You Don’t Have To Dread The Waitlist!

The dreaded college class waitlist! You try to perfectly plan your college classes, even judging your next class based on the distance and time it takes to get from building to building to ensure you have enough time and won’t be late. But then… the worst thing happens. The class is full and you’re left… on the waitlist. 

The waitlist can be so daunting, because it’s never going to tell you if you’re going to get in or not. There are people who are very first on the waitlist for a class and never get in. And then you have people 20th in line on the waitlist that can get in by the first day. Being placed on the waitlist comes with the fear of the unknown, which can be scary. But no need to fear, here are some tips for the waitlist! 

  1. Know your dates. Oftentimes there is a deadline for enrolling in the class, typically a week or two after classes have started. Know these dates and have them noted somewhere so you can be prepared and they don’t sneak up on you. 
  2. Sit in the front of the classroom, where the professor can see you. 
  3. Be on time, if not early, for class. Take good notes and be attentive. 
  4. Talk with your professor before or after class. Let them know you are a student on the waitlist and that you would love to be in their class. If it feels appropriate, you can even try to email them.

The goal is to prove that you want to be in the class and that you will put in the time and work to be there. Professors can’t always bend the rules, especially if it comes to the amount of seats in their classroom or the fire code rules, but they may be able to change things here and there for you to get you into their class. 

Do you have any other waitlist tips you can share? Comment them below! 

Fostering Independent Play

I recently wrote an article on how play is a learned trait for children, they aren’t just pre-programmed knowing how to play alone. And another on the benefits of independent play. After preaching all of these great aspects of independent play, I think I owe it to the world to provide a few ways to foster independent play. Here are a few tips. 

  • Schedule independent play. Have a conversation with your child about it and set aside a time in the day for it. 
  • Make independent play predictable and an open conversation. 
  • Set the timer during the scheduled independent play. Start out small with 5 minutes, and work your way slowly to more and more time. 
  • Keep toys organized and available. It’s hard for kids to have a starting point for play if toys are scattered and unavailable. 
  • Keep toys minimal. It’s easier to keep them clean and organized when you are not overrun with too many. 
  • Create curated “activity bins” with all of the pieces and materials needed for specific activities such as a “race car” bin filled with cars, tracks, shops, and people. Or a “baby care” bin filled with baby dolls, pretend diapers, bottles, and maybe even a small bath. 

Most importantly, make independent play FUN! It can turn into a negative process for kids when they are constantly told to “just go play.” They can feel as if they are being shut out and unwanted. When independent play is worked on, enjoyable, and looked forward to, it can turn into a great process that eventually will become something that you don’t have to work hard to have your child practice, it’ll come more and more naturally to them. 

What other ways do you foster independent play in your children? 

Should I Join A Sorority?

What is a sorority? 

Here is a rough definition from a Google search. But a sorority is also so much more than just “a society for female students.” A sorority is a place to live, friends, a community, and more. Full of service opportunities, school events, and active involvement. 

So the question is- should you join a sorority? 

Here’s an overview of what it entails.

A sorority is a home typically on or very close to campus. Many members will claim it’s one of their favorite parts of living in a sorority, because of the close commute to classes and always feeling so involved with events happening on campus. But because housing is never free, it does cost money to live there, and often it can be more expensive than housing that is out of the Greek scene. 

Sororities can also be a product of rules to follow. By committing yourself to the Greek life, it can mean there is a whole new list of rules to follow. This can turn some away, but may be appealing to others with the consistency and high expectations. 

It can also mean instant friends. Finding your friend group in college can be daunting, but walking into a sorority house can ease the burden of finding new friends. A sorority will provide multiple, great leadership opportunities, which turn around to be amazing resume builders. 

A sorority can be a great thing! There are so many great products of joining and being part of the Greek world. And if you don’t believe me, take it from a sorority sister herself! Here’s the advice she wants to leave with you:

“For someone considering joining, I think it’s important to just be yourself (cliche, I know) because these are people you will be spending a lot of time with and you should feel comfortable… to be honest, it was just nice to feel like a part of something right off the bat when moving to college.”

A.J. Cutler- Alpha Chi Omega 

Have you been considering a sorority for your college experience? 

A Whole Page For Informed Decisions

It’s here, it’s here, it’s here!

The last few months I’ve been writing articles on different types of schools you can choose as a parent. The choice can be so overwhelming, with many different options and many different choices within those options.

The choice seemed overwhelming to me, so I sought out to help others make their decision easier by researching the different schools and lining out the facts. I tried to stray from a pro/con list because there are some facts about these schools that can be a pro for one family, and a con for another family.

So here it is! A page where you can read more about each school.

Informed Decisions For Different Types of Schools

The Benefits Of Independent Play

Last week I wrote down some of my thoughts about independent play and how it took time for my daughter to learn how to play. Play is not just something kids do for fun. It’s actual work. It is how their brains put together new experiences and learn to interact with the world. And while I was trying to push my daughter towards more independent play so that I could have a few minutes alone to work on what I needed, there are also many other benefits you can find from independent play. 

  • It fosters imagination. It gives them time to explore a whole new world that has yet to be created. 
  • It aids in problem-solving. When someone else isn’t there helping them solve their problems of blocks not fitting together right or the tower not stacking properly, they start relying on themselves and their own problem-solving skills. 
  • It boosts confidence! Allowing them the opportunity to utilize their own toys and manipulate them in the way they want can create confidence in themselves that otherwise may not be there if there is someone else present playing with them. 
  • Independent play can be a great way to prepare them for school. Working independently is a part of anyone’s education, and learning how to do this through play can prove to be more beneficial in the long run. 
  • It teaches them about alone time. Yes, as a parent you are given a few minutes of alone time to accomplish what you need to, but it’s also teaching your child how to have alone time and use it to recharge or accomplish what they need to. 

The next time you feel bad telling your kids to “go play”, you don’t need to! Allowing them independent playtime can be great for many reasons. Keep your eye out over the next few weeks for my post on how you can foster independent play for your own kids that may not do well with playing on their own. 

Conclusion: Using MBTI In The Classroom

This post is part of a series of posts on teaching to different personality type indicators as found in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. To see more, head here.

Over the past several weeks I’ve been writing about using Myers-Briggs in the classroom and how it can be beneficial as a teacher. Last year I wrote about each specific type in the classroom, but more recently I’ve written about the more broad types: Extroverted students, introverted students, intuitive types, sensing types, etc, etc. 

I wrote these posts because while using MBTI in the classroom is useful and helpful, it can be very difficult to type every single one of your students and know how best to help them. So instead, I broke it into bigger categories. I think it can be easier to pick apart introverts versus extroverts, judgers versus perceivers, etc. This can make it more attainable for teachers and aids in the classroom to learn more about each child and help them in the best way they can. 

I truly believe that with a little bit of research and effort to understand Myers-Briggs deeper, it can become an incredibly useful tool for learning more about your students, yourself, and your colleagues. 

You can see all of the posts here.

Have you used the knowledge of MBTI in your teaching and how have you found that it helps you in your teaching? 

Play Is A Learned Trait: It’s Not Always Natural For Kids

Play, play, play! 

If you throw the word “play” up in the search bar of this particular blog, you’ll find a plethora of articles on children and play. 

Here’s a full page with my play articles somewhat organized.

But there’s another point I want to touch on when it comes to play. This article comes from a time a few years ago when my oldest child  was almost two years old. I was trying to make dinner and the typical battle of trying to either keep her busy in the kitchen, or distract her with toys outside of the kitchen ensued. I generally love cooking, but have such a hard time with it when I have a kid standing right at my feet demanding attention! 

I kept saying the same thing over and over to her- 

“Go play! Please! Go find some toys and play!” 

This battle continued for days and weeks on end. Nothing ever worked! 

I started researching online ways I could get my daughter to play on her own, and there were some great ideas out there. However, I read one piece of advice that I so badly wished I would have saved so I could reference! But the article stated this- 

Play is not something that just comes naturally to every kid, it’s a learned skill they all need to develop over time. 

It was such simple advice, yet it was still advice that changed my whole perspective! I was a great parent at pulling out a sensory bin or whipping up a quick color match activity. However, I was never a parent that pulled out the blocks and showed my daughter how to build. Or drive the toy cars. We never played pretend with the baby dolls or made the plastic animals move. If no one ever showed her how to play with the toys, why should I have expected her to know what to do with them? 

Over the next several weeks we spent time down on the floor together building towers and rocking babies to sleep. And then it was a slow transition to “invitations to play” where I would leave out a small set up to spark my daughter’s imagination and I would let her take it from there. 

Eventually, she learned the skill of play, and making dinner became so much easier! We continued to practice playing together and she continued to practice it by herself when I needed the time to be alone. It wasn’t perfect, but it was a start in the right direction. 

My hope is that if you’re struggling with getting your child to play by themselves as well, this article can be eye-opening for you as well. 

Tell me in the comments how you helped your child learn the art of play!