1. GREG (group)
12. DOL (pain)
13. VOR / VOUR (eat)
14. PAN (all)
15. FOLI (leaf)
17. FID (faith)
18. CULP (blame)
19. CORP (body)
20. CIS (cut)
21. CHRON (time)
1. GREG (group)
12. DOL (pain)
13. VOR / VOUR (eat)
14. PAN (all)
15. FOLI (leaf)
17. FID (faith)
18. CULP (blame)
19. CORP (body)
20. CIS (cut)
21. CHRON (time)
In June, I will be beginning the Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) program in New York City, New York, USA.
It’s a big move, which I’m ecstatic about, but starting to stress a little. But, I thought I’d give some info about the program, course, and process.
How did I find out about this program? Well, I began my journey looking at Teaching English as Foreign Language (TEFL) courses. There’s a wide range of those types of courses out there. Some of them are offered online, a few weekends in a class, or “intensive” courses actually teaching students. Beware! Some of these (if not most) can be scams! (Think logically… how can you be prepared to go in front of a classroom and teach English, if you never went in front of a classroom during the training course?) I found a site that reviews TEFL courses and found that the Teaching House CELTA course was one of the highest rated and seemed the most rigorous. I was looking for a certification program that would fully prepare me to go in front of a class of foreign speakers.
How did I apply? Once I decided on which location, I applied through the website. The application process is threefold: (1) Fill out application through website, (2) Successfully complete worksheet, (3) Successfully complete interview. I used this book to complete the worksheet. I would order the book before you apply. They are quick to respond (I’m sure my substitute teaching experience didn’t hurt, either), so it might look bad if you lag between steps. All three steps took place in about 2 weeks. And take your time filling out the worksheet. Get things correct. Know why you answered the way you did. Many of the questions on the worksheet were free answer (not multiple choice), so figuring out why you answered the way you did will help in the interview. Many of the questions in the interview were biased on the worksheet.
Then what? Immediately after the interview was done, I was offered a spot in the course. They require a deposit (“to secure place in the course”). The rest of the course fees must be applied a couple of weeks before the course begins. They immediately e-mailed me pre-course homework, a letter of acceptance, and a receipt for the enrollment deposit. So, before you go into the interview, be 100% sure that you want to attend the course. I’ve done research and been preparing to attend this course for literally two years (needless to say, I’m very excited to have gotten in).
Why this program? The CELTA program is accepted all over the world. It’s accepted, pretty much universally. And it’s prestigious. Since it’s backed by the University of Cambridge, it definitely adds some “umpf”, ya know? From what I’ve read, a lot of Europe prefers British English as opposed to US English speakers. So where I was limited, I might not be after I receive this certification. That’s very important to me since I could easily see myself traveling and teaching English for the rest of my life. But by far, it’s not the only program out there; it just fits me best. :)
I will have a separate post detailing the interview.
1. FINISH IT
Actually finishing it is what I’m gonna put in as step one. You may laugh at this, but it’s true. I have so many friends who have written two-thirds of a screenplay, and then re-written it for about three years. Finishing a screenplay is first of all truly difficult, and secondly really liberating. Even if it’s not perfect, even if you know you’re gonna have to go back into it, type to the end. You have to have a little closure.
Structure means knowing where you’re going; making sure you don’t meander about. Some great films have been made by meandering people, like Terrence Malick and Robert Altman, but it’s not as well done today and I don’t recommend it. I’m a structure nut. I actually make charts. Where are the jokes? The thrills? The romance? Who knows what, and when? You need these things to happen at the right times, and that’s what you build your structure around: the way you want your audience to feel. Charts, graphs, coloured pens, anything that means you don’t go in blind is useful.
3. HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY
This really should be number one. Even if you’re writing a Die Hard rip-off, have something to say about Die Hard rip-offs. The number of movies that are not about what they purport to be about is staggering. It’s rare, especially in genres, to find a movie with an idea and not just, ‘This’ll lead to many fine set-pieces’. The Island evolves into a car-chase movie, and the moments of joy are when they have clone moments and you say, ‘What does it feel like to be those guys?’
4. EVERYBODY HAS A REASON TO LIVE
Everybody has a perspective. Everybody in your scene, including the thug flanking your bad guy, has a reason. They have their own voice, their own identity, their own history. If anyone speaks in such a way that they’re just setting up the next person’s lines, then you don’t get dialogue: you get soundbites. Not everybody has to be funny; not everybody has to be cute; not everybody has to be delightful, and not everybody has to speak, but if you don’t know who everybody is and why they’re there, why they’re feeling what they’re feeling and why they’re doing what they’re doing, then you’re in trouble.
5. CUT WHAT YOU LOVE
Here’s one trick that I learned early on. If something isn’t working, if you have a story that you’ve built and it’s blocked and you can’t figure it out, take your favourite scene, or your very best idea or set-piece, and cut it. It’s brutal, but sometimes inevitable. That thing may find its way back in, but cutting it is usually an enormously freeing exercise.
When I’ve been hired as a script doctor, it’s usually because someone else can’t get it through to the next level. It’s true that writers are replaced when executives don’t know what else to do, and that’s terrible, but the fact of the matter is that for most of the screenplays I’ve worked on, I’ve been needed, whether or not I’ve been allowed to do anything good. Often someone’s just got locked, they’ve ossified, they’re so stuck in their heads that they can’t see the people around them. It’s very important to know when to stick to your guns, but it’s also very important to listen to absolutely everybody. The stupidest person in the room might have the best idea.
7. TRACK THE AUDIENCE MOOD
You have one goal: to connect with your audience. Therefore, you must track what your audience is feeling at all times. One of the biggest problems I face when watching other people’s movies is I’ll say, ‘This part confuses me’, or whatever, and they’ll say, ‘What I’m intending to say is this’, and they’ll go on about their intentions. None of this has anything to do with my experience as an audience member. Think in terms of what audiences think. They go to the theatre, and they either notice that their butts are numb, or they don’t. If you’re doing your job right, they don’t. People think of studio test screenings as terrible, and that’s because a lot of studios are pretty stupid about it. They panic and re-shoot, or they go, ‘Gee, Brazil can’t have an unhappy ending,’ and that’s the horror story. But it can make a lot of sense.
8. WRITE LIKE A MOVIE
Write the movie as much as you can. If something is lush and extensive, you can describe it glowingly; if something isn’t that important, just get past it tersely. Let the read feel like the movie; it does a lot of the work for you, for the director, and for the executives who go, ‘What will this be like when we put it on its feet?’
9. DON’T LISTEN
Having given the advice about listening, I have to give the opposite advice, because ultimately the best work comes when somebody’s fucked the system; done the unexpected and let their own personal voice into the machine that is moviemaking. Choose your battles. You wouldn’t get Paul Thomas Anderson, or Wes Anderson, or any of these guys if all moviemaking was completely cookie-cutter. But the process drives you in that direction; it’s a homogenising process, and you have to fight that a bit. There was a point while we were making Firefly when I asked the network not to pick it up: they’d started talking about a different show.
10. DON’T SELL OUT
The first penny I ever earned, I saved. Then I made sure that I never had to take a job just because I needed to. I still needed jobs of course, but I was able to take ones that I loved. When I say that includes Waterworld, people scratch their heads, but it’s a wonderful idea for a movie. Anything can be good. Even Last Action Hero could’ve been good. There’s an idea somewhere in almost any movie: if you can find something that you love, then you can do it. If you can’t, it doesn’t matter how skilful you are: that’s called whoring.
I teach 4 and 5 year olds. Some have no concept of gender and some notice a difference. The students in my class that think certain things are “for boys” or “for girls” generally have younger parents or have older siblings in middle school or high school. I find that they’ve learned that certain things are “for boys” or “for girls” by being explicitly told by someone older than them. Just as I work to make sure we have books that feature kids like my students and like other ethnicity I also try to make each item in my room inviting to every kid.
In the dramatic play center, I have costumes for construction workers, chefs, veterinarians, postal workers, one princess dress, one men’s suit jacket for a kid and a few other items. I try to purchase items for that center that represent real professions, but also try to consider the kids’ interests. When one of my boys picked up the princess dress this year, I watched closely to see what he’d do and what the other kids would say. While holding it, he looked at me like he was seeking permission. I walked over and helped him step into it. I was bracing myself for when someone else would say something. No one did. The boy looked in the mirror, smiled big, and went around taking some “orders” for the restaurant. I don’t think the reason he put it on had anything to do with whether he identifies with one gender or the other or somewhere in between. I think kids that age don’t normally think in those confines until we impose it on them. I think he was just genuinely curious. He’s never put it on again, but nothing was said by anyone to discourage him from doing so.
Later this year, I handed out buddy bags (I use my own books to send home with kids each night, and they get a new one the following night when they bring it back). Due to my student’s ages, I keep track of which book they take home and rotate them so that if one goes missing I know which one it is. The same boy pulled out a Dora book and complained, “I got a girl book.”
I had the whole class stop. I told them in a whisper (somehow whispers make things super exciting to my student) that I had something very special to tell them about books.
“Books are not for boys. Books are not for girls. Books are for everybody. A girl can read and like a book about dinosaurs. Why do you think I have so many? A boy can like a book about a girl like Dora. She’s a smart girl and can teach anyone a lot.
Do you know what Ms. PPT’s FAVORITE book is? It is Harry Potter. It is ALL about a boy and his friends. In fact there are 7 of these books. I’m a girl and I LOVE this book. In fact, the boy in this book is very good friends with a girl.
There are no boys’ books or girls’ books. Every book is for anyone to read. Sometimes it might be too hard for you to read right now and you’ll have to wait until you get better. Sometimes what the book is about is for grown ups and not kids. But any book that you are able to read and is about things for kids is a book FOR YOU.”
Sometimes I lose their attention when I try to make a long point, but afterwards they all stood in silent awe.
So, tomorrow, I have my first substitute teaching assignment. Substitute teaching is a great way to gain experience in the field.
Substitute teaching requirements are usually controlled by the county. Check online for sub requirements in your county.
For my county, the subbing is contracted out to a 3rd party staffing agency that does the training, hiring (with the approval of the county), and hosts the assignments. The county also usually searches the sub pool with the staffing agency for full-time or part-time teaching positions; meaning that it’s a great way to connect and get your foot in the door of having a permanent classroom. Getting assignments is just logging onto the staffing website, searching posts, and picking which assignment I want. That’s great because I can pick what level I want and even if I want to do para ed. I’m not brave enough to embark on that yet, but I’d love to at least do one assignment of that. And I can get exposure to all the different schools in the county.
I also took a training course that gave me a certificate in sub teaching. It was full of great tips for a new teacher and I got a free binder out of it! :) The certificate also allows me to enter into a higher payroll bracket. There’s a county that doesn’t require it next to my county. I don’t know if it would even help me for the next county.
But, of course, I’m freaking out. Just a bit.
first teaching assignment!! :D
what the $%*@ do I do?!!
- Suicide Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE (2433) – Can use in US, U.K., Canada and Singapore
- Suicide Crisis Line: 1-800-999-9999
- National Suicide Prevention Helpline: 1-800-273-TALK (8245)
- National Adolescent Suicide Helpline: 1-800-621-4000
- Postpartum Depression: 1-800-PPD-MOMS
- NDMDA Depression Hotline – Support Group: 1-800-826-3632
- Veterans: 1-877-VET2VET
- Crisis Help Line – For Any Kind of Crisis: 1-800-233-4357
- Suicide & Depression Crisis Line – Covenant House: 1-800-999-9999
- National Child Abuse Helpline: 1-800-422-4453
- National Domestic Violence Crisis Line: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
- National Domestic Violence Hotline (TDD): 1-800-787-32324
- Center for the Prevention of School Violence: 1-800-299-6504
- Child Abuse Helpline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)
- Domestic Violence Helpline: 1-800-548-2722
- Healing Woman Foundation (Abuse): 1-800-477-4111
- Child Abuse Hotline Support & Information: 1-800-792-5200
- Women’s Aid National Domestic Violence Helpline: (UK Only) 0345 023 468
- Sexual Abuse Centre: (UK Only) 0117 935 1707
- Sexual Assault Support (24/7, English & Spanish): 1-800-223-5001
- Domestic & Teen Dating Violence (English & Spanish: 1-800-992-2600
Alcohol & Drug Abuse
- National Association for Children of Alcoholics: 1-888-55-4COAS (1-888-554-2627)
- National Drug Abuse: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
- Al-Anon/Alateen Hope & Help for young people who are the relatives & friends of a problem drinker): 1-800-344-2666
- Alcohol/Drug Abuse Hotline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
- Be Sober Hotline: 1-800-BE-SOBER (1-800-237-6237)
- Cocaine Help Line: 1-800-COCAINE (1-800-262-2463)
- 24 Hour Cocaine Support Line: 1-800-992-9239
- Ecstasy Addiction: 1-800-468-6933
- Marijuana Anonymous: 1-800-766-6779
Youth & Teen Hotlines
- National Youth Crisis Support: 1-800-448-4663
- Youth America Hotline: 1-877-YOUTHLINE (1-877-968-8454)
- Covenant House Nine-Line (Teens): 1-800-999-9999
- Boys Town National: 1-800-448-3000
- Teen Helpline: 1-800-400-0900
- TeenLine: 1-800-522-8336
- Youth Crisis Support: 1-800-448-4663 or 1-800-422-0009
- Runaway Support (All Calls are Confidential): 800-231-6946
- Child Helpline: (UK Only) 0800 1111
- Kids Helpline (Australia) 1800 55 1800
- AAA Crisis Pregnancy Center: 1-800-560-0717
- Pregnancy Support: 1-800-4-OPTIONS (1-800-467-8466)
- Pregnancy National Helpline: 1-800-356-5761
- Young Pregnant Support: 1-800 550-4900
Gay and Lesbian Hotlines
- The Trevor Helpline (For homosexuality questions or problems): 1-800-850-8078
- Gay & Lesbian National Support: 1-888-THE-GLNH (1-888-843-4564)
- Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Youth Support Line: 1-800-850-8078
- Lesbian & Gay Switchboard: (UK Only) 0121 622 6589
- Lothian Gay & Lesbian Switchboard – Scotland: (Scotland Only) 0131 556 4049
- Self-Injury Support: 1-800-DONT CUT (1-800-366-8288) (www.selfinjury.com)
- Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention: 1-800-931-2237 (Hours: 8am-noon daily, PST)
- Eating Disorders Center: 1-888-236-1188
- Help Finding a Therapist: 1-800-THERAPIST (1-800-843-7274)
- Panic Disorder Information and Support: 1-800-64-PANIC (1-800-647-2642)
- TalkZone (Peer Counselors): 1-800-475-TALK (1-800-475-2855)
- Parental Stress Hotline: 1-800-632-8188
- National AIDS Helpline: (UK Only) 0800 567 123
Accepting help is BRAVE! Depression is real!
*Creating and sharing documents, presentations, and spreadsheets.
*Using Google Documents and Presentations for collaborative writing and reading exercises.
*Using Google Forms and Spreadsheets for collecting and analyzing data.
*Using Google Documents as a publishing platform.
*Managing the flow of files in your Google Drive.
Registration is limited to 25 students per course.
This course is designed for educators who:
*Are new to using Google Drive/ Documents.
*Have previously used Google Drive/ Documents but would like a refresher course.
*Would like to learn how Google Drive/ Documents can be used to help their students meet ELA Common Core Standards.
For all my fellow teachers looking for some professional development online…check this out! It takes place on Tuesday evenings in March!
Google Drive = <3
10 Billion Documents, 1 Day at a Time
The United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has turned to Tumblr in an effort to make its collection of over ten billion historical documents more accessible. Since 1934, the Archives have protected the country’s most precious documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Emancipation Proclamation. As “America’s record keeper,” the agency also keeps track of the American government’s daily business. Every federal office is required to report their activities in detail to the NARA, whose staff is then responsible for deciding which of these materials will be saved and made public. This means the Archives are continually growing. Only about 1-3% of documents submitted annually make the cut, and those that do can affect the shape of contemporary politics as well as historical memory.
Accordingly, the NARA faces the constant threat of politicization as an independent agency responsible for federal oversight. The Archives clashed with the Clinton administration when one of the President’s advisors, Sandy Berger, stole and destroyed NARA documents related to terrorist plots. During the second Bush presidency, the Archives were accused of weakness in their negotiations with the executive branch over access to public records; the New York Times said they could use some “spine-stiffening.” Bush’s administration defended their practices on grounds of national security.
More recently, on his first day in office in 2009, President Obama issued a letter to all federal agencies and departments calling for “transparency and open government.” He urged the use of “new technologies to put information about [goverment] operations and decisions online and readily available to the public.” Proclaiming “[i]nformation maintained by the Federal Government … a national asset,” this transparency memo prompted major internal changes at the National Archives.
“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.” - George Orwell, 1984