Explaining Caronavirus to Kids

March 11, 2020

 

Explaining the coronavirus to kids is a tough task. Teachers and parents are likely to get the question sooner or later and an informed response can help calm the anxious mind of a concerned child.

Above is a video that may prove useful.

 

Instead of wasting your energy fighting over the last packet of pasta on the supermarket shelves check out my hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian. Already an Amazon.com.au bestseller, this book is great for kids and could prove useful if their school shuts down.  It’s perfect for children aged 9 to 14 and the ideal class novel for Upper Primary students. You can buy a copy by clicking on this link.

I Once Had a Gun Put to My Head Whilst Teaching

February 13, 2020

 

 

In my first year as a teacher, I had a nasty experience.

As I was teaching a 6th Grade class, an 8th grader stormed into my classroom looking angry, adorning a vicious look and immediately approached me, put a gun to my head and pulled the trigger.

I flinched in pure, unadulterated fear.

Turns out the gun was a plastic toy. Albeit, a lifelike plastic toy.

The kid involved thought the nasty trick was hilarious. So did the entire 6th Grade class.

I was stunned that after I described the event to my Principal and the enormous negative effect it had on my mental state, the best he could do was give the kid in question an in-house suspension.

That’s right, the kid wasn’t even sent home! The parents weren’t even called in!

So, you can imagine that I am very sensitive about threats against teachers, especially when they involve guns.

But, even after recounting my brush with gun violence at the hands of a student, I find this story absolutely rediculous and an extraordinary case of overreach:

 

A Pennsylvania elementary school called the police after a kindergartner with Down syndrome made a finger gun at her teacher. Officials concluded there wasn’t a threat, but the girl’s mother said they went too far.

Maggie Gaines called on the Tredyffrin-Easttown School District to update its threat assessment policy after her 6-year-old daughter Margot was questioned by administrators for making a gun gesture at her elementary school teacher and pretended to shoot her.
Gaines said it was a harmless expression of anger. But Margot’s school in southeast Pennsylvania determined her actions appeared threatening, so they conducted a threat assessment

THANK YOU!:

I recently donated 100% of the royalties of my #1 bestselling new children’s book (Amazon.com.au bestsellers list), My Favourite Comedian, from the month of January to those affected by the devastating bushfires in my country, Australia. Thank you for your support! This book is perfect for children aged 9 to 14 and the ideal class novel for Upper Primary students. You can buy a copy by clicking on this link.

Most Teachers Don’t Want to be Teachers

February 5, 2020

Teaching is an unbelievably rewarding profession. I love the being one and do not envisage leaving the classroom anytime soon.

But I don’t blame others for raising the white flag.

Teachers are arguably overworked and underappreciated. You don’t believe me? Try it for a week!

 

More than half of Australian teachers plan to walk away from the profession, saying they are undervalued and overworked.

New research from Monash University reveals three in five teachers feel they are underappreciated and the hours they put in outside of the classroom are not recognised.

These feelings of under-appreciation persist, despite surveys of the public revealing 93 percent of people feel teachers are trusted and respected.

Dr Amanda Heffernan, lecturer at Monash University’s Faculty of Education, said reasons for teacher dissatisfaction were surprising.

“The pay wasn’t as much of an issue as we expected,” she told 3AW’s Ross and John.

“What really came through was the work load and the subsequent flow on effects in terms of health and wellbeing.”

 

THANK YOU!:

I recently donated 100% of the royalties of my hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian, from the month of January to those affected by the devastating bushfires in my country, Australia. Thank you for your support! This book is perfect for children aged 9 to 14 and the ideal class novel for Upper Primary students. You can buy a copy by clicking on this link.

The Scariest Day of the Year for a Teacher

January 30, 2020

 

Tomorrow is my first day of the new school year and I am petrified.

It’s nothing new. This day torments me every year.

Whilst you can lose your students any day during the year, if you lose them on the very first day you are in a world of trouble.

I’ve done it all. Nailed my first day and botched it.

And there’s no script that one can follow to guarantee success. Every class is different, just as every individual is different. This uniqueness gives us great variety in our job but also challenges us to make a quick determination of what their needs are and how they want to be taught. Some are looking for more room to grow creatively whilst others want a more uniform approach.

And this determination has to be worked out on the first day.

In the first lesson, actually!

Wish me luck.

 

Becoming an Adult Starts in Primary School

January 28, 2020

adulting

A good Primary school invests in more than just the academic progress of the child. It also fosters an ability for each student to gain thinking skills, coping strategies and proficiency in life skills.

That’s why I’m stunned that a college would have to open a course on basic life skills. Seems 12 years late:

 

U.C. Berkeley is offering a class in “adulting,” basic life skills young people may have missed until college provided a wake-up call.

The class is so popular it’s turning students away.

“I want to feel prepared like I know what I’m doing and I know how to be an adult,” said Allegra Estrada, 21, who is a pre-med junior at Cal.

“You can know as much as you want about physics or biology or English but that doesn’t help you when you need to do taxes or figure out what to eat.”
Monday night, a new eight-week session in “adulting” began.

“We’re going to have guest speakers,” said instructor Belle Lau, laying out the topics: managing time and money, and improving relationships

“That can be a relationship with yourself or others, like family, friends,” said Lau.

Other areas include fitness, nutrition and mental health.

“Self-care, self-love and sleep,” Lau continued.

Many students admit they struggle making the transition to self-reliance in college.

 

Special Announcement:

I am donating 100% of the royalties of my hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian, during the month of January to those affected by the devastating bushfires in my country, Australia. This book is perfect for children aged 9 to 14 and the ideal class novel for Upper Primary students. Please leave a comment to indicate your purchase. You can buy a copy by clicking on this link.

Parents Report Spending Just 5 Hours a Week With Their Kids

January 27, 2020

 

This is a startling survey and a great wake up for us parents.

I couldn’t believe it. Parents claim to have only five hours a week of contact and four hours a week of conversation with their kids.

Many will justifiably point to the demands of dual working parents and the difficulty of getting their children off their devices. It is not for me to judge.

The issue is that it is more likely that today’s kids will become maladjusted due to their lack of meaningful contact with loved ones. This should be of great concern to all:

A recent survey of 1,000 British parents found that the average parent spends a mere five hours per week communicating face-to-face with their children.

More than half of surveyed moms and dads with children under the age of 18 said they feel “distant” from their kids. In all, 43% blamed their measly family time on their kids spending too much time in front of the television, with another 51% saying their kids spend too much time in their bedrooms. Another 44% said their familial disconnect is a result of their kids logging inordinate amounts of time on their phones during traditional “family time” in the evening.

The study, commissioned by Cadbury Heroes, also found that the average youngster starts to really avoid his or her parents around the age of 13. A significant 73% of respondents said their relationship with their children really changed once their sons and daughters became teenagers.

Nearly half (46%) of surveyed parents said they only talk to their kids for a maximum of four hours each week. Meanwhile, 54% said they would love to spend more time with their children.

To rectify this problem, over 80% of parents have taken an active interest in their children’s favorite activities in an effort to reconnect. For example, 20% of parents have learned how to play the popular online video game Fortnite, while 39% said they have gotten involved with their child’s hobbies. Another 33% have listened to their child’s favorite bands or musical artists in order to bond with them.

Comically, 25% have even tried to adopt youthful slang words such as “dope” or “YOLO.”

All in all, the average British parent tries to designate five days per month for “family time.” Regarding family time, 44% believe getting together as a family is a great way to avoid technology for a few hours. Finally, 50% of respondents said they try to encourage their kids to be more open and honest with them.

 

Special Announcement:

I am donating 100% of the royalties of my hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian, during the month of January to those affected by the devastating bushfires in my country, Australia. This book is perfect for children aged 9 to 14 and the ideal class novel for Upper Primary students. Please leave a comment to indicate your purchase. You can buy a copy by clicking on this link.

The US States That Still Allow Corporal Punishment

January 23, 2020

 

It is quite upsetting that 19 US states still allow corporal punishment in their schools. Below are some damning statistics from the said states. Of equal concern is the ratio of black and Hispanic children being the subject out this outdated and inhumane form of punishment.

Image result for corporal punishment  table in the us

 

Special Announcement:

I am donating 100% of the royalties of my hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian, during the month of January to those affected by the devastating bushfires in my country, Australia. This book is perfect for children aged 9 to 14 and the ideal class novel for Upper Primary students. Please leave a comment to indicate your purchase. You can buy a copy by clicking on this link.

How Long Can the Average Teacher Sit on the Floor?

January 22, 2020

Try sitting on the floor teachers.

No, not for 10 seconds. At least half an hour!

What are you doing? Don’t lean against a wall. That’s cheating!

If you want to improve the behaviour of the classroom you could do worse than treat your students the same way as you wish to be treated. Just like I find sitting on the mat utterly uncomfortable I try to minimise the amount of time my students are on the mat. Just like I can’t sit still for too long before feeling under duress, so too I allow my students to experience active lessons that mix learning with some movement.

The truth of the matter is that kids are bound to their seats or the mat for way too long. It is unhealthy and bad for the brain. Don’t take my word for it.

Angela Hanscom, a therapist in Maryland decide to get to the root of the reason why students couldn’t sit still during school and what she found out shocked her. Angela recounts her experience by stating  “I’ve been sitting for the past 90 excruciating minutes. I look down at my leg and notice it is bouncing. Great, I think to myself, now I’m fidgeting!” Angela realized that she couldn’t even sit through the same classes that students go through. She’s the example that people can’t expect  kids to sit through 90 minutes of nothing but listening when adults can not even do it. This proves that the school system must change to prevent students from damaging their maturing bodies and having been put on medication that they don’t even need.

 

Special Announcement:

I am donating 100% of the royalties of my hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian, during the month of January to those affected by the devastating bushfires in my country, Australia. This book is perfect for children aged 9 to 14 and the ideal class novel for Upper Primary students. Please leave a comment to indicate your purchase. You can buy a copy by clicking on this link.

The Other “F” Word

January 21, 2020

The first line in my well-received new novel is, “I’m so fat.”

It elicits cheeky giggles whenever I used to read it out. Kids are not used to hearing that word anymore and are especially surprised that a major character in a kid’s book nonchalantly expresses such a candid self-reflection.

By the end of the first page, my audience grows to love the character and appreciate his honesty. Cheeky giggles are replaced with unabashed giggles. Finally, a character that feels comfortable to express the thoughts that many of us feel on a daily basis – seems to be the consensus.

When I first started reading the then-unfinished manuscript, a student approached me and told me how much the character of Jake meant to her. She told me that she had been ignored and disrespected because of her weight and it was inspiring to see those very same students that have ostracised her completely warmed to the fat character and instantly accepted him. She told me it gives her hope that the overweight kid can achieve some positive attention for a change.

I asked her what her name was.

“Nina”, she replied.

I told her I would name one of the major characters “Nina” because her words had moved me so much.

Nina is probably an adult now and probably has no recollection of that day and the origins of her namesake in my book. But her reaction has not been unique.

As a teacher, I’ve had the opportunity to read my book to thousands of students along the journey. There is a good reason why the word “fat” is frowned upon and there is a logic behind society’s reluctance to explicitly draw attention to weight.

But fat people know they are fat and are looking for a character that can own up to it and then prosecute the case why being overweight should never overshadow a person’s spirit, wisdom and achievements.

Enter Jake Archibald and the book, My Favourite Comedian.

Thank you, Nina!

 

Special Announcement:

I am donating 100% of the royalties of my hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian, during the month of January to those affected by the devastating bushfires in my country, Australia. This book is perfect for children aged 9 to 14 and the ideal class novel for Upper Primary students. Please leave a comment to indicate your purchase. You can buy a copy by clicking on this link.

 

The Real Violence in Junior Sport Comes From the Parents

January 20, 2020

 

It’s an all too familiar story and it has to end. Parents need to watch their children from the grandstands or stay home. Sport is all about humility, acceptance and trust in referees with the understanding that human error is always a possibility.

But some parents can’t let the game play out without the worst of interference:

 

A father was arrested and is charged with simple assault after he rushed and tackled a high school student-athlete during a wrestling match, according to a Kannapolis Police Department news release.

Barry Lee Jones, of Harrisburg, was arrested on Saturday at 415 East 1st St.

He is charged with simple assault and disorderly conduct.

The student-athlete he tackled was from Southeast Guilford High School and was wrestling Jones’ son, who is a student from Hickory Ridge High School, the release says.

Jones was processed at the Cabarrus County Jail and received a $1,000 secured bond.

The SGHS student-athlete was reportedly not injured.

The expert on the mat at the time of the incident gave the hand signals to call the SGHS student athlete’s move as illegal, according to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.

The Southeast Guilford High School wrestling coach and principal declined to comment.

 

Special Announcement:

I am donating 100% of the royalties of my hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian, during the month of January to those affected by the devastating bushfires in my country, Australia. This book is perfect for children aged 9 to 14 and the ideal class novel for Upper Primary students. Please leave a comment to indicate your purchase. You can buy a copy by clicking on this link.


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