/she already believes that a temper tantrum gets the job done and I will get what I want when I want it. Until of course they discover something different and have to revert to deviance to get what they believe they are entitled to.
Behaviors like the ones just mentioned can’t be and should not be tolerated by schools or by society in general. Why; because they weaken families, systems, and classrooms. They become like Kryptonite and can begin to eat away at the moral fiber of society. For teachers life can become a nightmare when they have to deal with continual deviance and can’t do what they are paid to do and that’s to teach. Here are ten behaviors that I believe are like Classroom Kryptonite and if not dealt with early will do nothing more than prepare kids for a lifetime of misery who will try and shoehorn themselves into systems that will not accept their perception of life and their negative behavior.
We will assume that there are two reasons for negative behaviors; they are either learned or that they are organic meaning that there is some form of mental illness associated with the behavior that has affected a person’s judgment or has resulted in poor impulse control.
Kids often have what I call a “Choosing Disability.” In other words they have not developed the ability to make the correct choices and have trouble determining right and wrong behavior. There are reasons for poor choices but there are no excuses. Excuses when used can imply that we believe that the behavior should be excused with no consequences being imposed. Reasons explain the circumstance but regardless still hold the person accountable with a consequence. There is a short article that I wrote many years ago that offers a clear explanation. You can find it in the appendix as article one.
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By Teach Thought Staff
The best lessons, books, and materials in the world won’t get students excited about learning and willing to work hard if they’re not motivated.
Motivation, both intrinsic and extrinsic, is a key factor in the success of students at all stages of their education, and teachers can play a pivotal role in providing and encouraging that motivation in their students. Of course that’s much easier said than done, as all students are motivated differently and it takes time and a lot of effort to learn to get a classroom full of kids enthusiastic about learning, working hard, and pushing themselves to excel.
Even the most well-intentioned and educated teachers sometimes lack the skills to keep kids on track, so whether you’re a new teacher or an experienced one, try using these methods to motivate your students and to encourage them to live up to their true potential.
21 Simple Ideas To Improve Student Motivation
1. Give students a sense of control.
While guidance from a teacher is important to keeping kids on task and motivated, allowing students to have some choice and control over what happens in the classroom is actually one of the best ways to keep them engaged. For example, allowing students to choose the type of assignment they do or which problems to work on can give them a sense of control that may just motivate them to do more.
2. Define the objectives.
It can be very frustrating for students to complete an assignment or even to behave in class if there aren’t clearly defined objectives. Students want and need to know what is expected of them in order to stay motivated to work. At the beginning of the year, lay out clear objectives, rules, and expectations of students so that there is no confusion and students have goals to work towards.
3. Create a threat-free environment.
While students do need to understand that there are consequences to their actions, far more motivating for students than threats are positive reinforcements. When teachers create a safe, supportive environment for students, affirming their belief in a student’s abilities rather than laying out the consequences of not doing things, students are much more likely to get and stay motivated to do their work. At the end of the day, students will fulfill the expectations that the adults around them communicate, so focus on can, not can’t.
4. Change your scenery.
A classroom is a great place for learning, but sitting at a desk day in and day out can make school start to seem a bit dull for some students. To renew interest in the subject matter or just in learning in general, give your students a chance to get out of the classroom. Take field trips, bring in speakers, or even just head to the library for some research. The brain loves novelty and a new setting can be just what some students need to stay motivated to learn.
5. Offer varied experiences.
Not all students will respond to lessons in the same way. For some, hands-on experiences may be the best. Others may love to read books quietly or to work in groups. In order to keep all students motivated, mix up your lessons so that students with different preferences will each get time focused on the things they like best. Doing so will help students stay engaged and pay attention.
6. Use positive competition.
Competition in the classroom isn’t always a bad thing, and in some cases can motivate students to try harder and work to excel. Work to foster a friendly spirit of competition in your classroom, perhaps through group games related to the material or other opportunities for students to show off their knowledge.
7. Offer rewards.
Everyone likes getting rewards, and offering your students the chance to earn them is an excellent source of motivation. Things like pizza parties, watching movies, or even something as simple as a sticker on a paper can make students work harder and really aim to achieve. Consider the personalities and needs of your students to determine appropriate rewards for your class.
8. Give students responsibility.
Assigning students classroom jobs is a great way to build a community and to give students a sense of motivation. Most students will see classroom jobs as a privilege rather than a burden and will work hard to ensure that they, and other students, are meeting expectations. It can also be useful to allow students to take turns leading activities or helping out so that each feels important and valued.
9. Allow students to work together.
While not all students will jump at the chance to work in groups, many will find it fun to try to solve problems, do experiments, and work on projects with other students. The social interaction can get them excited about things in the classroom and students can motivate one another to reach a goal. Teachers need to ensure that groups are balanced and fair, however, so that some students aren’t doing more work than others.
10. Give praise when earned.
There is no other form of motivation that works quite as well as encouragement. Even as adults we crave recognition and praise, and students at any age are no exception. Teachers can give students a bounty of motivation by rewarding success publicly, giving praise for a job well done, and sharing exemplary work.
11. Encourage self-reflection.
Most kids want to succeed; they just need help figuring out what they need to do in order to get there. One way to motivate your students is to get them to take a hard look at themselves and determine their own strengths and weaknesses. Students are often much more motivated by creating these kinds of critiques of themselves than by having a teacher do it for them, as it makes them feel in charge of creating their own objectives and goals.
12. Be excited.
One of the best ways to get your students motivated is to share your enthusiasm. When you’re excited about teaching, they’ll be much more excited about learning. It’s that simple.
13. Know your students.
Getting to know your students is about more than just memorizing their names. Students need to know that their teacher has a genuine interest in them and cares about them and their success. When students feel appreciated it creates a safe learning environment and motivates them to work harder, as they want to get praise and good feedback from someone they feel knows and respects them as individuals.
14. Harness student interests.
Knowing your students also has some other benefits, namely that it allows you to relate classroom material to things that students are interested in or have experienced. Teachers can use these interests to make things more interesting and relatable to students, keeping students motivated for longer.
15. Help students find intrinsic motivation.
It can be great to help students get motivated, but at the end of the day they need to be able to generate their own motivation. Helping students find their own personal reasons for doing class work and working hard, whether because they find material interesting, want to go to college, or just love to learn, is one of the most powerful gifts you can give them.
16. Manage student anxiety.
Some students find the prospect of not doing well so anxiety-inducing that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. For these students, teachers may find that they are most motivated by learning that struggling with a subject isn’t the end of the world. Offer support no matter what the end result is and ensure that students don’t feel so overwhelmed by expectations that they just give up.
17. Make goals high but attainable.
If you’re not pushing your students to do more than the bare minimum, most won’t seek to push themselves on their own. Students like to be challenged and will work to achieve high expectations so long as they believe those goals to be within their reach, so don’t be afraid to push students to get more out of them.
18. Give feedback and offer chances to improve.
Students who struggle with class work can sometimes feel frustrated and get down on themselves, draining motivation. In these situations it’s critical that teachers help students to learn exactly where they went wrong and how they can improve next time. Figuring out a method to get where students want to be can also help them to stay motivated to work hard.
19. Track progress.
It can be hard for students to see just how far they’ve come, especially with subjects that are difficult for them. Tracking can come in handy in the classroom, not only for teachers but also for students. Teachers can use this as a way to motivate students, allowing them to see visually just how much they are learning and improving as the year goes on.
20. Make things fun.
Not all class work needs to be a game or a good time, but students who see school as a place where they can have fun will be more motivated to pay attention and do the work that’s required of them than those who regard it as a chore. Adding fun activities into your school day can help students who struggle to stay engaged and make the classroom a much more friendly place for all students.
21. Provide opportunities for success.
Students, even the best ones, can become frustrated and demotivated when they feel like they’re struggling or not getting the recognition that other students are. Make sure that all students get a chance to play to their strengths and feel included and valued. It can make a world of difference in their motivation.
I used to wonder how I could bring up awkward subjects with my children, and as far as those go, sexting is pretty high on the list. At the time they start doing this, kids already understand the basic concepts of sex. In fact, a lot of them consider themselves to be experts who need no further information or instruction from mom and dad because they already “get it”.
DoSomething.org has reported that about 40% of all teens have sent sexts, and these numbers are weighted heavily by age – the older a teen is, the more likely they are to engage in sexting at some point. Given all of this, it’s clear that you need to talk with your child about sexting. Here’s how to do it.
Tell your child to put their cell phone down, then say flat-out that you want to talk with them about sexting. Start by asking them how much they know about it – teens are often uncomfortable when put on the spot, but you really do need to know how familiar with the subject they are. If they ask why you want to know, just tell them that people have killed themselves after sexting and you want to make sure they’ll be safe.
Regardless of your personal feelings, you should try to avoid saying that sexting is wrong. If your teen has already sexted – or even just favorably considered the idea – they’re probably going to interpret that statement as a reflection on them. “Sexting is bad” becomes “You don’t trust me”, and few things will make a teen stop listening faster than the idea that you’re still treating them like a child.
Instead, focus on the safety aspect of it, starting with the statistics cited at DoSomething.org (through the first link above). Once both of you are on the same page, it’s time to address the problems with it. There are three particularly important issues to address.
Most teens don’t think of it this way, but it’s true. If they share a sext with someone else, even if it was just passed to them, they are actively involved in the spread of child pornography and could get into legal trouble as a result.
No matter how much your child likes their current date, that relationship probably isn’t going to last… and people have been known to use sexts for revenge pornography. Once something is out on the internet, it’s almost impossible to stop it, and a significant number of sexts end up shared.
Dates may use phrases like “prove that you love me” or “I really want to see you” in order to pressure teens into sending sexts. However, teens should think carefully about whether or not they want to be in a relationship with someone who pushes them into something they’re not comfortable with.
This is not exclusive to girls. Boys can be pressured into sexting, too – and that kind of pressure is wrong no matter who is on the receiving end.
Your goal shouldn’t be to stop sexting, per se – many people (including quite a few adults) think of it as a normal, healthy way of expressing their sexuality. However, you should try to keep your child safe, and that’s where the focus of the conversation should be. If you need additional help, you can look into tech safety and keeping a closer eye on what they’re doing – most teens don’t like being monitored, but if they know you’ll find out about their sexts anyway, they’re more likely to talk to you when they’re worried… especially if they know you’ll be sympathetic and help them, rather than threatening to take their phone away.
Talking about sexting isn’t easy, but it is important. Of course, every family is different, so don’t be afraid to change parts of the conversation to better fit your own family’s values and the personality of your child. Don’t wait too long to start, either – the sooner they understand the topic, the safer they’ll be.
Hillary Smith is a freelance journalist who specialized in telecommunications. As a graduate of NorthWestern’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism, she’s combines her love of technology, gadgets, and bulldogs with a career in freelance writing to make the world a more enlightened place.