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Every Teacher’s Greatest Ally

January 4, 2018

The most important ally a teacher can have is not their students, colleagues or Principal. They are all very important, but arguably the relationship a teacher has with the parents of their students is the most pivotal and indicative of success.

If you are blessed with kind, warm and supportive parents you have struck gold. If you get the opposite, you’ll find yourself reaching for the white flag.

A great parent just wants their child to be happy. They are keen to do whatever it takes to give their child the love and support required to see them succeed.

Our job is so much easier when we get to work with positive and proactive parents. Watching the clip above, I couldn’t help but think that hockey player Bobby Butler’s dad would be a dream parent for any teacher.

 

 

Click on the link to read Who Should Lead the Parent-Teacher Conference?

Click on the link to read Tips for Making a Parent-Teacher Relationship Work

Click on the link to read Sometimes It’s Worth Risking a Fight With a Parent

Click on the link to read 10 Tips for Dealing With Difficult Parents

Click on the link to read 5 Helpful Tips for a Better Parent-Teacher Conference

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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”

Teachers Want to be Liked

August 24, 2017

 

In the quest to gain control of their class and appear impenetrable teachers can seem cold and somewhat removed.

In reality, this is far from who they really are.

Teachers are vulnerable, caring and want nothing more than to help their students achieve in every aspect of their lives.

Deep down we desperately want our students to like us.

 

 

Click on the link to read What are We Doing to Protect Our Teachers?

Click on the link to read The Gift of Teaching and the Other Gifts that Come With It

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

Click on the link to read Teachers Want to Be Liked (Video)

Click on the link to read The Epidemic that is Teacher Bullying

3 Reasons Why Writing Standards are Falling in the Classroom

August 2, 2017

 

The standardised Naplan tests are back and surprise, surprise, it shows a decline in writing standards.

Many will be scratching their heads and asking why?

Below are 3 theories I have to explain the decline.

 

  1. Kids hate writing – It’s a struggle to get kids to write. They detest it. And don’t even bring up a second and third draft. No way are kids amenable to fixing up their already “perfect” first attempt. Teachers, in their bid to engage the class often keep writing lessons to a bare minimum. This of course has a major impact on the quality of their writing.
  2. Technology – There is a technology race among schools. Schools are constantly trying to outdo each other by embracing cutting edge technology. Technology does next to nothing to improve “bricks and mortar” skills like writing.
  3. Teachers Choose What Writing Genre to Focus on – Teachers are often given the choice as to what writing genre to focus on. They often choose the easy ones and the ones they are most comfortable with. Recounts and procedural writing are popular mainstays in classrooms. Instead of finding out the genres the students have already covered in previous years, teachers are only to happy to revise the same old tired genres for no other reason that they are easy to teach, write and mark. In the meantime, more difficult genres are hardly ever looked at.

 

 

Click on the link to read You Can Blame Me for My Students’ Standardized Test Scores

Click on the link to read Teacher Writes Truly Inspirational Letter to Her Students

Click on the link to read Redirect Your Frustrations About Common Core

Click on the link to read Perhaps There Should be a Standardized Test for Teachers

Click on the link to read Reasons Why I am Forced to Teach to the Test

There are a Lot of Bernard Tomics Among the Teaching Fraternity

July 5, 2017

“This is my eighth Wimbledon or ninth, I think. I’m still 24, and it’s tough to find motivation, you know,” he said.

“Really, me being out there on the court, to be honest with you, I just couldn’t find any motivation.

“It was definitely a mental issue out there.

“Yeah, I just tried to break a bit of momentum but just couldn’t find any rhythm and, you know, wasn’t mentally and physically there with my mental state to perform.

“I don’t know why, but, you know, I felt a little bit bored out there. You know, to be completely honest with you.”

 

Above is from a candid post match press conference given by Australian tennis player Bernard Tomic.

He is getting slammed for these comments, and it’s not hard to see why.

But, if you think about it, teachers all over Australia could sympathise. Many of my fellow teachers have expressed the same levels of disenchantment and have admitted to going through the motions.

I don’t blame them, really.

Any industry that takes incentives out of the equation, leads their workers to do nothing more than just enough. By refusing to pay teachers based on their worth and instead paying them according to their experience, the Government have set up a system that will lead to Tomics, not Federer’s.

There is nothing worse than seeing a natural talent squander his or her potential. But before we judge a sporting star who refuses to try his best, we have to ask;

Are we trying our best?

 

 

Click on the link to read Why Many Teachers Leave

Click on the link to read The Countries Where Teachers Are Paid the Most

Click on the link to read You Can Get Paid Like a Monkey Without Being One

Click on the link to read Which Country Pays the Most for Its Teachers

 Click on the link to read “Better Pay Leads to Better teachers”: Prove it!

I’m Not Myself When I’m Teaching. I’m Better!

July 4, 2017

 

There was a time there when I thought that I wasn’t the real “me” when I was teaching. That is was all a bit of an act.

I no longer feel that way.

In fact, I suspect it is the opposite.

Teaching has given me the opportunity to be my best self. I suspect that I am more myself when I am teaching than at any part of the day.

The confidence, the humor, the ability to take risks and try new things, it’s all characteristics that I should be exuding in everyday life. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, it’s restricted to the classroom.

That’s why, whilst others celebrate school holidays, I dread them.

Teaching, after all, represents a return to me.

 

 

Click on the link to read Teacher Stereotypes: Which One Are You?

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

Click on the link to read Tricks That Work For Some Teachers But Don’t for Others (Video)

Click on the link to read Tips For Less Talking and Better Teaching

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

Queensland’s Stupid Selection Process for New Teachers

June 5, 2017

 

Would you trust a University to pick a good teacher?

This would be the same Universities that have been badly training our young prospective teachers. The ones that have left them full of theoretical mumbo jumbo, but with no idea how to solve the practical problems that make the job so difficult.

Making prospective teachers write an essay is a stupid idea. You might as well just get them to buy a raffle ticket instead. It would lead to a similar strike rate by the end of the process:

 

FUTURE teachers will have to pen a 1000-word personal essay on what inspires them, in a bid to select those most likely to survive in the classroom.

On top of existing academic requirements, prospective teachers will have to “draw on their life experiences” to show they are “motivated, organised and resilient” before being accepted into any Queensland education degree from August.

Candidates will have to write 500 words on two categories, one addressing suitability to teach and another covering personal learning, with a range of prompt questions asking what makes a good teacher and what has inspired them to teach.

 

Click on the link to read my post Tips for Teachers Who Want to Get Ahead

Click on the link to read my post Mindless Theory Not Benefiting Young Teachers

Click on the link to read my post Care About Your Students or Find a Different Career

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

Teacher Does Lesson Plans While Giving Birth

May 3, 2017

I dislike lesson plans immensely. I understand the value of it, yet it remains one of my least favourite aspects of the job. This teacher wins the medal for completing hers at a time when most would have it as the last thing on their mind:

 

Any woman who gives birth deserves a medal, all the chocolate in the world and a whole heap of praise, but a mother from Texas has truly proved that she’s superwoman – by doing her lesson planning while in labor.

Jennifer Pope, who gave birth to a baby girl last month, is the internet’s new favourite person after a picture of her working hard in the hospital ward was uploaded to social media. Photographer Andrea McDonald caught the candid picture of Pope working from her bed, which she then uploaded to Facebook. She captioned the snap:

“No, she is not doing her taxes. Those papers would be her lesson plans her husband is about to go drop off with her sub in the parking lot.

“Also, next week is Teacher Appreciation Week here in Texas. Spoil them rotten because even in labor, they care. No lie, she gave birth less than an hour later.

“This post is about showing the dedication of a teacher (I was one myself for many years). Seriously, be kind or scroll down.”

Pope, who has worked as a teacher for over 10 years and has three older children, told Huffington Post that she wants her picture to inspire other women to know that they can be parents and have careers.

“Being a working mom is hard ― like really hard,” said Pope. “But, it’s also so rewarding and fulfilling. I can’t imagine myself in any other profession.”

She added that she hopes the picture will help illustrate teachers’ dedication to their job and their students: “To many ― perhaps all ― of us, this is so much more than a job. It’s an all-encompassing passion.”

 

Click on the link to read The Letter that Brought a Teacher to Tears

Click on the link to read Students Care About Caring Teachers

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

The Letter that Brought a Teacher to Tears

April 27, 2017

It’s moments like these that gives us perspective for the hard times:

 

Markus left the incredibly heartwarming note on his teacher, Mr. KJ’s desk, with the proud mentor then deciding to share it on Facebook group ‘Love What Matters’.

Mr. J was obviously taken aback by the compliments in the letter and shared it with the world.

“So I walked in the classroom and found this letter on the desk that one of my kids wrote me and…I tried so hard not to tear up,” he wrote online.

 

Click on the link to read Students Care About Caring Teachers

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

The Death of a Student

April 18, 2017

 

I suppose it happens to nearly all teachers at some point and tonight it has happened to me.

At approximately 7pm I got an email to notify me that a student I had taught 2 years ago had passed away.

I am grief stricken. He was only 12 years old!

Words fail me. I had a great connection with this child. I felt I understood him like no other teacher.

And now he’s gone and it will take me a while to get over it.

They tell you not to get emotionally involved but it is absolutely impossible.

Especially with students like him.

Rest in Peace!

 

Click on the link to read Explaining the Paris Tragedy to Young Children

Click on the link to read Some Kids Are So Brave! (Video)

Click on the link to read Guess What This Map Represents

Click on the link to read Is There a Greater Tragedy than a School Tragedy?


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