Advertisements

Archive for the ‘Education Matters’ Category

Trump’s Fake News Awards and Its Implications in the Classroom

January 18, 2018

The Trump fake news award sideshow has come and gone, and depending what camp you’re in it was either fabulous or a further indication of the man’s deep psychological issues.

Teachers are now more than ever encouraged to teach analysis of news in the classroom. Teachers are given the job of helping their students to identify fake news and find bias where it exists.

But this is a very problematic area for teachers.

Teachers are not allowed to promote or even subtly convey their own political allegiances. This presents a difficulty. Usually the fine line between fact and fakery is in the eye of the beholder. Someone of the right will not see the bias in a right leaning news story and vice versa.

I believe that whilst it is very important that our students have the tools to identify bias and fake news, we should refrain from pointing out concrete examples.

Give them the skills, but resist at all costs in taking on our own personal political beliefs.

 

Click on the link to read The Teacher Golden Globes

Click on the link to read Lawmakers Are Trying to Make School an Awful Experience for Kids

Click on the link to read Classroom Toilet Rules Turns Schools Into Prisons

Click on the link to read Hands Up if You Don’t Like Putting Your Hands Up

Advertisements

The Teacher Golden Globes

January 8, 2018

The nominations are in for the following awards:

 

Most Discrete Check of Facebook During a Lesson

Most Overdone Hanging Classroom Display

Best Aide in a Slightly More than Supportive Role

The Chiropractic Award for Longest Mat Session

Best Sledge Against a Photocopier with a Paper Jam

Most Food Ingested in a 2-Minute Lunch Break

Best Job of Living Just Above the Poverty Line

Acting award for the Teacher who Best Pretends to be Awake During a Professional Development Session

Most Coffee Consumed During a School Day

Biggest Purchase of Stationery by a Teacher Using Their Own Money

Most Repetition of a Basic Instruction

Most Creative Use of the 1-Metre Ruler

 

 

Click on the link to read Lawmakers Are Trying to Make School an Awful Experience for Kids

Click on the link to read Classroom Toilet Rules Turns Schools Into Prisons

Click on the link to read Hands Up if You Don’t Like Putting Your Hands Up

Click on the link to read Every Good Teacher Should be Allowed to Make a Mistake

Why Teaching High School is a Career Mistake

January 3, 2018

 

If you are considering a career in teaching, and you’re weighing up between Primary and High School, I strongly urge you to choose Primary school.

The following are my reasons why:

 

1. Debunking the Myth – Most High School teachers say they chose the upper years because they felt the older kids would provide them with a greater level of sophistication, and the communication would therefore be more interesting and thoughtful. The implication with this theory is that the younger kids are babies and their teachers have to dumb everything down. This is patently false. I am constantly blown away by my students. They have great ideas, engage in wonderfully rich conversations and don’t require that condescending sing-song “baby talk” rubbish that a lot of teachers unsuccessfully employ.

2. Primary Teachers are Not Dumb – “You only chose Primary Teaching because your literacy and numeracy levels don’t extend past 6th Grade.” High School teachers seem to proffer this view, and sometimes they are right. But for the most part, Primary teachers chose to teach younger children after careful consideration.

3. Consistency –   One grade, all day for the entire year. That is the formula for success. Whilst a high school teacher tends to have multiple classes on their books, a Primary Teacher usually has one class that they can nurture and concentrate on. This makes progress much easier and gives the teacher enormous prominence in a student’s life.

4. They Can Change – The trick with teaching is to influence your students to make good decisions before the bad habits have been set in concrete. The problem with High School teachers is that it is often too late to change their students’ skill levels and attitude issues. They are already too far behind or too resistant to change.  Primary school students are far more malleable. You can turn them around and be the catalyst for improved results educationally, socially and behaviourally.

5. More Variety – High School teachers are forced to select one or two subjects only. That’s it for them. This can be get quite dry and after a few years, can become extremely repetitious. Primary School teachers teach everything. In a given day I can be teaching Maths, English, Science, Geography, History and Art. All with the same students! This variety is a wonderful thing for teachers who care more about helping children than what subject they are most attached to.

6. Laughter – The best classrooms are filled with laughter. High School classrooms with laughter often owes its amusement to a negative trigger such as sarcasm or teasing. Students are more likely to laugh at a teacher that with her at High School level. At Primary School level, good, clean, innocent humor is a must! The students always seem up for it and it can do wonders for both class and teacher.

 

So, my advice to all prospective High School teachers is to quickly make the switch before it’s too late.

 

Click on the link to read Funny Things Students Do and Say

Click on the link to read Dumb Politicians Shouldn’t be Calling Teachers “Dumb”

Click on the link to read The Courageous Valedictorian

Click on the link to read Meet the School They Call “Stinky School”

Funny Things Students Do and Say

July 13, 2016

1895

Below is a list of 21 anecdotes shared by teachers on Reddit (courtesy of people.com):

 

1. “I was having a conversation with my manager, and my second grade student comes out of the classroom and says very seriously… ‘Can I poop?'”

2. “I was with a student, waiting late after a rehearsal. The kid called home: ‘Hey, can you tell mom to pick me up? Oh, she’s in the shower … what about dad? He’s in the shower too….?’ Then he turned to me and said, ‘It’s going to be awhile, Mr. M.'”

3. “A student was mad at me because I made him redo a math test, so he walked over to the classroom door. When I told him I would need to call the office if he left the room without permission, he proceeded to slam his own leg in the door about five times. Then he looked at me and said, ‘Now my leg hurts and I’m going to tell everyone it was your fault.'”

4. “I had a student who had extreme test anxiety. Every time we went to take a test he would throw up. After vomiting he would be fine, but he had to spew everywhere first for stress reduction or something. I would seat him next to the bathroom and provide a bucket. Now this worked on normal days, but during our state testing, he would not be able to go to the restroom unless I first called an administrator to escort him. On the big testing day, we practiced breathing techniques. I had a handy vomit bucket for him, and we were ready to go. After ten minutes, he sure enough looked like he was going to be sick. Except he forgot about the bucket. He vomited and then tried to hold it in his mouth. He shoved his puke back in his mouth, swallowed and smiled at me and gave me a thumbs-up. Horrified, yet simultaneously holding back laughter, I gave him wipes and a bunch of mints. The kid did great on the test in the end.”

5. “My classroom carpet had the alphabet border around the edges. One of my pre-school students, Demetrius, likes to sit on the letter D because it’s the first letter of his name. One day, Zaria sits on the letter D. Demetrius gets in her face and yells, ‘Zaria! Get off my D!’ I lost it.”

6. “One kid who didn’t have that much money wanted to make personalized bookmarks for the rest of the class. Because his family didn’t have much money, he decided to look around his dad’s work place to find something he could use. In the trash can there were a bunch of long strips of cardboard. The only thing was the cardboard came from cigarette cartons because his dad worked at a liquor store. So on one side there was a kid’s name and cute pictures, and on the other was blatant advertising for Marlboro, Pall Mall, Camel, you name it. It was so hard to not laugh when he came up to me and excitedly showed them. This was my first time working in a classroom, and I had no idea what to do. The teacher ended up having me take them to the supply room and laminate them with construction paper covering the other side. We told the kid it would help them last longer. His bookmarks were every one’s favorite gift.”

7. “A student walking down the hallway had his Darth Vader mask confiscated by the principal. The kid replied the right way. He dropped to his knees and did the most perfect Vader ‘NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!’ The principal looked at me as the hall burst into laughter.”

8. “I was teaching English to a class of primary school Thai kids. I was teaching them plurals by showing them a slideshow of cartoon monsters (‘It has three eyes’, ‘It has four legs,’ etc) and getting them to tell me how many limbs each monster had. One little kid, five-years-old, got really into it, and on one monster shoots his hand in the air and comes out with: ‘It has one….ANUS!’ I was speechless for a second so he jumped up on his chair, backwards, bends over and starts pointing to his butt shouting, ‘NO TEACHER! ANUS! IT’S ANUS!'”

9. “Female science teacher here. I was about two weeks into my first job. Another student dropped a pen by accident, so I picked it up. I stood up to find one of the biggest boys in the class (about 14-years-old) standing right next to me. He got even closer, and said, ‘Good girl.’ I was kind of shocked, so just said, ‘Excuse me?’ and he replied with the creepiest ever top-to-toe survey of my body, a leer and then asked, ‘Would you rather be a bad girl?’ My whole body just recoiled.”

10. “When reading Hamlet with the class, after Ophelia’s line about Hamlet, ‘To speak of horrors – he comes before me,’ a kid said, ‘Hamlet, get it together, man.’ I cracked up. The other kids didn’t get it luckily.”

11. “My grandma was a kindergarten teacher for a long time and has some funny stories. Once a quiet kid randomly came up to her and said, ‘Mrs. H, Jimmy said the f––– word.'”

12. “I teach undergrad courses. I caught a student that had plagiarized a few paragraphs in one of her papers. I asked her to stay after lecture and sat her down, asking if she had plagiarized her paper. Her eyes got huge, she welled up and then she said, ‘I did! I’m so sorry! I was so tired and had so much work and my roommate told me to do it and said you would never find out.’ Then with the most serious expression she whispered,  ‘And, I know now she’s the devil!’ I did not laugh even though I really wanted to.”

13. “One time a kid twisted another kids nipple as he raised his hand to answer a question.”

14. “There were fish tanks in our high school biology lab. A student pulled some brightly colored fish gravel out, dried it off, gave it to two of the ‘popular girls’ and told them it was pop rocks. They tried to eat it, which obviously didn’t go well, so they, of course, loudly complained to the teacher. When the teacher got involved the instigator said, ‘Everyone knows we’re not allowed to eat in the biology lab, so it’s really their own fault for breaking the rules.'”

15. “My friend’s wife is a high school music teacher, and once when she went into class and to get set up, she sees this kid take his trombone and place it between his legs and slid the slide out going, ‘Look, I got a tromboner.'”

16. “Half way through Animal Farm, a student says, ‘Wait a minute. This book has talking animals in it!?'”

17. “I had a kid in my music history class say ‘Queen Dildo’ instead of ‘Queen Dido’ for the whole first act of the play we were reading in class.”

18. “I showed my students a picture of the Titanic on its end beside the Eiffel Tower to give an idea of scale. A student asked how they got the big boat to balance while they took the photo.”

19. “A student called me ‘Mom’ recently. I’m a male with a giant beard.”

20. “A nursing student that my roommate was dating asked me if eggs (like chicken eggs that you eat for breakfast) were considered a fruit or vegetable.”

21. “A student once asked me what I did for a living.”

What’s the Most Important Skill a French Teacher Needs to Have?

May 2, 2016

moyer-french-teacher

 

 

Basic spoken French?

 

Apparently not.

 

A high school French teacher has been accused of not being able to speak the language he’s been teaching his students. 

Albert Moyer, said that the extent of his French education was just one year in high school, according to an investigation by KHOU 11

Moyer has been teaching at the Houston Independent School District’s Energy Institute High School, where one student said that the only word Moyer knows is ‘bonjour’. 

Moyer was hired to replace Jean Cius, a certified French teacher for more than 25 years.

Cius was removed from the school after a dispute in December, according to KHOU 11. 

But student Nathanial White’s told the station that his teacher knows the word ‘bonjour’ and has to look up anyhting more complex on Google. 

Replaced teacher Cius told the station: ‘It makes me extremely mad. I feel bad for the fact that the kids are not learning.’

Cius was later declared fit for duty, but the high school didn’t give him back his old job and instead he now works at another high school where he monitors the halls. 

‘I feel so bad for the taxpayers because they’re paying me for not doing anything at all,’ he told KHOU 11.

Click on the link to read Dumb Politicians Shouldn’t be Calling Teachers “Dumb”

Click on the link to read The Courageous Valedictorian

Click on the link to read Meet the School They Call “Stinky School”

Click on the link to read Is it Appropriate to Bribe Your Students?

What was Your #Best School Day?

March 14, 2016

 

I didn’t have all that many happy school experiences, but I suppose being selected for the debating team was a big thrill.

But the real best school days come about from initiatives like the one above.

 

 

Click on the link to read Dumb Politicians Shouldn’t be Calling Teachers “Dumb”

Click on the link to read The Courageous Valedictorian

Click on the link to read Meet the School They Call “Stinky School”

Click on the link to read Is it Appropriate to Bribe Your Students?

Dumb Politicians Shouldn’t be Calling Teachers “Dumb”

February 2, 2016

lambie

 

I haven’t encountered too many dumb teachers, but I have come across plenty of dumb politicians:

 

THE Andrews Labor Government is intent on raising the bar for teachers in Victoria.

To say this is overdue is to put it mildly. It’s a no-brainer that if you put a thick teacher in front of kids, then they will not achieve.

But that is exactly what happens. Moreover, the cost of necessary remediation because of dumb teaching is high. Yes, it is your tax dollars we are talking about.

No matter. Teaching courses in Victoria set entry requirements for bottom feeders.

I am in my fourth decade of being a secondary teacher and I have seen academic standards decline in teachers.

To be blunt, they do not know enough about their subject.

 

Click on the link to read The Courageous Valedictorian

Click on the link to read Meet the School They Call “Stinky School”

Click on the link to read Is it Appropriate to Bribe Your Students?

Click on the link to read Keep Politics Out of the Classroom

The Courageous Valedictorian

December 7, 2015

 

For me it’s not whether I agree with Sarah Haynes or not, but that I applaud her for speaking her mind. Too often the valedictory speeches given at high school graduations are heavily vetted, mushy and saccharine.  It’s so refreshing to hear a young adult speak their mind, especially when their is resistance.

 

Click on the link to read Meet the School They Call “Stinky School”

Click on the link to read Is it Appropriate to Bribe Your Students?

Click on the link to read Keep Politics Out of the Classroom

Click on the link to read Tips for Teachers Preparing for the First Day of School

Meet the School They Call “Stinky School”

December 1, 2015

stinky-school

 

Anyone for yard duty?

 

It has been labelled the “stinky school”. A high school that is subjected to a pong so powerful that, according to one family, children have been unable to eat outside at lunchtime.

A community consultation meeting last week was told that falling student numbers at Windsor High School have been blamed on the obnoxious odour that wafts across the area keeping windows at the school shut.

Local resident Kim Smith from lobby group, Stop The Stink In Windsor, said the locals had suffered for far too long from the smell from the Elf Farm Supplies composting facility.

A posting on the group’s Facebook page said a dance eisteddfodat the school had been overshadowed by the odour. “All the other dance groups were horrified at the smell. I really felt for the students and staff at that school.”

The school did not returns calls from Fairfax Media. The Department of Education said it had not received any complaints about the smell.

However, the member for Hawkesbury and Minister for Finance, Services and Property, Dominic Perrottet, is aware of the problem and said he is working closely with Elf Farm to help them get approval from the EPA to install new equipment to help alleviate the smells.

 

smelly-school

Click on the link to read Is it Appropriate to Bribe Your Students?

Click on the link to read Keep Politics Out of the Classroom

Is it Appropriate to Bribe Your Students?

November 2, 2015

money-for-grades

I’m not entirely critical of a school that has the money to incentivise academic improvement among their student population. After all, at least they’re trying.

But it really does seem rather desperate:

 

Brandon Allen is determined to make sure senioritis doesn’t hit during his last year at John Glenn High School in Westland. So he has signed a contract that will pay him $200 per semester if he substantially improves his grades.

“I heard that senioritis is a real thing. I figured that if I signed up for this program, it would keep me on track,” said Brandon of Westland.

About 400 students at the nearly 1,800-student school have signed such contracts, modeled after a smaller program at nearby Wayne Memorial High School. Both schools are in the Wayne-Westland Community Schools district.

The new program, called Champions of John Glenn, is funded primarily by a $50,000 donation from local businessman Glenn Shaw and his family. Shaw, who graduated from Wayne Memorial in 1961, lives in Canton, but Westland is still in his heart.

“I just love this community. … We just know kids are going to do so much better,” he said.

In addition to being able to earn $400 in a school year, the student with the highest percentage increase in his or her grade-point average will receive a one-year scholarship to the Wayne County Community College District or Schoolcraft College. Students already having a top grade of 4.0 can earn the money by setting different goals: organizing an event, taking a college entrance exam, reading a book or writing a paper.

Nearly all of the teachers at the school  — as well as other staff members such as custodians and the police liaison officer —  have signed on to become mentors. So has the district superintendent.

Some teachers have taken on entire classes of students.

 

Click on the link to read Keep Politics Out of the Classroom

Click on the link to read Tips for Teachers Preparing for the First Day of School

Click on the link to read Would You Ever Want to Visit Your Old High School?

Click on the link to read Middle School Student Bought Teacher Thong Underwear as a Gift by Accident


%d bloggers like this: