30 Day Challenge: Day 1 – I need someone….

I’ve been given this 30 day challenge to teach and show what I do.  I can start with my elevator pitch but I have 29 days left to get to that.

When teaching English learners English, I like to use songs and music.  The reason I do this is because music helps the words, the grammar, the syntax all stick easier than simply doing rote memorization.  Teaching with music is also more fun than simply sticking with a book.

The Beatles “Help” is one of my favorite songs to use for advanced beginners to intermediate learners.  One needs the word “help” in English.  The song also teaches simple past, expressing using the verb “need”, the word “so”, “much”, adjectives, pronouns, conditional, and some great vocabulary.

The word “help” also sums up what I do, not only in my business, but all around.

In my business I help people transform their lives.  Yet like other business owners, this isn’t just my business, it is my life.  For the past 23 years, seven of the last have included my LLC, I have worked with, helped, taught, held hands with, cried with, gone through English grammar and literature with ad nauseum, pulled words and information out of people’s mouths, put their thoughts and information on paper, career coached and counseled them, wrote out their dreams and thoughts for them, banged my head against a few computer screens and desks in frustration, and overall seen people move on to better places and positions.

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Take a Hike

Whenever I teach English idioms, this can be one of the tougher idioms to walk through, no pun intended.

What does “hike” mean to you?  A hike can be a long walk, a long period of travel, or with regards to money, money and prices can hike, they can go up.

On the base level, we know to take a hike means to take a nice walk, a tough, challenging walk in nature.

However, the idiom goes to another level.  When we tell someone to take a hike, or someone else tells us to take a hike, it means to leave in a negative way.  Leave, good-bye.

Hopefully that hike will be a better to a better place.

Group Discussion, or not?

Again, from a prompt….the ideal conversation….

First, we all talk to ourselves.  It helps us figure things out, settle us.

Second, it depends on the situation.  I may personally prefer one-to-one in order to get to know someone.  Yet sometimes putting people in with a third, or fourth, or in a large group totally changes dynamics and may reveal a lot about someone.

Some people like to be in control of group situations and some people will only talk when with one or two other people.

Having been in many different types of classrooms over the years, I can instantly tell you who my talkers will be and who my silent ones will be.  Trying to get the silent ones to talk is a challenge I relish.  Yet, if the talkers aren’t around, the silent ones immediately open up and they always know so much more than they give themselves credit for.

This is why I like one-on-one and small groups when given the opportunity.

This is also why coffee shops are popular.  They give the opportunity for one-on-one and small group discussion.

What is your favorite type of conversation?

In, On, At

One of the most challenging parts of the English language to learn are the prepositions. Native speakers tend not to think about these or analyze them a lot.  Yet for people learning English, especially in the beginning stages, they can be confusing.

In: we use for specific locations.  Example: I am in my kitchen.

On: Objects, and people, “on” something: My keys are on the table. (Your keys can’t be in the table, but they can be in the drawer.)

At: general location: I am at the hospital.  Great, but where exactly?

My most common example I use with beginning learners:

I am at the hospital in the emergency room on the first floor.

Beginning Tips: Part One

Hello!

Welcome to Your Mind in Bloom’s Beginning Tips.  You’ve asked for this.

We are going to begin today with one of our most asked for topics: resumes.

We all need resumes, known in some circles as CVs.

Before you even begin writing your resume, sit down in a quiet spot, no social media, with a notepad/ notebook and pen or pencil.

Use one sheet of paper for every work experience you have had in the last five years, both paid and volunteer.  (Yes! Volunteering does count!) (And yes! Homemaker/ stay-at-home counts! More on that later….)

Write down everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, you did.  No matter how small, no matter how insignificant.

Some questions to ponder:

  1. What did you do?
  2. What did you do on a daily basis?
  3. What daily routines did you have?
  4. Any major responsibilities?
  5. Any minor responsibilities?
  6. Any successes? Improvements? Positive changes?
  7. Who were your customers/ clients?
  8. How did you help your customers/ clients?
  9. What specific skills did you use?
  10. What specific skills did you learn?
  11. Write a quick summary, two to three sentences, of your typical day/ shift/ experience.

Need help? Questions? : Contact us: 1 (203) 414-5176 or email: yourmindinbloom@yahoo.com

Talking about…..

I’m exhausted right now while I write this. We had quite a scare here earlier this evening, I will write more about it later. Some time out with an art opening, an outdoor music fest, and some old and new friends helped.

This morning I had a chance to share at a networking meeting what I do. It’s August, only a few people were there, and all of them I have met before. I talked about some of my clients and what I do to help them, the conversations I’ve had with parents, and some of the more heartbreaking times I’ve tried to help people but it doesn’t always work. I’m grateful for this chance because it is usually something I don’t get a chance to do.

One story I related, and as of right now I don’t have any follow-up, was a phone call I received from a woman whose son was in the process of having an IEP and the school district wanted to label him special needs because he wasn’t reading at 4, in preschool. Someone had given her my number, thank you if the person is reading this, and I spent two hours on the phone with her. She told me they were concerned because he wasn’t reading and that he needed to be ready for testing in Kindergarten. She had no idea that you are allowed to have someone with you, attorney or otherwise, for the IEP meeting and that you are allowed to record them. I told her to check the state’s statutes and laws.

We discussed the labeling aspect: pros and cons.

We discussed Michael Gurian and I recommended that she read his works. His books have been hugely helpful to me over the years in understanding and dealing with people not only academically but professionally as well.

We discussed how even if you learn to read at 4 or 14, everyone is at the same level by the time they are 18 years-old. Yes,some people never learn to full read and are functionally illiterate, and I know people in this situation and have worked with them and how it is heartbreaking. Yet the stress of having to read at 4…..

I wonder how she is doing. If you are reading this, please let me know.