Allow the Wonder Wall to captivate you!

 

The Wonder Wall
The Wonder Wall

Recently I attended a book launch to support a friend who has co-created a masterpiece named the Wonder Wall.  I don’t usually get much reading done in the summer, but I am so impressed with this book I am making an exception this week.

The Wonder Wall is aimed at formal and informal educators of all kinds.  Teachers from kindergarten to university, scientists, managers, team leaders, administrators, parents, and volunteers alike can learn from this.  After all, we humans are all educators of some sort.  Whether you want to motivate and encourage children or adults, this book is for you.  The motivation can occur within a school, start-up business or major corporation.  Or an office, hospital, police force, daycare, or community association.  The concepts within the Wonder Wall are easily applicable to everyone and anyone.

I tried to put the ideas from this book into my own words to share with you.  I found that my efforts could simply not do justice to the witty, inspirational way this masterpiece is written.   So, I am cheating; these few excerpts are literally straight from the book…

CONDITIONS THAT FOSTER CREATIVITY

three imperatives:

  • recognize there is a seed of brilliance in everyone
  • adopt a strength-based approach
  • create cultures of belonging

four conditions:

  • storytelling and listening
  • moving beyond diversity to inclusivity
  • making it personal
  • celebrating

IDEAL LEADERSHIP CHARACTERISTICS:

  • good listener, approachable, personable
  • understanding, empathetic, respectful, caring
  • motivational, inspirational, visionary
  • honest, trustworthy, dependable, consistent
  • knowledgeable, informed, displaying expertise
  • good communicator
  • positive, enthusiastic, energetic

IDEAL LEADER BEHAVIOUR:

  • leads by example
  • provides support, encouragement, motivation
  • seeks input
  • inclusive/fair
  • approachable/friendly
  • professional/responsible
  • positive/energetic
  • respectful
  • sympathetic/understanding
  • team player/builds relationships

Learn the details of these compelling points, plus many more insightful strategies and how they can apply to your life.  Read the book yourself!

Inspire yourself.  Purchase the Wonder Wall at your local bookstore or online through Amazon.   I promise you will be captivated, and amused as you read and reread through the pages.

 

 

Dr. Shelly Wismath receives prestigious 3M National Teaching Fellowship

This article is about my sister Shelly, the eldest of six siblings in our family and my first teacher. Mom and Dad would be very proud of you!

University of Lethbridge professor Dr. Shelly Wismath can count herself among the best university teachers in Canada. She is one of 10 university teachers to receive the 3M National Teaching Fellowship, an award that recognizes exceptional teachers in post-secondary education.

Dr. Jan Newberry, Wismath’s nominator and U of L anthropology professor, describes her as a “teaching ninja” who possesses a subtle and diplomatic style.

“Shelly has served as mentor and inspiration to me and to many other colleagues and students,” Newberry wrote in her letter of nomination. “She represents the best of what teaching can be as a career, a vocation and a model for life and learning.”

Wismath spent many years as a mathematics professor and researcher in abstract algebra. In 2009, she moved to the Liberal Education program and began focusing her research on the scholarship of teaching and learning. She played a key leadership role in building and sustaining the U of L Teaching Centre and became the inaugural Board of Governors Teaching Chair in 2007. Wismath is currently spearheading the revitalization of Liberal Education. In addition, Wismath initiated and secured funding for the long-standing Women Scholars Speaker Series.

“My reaction was stunned silence on the phone. I couldn’t believe it,” says Wismath. “It’s a huge honour to be in that group. I love teaching; it’s always been a part of what I do. It’s amazing to have that kind of recognition.”

Wismath’s philosophy of teaching arises from her experience in both mathematics and liberal education. She combines the logical reasoning and search for pattern that characterizes mathematics and the critical thinking and problem solving that mark liberal education into a philosophy that hones in on how people think, learn and reason.

“My goal is to share with my students the interactive process of asking questions and formulating and testing out answers, and engaging in vibrant discussion to learn more about ourselves and the world around us,” she says.

Wismath works hard to build relationships with her students so they feel comfortable in the learning environment and the approach works. One student wrote “I recall the many thought-provoking articles she assigned with the hopes that we, as students, would question the content of. She did not want us to merely read and accept blindly what the authors had argued, but to come to our own conclusions and situate the information within our own understandings of the world.”

“The great thing about teaching is that we learn as much from our students as they learn from us and that’s been really true for me in the last few years with a problem-solving course I designed,” she says. “That course has been the capstone of my teaching career. I’ve learned that you don’t teach people problem solving. You facilitate their learning. It was a steep learning curve for me but the students were just tremendous. They taught me a lot and were very generous with their reflections, their attention and their thoughtfulness about their learning.”

Wismath also credits the U of L for providing her with the flexibility to continue her education and to pursue topics she’s passionate about.

“The U of L has been a great place to nurture teaching as well as research,” she says. “I’ve been very lucky to have had the flexibility that I’ve had to spend time on teaching instead of research at certain points in my career or to combine them or to take on projects.”

The 3M National Teaching Fellowship brings several opportunities. In addition to becoming a life member of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and the Council of 3M Teaching Fellows, Wismath will be invited to attend the annual conference in Halifax and a teaching and learning retreat. This is the second time a U of L professor has been awarded a 3M National Teaching Fellowship. Dr. Patricia Chuchryk, a sociology professor, received the award in 1999.

 

Source: Dr. Shelly Wismath receives prestigious 3M National Teaching Fellowship | UNews

Another one

Right after I posted about SCAMS I received this email.  I just saw it today because it was filtered into my JUNK file where it belongs…

This is to inform you that after the evaluation and conclusion of our meeting with the board of directors and special representatives from BANK PLC BURKINA FASO on how to disburse and remit your funds to you.
 
BANK PLC and WESTERN UNION have collaborated in other to remit your total fund of $2.5M us dollar, via western union by transferring $8,500 usd to you everyday via western union until we conclude the remittance of your funds.
 
So please confirm your interest by providing the below details to enable us begin the payment of your funds and start to transfer your funds via western union.
 
1 . Your full names
2. Your contact address
3. Your country
4. Your occupation
5. Your contact lines
6. A copy of your id documentary or international passport
7. Personal email address
 
Upon receiving this details, we shall start the transfer of your funds via western union as stated transferring your funds to you in badges of $8,500 usd per day.

Please kindly contact our representative MR GABBERT PARKER with the details for your transfer of your fund.

Sincerely,
Yours Faithfully.
Manager(Operations) MR GABBERT PARKER
Chief Operating Officer, Financing & Portfolio
Money Transfer | International Money Transfer | Western Union
www.westernunion.com

 

Lucky me!

Scams, scams and more scams

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I received two more scams today by email.  The first one was from someone claiming to be “checking my Netflix account”  They (in broken English and poor spelling) wanted me to click on a link to verify my account information with a threat that my family’s access to Netflix would be cut off if I did not follow the instructions.

The second scam was an email from someone claiming to be from Canada Post telling me I had a package that they tried to deliver but no one was home.  Again, they asked me to click on a link to verify my information and find out where to pick up my package.

Both are scams, looking to get information on unsuspecting individuals.  Popular services (such as Netflix and Canada Post) are being targeted because many people use and rely on them.  Clicking on the link provided will introduce a virus into your computer which will track personal information including banking details.

Clicking on the link provided in these scams will introduce a virus into your computer which will track personal information including banking details.  Instead of clicking on the link, delete the suspicious email immediately.

Here are a few clues that should make you suspect an emailed scam:

  • poor grammar and spelling in the content
  • telling you about something you did not order (packages)  Canada Post would never email you if they stop by and no one is home, they leave a notice at your door.
  • offers of refunds or money for nothing or ways to help you save.  If it sounds too good to be true, it is!
  • emails from someone you know that do not make sense, are very vague (i think you might be interested in this)  or contain a link you know nothing about
  • emails asking for information the (fake) sender (eg. CRA, bank etc) would already have on file
  • they are providing a service you did not request.  For example, they are telling you something is wrong with your computer and want you to log in so they can “help you fix the problem”
  • miracle cures of any sort (skin care, weight loss, etc etc) go under the “too good to be true” category
  • reputable companies do NOT ask for updated personal information via email

 

A PREVIOUS POST talked about scams you might encounter when shopping online.  Remember and be aware that perpetrators can find innocent, unsuspecting victims by email, phone, regular mail and even at your front door.  With modern technology, the world is becoming a much smaller place.  Scams, especially ones through email, can and do come from anywhere in the world today.

If you are even the least bit suspicious, google the company represented to see if there are any known scams associated with that company.  Use information available online to educate and protect yourself and others.  For example, I googled Netflix scam, and guess what, a whole list of results turned up.  This particular scam has been going on across Canada for a while now.   Remember, the company is not at fault, they are being used too.  The scammers are relying on these reputable, trusted and popular companies to get your attention.

After you delete the offending email, share the knowledge and warn your friends, family members, and neighbours.  The RCMP has a website for you to report SCAMS  and other fraudulent activity.

Be scam savvy!

Safety or false sense of security?

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This article CROSS WALKS  is about the newest safety craze that I believe promotes a false sense of security.   I have recently come across a few of these here in Kanata, a suburb of Ottawa.

To have flashing lights and special markings on roads between intersections only serves to tell our children that they do not have to look both ways and wait for all vehicles to pass before crossing.  So what if the pedestrian is in the “right” at these and any other crosswalks.  It won’t matter much who is in the right if a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle. There is nothing more annoying to a driver, not to mention dangerous to the pedestrian, than a pedestrian that is not paying attention to traffic when trying to cross an intersection.

Most drivers will stop to let pedestrians cross; I know I do if I see them waiting to cross. It is common courtesy, but so is crossing quickly if you are a pedestrian when a vehicle stops to let you cross.  How annoying is it when you stop to let someone cross an intersection or parking lot and the pedestrian is purposely taking their time?  With the new crosswalks, fines are given out to drivers that do not wait until the pedestrian has completely crossed the intersection before proceeding through the crosswalk.  Like they are with drivers, fines should be given to pedestrians who are distracted (talking or texting on cell phones) while crossing roads.

Much like the red flashing lights and stop sign on school buses that is supposed to keep our kids safe, these new crosswalks give pedestrians a false sense of security.  When my children were young, I refused to teach them to walk in front of a school bus.  Instead, they got off the bus and waited until there was no traffic before proceeding to cross the road.

What are your thoughts on this new safety feature?  Do you think we should teach our children that they are safe to cross in front of cars if the lights are flashing and there are special lines on the road?

Battery tester

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I read this recently; a simple battery tester.   It says to test if a battery still has life in it  drop it onto a hard floor from a height of six inches.  If the battery bounces more than once it is empty or dead.  If it bounces once and rolls over, it is good.

I just had to test the test using a few batteries that have been lying around the house.  For some reason, people in my household keep batteries when they suspect they are dead.  For quality control purposes (I did work in a laboratory for 30 years you know) I also tested some brand new batteries right out of the package.

The verdict?   This battery tester seems to work well.  The batteries I suspected were dead bounced a few times so did not pass the test. They  are now in the electronic recycle bin. (batteries should not go into the garbage)  The new batteries bounced once and rolled over as the picture indicates.

I hope you are all now looking for batteries to test in your home!  Give it a try and let me know your results…

 

Please be sure to visit my other blogs:

Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at YOUR DAILY CHUCKLE

and

be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW

My gardening website can be viewed at www.gardens4u.ca

 

When are you ever truly ready to have children?

When are you truly and completely ready to have children?  Research shows that couples (and singles too) are putting off having children until later these days, some even forgoing the experience altogether.  There are many reasons for this:

  • to compete in today’s workplaces, many young people feel they must have an extensive post secondary school education (one or more bachelor’s degrees, master’s, PhDs etc)  This applies to both males and females.
  • these formal educations financially drain many couples.
  • after all the time and money spent on an education, many (women especially) feel they want to concentrate on their careers instead of raising a family.

That’s a lot of pressure on couples today.  No wonder the birth rates in many countries around the world are dwindling.

I had the pleasure of chatting with a young woman at my dentist’s office the other day.  Our conversation centered around her desire to start a family and her hesitation to do so because of the fact she and her husband do not yet feel ready.  She is in the final stretch of a master’s degree at the age of 32, anxious to finish her education and get on with the rest of her life.  She also expressed fear that she would not physically enjoy being pregnant.

Although I understood her misgivings, I assured her that a couple can never be totally ready for pregnancy, children and the changes they bring to your life.  However, if you are financially, emotionally and physically prepared, pregnancy and the birth of a child can be the greatest experience ever.  Open your mind to the miracle that each pregnancy is, embrace the changes to your body, and try to relax.  Be sure to make and take the time to cherish and enjoy the experience.  I am quite confident offering this advice as I am an expert on the subject of pregnancies.  To see why I feel this way, read a previous blog post on the subject.

In conclusion, you will never feel 100% ready for a pregnancy.  After all, in my opinion, the reason we humans have a nine month gestation period in our pregnancies is to give us time to get ready!

please be sure to visit my slightly more humorous blog YOUR DAILY CHUCKLE  It is guaranteed to make you LOL.