Tag Archives: dom testa

Building a Better Student: Brain Drain

As kids, we loved our summer breaks. As parents and teachers, we sometimes wonder if it derails a kid’s progress in school. Often referred to as “the summer brain drain,” the worry is that too much down time allows students to not only fritter away what they might have learned in the previous school year, but it also gets them out of learning mode. If you’re concerned about this, let me suggest a few things that might ease the problem and help plug the drain. If you think about it,... Read More

Building a Better Student: Front Row

One of the hats I wear is that of public speaker, which means I’m often looking back at a sea of faces in a crowded room. In the past week alone I’ve been on stage twice, sharing insights and laughs with a few hundred people. It’s interesting to watch people file into an auditorium or assembly hall and choose their seats. The front half of a room is often sparsely populated, while the seats in the back fill up quickly. Few people automatically move toward the front, and nobody, it... Read More

Building a Better Student: Character Note

Dear Parent, I’m writing to say thank you for teaching your child to write thank you notes. You’ve obviously figured out what too many other parents have not, mainly that a vital element in a student’s education and growth involves gratitude. It’s funny, too, because so many parents are looking for any sort of edge to help their kids get ahead. I once spoke to a mom who said that she specifically gave her daughter a funky/unusual spelling in her otherwise-common name so it would “make her stand out and... Read More

Building a Better Student: 6 Square Inches

Not long ago I took some friends to Sea World, which is required by law for tourists on their first visit to San Diego or San Antonio. (In Orlando you’re allowed an exemption only if you can prove you spent $1000 at Disney World.) During the dolphin show, we gasped at the remarkable skills displayed by these gorgeous animals, marveled at the incredible training which must go into every production, and fought off dehydration with oversized sodas. There’s so much to absorb during these shows, with multiple acts taking place... Read More

Building a Better Student: What If?

Think about how many life-changing innovations came about because of two simple words: What if? What if there was a way to keep food from spoiling while we moved it from production line to household? Result: refrigeration. What if we could mass produce these writings instead of copying everything by hand? Result: the printing press. You could probably take it back hundreds of thousands of years, when someone wondered about harnessing fire in order to keep warm. We know the result of that (with a bonus that included cooked food).... Read More