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September 15

How should I go about becoming fluent in Chinese?
TLDR: I'm in a serious relationship with a girl whose whole family is native Shanghainese speakers. They are ok Mandarin speakers. If I'm gonna be with her long-term (seems likely), I want to have a relationship with her family and feel like I need to learn either Mandarin (or Shanghainese -- open to that). So I need strategies to get as fluent as possible as efficiently as possible. I can spend whatever I need to on this. Can't go live in China for a while, though can at some point in the distant future maybe. I live in NYC. More after the jump. [more inside]
posted by wooh at 1:56 PM - 8 answers
Help me be a better tutor!
I'm helping elementary school kids with their math and English homework. I really need math resources and strategies for helping kids with their reading/writing homework. Some are English language learners. [more inside]
posted by topoisomerase at 1:26 PM - 2 answers

Book recommendations for new primary teachers?
I've just started teaching ESL, and while I am relatively comfortable with my adult classes, I have a few hours a week of primary aged kids. I would like some recommendations for books that would be a good introduction to primary teaching, class management, and planning lessons and activities. What books are generally considered the best?
posted by jpziller at 5:01 AM - 2 answers

September 14

Any advice on writing a book?
With the encouragement of my significant other, what started as an article on foreign policy and international relations for a non-profit research centre is now being expanded into a book. I would like some advice on writing a book. [more inside]
posted by 8LeggedFriend at 3:59 PM - 4 answers

September 13

Professors, teachers, academics: Give me your work tips!
Fellow teacher types, what have you started doing lately that's making your work time more effective? I teach discussion-based and somewhat writing-intensive college courses (think freshman-level Sociology, not English Comp.) and have spent way too much time grading, and especially procrastinating on grading. I want this semester to be different! [more inside]
posted by quixotictic at 11:12 AM - 12 answers

September 12

How come charter schools are no better than ordinary public schools?
It would seem that charter schools have many advantages—administrators and parents who work hard to create a school, parents who are interested enough in their kids' education to enroll them, kids who are presumably somewhat better students on average, and longer hours. Yet studies say charter schools, on average, don't get better results. What could charters be doing so wrong that would offset their advantages?
posted by markcmyers at 3:53 PM - 13 answers

Online communities for academics
I occasionally have questions that come up with regards to PhD work that I don't necessarily feel comfortable asking in person to other people in my program or to my adviser. Recently I've found myself wishing for an online community of other academics so I could get advice and share information in a pseudonymous environment. Are there any well known communities that fit this description out there?
posted by codacorolla at 7:32 AM - 15 answers

September 11

Coping with failure and moving forward with life
I'm graduating college with the least desirable outcome possible--low GPA, no honors, no club involvement, no positive relationships with my professors etc. in kind of a useless liberal arts major, purely because of laziness. This in addition to the fact that it wasted over $200k of my parents money is making me feel really bad (as it should). How do I move on from what feels like a really big failure? [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 4:18 PM - 40 answers

Strategies for reading in college
What are the best strategies for reading in college, and actually comprehending what you're reading to make connections? How do people read hundreds of pages a week and comprehend it all?
posted by markbao at 11:31 AM - 18 answers

What is the statistical probability of me passing this class?
I just started grad school, and I'm feeling overwhelmed with my Biostatistics class. Can you recommend some resources to keep me from falling behind? [more inside]
posted by bluloo at 8:51 AM - 10 answers

Teaching on the sly
Music teaching n00b filter. I now have a tablet with ear training software I use in lessons and discovered the kids quite automatically pick up terms like "minor second" which I hadn't dreamt about teaching them yet. Just as they're in the app. Then when they're stuck on a melody on their instrument I say "go up a minor second here" and it works. Holy interval, batman! What are similar ways you use to teach musical concepts without being all obvious about it? Would it be correct to classify this as active/experiental learning and what are your favourite resources? [more inside]
posted by yoHighness at 3:29 AM - 2 answers

September 10

How should I navigate this grad school minefield?
I've just begun working on my grad thesis and am having a bit of difficultly connecting with my advisor. I want to proceed in the most thoughtful way possible. [more inside]
posted by WaspEnterprises at 7:00 PM - 7 answers

September 8

Once more unto the breach...
I'm making a collection of ideas and best practices for history teachers. If you had an amazing history teacher, in either middle school or high school, what did they do that captured your interest? If you teach history, what have you seen work? [more inside]
posted by kingfishers catch fire at 4:41 PM - 24 answers

Help me survive my thesis defense
Hi, AskMe. A bit more than a year after this miserable question and this happier update, I am finally defending my MA on Wednesday. While my confidence is nowhere near as shot as it was when I first asked that question, I feel like my grasp of the subject I have dedicated the last several years to is nowhere near as comprehensive as it should be. Please help me get through this without crying. [more inside]
posted by avocet at 10:14 AM - 15 answers

September 7

Creating classroom exercises for Grad students
I am a first time teaching assistant and the professor that I am working with has asked me to create or come up with interactive classroom activities. I am not sure how to go about this. Are there any resources anyone can recommend to me? The topic is health equity and the class is for masters of public health students. The topic for this class is ‘theories and framework; oppressive Institutions’. Students will identify one article which links to the criminal justice system, or the educational or housing systems (including segregation or redlining) to a health outcome. Naturally students could be group based on the systems they are analyzing, discuss in small groups, and report back to the larger class. Any other ideas? We will be focusing a lot on the social determinants of health. I did a quick google search looking for a webinar or pdf with no real luck. Most of the links I found were defunct. I have pasted the topics I was hoping to find information on. [more inside]
posted by TRUELOTUS at 11:12 PM - 8 answers

September 5

Schooling options for anxious middle schooler
My 12-year old son (previously and previouslier) is having trouble in middle school, to the extent that he is frequently absent because of what appears to be anxiety-related nausea. He was also recently diagnosed as what would have previously be Aspergers. I would love to hear some suggestions about alternatives to traditional schooling that might work, given some complications explained inside. [more inside]
posted by bibliowench at 8:23 AM - 18 answers

Teen with Narcissistic Tendencies. Help.
I'm Dean of Students/Special Ed teacher at a therapeutic high school and I really need some help about how to work with a teen who has narcissistic tendencies. [more inside]
posted by kinetic at 3:31 AM - 24 answers

September 4

How much does a good school matter?
Please help me think about whether it is worth moving to a better school district. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 3:05 PM - 27 answers

Uncommon advice you would give your college-age self
As school starts up again, we're all reminded of the common advice: Actually go to class. Actually read the material if you're taking Lit. Join clubs. But what uncommon advice would you give your college-age self?
posted by markbao at 11:27 AM - 68 answers

Teaching critical thinking?
Have you ever had a class (or similar structured educational experience) that actually taught you to be better at logic and critical thinking? If so, how'd it do that? [more inside]
posted by gallusgallus at 8:52 AM - 19 answers

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