The Five Day School Trip that Resulted in 7 Students Getting Pregnant

December 22, 2014

prego

This will not go down as one of the most successful school camps of all time:

 

SEVEN girls, aged 13 to 15, have fallen pregnant after a five-day school trip to their country’s capital city and their parents are being blamed.

The schoolgirls, from the city of Banja Luka, went to the Bosnia and Herzegovina capital, Sarajevo.

Nenad Babici, the National Coordinator for Reproductive Health of the Republika, told Inserbia.info that it was discovered that the seven schoolgirls fell pregnant on the school trip.

The school in Banja Luka had taken 28 girls to the nation’s capital city for a five-day trip to visit museums and historic sights in the city, ranked among the finest in the world.

Furious parents are demanding to know why there was such a lack of teacher supervision, reported the Daily Mail.

However, Babici blamed parents for not educating their children properly.

 

Click on the link to read School Distributes Condoms to 6th Graders

Click on the link to read Should High Schools Install Condom Vending Machines?

Click on the link to read Teaching Union Wants Porn on the National Curriculum

Click on the link to read Adding Sex Education to the Curriculum Comes at the Expense of Something Else

Click on the link to read 3rd Graders Perform Sex Act in the Classroom Without Being Noticed

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I Would Like to Write “Fired” on This Teacher’s Forehead

December 21, 2014

stupid

If the allegation in this story is true the actions of the teacher in question should be dealt with swiftly. Teachers who do this type of thing do not deserve a second chance:

 

A lot of teachers may think this about their pupils but they should never say (or write) it.

An educator in Tennessee, USA, is in trouble after reportedly writing ‘stupid’ on a student’s forehead because he didn’t like a question he was asked, according to WSMV-TV.

The math teacher even took the trouble to scribe it backwards so it would appear correctly when the pupil looked in the mirror.

‘We’re here to help the children and not to hurt them,’ said Overton County Schools director Matt Eldridge.

He added: ‘One word can break a child. I mean, I’ve got three children. I wouldn’t want it done to mine.’

Ironically the educator could now be considered stupid after receiving an indefinite suspension from Allons Elementary.

Eldridge added: ‘The teacher said, “I was trying to joke with him,” and of course, I said, “that’s not the way you joke with anyone”.’

 

Click on the link to read Hugging Students Should be a Crime Not an Excuse

Click on the link to read PE Teacher Caught on Camera (Video)

Click on the link to read Sometimes You Need to Expect Rudeness

Click on the link to read Do We Learn Enough From Children?

Click on the link to read Kids as Young as 7 Diagnosed with Anorexia

Click on the link to read The Destructive Impact of the “Fashion Police” Brigade

List of Kids Books that Would Make Great Christmas Gifts

December 20, 2014

gifts

List courtesy of The Huffington Post:

 

 

  • Up & Down by Britta Teckentrup
    Sometimes the simplest books are the best, and this story about two penguins trying to reach each other across a great divide is lovely. The youngest readers will love learning about directions as they lift flaps that take the penguins inside and outside of dark tunnels, in front of dolphins and behind sharks, and up and down icebergs until they’re together at last.

 

  • Before After by Anne-Margot Ramstein & Matthias Arégui
    An enormous book of paired illustrations each showing a different before and after will keep your children entertained for hours. The absence of text allows them to tell their own stories, and you may be surprised with what they come up with.

 

  • Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall
    Poor Red. It says red on his label, so he must be red. Except Red isn’t. He’s blue. Everyone tries to help him be a better red, until one day he makes a new friend who likes him just the way he is. Funny and clever, with a wonderful message about embracing who we are, Red is a great addition to anyone’s holiday list.

 

  • Kid Sheriff And The Terrible Toads by Bob Shea, Illustrated by Lane Smith
    There is only one thing that can save Drywater Gulch from the outlaws: 7-year old Sheriff Ryan, paleontologist and lawman extraordinaire. He may ride a tortoise, but he’s quick on the draw when it comes to capturing criminals.

 

  • Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton
    In another boldly illustrated book, Chris Haughton introduces us to four bumbling friends with a plan to capture a beautiful bird. After a night of disasters, you’d think they’d learn their lesson, and they do. Until they see a squirrel.

 

  • I Wanna Go Home by Karen Kaufman Orloff, Illustrated by David Catrow
    Not everyone likes to go stay with their grandparents when their parents fly off to Bora Bora. I’ve never been to Bora Bora, but I hear it’s lovely and definitely better than playing bridge for a week at Happy Hills Retirement Community. That’s what young Alex thinks, until he discovers that grandparents can be surprisingly cool, like when they let you use their bingo winnings to buy ice cream — or fingerpaint the kitchen. Sometimes, the best trips are those you dread most.

 

 

 

  • Animalium, Curated by Katie Scott and Jenny Broom
    This book is an extraordinary collection of information about the vast variety of Earth’s animals, from the smallest insect to the largest whale. It’s a portable museum, open anytime you want to visit. The book is glorious — full of oversized drawings reminiscent of old-fashioned botany or Audubon prints you can only find in rare book shops. The pages are luxurious — weighty in your hands and demanding long hours of uninterrupted attention. You’ll be enchanted, and so will your kids. (Originally featured in “26 Entertaining And Educational Books For Back-To-School Season”)

 

  • With the rate of deforestation and habitat destruction, it probably isn’t long before many of the gorgeous birds we know and love go the way of the Dodo or the Roc. But never fear, Aviary Wonders Inc.’s Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual is here to help! Design your own birds (mix ‘n’ match wings, bodies, beaks and tails), and Aviary Wonders will provide you with parts, assembly instructions and troubleshooting should your new bird fail to perform as expected. Pointed, wry, and completely original, Kate Samworth’s debut picture book is as disturbing as it is memorable. (Originally featured in “20 Terrific Books To Read With Your Kids This Spring”)

Read the rest of this entry »

New Graph Revealing How Much Time is Spent on Homework Around the World

December 18, 2014

homework

Those who are against homework are probably shaking their heads right now.

 

Click on the link to read What is Your Position on the Homework Debate?

Click on the link to read The Adult Version of the Dog that Ate my Homework

Click on the link to read Fourth Graders Quizzed about Infidelity in Homework Assignment

Click on the link to read Young Child Shows Dissatisfaction with his Homework (Photo)

Click on the link to read Why I Changed My Mind About Homework

Young Girl Pens Angry Letter to Tooth Fairy

December 17, 2014

tooth

This is what happens when the tooth fairy proves unreliable and plays favorites.

 

Click on the link to read Gift Ideas for Children that Are Not Toys

Click on the link to read When Parents Get Busted!

Click on the link to read The Inconvenient Truth Kids Style

Click on the link to read The Quality Most Parents Want to Teach Their Children

Click on the link to read Are Our Expectations for Children Too High?

Click on the link to read 25 Ways to Approach the Dreaded ‘How was School Today?’ Question

 

 

Nine-Year-Old Writes a Stunning Letter to Teacher After He Reveals He is Gay

December 16, 2014

gay

No one can exemplify acceptance like a child can!

 

Click on the link to read What’s in a Name?

Click on the link to read 10 Ways to Move Forward in Teaching as Well as Life in General

Click on the link to read 5 Ways the System Could Better Recognise Teachers

Click on the link to read Teachers, Lay Down Your Guns

Things Middle School Students Wish We Knew

December 15, 2014

middle

Courtesy of weareteachers.com via  :

 

1. I was not trying to get attention by falling off the chair. I am approximately infinity inches bigger than I was yesterday and I just lost track of how to balance. I felt like an idiot so I made falling into a joke. Crying was the other choice. And I’d rather cut off my arm than cry in school.

2. I did that homework. I am almost positive I did it. Getting it from done to folder to backpack to school to you is like seven extra homeworks. That is too many. It’s also possible I forgot to do the homework. I honestly have no idea where my planner is. Or maybe the homework was completely confusing and if I asked for help people might think I am stupid now when that used to be my best subject.

3. That time I called you Mom was the most humiliating moment of my life. It’s one thing in second grade but middle school? Ugh. How does this stuff still happen to me?

4. When you force us to get up—do stuff, act it out, test our ideas—it wakes us up and makes the lesson so much more fun and easy to remember.

5. Sometimes I just can’t focus. I’m buzzy, jumpy, pumped with electricity. Somebody suddenly looks distractingly attractive, across the room, which is fully that other person’s fault, not mine. Or I don’t get what we’re discussing and the pain of not understanding is so excruciating I just have to take a break from paying attention.

6. It feels awesome when you notice something special about me. When you value a skill or interest of mine, you give me a route in to subjects I didn’t think I’d like—and make me feel like I have something worth sharing.

7. What you tell me about myself matters way more than I hope you know. When you tell me I am something—smart, brave, kind, stupid, a trouble-maker, creative, a writer, a mathematician, funny, hard-working—I believe you.

8. I like it when you’re sarcastic but not when you’re harsh. When you say something ironically and I get it, I feel smart and mature. But when you’re mocking in a sharper way, it feels mean and a little scary.

9. Respect me. There are lots of things I already know about myself. Some I want to talk about, A LOT, and it means so much to me when you find time to include me (and it) in class. But lots of other things about me, I’m not ready to discuss, and especially not in class.

10. If you call on me and I am flat-out wrong, please don’t humiliate me. I’m already praying for a hole to open up in the floor and swallow me. It’s hard for me to believe that not knowing isn’t shameful but is instead a good starting point for learning. Help me.

And one bonus extra thing: You are suddenly one of the most important adults in my whole world. How you respond to me affects everything. Please be tough. Please be gentle. Especially when I am neither.

 

Click on the link to read Watch a Classic Argument in Action (Video)

Click on the link to read 7 Things a Quiet Student Wishes Their Teacher Knew

Click on the link to read Skills That Aren’t Taught But Should Be: #1 People Skills

Click on the link to read Top 10 Most Unusual School Bans

Click on the link to read Rules that Restrict the Teacher and Enslave the Student

Teacher Forced to Defend Moving a Child to the Front of the Class

December 14, 2014

front

A complaint to the Anti-Discrimination Board against a teacher for doing nothing more than sitting a child to the front of the classroom is a move that should concern all teachers. What teacher hasn’t moved unfocused or unsettled children to the front of the classroom? Discrimination?  I would argue that it is discriminatory not to do anything one can to help your students receive the best possible education.

 

A mother of a year 5 student in NSW complained to the Anti-Discrimination Board because his teacher made him sit up the front of the classroom and referred him to ESL classes.

Ling Mei Zhong complained that the state Department of Education and Communities had discriminated against her son because he is Chinese and wears glasses.

The President of the ADB declined to take action, saying the complaint of direct race discrimination lacked substance.

Ms Zhong took the matter to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. During a hearing last month the boy’s teacher said she placed him at the front of the classroom so she could monitor him because he was distracting other students and was easily distracted himself.

The Tribunal heard the boy commenced at the unnamed government primary school in 2012 and was selected for an “opportunity class”. In May that year he was diagnosed with myopia (shortsightedness) and four months later he began wearing glasses.

Ms Zhong claimed the seating arrangement “adversely affected” and had a “bad effect” on her son. Additionally, she said it would have been a waste of time for him to attend ESL (English as a second language) classes because his English language skills were good.

At Ms Zhong’s insistence, the teacher changed the location of the boy’s desk in term 3 but Ms Zhong was not satisfied. She pulled him out of the school and enrolled him elsewhere.

 

Click on the link to read 10 Tips for Teachers on how to Improve Their Work/Life Balance

Click on the link to read News Flash: Teachers Make Mistakes!

Click on the link to read Is There a More Undervalued Career than Teaching?

Click on the link to read Tribute to the Fallen Teachers

Click on the link to read  You Can’t Expect Your Students to be Flexible If You Aren’t

Click on the link to read How Many Teachers Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb? (Part 1)

The Questions that Great Teachers Ask Every Day

December 11, 2014

question

Courtesy of the wonderful Mark Barnes. I particularly like question 3:

 

1-What if my homework assignments are a waste of time?

Facebook is rife with parent complaints about homework. There are numerous Facebook pages and groups dedicated to abolishing the horrible homework practices that contribute nothing to learning and ignite a hatred of school in many children. Here is one example of traditional homework that a friend recently posted; oh, it’s worth noting that this homework was for a seven-year-old:

Tuesday homework: 1. Math worksheet 2. Read aloud 1 page story, answer 3 comprehension questions and have it signed 3. Put 14 spelling words in ABC order 4. Sort all spelling words by noun, verb, adjective, or “other” 5. Pick a word from each category and write a sentence, underlining the spelling words 6. Read 26 page storybook aloud, have sheet signed 7. “Optional homework” read silently for 20 minutes.

Great teachers recognize that burying a second grader in piles of senseless homework serves no purpose. Spelling homework is one of the biggest wastes of time in the history of bad homework. The only useful part of the above assignment is the optional part–voluntary reading. This homework assignment is a crutch for either an ill-prepared newbie or a tired veteran who lives in a that’s-the-way-I’ve-always-done-it world.

2-What if my students use mobile devices?

A fantastic, fearless teacher understands that learning simply can’t be measured.

Today’s classrooms are filled with iStudents. Kids who come to school with billions of resources in the palms of their hands, only to be told by teachers and school administrators to leave these powerful assets in their lockers or, worse, at home. Great teachers realize that we live in the digital age, and they are not threatened by the idea that students can become amazing independent learners, using mobile learning devices, web tools and social media. The best teachers realize that embracing mobile learning is the future of education.

3-What if my planned class activity is boring?

Far too many teachers rely on ancient textbooks, dusty worksheets, canned lectures, and last year’s multiple choice tests as their go-to teaching tools. “Kids need discipline, and learning doesn’t have to be fun,” they argue. Great teachers, though, say “Learning should always be fun.” Great teachers envision lessons and class activities and say, “If it isn’t going to be engaging and fun,” I’m throwing it out.

4-What if my room is noisy and chaotic?

A teacher walked into my classroom one day and said, “Wow! It’s kind of crazy in here.” When I informed her that we liked it this way, she shrugged, shook her head and quickly disappeared. For a very long time, my classroom was quiet and orderly. Students wouldn’t dream of leaving their seats without permission, and most would consider peeing their pants before asking me for a bathroom break. Fear and control were the order of the day, and learning was at best a rumor. After one amazing summer of change, I rebuilt my attitude and my classroom. Students worked collaboratively, moved about freely, talked openly, laughed, jumped, shouted and, best of all, had fun. Show me a silent room, and I’m betting it’s a place that is bereft of real learning.

5-What if I don’t grade this?

The thought of a class without traditional grades makes many teachers shudder and scoff. A fantastic, fearless teacher understands that learning simply can’t be measured. It’s impossible to effectively assess with numbers, percentages and letters. The best teachers give their students objective feedback. They observe and ask questions; they provide alternatives. Most important, they encourage students to revisit prior learning and rework activities in an effort to achieve mastery. The best teachers help kids understand that failure is necessary and should never be punished with a low mark.

6-What if the Common Core is just another bad idea concocted by bureaucrats?

Even if they think the Common Core might be a good thing (there’s no evidence right now that it is), the best teachers question Common Core State Standards and high stakes testing every day of their lives. Great teachers may see how the Common Core can be successfully integrated into some classes, but they always wonder if their own standards and learning outcomes that their students want are the best standards for our children. The best teachers know how to teach. They don’t need a prescription dreamed up by nonprofits to tell them what is right for their students.

 

Click on the link to read Learning as an Experience

Click on the link to read I Love it When Teachers are Excited to Come to Work

Click on the link to read Every Science Teacher’s Worst Nightmare (Video)

10 Tips for Teachers on how to Improve Their Work/Life Balance

December 10, 2014

 

tired

For most of my working life I have been a full time teacher and primary caregiver for my dear children. The immense workload has forced me to become more organised and has necessitated a high level of routine. Still, striking a fair balance is a problem I have yet to conquer sufficiently.

My number one rule is to avoid doing any planning, marking or reporting while my children are awake. This does mean that I push those things off until very late at night, but it is important to me that my children have my undivided attention.

Here are some other tips courtesy of theguardian.com:

 

Give students word limits to ease marking

When I taught English I found it worked well sometimes to give pupils a word limit. If they couldn’t write at too great a length, they were far more selective and thoughtful about what they included, the quality of their writing went up and my marking load went down – a win-win situation. Also, writing succinctly and within constraints is a good life skill for students to have in the future.

Jill Berry is former headteacher of Dame Alice Harpur school in Bedford and an education consultant.

If you’re fit and healthy you’ll perform better in class

Things like having a hobby or making sure you get a good eight hours’ sleep a night can make the world of difference. What makes teaching unique is that teachers personally invest in their students and the success of their school, which can make it harder to switch off. But we strongly believe that healthier teachers can lead to higher marks. Abesenteeism is costly but presenteeism is also a growing problem. So don’t feel guilty about taking time for yourself. If you are fit and healthy – physically and mentally – you will be able to perform better in the classroom and do the best for your pupils.

– Julian Stanley is chief executive of the Teacher Support Network.

Think about when you work best

Think about the quality of time as well as the quantity available. About 20% of a working day is prime time and, used well, should produce 80% of your best work. The rest of your time will be nowhere near as productive, so it’s worth recognising which part of the day is best for you and maximising it to get something demanding done rather than flogging yourself when you’re tired.

– Sara Bubb works in the Department of Early Years and Primary Education at the Institute of Education.

Change your mindset

Stepping out of the “victim” mindset and being more assertive about what you can and can’t do, and will and won’t do, is one way of achieving a better work-life balance.

The only thing is, there is always something more you can do. You can always put a little bit more effort into supporting a child with special educational needs, trying to close the gap between boys and girls, or pupils on free school meals and others. There is no limit to what you can do and it’s probably that that prevents teachers from switching off after work.

– Agnieszka Karch is a research team leader at The Key for School Leaders.

Don’t take your work home with you

Work professional hours (I get to school at 7am and leave around 4.30pm) and if it’s not done within those hours it cannot be that important. Have a prioritised to-do list and stick with it. Planning for progress and providing feedback to the children should always be at the top of this list. This will lead to improved outcomes for pupils and if your results stack up then the powers-that-be will have nothing to throw at you.

Joe Durham is a qualified secondary teacher and co-founder of the Timemanagement4teachers website.

Make time to socialise

When we feel stressed, anxious or depressed we may shy away from social events. However, connecting with the people around you (your family, friends, colleagues, neighbours) and actively building these relationships/creating a support network is extremely important for your mental health.

– Nicola Kershaw is a mental health and wellbeing advocate working with a number of charities including Mind and Time to Change.

Support others and be supported

Work with the strengths of the people around you and actively seek support from them, if you need it. Actively give support too: someone needs to start a change of direction and you could be the one to do it.

Andrew Staples is a primary teacher working four days a week in school with targeted intervention groups across key stage 1 and 2.

Look at things mathematically

I often look at teacher workloads mathematically. In the US, we see a lot of folks complaining about paperwork because lots of our time is occupied by things that seem unrelated to what’s actually happening in our day-to-day. For example, why have all these meetings to talk about pedagogy when we could easily grade a set of papers so we don’t have to take them home?

Remarks about “spurious data entry and analysis” are critical too; we really have to start looking at what data matters and what information we glean from it. Unfortunately, that gets lost in trying to become data managers.

– José Luis Vilson is a maths teacher for a middle school in New York City.

If you’re struggling speak out

What’s most important is that all teachers feel confident to speak out if they feel overwhelmed. Don’t shy away from showing what you fear might be considered weakness and share your concerns with supportive leaders. We need to be at our best to make a difference.

– Oliver Beach is a 2012 Teach First ambassador and appeared in the BBC documentary Tough Young Teachers.

 

Click on the link to read News Flash: Teachers Make Mistakes!

Click on the link to read Is There a More Undervalued Career than Teaching?

Click on the link to read Tribute to the Fallen Teachers

Click on the link to read  You Can’t Expect Your Students to be Flexible If You Aren’t

Click on the link to read How Many Teachers Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb? (Part 1)

Click on the link to read The Classroom Shouldn’t be a War Zone for Our Teachers


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