Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Since Ritalin, Humanism, And Outcome Based Education Are Not Working

There are solutions to schools gone wild that do not drug our kids, mask the truth about where feelings come from, call anything I do good or teach character as a series of definitions and posters.More...I was encouraged to see a recent article (along with several in the last few years) "The Great ADHD Myth" by Jenny Hope in the London edition of Daily Mail.
One true story: My friend J was told that both of her adolescent boys needed to be put on Ritlan if they were to continue in public school. J and her husband began researching, seeking wise counsel, and praying. They came to the realization that before drugging their boys they needed to try total parenting. J quit her corporate job and took on free lance work as a photographer. The family moved down in lifestyle and house. Immediately, not in a few months or years, when J became a stay at home Mom, the boys behavior in school improved. She was there to greet her roguish, red-headed, and totally normal boys after school, give them a snack, ask about the day, and inquire about homework.
TA-DAH! Presence, accountability, and active parenting replaced the need for drugs. Both boys proved to be positive standouts: one, a genius at creative thinking; one, a social magnet able to relate and entertain. The boys are now in their early 20's. There is power in sacrifice for the right thing. Most folks think sacrifice is a dirty word. J and her hubby found it to be renewing, encouraging, and uplifting then rewarding when it brought good fruits to the labor of rearing kids.
The school's role is not to parent! That is so obvious. Look what happens when we force that role on it in the name of "good education;" it moves to drug 'em, shove 'em, and just move 'em on out (not up). The only reason we have pressed education to take on the discipline-and-control role is that we as a nation have abdicated our responsibility. Further, we mistakenly seem to think that the kids will learn "somewhere" that responsibility character trait lost to us, that they will do the right things and, for example, honor thy father and mother... i.e., take care of us when we are old. Look again; it is not going to happen! We are and will continue to reap the rewards of our actions in high school violence, aberrant behaviors, and low test scores. All of which begin to describe our workplaces as the young move into it as "adults in body but not in soul."
Good News! All is not lost!
We can join the schools and move better directions for ourselves and our kids. We can again accept the responsibility for helping rear the next generation, particularly those already in high school who are about to hit the streets, yikes, and some literally! Each of us, parent or not, can specifically mentor the young to the truth they (the parent and/or the child) may have never been shown, that is, StrengthBank® - the plan for each life that will not harm, that will prosper, that will give hope and a future.
How do we show them and learn it ourselves? Be willing to sacrifice an hour twice a month during the school year to guide high school advisory groups to the developmental process of discovering, living, and passing on the fundamental truths upon which this nation was founded and wherein hope resides.
Hope and the sacrifice it requires to keep hope alive in each heart is better than any drug, any false accolade, or "character" definition/poster. The basic truth is that there is a plan and a purpose for each life for which one must sacrifice egotism, narcissism, and arrogance to follow; the truth will not change even if you do not believe it. Nobody gets a free ride - nobody!
Professional Speaker, CEO of Nonprofit, Executive Coach Author, and Media Guest
Sandra Shelton, BA, MEd, CTACC
Real Deal, Right Now Workforce Engagement Expert
For more than 2 decades and over 1900 presentations in 15 countries Sandra’s ingenious StrengthBank® - Ultimate People and Productivity Upgrade - is redefining how to achieve high engagement and productivity. Sandra “soundbites” her StrengthBank® paradigm as “people skills ‘workouts’ to ‘work in’ more engagement in work.” By employing then communicating StrengthBank® to her audience, she engages and reaches people in a personal, humorous, and practical way. Individuals find themselves poised in real time to extend specific steps to the job tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

How Audio Books can Help You Get a University Education

Brian Tracy is one of America's top business speakers and he used a phrase that I thought was quite appropriate in today's technological age.
"University on Wheels."
What he was talking about when using this phrase was the valuable knowledge that can gained by listening to professional audio books while driving to and from work every day.
It is well known that many people spend as many as 2 or more hours each day traveling to and from work.
What do they do during this time?? Some people listen to music, others just let their mind wander off into the abyss with their own daydreams. Either way they are spending hours each day doing nothing, effectively. However, there is something that can be done to change this.
Let me share an interesting bit of information with you.
Did you know that listening to the right professional audio books as you travel to and from work every day could give you the equivalent to a university education within some years??
Now, your first reaction may be to doubt this statement, but let me explain my reasoning behind the thought.
Many university students are only required to spend an average of 10 hours per week attending lectures. After several years, depending on the degree, they are handed their degree.
So what are they doing during these 10 hours a week??
They are listening to the lecturers!!!
Therefore, using audio books you can get similar information on the subject that you choose to learn about, and hear it all while you are doing something that has to be done every day anyway.
Now, don't get me wrong... I realize that this sort of learning is not going to be the exact equivalent of a university degree... there is more to gaining a degree than listening to a lecturer and repeating what they have said at the end of the semester, so unfortunately there are not any universities that will hand you a certificate once you have listened to a series of audio books but you will have gained a huge amount of information on your chosen topic and you did not have to take hours out of your busy schedule to read the information. You gained this new knowledge just by driving to and from work as usual and listening to the book.
Also, this new knowledge of yours is more likely to be retained as it was a specific topic that you chose to learn about because you were interested in it.
Even more good news follows, because there are, in fact, certain professional audio book series that will send you an exam to sit once you have listened to the set. Once completed the audio book company can issue you with a certificate of completion, which, in some cases can be used as confirmation of your expertise in that area.
So, now that I have told you all of this, are you going to continue to "waste" your valuable time on your daily commute?
I challenge you to use those hours to learn a new skill or get informed on that subject that you have always been interested in.
Just ask yourself what topic has always fascinated you, jump onto the internet and look it up. You are more than likely to find an audio book that you can download immediately and therefore, begin your education on your next trip to work.
Don't forget that audio books are portable. They can be copied onto cd for use in a car or a portable cd player as well as mp3 players. This means that you can listen to your audio books in more places than on the trip into work. Try listening to it while exercising or even doing the housework. There is plenty of activities you do every day that can now become more valuable.
A website that I recommend for audio books is
They have a massive range of books, fiction and non-fiction.
There is no membership needed, therefore no monthly fee that is charged by many other sites.
There is also no software to download to use their audio books. So the only thing taking up room on your hard drive is the audio book itself.
It is an easy 3 step process to download the audio book you choose, and there is a full support staff on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Answer To The Educational Crisis Is Creative, Passionate, Happy Teachers

I come from a long line of teachers. These women were creative, passionate, joyful, multidimensional human beings out of necessity. That's what it takes to be a really good teacher, and they were some of the best. They loved their students and their work. They believed in the children they taught. My grandmother taught in a one room school house when she was a young woman in Iowa. I loved listening to her stories and
all the different things she had going on in one room with children of so many different ages and abilities.
When I was in graduate school I would tell her that it sounded impossible to do the things she did with so many children. Grandma Rose would laugh deep and often. She would tell me her favorite saying "Life is messy and chaotic at best". She also said teaching reminded her of riding a roller coaster. Sometimes its easy. Sometimes its scary. But it is always thrilling and joyful if you just hang on and go for the ride.
As human beings we are hard wired to smile, jump, run, laugh, giggle, explore and ask why throughout our lives. Being too serious for too long is not only boring, it is bad for us physically, mentally and emotionally.
We have trillions of cells that create, maintain and renew our bodies and brains every second of the day.
Laughter and using your creative energy is vital to main balance in every aspect of your life.
Teachers are being made to feel powerless and stressed out on a daily basis in their classrooms, and in the news. Teachers are amazing, loving, giving, creative care givers of this planets most precious resource, our children. Recently I have reading a several great books that I would highly recommend to any teacher interested in creativity. The Element - How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything by Sir Ken Robinsion and Creative Thinkering by Michael Michalko. These books are filled with research that shows us how creativity and the body mind connection balances human beings of all ages.
Balanced, happy, passionate teachers have more influence that any other single human being in a child's life. They spend hours everyday with the children of this planet. There are so many great teachers in the educational systems around the world. It is time for them to make their voices heard in and out of the classroom. An educational revolution is in the making. It is my hope that revolution is created by balanced, informed, strong, happy, professionals who understand what real life long education is about. We need long term vision, not short sighted solutions for a few, that will improve and heal our systems for the children who trust us to take care of them.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Good News! Even Truck Drivers Can Reverse Diabetes

Beating Diabetes
Good news fellow road warriors Diabetes type 2 can be beat!
Just a little bit of history here. I began driving big rigs in 1993, I had driven 10 wheelers delivering glass and lumber locally for approximately seven years before that. In 1993 I was laid off from the local lumber company I was working for and went to work for a sea container company that was headquartered just across the street. I quickly learned that they needed a flat bed driver and that it paid more so I started my career off driving "flats" regionally on the west coast.
For the next 13 years I hauled all kinds of flats, low boys, step decks, curtain vans even a fifty three foot flat bed. Then I fell out of the cab of a Peterbuilt cab-over and pretty much destroyed my right knee. The knee was repaired and healed well but my career as a flatbed driver was over, some how perspective employers found out about the injury even if I didn't tell them.
Not being able to find flat bed work I decided to try dry vans, and since I hadn't worked for over six months no one was willing to take a risk on me except JB Hunt, if you don't already know, it's not a good idea to work for them, enough said. Next came refrigerated vans, what crummy work but I did like the company I worked for so I stuck it out with them for 3 years until a change of policy regarding home time caused me to not want to work for them anymore.
Finally, I landed where I have been for the past two years hauling food grade smooth boar tanks.
In 2001, during a routine D.O.T physical, the lab doing my blood work reported I had a blood sugar level of 600 dl/ml ( 70 to 110 is considered normal). I should have been admitted to the hospital right then.
The company Doctor that had evaluated me was as helpful as mud and I had to find another Doctor who educated me and got me started on drugs, and then through a high protein/low carbohydrate diet we were able to get the blood sugar under control without drugs. That was good for about three years, then the progressiveness of this disease caught up with me and I was put back on pills which did work for a time, however my weight kept going up and sometime after I crossed the 300 pound mark I lost all control of my blood sugar and ended up at the door step of an endocrinologist who recommended I go on insulin right away.
I am a chicken when it comes to pain so the idea of neuropathy which I was already beginning to have in my left hand, or amputation or heart attack just didn't appeal to me nor did finding a different line of work, so between a rock and a hard place, I took the hard place and went on insulin.
For those who are not professional drivers using insulin is a death blow to a drivers career, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration does not allow drivers to drive and use insulin as a wrong dose can cause a driver to suddenly pass out, not a good idea when your piloting 70 to 80 thousand pounds at 65 miles an hour. However, in recent years the F.M.C.S.A. has provided a waiver program whereby if a driver can demonstrate that he can properly administer the use of insulin (about a six month process) he can go back to driving. I did get a waiver and returned to driving but it took 10 months and I was unemployed the whole time.
The good News is it is possible even for truck drivers to reverse this disease, I did, and I will be sharing just how I did in future articles so stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

How to Cross the Financial Hurdle for a US Education

SO you've got or think you will get admission into a college of your choice in the US. Now what? The next question many students struggle with is how to pay for it.
The number of students from India studying at colleges and universities in the United States rose to a total of nearly 105,000 during the 2009/ 10 academic year, according to a report published annually by the Institute of International Education (IIE) with support from the U. S. Government.
But, the report goes on to say, 62 per cent of international students in the US funded themselves with only 38 per cent finding funds from other sources. In other words, competition for financial aid is intense. Aid comes in three main formats - full or partial scholarships, teaching or research assistantships where you work a set number of hours a week in exchange for tuition waivers and a stipend, or loans, which often require a guarantor, usually in the US. And who gets the coveted aid? It seems that winning financial aid has become somewhat of an entrepreneurial endeavor. While merit still rules, careful planning, calculated risk taking, positioning and resourcefulness have become critical.
Let's begin with where the money comes from. The top sources for aid were US colleges and universities (24 per cent), current employer (5.2 per cent) and home government or university (4.6 per cent).
Pure Science and Engineering subjects have higher demand, than say, something like education. So getting an assistantship is easier. Your schools ranking is important - most of the top schools are well funded. Where the school is located will also make a difference. The same money, which pays your tuition and part of your rent in New York, will buy you tuition, rent, groceries and leave you with leftovers in Ann Arbor. It pays, then, to carefully research the schools on your list and position yourself accordingly - what kind of funding they have offered in the past, their ranks for your field of study, their location, how many international students they take in every year, whether the school is private or public, their size of undergraduate population and their areas of research (an indication of research assistantships).
For PHDs, most universities are dying to get good students so they compete to give aid. A full scholarship sounds wonderful but is not always the option. Many students take the approach of a patchwork of different kinds of aid instead of one big grant.
Others decide to take the risk of sponsoring themselves or taking a loan for a year, transitioning to scholarships or assistantships in a few semesters. As you start your search, most recommend a broad, pull out all the stops search. Start with the universities website or admissions package, visit websites and offices of US and Indian foundations (such as United States India Educational Foundation and the Tata Scholarships), reach seniors in your target universities through social networks such as LinkedIn or your college's alumni associations, ask your professors for recommendations, write to professors (or professor's assistants) in your target university who are conducting research in your field of interest.
And in the midst of all this, beware of 'paid services' or scams out to get you and your personal information. The good news is that funding for international students from US colleges and Universities has actually increased by 9 per cent in the last year.