|Motivating with Real Rewards|
by Aron Solomon
|Why Teenagers Rock!|
by Kim Hoedeman
|Going Social with Rubrics|
by Mike Hourahine
Think With Your Heart|
Lama, Residential Don
Being born in Nepal, a conservative society where women are accredited
on the criterion of "less talk, more work," my blood is still filled with
modesty and shyness. However, my later encounter with what I like to call "girl
power" when attending a Canadian boarding school certainly challenged these
deeply rooted traits. Over the collection of my experience thus far, I found
the solution to overcoming my shyness with others was by looking through the
lens of similarities that one shares with another.
The recent TGS Faculty-Orientation in NYC was one of my many
opportunities where this lesson came into play. Being the youngest member of
the TGS team, my timid nature had to step aside, and it did. Each conversation began with a similarity
I found between myself and another faculty member. Whether it was the familiarity shared with the curriculum
director, Laura Malbogat, in living and experiencing a polar-opposite culture
of our own, or my common interest in phonetics with Marta Guevara, the Spanish
teacher, and even something as simple as the pride of the Vancouver 2010
Olympics that Brad Ovenell-Carter, the English Literature teacher, and I share.
It is only through similarities are we able to approach others and at the same
time learn to cherish the differences.
The kind of similarities that you should look for in others is something
that can only be answered by you. My personal hint for you is to think with
your heart. The slightest similarity is, no matter what, a similarity.
|TGS 2010 - 2011|
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Education offers children the chance to expand their
horizons and reach their potential.
Too often economic struggles deprive children of this
opportunity. TGS has the good fortune of meeting and joining with professionals committed to helping those
children without means and resources. We recently met young very talented
determined minds at the forefront of change. This newsletter focuses on the
brilliance of these young leaders.
An article by Kim Hoedeman fervently portrays "Why Teenagers
Rock," and Aron Solomon discusses what truly keeps these inquisitive minds
motivated and engaged. Reading on, Mike Hourahine sheds light on TGS's
commitment to global outreach with an introduction to our open educational
resource SPOT, and Nangsal, our residential don, shares her lesson on how to
"Think with the Heart."
As always, a sincere thank you for your interest and
|Motivating With Real Rewards|
by Aron Solomon, CEO & Head of School
As I travelled the world over the past eighteen months speaking
to students interested in TGS, I always wondered what motivates them to excel
in what they do.|
We can get on any number of websites and message boards and find a limitless
number of contradictory opinions. "Motivate kids with tangible
things like monetary rewards" balances against "Give children only
praise and nothing tangible." While every expert has an opinion, too few
seem to realize that every child is unique and that they're motivated and
driven by very different things in their lives.
We tend to err on the side of creating hyper-scheduled lives for our children,
the unintentional result of which is that they're denied time and energy for
the fundamental activity of play. We do this with great intentions-we want
our children to experience and excel in everything.
Yet the reality is that what motivates kids perhaps more than anything is the
opportunity to follow their interests and develop these interests into real
That's what we'll do at TGS-create an environment where every student not only
can do what they already enjoy doing but also find brand-new things in their
lives that eventually become "their thing." That's the fun of
discovery-about the world and about ourselves.
Truly, creating an environment in which young people can discover is the best "real
reward" we can give them.
See you soon on that discovery trail!
|Why Teenagers Rock!|
by Kim Hoedeman, PR and Business Strategist
I think it was Einstein who said that education kills
curiosity. We can understand why he said it. As an underachiever at school, his
genius mind certainly wasn't embraced by the system then. How did we decide to
marginalize the minds of young people? How did we come to say no so often to
pretty much all they say and do unless it mimics an adult standard of life?|
With THINK Global School, we became the proud partner of TEDxTeen, hosted by
the We Are Family Foundation. TEDxTeen was able to provide a speaking platform
for teenagers with immense spiritual and actual social impact. Mousa Mosawy, an
Iraqi teenage victim in a wheelchair with a spice for life I cannot even
identify in a Zac Efron, encouraged us--while articulating the points of his
survival--to relax, take off our shoes, and to promise him not to lose the
passion in our hearts...to stay with him and his words. Words I will never forget
on how to follow passion.
Kimmi Weeks followed suit with the almighty courage to
transition child warriors into productive members of the local community. He
said, "You want to help us, provide tools, teach skills--don't dump food
from skies. Give us back our dignity." With every teenager coming to stage
in an authentic, unrehearsed manner, my eyes opened. These young people with
the toughest trials in life found an elevating form to apply themselves with a
social impact that counts in any economic term. No one told them what to do; they
just did it because it was the right thing to do.
I can only draw back on the importance of THINK Global School's motto:
"Don't Teach Us What To Think ... Teach Us How To Think." And I agree.
Teenagers are tomorrow's leaders. In fact, many are already today's leaders, and
even if we cannot change anything else, maybe we can simply begin to listen
more from time to time. Aren't you at least a bit curious? :)
|Going Social with Rubrics|
Mike Hourahine, CTO
CHECK OUT THIS COOL VIDEO DEMO OF HOW SOCIAL RUBRICS ARE BUILT:|
For the non-educators amongst our readers: A rubric is a scoring tool
that lists the criteria for a piece of work or 'what counts.' Above is
an example of a simple rubric for problem solving.
When done correctly, rubrics are great tools to help a teacher
communicate their expectations and help students set goals and guide
their work. The process of developing a rubric ideally becomes a
A recent experiment we did asked the question: What happens if you
combine lessons from web 2.0 and social media to the process of
developing a rubric? The result? We've built what we call "Social
Rubrics". Essentially this tool facilitates the process of building a
rubric for teachers (and students) in a much more open and collaborative
way. Right now, we've built in the following:
- Create and share an initial rubric;
- Make copy and edit an existing rubric in one click;
- Have multiple editors on a single rubric and record all revisions in
a revision history (similar to how a wiki works);Add tags to help organize many rubrics;
- Comments on existing rubrics;