College Ready

Sharing strategies for student success, college readiness and academic coaching


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15 Things to Give Up to Get Happy!

Here are “15 Things to Give Up” to Get Happy.

This is good advice all year long, but especially at holiday time and as we look towards the new year.

You have the power to flip this script! It might read something like THIS:

-Believe in yourself.
-Think Positive
-Embrace Failure
-Build healthy relationships
-Engage in meaningful conversation
-Speak highly of yourself and others
-Live in Joy
-Eat to fuel your body
-Get up and go
-Positive Self talk
-One step at a time
-Go after Success
-Live in Simplicity
-Be Authentic
-Become comfortable putting yourself FIRST…or at least work up to putting yourself on the list. Take care of you!

When we give up the things holding us down, we make room for more goodness and opportunity to enter our lives.

Drop us a note in the comments on which of these you are planning to give up in the New Year, or turn the phrase around (flip the script) and tell us what you WILL be doing in the days, weeks and months to come to live a healthy, happy life.

And as we approach the holiday season of light and love, we want to offer our appreciation and gratitude to our amazing tribe (that’s all of you–our readers–from all over the world) who make this community a better, brighter, and more vibrant place. THANK YOU.

All the best,

~~Lisa (aka, The Happy Teacher!)

Want to connect with us on facebook? Do that by clicking right here. If you’re on Pinterest, you can find us right here. Grazie!

www.collegereadycoach.com


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The Secret of Summer: Take a Break

Subtitle: How to take a nap and be productive at the same time.

Hello, sunshine, ice cream cones, fireflies, warm nights and even warmer days. Hello, July! College Ready will be on semi-hiatus for the month, while we recharge, refresh, & unplug a bit, with our family and friends.

Why take a summer break? Well, you will find that your ability to be productive has a direct correlation to your ability to kick off your flip flops and plant your toes in the sand every once in a while. We all need to take the V-word (vacation) every now and again, so that we can come back renewed and ready for new challenges and opportunities.

Throughout the month, we’ll feature some fabulous encores of “Fan Fave” blog posts from the past year, along with our top-liked inspirational quotes. With gratitude & appreciation for all your support from all over the world~~Lisa


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Beyond the 3Rs: Skills all Students Will Need to Thrive in the Global Market

Move over Reading, Writing, and ‘Rithmatic.”  According to “The Learning Curve,” here are the 8 “Must-Have” skills students will need in the future to stay competitive:

Leadership. Digital Literacy. Communication. Emotional Intelligence. Entrepreneurship. Global Citizenship. Problem Solving. Team Working.

Notice the strong reliance on the social-emotional aspects of interpersonal communication, along with the need to lead and be able to work in a collaborative environment. Students often balk at group work, but this is what all future employers see as essential.

Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 5.13.29 PM

These “21st century non-cognitive skills” are essential in a global market, and are defined as the “abilities important for social interaction.”

I found this post via Edudemic. You can read their entire post here. The information and graphic came from the original report called “The Learning Curve,” produced by Pearson. You can read it here.


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5 Quick and Easy Steps to Make your LinkedIn Profile Irresistible

Add some SWAG to your LinkedIn Profile in 5 Easy Steps.

Here’s why:

LinkedIn is THE most popular social media site used by recruiters in all professions. That’s right. A recent survey from “Jobvite found that 93 percent of job recruiters tap into LinkedIn to find qualified candidates,” according to CNET. 

Make sure you are making the most of your profile page. You want to be Irresistible…don’t you? Of course you do! So, start with these 5 simple steps to getting found!

5 Tips to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Irresistible


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Top 5 Ways to De-Clutter Your Mind, Improve Your Focus & Find Peace in the New Year

“Your Focus Determines Your Reality.”~~George Lucas

So, what are you planning to do in the New Year to increase your focus or productivity? Besides naps, of course. Naps are always a good thing!

I love the new opportunities and new beginnings the New Year brings to focus on what really matters. You know, the big things, like family, friendship, and doing what you love with passion and joy.  Sometimes, though, you first need to clear out the mental clutter before you can do that. All the distractions on that mental “to-do” list can keep us stuck.

Focus. I learned to focus in high school as an athlete.  You only hear one voice - your coaches even when the crowds is roaring.  You focus on the point guard who calls the play.  You focus on the ball.  You learn to drown everything out and to focus on what is at hand.

Over the next month, I’m going to be focusing my posts on ways to embrace the new year feeling peaceful, energized, focused, and yes, even organized. This article by Janet Choi of The Daily Muse on how to declutter your mind is a good place to start. Read it here, “5 Ways to De-clutter Your Mind and Regain Your Focus.” I like this particular list because it is short and sweet. Highlights: Make Lists, Automate (or delegate, if you will), Embrace the Junk Drawer–of your mind–the crumbled thoughts of those things we need to get to, but just can’t seem to do, Manage that In-box (Truth! I can REALLY relate to this one. I once had over 4000 unread messages.), and finally, just Think About it. Make time for some reflection on how you’re spending your time.

It might not be easy, but finding some focus is one way to embrace the new year with a peaceful attitude and positive outlook. You’ll feel more in control and right away, you’ve scored a personal success. I am on the same journey and I’m looking forward to checking some items off of the mental to-do list, pronto!

Napping is still recommended. Heck, with a de-cluttered mind…you’ll be certain to have peaceful dreams. Score! (Again!)


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At Semester’s End: Closing Thoughts from an English Prof

Keep Moving Forward.

As a college instructor, beginnings and endings are an integral part of my life. Each semester, I meet a new group of students, in each of my classes, and we get to know each other. We connect and we learn each others’ stories, if you will. 18 weeks later, we part ways, having shared the classroom experience. Although I occasionally have a student for another semester, for the most part I won’t see many of them again. Our time together is brief but significant.

I believe that the way you begin a semester is absolutely critical. From day 1, you’re teaching and you’re leading and you’re setting the tone. But on the flip side of that, I believe that endings are equally crucial. One part of their journey may be over, a class checked off a list of requirements, but the next steps are still to be taken, and the finish line of graduation, still a long way off. By ending on the right tone, you set your students up for taking that next step. You set them up to keep moving forward.

For a sense of closure and to mark the end of the semester, I always have a class party, in the form of a potluck and a mega-trivia challenge, based on the course content. These are celebrations of all the hard work, critical thinking, sharing of ideas and ok, blood, sweat and tears, that students have put into their writing and learning for those 18 weeks. These parties are so much fun. Students bring in all sorts of amazing delicacies, and this semester, one of my students even brought in homemade tamales-cooked by none other than his abuela–for the entire class. Another student made 2 different types of cake pops, while another did a homemade pie…we are never lacking sweet treats at these shindigs! Far more important than the food though, these gestures show the students that they have meant something to each other, and the connections made have been important.

I also write a “Final Thought” blog post, to reflect on the semester and wish my students well as they continue on their path towards their academic goals. I specifically tell them “Don’t ever give up.” Students do need to hear that message, early and often, during their college careers. So much of student success comes from resilience, grit, and a belief that it is possible. As instructors, we are teachers. But, we are also role models, mentors and messengers, and when we believe in them, students start to have a stronger belief in themselves. Here’s this year’s post, called On Endings, Broad Margins, and Moving Forward.

How about you? What do you do to mark the end of a semester or school year? Do you have certain traditions or rituals that help you to wind down, say goodbye, and move ahead in a positive way? I’d love to hear from you.

All the best for a restful Winter Break~

Lisa xo


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3 Ways to Stop Bullying: Stand Up, Connect, Care

October is Bullying Prevention Month.

“Nobody likes you. You can’t play on this court. Not at this lunch table. You talk funny. You’re not one of us. Too short. Too tall. Too fat. Too dumb. Too smart.” Hurtful words that cut deep. And in the rapid-fire age of social media that our kids live in, these words become wounds that spread quickly. 

We must all work to prevent bullying–in our classrooms, our communities, and our homes. October is Bullying Prevention Month. No, it’s not fun, it doesn’t have a catchy ring to it, and sometimes, adults are actually afraid to talk about the issue. But, it’s our job. We need to stand up, be role models and work for change.  

STAND UP. Be the Change and Stop the BullyingWe all need to be a part of the solution. Do your part. Stand up and speak up when someone is being a bully—whether it’s an adult, or a child. I found out that my child was teased at school recently, and I can tell you, it wasn’t a good feeling. Luckily, she told me about it, and I was there to make sure something was done. But lots of kids are silent, ashamed, or don’t know who to turn to. Be a Hero. Be a role model. Don’t shrug and say “kids will be kids.”

Let’s give our kids some tools to talk about bullying, to prevent bullying, and to come to us if & when they have a problem. The best way to make sure that happens is to remain open, caring and truly engaged. 

Connect. Create a Culture of Respect:  James Dillon, a retired elementary school principal who now speaks at workshops on this issue, recently told education website Edutopia that: “Little things can make a big difference. Simple and genuine gestures, such as regularly greeting students, talking to students, and addressing students by name, help to make students feel connected.” 

When students are connected to a school, a classroom, or even the community, they are less likely to engage in bullying behaviors. When children know educators and adults genuinely care about them, they are more likely to report bullying at the early stages and get the help they need. 

Care. Participate in the Movement: This infographic gives a snapshot of ways you can reflect on and participate in the anti-bullying campaign, this month and beyond. There are facebook pages, an anti-bullying pledge, and even a text-based game. It can be as simple as having a “Unity” day on campus, where students are encouraged to wear orange, the color that symbolizes taking a stand against bullying.

Educators: Do your part. October is bullying prevention month. We need to all care enough to be part of the solution. Kids must feel safe at school.

Let’s make schools safe and inviting for all students. All students deserve that.

Want more resources? Here’s a link to the article from Edutopia called “5 Tips for Bullying Prevention” with different ideas for principals, teachers and parents. And here’s a lesson I’ve posted before, from Squarehead Teachers, which even the youngest children will understand and be strengthened by. The National Bullying Prevention Center has teacher toolkits, resources, and a listing of events designed to raise awareness and get everyone involved to…

Help Stop Bullying: Stand Up. Connect. Care.