Archive for September, 2014

“11 Habits of an Effective Teacher”

I really appreciate teachers who are truly passionate about teaching. The teacher who wants to be an inspiration to others. The teacher who is happy with his/her job at all times. The teacher that every other child in the school would love to have. The teacher that kids remember for the rest of their lives. Are you that teacher? Read on and learn 11 effective habits of an effective teacher.

 ENJOYS TEACHING.

Teaching is meant to be a very enjoyable and rewarding career field (although demanding and exhausting at times!). You should only become a teacher if you love children and intend on caring for them with your heart. You cannot expect the kids to have fun if you are not having fun with them! If you only read the instructions out of a textbook, it’s ineffective. Instead, make your lessons come alive by making it as interactive and engaging as possible. Let your passion for teaching shine through each and everyday. Enjoy every teaching moment to the fullest.

 MAKES A DIFFERENCE.

There is a saying, “With great power, comes great responsibility”. As a teacher, you need to be aware and remember the great responsibility that comes with your profession. One of your goals ought to be: Make a difference in their lives. How? Make them feel special, safe and secure when they are in your classroom. Be the positive influence in their lives. Why? You never know what your students went through before entering your classroom on a particular day or what conditions they are going home to after your class. So, just in case they are not getting enough support from home, at least you will make a difference and provide that to them.

 SPREADS POSITIVITY.

Bring positive energy into the classroom every single day. You have a beautiful smile so don’t forget to flash it as much as possible throughout the day. I know that you face battles of your own in your personal life but once you enter that classroom, you should leave all of it behind before you step foot in the door. Your students deserve more than for you to take your frustration out on them. No matter how you are feeling, how much sleep you’ve gotten or how frustrated you are, never let that show. Even if you are having a bad day, learn to put on a mask in front of the students and let them think of you as a superhero (it will make your day too)! Be someone who is always positive, happy and smiling. Always remember that positive energy is contagious and it is up to you to spread it. Don’t let other people’s negativity bring you down with them.

GETS PERSONAL.

This is the fun part and absolutely important for being an effective teacher! Get to know your students and their interests so that you can find ways to connect with them. Don’t forget to also tell them about yours! Also, it is important to get to know their learning styles so that you can cater to each of them as an individual. In addition, make an effort to get to know their parents as well. Speaking to the parents should not be looked at as an obligation but rather, an honour. In the beginning of the school year, make it known that they can come to you about anything at anytime of the year. In addition, try to get to know your colleagues on a personal level as well. You will be much happier if you can find a strong support network in and outside of school.

 GIVES 100%.

Whether you are delivering a lesson, writing report cards or offering support to a colleague – give 100%. Do your job for the love of teaching and not because you feel obligated to do it. Do it for self-growth. Do it to inspire others. Do it so that your students will get the most out of what you are teaching them. Give 100% for yourself, students, parents, school and everyone who believes in you. Never give up and try your best – that’s all that you can do. (That’s what I tell the kids anyway!)

STAYS ORGANIZED.

Never fall behind on the marking or filing of students’ work. Try your best to be on top of it and not let the pile grow past your head! It will save you a lot of time in the long run. It is also important to keep an organized planner and plan ahead! The likelihood of last minute lesson plans being effective are slim. Lastly, keep a journal handy and jot down your ideas as soon as an inspired idea forms in your mind. Then, make a plan to put those ideas in action.

 IS OPEN-MINDED.

As a teacher, there are going to be times where you will be observed formally or informally (that’s also why you should give 100% at all times). You are constantly being evaluated and criticized by your boss, teachers, parents and even children. Instead of feeling bitter when somebody has something to say about your teaching, be open-minded when receiving constructive criticism and form a plan of action. Prove that you are the effective teacher that you want to be. Nobody is perfect and there is always room for improvement. Sometimes, others see what you fail to see.

HAS STANDARDS.

Create standards for your students and for yourself. From the beginning, make sure that they know what is acceptable versus what isn’t. For example, remind the students how you would like work to be completed. Are you the teacher who wants your students to try their best and hand in their best and neatest work? Or are you the teacher who couldn’t care less? Now remember, you can only expect a lot if you give a lot. As the saying goes, “Practice what you preach”.

FINDS INSPIRATION.

An effective teacher is one who is creative but that doesn’t mean that you have to create everything from scratch! Find inspiration from as many sources as you can. Whether it comes from books, education, Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, blogs, TpT or what have you, keep finding it!

EMBRACES CHANGE.

In life, things don’t always go according to plan. This is particularly true when it comes to teaching. Be flexible and go with the flow when change occurs. An effective teacher does not complain about changes when a new principal arrives. They do not feel the need to mention how good they had it at their last school or with their last group of students compared to their current circumstances. Instead of stressing about change, embrace it with both hands and show that you are capable of hitting every curve ball that comes your way!

CREATES REFLECTIONS.

An effective teacher reflects on their teaching to evolve as a teacher. Think about what went well and what you would do differently next time. You need to remember that we all have “failed” lessons from time to time. Instead of looking at it as a failure, think about it as a lesson and learn from it. As teachers, your education and learning is ongoing. There is always more to learn and know about in order to strengthen your teaching skills. Keep reflecting on your work and educating yourself on what you find are your “weaknesses” as we all have them! The most important part is recognizing them and being able to work on them to improve your teaching skills.

There are, indeed, several other habits that make an effective teacher but these are the ones that I find most important. Many other character traits can be tied into these ones as well.

LAST WORD: There is always something positive to be found in every situation but it is up to you to find it. Keep your head up and teach happily for the love of education!

 

“Mistakes Improve Children’s Learning”

Everyone makes mistakes and children are no exception. What’s important is how we learn from them. Yet, children grow up in a society that pressures them to be perfect and intelligent–to achieve the highest SAT scores, land prized scholarships, and get into the best universities. Parents reinforce this pressure at home when they cover up children’s mistakes, correct homework to improve grades, or drill knowledge into kids until they get it right. Stress is increased when children are constantly praised for their intelligence. How does this focus on perfection and IQ affect learning? And how can we help children and teens believe in themselves by accepting their mistakes and learning from them?

A recent Scientific American article, Getting it Wrong: Surprising Tips on How to Learn, supports a number of learning and developmental theories. Historically, many educators have created conditions for learning that do not encourage errors. And parents have followed suit. For example, if we drill children over and over again with the same math problem, they will eventually remember the answer. And if they are lucky, they will remember the answer on a standardized test.

This approach to learning assumes that if students are allowed to make mistakes, they will not learn the correct information. However, recent research shows this to be an incorrect assumption. In fact, studies have found that learning is enhanced when children make mistakes!

Whether it involves homework, developing friendships, or playing soccer, learning is enriched through error. Making mistakes is part of how kids are challenged to learn to do things differently. It motivates them to try new approaches.

The importance of challenging children, even if they get things wrong. Her research shows that praising children for their intelligence can actually make them less likely to persist in the face of challenge. She and her colleagues followed hundreds of 5th grade children in New York City schools. One group was praised for their intelligence while the other group was praised for their effort.

When the 5th graders were challenged with an extremely difficult test designed for 8th graders, a surprising result occurred. The students who had been praised for their effort worked very hard, even though they made a lot of mistakes. The kids praised for being smart became discouraged and saw their mistakes as a sign of failure. Intelligence testing for the kids praised for their effort increased by 30% while the kids praised for their intelligence dropped by 20%.

Dweck’s work, described in the book Mind Set: The New Psychology of Success reminds parents that glowing, unconditional praise that masks errors and mistakes is harmful to children’s development. Being too quick with praise can be as detrimental as correcting homework mistakes that would have provided opportunities for learning.
Children make many kinds of mistakes. Some mistakes, like forgetting a homework assignment or not studying for an important test, have expected consequences. Others like lying, cheating, or actions that negatively affect friendships, have more complicated causes and are more complex to remedy. But all mistakes contain seeds of learning.

Ten Parenting Guidelines that Help Kids Learn from Mistakes

  • Acknowledge that you don’t expect your children to be perfect.
  • Let them know your love is unconditional, regardless of their mistakes or lapses in judgment.
  • Don’t rescue children from their mistakes. Instead, help them focus on the solution.
  • Provide examples of your own mistakes, the consequences, and how you learned from them.
  • Encourage them to take responsibility for their mistakes and not blame others.
  • Avoid pointing out their past mistakes. Instead, focus on the one at hand.
  • Praise them for their ability to admit their mistakes.
  • Praise them for their efforts and courage to overcome setbacks.
  • Mentor them on how to apologize when their mistakes have hurt others.
  • Help them look at the good side of getting things wrong!

Courtesy School Educators

Place for Study

Generally, you should be able to study anywhere, in crowded bus, in library, in garden or in canteen. But some places are better than others for study. You should study in a place where you can study well and with full concentration. There are few things which you have to consider for choosing place for study.

Always study in a same place – your study room.

Select a place for your study; it may be your room in home or dormitory. Always study in that very place. Always study in that room. Using same place for daily study makes you habitual of study in that place. By studying in same place, you accept mentally that it is the place of your study. so whenever you go to that place (your study room etc), you will be automatically tempted to study. In same place you study with more concentration than changing your place daily because in new place you will come across things which steal away your concentration.

Use study-chair and table for your study.

Sitting on a chair for study, having book in front of you on your table is best way for study. Studying on chair helps you focus more on your books. You sit alert and active.

How should be your study room?

Make sure that your study place is well-lit, properly ventilated, peaceful and neither too hot nor too cold. You should have all your study books and pens on table in your room so that you may not go frequently to fetch books. There should be a clock on the wall which shows you the time.

Study in a place with no or less distractions.

Your study place should be free from such things which may absorb your attention, i.e television, music, changing color bulbs, maps etc.Similarly, study in quiet place free from sound distractions.
Don’t be comfort loving while study.

Never study in a bed or on comfortable sofa. If you lie on a bed and study, sleep is likely to ensue.
Courtesy School of Educators

Happy Teacher’s Day

Teachers-Day-2014-Greeting-Cards-Download

Remember all words he say
Words to make you social
Words to make you special
He is our teacher
He is our guide
Lets make him feel pride

Datasheet of class IX-XII

Datesheet of Class IX-XII

Getting Students to believe in themselves

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A great teacher once told me, “It doesn’t matter where you start in life…what counts is where you decide to finish.” I can’t begin to tell you the impact those words have had on my life.
I grew up (started) in one of the toughest inner city ghettos in Miami, son of a teenage mother, in a crime-ridden, drug-infested neighbourhood; and I had friends who were known felons. To make matters worse, no one in my family had ever graduated from high school, let alone attended college, and my average grades and low standardized test scores insured that I probably wouldn’t be the first. Trust me, nothing sabotages future success like memories of past failures.

After graduating from college (with honours), and being voted “Student of the Year” at my university, I was constantly asked, what caused my dramatic turnaround in college? My reply has always been, “My academic career changed when I started to believe in myself.”

As simple as the concept of self confidence is, I credit my teachers for helping me to find it as a student. All of my life I had been reminded as a student about what I couldn’t do and what I couldn’t or wouldn’t accomplish. However, I was fortunate enough to meet two teachers who were able to look beyond my problems and see my potential. It wasn’t until I started to see what they saw that I begin to “live up” to my potential as a student. To this day, I believe the best gift you can give a student is belief in their future.

I soon discovered that I wasn’t as gifted as most of my peers, but I did indeed have a gift. I discovered that the issue wasn’t “how smart I was,” but rather “how was I smart” ( i.e., how did I learn best). Once I discovered to focus on my strengths and not my weaknesses, I begin to tap into resources I never knew I had. You must help your students focus on their strengths until they believe in those strengths for themselves.
As educators, our job is to get students to see the end from the beginning…not where they are, but rather where they would like to go and the person they’d like to become. My mother said it best, “Until you can see yourself as you could be, then you’ll never be what you should be.” Help your students focus on the possibilities, not the potholes along the path. Show them that academics without self awareness is worthless; knowledge of self is truly the highest form of education one can ever hope to achieve.

As you prepare your students for the future, constantly ask them, “How would the person you like to become, do the thing you’re about to do?” Then get them to apply this question to all areas of their life, including study habits, work ethic, mental attitude, etc. Who knows, maybe, they too will decide to finish as a winner, in spite of their starting point.
Courtesy School of Educators

Top three student behaviour challenges in the classroom.

Disinterested students? Distracted students? Defiant students? It’s tough teaching in a classroom where a combination of these students can create a less than conducive learning environment. It’s important therefore to be aware that it is possible to address all of these behaviour problems by careful planning and attentiveness to the dynamics of the classroom.

One of the most important steps to take when beginning with the class each year is to lay down the ground rules of behaviour. While many of us may think it’s just common sense that a child shouldn’t talk if the teacher is trying to teach, or that a child should not challenge a teacher or rest his head on the table as and when he feels like it, students do need to have these rules of expected behaviour established. Often, some students want to test the boundaries. And often, they respect the rules when it is re-established each year by a new teacher. The reality is that many teachers do not actively acknowledge expected rules of behavior and students get away with stretching them.

In the case of extreme behaviour such as physically violent behaviour or willful disobedience in the classroom, the teacher must always strive to identify the reason for the behavior. It is always helpful to know your students. Some students may not normally display such behaviour. It helps when a teacher knows that a personal problem such as a clash with another student or a family situation has led to the erroneous behaviour. At times such as this, a quiet chat with the student can work wonders. It often works best to intervene unobtrusively to diffuse potential flare-ups. Separating students or giving a student time out by getting him to sit by himself away from the class can allow students the opportunity to reflect on their behaviour. It is always best to follow up with a quiet chat with the student to ensure awareness of the unacceptable behaviour. Always get students to identify their own errors – it ensures self-awareness and accountability.

On the other hand, some students are consistently badly behaved. In dealing with such students it is often necessary to talk with the students privately about their behaviour. Often, when students realize that a teacher is genuinely interested in them they will reconsider their behaviour. As students enter the classroom, the teacher could quietly greet a regularly disruptive student and ask Are we going to be well-behaved today? Often, the reminder is all the student needs to try to maintain control of bad behaviour. In dealing with the most distracting behaviours, it is best that the school supports the teacher in the classroom. Once students know that the school has clear, effective consequences in place for bad behaviour, and that their teachers are aware of and willing to follow through with the line of action, they are more likely to watch their behaviour. When students experience inconsistencies in the follow-through actions of teachers, they take advantage of the situation.

Finally, lesson planning. When students are actively engaged in class they are less likely to be disruptive or disinterested in class. It can be difficult catering to the varying needs and styles of students, but a skillful teacher will attempt to craft lessons that incorporate a variety of activities that will engage every student in the class. Students can easily become bored or disengaged when assigned work is too difficult or insufficient assistance is given to them. Recognize which students may require some additional help and plan for it within the classroom. As invaluable as group activities can be, disruptive students often take advantage of the situation and create a noisy, ineffective learning environment. Clear rules and monitoring on the part of teachers will ensure this is controlled.
When students experience successes in their learning and behaviour, they are less likely to act up in class. Every teacher can be effective in creating a classroom conducive for learning. All it calls for is consistency in action, consideration for the student and careful planning.