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Risk versus Reward

I currently have two teenager boys  living at home, so I am constantly reminded of the risk taking behaviors of adolescents.  But now it seems,  according to new research on the teenage brain, that this risk taking behavior is actually an evolutionarily developed advantage for helping the teen transition from the safe home life to the “big, bad world” out there. In fact, according to author David Dobbs in the October 2011 National Geographic, the teen risk-loving behaviors are not the result of the “puny brain” or “work in progress”  brain, but rather the “result of teens weighing risk versus reward differently than adults. ” (pg. 54) Reward can often involve the elevation of status among their friends.  So today, I am looking at my two sons differently. I am figuring out more rewards that I can offer them for “smart decisions.”  I am also pondering why so many middle and high school teachers use punishment rather than reward to motivate teens.   Even on days like today, where I spent most of my time in my studio creating jewelry, I am also thinking about education.  I am as passionate about the right way of teaching as I am about creating jewelry.

Here are my designs today and here are my wishes for teachers of teenagers.

1) Please don’t belittle teens (especially not in front of their peers)

2)Please don’t automatically assume they are lying, cheating or stealing.

3) Please allow them to explain why they are not cooperating, not completing the work or not paying attention to you.

4) Please try to motivate the teens with interesting and relevant assignments

5) Please learn about the teenage brain so you understand what motivates them and what doesn’t

6) Please take a risk and try to be different than most teachers of teenagers and I guarantee the rewards will be great.  Believe me, I know.  I am still in touch with many of my former students who rewarded me with their love and attention while I was teaching them and continue to reward me by staying in touch.

 

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Can you keep a secret?

Bead Soup Stewing

When I was a little girl, I had the hardest time waiting for big news or keeping a secret. If I found out what one of my brothers or sisters were getting for their birthday, I kept trying to talk about it subtley… dropping hints. Invariably, I would spill the beans. So now at age 52, I still have a hard time keeping a secret, especially when I am very excited. My excitement is over the Bead Soup Blog Party. In ten days, all 300 plus beaders who joined the Bead Soup Blog Party 2011 will reveal what they made with bead ingredients that they received from another beader from somewhere else. My ingredients stewed in their beautiful heart case that they came in from Jayne Aka Boot-C for more than week. In fact, during that time, I couldn’t get myself to make anything. I started cleaning closets and cleaning my bead room. Finally, on labor day, I got inspired.

Now I am not going to reveal what I made until September 17th (I promise), but I will tell you a few of things I learned about myself during this wonderful, challenging process.

1) I love symmetry. I was challenged because I could not place the ingredients I had in any symmetrical pattern. There was a little bit of everything, but nothing I had in my studio were exact matches. So how did I meet my need for symmetry while expanding myself? You will have to wait until September 17th to find out! (Hold me back)
2) This is my most creative piece. Why? Because necessity is the mother of invention. Because the first five tries were failures. Because scientific experimentation nine out of ten times disproves rather than proves your hypothesis. It reminds me of why science is such a creative process.
“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”— Albert Einstein
“Results! Because, man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won`t work.”— Thomas A. Edison
Thanks to the All Result Journal Blog for compiling a list of great quotes on science and mistakes. Thanks to Lori Anderson for organizing this event. And lastly, thanks to nature for helping an impatient, impulsive girl grow up abit.