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Posts Tagged ‘teachers’

Individuality as a Source of Value

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

There is no such thing as a value unless there are people involved. A value is something that provides benefit or opens up the possibility of benefit for someone. Values do not hang like clouds in the air. The have to be attached to people. Values require a constant asking of questions.

  • Who is going to be affected by this?
  • Who is going to benefit?
  • Who is going to be inconvenienced?
  • What will the perceptions be?
  • What are the immediate effects, both short and long term?
  • Will this value be noticed, will people talk about it?
  • Are there any special circumstances where the value will be different?
  • Are there special people for whom this could be a value?

Every educator knows….or should know….that there is no “average” student. If there are characteristics of intelligence, discipline, laziness, energy, trouble making, or boredom, troubles at home, and so on, then an educator knows that every possible combination of these factors will be exhibited in an individual.

The trick is to recognize individuality as a source of value.

By Edward de Bono

Any Teacher

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013
Any teacher can take a child to the classroom, but not every teacher can make him learn. He will not work joyously unless he feels that liberty is his, whether he is busy or at rest; he must feel the flush of victory and the hear-sinking of disappointment before he takes with a will the tasks distasteful to him and resolves to dance his way bravely through a dull routine of textbooks.
Helen Keller

Achieving Succes

Thursday, April 11th, 2013
Levels of student achievement have continued to decrease despite increases in the school resources applied to the learning process over the years.  Few educators would argue that standardized tests are the best measure of school effectiveness.  Yet, there are many technical issues involved in the tests themselves ad how the scores are reported and analyzed.

The reality is that the test results are concise and appealing to the public….. hence important to the school. They also are consequential for individual students, who need good scores to qualify for high school graduation, colleges, and scholarships. So, new approaches to assessment and better tests may be needed in the long run, but in the short run it would be of benefit simply to achieve higher scores. Two effective means to this end currently are available. The first focuses on the test scores directly, while the second reaches beyond the tests to each school’s curriculum and preparation of students to lead productive and fulfilling lives.  This is the technique that eTutor uses to improve the online teaching-learning process

Another effective approach is to develop the study skills which facilitate the learning process…..skills which are not covered in most school curricula. The deeper issue behind raising test scores is the instructional effectiveness of the school. Improvements here mean better-prepared individuals, lifelong learning, and progress for society. An important part of this improvement process involves assessing the needs in various aspects of the instructional program and its operation, then evaluating the progress which results from improvement efforts.


The Changing Face of Teaching and Learning

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Among the impacts of radical change is fundamental uncertainty, a knot-in-the-stomach feeling that what we normally do might not work this time. Fundamental uncertainty makes it easy to visualize a youngster, standing at the chalkboard with his hands in his pockets, completely stumped by the problem before him.

To complicate matters further, fundamental uncertainty has a companion malady …… uncertainty of role. In addition to not knowing what to do, many are beginning to question whether we should be doing (or not doing) what we’re doing (or not doing).  Online learning and the role of teachers exacerbates uncertainty.

America’s schools are not immune to the forces of radical change and the uncertainty it’s causing. In fact, some school people appear numbed by the magnitude of the events driving radical change. Like the young student, they’re stuck at the chalkboard, uncertain of what to do next.  Online learning is a force that educators need to reckon with.  Coming from the outside in, it will radically change the way schooling has traditionally taken place.  Yet, coming from the inside, the promises online learning offer will not be recognized.


Home Alone

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Are you considering leaving your child alone for short periods of time? If so, you are not alone. Statistics show that    occasional self-care is a normal experience for a large number of young children.

An estimated two million to six million children are considered to be “latchkey” children….7 to 10 percent of all five to 13-year-olds. Should your child be staying alone? The answer depends on several factors, according to Christine Todd, extension specialist for child development at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “Self-care can be a rewarding experience for children who are ready for it,” she says. “However, if the child is not ready, self-care can be a frightening and potentially dangerous situation.”

Benefits of self-care by children who are ready for it include increased independence, increased knowledge of self-care skills, increased sense of responsibility, greater self-esteem and a sense of contribution to the family. Concerns related to children who are not ready include reduced learning opportunities and social contacts, increased misbehavior and legal consequences for parents.

Ask yourself the following questions when determining a child’s readiness:

  • Is the child physically capable of taking care of and protecting himself or herself?
  • Is the child mentally capable of recognizing and avoiding danger and making sound decisions?
  • Is the child emotionally ready? Will he/she feel confident and secure or afraid, lonely and bored?
  • Does the child know what to do and who to call if a problem or emergency arises?

There is no “magic age” at which children are ready for self-care, and that other factors besides a child’s age or maturity may influence your decision. For example, if your neighborhood is unsafe, if there are no adults nearby to call in case of emergency, or if your child must remain alone for a very long time, it is best to continue to use some form of child care even if your child seems ready to stay alone.

Adapted from Illinois Association of School Boards.

Face to Face Communicating

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Listening

Recently at a large convention I had an opportunity to view first hand the good and bad in communicating. These tips are great for anyone to use:

  • Always remember that you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.
  • Every individual is a communicator and has credibility with someone.
  • Be genuine and honest. If you don’t know, don’t guess.
  • Be enthusiastic. A spark is essential if you want to motivate enthusiasm in others.
  • Identify key communicators.
  • Use every available means to get people to “witness” quality efforts in action.
  • Encourage visibility.
  • Make communications a part of your objectives each year.
  • Don’t “PR people to death” suddenly.
  • Above all, listen. Listening is a sign of caring, is basic to building responsiveness, and is the key to confidence.

Happy Valentines Day!

Thursday, February 14th, 2013
I took a piece of plastic clay
And idly fashioned it one day,
And as my fingers pressed it, still
It moved and yielded to my will.

I came again when days were past;
The bit of clay was hard at last,
The form I gave it still it bore,
But I could change that form no more!
I took a piece of living clay,
And gently pressed it day by day,
And molded with my power and art
A young child’s soft and yielding heart.

Anon.

Change

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

The only constant in life is CHANGE. Change permeates everything we are and do. People change, plans change. Organizations change. Change is natural, it is normal. Yet, the resistance to change is also just as normal and natural a part of human nature as the acceptance of change. The secret of growth and advancement is learning how to deal with the pressures of change…..turning positive actions to our advantage, while blunting negative ones.

The capacity to be alone is a valuable resource when changes are necessary. In a culture in which interpersonal relationships are considered to provide the answer to every form of distress, it is sometimes difficult to persuade well-meaning helpers that solitude can be as therapeutic as emotional support. (A. Storr, 1988)

Personal change is the most powerful route to system change. Individuals today can leverage change far more effectively than most institutions. (Naisbitt and Aberdene, 1990)  We at Knowledge Headquarters have been fortunate to see change come in a variety of ways to the those we work with. Our greatest challenge has been convincing individuals that they do have power and can initiate change, not only for themselves, but for those around them.

Can-D0 Kids

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

You can motivate your child for successful learning by building self-esteem. Ask your child to describe himself. Do bright, positive, upbeat words come out….smart, good, nice, popular, happy?

Or do you hear…..dumb, fat, mad, broke, and a list of “can’t do” things like can’t read very well, can’t run fast, can’t make friends, can’t do math?

Before a child can achieve learning success, he needs to believe in himself…..have an image of self-worth…..a sense of being capable….a sense of self-esteem. He needs to see himself as a “can-do” kid.

Research shows that these feelings of confidence contribute to success in learning, success in social relationships, and high self-esteem.

My Gift To You….

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

Sometimes I find myself regarding you as a miniature adult; not tall enough to be awarded respect, not subtle enough to be offered consideration.

I give you love as I might offer you a piece of cake, enough, perhaps, to entice your taste and encourage your appetite, but not sufficient to nourish your needs.

The miracle is not that you grow with my love.   The miracle is that you seem to survive my mistakes….

I teach you words, that you might express new and adventurous thoughts of your own.

I teach you to read to enlighten your mind, knowing that knowledge will lead you to unexplored corridors over which I have no control….

I must also prepare you for realities.  I must offer you both…the way the world should be and the way it is…

Take my hand, my child, and we will explore the land.   I will tell you all that I know, and you will show me the secrets of your heart.  It may not be a fair exchange, but it is all I have to give.

I shall lead you only for this short while…how can I find appropriate words that can say only the right things?  How can I find proper answers to answer the question you ask?  How can I teach you when I, myself, am in need of guidance?  How can I be a teacher when much of me is still a child?

Excerpts from “I’ll Show You the Morning Sun”  by David Melton