The Gift of Teaching and the Other Gifts that Come With It

September 29, 2016

 

It is fabulous to be appreciated. Teachers are often taken for granted, ridiculed, disrespected and bullied. So when we are given a compliment or a gift, it can make provide the strength and optimism required to manage through the hard times.

I just love this clip. This teacher will never forget the gesture.

 

 

Click on the link to read Add Years to Prison Sentences for Hitting a Teacher

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Teacher Installs Bike Peddles at Student Desks

September 21, 2016

bike-pedals-classroom

 

I love innovation in teaching.  Students appreciate a teacher who dares to comes up with a different approach and I’m not surprised their grades reflect that here:

 

At one middle school in North Carolina, bike pedals are making kids better at maths.

Seriously: Ever since eighth grade maths teacher Bethany Lambeth installed under-the-desk bike pedals in her classroom at Martin Middle School, she’s noticed a decrease in student fidgeting and an increase in student performance, WRAL reports

“Before, they were drumming on their desks, they were touching other people. They don’t do that anymore,” Lambeth told WRAL. “[The kids] are not picking on each other, they are not needing to walk around, they are not needing to go explore. They are able to get their activity out and get their work done.”

Lambeth installed the pedals at the end of last school year, using funds from a private donation. The manufacturer, DeskCycle, sells each set for about $160. The investment has paid off: The students seem to miss fewer assignments and focus better in class when they’re using the pedals to siphon off their excess energy.

“I’m a really energetic person, so this takes all my energy out,” one student told WRAL. There’s also a side benefit of improved physical fitness: That student told reporters that he’d already pedaled 5.5 miles and burned 133 calories during class.

In fact, the pedals have been such a boon that the school is looking to expand the concept to more classrooms, the BBC reports

 

Click on the link to read How to Begin a Successful Lesson

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Students Care About Caring Teachers

September 20, 2016

 

If you detach yourselves emotionally from your students, like some experts maintain, you cannot expect to have your students’ respect.

Above is the touching tribute that a terminally ill teacher received before his untimely death. Such a tribute could never have occurred if the teacher had distanced himself emotionally from his students.

It is our duty to care about our students. Not in an inappropriate way of course, but rather in a manner which shows them that we care more about their future and wellbeing than a standardised test score or even a quiet classroom.

 

Click on the link to read The Inspiring Things Teachers Often Do for Their Students

Click on the link to read Teacher Pens Moving Letter to Autistic Student

Click on the link to read Music Teacher Makes History at the Superbowl

Click on the link to read A Profession that Truly Cares

Teacher Stereotypes: Which One Are You?

September 5, 2016

inspirational-teacher

 

A great list written by Andrew Cunningham:

 

The too-busy-to-breathe head of year

Heads of years have to keep on top of the curriculum in their subject and maintain control over an entire intake of pupils. No mean feat. Snatched conversations in busy corridors are the best parents can hope for.

To win them over, preface each encounter with comforting, understanding words: “I realise how desperately busy you are, but could you possibly spare five minutes to help my son plan his revision?” Their indispensability duly acknowledged, they’ll be delighted to help out.

The career teacher

School’s not about you or your child: it’s about their fast-track progression to becoming a head by the age of 35.  You can spot the career teacher from their habit of looking over your shoulder at parents’ evening, eager to catch the eye of a passing school governor.

To get them onside, ask about any important education conferences they’ve been to recently, before adding: “My daughter’s so lucky to have you – you’ve no idea how difficult your subject is for most people!” Just watch them preen…

The overzealous homework setter

The bane of teenagers’ lives, these conscientious teachers set five hours of written homework each night, ignoring the umpteen other subjects your little one is taking.

Don’t be too harsh on a homework setter: they’re only trying to cover off the curriculum, and they’re often really enthused by their subject (who wouldn’t want to spend the evening reading up on the Franco-Prussian war?).

If it really is getting too much, seek the sympathetic ear of your child’s form tutor, who can tactfully point out that anxious pupils have other deadlines to meet.

The marking shirker

You’ve watched your child stay up until midnight finishing that essay on Macbeth and then… nothing. A month later and the paper still hasn’t been marked. Marking shirkers come in many shapes and sizes, but don’t be surprised if the English teacher turns out to be one.

He’s an aspiring novelist, you see – his evenings are spent tapping out high-minded prose. Marking is a big part of teaching, and late marking is unacceptable.

The trainee teacher

Easy to spot from a mile off. Young, enthusiastic, occasionally hung-over, and quite possibly the object of your teenager’s first harmless crush.

Trainee teachers pose a conundrum for parents. It’s wonderful that your child is being taught by someone who knows exactly how young minds tick – but they’re still learning the trade and may struggle to keep order.

Try to show patience before complaining about any shortcomings. Trainees are desperate to do well and deserve support for choosing such a tricky profession. And remember: the alternative to young-and-callow “Ms X” might well be “Poor Old Mr Y”, who stopped caring long ago.

The faded star

Almost always found in the drama department or on the sports fields, these teachers are never shy of talking about past lives – “I once played Blanche DuBois in Streetcar”; “Sir Alex came to watch my Under-12s trial”.

Like the overzealous homework setter, they may not appreciate that your child has other educational priorities. Keep them sweet by listening when they retell old stories and never, ever, withdraw at the last moment from a school play or football match. These events mean more to the faded star than you may realise.

The inspirational teacher

A keen eye can spot an inspirational teacher just by walking into their classroom. Bookcases are stacked with well-thumbed books and wear a “Please take what you want” sign. The walls are covered with evocative pictures of faraway places, instilling a subconscious urge to explore and expand horizons. Desks are clean of graffiti, because pupils don’t need to find ways to pass the time.

 

Click on the link to read Questions to Improve Your Teaching Performance

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Click on the link to read What Type of Teacher Are You?

When Did Teaching Become Such a Dangerous Profession?

August 28, 2016

 

 

Police, firemen, nightclub bouncers – these are dangerous professions. It seems you can now add teaching to that mix.

When a student fires a stun gun at a teacher for doing nothing more than his job, you have to wonder how this great profession became so dangerous.

 

 

Click on the link to read Protect Our Teachers

A Teacher Doesn’t Get to Go Off Duty

August 22, 2016

 

If you want to get drunk and do foolish things in your non-working hours don’t become a teacher. We are role models long before our first lesson and long after the bell at the end of the day. Emily Higgins will be embarrassed by her actions.

And so she should be.

 

 

Click on the link to read Father Gets Revenge on Teacher Who Had an Affair With His Young Daughter

Why Many Teachers Leave

August 15, 2016

Megan Webb

 

I would continue to be a teacher even if my pay was substantially cut, but I am very much in the minority. Teachers get paid better than some might think, but not as much as they deserve.

One teacher penned a very thoughtful piece on why she chose to leave the profession:

 

Heartbreaking – it’s the only word that can describe how it feels to walk away from something that was once your dream. The one job you always wanted to do, the person you wanted to become.

For the first time in 10 years, I am not anxiously preparing my classroom, anticipating the arrival of twenty energetic children and a new year full of learning, laughter and excitement.

Instead, I am preparing myself for a new career in the business world. And not because I wanted to. I absolutely loved my teaching job at Equestrian Trails Elementary. But sadly, love just isn’t enough.

Why am I leaving? I am being forced to make a decision between the absolute love of teaching and living up to my potential to support myself. Since graduating from college, I have been fortunate enough to focus on my work, and ignore my stagnant income by living with my parents.

It has been a very comfortable living arrangement that’s worked well for my family and me, and I just assumed I would move out when I “met the right guy.”  But, that hasn’t happened yet, and at the age of 32, I decided it is time for me to move out on my own and become a fully independent adult.

There is just one giant obstacle standing in my way: I simply cannot support myself comfortably with my current income.

A year’s experience worth just $274

I’ve always known that education would be far from lucrative, and I have always been accepting of that. However, I never anticipated that my salary would not grow along with my years of experience.

When I started teaching in the Palm Beach County School District a decade ago, I made $33,830. Today, I make $43,239.

While that’s a lot more than I made in my first year of teaching, it’s just $2,464 more per year than an incoming first-year teacher today, or an additional $274 for each year of experience.

When I began my career, the hope for a more comfortable future seemed attainable. The pay scale in 2007 reflected a more sizeable difference of $6,600 between a first and tenth year teacher.

Unfortunately, since I began teaching in 2006, we have seen serious changes to our pay structure, and a lack of substantial raises.

Compound that with an inflation rate of 19.6% over the past ten years, rising healthcare costs, and a change to our state-funded retirement pension (requiring a 3% deduction from our paycheck), and we as a teaching class have gained very little ground in a decade.

Discouragingly, the prospect of meaningful increases in the future seems dim.

 

To read more of her fabulous essay click on this link:

 

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Father Gets Revenge on Teacher Who Had an Affair With His Young Daughter

August 11, 2016

teacher-stripped

 

I have long argued that teachers who abuse the privilege bestowed on them by having affairs with their impressionable students are evil. Their conduct is absolutely reprehensible. And whilst I absolutely don’t agree with the conduct of this upset father, it is up to teachers to avoid any altercations by leaving their students alone. Similarly, it is up to the courts to send a loud and clear message that teachers who are involved sexually with their students face many years behind bars:

 

Footage has emerged online of a teacher stripped and beaten after an alleged affair with a high-school pupil in China. 

Internet users claiming to be his former pupils said on social media that the man had sexually assaulted a female student, reports the People’s Daily Online

The parents of the girl reportedly beat and stripped the man before the video was captured in Wei County, northern China’s Hebei province.

In the footage the teacher can be seen sitting on the floor without clothes as people can be heard crowding around the man and talking. 

Other onlookers can be seen filming the incident on their phones. 

The teacher sways backwards and forwards throughout the video.  

Staff at Weixian Number 1 Middle School confirmed that the man in the video was a teacher at the school surnamed Li.

He had been a teacher at the school for some years. 

They said that ‘student evaluation of Li’s classes were good.’ 

Police have confirmed that the incident did take place and have said that they are still investigating the case. 

The local Public Security Bureau issued a notification on August 9 confirming that they found a naked man suspected of crimes on the north outer ring road. 

The man was injured and so police took him to hospital.  

In March this year, it was reported that a teacher tried to rape a female student in Lingshan County, China’s Guangxi Autonomous Region. 

Teachers immediately intervened and managed to free the student from the 30-year-old male teacher, surnamed Huo. The victim reportedly suffered no injuries. 

Photos from the incident show the naked man grabbing hold of the girl from behind and pushing her against a wall in broad daylight.  

The Inspiring Things Teachers Often Do for Their Students

August 7, 2016

I am so happy that the press ran with this story. All the negative publicity that follows teachers around prevents the public from fully appreciating the many teachers who inspire their students.

 

Click on the link to read Teacher Pens Moving Letter to Autistic Student

Click on the link to read Music Teacher Makes History at the Superbowl

Click on the link to read A Profession that Truly Cares

Click on the link to read Connecting With Your Students is the Key to Teaching Them Effectively

Tips for Teaching Difficult Students

July 31, 2016

behavior-cartoon

 

Written by Josh Work courtesy of edutopia:

 

1. Set the Tone

I firmly believe that a student’s misbehavior in the past does not necessarily equate to future indiscretions. At the beginning of the school year, I would walk down to the sixth grade teachers with my new class lists and ask questions. I would inquire about who works well together, who probably should not sit next to each other, and who caused them the most grief. Not surprisingly, teachers would share the names of the same students that were their “tough kids.” If I had the privilege of having any of these students in my class, I looked forward to it instead of dreading it.

Usually during the first week of school, I would try to have individual conferences with these tough kids. I’d take this as an opportunity to clear the air and wipe the slate clean. Often, these students can feel disrespected because their teachers already have preconceived ideas about how they are the troublemakers. Explain that you respect them and have high expectations for them this year. Lay the foundation for the student’s understanding that you believe in him or her, because you might be the only one who genuinely does.

2. Be a Mentor

Unfortunately, it has been my experience that some of the toughest kids to teach come from very difficult home situations. Inconsistent housing, absentee parent(s), lack of resources, and violence are only a few examples of what some of these students have to face every day. Kids that are neglected at home can act out in school to receive attention, good or bad. They want someone to notice them and take an interest in their lives.

Don’t forget how important you are in helping your students develop not just academically, but also socially. Make an effort to show you care about them, not just their grades. Be proactive instead of reactive. The key to being a good mentor is to be positive, available, and trustworthy. One year with a great mentor can have a lasting, positive impact on a tough kid’s life.

3. Make Connections

Part of being a great mentor is your ability to make connections with these tough kids. Since these students sometimes don’t have anyone encouraging them or taking an interest in their lives, have a real conversation about their future or dreams. If they have nothing to share, start talking about their interests — sports, music, movies, food, clothing, friends, siblings, etc. Find a way to connect so that they can relate to you. Start off small and show a genuine interest in what they have to say. Once you’ve made a positive connection and the student can trust you, you’d be surprised how fast they might open up to talking about their hopes, fears, home life, etc. This is when you need to exercise professional discretion and be prepared for what the student might bring up. Explain that you do not want to violate his or her trust but that, as an educator, you are required by law to report certain things.

4. Take it Personally (In a Good Way)

Teachers need to have thick skin. Students may say things in an attempt to bruise your ego or question your teaching abilities. Remember, we are working with young children and developing adults. I’m sure you said some hurtful things that you didn’t mean when you were growing up. Students can say things out of frustration or boredom, or that are triggered by problems spilling over from outside of your classroom. Try to deal with their misbehavior in the classroom — they might not take you seriously if you just send them to the office every time they act out. These are the moments when they need a positive mentor the most.

Once trust has been established, remind these students that you believe in them even if they make a mistake. I’ve vouched for kids during grade team meetings only to have them get into a fight at lunch the same day. They make mistakes, just like we all do. It’s how we respond to their slip-ups that will determine if they’ll continue to trust us. Explain that you’re disappointed in their actions and that you know they can do better. Don’t write them off. Tough kids are used to being dismissed as hopeless. Instead, show them that you care and are willing to work with them. Helping a tough kid overcome personal issues isn’t something that happens overnight, but it is a worthwhile investment in his or her future.

5. Expect Anything and Everything!

All of our students come from a variety of cultures, nationalities, and home environments, and these five techniques that have worked for me might barely scratch the surface of how you interact with the tough kids in your classroom. If you have another method that has helped you reach out and connect to a tough kid, please share it below in the comments section.

 

 

Click on the link to read Watch a Teacher Go Berserk Over the Most Trivial Thing (Video)

Click on the link to read Tips for Teaching Difficult Students

Click on the link to read Teacher Threatens to Give Away TV Show Spoilers if Class Misbehaves

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