We Are Too Soft on Teachers Who Have Sex With Their Students

September 18, 2014

 

awful

Every day there are new reports of teachers caught engaging in sexual affairs with their students. And these are only the ones the have been caught!

I want a message sent loud and clear to the teaching fraternity that this kind of behaviour is extremely serious and wont be tolerated. I want mandatory minimum sentences for teachers that are found to be engaging in sexual relationships with their students. Even if they are consensual and even if they are no longer considered a minor. It is abhorrent and should be dealt with accordingly.

But it was love!

It was consensual!

It was just an innocent fling!

No excuses! Teachers have a responsibility to act with dignity and common sense.

 

Click on the link to read Why Teaching and Politics Should not Mix

Click on the link to read Abusing the Privillege of Teaching Children

Click on the link to read Teacher Allegedly Has Cocaine Delivered to School

Click on the link to read Dealing Softly with Bad Teachers Sends the Wrong Message to Students

Click on the link to read Up to 1 in 10 US Students Have an Inappropriate Relationship With Their Teacher

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Are Our Expectations for Children Too High?

September 16, 2014

shave

 

I believe very strongly in setting firm but fair expectations for my students when it comes to behaviour, respect for others and effort. But in doing so, I must be mindful not to overburden them. The last thing I want is for them to drown in unrealistic expectation.

Author and speaker put together a list of unfair expectations parents put on their kids:

 

1. Always be in a good mood.

Isn’t it upsetting when you come home from a long day of work and your kids are in a bad mood? You worked hard all day to put food in their bellies; the least they can do is not add to your stress. Right?

I’ve felt this way, but the thing I had to realize is that they have bad days too. It might have been that irritating kid at school or a teacher in a bad mood, it could have even been their other parent, but our children experience things throughout their day that will put them in a bad mood, just like us.

We have to cut them some slack at times; they have issues to deal with too. Do you remember how crazy being young felt at times? They’re not always going to be in a good mood, and we have to learn to accept that. Don’t misunderstand me, if your child is ALWAYS in a bad mood, that’s a different story.

2. Be perfect in school.

It’s natural to want your children to study hard and breeze through school like Doogie Howser, MD, but you have to remember that was a TV show! In real life, children learn things differently. It’s our job to guide them, not punish them because they may have a harder time learning.

We’re not perfect at work — at most jobs, it’s not expected. School is our children’s form of “work” until they go out into the world.

3. Never mess up.

It’s frustrating when our children mess up. It could be a dish dropped, door slammed or something bigger, like a car accident. Hey, WE MESS UP TOO! Why do we try to hold our kids to a standard that we can’t maintain ourselves? Mistakes happen, we ALL mess up, that’s life. Don’t hold being human against your children.

4. Be grateful for what I’ve given you.

We give our children so much, and yes, they should be grateful, but being a parent means putting your children’s needs before your own. We can’t just give them the scraps.

That goes for giving of yourself too. Just because you’re in a room with them doesn’t mean you’re spending time with them — especially if you’re glued to the TV. They shouldn’t be grateful for just your presence; they need your attention, too. Give them everything you have, not what you think you can afford to spare.

5. Ignore how we treat each other.

Our children see and pick up more than we think. When we have those “heated” discussions in what we think is private, chances are they know what’s going on.

How you treat each other will affect what kind of people they grow up to be. If you talk down to each other in front of them, if you criticize or belittle each other, you better believe they will too one day.

Our children learn how to treat others from us. Not what we tell them — how we actually treat people. Think twice before you let your emotions take over and cause you to say something that could affect your kids.

6. Don’t try to get away with anything.

I remember trying to get away with so much stuff when I was younger. My mother would yell at me when she caught me. She would tell me daily that she couldn’t wait for me to have children to see what she has to go through.

I use to think, Whatever, Mom… until I had children of my own. Turns out, mom was right. We have to remember what it was like at that age and not make every incident a nuclear explosion.

Yes, some things warrant certain punishments, but others aren’t that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. Please don’t misinterpret what I’m saying. If it’s a minor issue, letting your kids learn a “life lesson” might be a better approach.

Our youngest son worked hard all summer to buy a laptop for himself. When we moved here to Maui, he ended up dropping it and cracking the screen. We found out a few weeks later, and we were furious.

He lied to us, he hid things from us, he broke an expensive item. We had to take a step back, cool off and remember that this affected him more than us; he bought it with his own money. We talked to him about the lying, but him breaking his own laptop was a life lesson.

7. Always forgive.

You can’t constantly treat your children poorly and expect them to always forgive. They might have a high tolerance for our issues, but there will come a limit.

There are some rough situations. Parents split up, maybe even divorce; there are money issues, stresses of everyday life, and lots of things that are out of your control. But you have to make the best out of every bad situation and not take it out on your children. In those situations, you have to do as much as you can to give them some sense of normalcy.

8. Do what I say, not what I do.

At the end of the day, our children learn more by what we do, not what we say. Actions do speak louder than words in parenting, and you have to lead by example.

When I told my children I was writing this, they informed me that I had a lot more than eight unrealistic expectations. I was irritated, but I’m sure they’re right.

We have to let our kids be kids, not perfect robots. They’re going to mess up — that’s life. Our job is to guide them and be there for them. If a situation requires discipline, then by all means do what needs to be done.

Here is what I challenge you to do: Take a step back first, and don’t let your emotions control the situation. These years are vital in molding the kind of people they will become.

Which Country Pays the Most for Its Teachers?

September 15, 2014

payAn interesting article comparing teachers and teaching conditions all over the world:

Of the 30 OECD member countries, teachers in Switzerland get the highest annual salary, an average of $68,000 (£41,000). This is higher than the average salary in the country, which is around $50,000 (£30,000). Switzerland is followed by the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium in terms of having highly paid teachers.

Comparatively, teachers in the UK earn less than the annual UK average of $44,000 (£27,000), receiving just over $40,000 (£24,000) and ranked 13 out of the 30 countries listed. Teachers get paid more in the UK than other European countries. In France, for example, the average teacher salary is $33,000, and in Greece teachers earn an average of $25,000.

Teachers salaries $ (OECD data)

Switzerland 68.82
Netherlands 57.87
Germany 53.73
Belgium 51.47
Korea 47.34
Ireland 47.3
Japan 45.93
Australia 44
Finland 42.81
Denmark 41.71
Spain 41.52
United States 41.46
United Kingdom 40.91
Austria 37.41
New Zealand 34.76
Portugal 34.59
France 33.57
Norway 33.13
Slovenia 32.48
Sweden 31.61
Italy 31.46
Iceland 29.48
Greece 25.75
Israel 19.55
Czech Republic 18.61
Turkey 17.18
Chile 16.41
Brazil  14.84
Hungary 14.76
Indonesia 2.83

Why Teaching and Politics Should not Mix

September 13, 2014

bushIt is extraordinarily important for teachers to resist imposing their political views on their students. At the essence of our democracy is the right for people to decide what path is right for themselves without a certain dogma inadvertently force fed into them.

This is what happens when teachers do not allow students to think for themselves:

A Washington, D.C., middle school assignment asking students to compare former president George W. Bush with Adolf Hitler has upset some parents and community members.

The assignment at McKinley Middle School asked sixth graders to compare the two figures in a Venn diagram, according to USA Today. Instructions say students “have read about two men of power who abused their power in various ways,” and asks them to refer to the articles “Fighting Hitler -– A Holocaust Story,” and “Bush: Iraq War Justified Despite No WMD.”

Some parents said the assignment was disrespectful to the former president, according to a local NBC affiliate. A former speechwriter for Bush said the teacher who gave the assignment should be fired.

A person who can’t tell the difference between George W. Bush and Adolf Hitler shouldn’t be teaching children,” Marc Thiessen told Fox News. “This isn’t even political bias, this is utter incompetence.”

A statement from D.C. Public Schools said the teacher “admits to extremely poor judgment and short sightedness and will apologize to students. The school will also send a letter home to families explaining the incident and offering to address any additional questions should they arise.”

Click on the link to read Abusing the Privillege of Teaching Children

Click on the link to read Teacher Allegedly Has Cocaine Delivered to School

Click on the link to read Dealing Softly with Bad Teachers Sends the Wrong Message to Students

Click on the link to read Up to 1 in 10 US Students Have an Inappropriate Relationship With Their Teacher

Click on the link to read Teacher Claims he Didn’t Think Sex Abuse Was a Crime

Care About Your Students or Find a Different Career

September 11, 2014

I adore this Ted talk because it goes to the heart of one of the biggest lies told to student teachers.

Student teachers are instructed to avoid smiling, keep a tough and sometimes cold exterior and avoid friendly banter with their students. The result is often calamitous both for student and teacher. As summed up so perfectly by the speaker in this brilliant speech.

Click on the link to read my post I Can’t Recall Anything Useful About My Teaching Course

Click on the link to read my post Why Principals Overlook Young Teachers

Click on the link to read my post The Bizarre Call to Train Teachers Specifically for Left-Handed Students

Click on the link to read my post Why Professional Development for Teachers is Often Useless

Click on the link to read my post Finally, a Step Forward in Education

Click on the link to read my post Tips For New Teachers from Experienced Teachers

I Love it When Teachers are Excited to Come to Work

September 9, 2014

 

What a way to start a school year!

 

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

4 Ways to Identify a Great Teacher

September 8, 2014

poetAuthor Dana Goldstein has compiled 4 characteristics of a great teacher. I don’t agree with them. My four would be patience, caring, engaging and self-motivated.

Perhaps you agree with Ms. Goldstein’s 4:

• Have active intellectual lives outside their classrooms.
Economists have discovered that teachers with high SAT scores or perfect college GPAs are generally no better for their students than teachers with less impressive credentials. But teachers with large vocabularies are better at their jobs because this trait is associated with being intelligent, well-read and curious.

In 1903, W.E.B. Du Bois, who once taught in a one-room schoolhouse in rural Tennessee, wrote that teachers must “be broad-minded, cultured men and women” able to “scatter civilization” among the next generation. The best teachers often love to travel, have fascinating hobbies or speak passionately about their favorite philosopher or poet.

• Believe intelligence is achievable, not inborn.
Effective educators reject the idea that smarts are something that only some students have; they expect all children to perform at high levels, even those who are unruly, learning disabled or struggling with English.

How can you tell if a teacher has high expectations? Ask your child if he or she has learned anything new today. Research suggests that most students already know almost half of what is taught in most classes. Lame teachers—like one I watched spend a full 10 minutes explaining to a class in a Colorado Springs middle school that “denominator” refers to the bottom half of a fraction—spend too much time reviewing basic facts and too little time introducing deeper concepts.

• Are data-driven.
Effective teachers assess students at the beginning of new units to identify their strengths and weaknesses, then quiz students again when units end to determine whether concepts and skills have sunk in. Research from the cognitive psychologists Andrew Butler and Henry Roediger confirms that students score higher on end-of-year exams when they have been quizzed by their teacher along the way.

• Ask great questions.
According to the scholar John Hattie, when teachers focus lessons on concepts that are broader than those on multiple-choice tests, children’s scores on higher-level assessments—like those that require writing—increase. How can you identify a high-quality question in your child’s schoolwork? It tests for conceptual, not factual, understanding—not “When did the Great Depression occur?” but “What economic, social and political factors led to the Great Depression?”

Parents shouldn’t be the only ones looking for these four traits. Principals and policy makers should focus less on standardized test scores than on these more sophisticated measures of excellence. Together, we can create a groundswell of demand for great teaching in every classroom.

 

Click on the link to read 3 Examples Why Robin Williams Would Have Made a Great Teacher

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Abusing the Privillege of Teaching Children

September 7, 2014

survivalI continue to me amazed at some of the awful teaching methods exposed in the media.

It is absolutely vital that we teachers understand that we are teachers, not parents, not moral guardians of the world and definitely not survivalists:

A sadistic Brooklyn day-care teacher locked terrified toddlers alone in a tiny, dark storage closet — and laughingly claimed it was a lesson in “how to survive,” according to the facility’s owner.

In shocking security-video footage at Pinocchio Children’s Palace in East Flatbush, teacher Shandra Fallen, 25, and her assistant, Amellia Samuda, 34, are captured ushering 2-year-olds into the classroom closet.

Day-care owner Tatiana Ilyaich said she discovered the solitary confinement in June, when she heard crying coming from Fallen’s classroom across the hall from her office.

She found the teachers in the room and most of their young charges taking naps on their cots — and sobs coming from the supply closet.

She opened the door and saw a scared young boy inside.

The teachers “started laughing,” Ilyaich recalled.

“It’s kind of a game we’re playing with the kids,” Fallen said, according to Ilyaich.

The owner said she immediately scoured security-camera footage for signs of similar incidents. Images taken on May 14 chilled her.

In the footage — viewed by The Post — Fallen can be seen putting one small child into the closet, which is packed with supply-stuffed shelving, and leaving him there alone for three minutes before releasing him.

 

Click on the link to read Teacher Allegedly Has Cocaine Delivered to School

Click on the link to read Dealing Softly with Bad Teachers Sends the Wrong Message to Students

Click on the link to read Up to 1 in 10 US Students Have an Inappropriate Relationship With Their Teacher

Click on the link to read Teacher Claims he Didn’t Think Sex Abuse Was a Crime

Click on the link to read The Classroom Incident that Isn’t Seen as Child Abuse but Actually Is

11 Valuable Digital Media Tips for Students

September 5, 2014

kidsCourtesy of Justin Boyle at teachthought.com:

 

1. Use Privacy Settings

Let’s talk Facebook, shall we? Chances are pretty good that your students can be counted among the 1.3 billion monthly active users of the social media giant, and there’s practically no other website that contains such a breadth and depth of personal information.

Encouraging students to put all of their social media accounts, including Facebook, on a short leash might be the most important step toward helping them manage their digital footprint. Look into Facebook’s proprietary privacy tips or get the works from Lifehacker.com with it’s “Always Up-to-Date Guide to Managing Your Facebook Privacy,” then inform students about the steps they can take. Better yet, just pass the links along.

Complete privacy on Twitter is simple — you just choose to protect your tweets under “security and privacy” on the account settings page — but encouraging students to do so might do more harm than good. Some teachers have gotten great results using Twitter in education, and a class full of students with protected tweets might interfere with that.

2. Keep A List Of Accounts

Then delete the ones you no longer use. That myspace page you signed up for? Don’t just forget about it–find it and delete it.

3. Don’t Overshare 

Perhaps the best tip for helping students maintain privacy on Twitter is one that can be applied across the whole spectrum of social networking tools: Don’t overshare. As much of an alien concept as it may be to students these days, the only sure-fire way to avoid digital footprint trouble is for them to keep quiet about anything they wouldn’t want to share with everyone in town.

This includes usernames, aliases, passwords, last names, full-names-as-usernames, pictures, addresses, and other important information.

4. Use A Password Keeper

This is more of a security thing, but the worst kind of footprint is the one you didn’t make that contains all of your sensitive information. It’s too much work to remember 50 different passwords, and every site has their own unique rules. Until someone solves this problem, the best solution is likely a password keeper

5. Google Yourself

You may be surprised what you find.

6. Monitor Linking Accounts

When you link your facebook or twitter account to that new site (whatever site that might be), you may not realize–or care at the moment–what you’re giving it access to. It’s usually safest to use a secondary email address to sign-up for new sites rather than granting this kind of access.

7. Use A Secondary Email

Whether you’re communicating with someone new, or signing up for a new social media platform, it can be useful to have a secondary email address.

8. You Don’t Need 12 Email Addresses

That said, you don’t need 12. Keep it manageable.

9. Sending Is Like Publishing–Forever

Every time you send a message, post, or picture, you’re publishing it the same way CNN does a news story. And the internet never forgets.

10. Understand That Searches Are Social

There’s another side to your digital footprint, too — it’s not always information that you choose to make public. Remember: Privacy controls or no privacy controls, Facebook still records and uses every scrap of information it gets to better determine its users’ marketing demographics.

Google pulls the same trick with search and browsing habits. If a student is logged into their Google account, the service tracks every keyword they search, every Web page they visit and every time they visit Youtube.

There are ways, however, to control the bits of deep data that we leave strewn around. First of all, even though Google is practically an official synonym for “Web search,” it isn’t actually the only game in town. Less profit-motivated search engines like DuckDuckGo.com and Ixquick.com may take a little getting used to, but they do make explicit policy of protecting users’ browsing privacy.

11. Use Digital Tools To Manage Your Footprint

A host of browser extensions and app add-ons can also limit the surreptitious capture of personal information. Disconnect (Disconnect.me), DoNotTrackMe (Abine.com) and Ghostery (Ghostery.com) are examples of cross-platform extensions that block tracking cookies and give users control over site scripts.

 

Click on the link to read The 10 Best Educational Apps for Children

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Guess Why this Girl Was Sent Home from Kindergarten

September 3, 2014

sent home

 

She kicked a teacher? No.

Slapped a student? Nope.

Brought a box of matches to school? Try again.

Surely it wasn’t because she has long hair?

Unfortunately, it was precisely for that reason:

 

A Native American child was reportedly sent home early from his first day of Kindergarten last week because officials said his long hair conflicted with the school’s dress code.

Malachi Wilson, 5, does not receive haircuts because it is against his religion as a member of the Navajo Nation, the child’s mother told a local CBS affiliate. Apparently though, this religious rule conflicts with F.J. Young Elementary School’s dress code, which says that, “Boys’ hair shall be cut neatly and often enough to ensure good grooming.”

When the child showed up for his first day of Kindergarten at the Texas school he was sent away. The principal told April Wilson, Malachi’s mother, that he would not be able to attend class until his hair was cut, reports Native News Online.

School officials reportedly told April Wilson that she had to prove that Malachi was Native American. After the family provided official Navajo Nation documentation, the district said Malachi could return to school, and he went on to attend class the next day, reports the outlet.

“I enrolled him back in June so I thought we were all set for Malachi to attend school on Monday,” Wilson told the outlet. “I checked the ‘Native American’ box on the enrollment form.”

Representatives for the school told the CBS affiliate that they followed procedure “one hundred percent,” and pointed to the district handbook, which states that, “religious or spiritual beliefs may qualify for an exception from provisions of the dress code. However, any exceptions must receive prior approval by the campus administrator.”

Seminole Independent School District superintendent Doug Harriman, told The Huffington Post that he thinks the incident was overblown. He confirmed that the district initially told April Wilson that Malachi’s hair was a dress code violation, and that once she provided documentation that Malachi was Navajo, it was not a problem.

 

 

 

Click on the link to read The Disgraceful Decision to Fire a Teacher for Trying to Break Up a Fight

Click on the link to read One of the Greatest Teacher Pranks Ever Recorded

Click on the link to read Don’t Fire Caring Teachers

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Click on the link to read Let’s See if you Can Work Out Why This Teacher was Suspended

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