Problems With GED Mathematics

GED learners often have problems with math. GED mathematics is the hardest subject for most people to conquer because it's a different way of thinking and one people don't use as much in their everyday lives. But sometimes problems with math go deeper. A learning disability that prevents you from understanding math is called dyscalculia, and if you have serious problems with GED mathematics, you should consider that it's possible you have dyscalculia.

Dyscalculia is a real difficulty in preparing for the GED exam. If you suspect you have dyscalculia, you should try to get your disability diagnosed. You may qualify for special assistance on the exam, such as using the calculator on both parts of the GED mathematics test or taking frequent breaks. This can really help. Unfortunately, dyscalculia often goes undiagnosed, preventing students from getting the help they need on the test.

There are also things you can do in your studying, too, whether or not you've been diagnosed with dyscalculia. Math is a language of numbers, and to some people its symbolic language doesn't make sense. Try translating math into images or words that you can make more sense of. Break down problems into simple steps. Find out specifically about the logic you need to get from one step to the next in math. Try writing down a problem, and for each step in solving it, write down the logic that's used. Before you can do math quickly, learn to do it very slowly, one step at a time. A lot of people jump from step to step automatically, but it's easy to get lost that way. If you learn what each step means and why it's being done, then you're really understanding.

Students who have trouble with math usually don't get the language of math. What does the math really mean? What's behind the numbers? You might have trouble making connections between math, even something as simple as "5 + 4," and its meaning, i.e. five apples and four oranges, means nine pieces of fruit. If these types of meanings are a difficulty, imagine the difficulty with algebra! It takes some self-evaluation and creative thinking, but math concepts of all kinds can be learned in new ways. Try to make connections to real-life problems and applications. Use objects to understand the math you're looking at, something real that you can see and manipulate. Actual apples and oranges (or pennies, or dice, or toothpicks, or other objects) can help you make sense of math.

Focus on filling in basic math capability (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, percents, and decimals) and understanding what to do with word problems. If you have a strong foundation in the basics of math, you've got a great start on the GED.

If your problems with math are serious, it might be good to go to find a book on dyscalculia. A lot of these are aimed at children, but the types of exercises you'll find can still help. Browse through your bookstore to see what you find. Just getting out of the way you've been trying to learn and finding a new method, a new way of thinking about math, can help break through the frustration. Trying new techniques is a lot better than repeating the old ones that aren't working.

GED and GED Testing Service are registered trademarks of the American Council on Education (ACE). Use of the GED trademark does not imply support or endorsement by ACE.

Michael Ormsby is the president of The GED Academy and oversees software and curriculum for adult learners and people with educational challenges. For more information, visit Michael can be contacted by email at: or by telephone at 800-460-8150.

Tips For Getting A Degree In Computer Science

Unlike to many other niches, computer science counts to one of the best paid and promising niches today. Because of the large increase in people buying computers and requiring quality services, more and more companies hire specialists in different micro niches such as programming, supervising, managing or support.

But what does all that have to do with obtaining a degree in the niche? Well, computer science is a very competitive market that requires more specialized experts than ever before. With the accumulation of a bachelor's degree a person will not only be estimated higher but it will open many doors for him or her.

It doesn't matter if it takes you 3 or 5 years to obtain a specialized degree in the field because once you have it, many employers will be glad to test your expertise and eventually higher you long term. We all know that it can be extremely difficult to get involved in a computer science degree program, especially if you are working a full time job. Besides, you might have other responsibilities like family, business etc for that you have to take care of.

Anyway, whenever you decide to get involved in a degree program make sure to plan every single aspect in advance. There is no worse thing than starting with a program and not being able to finish it. In fact, attending a 2 year internet course is a long commitment. You might have to give up on other things while you attend online or local classes. There is always a price to pay and therefore you have to make a decision for the long term.

If you think you cannot afford a degree program because you have limited financial resources you can apply for scholarship at your local university. On the other hand, if you don't think you would have sufficient time to visit a local university you should look into online courses.

Online courses tend to be very cost-effective and are mostly a lot cheaper. It is recommended to get the price for a specific degree program from different internet providers to filter the most reasonable and appropriate offer. Make sure to keep note on every offer you get and try to decide which offer would best suit your needs and current circumstances.

All in all, it can be said that there are many possibilities for degree programs. If you want to be more successful in your computer science degree you should definitely advance your education.

Simply click on degree in computer science to read more detailed information. Our computer science degree online website is here to help ambitious individuals to grow in ability and skill.

The Plastic Brain - Fake It Until You Make It

About a decade ago, Philip Martinez was involved in a motorcycle accident in which the nerves in his left hand were destroyed, leading to an amputation. However, after the amputation he was haunted by his amputated hand, as if it still existed, but was immovable and in excruciating pain. He eventually found Dr. V.S. Ramachandran, a neuroscientist at University of California at San Diego, who had been researching the phenomenon Martinez was experiencing - "phantom limbs".

To help amputees deal with their phantom pain, Ramachandran created an ingenious solution called a mirror box, designed to trick the brain into thinking that it is working with the phantom limb. It is an uncapped box with two compartments separated by a vertical mirror. As Martinez placed his good arm into one of the two compartments and imagined that his amputated hand was in the other compartment, from a certain angle the mirror box allowed him to see the reflected image of his good hand, as if his amputated limb was there. As he moved his good hand while looking at the reflected image, he was not only able to "see" the amputated limb, but to feel it as well. This seems almost as magical as a fantasy. In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry first saw the sorcerer's stone in his pocket through the Mirror of Erised, before he actually found it in his pocket. Similarly, Ramachandran's mirror box allows someone to see what they want to happen before their brain actually makes it happen.

At first, Martinez felt that the phantom limb was unfrozen and moving again only when looking at the reflection; when he closed his eyes, the painful sensation returned. After four weeks of working with the box for ten minutes a day, the seemingly permanent pain was cured. The mirror box had caused the brain to believe that the nonexistent limb had begun working again, relieving the pain and uncomfortable sensation. The brain had rewired itself - the body faked it until the brain made it.

Neuroplasticity is the characteristic of the brain that allows it to adapt, rewire, and change its structure, similar to the ability of plastic to mold and change shape. The plastic brain defies the long standing theory that brains, especially adult brains, are rigid structures.

In the past, neurologists did many studies to identify which part of the brain controls which body function or action, also known as brain mapping. The previously accepted belief was that these brain maps, once established during childhood, could never be changed; a particular area of the adult brain can control only a certain part of the body so that all regions of brain maps were immutable. It would be as if the boundaries of countries had been permanently established since the beginning of time. However, the discoveries of neuroplasticity in the early 1970's led to an entirely new view- brain maps can expand, diminish, and become more specific to certain sensory inputs and motor functions. Ramachandran witnessed changes in brain maps when he scratched the cheek of a patient experiencing phantom pain. The patient not only felt the scratch in his cheek, but in the phantom limb as well. Confirmed through brain imaging, Ramachandran concluded that the limb's brain map had meshed with the cheek's brain map. Like an emperor with an avid desire to gain territory, the cheek's map was encroaching on the limb's map.

Before designing the*illusory mirror box, Ramachandran uncovered the brain map of phantom limbs. He observed that many amputated patients had the limb in a sling before amputation, which caused the brain map to adapt to the "frozen" state of the limb. From a healthy limb, the brain receives motor and sensory outputs signaling the completion of an action, however, after a limb is amputated, the brain no longer receives those messages. The brain therefore continues to think that the limb is frozen because it was not signaled otherwise. If a tree fell in a forest but no one was there to hear the sound, did the tree really make a sound? Was the limb really amputated if the brain was not told so? According to the brain map, the limb was still there, but because it was not responding, the brain pushed harder and harder to try and receive an output signal, leading to excruciating "phantom" pain. The knowledge of changing brain maps combined with the identification of the phantom map, led to the cure for phantom pain.

Aside from the mirror box, another "trick" to change the brain is visualization. Visualization has gained popularity as an alternative way to improve any skill when unable to practice, and has now been proven scientifically through neuroplasticity. Scientist Pascual - Leone of Harvard Medical School studied two groups of people, those who physically practiced the piano, and those who simply imagined practicing the piano. The brains of both groups of people were constantly mapped over the same intervals and showed similar changes. The group who simply imagined playing the piano was able to play almost nearly as well as the group with physical practice, and only needed one physical practice session to catch up. The repetitive imagination of an action strengthens the neuronal connections of that action similar to the way in which physical practice does, resulting in physical improvement.

When I used to train for competitive tennis and was learning a new shot, my coach would say "Imagine this shot in perfect detail several times and it will come more easily to you." I did not appreciate the advice he gave me until now. "Fake it until you make it" seems to have the potential to help anyone with anything, whether it is through the mirror box or visualization. Neuroplasticity is introducing magic into the world of science, like a sprinkle of Tinkerbell's pixie dust.

The Discovery of the Nucleus

The word atom is no longer being used in its correct context, originally it came from early Greek term 'atomos' to translate to mean 'indivisible'. Thanks to a discovery by British Physicist/Chemist Ernst Rutherford in 1909, this idea began to break down as science started to take a look*inside the so-called indivisible atom.

Rutherford began his 'gold foil experiment' in the midst of the JJ Thomson 'Plum Pudding' stage of atomic theories. The experiment involved directing a radioactive source emitting alpha-particles towards gold foil. The gold foil was used because it is very thin so the target is nearly a line of atoms. The area was surrounded by a zinc sulphide screen which will give off a flash of light when hit by an alpha particle. Essentially, the experiment was designed to find out where the alpha particles went after colliding with the nucleus.

The energy levels of the alpha particles were around 6,000,000 eV compared to 0.02 eV of the nearly stationary gold atoms. Because of this the pattern on the detector was fairly unremarkable, most of the alpha particles passed through the gold atoms and whenever an alpha particle struck a gold atom, it simply moved it out of the way. There were however occasional exceptions, 1 in 10,000 alpha particles were deflected by over 90áµ’, these were completely unexplainable with the current impression of the atom.

Using Coulomb's Law (strength of force between two charged particles is inversely proportional to their distance apart squared), Rutherford's team found that the radius between the positive alpha particle and the positive force deflecting it must have been smaller than the radius of the atom in order to achieve the 300N repulsive force required to deflect it by over 90áµ’.

This calculation was extremely significant, it meant that for a neutral gold foil atom, there must be a small, concentrated area of positivity which is surrounded by negativity. Since the electron had already been discovered by Thomson at the end of the 19th century, they must be orbiting the centered positivity, thus the nucleus was born.

This was paradigm changing, the whole concept of the atom was changed and nuclear physics was now well under way, as with many brilliant scientific discoveries it just led to more questions which needed to be answered;

Why don't the electrons and nucleus attract each other and merge? What is keeping the positive subatomic particles together?

These questions needed an answer if the Rutherford 'Nuclear' model of the atom was to be accepted, which kick started nuclear physics and a new dawn for atomic discovery.

A-Level Science is a free resource for Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Psychology to a standard understandable for most A-Level Students. 100% free and no fuss,

Time Travel Model of Quantum Mechanics

The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics is baffling, while the many-worlds interpretation is unrealistic. The time travel model attempts to provide a comprehensible explanation.

In this model we assume that the presence of a particle causes vibrations in the time coordinate of spacetime. The wave function may be identified with the amplitude of these temporal vibrations. The square of the wave function is proportional to the strength of these vibrations and gives the likelihood of finding a particle in the vicinity.

The time waves at present overlap the time waves of a moment ago, and so on, so that a particle becomes spread out over all the spacetime between the last interaction and all possible points of the next interaction. If a particle's time coordinate is uncertain, its position and momentum are also uncertain.

When an interaction occurs, the particle is no longer available for time travel and the wave function collapses backward in time to the point of the last interaction. Since we cannot observe the past, the collapse appears instantaneous. The collapse is itself not observable, so nothing observable changes in the past.

The Schrodinger equation states that the frequency of temporal vibration is proportional to the energy. Its complex nature is a mathematical way of describing vibrations. The many-dimensional nature of the wave function is a consequence of the Hamiltonian formulation. There is no implication that the world is actually complex or many dimensional.

The relativity of simultaneity causes a uniform vibration to become a traveling wave when seen from a moving coordinate system, which is why the momentum is obtained by taking the spatial derivative of the wave function.

The antisymmetric Fermi statistics of the wave function under exchange of a pair of identical fermions is a way of stating that the particles cannot occupy the same space at the same time. If all fundamental particles are spin one-half rishon fermions, then the symmetric Bose statistics are simply obtained by exchanging rishons two pairs at a time.

Let us consider two classic examples. In the two-slit experiment, a particle may go through one slit, then back in time, then through the other slit. In the case of two quantum entangled particles, when one is observed, the wave function for that orientation collapses backward in time, leaving only the wave function for the opposite orientation.

If a time wave curved around into a circle much smaller than its wavelength, the entire whirl would appear to oscillate back and forth in time. The whirl could not dissipate due to conservation of energy and angular momentum, or other quantum numbers. We suggest that these whirls are in fact the rishons. It is also a law of nature that a rishon cannot disappear unless it meets its antirishon. This model explains how a particle can produce time waves: particles simply are trapped time waves.

The observed intrinsic spin of a rishon is far greater than what could be possessed by a small rotating mass. In our model, the internal rotational phase velocity of the time waves may be much greater than the speed of light, since no information is conveyed. This may explain how a rishon can have a large angular momentum but little mass. Since a rishon is a cloud of time waves, it would have eigenstates of angular momentum. When its angular momentum (or energy) is measured, one would always find it to be an eigenstate, in accord with general principles of quantum mechanics. This cannot be understood if a rishon is viewed as a point particle.

The V rishon may be the lowest possible energy state, while the T rishon may be the highest possible energy state, perhaps because the phase velocity has slowed down to the speed of light. Any slight instability would cause intermediate states to gain or lose energy and move toward one extreme or the other. This may explain why there are just two stable rishons, light and heavy. The bare mass may be much larger than the observed mass, due to renormalization. Unfortunately it is not known how to calculate this, so hard numbers cannot be given.

The large spin of a rishon eliminates the spherically symmetric S states, leaving the three P states to correspond with the three colors. The T rishon constantly emits and absorbs a cloud of V anti-V particles, corresponding with gluons and photons as the pair carries net color or not. The V rishon does not have enough mass to do this. The weak force arises from the transfer of a group of rishons, the W particle. Small temporal vibrations of a particle could be considered quantum gravity, which might help stabilize the particle. These vibrations might also cause a large-scale distortion of spacetime, similar to thermal expansion. We would perceive this distortion as classical gravity. The Planck equation simply states that this distortion, which we call gravity, mass, or energy is proportional to the frequency of a particle.

A rishon might have a polar temporal field caused by the circular motion of time waves, analogous to a magnetic field. Particles would be ejected preferentially along the direction of this field, because time flows in that direction, thus violating parity. The temporal field would be aligned with or against the direction of external time, corresponding to rishons or antirishons. Because of the time difference, the two would have slightly different reaction rates, producing an excess of hydrogen over antihydrogen, which have the same rishonic content. The photon and gluon are symmetric with respect to matter and antimatter, but the W is not, so only the weak force violates parity.

Time dilation and the relativity of rimultaneity are features of special relativity, while in general relativity mass influences the flow of time and gravitational radiation consists in part of time waves. Therefore our concept of time waves has some precedent. Quantum mechanics and general relativity both describe disturbances of spacetime and together provide a complete picture. Everything can be explained as waves, whirls, or bends in spacetime.

When a particle interacts, it stops time-travelling into the past, because the coherence of the time waves is broken. The wave function collapses, or disappears, backward in time. It is as though the wave function never existed at all, so it vanishes instantaneously in all frames, in agreement with the fundamental principle of relativity, that there is no preferred frame.

In the rishon model, all neutral matter has equal amounts of T and anti-T rishons. Under sufficient pressure, theses would be forced together and annihilate, so matter would convert to photons or neutrinos and escape before a naked singularity could form, or in a big crunch.

The collapse of a wave function is an irreversible process, so quantum mechanics does not conserve information, in a black hole, or anywhere else. Gravity is a curvature of spacetime, so the need for gravitons is questionable.

In the rishon model, a photon consists of a V anti-V pair, so, like the neutrino, it might have a small rest mass.

If the wavelength of a rishon's internal time wave is smaller than the rishon, the rishon would still oscillate in time, but in a more complicated way, perhaps giving rise to the effects associated with spin.

The P states mentioned above are conjectured to be states of intrinsic spin having spin one-half.

The photon and vector bosons have different masses because they are made of different rishons. Symmetry breaking is not needed.

Particles are disturbances in spacetime and according to general relativity would therefore have mass. The Higgs mechanism is not needed.

It would be of great interest to discover and study the equations which govern the structure of the rishons.

Jay Daniel Shelton attended the University of British Columbia, where he received a Masters degree in Physics. He is a independent investigator and resides in Fruita, Colorado.

Planet Dinosaur

Planet Dinosaur - New Documentary Series

It was last year that the BBC (British Broadcasting Company) announced plans to collaborate with a number of other broadcasters and partners to produce a new documentary series focusing on dinosaurs. In 1997, the BBC produced the seminal "Walking with Dinosaurs" television series and this six-part documentary series went on to become the most commercially successful of all BBC programmes to date. Over the last two years or so, the BBC and its partners have been working on a follow-up television series, one that builds on the "Walking with Dinosaurs" legacy and shows some of the latest findings and research into the Dinosauria by palaeontologists.

The new documentary series entitled "Planet Dinosaur" utilises the very latest computer generated images and graphics plus some of the techniques that were pioneered by the early dinosaur themed programmes. But why a new television show devoted to dinosaurs? The answer is quite simple, the huge sums generated by the first series has had a lot to do with it, as have the new dinosaur discoveries that have taken place over the thirteen or so years after "Walking with Dinosaurs". Interestingly, with the development of new research methods, the revision of dinosaur cladistics and the opening up of new parts of the world to explore such as eastern Europe, northern China and Angola, more discoveries about dinosaurs have been made in the last decade than in the preceding one hundred years.

Planet Dinosaur will take the same format as the previous BBC dinosaur series. It will consist of six half hour programmes and it will be supported by a book release and a DVD. We have received a request to review the book when it comes out, the front cover features our old friend Spinosaurus and the DVD will also have a similar cover.

Planet Dinosaur - Programme Details

This new television series focuses on prehistoric animals that lived during the Jurassic and the Cretaceous geological periods. The Triassic Period does not really get a look in. The opening episode is called "Lost World" and takes viewers to North Africa in the early part of the Cretaceous. Thhs programme explores the coastal ecosystem that was dominated by two apex predators, namely the huge meat-eater Carcharodontosaurus, a relative of the better-known predator Allosaurus from the Late Jurassic. The second apex predator is Spinosaurus, arguably the largest Theropod known to science, with an estimated length in excess of seventeen metres. Scientists have postulated that this particular dinosaur was a specialist fish-eater, filling the niche that is filled today by the extant Grizzly Bear.

The second episode, due to air a week after the first is entitled "Feathered Dinosaurs" and focuses on the amazing feathered dinosaur discoveries from Liaoning Province in northern China. Episode three concerns the emergence of the super-predators during the last years of the Cretaceous. This is the part of the documentary series that features the Tyrannosaurs along with their southern hemisphere cousins the Abelisaurids - bizarre, light-skulled predators.

Over the rest of the six-part series new prehistoric animal discoveries will be covered such as the giant marine reptile known as "Predator X". The huge Cretaceous crocodile Sarcosuchus (Sarcosuchus imperator) an animal capable of attacking large dinosaurs. The television programmes are certainly going to be a highlight of the autumn schedule and we look forward to reviewing more of the series.

Everything Dinosaur is run by parents, teachers and real dinosaur experts. Visit our website to view the very latest dinosaur and prehistoric animal models.

To learn more about the products and services we offer at Everything Dinosaur visit Everything Dinosaur

The Science and Software of the ATM

When you insert you credit or debit card in an ATM, you set off a chain of events, commands and procedures that take mere seconds to complete, and give you instant access to your own money. But whether you're withdrawing cash, checking your balance, or doing something a little different like topping up a pay-as-you-go mobile phone, the ATM has to work just has hard to ensure that you are given what you requested. But what exactly goes on inside the ATM while you wait patiently outside? Here is a very short explanation.

All ATMs work on the same basic principle and use similar software to give the consumer what they want, and for a number of ATMs, this software is made up of three different products: Platforms, Applications and Management Servers.

The Platform is part of a family that provides the foundations for developing custom applications for all types of ATMs, including kiosks and branch teller stations. This software provides a developer with everything they need to create applications for ATMs and kiosk systems.

The application software gives the ATM complete functionality and can also be modified and tailored for specific needs by banks. This means that it can enable banks to add extra features, services and enable customers to complete extra transactions for customers.

Management Server
The Management Server is a remote management solution. It provides a very extensive range of ATM Management features in one place, which historically could only be provided by a number of separate systems, this enables it to provide secure management straight to every ATM or other kiosk in the network.

Another ATM management software that is less commonly used in the majority of ATMs is SafetyPIN software. As you might imagine, this software was created and installed to protect the user from fraud, and as such it is designed to alert the authorities, namely the police, of a forced cash withdrawal. The way this works is that a customer enters their PIN or Personal Identification Number in the wrong order, such as backwards when forced to do so. However, while this system dates back to 1986, when former US police officer proposed it in Congress, the system has not gathered a lot of support, and as such, it is only available on a handful of ATMs in a handful of places, contrary to popular belief, this software is not in place on ATMs around the world.

While there is a lot more to ATM software than meets the eye, it can be quite complicated to explain to people who are unfamiliar with technology, or someone who has never worked in software development. However, if you really want to know more about ATM software, then the internet is the best place to start, so type the phrase into a search engine to begin your search journey, and see what other information you can find out.

Harvey McEwan writes to offer information and advice on a variety of areas, from technology to holiday destinations. Read through Harvey's other articles here to find out more.

Fingerprinting in Forensic Science

Fingerprints collected from a crime scene, or from items of evidence from a crime, can be used in forensic science to identify suspects, victims and other persons who touched the surface in question. Fingerprint identification emerged as an important system within various police agencies in the late 19th century. This system replaced anthropometric measurements as a more reliable method for identifying persons having a prior record, often under an alias name, in a criminal record repository. The science of fingerprint identification stands out among all other forensic sciences for many reasons because of its superiority and reliability.

Worldwide, fingerprinting has served all governments during the past 100 years to provide accurate identification of criminals. No two fingerprints have ever been found alike in the billions of human and automated computer comparisons. Fingerprints have become the very basis for criminal history foundation at almost every police agency.

The first forensic professional organization, the International Association for Identification (IAI), was established in 1915. It established the first professional certification program for forensic scientists, the IAI's Certified Latent Print Examiner program in 1977, issuing certification to those meeting stringent criteria and revoking certification for serious errors such as erroneous identifications.

Fingerprints remain the most commonly used forensic evidence the world over. In most jurisdictions, fingerprint examination cases outnumber all other forensic examination casework combined. It continues to expand as the premier method for identifying persons, with tens of thousands of persons added to fingerprint repositories daily in America alone - far outdistancing similar databases in growth. Fingerprinting has outperformed DNA and all other human identification systems to identify more murderers, rapists and other serious offenders (fingerprints solve ten times more unknown suspect cases than DNA in most jurisdictions).

Although some reporters and authors claim that fingerprints have long enjoyed a mystique of infallibility, the opposite is true. Fingerprint identification was the first forensic discipline in 1977 to formally institute a professional certification program for individual experts, including a procedure for decertifying those making any investigative errors. Other forensic disciplines later followed suit in establishing certification programs whereby certifications could be revoked for any error found.

Fingerprint identifications lead to far more positive identifications of persons worldwide daily than any other human identification procedure. The American federal government alone effects positive identification of over 70,000 persons. A large percentage of the identifications, approximately 92% of US Visit identifications, are affected in lights-out, no human involved computer identification process with 100% accuracy based on only two fingerprints.

Forensic Science [] provides detailed information on Forensic Science, Forensic Science Degrees, Forensic Science Colleges, Forensic Science Schools and more. Forensic Science is affiliated with Biotechnology Careers [].

All About Trees

Children build tree houses. Birds live in them. They bear fruits that we eat, fresh from the earth's ground. Houses, furniture, tables are made from trees.

In the Holy Bible, they are main characters. It says that when good deeds/seeds are planted, they bear good fruit. We can know what kind of a person one is, with the fruit he/she bears. Usually, a good tree bears good fruit, and a bad one bears rotten fruit.

See this sketch/story I wrote:

There are several trees around our small house and every time I look out the little garden, I see the avocado tree. They look humongous in my sight, and another mango tree at the back of it, scares me.

The mango tree spreads its branches all over the garden. They say there's a white lady living in it.

Every time people pass by them, they run and make a sign of the cross like driving the devil away or driving some kind of evil spirit. So I close the door before the sun sets. I think the trees would be monsters. "But no!" Fairy tales say they're children's friends. They even give shade when the weather's too hot, and sift harsh wind when there's storm.

One day while going around the avocado tree, I thought about the fairies my grandparents usually tell me about. Fairies can live in trees. One day (for them) inside the trunk equals 100 years here (for us). Those are the myths.

Sometimes, some people say that trees are wicked, but I can't believe them because God created all of us, with a good purpose.

Often, they just watch. Though people around can be arrogant and they don't talk, trees are more friendly.

Leaves scatter around the house when rainy season comes, and every time I cry I have to close the windows so they won't see me. But then, trees are like good people around, who listen. They have big ears as wide as their branches spread. They couldn't talk and could look scary sometimes, but in the end they're the one bringing light and standing by when we cry.

2. Trees by Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem as lovely as a tree
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robin in her hair
Upon who's bosom snow has lain
Who intimately lives with rain
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only GOD can make a tree.

Refuge in Nature

After a closer reading of Refuge I was fascinated by some of the similarities between my life and the novel. I really enjoy reading the nature narratives because of the way she speaks so lovingly of her observations. The author's relationship and love for nature is very similar to her love for her mother. My own mother was diagnosed in the last year with stage three ovarian cancer. I was immediately entranced by Refuge the moment her mother came out and revealed that she had cancer. I felt a small amount of emotion reading the play by play of the cancer process as this has literally been my life for the last year.

The author's analysis and observations on the word cancer is right on. Cancer is a word with infinite power. So much fear comes with the word cancer but it's warranted by how unknown and fatal it can be. My favorite part of the book so far is when the author tells about a time she spotted a barn swallow with its foot trapped in a barb wire fence. The example perfectly symbolizes her mother's imminent doom and finally her death. The passage about the barn swallow was truly thrilling and actually had my heart racing. Another similarity between my life and the authors is that my parents are both hardcore birdwatchers.

I was raised being dragged all over the world on their bird watching adventures. Although I may not have loved it at the time I can recognize how much I learned from those experiences. If I could be one bird in the world I would be a peregrine falcon. When I was little my dad would take me to Skagit in the mornings to watch peregrines do their hunting. Nothing is more impressive than seeing a peregrine strike with a size and speed that is unmatched.

Nature in Its Original Form

If you love nature in its raw and original form, Safari holidays are for you. Tanzania Safari is a combination of nature and adventure. At this place, wildlife is preserved in time. You will experience the difference when you visit untouched places. A game reserve that is remote and timeless. Something that cannot be replicated or imitated. Wildlife in its wildest form defines a Safari. It is a tour that will change your perception of holidays. There is nothing artificial about this Tanzania Safari. It is as pure as the oxygen of the trees and as unpredictable as the bewilderedness of wild animals.

Whatever be your expectation from this kind of holiday, we are sure you will get more than that. Your experience will be one of its kinds. Being so close to nature, animals, birds, and their habitat can evoke a unique feeling. It can be addictive and we are sure you will want to come back again. Safari holidays can be very intoxicating and indulging. They are comfortable, luxurious, and sophisticated, yet have a rough element. It is like a luxury treat in the lap of wild. There are some attractions that will entice you to visit the place over and over. Mentioned here are some places that you cannot afford to miss. You could stay in a sophisticated camp or lodge. You can also choose stay at a luxury beach.

Places You Should Visit

Serengeti: This is the largest and the best-known national park in Tanzania. There are migratory animals that move around the park in search of food.

Ngorongoro Crater: This crater is a part of the Safari holidays and is the world's largest unbroken volcanic caldera. It is a natural enclosure for a wide variety of wildlife species. This crater has around 25,000 animals that include the "big five." The big five comprises lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo.

Masai Mara: You can witness the great migration from Serengeti to Masai Mara where thousands of animals migrate in search of greener pastures. Masai mara is the most enthralling wildlife theatre on earth. Tanzania safari is famous for the annual wildebeest migration.

Lake Manyara: The highlight of this place is tree-climbing lions. This shallow lake is described as the loveliest lake in Tanzania. It has a diverse landscape that is captivating and scenic. It is known for baboons and is also home to herbivores.

Safari holidays offer a very different experience from a regular holiday or vacation. They have an element of surprise and thrill. Although your itinerary may be planned, but still have a chance to discover something rare and unique. Tanzania can offer you a vivid experience, something that may not happen with somebody else ever. Nature has a basket of surprises in store for you. All you have to do is go ahead and pick the basket of Tanzania safari. A safari holiday cannot be compared or matched with any other type of vacation. The closeness that you share with nature and wildlife can be memorable. If you haven't yet booked your Safari holidays, don't wait any further. Go ahead and experience a completely new world. is the website where you can choose the type of African safari holidays you want to experience. The company also organizes Tanzania Safari and provides tailor-made holiday packages at affordable prices.

Traditions and Celebrations

The origins of the customs that we think of as peculiarly associated with the celebration of the New Year, first appear in the ways the ancient peoples regarded the New Year. Likewise the other ancient societies in other parts of the world, the New Year festivities had been observed in our wild forests and plains by the native Indians. To the Creek Indians the ripening of the corn in July or August signified the termination of one year and the beginning of another. It was their customs to drape themselves with new clothes, replace the old interiors and households.

In that same way the modern society places attention into bringing something new into our lives, as part of our celebratory mode. Another native Indian tribe, The Iroquois, who inaugurated the new year in January, February or March with ceremonies emphasizing the expulsion of evil spirits. The customs involved the use of disguise and masks, making noises and confessions were all practiced by them.

Renewal seems to be the main objective of New Year, while the soil gets purified with the rain, snow and dormancy, the humans also prepare and plan new strategies for survival and hold dreams for a better future that they will bring in their hearts into the New Year. This time is the perfect time for a fresh start, the end of the year can take with it the heartaches, torments and sadness, so that a new prospective, new and better vibrations will take us into the new action just a week from now.

As the soil and plants get rid off unwanted growths by the seasonal changes and dormancy, humans also find themselves renewing, rethinking and re-planning. The soul most be clean first, before entering a new set of feelings, new problems and obstacles will also come, the hope is that we use these last days of the year to be at peace with the old obstacles, feelings and problems. New people, new soil, new efforts, new plants, new dynamics in everything that involves Nature and Humans.

With a new spiritual disposition may all of us finish this year with all wounds healed, and may we begin our journey keeping three words in mind, Strive, Seek and Find. Transmit this to all friends, family and always keep this efforts while working regular jobs, farm, and garden activities, we transmit good vibrations and we shall receive great gain, let Nature know you are in the right track of mind.

Loving Mother Nature is to listen to it, read more about gardening and plant information at;

Facts About Pearls Gemstone

For centuries, pearls have been worn by people who could afford them. These fascinating gems are universally appealing and they are appropriate with any type or style of clothing. They come in many sizes and price ranges.

Pearls are found inside a living creature, an oyster. They are formed when an irritant (such as pieces of debris, sand etc) enters the oyster. In order to protect itself, the oyster or mollusk secretes nacre (made of calcium carbonate) to coat the irritant, thus creating this wonderful gemstone. Oyster is not the only type of mollusk that can produce pearl, mussels and clams can also produce these valuable stones. Most pearls are produced by oysters in both saltwater and freshwater environments.

Man has found a way to create these June birthstones by inserting an irritant (nuclei) into these sea creature, stimulating the growth of pearls. All pearls made from this method are known as cultured pearls. The shape and size of the nuclei inserted will determine the shape and size of the pearl. Before they can be harvested, the oysters are left alone for several years to grow. The longer these oysters are left alone, the deeper the nacre, thus forming better luster pearls.

Virtually all pearls found today are cultured pearls whether they are grown in saltwater or freshwater. Pearls formed in saltwater oysters are more valuable and expensive than those formed in freshwater oysters. The world's finest Akoya saltwater pearls are produced by the Japanese for decades. Tahiti and Australia also produce saltwater pearls, prized for their great color, size and luster. Producing pearls with various freshwater shellfish was experimented by the Chinese several years ago, and now they are the largest producer of freshwater pearls in the world.

Once harvested, pearls are sorted and graded. The natural colors of freshwater pearls are shades of pink, white and peach. The Chinese also used other effective technique to enhance other colors. Examples of enhanced colors are blue, purple, peacock, green, gold and so on. The many variety of sizes, colors, texture and shapes make them fun to work with. While natural and cultured pearls are considered to be of equal quality, natural pearls are generally more expensive because they are rare. The luster of a genuine pearl remains stable while an imitation deteriorates over time.

Pearl is regarded as the birthstone for June and is associated with the Gemini zodiac sign, find out more about other gemstones facts.

Tips For Motivating Students and Changing Lives

Let's face it. Being a teacher is one of the most important jobs. You are teaching the future and what you do in the classroom has a HUGE impact on children and their life. Here is a very troubling fact. Low literacy is strongly related to crime. 70% of prisoners fall into the lowest two levels of reading proficiency according to the National Institute for Literacy. You have the gift of shaping the students in your classroom by teaching them well and motivating them to do and be their best! You aren't in control of what is going on in their home life, but you ARE in control of the 6 - 8 hours they are with you.

Try these things today in your classroom to get your students motivated and believing in themselves:

1. Build A Relationship

The first thing that needs to be in place in order for you to be in the position to motivate a child is to build a relationship with them. Let them know you care by greeting them at the door every morning. Talk to them about what is going on in their lives. Children have a sense and know when someone cares about them and when they don't. Show the children in your class they are important to you by being interested in them.

2. Give Praise and Encouragement

About 90% of the things student do in class go unrecognized. Spend one day paying attention to how much praise and encouragement you are giving students versus how much you reprimand. Praise and encouragement is a powerful tool to get children to succeed and it must be used consistently. Not once in a while. It also must be used for ALL students. Be specific with your praise. For example, instead of saying, "Nice job on your test." say "You must feel great about the A you got on your math test!"

3. Set Goals

Sit down with each student and talk with them about setting a goal. It can be a goal in anything, academic or social. Help them to create the goal, write it down and then plan out what they need to do to reach that goal. Also discuss with them how they will know they are on track for meeting their goal and have them write that down too. During this meeting you are the facilitator. You are guiding their thoughts and where they are going.

4. Motivate Through Your Instruction

Nowadays children are stimulated by video games and computers. Teacher need to be energetic and show you are enthusiastic about what you are teaching. I have been in classrooms, I kid you not, where the teacher has made it very clear to the students that they don't want to be teaching what they are teaching and guess what? The students end up not caring either! On the other side of the coin, I have also seen teachers who have made a subject that seemed like it would be very boring, come alive through their instruction and the kids sucked it up! You need to act as if what you are teaching is the best thing since sliced bread. Trust me! It works! Vary the way students learn by having them work in teams, using visuals and providing times for children to engage in their learning.

Remember, your job is VERY important so use the opportunity to make a change in a child's life and put them on the path to success!

Lori Furgerson is a national literacy consultant who has provided technical assistance to school sites and professional development to teachers across the country. She taught for 16 years in three under performing schools with great success. She has been a reading intervention teacher, as well as State Implementation Advisor to the state of Hawaii. Skillful use of a variety of core reading and intervention programs has allowed Lori to professionally shape leadership at the state, district, and local levels while increasing their instructional ability to successfully execute effective instruction. She works with teachers daily as an instructional coach and has a true passion for seeing them succeed and become the best they can be. Visit for your FREE 7 day Video E-Course on how to become a successful teacher.

Tips for New Chemistry Teachers

Next year's cohort of new chemistry teachers will soon be arriving in their new schools following their training. It is almost certain that for most of them, the year ahead will seem to be a daunting prospect, however there are many sources of guidance and support which can be tapped in to during the year. The most important thing is to remember you are not on your own and many other people have gone through the same experience in previous years.

Here is a useful list of things to help make the transition from a newly qualified chemistry teacher to a confident and successful teaching practitioner:

1) Ask for help

In the early days it is vital to ask for help and advice from your colleagues. It is only natural to be unsure of how things work or what should be done in certain situations. The more knowledge which you gain early on will allow a much more smooth transition into life as a teacher in your school.

2) Talk to your peers

Form a support group, perhaps on Facebook or some other social networking site, with some fellow teachers which you trained with the previous year. Allow time and space for helping each other out with ideas for lessons, resources and letting off steam. Schools can sometimes become very pressurised places and it is good to have people and places where you can relieve yourself of unnecessary stress.

3) Allow time to relax

This is certainly going to be a very busy and tiring experience, however you need to still maintain some perspective and work-life balance. Make sure you build in periods for rest and relaxation during your week, especially at the weekend. Allow yourself a chance to recharge your batteries! Perhaps play some sport, go to the cinema, organise a shopping trip- anything to take your mind off school!

4) Eat properly and maintain your energy levels

Many teachers, especially when new to the profession, fall in to the trap of skipping breakfast in the morning and then working through lunch to get things done. This can be very detrimental to your health and wellbeing and you are more likely to become run down and ill. By eating properly and fuelling your body, you will be able to deal with any challenges more easily.

5) Go to bed early

Set yourself a curfew time when all work has to be stopped and start to wind down before bedtime. If you can't do this then delegate the responsibility of enforcing the curfew to your partner! I'm sure they would be very keen to get to spend some time with you.

6) Use prepared resources

You will have enough on your plate with planning lessons, marking work, attending meetings etc without having to spend hours making your own resources. Make use of many excellent free resources which are available online for free and often produced by highly experienced teachers.

7) Associate with positive people

It can be all too easy to become down and depressed, especially when you have a lot of work and responsibility to contend with. There can be many negative voices and complaining people inhabiting a staffroom, try to afford being sucked into their world. Find yourself some positive, supportive people to hang out with at lunchtimes as they will help you to feel more happy about work. These people look on the positive side of life and are usually good to talk to for support and advice.

8) Enjoy the learning process

There will be many new pieces of information which need to be learnt and become familiar with, which can be a daunting task. You will not learn everything straightaway, so take things as they come and look on teaching as a long term acquisition of knowledge.

9) Don't take on too much, too early

It is tempting to get involved with many other activities which are associated with school life in addition to your usual teaching schedule. Leave these extra things alone, if possible, until you are fully comfortable with just the day to day teaching requirements. You will have many more opportunities as your career develops to become involved in hundreds of extra activities. Enjoy your spare time and keep it to yourself!

10) Keep smiling

Always remember that at the end of the day, teaching is a job! You don't need to carry the troubles and woes of the world on your own shoulders. There will always be students which need help and have problems. Always try to switch off when away from work and realise that the contribution you make will be immense without even having to think about it!

Andrew Lochery founded Green APLEducation Ltd in 2007.


Ideas For The First Day Of School

With the start of a new school year upon us, I have put together a few ideas for the first day back at school. It is an exciting day for students and teachers and a lot of fun can be had if planned out ahead of time. Over planning is the key. When I was in the classroom, I always ended up having too many activities, which works out well. You never know exactly how long a project may take, so it is always better to have too many activities than not enough. That's my motto! Make all the copies you will need for the day and place them in a file folder labeled "First Day of School Activities". Be prepared and organized!
1. Create A Time Capsule

The first day of school is a great time for students to create a time capsule they will store away until the end of the year. Provide students with a paper towel role or a Pringles container. Have them decorate it however they want. When they finish decorating it, you can have them do different activities depending on their grade level. Have them do a writing assignment, trace their hand, and/or draw a self-portrait. Have the child write their name and date on the paper work. Roll up the papers and slide them into the tube and store until the end of the year. The last week of school, have them create the same activities they did on the first day. When they open their time capsule, they can compare the two and see how much they grew.

2. Bulletin Board Ideas

Put together a bulletin board that is eye catching and can display student work. Before the school year starts, you create the board. The first day of school, the children can do an activity that you will place on the board. For example, cover a bulletin board with a red and white checkered table cloth. Write the heading "Cooking Up A Great School Year". Take a picture of each child in a chef's hat holding a mixing bowl. Have the child write on an index card their recipe for success. Then post the cards on the board.

3. Read Alouds

There are many read alouds to choose from for the first day back at school. One read aloud I loved is the book Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge. It's a story about a young boy who helps an older lady who is losing her memory remember things she has done. After reading the story to the students, have each child bring in a box. It can be a shoe box, cereal box or anything they want. They need to have the box filled with 3 items that remind them of their summer. Then they are called to the front of the class to share their items and the memory it brings back to them of their summer. Currently on my website I am doing a giveaway and this is one of the books in the giveaway. Check it out and join the contest!

4. Ice Breakers

Plan activities for the first day of school that will get students working with each other and getting to know one another. A fun icebreaker is Two Lies and One Truth. In this activity, children write down on an index card two lies they make up about themselves and one truth. Have the children go around and read the three statements and classmates, and the teacher, have to guess which one is the true statement. Another fun icebreaker is People Finder. Create a grid of 3x3 squares. In each box place a fact. For example, I have 3 sisters or I went to my grandma's house over the summer. Fill all nine boxes. Make copies and hand out to the students. The children then walk around the room and ask other students if they fit into any of the boxes. If they do, they initial only one box. Then they continue around the room looking for people who can initial the other boxes. This is a fun icebreaker!

Spend the first day of school not only on the rules and procedures of your classroom, but also on getting to know your students and letting them get to know each other!

Lori Furgerson is a national literacy consultant who has provided technical assistance to school sites and professional development to teachers across the country. She has taught for 16 years in elementary school. Visit us at to receive a FREE 7 Day Video E-Course on how to be a successful teacher NOW!

Teacher Organization Tips

Make things in your classroom run smoothly by being organized in the classroom. Taking the time to set up your classroom organization will pay off in the end for you in spending less time on tasks. Here are some ways to get you organized.

Teacher Organization

Purchase some manila file folders and a file folder rack. Label folders with the days of the week. You may want to label two folders with the same day so you will have two folders labeled Monday, two labels Tuesday and so on, for a total of 10 folders.

Now here is what you need to do. On Thursdays, do your lesson plans for the following week. Go in earlier in the morning to do this or stay late after school on Thursday. Once your plans are created, go through each day and make the copies you will need and gather the material needed for the week. This means even the read alouds you will be doing.

Once all the material is copied and gathered, place them in the appropriate folders. For example, if you are reading The Kissing Hand on Thursday, place the actual book in the Thursday folder. Once you do that, all your material is ready to go for the following week.

Don't spend your weeknights at home or weekends in the classroom or working on school stuff! It takes some extra time, but if you are organized, do it all on Thursday and your whole next week is ready to go! This was key for me when I was in the classroom.

Student Work

Create an area that you can keep student's work all in one place and easy to access. If you don't have a filing cabinet, purchase a crate and get some hanging folders.

Label each folder with a child's name. Stay on top of filing their papers so you don't get behind.

Having student work in one place is great because if a parent comes in and wants to see their child's work, it is right there to show them. If teachers are getting together to look at data, your student work will be easily accessible.

Again, taking the time to plan and organize will save you a ton of time in the long run.

Student Data

Keeping track of how the children in your class are doing on assessments is very important. Giving assessments on a regular basis produces a lot of paperwork. Make sure you are organizing it into one spot. I recommend creating a data binder.

Divide your binder into sections based on the assessments. Behind the tabs include your spreadsheets. Don't' include the actual assessment because that will fill the binder up too much. Place the actual assessments in the files you created for each student.

Having all your data available in one spot makes it easily accessible when you need to analyze how your students are doing.

Take the time to get all of your paperwork in order and it will help your year run much smoother.

For more information and tips about being a successful teacher, visit us at

Three Effective Techniques To Adopt In Science Teacher Training

The creation of an educational system capable of preparing people to live in the changing world is one of the crucial tasks of modern society. The rapid move over recent decades to a global knowledge economy, driven by constantly evolving information and communication technologies has created significant economic and social opportunities. Equally, it is creating enormous challenges, confronting, countries with the need to rethink their educational and social systems.

To participate in this global knowledge economy and improve their standard of living, there is a need for students to leave school with a deeper understanding of school subjects and with the skills needed to respond to an unbounded but uncertain 21st century-skills, to use their knowledge, to think critically, to collaborate, to communicate, to solve problems, to create and to continue learning.

Science education in the 21st Century must be oriented to meet the challenges of covering the entire population in promoting scientific literacy. The science teacher is the hub in this endeavor and therefore, a thorough understanding of the nature of science is a pre-requisite in this educational process. The science teacher must therefore be exposed to techniques that will help him or her to impart knowledge effectively since In this era of information technology, the role of teachers is changing from providing information to organizing a learning process. The responsibility is on teacher education institutions to rethink how they can most effectively prepare future teachers to teach for success in complex, rapidly changing world.

The following are specific techniques which are directly relevant to the teaching of Science, Mathematics and Technology that can be incorporated in the training of science teachers.

1.Cooperative learning
Peer interaction in small group work has become an important area of research in education and the opportunities for dialogue found in these cooperative learning situations are thought to provide a meaningful context for students to connect their new experiences to prior knowledge. Group dialogue permits students to present their notions about the world and have them challenged. The challenges can lead to cognitive development as individuals realign their thinking as a result of having participated in the dialogue. Cooperative group work also serves to build peer relationships that foster learning. This technique can be an effective strategy in teacher education courses. Because by working in groups, sharing ideas, and making and tasting conjectures, prospective teachers gain confidence in their own ability to develop a variety of useful problem solving strategies.

2.Problem solving
Problem solving has become the central activity in reform curricula in Mathematics science and technology because of its ability to facilitate students' construction of meaning. This impacts on teacher education programmes because if learners are to have opportunities to explore problems, then the instructor has to be able to engage learners in problems in context, push learners' thinking while their exploration is proceeding, and create a classroom environment in which all learners feel empowered to learn.

3.Problem based learning
Problem based learning is a constructivist approach, which combines problem solving and group work. It emphasizes the use of real life problems or scenarios as a stimulus for learning. The students are divided into groups of up to ten and meet twice each week under the guidance of a tutor. The process of problem based learning involves presenting the students with a scenario or case, which relates to real life, as a departure point for the learning process. The students then brainstorm themes and questions - this process is designed to allow them to clarify their preconceptions about the topic and to identify their learning needs. This technique has been used in medical and other tertiary courses, but not widely implemented in teacher education.

Teacher training institutions should adopt these techniques in teacher education, if they are to train relevant Science educators for this 21st Century.

Teacher Ethical Conduct

Ethics is a collection of moral standards by which each person should be guided in their private and professional life. It tells us right from wrong, and how to live moral lives. The teaching profession, as many others, has its own code of ethics, which describes the process of grading students and teacher's behavior in the classroom as well as outside the premises of the institution. It is one of few professions that evaluates the totality of behavior of an individual and its potential influence on others, in this case - students. The following are some of the rules of conduct you should follow:

* If you do not know an answer, admit it. Do not bluff. At times, questions will arise that you will not be able to answer. Find the correct answer at the earliest opportunity; then provide the information to the class as soon as practical.
* Keep your remarks professional and appropriate to the classroom. Do not use profanity or obscenity. Use of profane or obscene language is one of the fastest ways to lose the respect of your students.
* Be patient. Be aware that not all people learn in the same way or at the same rate.
* Deal with frustration. While you may easily become frustrated with a person who is having difficulty with seemingly simple material, never allow your frustration to show. If all else fails, take a break to cool off, or consult with other teachers to find another approach to resolve the difficulty. Remember, in the majority of situations, students are sincerely trying to understand what is being taught. Your job is to find a way to help them.
* Maintain rapport with students. The use of sarcasm is another way to lose the respect of your students. Sarcasm, whether it is directed at one individual or the entire group, is never appropriate.
* Treat students with respect. All of the individuals you train should feel you have a sincere interest in their efforts to learn. Although your students will not have your knowledge or experience, you should think of them as being physically, mentally, and emotionally mature.

Ultimately, it is young people, with their personality and knowledge of the world still in the formative process, whose individual tendencies and characteristics are the most susceptible to and affected by any kind of negative influences. When discussing teacher's ethics, one must consider it on two separate plateaus.

Firstly, the legal one$2C or so to say, administrative, where all aspects of teacher's behavior, teaching procedures, and assessment of students are framed into a set of regulations drawn up by the Board of Education and by individual schools.

Secondly, at the personal level, which includes a teacher's own attitude and conduct that is not otherwise proscribed/prescribed by law or whose breach might never be detected or pursued in a grievance process. The teacher's code of ethics comprises his/her duties, responsibilities, attitude, honesty, and most of all - fairness.

What are the potential breaches of the teacher's code of ethics? This is a list of a few in no particular order.

* Having inappropriate relationships with students (sexual, business partnership, "after school buddies", drinking binges, etc)
* Violation of clearly stated school rules and educational procedures
* Failing to perform duties (no teaching, chaos, wrong attitude toward the teaching profession, etc)
* Imposing on students personal views unrelated to the subject of a lesson or promoting such, especially some that do not represent the main stream (extreme political or religious views, views on controversial social issues, interest of a particular social group, etc).
* Improper grading, partiality, and lack of fairness (based on who is liked, who is not; race, past performance, background, etc)
* Exposing students to embarrassment or disparagement (emotional or psychological harassment)
* Invading students' privacy
* Engaging students in unethical behavior
* Accepting gifts and favors, quid pro quo ("for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous")
* Deceiving students and their parents.

This list can go on, from violations of criminal laws, through commonly accepted standards of good and evil, violation of public trust, to unprofessional job performance. The areas of many of them may overlap; what constitutes a violation of public trust might as well be against the law and professionalism, but still within the teachings of morality.

The most common ethical problem that any teacher will face at some point in time is the bias-free assessment of students. Teachers are supposed to create a learning environment that fosters autonomy and guides students in their learning experience. An important part of their work is evaluation of students' knowledge and progress. Without such an assessment, one cannot determine if the learning is taking place. Moreover, this is one of the most problematic areas of the job.

However, what does a "to assess a student" mean? Teachers will apply a set of rules and predefined formulas to measure the amount of knowledge that has been successfully retained by students or perhaps they will check the understanding of a problem being considered. In multiple-choice tests or "yes or no" questions as well as many other similar tests calling for a single correct answer, the assessment of students' work seems relatively uncomplicated. The gray area begins to surface when teachers have to use their own judgment in the assessment process and contaminate the very process with subjectivity that they are bound to produce.

As much as people would like to eliminate injustices of this world and turn it into a better place, they will always have their own biases and prejudices, with which they will never be able to part. Teachers (fortunately or not) are human beings too and are no exception to this rule.

Laws and regulations may control human behavior or modify it if necessary, but they will never make people like one another. Does Johnny the Brat, who has just uttered his poignant remarks disparaging Mr. Mentor, deserve a good mark for his excellent knowledge of English grammar? Mr. Mentor is an experienced teacher. Should he or can he forget about this little incident while assessing little Johnny's work? What about a future assessment of Johnny?

One must remember that both students and teachers come to the classroom with their own sets of values, personalities, priorities, feelings, emotions, problems, experiences, knowledge, understanding, abilities, upbringing, likes and dislikes, moods, and hundreds of other elements, which when combined make up an individual as a whole.

Teachers may overrate or underrate students' performance based on a countless number of factors. They can do it deliberately, which beacons the possibility of ethical breach, or unaware, which may be a result of unfortunate circumstances or possible negligence.

The question before us is not how to eliminate unethical behavior, since this may never occur, but how to reduce it to a point where it is no longer a distortion of the accurate picture of Johnny's knowledge? How to create an environment where students and teachers are encouraged to learn and correct their flaws? How to educate teachers so they could restrain their negative personal feelings and concentrate on positive educational goals?

Randy Andes has over 25 years experience as a teacher, school administrator, and author in the government, corporate, and public sectors. He holds degrees in Business Administration and Education. More teaching excellence tools can be found at Teaching Excellence Today