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TEACHERS.NET GAZETTE
Volume 4 Number 6

COVER STORY
Teachers.Net and I, by chance, became high-tech links in the chain of people and events that cracked the Chinese government's tight lid on its emerging SARS epidemic
Teachers.Net Chatroom Exchange Reveals SARS Outbreak...
ARTICLES
Teachers.Net Chatroom Exchange Reveals SARS Outbreak by Catherine Strommen
Overcoming Barriers - Believe You Can Achieve by Don Quimby
How Do You Rate As A Proactive Teacher by Chuck Brickman
Calendar and Computations by Michael Moore
When Students Say, "I'm Bored!" from: the Teachers.Net G.A.T.E. Chatboard
Analysis of Whole Class Performance in Tests and Exams: Shall I Be a Bird? by P R Guruprasad
Ode to a Classroom by Joseph Mock
CPS and Learning by Remote by Dean K. Boyd
Editor's epicks for June by Kathleen Alape Carpenter
Final Update - Operation Deep Freeze by LT Marshall Branch
The Web in the classroom by Sarah Horton
Why Study the American Revolution During War in Iraq? from the Middle School Chatboard
June Columns
June Regular Features
June Informational Items
Gazette Home Delivery:

About Don Quimby...
Don Quimby retired after forty years in public education, with 31 years as a school administrator, the last sixteen years as principal of a middle school. He was selected Indiana Middle School Principal of the Year in 1994 and in March, 2002, a McDonald's "Hero in Education."

Don has been teaching graduate level classes for Indiana University for 12 years. In addition he teaches two undergraduate classes at a local college and supervises student teachers. He is in his third year of mentoring a group of 85 7/8 graders at a local school, visiting them about six times a year to "blast away about life, about things I feel they should be thinking about."

When he isn't busy with writing, teaching and mentoring, Don enjoys being a beloved Grampa.


How much do you owe on student loans?
Posted by MacQ

I came out of college owing nothing, as I never took any loans. My parents didn't pay for my college education either. I worked my way through school. It, of course, took a little longer (6 years), but I have no regrets.

During my last 2 years of college, I was a manager of a small gas & grocery mart. Imagine my dismay when my first paycheck as a teacher was less than my last paycheck as a student!


Objections to NCLB
Posted by Dolly on the Teacher Chatboard

My objection is that I cannot get my pumpkins to all start growing at the same time, develop flowers together, make a green ball, and then turn yellow at the same time. OOPS, I forgot they all need to be the same size at the same time of the year. Doesn't matter if we have rain or no rain, sun or no sun, pests or no pests, fertilizer or no fertilizer, those pumpkins just have to be alike.


Teacher Feature...

Overcoming Barriers - Believe You Can Achieve

Written by the author for his graduate level Education students.

by Don Quimby


My wife works at the local library. From time to time, the library has a special sale that often includes books that have become outdated. She bought one of the outdated books the other day for me because she knows I love to read "inspirational" type writings. The book was published in 1947 and is entitled, "A New Treasury of Words To Live By," which was edited by William Nichols. It contains a collection of ninety short philosophical essays and statements that offer "advice" from famous people on how to live a life of success---John Steinbeck, Madame Chaing Kai-shek, Fred Allen, John Foster Dulles, Walt Disney, Bruce Catton, Samuel Goldwyn, Frank Lloyd Wright, Margaret Mead and so on.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed reading all the articles, it was the one by Dr. Roger Bannister that caught my eye and caused me to want to share some thoughts with you. Who is Roger Bannister you ask? In 1954, Roger Bannister did something people thought would never be achieved. He became an overnight sensation with the feat he accomplished. He was an Englishman who became the first person to run the mile in less than four minutes! Impossible to do, people thought at the time. But...there he was on television for all of us to see...doing the impossible! I was a senior in high school when I saw the replay of him crossing the finish line in a time of 3.59.4. As he crossed the line, he fell down, totally exhausted. He had literally given his all in breaking the record. He had broken a barrier many people felt would be physically impossible to break. When asked to explain how he had achieved his goal of running the mile in less than four minutes, he replied, "It's the ability to take more out of yourself than you've got."

When asked to explain how he had achieved his goal of running the mile in less than four minutes, Roger Bannister replied, "It's the ability to take more out of yourself than you've got."

At times, each of us thinks we have encountered what seems to be an impossible task to accomplish or a goal to achieve. But, when we apply ourselves to the fullest, when we develop a solid plan of action, when we raise our intensity and become focused on achieving, when we raise our level of determination and perseverance, when WE become convinced that we CAN achieve the goal we desire ...IT HAPPENS!!! We find that the old saying is true--"mind over matter" counts. Achievement is all about planning, practicing, never giving up or giving in, being determined, persevering, etc. Remember what Henry Ford said, "If you believe you can, you are right. If you believe you can't, you are right."

Roger Bannister believed he could break the barrier of running a mile in less than four minutes and he achieved that goal. But, what was interesting to me is the information he revealed in his story about the events that happened AFTER he ran the mile in four minutes. In his essay, he writes about witnessing, three years after he broke the four minute barrier, a mile race in which THREE men ran the mile in less than four minutes in the same race! He went on to say:

"That was a far cry from the first modern mile back in 1886, when Walter George, wearing knee-length tubular shorts, and in spite of extra wind resistance from a flowing mustache, negotiated the mile in four minutes, twelve and three quarters seconds...a record that remained for thirty-seven years until Paavo Nurmi pared it by two seconds in 1923.

Thirty-one years later the first four minute mile was run. I was lucky enough to be the one to do it. Now, in only three brief years, this time had been broken on twenty-six occasions by sixteen runners. What was the reason?

It cannot be explained solely by improved training methods, though the technique of interval training (sprint, jog, walk, sprint) has made a great contribution. We forget that four minutes was merely an arbitrary time, fast perhaps, but still only a time. The barrier for spectators and runners was a psychological, not a physical, one. They failed to fix their sights high enough. But now, finally, that magic of a four minute limit has lost its hypnotic power.

What the next record will be is anybody's guess, but what happened on that particular day in London is a reminder that we should never be hypnotized by any mental limitation. We can always raise our sights."

Bannister is absolutely correct. I believe that the biggest barrier to achievement can be often found within ourselves through what we believe about ourselves and our abilities, as well as what WE FEEL we can achieve. One of the things I have learned after meeting thousands of students in my forty years in public education is this: People tend to achieve and accomplish in direct proportion to the feelings they hold about themselves. Achievement lies within all of us. Achievement is NOT about current circumstances, not about family background, and generally not about our physical abilities. Achievement is all about believing in yourself, about having self discipline, about persevering, about "hanging in there", about never giving up or giving in, about learning how to turn our failures into positive learning experiences, etc.---achievement is directly impacted by OUR PERSONAL BELIEFS!

People tend to achieve and accomplish in direct proportion to the feelings they hold about themselves.

I have a wonderful tape from the Chicken Soup folks that includes a clip by a man who calls himself, W. Mitchell. In the tape, he explains how life has dealt him some pretty severe blows. Physically disfigured by terrible burns after an accident, another accident later that left him paralyzed and forever confined to a wheel chair, he tells people that he has learned how to deal with physical limitations because of his positive outlook. He states that the saddest thing he has encountered in his life are those people who confine themselves to "mental wheelchairs," people who believe they cannot achieve because of something that has happened to them or because they don't have the confidence to try. He says what I believe: "It's not what happens to you in life that counts. Rather, it's what you decide to do about it."

I believe achievement of your dreams and goals is all about believing you can achieve what you desire. People are often told that nothing is impossible if you put your mind to achieving what you want to achieve. That's exactly what Olympic athletes tell us. In a recent survey, Olympic athletes were asked to explain why they were able to achieve the gold medal in their event. They cited, in order: Dedication, Mental Attitude, Perseverance, Competitive Attitude, Self Confidence, then they indicated talent.

The achievement of your educational and your life goals is really all about what YOU believe.

That's what Roger Bannister said---the barrier to breaking the time of four minutes for the mile had a lot more to do with the psychological than the physical aspect of doing so! So it is with learning how to read, how to become a better writer, how to become a better student, how to develop the confidence to share your thoughts in front of others, etc. Will someone be able to run the mile in three minutes some day? The world record is now down to 3:43.13. They said no one could break Babe Ruth's home run record but Roger Maris and Hank Aaron did. And Maris's record for home runs in a single season has been broken since by Mark McQuire, Sammy Sosa...and...broken again by Barry Bonds who hit 73 home runs last year! Flights are made to outer space and back. We have been to the moon and back. Will people be living on another planet someday? Can you add other seemingly "impossible" barriers?

The achievement of your educational and your life goals is really all about what YOU believe. Achievement is all about "mind over matter" as well as a determination to overcome whatever you feel to be the negative barriers you see keeping you from achieving what you desire to achieve in your life. I believe that education is a key to your being able to achieve your dreams. To me, "dreams" stands for:

D Direct
  R Relationship
    E Education
      A And
        M Major
          S Success

I urge that you "dream" about your future with enthusiasm. Your current circumstances mean little. What matters is what YOU think. What will matter is what YOU decide to do about developing your traits, talents and abilities to their fullest. I urge you:

  1. Work hard to develop your verbal and written skills.
  2. Learn how to learn and dedicate yourself to becoming a life long learner.
  3. Learn how to study, how to think, how to analyze, how to problem solve.
  4. Read...read...read...read...read...and keep reading.
  5. Work toward becoming an interesting person, a person of culture.
  6. Learn how to relate successfully to and with others.
  7. Learn the importance of such concepts as teamwork, cooperation, respect trust, caring, love, etc.
  8. Learn the importance of being organized, focused.
  9. Strive to make positive choices and decisions.
  10. Learn the value of being a positive, enthusiastic person.
  11. Develop and maintain a high level of self confidence and self esteem.
  12. Practice self discipline and self responsibility.
  13. Learn the value and reward of self respect.

You are a young person with your entire life lying before you. I urge that you strive to live a life that others will be inspired by. I urge that you live a life that will bring you success, satisfaction and happiness. Keep this "Q. Love Note." Read it at various stages in your life. Each time, seek to renew your vow to live your life in ways that will allow you achieve the dreams you dream, to live your life in ways that will give you the confidence to overcome any barrier that may be put in the pathway to achieving your dreams. I wish each of you a life filled with nothing but the best for yourself as well as for all those whom you will hold dear in your lifetime.

I close my humble thoughts with a special "dream" message for you. I also offer you the inspirational words of some who have lived their life striving to achieve their dreams. I strive to read the words of others when I encounter the "down times" in my life. When I read their thoughts, I tend to become inspired, renewed, rededicated to achieving my goals and dreams.

Jesse Jackson: "If you can believe it, you can achieve it."

 

A Chinese Proverb: "The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones."

 

Col. Colin Powell: "There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure."

 

Oliver Wendell Holmes: "The great thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving."

 

Leonard Nimoy: "I may not be the fastest. I may not be the tallest or the strongest. I may not be the best or the brightest. But one thing I can do better than anyone else...that is to be me."

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson: "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."

 

Dan Custer: "Every morning is a fresh beginning. Every day is the world made new. Today is a new day. Today is my world made new. I have lived all my life up to this moment, to come to this day. This moment, this day, is as good as any moment in all eternity. I shall make of this day, each moment of this day, a heaven on earth. This is my day of opportunity."

 

L.G. Elliott: "The long span of the bridge of your life is supported by countless cables called habits, attitudes, and desires. What you do in life depends upon what you are and what you want. What you get from life depends upon how much you want it...how much you are willing to work and plan and cooperate and use your resources. The long span of the bridge of your life is supported by countless cables that you are spinning now, and that is why today is such an important day. Make the cables strong!"

 

Wishing YOU "the" best,
Don Quimby

Dreams and your future

When I think of my future, I dream. I believe that the key to achieving a person's life's desires can be found in their dreams. People who function without dreams will face the possibility of having to accept whatever comes their way in life. But, the person who dreams soon finds their dreams can become personal goals. I believe it's the goals we set for ourselves that will dictate our level of success and happiness in life. When I think of the concept of dreaming, this is what comes to mind.

D Determination  Set your goals and be determined to reach those goals. But, set goals that will enhance your abilities and stimulate your total development as a learner and a person.

 

R Risk The ship that consistently seeks the security and safety of the harbor will miss both the opportunities and adventures of the open sea. Life is full of chance and risk. I urge you to risk the fulfillment of your dreams, your goals. Seek to create opportunity rather than waiting or hoping for opportunity to knock on your door. Seek to challenge your talents while remembering the importance of making positive choices and decisions.

 

E Energy Give the achievement of your dreams your best effort. Do everything you do with enthusiasm. Seek to keep yourself in good mental and physical health. I believe that people tend to create and achieve in life in direct proportion to the feelings they hold about themselves. Stay positive. Stay active. Stay energetic.

 

A Ability Seek opportunities that will encourage you to develop your skills, talents and abilities to their fullest. It is YOUR future that you are preparing for...not someone else's future. Know the positive connection between preparedness and opportunity. All you should ever want in your future is the chance at opportunity.

 

M Motivation Always seek to keep a positive focus on the goals you seek. Never allow failure to deter your progress. There is nothing wrong with "adjusting" your goal plan or even changing your life's goals. Just keep moving forward in life...never give up or give in. Learn from failure...and...use what you learn to move forward in a positive manner. Let your motivation be your stimulus to positive action for your future.

 


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