Luce (chanteuse)

À 28 ans, Luce est devenue la première Française à terminer l’Enduroman, l’une des courses de triathlon la plus dure au monde. Un exploit pour cette sportive, Youtubeuse et créatrice d’une marque de chaussettes dépareillées.

144 kilomètres de course à pied, 33 kilomètres de natation et 290 kilomètres de vélo. Luce, blogueuse française de 26 ans, a réussi un exploit en venant à bout de l’Enduroman, une épreuve qui relie Londres à Paris par la nage, la course à pied et le cyclisme.

Mardi 26 juin, la sportive voit enfin l’arrivée. Après 69 heures et 52 minutes d’efforts intenses, elle peut enfin se dire qu’elle est la première Française à avoir franchi la ligne d’arrivée de l’Enduroman, l’une des épreuves les plus périlleuses en raison de la traversée de la Manche à la nage. «Cette aventure est la plus folle de toute ma vie. Il va m’en falloir du temps pour récupérer physiquement mais surtout émotionnellement», a commenté la sportive sur les réseaux sociaux. Luce se préparait à la course depuis deux ans.

Keeping the Focus on the Positive

As a special educator with seven years’ experience as a public school teacher and now seven more as a private tutor, I’ve worked with students with huge academic and behavioral challenges. Often the discrepancies between their current performance and what is expected have been so large that anyone could point them out.

And when I was a classroom teacher, I was frequently surrounded by problems that could feel insurmountable: seemingly unattainable standards, hours of meetings, mountains of paperwork, and more.

I found that choosing to focus on these negative things resulted in my feeling frustrated and depleted—burned out. And I realized that often our students who struggle in school are focused on negatives too: Because of academic or behavioral challenges, they come to school every day and have a bad experience.

This light bulb moment made me realize that instead of mirroring students’ attitudes, fears, and anxieties, I needed to show them something different. For this reason, focusing on the positive is one of my most effective teaching techniques.

In fact, research points to teacher support and the identification of positive personal characteristics as the strongest predictors that students will feel a sense of belonging at school, which is essential to their well-being. In focusing on the positive, teachers can foster better academic and personal outcomes for students.

Be a cheerleader instead of a critic: I make an effort to focus on positive behavior. Each day, I watch my students to determine what motivates them and get to know what they enjoy outside of school.

Be an observer: Students who struggle immensely with academics are often very talented and motivated in other areas. I ask myself, “What makes this student tick?” or “What motivates them?” or “What special gifts or talents does this student have?” I do this even when processing negative behavior, and once I made this change in my attitude I started to see things differently.

Here are some of my observations:

A child with extreme dysgraphia, who struggled to write even simple sentences and often had his head down, told the most creative stories.
One of my students with dyslexia was a talented artist. Her face lit up as she drew lifelike portraits at her desk during the lesson. Another student could take anything apart and put it back together.
A student with an intellectual disability had the kindest heart. His first thought was always for someone else.
A student who acted out and frequently disrupted the class when he was given a worksheet excelled when given a project.
One of my students from a group home who required a behavior aide wrote the most beautiful poetry.

Opinion: Time to bring back the European Cup-Winners’ Cup?

As the Champions League millions continue to concentrate power on the few, producing predictable outcomes at a continental and certainly domestic level, I argue it’s time UEFA bring back the three-tournament set-up in order to reignite competition across the continent.

It’s a soggy night in Rotterdam, 15 May 1991. Manchester United’s Mark Hughes sprints away in celebration having rounded FC Barcelona ‘keeper Busquets and hammered home an incredible goal from the tightest of angles.

United’s win marked a victorious first season back in European football for English clubs, who had been banned since the 1985 Heysel tragedy. Barça had beaten Juventus in the semi-finals, so the tournament had a line-up not uncommon in the latter stages of the current Champions League tournament.

At the same time, the UEFA Cup was still a tough competition to win – not a table format a la Europa League – just the classic home and away legs.

“Remember, away goals count double,” Clive Tydesley would remind us. Oh, the jeopardy!

Then 1992 happened. UEFA opened the Champions League up to non-champions, and the UEFA Cup-Winners’ Cup went into decline. Lazio won the last edition at Villa Park in 1999, before it was absorbed into the Europa League.

The rich get richer…

Since then we’ve seen the best players from the smaller clubs defect in greater numbers to the richer clubs and leagues. Gone are the days when you could see Nottingham Forest v Malmö, or Red Star Belgrade v Marseille vying to be European champions.

As the riches of the Champions League has concentrated power in a small number of clubs, domestic football suffers as a result. One of my most popular posts argued that hegemonies will strangle the game, as you need competition to keep a spectacle alive.

At the time of writing, Bayern Munich has won the last five Bundesliga titles; Juventus has won the last six Serie A scudetti; Only Atlético Madrid has broken the Madrid-Barça duopoly in Spain’s La Liga in the last 13 seasons; you have to go back to 1984-85 season for the last winner of the Scottish top flight that wasn’t the Old Firm.

Basically, as this New York Times post states, in many countries “these are no longer title races. They are simply processions, their results preordained, entire seasons stripped of drama and intrigue.”

How UEFA could redistribute wealth

So, we’ve argued that the Champions League format is creating hegemonies at a continental and national level, damaging the game as a spectacle in those countries. In fact, in England, Italy, Germany, France, Portugal and Belgium, attendances fall for European competitions compared to domestic games.

How could UEFA create more competition while simultaneously distributing wealth more evenly and boosting the credibility of domestic cup competitions? How could it restore the exclusivity of the second tournament, the Europa League?

My advice would be to go back to the old three-tournament format and bring back the UEFA Cup-Winners’ Cup. That way money would be spread out across a wider field, restoring purchasing power and therefore competition to domestic and continental competitions.

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Not all revision techniques are equal. Some are very effective while others make little impact. One of the most effective revision methods is retrieval practice, also known as the testing effect.

Retrieval practice refers to any activitythat forces you to generate an answer to a question. It has consistently been proven to help students improve retention and recall (and subsequently exam performance). So, how can we put this into practise to harness the testing effect?

1. Past papers
Past papers are one of the most useful and accessible methods of retrieval practice. They are particularly useful as they are specific to the exams you will be taking, rather than just general test questions. By doing past papers – most of which are free online or available through your teacher – you can use retrieval practice with content that is directly relevant to your studies and exams.

2. Multiple choice tests
Multiple choice tests can be particularly useful if you are at an earlier stage of revision, as you don’t need to know the answer instinctively, you just need to be able to recognise the correct answer from a set of options. This is still an effective method of retrieval practice as you are responding to a question, but you can select the right answer rather than create it from scratch. Multiple choice tests may be useful before you use past papers.

3. Essay answers

Essay answers may well be included in your past papers, but they are a useful method of retrieval practice independently too. This is because they require you to synthesise multiple pieces of information into fluent prose and likely perform some analysis, which will improve retention more than merely recalling isolated facts. Research has shown that the more you do with information, the more likely you are to recall it.

4. Answering a question aloud

Answering a spoken question is a useful form of retrieval practice as replying aloud makes you think about the information differently and make quick connections under pressure. Other research has found that reading things aloud is more beneficial than in silence as it prompts a range of senses and actions.

5. Testing yourself with flashcards

Flashcards you’ve made yourself are great because all the questions are directly relevant to your exam rather than being generic questions about the topic. You know what you need to be tested on the most so you can tailor the questions to your weak spots while using retrieval practice.

6. Having someone ask you questions

One of the most effective methods of learning is teaching others. This approach combines teaching others with answering questions so is doubly effective for helping you learn. It also allows you to involve others in your learning, which is useful as having a supportive group around you is important for doing well at school. Answering questions from someone lets you discover how well you understand the material, as you’ll need to explain it to them and they can ask follow-up questions to test your knowledge even further.