February 24, 2014
As the school year comes to a close, I’d like to reverse roles a bit and offer some advice to teachers. This year, I had one of my best teachers ever (no offense to any former teachers reading this) as my math teacher. This was an incredibly challenging course, yet he was able to make it very fun, engaging, and passable.
Without this, it is impossible to become a great teacher. If you don’t love your subject, how can you expect your students to? I don’t think this is an issue for most teachers. Still, it is always important to emphasize. Sure, your students will think you’re crazy when you talk about fractions with a look usually reserved for spectator sports, but in the end your enthusiasm rubs off. Never be afraid to love something and show it.
With the onslaught of standardized testing and curriculum this might be getting harder, but it is still very important. Regardless of discipline, creativity is paramount. Sure, you can be a good teacher by taking prepackaged material and efficiently transmitting it. But you can’t be a great one. To be a great teacher, you have to be ready to develop custom, creative lesson plans and projects. You have to have an arsenal of techniques. You need to be a problem-solver. You get the idea. If you don’t, pop into your average commencement address and you’ll hear plenty about this.
Students have complex lives, as do you. If everything is set in stone, you’ll eventually crack. When an A student fails a test, you have to be ready to be flexible. Likewise, you should make yourself available to students for help as much as possible and publicize that fact. If students don’t know you’re available or have office hours, they won’t come and will just struggle through key concepts. Realize that learning is not static and you can’t be either.
I am a firm believer in integrated curriculum and content. Life isn’t in isolated boxes, so learning shouldn’t be either. I often hear the complaint that there isn’t support from administration or other teachers. To that, I say “So what?” Even if you’re the only one integrating across disciplines, even if the other discipline wants nothing to do with you, still do it. My math teacher once spent an entire class investigating the application of logarithms in music: complete with a working string instrument. If this seems hard, just take baby steps: try to integrate another discipline for just one lesson and go from there.
Information can’t be transmitted without a solid connection, and neither can knowledge. You need to form a connection with each and every student. Technically speaking, the knowledge has to form a connection to the student, but you are the representation and medium of that knowledge. Find out what students passions are, and show them how the knowledge connects to them. To do this well, you have to be interesting. Your subject should be your passion, but not your only one. Play an instrument, learn to program, or coach a soccer team: it shows you have something in common with students and helps you to form a connection. Connect these passions back to your subject, and share those connections with your students. Be sure to drop these connections into lessons, fast and furious. Also, appeal to a variety of students. A music reference does nothing for me, but a computer science reference has my interest piqued. (The opposite for other students) You need to connect with students, and to connect you need something to connect with.
February 14, 2014
A teacher is one of the very important person in our life. They teach us how to stay in this world and teach us every thing. A student should always keep in mind that whatever the teachers teach them is correct one, but nowadays what happens is there are lots of teachers who don’t know anything and they can misguide the students. So some of the ways which can let us know the qualities of a teacher are :
1. Confidence : Belief in ourselves despite setbacks. Teachers encounter situations all the time that could be considered setbacks. Kids can be cruel, to each other and to teachers. They can have attitudes, especially teenagers. I’ve had teachers to were obviously nervous when they taught. Others were shy and only half committed to their subject. But the best teachers laughed off their mistakes: chalk breaking, books dropped, TVs not working. Where some teachers were flustered, the good teachers shrugged and went on about the lesson, sometimes even joking about the mess up. These teachers knew they were human and knew mistakes happen. They didn’t take things personally and let problems get them upset.
2. Flexibility : Students have complex lives, as do you. If everything is set in stone, you’ll eventually crack. When an A student fails a test, you have to be ready to be flexible. Likewise, you should make yourself available to students for help as much as possible and publicize that fact. If students don’t know you’re available or have office hours, they won’t come and will just struggle through key concepts. Realize that learning is not static and you can’t be either.
3. Dedication to excellence : Good teachers want the best from their students and themselves. They don’t settle for poor grades, knowing it reflects upon their ability to teach just as much upon a student’s ability to excel. The best teachers encourage the sharing of ideas and offer incentives (like not having to do homework for a day) to get students to think outside the box. They don’t tolerate students’ badmouthing other teachers, doing their best to point out that other teachers are human too. They encourage students to be good people, not just good memorizers of text. They want students to learn and be able to apply what they learned, not just be able to pass tests.
4. Patience : Some of my best teachers could have helped students through a mental breakdown. Not that they had to, but that they were so patient, they could have gone the distance. Many a time I, or classmate, would just not be “getting” a particular concept. My best teachers were those who were willing to keep explaining, knowing that eventually it would make sense. They were willing to wait until a distraction calmed students down, or abandon a lesson entirely if it was clear material needed to be revisited. The best teachers just stuck with it, willing to do what it took, no matter how long it took.
5. Good sense of humor : A good teacher should also have the quality and characteristic of having a good sense of humor. It is a logical fact, that a person generally teaches the next generation and as they are younger than the teacher, they are expected to have more fun in the class too. So, a good teacher is the one who can cope up with his sense of humor, and with his strong communication skills and personality, can also maintain the discipline of the class.
February 1, 2014
There are several factors in making an effective teacher. Most of the best teachers have all of them. How many do you have?
1. Effective teachers carefully prepare. Although it may look like something just pops up, planning is essential. Students sense that you are not really ready. Keeping an up-to-date lesson plan book and making notations on what works and what does not work is very helpful when getting ready for the next school year. There is no reason to re-invent the wheel when you find something that is very effective.
2. Effective teachers have a good rapport with students. The dictionary tells us that rapport means, “a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well.” That does not mean that a teacher has to be the student’s friend!
3. Effective teachers communicate with parents. Providing an on-going channel of communications with parents is essential. Having a Web site is also a wonderful way of keeping parents (and students) up-to-date. Providing a newsletter is a great way to communicate with parents.
4. Effective teachers are consistent. Keep to your schedule. Say what you mean. Avoiding making threats and then not doing what you have promised.
5. Effective teachers are also learners. Go to conferences. Attend afterschool workshops. Ask your neighbor. Find out what others are doing.
6. Effective teachers do not listen to complainers. If you come across complainers in the lunch room, avoid them like the plague!
7. Effective teachers integrate technology into their classrooms. Computer are not going away. They are here to stay. The faster a teacher learns how to integrate them into the classroom, the better it will be for everyone.
January 20, 2014
1. Make sure they have choice in what they learn and how they learn.
2. Ask their opinions and listen to them.
2. Care about what they say.
4. Don’t make all the decisions.
5. Provide a safe environment for experimentation with ideas.
6. Encourage them to follow their interests and their passions.
7. Provide opportunities for creativity.
8. Create a culture of thinking, where everyone’s thinking is valued.
9. Don’t expect them to do things without knowing why.
January 6, 2014
Availability of toys that encourage play reenactment of children’s experiences and observations during the disaster can help children integrate these experiences. These might include fire trucks, dump trucks, rescue trucks, ambulances, building blocks or playing with puppets or dolls as ways for the child to ventilate and act out his or her own feelings about what has occurred.
Children need close physical contact during times of stress to help them reestablish ego boundaries and a sense of security. Games that involve physical touching among children within a structure are helpful in this regard. Some examples might be:
Ring Around the Rosie
Duck, Duck, Goose
Have the children draw pictures about the disaster and then discuss the pictures in small groups. This activity allows them to vent their experiences and to discover that others share their fears.
Have the children do a mural on long paper with topics such as what happened in your house (school or neighborhood) when the big storm hit (earthquake, etc.). This is recommended for small groups with discussion afterward facilitated by an adult.
Short stories” dictated to an adult on a one-to-one basis on such topics as “What I do and don’t like about the rain.” This activity can help the child verbalize his/her fears, as well as to perhaps get back in touch with previous positive associations with the disruptive phenomena.
January 6, 2014
Homework can be a difficult thing to obtain from some children in your class. Get the parents involved by sending a homework assignment sheet to be signed each day. Let the child sign the sheet also. The accountability is now on parents and child. At the end of each week, send a certificate of congratulations to parents and child for all homework completed for the week.
December 23, 2013
The teacher-student relationship is one of great importance, but all too often today with increasing class sizes, over-extended roles required by teachers, and an ever-growing focus on assessment-driven learning, this can sometimes be overlooked.
However, the fact remains that a high-quality teacher with whom students share a positive relationship cannot be overstated. I remember those teachers in my life who really took a genuine interest in my learning, development, and experience in school. Unfortunately, I also recall those who tended toward curt remarks and unapproachable attitudes. Nonetheless, it was those caring teachers who made school and learning enjoyable, attainable, and worthwhile.
A few professional tips for teachers to by the way they can encourage a positive and relationship with their students.
Meet each child at their individual starting level. This will allow for the development of an understanding and trusting relationship. Recognize gains and gradually increase with the child’s pace.
Encourage your students to ask for help. When help is requested, attend as soon as possible to the child and acknowledge your delight in him seeking assistance.
Focus on and verbalize daily those positive qualities you notice. Good qualities to recognize include manners, tenacity, helpfulness, conscientiousness, positive attitude, and organization.
Make known your pleasure in him trying. Praise a positive effort, and in response to an incorrect answer, minimize any humiliation by stating, “That was a good try.”
Point out when they’re right. Conversely, when a correct answer is made, point out this accomplishment to the class as a whole.
When giving feedback on work, always begin with a positive statement (however small it may be). Children will be more receptive to constructive feedback when it begins positively and comes from a caring place.
Spend time talking with your students about their thoughts of school, hobbies, friends, and family. Your attempts to get to know them beyond their attendance and test performance will not go unnoticed.
Gain the confidence of the students
A teacher must be seen as trustworthy; that will make students more comfortable when communicating with the teacher. They should see the teacher as confidant, as well as someone who will take care of their emotional needs. This can also encourage teacher-student interaction and participation during classes.
listen to your pupils
Many times our students want to speak to us and we shut them out. This can have negative implications.
More positive interaction with students will create a sense of belonging. For instance, I’ve noticed that when I stop to interact with my students, in almost no time at all, I am surrounded by a number of them who just want to share their thoughts. Sometimes you can actually see the joy on their faces just to know that you actually stopped to listen to them.
Affirm/praise the efforts of your students
This helps to build self-esteem and gives the student a sense of worth. Some teachers like to tell the students that they are not good enough to do a particular task and that is one of the most disheartening things you could do to a child. The student will respect the teachers for their praise and admiration and will even work harder next time.
Treat your students as a part of a team
If students realize that the teacher is using a collaborative approach, this will encourage more class participation that will, in turn, foster team spirit and good relationship between both the teacher and fellow classmates. Teachers should always have the ‘human touch’ in order to give the student a sense of ease.
Show students that they are respected and valued
Allow them to feel that you value their input in whatever you are doing. Encourage them to be respectful by showing them respect. Communicate high expectation to them and help them to maintain such standards by being there to help whenever the need arises. This has to be done in an atmosphere of love and care, especially in young children. Mutual respect must be supported at all times.
December 9, 2013
Increase ‘reinforcement’ quality of classroom: If a student is acting out to be ejected from a classroom, it may be that student does not find the classroom setting and/or routine to be very rewarding. The teacher can make the classroom environment more attractive in a number of ways, including by posting interesting instructional materials (e.g., bulletin board displays), boosting the pace of (and degree of student interaction in) class lecture or discussion, and including additional instructional activities of high interest to students.
Increase adult supervision/surveillance: When the student’s misbehavior is ‘covert’ (hidden), increase the adult supervision in the area. Be sure that all adults supervising a particular school setting agree on what behaviors to single out for positive or negative consequences and know how to get additional assistance if student behaviors get out of hand.
Break student tasks into manageable ‘chunks’: Students may misbehave to escape activities that they find too hard or tedious. Consider breaking a larger task into smaller or easier ‘chunks’ that the student will more willingly undertake. If the student must complete a large number of subtasks, include an occasional ‘fun break’.
Preview rules/behavioral expectations: Some students misbehave because they are impulsive and do not always think through the consequences of their misbehavior before they act. These students can benefit from having the teacher briefly review rules and/or behavioral expectations just before the students go into a potentially challenging situation or setting (e.g., passing through the halls; going to an assembly).
Offer choice: When students are offered opportunities to make simple but meaningful choices in their classroom routine, their behaviors can improve. Examples of choice include permitting students to select who they work with on a project, negotiate when an assignment will be due, and choose what book to read for an assignment.
Preview schedule: Having the teacher preview a student’s schedule daily (or even more frequently) can help those children who seem to misbehave because they do not respond well to unexpected changes in schedule or cannot remember what their schedule is.
Offer help strategies: Misbehavior may occur when students are stuck on a work assignment and do not know how to quickly and appropriately request help without drawing undue attention to themselves. Teachers can address this problem by teaching the entire class how to request assistance in a non-disruptive way
Provide skills instruction: If the teacher determines that a child engages in inappropriate behaviors because the student lacks alternative, ‘replacement’ skills, the instructor should set up a plan to provide the child with the necessary skills. Any skills instruction should include plenty of examples to illustrate the skill-set being taught, demonstration.
Rearrange student seating or classroom setup: If elements of the classroom setting appear to contribute to the student’s behavior problems, consider changing the student’s seating or the classroom setup to reduce these problems. For example a student who is distracted by peers may benefit from having his or her seat moved to a more private corner of the room.
November 25, 2013
I believe that a teacher is someone who becomes through many years of training and experiences in the field. I have not found a teacher who is an expert the first day of their profession. I believe that is urgent for everyone who is a teacher or is planning to become one to get prepare in the field the best they can. All teachers who get prepare will know how to set up rules in the classroom. Those kind of teachers will probably have less problems in their classroom because they will be able to control the classroom.
Schools are one of the first places where kid’s behavior and future educational success is shape. Teachers are carriers of either positive or negative behavior toward students. The reason why the first years of school are so critical is because kids learn the base of their educational life. I believe that teachers must love their career in order for them to pass enthusiasm, to assists, and to provide a warm environment to the students. In my opinion teachers are the second mothers for the students because students spend a lot of time with their teachers. At the same time. I believe a real teacher becomes through many years of training and experiences in the field. The same way, mothers are not born being great mothers but as their experiences with their kids expands they become experts on the field. We know that mothers look the best for their kids and one of their goals is to raise their kids so they can become professionals and pioneers for the society. Some of the mother’s role toward kids is to give them care, love, respect, lead, instruct and to try to form a safe and pleasant environment at their homes. Are these attitudes of the mothers toward their kids related to what the role of the teacher should be with the students in the classroom? If not, what should be the role of the teachers then?
A teacher carries a big responsibility in her classroom. One reason is that all students depend on her/him. Everything the teacher sys will have an impact on the students. If the teacher feels joy of feels anger, it will be spread among children because the attitudes of the teacher gets contagious. If the teacher laughs, students also laugh, why? Because teachers are responsible for the social behavior in the classroom. If something goes wrong the only responsible is the teacher even if it was not their foul.
There are all types of teachers some are better than others. Through my life I had some professors who were well prepared and some who were not. I had some teachers who just came into the class and stared teaching. They did not get involve with the students. I rarely talked to them. Those teachers did not showed any concern about what the students were feeling. One way for a teacher to get students involve in the classroom is to ask them questions. I remembered there were some students at the class that were shy including me who did not have the chance to get involve in the class or to participate. Therefore, I believe the way students act depends on the teacher’s attitude. That is why I strongly recommend all teachers to invite the student to participate in the class. It is very important that teachers encourage students because students will benefit from it.
All teachers have the key to provide a good environment for the students. The benefits of having a pleasant environment are for the teacher and students. But before that happens a teacher needs to be well prepared in order that the students receive the best treat. It is essential and crucial for teachers to be prepared because the first years of school are very important for the students. The future education success of the students depends on their first years. It’s never late to star a bound of a relationship between teacher and students. Consequently, the contact of the students with the teacher is an everyday act. Even though, there will be some days in which students will have impropriate but other days where there will not be a problem at all. As humans, sometimes teachers do things that are not correct however we always have another chance to do it better. In conclusion, I strongly believe that teachers need to show respect, caring, become role models, make a pleasant environment, treat students right, instructs them but not be totalitarian, and guides them through the road of success. The only who gets the benefits are the students and sometimes it could be a negative or positive. Throughout my life I have learned valuable lessons from great teachers but I also had negative impact in my life as well.
November 14, 2013
Has your student recently been diagnosed with a learning disability? Did you immediately begin to worry about how he or she will cope with school? It’s only natural to want the best for your student but academic success, while important, isn’t the end goal. What you really want for your child is a happy and fulfilling life. With encouragement and the right support, your child can build a strong sense of self-confidence and a solid foundation for lifelong success.
Keep things in perspective. A learning disability isn’t insurmountable.
Guide your student that everyone faces obstacles. It’s up to you as a teacher to teach your student as a child of yours, how to deal with those obstacles without becoming discouraged or overwhelmed. Don’t let the tests, school bureaucracy, and endless paperwork distract you from what’s really important—giving your student plenty of emotional and moral support. Where a teacher is not only a person who can guide and tech from the book but also from the world, which is more important for a child with learning disabilities, where a teacher play a vital role in his or her life and career.
Be an advocate for your student. You may have to speak up time and time again to get special help for your student. Embrace your role as a proactive teacher and work on your communication skills. It may be frustrating at times, but by remaining calm and reasonable, yet firm, you can make a huge difference for your student.
Remember that your influence outweighs all others. Your student will follow your lead. If you approach learning challenges with optimism, hard work, and a sense of humor, your student is likely to embrace your perspective—or at least see the challenges as a speed bump, rather than a roadblock. Focus your energy on learning what works for your student and implementing it the best you can.