Sometimes students have no idea how to go about studying efficiently, so of course they don’t do as well as they might. I’ve developed a strategy to help my students better organize the study process. I’d like to share it with you to use.  I hope it is a useful start to help you help your students develop more efficient study processes.

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For years I absolutely loved writing about education from my perspective of a high school special education teacher, teaching students with special needs.  My students were my muses, and I would write about the challenges and joys of being a high school teacher. When I retired from being a classroom teacher, I no longer had students. I no longer had muses, and I stopped writing this edublog. But recently, I’ve become inspired again to write about students and educational issues as I see them.   I’m not certain where this new inspiration to write has come from, but I’m delighted it’s back.  So please join me here as I discuss and question current educational issues.


Photo CC-J-P M. Bongayon

I’ve been talking and talking and talking  about writing a book based on my blog but that’s all I’ve been doing is talking about writing my book. Writing’s not a problem. I did a lot of writing while completing my MEd and liked it. I did a lot of writing for my blog over the eight years and liked it. Well, to be honest, I haven’t been writing many blog posts lately. It’s not writing that’s the problem.  The problem is I just can’t seem to get started.

When I was really busy teaching in the classroom, I used to set aside a time to write my blog and respond to comments. No problem getting the writing done. But now, that I have more time I can’t seem to get to writing my blog, never mind my book. There’s that  old adage that goes something like “if you want to get something done, give it to a busy person”, well  I didn’t fully appreciate the message until recently. I’m not busy, and I’m not getting things done.

I was reading a tweet my son, Chris Hartjes, recently wrote . I follow his tweets just because I’m his Mom and have to know. He’s been encouraging me to write this book for a while. Chris is  super busy at work and with family responsibilities and yet he’s writing his third book as well as speaking at conferences and doing  video-casts. People are always asking him how does he find the time to do all that he does when he’s so busy all the time. His answer to that question is ” Use your calendar to block out time for tasks and only do them during that time”.>

Use my calendar to block out time to write my book? I think I can do that. I will do that, and I’ll let you know how it goes.



For me. living an authentic life is living a life that honours what I value. Shakespseare said it best when he said ” Know thyself and to thine self be true”.

By now, I have a pretty good idea what I value in life. I also know that if I do not live my life according to what I value, life soon starts to suck.

For the most part, I love teaching. But, every once in a while I start to hate it. When I realize I’m starting to hate teaching, I’m always surprised.  I love teaching, especially teaching the academically at risk students I usually teach, so why am I starting to hate it?

I’ve learned to ask myself what is it about teaching my students that I love, and am I doing that? Invariably, the answer is that I am not teaching according to what I value. By not honouring what I value in my teaching practice, I’m  disconnecting  myself from my teaching practice and from my students. Once disconnected from my teaching practice and my students, life starts to suck. Once I realize there’s a problem, I start to reconnect to my teaching practice and to my students. I’ll do this  by asking  myself what it is  that I value about my students, and what is it at I value about my teaching practice. Once I’ve identified what I’m doing that doesn’t honour my values, I can change what I’m doing and start to be more authentic.  Soon, life  becomes good again.

Just a thought here: Can someone be more authentic or is being authentic one of those absolute states wherein you are authentic or you are not authentic- there’s no more or less.











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