August 29, 2014
Over the course of your child’s elementary education, you’ll have teachers you like and those you won’t. Just like your child, you’ll prefer some of his educators over others.
But in this triangle relationship between parents, children, and teachers, both parents and teachers hopefully have the same ultimate goal in mind—the wellbeing of the child. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Beginning at the preschool level, parents need to know what to expect from teachers in order to facilitate the most positive experience for their children.
Glam.com spoke with Dawn Farber, the current Director of Early Education at Beit Ha Yeladim Preschool in Santa Barbara, California and a former behavior specialist for the Santa Barbara Department of Education, to get her insight. Farber revealed 5 key considerations for parent/teacher harmony and a successful school experience for your child.
August 18, 2014
If you’re a beginning teacher, you probably worry about classroom management. You’re not alone. Classroom management — managing both student behavior and the physical learning environment — is an ongoing concern of all teachers.
A successful classroom is about maintaining that sense of learning, of structure, and of student productivity. This should be an easily-accessible table/desk and include (at the very least): clearly labeled bins for student work, a stapler, tape dispenser, electric pencil sharpener, and a three-hole punch. This creates an area for them that has everything they need all in one place. –No wandering up around the teacher’s desk looking for something, no wondering where to turn something in, etc. To create the climate you want for your classroom, you must first decide the look and feel of the room.
Can you tolerate noise? Must the room always be quiet? Or can you put up with a mix of noise and quiet, depending on the learning activity? It’s easier to start out more controlled and gradually open up to activity and noise than the other way around.
Encourage all students to do their best and let them know that you believe they can succeed. Apply proven teaching techniques to keep student interest and monitor whether they are learning.
August 6, 2014
Just as most providers plan special field trips for children, why not plan a special “field trip” with your child? After coordinating with your caregiver, plan to accompany your child on a special event or just drop in an visit and help out in the classroom. Then, watch and learn. Do you see happy faces, hear laughter, and observe learning. If so, chances are your child is benefiting from the placement. A key to ensuring a happy child is involvement! An additional plus is that most caregiver will welcome the extra set of helping hands and your enthusiasm!
July 23, 2014
Parents and teachers share responsibility for creating a working relationship that fosters children’s learning. This digest examines the cultural context for parent-teacher relationships, suggests some general strategies for creating a climate in which misunderstandings and disagreements between parents and teachers can be minimized through communication, and discusses some general principles for parents and teachers in dealing with misunderstandings or disagreements as they arise.
It is important for teachers and parents to remember that they know the child in different contexts, and that each may be unaware of what the child is like in the other context. It is also useful to keep in mind generally that different people often have distinct but disparate perspectives on the same issue.
Many parents may be surprised to learn that teachers, especially new teachers, are sometimes equally anxious about encounters with parents.
July 16, 2014
1. Show that you’re a learner too
Share things you have learnt. Tell your students about PD and conferences you attend. Invite their opinions on things you have read for your own interest. Never talk down to the students. Be part of the learning community.
2. Encourage creativity
Give students opportunities to create in any way they like. Have them create original expressions of their learning through a variety of web 2.0 tools. Let them draw, write a song, make a film, create a cartoon or record a podcast. Put a camera in their hands for recording and expressing learning.
3. Make it meaningful
Make connections to their lives. Encourage interpretations that make sense to them. Create for an authentic audience, by publishing online through blogs, wikis and other web 2.0. Don’t set chores, don’t hand out worksheets, don’t assign work… create motivating learning experiences.
4. Flatten classroom walls
Don’t confine learning to the classroom. Bring the world in. Collaborate online with kids in other places. Use Skype for global connections.
5. Demonstrate your passion
If you aren’t enjoying the class, neither will the students. If what you do bores you, it will bore them too. If you clearly love it, they will too! Interact with other educators online to fire up your enthusiasm.
6. Respect your students
Don’t expect the same from every student. Make sure every child knows that you know where they’re at. Don’t imagine any kind of standardized tests will tell you that. Listen to their conversation and value their thinking. Show interest. Know every child’s story.
7. Provide variation
Don’t fall into the habit of doing things the same way all the time. Come up with new ways of practicing skills. Share ideas with other teachers. Get ideas online. Get ideas from the students. Surprise them. Use different tools and formats and approaches. Plan for multiple intelligences and different learning styles.
8. Implement inquiry as a stance
Encourage students to explore, question and wonder. Invite them into a new topic with a strong provocation that inspires curiosity. Provide opportunities for them to play with possibilities and investigate in a variety of ways. Help them make connections between different areas of learning. Focus on concepts and big ideas.
9. Play games
Find games online and offline. Get kids to move around and play physically. Play thinking games. Invent games and let students invent games. Make sure every game has a learning goal. Make the learning goal explicit to the kids. Make it fun!
10. Encourage students to be responsible for their own learning
Tell them they are! Give them choice. Don’t make all the decisions. Encourage goal setting and reflection. Create a culture of thinking. Talk less. Step back and hand over control.
July 7, 2014
Teaching in colleges is marked by historic paradox: though institutions constantly talk up its importance, they evaluate faculty primarily on the basis of scholarly achievements outside the classroom. Teaching is what almost every professor does, but it seems to suffer from that very commonness. It occupies the greatest amount of most professors’ time, but rarely operates at the highest level of competence.
There seems to be an ingrained academic reluctance to regard teaching in the same way the profession regards every other set of skills: as something that can be taught. Professors who take painstaking care for method within their discipline of chemistry, history, or psychology, for example, all too often are unreflective when it comes to teaching.
Some professors even regard teaching as so straightforward that it requires no special training. Others find it so personal and idiosyncratic that no training could ever meet its multiplicity of demands. But most share the common folk belief that teachers are born and not made. “He (or she) is a born teacher,” is said of too many good teachers as a copout by those who aren’t. And some good teachers fuel this belief by agreeing, “I guess I’m a good teacher. Things seem to go well in the classroom. The students say they like what I do. But I don’t really know how I do it.”
In fact, the marginal truth in this belief applies no more to teaching than to any other profession. If there are born teachers, there are born physicians, born attorneys, and born engineers. Yet those who are naturally great at these professions invariably spend an unnatural amount of time acquiring skills and practicing in the vortex of intense competition. Potentially great teachers become great teachers by the same route: through conditioning mind, through acquiring skills, and through practicing amidst intense competition (Eble, 1988).
The interest in improved teaching has mushroomed rapidly in recent years, burrowing into all areas of the country and all types of institutions. Colleges and universities are moving from lip-service endorsements of the importance of teaching to concerted and sustained efforts to improve programs. Faculty and administrators flock to teaching conferences; government agencies and private foundations offer financial support, and a wave of new books on the subject appear.
June 23, 2014
The power of concentration has innumerable benefits. Children when small are gifted with superior concentration levels which can definitely affect their performance as a human being in all possible areas of importance. you might have a question here: Why confidence is so important for my child?
When a child is small, a child’s focus is not developed that it can perceive life in its most original form. Concentration is required to develop your child’s focus in general. Once your child starts developing a focus, he/she can gain expertise in all areas of life as and when required. Thus, concentration is essential to develop a child’s focus in the most brilliant manner.
Another thing: A child’s capacity to discover life in the most beautiful way can only be done if the child’s focus is clear. Hence, to develop a clear focus, a parent must encourage steps such as games which improve your child’s concentration levels drastically.
June 10, 2014
Materials : Pieces of papers with letters on them that look like license plates.
Plain paper : Create a chart to tell students what number each letter represents (makeup numbers for each letter depending on your students’ level of proficiency).
Activity: Make a chart that tells a certain number for each letter of the alphabet. For example..
and so on. After that is done put out the pretend license plates and have them add up the total on the license plates. For example if a license plate was “bad”, that would be = 3 + 6 + 7 = 16
The kids have a lot of fun doing this and they learn a lot from it. They could work in pairs or by themselves.
Extensions: Many other games / activities could be developed from this. Examples are whose name is the most “valuable”? Who can create the most valuable word?
June 2, 2014
1. Respect your students.
Don’t talk down to students. Model mutual respect. Don’t have double standards. Give what you’d like to get back. Know every child’s story and treat each as an individual. Cater for different learning preferences, strengths and weaknesses.
2. Have a class agreement, not top-down rules.
Ask what helps them learn and what hinders learning. Use that as a basis for establishing an essential agreement as to how the class will run and what behaviours will be evident. Have everyone sign it. Put it up on the wall. Refer to it constantly.
3. Be part of the learning community.
Don’t be the boss of learning. Encourage kids to take ownership of their learning. Be an inquirer too. Don’t pretend to know all the answers. Learn with and from your students. Divide your groups in a variety of random ways, so that everyone learns to work with different people.
4. Acknowledge their physical needs.
Allow students to drink water and even to eat if they hungry. Don’t try and control when they go to the toilet. (If your classes are engaging, they will only go when they need to.) Provide opportunities for standing up and moving around during learning.
5. Be fair and reasonable.
Don’t show favoritism. Expect everyone to stick to the agreement. Don’t allow put-downs between students. Accept legitimate excuses and even some that might not be. If the homework comes a day late because they had something else to do, it’s not the end of the world.
6. Have a sense of humour.
Laugh with your students but never at them. Laugh at yourself. Show firm disapproval if they laugh at each other. Don’t take school too seriously. Take learning seriously. But make learning fun too.
7. Provide a secure learning space.
Provide opportunities for risk-taking in learning. Create a safe environment where learners don’t fear failure. Be supportive of creative thinking and new ways of doing things. Make very student feel validated.
8. Be sincere.
Talk to students in a normal tone, irrespective of their age. Students see through adults who aren’t sincere very quickly. Don’t pretend. Say what you mean. Mean what you say. Show that you care… but only if you do. (If you don’t, why are you a teacher?)
9. Be human.
Acknowledge when you’re in the wrong. Apologise when you make a mistake. Admit you’re impatient because you’re tired today.
10. Lets Go.
Don’t be in charge of every situation. Ask yourself ’Is it important?‘ before you react. Don’t make all the decisions. Provide opportunities for choice. Show that you value initiative above compliance.
May 27, 2014
The invading Germanic tribes spoke similar languages, which in Britain developed into what we now call Old English. Old English did not sound or look like English today. Native English speakers now would have great difficulty understanding Old English. Nevertheless, about half of the most commonly used words in Modern English have Old English roots. The words be, strong and water, for example, derive from Old English. Old English was spoken until around 1100.