TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Author: Monica Fuglei

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Monica Fuglei is a graduate of the University of Nebraska, Omaha and an English faculty member of Arapahoe Community College in Colorado, where she teaches composition and creative writing. She also writes education-related content for Concordia college and the Hotchalk LessonPlansPage.

Posted Feb. 12, 2016, 9 a.m. by Monica Fuglei | View Comments
Campus Safety: Know This Before You Go

This spring, as students are polishing off applications, visiting colleges, and awaiting acceptance letters, it’s a good idea to discuss what it means to live and thrive on a college campus. While it’s not an easy talk to have, discussions about campus safety can help both parents and students prepare for living in a college environment. Here are six things to remember. 1. Be aware. Campuses are often very comfortable places - homes away from home if you find the right one, but you have to be pragmatic. Follow standard safety advice about protecting valuables, being aware of your surroundings, ...

Posted Jan. 11, 2016, 9:49 a.m. by Monica Fuglei | View Comments

Any student or parent can tell you that a person is more than a number from a test, a set of rotely memorized facts, or a set of high school transcripts. In fact, recent research from the nonprofit Transforming Education shows that important key indicators of overall success, in education as well as life, are “soft skills.” What are Soft Skills? Often called “non-cognitive” skills, soft skills are abilities that aren’t routinely measured by standardized testing or report cards. Ranging from determination and self-confidence to social and emotional smarts, these are a set of abilities that affect how students tackle ...

Posted Dec. 10, 2015, 9:19 a.m. by Monica Fuglei | View Comments
Why Write?  How Writing Makes STEM Students Stronger

“What are you doing here?” my colleagues asked. We were attending the Colorado STEM summit, a meeting that focused on creating connections between K-12 education and administration, higher education, and STEM-related employers. Many at my table wondered why a composition instructor would snag an invite, but as we listened to speaker after speaker highlight the necessity of good communication skills for STEM students, the answer was clear. Writing is linked to problem solving “Students must learn to communicate,” that’s the simple way Thomas Cycyota, president and CEO of Allosource, a biotech company, put it during the business panel. Many STEM ...

Posted Nov. 3, 2015, 8 a.m. by Monica Fuglei | View Comments
From STEM to STEAM: How arts add depth to STEM learning

Several years ago, in a dim coffee shop, I was trying to explain Coulomb’s law of electrostatic interaction to a fellow poet. He couldn’t understand my fascination with physics, so I tried to explain it to him using the language we shared: poetry. The result was a series of poems based on physics concepts: Coulomb’s law, Total Energy, and even Einstein’s quantum theory. Scientific language was rich with metaphors and images that helped expand my poetry, and as I wrote, I deepened my understanding of the principles of physics as well. And for him, finally couched in a love poem, ...