Few Good Qualities

Describe three teacher characteristics/behaviors that support improved student achievement for all students and explain why.

Teaching Responsibly

While going through a interview process, somebody asked me the above question. It’s a good question and also a very important one.  Perceiving the challenges in the field of education today, I think, all educators need to think about this. Here’s my share and my opinion.

The teaching credential programs are designed to prepare and gear prospective teacher towards achieving maximum student learning. One might be going through Piaget’s philosophy or learning about one’s own biases or practicing validity / reliability of an assessment or exploring adolescent psychology. Everything is focused on one goal: “Improving student learning and achievement”. Apart from being knowledgeable about the above educational terms and issues, good teachers possess some basic characteristics that help them to attain the said ultimate goal.

Respect is a stepping-stone in building-up any relationship. It holds true for the relationship between a teacher and his pupils as well. One has to give the same respect that one wishes to receive from others. Greeting your students at the door on the first day of the school can be the first step in establishing this process. An atmosphere where people are respectable to each other helps in creating a work friendly and productive environment.

Positive attitude and outlook in life goes a long way in achieving one’s goals. I am a firm believer of the fact that we attract whatever we think. So, think positive and positive things will happen. I wish to nurture the same idea in my students as it helps to attain seemingly impossible feats. It also teaches to continue to work hard despite failures.

One of my University supervisors taught me the rule of three F’s. “Always be fair, firm and flexible.” Consistently following this rule during my student teaching, I was able to convey to my students that I was one of them; I am there with an objective to bring out the best in them. Consistency was the key in application of that rule. It worked magic during that time and I am sure it will be helpful in my up-and-coming teaching career.

These are some of the important traits that I think a person should have in them if they are considering of being an educator. Modeling and practicing these qualities will help to improve student achievement, by letting students’ witness that the world is a good place to be. These plus few others qualities, which I will acquire with experience will assist me in my journey, from a good teacher to better and to being the best.

What’s that flavor?

List of Herbs With Their Commonly Used Names And Uses

My husband is an avid lover of food. The love for food is not constrained to eating only. He is passionate about cooking as well. He is an amazing chef, who spends time to think about the presentation too. I recently noticed a pattern in his cooking process.  He thinks about a dish, backwards.  First, he visualizes the food or the dish and then thinks about its taste. Very discreetly he will then think about each ingredient, their flavor and their aroma. He pays special attention to the usage of herbs. To prop up his strong conviction about herbs, he says time and again, “These little green leaves although used in small quantities play a crucial role in defining the tastes and looks of the dish.”

He prepared a list of herbs, which comes in handy in all his cooking endeavors. He wishes to share this with other food lovers too. So, here it is, just for you




Common name: Angelica

Scientific name: Angelica archangelica

French call it: angélique

Italians call it: Angelica

They all use it for: Stems in salads, or raw; leaves in soups and stews; teas




Common name: Anise

Scientific name: Pimpinella anisum

French call it: anis

Indians call it: Choti Saunf, Suwa, Shopa

Italians call it: anise

Mexicans call it: anise

They all use it for: Leaves in soups, sauces, and salads; oil for flavoring; seeds for seasoning cakes, breads, and cookies.


Anise Hyssop


Common name: Anise hyssop

Scientific name: Agastache foeniculum

French call it: anis

Indians call it: Saunf, Vilaiti

Italians call it: Anice

They all use it for: edible flowers; leaves for flavoring or teas; seeds used in cookies, cakes, and muffins.



Sweet Basil

Common name: Basil (Sweet)

Scientific name: Ocimum basilicum

French call it: basilic

Indians call it: Tulsi

Italians call it: basilico

Mexicans call it: albahaca

They all use it for: Leaves in soups, stews, pasta sauce, poultry and meat dishes; flavors vinegar; teas; religious purpose.


Bee balm

Bee Balm

Common name: Bee balm

Scientific name: Monarda didyma

French call it: mélisse

Mexicans call it: bergamota

They all use it for: teas; flavor jellies, soups, stews, and fruit salads; edible flowers.




Common name: Borage

Scientific name: Borago officinalis

French call it: bourrache

Italians call it: borragine

They all use it for: Edible flower; leaves in salads, teas, and sandwiches


Calendula (Pot Marigold)


Common name: Calendula (Pot Marigold)

Scientific name: Calendula officinalis

Italian call it: calendola

Indians call it: Zergul

They all use it for: Flower petals give color to soups, custards, and rice; cookies; vinegars.




Common name: Caraway

Scientific name: Carum carvi

French call it: cumin

Indians call it: Shahijeera (seeds)

Italians call it: cumino

Mexicans call it: alcaravea

They all use it for: Leaves in salads, teas, stews, and soups; seeds for flavoring cookies, breads, salads, curries and cheeses; roots can be cooked.




Common name: Carnation

Scientific name: Dianthus caryophyllus

French call it: œillet

Italians call it: garofano

Mexicans call it: clavel

They all use it for: Carnations have a spicy, peppery, clove-like flavor.




Common name: Chamomile

Scientific name: Chamaemelum nobile

French call it: anthémis

Italians call it: camomilla

Mexicans call it: manzanilla

They all use it for: Dried flowers for tea; potpourris




Common name: Chervil

Scientific name: Anthriscus cerefolium

French call it: cerfeuil

Italians call it: cerfoglio

Mexicans call it: perifollo

They all use it for: Leaves in salads, soups, and sauces; teas; butters.




Common name: Chicory

Scientific name: Cichorium intybus

French call it: endive, chicorée

Italians call it: cicoria

Mexicans call it: achicoria

They all use it for: Chicory buds can be pickled.




Common name: Chives

Scientific name: Allium schoenoprasum

French call it: ciboulette

Italians call it: cipollina

Mexicans call it: cebollino

They all use it for: Edible flower; leaves for flavoring, eggs, soups, salads, butter, cheese, dips, spreads etc.




Common name: Chrysanthemum

Scientific name: Chrysanthemum coronarium

French call it: chrysanthème

Italians call it: crisantemo

Mexicans call it: crisantemo

They all use it for: Chrysanthemums have a slight to bitter flavor, pungent




Common name: Cilantro

Scientific name: Coriandrum sativum

British call it: Coriander

French call it: coriandre

Indians call it: Dhaniya

Italians call it: cilantro

Mexicans call it: cilantro

They all use it for: Entire plant is edible; leaves in stews and sauces; stems flavor soups and beans; salsa; seeds in sauces and meat dishes, potpourris, and sachets.




Common name: Cornflower

Scientific name: Centaurea cynaus

French call it: bleuet

Italians call it: fiordaliso

Mexicans call it: aciano

They all use it for: Cornflower has a sweet to spicy, clove-like flavor.




Common name: Dandelion

Scientific name: Taraxacum officinalis

French call it: pissenlit

Mexicans call it: diente de león

They all use it for: Very young buds fried in butter taste similar to mushrooms. Makes a potent wine.




Common name: Dill

Scientific name: Anethum graveolens

French call it: aneth

Indians call it: Soa

Italians call it: aneto

Mexicans call it: eneldo

They all use it for: Teas; seasoning for butter, cakes, bread, vinegars, soups, fish, pickles, salads, etc.




Common name: Fennel

Scientific name: Foeniculum vulgare

French call it: fenouil

Indians call it: Moti Saunf, Saunf

Italians call it: finocchio

Mexicans call it: hinojo

They all use it for: Entire plant edible; seeds in sausage and baked goods; leaves used with fish, vegetables, cheese spreads, and soups.


Geranium (Scented)


Common name: Geranium (Scented)

Scientific name: Pelargonium spp.

French call it: géranium

Italians call it: geranio

Mexicans call it: geranio

They all use it for: Teas, potpourris, sachets, jellies, vinegars, desserts.




Common name: Lavender

Scientific name: Lavandula angustifolia

French call it: lavande

Italians call it: lavanda

Mexicans call it: lavanda, espliego

They all use it for: vinegars, jellies


Lemon balm

Lemon balm

Common name: Lemon balm

Scientific name: Melissa officinalis

French call it: mélisse officinale

Italians call it: melissa cetronella

They all use it for: Teas; flavor soups, stew, fish, poultry, vegetables, and meat dishes; garnish.


MarjoramCommon name: Marjoram

Scientific name: Majorana hortensis

French call it: marjolaine

Italians call it: maggiorana

Mexicans call it: mejorana

They all use it for: Flavoring for meats, salads, omeletes, vinegars; jellies; teas.




Common name: Oregano

Scientific name: Origanum vulgare

Italians call it: origano

Mexicans call it: oregano

They all use it for: Flavoring for tomato dishes, meat, poultry, and pork stuffings; vegetables, sauces, etc.




Common name: Parsley

Scientific name: Petroselinum crispum

French call it: persil

Italians call it: prezzemolo

Mexicans call it: perejil

They all use it for:  Garnish; flavoring for salads, stews, soups, sauces, and salad dressings.




Common name: Peppermint

Scientific name: Mentha x piperita

French call it: menthe

Italians call it: Menta piperita

Mexicans call it: menta

They all use it for: Teas, fragrance, salads




Common name: Rosemary

Scientific name: Rosemaryinus officinalis

French call it: romarin

Italians call it: rosmarino

Mexicans call it: romero

They all use it for: Teas; flavoring for vinegar, jam, bread, butters, stuffing, vegetables, stew, and meat dishes.




Common name: Sage

Scientific name: Salvia officinalis

French call it: sauge

Indians call it: Kamarkas

Italians call it: saggio, salvia

Mexicans call it: salvia blanca

They all use it for: Seasoning for meat, vegetable and egg dishes; stuffings.




Common name: Sorrel

Scientific name: Rumex spp.

French call it: oseille

Italians call it: acetosa

Mexicans call it: acedera

They all use it for: Flavoring of soups, butters, omelets.




Common name: Spearmint

Scientific name: Mentha spicata

French call it: menthe

Indians call it: Pudina

Italians call it: menta verde

Mexicans call it: menta verde

They all use it for: Teas; flavor teas, sauces, jellies, and vinegars; leaves in fruit salad, peas; marinating, etc




Common name: Tarragon

Scientific name: Artemisia dracunculus

French call it: Tagète, Estragon

Italians call it: dragoncello

Mexicans call it: Yauhtli, Pericón, Yerba Anis

They all use it for: Sauces, salads, soups, omelets, meat, vegetable, and fish dishes.


Thyme (Common)


Common name: Thyme (Common)

Scientific name: Thymus vulgaris

French call it: thym

Italians call it: timo

Mexicans call it: Tomillo

They all use it for: flavoring for poultry, fish, stews, soups, tomatoes, potatoes, cheese, eggs, and rice.




Common name: Wormwood

Scientific name: Artemisia absinthium

French call it: absinthe

Mexicans call it: ajenjo

They all use it for: Bitter flavor; toxic if consumed in large quantity.

Who Am I To Judge Anyone?


The other day, I was talking about a friend, behind her back. Of course, I was not saying good things about her. We were making fun of her ideas, her ideals and her approach. Later, during some moments of introspection, I felt sorry for myself. Why did I fall into that vicious circle of criticizing others? Who am I to judge anyone?

God has already given all of us full opportunity and freedom to perk up one of his greatest creation. He has given us, ourselves.  We are a big project ourselves. In terms of writing, we must be his first draft. There is still a lot of scope to revise and edit this existing draft.  God has put no limits to which we can go and improve ourselves. We can find n number of our weaknesses and work on them to transform into a better person.  There isn’t any time limit too. He has given us our entire lifetime to do so. In this process of editing, it’s helpful to have some good editors in close vicinity, but self-analysis is the best.

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda, founder of SRF, once said, “Learn to analyze yourself, looking at both the negative and the positive: how did you come to be what you are? What are your good and bad points, and how did you acquire them? Then set about to destroy the bad harvest. Remove the tares of evil traits from your soul and sow more seeds of spiritual qualities, to increase the crop of good harvest. As you recognize your weaknesses and scientifically remove them, you become stronger.”

Realizing my mistake and acting on Guruji’s advice, I put forth my first step to change myself. I will stop criticizing others, especially behind their backs. I would either muster the courage to point out their weakness upfront and be one of their editors, if they so desire, or else shut up. When my comments bring no good to anyone, they do not help me in anyway either. It’s just a wasteful thing to do. I pledge, never to get involved in any of such futile acts.