Posts Tagged ‘Teacher’

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.

 

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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

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The Epidemic that is Teacher Bullying

December 21, 2015

 

 

Some will watch the teacher in the video above and think that he looks soft, weak and defeated. I think he handled the situation brilliantly.

Forget about classroom management gurus and 6 step strategies for classroom control, when a student decides that he detests you enough to blow cigar smoke in your face, there’s nothing you can do about it.

The kid in this video is likely to get in a world of trouble. But if I were the principal, I wouldn’t stop there. I would happily punish the entire class for their laughter and encouragement. Shame on them!

 

Click on the link to read Teachers Need to Fight Hate With Love

Click on the link to read People Find the Stabbing of a Teacher Funny

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Click on the link to read Exercise Tips for Busy Teachers

The Making of a Great Teacher

October 20, 2015

Embedded image permalink

 

Love this list!

 

 

Click on the link to read The Perfect Teacher According to Students

Click on the link to read How to Praise Students Properly

Click on the link to read Tips for Teachers of ESL Students

Click on the link to read Look What This Teacher Did To His Students’ Doodles

Funniest Teacher Gift Ever!

October 3, 2015

 

best-teacher-gift

Just brilliant!

 

 

Click on the link to read Should Parents Ban Smartphones from Their Kids’ Room at Night?

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Click on the link to read How This Mother Celebrated Her Son’s Graduation (Photo)

Tips for Making a Parent-Teacher Relationship Work

January 5, 2015

parent-teacher-cartoonThe strength of the parent-teacher relationship is absolutely pivotal to achieving in the classroom. Below are some insightful tips by teacher Toby Sorge:

 

* Think of what the end goal is. Teachers can tell when the focus is on a specific grade or assessment, whether the communication is by email, phone call or in person. Giving authentic feedback and grading assessments is not an easy task, but remember that the grade that was earned is now in the past.

* Work with the teacher to create a plan. This plan should focus on student engagement and growth. This may take time, so it’s important to trust the process. Maintain open lines of communication, so if you have questions about your role, you can ask and have them answered.

* Trust is one of the core values when it comes to fostering a successful relationship. Trust that the teacher knows what’s best for each student and how to get there.

* Trusting the process of learning is also important. True learning and deep engagement do not happen with one quiz, test or writing assignment. They take time.

* Make sure you work with teachers and not against them. Instead of coming in with an agenda, work on creating a plan with the teacher. The plan should focus on the development, practice and reinforcement of skills.

* Offer suggestions but also take advice. Discussing with teachers ways for students to succeed will help everyone fully understand children and what their capabilities are.

 

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

Click on the link to read The Cafeteria Controversy

Click on the link to read Insensitive ‘Parent Bashers’ Take Aim at Grieving Colorado Parents

Teachers Know How to be Generous

December 25, 2014

bollerman

You’d be hard pressed to find a teacher that doesn’t spend from her own money to better facilitate the needs of her students. But a donation of $150,000 is well beyond the norm:

 

One thing’s for sure: Nikki Bollerman believes in her school and the kids who go there. How else to explain Bollerman, 26, giving a $150,000 windfall to the Boston area public charter school where she teaches third grade?

The story comes to us from member station WBUR, which reports that Bollerman’s generosity got the attention of Mayor Marty Walsh, who met with her and some of her students Monday.

“I want to thank Nikki for your kindness and your humility, and you are certainly a shining example of great things to the city of Boston,” Walsh said. “We are grateful for your hard work and generosity. You have inspired lots of people with your selfless act.”

According to WBUR’s Fred Bever, Bollerman was awarded the money after she entered an online contest that called for entrants to make a wish for other people.

“My #WishForOthers is that my vivacious, loving third-grade scholars all took a book home with them over December break,” Bollerman said.

Her entry won three books for her students at UP Academy Dorchester, a 1-year-old school that bills itself as “a tuition-free Boston public school currently serving students in grades K1-5.”

As part of the contest, Bollerman was filmed giving out the books to her students.

“I tried not to cry,” she said. “I really just wanted them to have books of their own.”

 

 

Click on the link to read I Just Love it When a Teacher Gets It

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Click on the link to read Brilliant Teacher Alert! (Video)

Nine-Year-Old Writes a Stunning Letter to Teacher After He Reveals He is Gay

December 16, 2014

gay

No one can exemplify acceptance like a child can!

 

Click on the link to read What’s in a Name?

Click on the link to read 10 Ways to Move Forward in Teaching as Well as Life in General

Click on the link to read 5 Ways the System Could Better Recognise Teachers

Click on the link to read Teachers, Lay Down Your Guns

10 Tips for Teachers on how to Improve Their Work/Life Balance

December 10, 2014

 

tired

For most of my working life I have been a full time teacher and primary caregiver for my dear children. The immense workload has forced me to become more organised and has necessitated a high level of routine. Still, striking a fair balance is a problem I have yet to conquer sufficiently.

My number one rule is to avoid doing any planning, marking or reporting while my children are awake. This does mean that I push those things off until very late at night, but it is important to me that my children have my undivided attention.

Here are some other tips courtesy of theguardian.com:

 

Give students word limits to ease marking

When I taught English I found it worked well sometimes to give pupils a word limit. If they couldn’t write at too great a length, they were far more selective and thoughtful about what they included, the quality of their writing went up and my marking load went down – a win-win situation. Also, writing succinctly and within constraints is a good life skill for students to have in the future.

Jill Berry is former headteacher of Dame Alice Harpur school in Bedford and an education consultant.

If you’re fit and healthy you’ll perform better in class

Things like having a hobby or making sure you get a good eight hours’ sleep a night can make the world of difference. What makes teaching unique is that teachers personally invest in their students and the success of their school, which can make it harder to switch off. But we strongly believe that healthier teachers can lead to higher marks. Abesenteeism is costly but presenteeism is also a growing problem. So don’t feel guilty about taking time for yourself. If you are fit and healthy – physically and mentally – you will be able to perform better in the classroom and do the best for your pupils.

– Julian Stanley is chief executive of the Teacher Support Network.

Think about when you work best

Think about the quality of time as well as the quantity available. About 20% of a working day is prime time and, used well, should produce 80% of your best work. The rest of your time will be nowhere near as productive, so it’s worth recognising which part of the day is best for you and maximising it to get something demanding done rather than flogging yourself when you’re tired.

– Sara Bubb works in the Department of Early Years and Primary Education at the Institute of Education.

Change your mindset

Stepping out of the “victim” mindset and being more assertive about what you can and can’t do, and will and won’t do, is one way of achieving a better work-life balance.

The only thing is, there is always something more you can do. You can always put a little bit more effort into supporting a child with special educational needs, trying to close the gap between boys and girls, or pupils on free school meals and others. There is no limit to what you can do and it’s probably that that prevents teachers from switching off after work.

– Agnieszka Karch is a research team leader at The Key for School Leaders.

Don’t take your work home with you

Work professional hours (I get to school at 7am and leave around 4.30pm) and if it’s not done within those hours it cannot be that important. Have a prioritised to-do list and stick with it. Planning for progress and providing feedback to the children should always be at the top of this list. This will lead to improved outcomes for pupils and if your results stack up then the powers-that-be will have nothing to throw at you.

Joe Durham is a qualified secondary teacher and co-founder of the Timemanagement4teachers website.

Make time to socialise

When we feel stressed, anxious or depressed we may shy away from social events. However, connecting with the people around you (your family, friends, colleagues, neighbours) and actively building these relationships/creating a support network is extremely important for your mental health.

– Nicola Kershaw is a mental health and wellbeing advocate working with a number of charities including Mind and Time to Change.

Support others and be supported

Work with the strengths of the people around you and actively seek support from them, if you need it. Actively give support too: someone needs to start a change of direction and you could be the one to do it.

Andrew Staples is a primary teacher working four days a week in school with targeted intervention groups across key stage 1 and 2.

Look at things mathematically

I often look at teacher workloads mathematically. In the US, we see a lot of folks complaining about paperwork because lots of our time is occupied by things that seem unrelated to what’s actually happening in our day-to-day. For example, why have all these meetings to talk about pedagogy when we could easily grade a set of papers so we don’t have to take them home?

Remarks about “spurious data entry and analysis” are critical too; we really have to start looking at what data matters and what information we glean from it. Unfortunately, that gets lost in trying to become data managers.

– José Luis Vilson is a maths teacher for a middle school in New York City.

If you’re struggling speak out

What’s most important is that all teachers feel confident to speak out if they feel overwhelmed. Don’t shy away from showing what you fear might be considered weakness and share your concerns with supportive leaders. We need to be at our best to make a difference.

– Oliver Beach is a 2012 Teach First ambassador and appeared in the BBC documentary Tough Young Teachers.

 

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Tips for Tackling the Mental Health Stigma in Your Classroom

December 3, 2014

depression

I must admit that I have never been formally trained on how to teach a child suffering from mental health issues or even how to bring the topic up in the classroom.

Whilst these tips by Martin Williams are all within the realms of common sense, it is good to get the reassurance that you can deal with something effectively even if you were never trained to do so:

 

Talk about mental health

“Mental health was never mentioned at school at all,” says Charlotte Walker, who now writes a blog on mental health issues. “I found out I had depression aged 12 from a teenage health guide.”

Now a mother, Walker is acutely aware that there is still a worrying lack of discussion about mental health in schools. It’s a problem that can not only lead to stigmatisation, but also cause health issues to go undiagnosed. “My son’s experience is that schools focus on the ‘safer’ feeling topics, such as insomnia and exam stress, but don’t dare go into the realms of bipolar or schizophrenia.”

Walker suggests that teachers should tackle the problem by simply trying to be more candid about mental health when chatting to children. “We’ve seen that sex and relationship education doesn’t always work because it’s in dedicated sessions,” she explains. “I think it’s important to have a general spirit of openness.”

It’s also important to talk openly about what support is in place for children who are experiencing difficulties, she says. “It tends to be that you only find out what’s on offer once you’ve declared your child is having problems,” Walker says. “If the information is given out to everyone, no one is singled out for stigma or discrimination.”

But tackle derogatory language

While it’s important to encourage discussion of mental health, research has shown that the use of pejorative terms about mental health problems are common in many children’s everyday language. While this is reflective of a wider societal problem, teachers can do their bit by cracking down on language when it is used in a derogatory or abusive way.

“Discriminatory language needs to be challenged,” says Walker. “Schools have come a long way with this on homophobia, but we need challenge the use derogatory words like ‘psycho’ or ‘schizo’ and the devaluing of clinical terms.”

Consultant psychiatrist Arun Chopra has said previously that misuse of terminology leads to misunderstandings about mental health. “You would never hear it used in relation to a physical condition,” he says. “You wouldn’t hear someone being described as a bit diabetic.”

Importantly, however – as has been pointed out before – language is just the visible surface of a deeper discrimination, so tacking language alone can never be the full solution.

Be aware

Unlike physical problems, some mental illnesses aren’t so obvious. “Only a couple of teachers and a handful of friends knew I was anything other than totally fine because I hid it,” says Lorraine Davies, who suffered from anxiety and depression at school. “If I’d been schizophrenic or suicidal maybe it would have been more noticeable, so, weirdly, I might have found more support and less whispering from friends behind my back as they tried to work out why I was being ‘weird’.”

For teachers, the key is to be on the look out for warning signs, according to Dr Raphael Kelvin, the clinical lead for Minded, a website designed to help pupils and teachers understand mental health issues. He suggests that teachers brush up on their knowledge of symptoms and never ignore a child whose behaviour fluctuates.

“If teachers understand that depression can strike not just when someone is saying they’re depressed, but also with someone who’s concentration and motivation has changed, they might be able to help them.”

Kelvin says teachers need to be alert, but do not need to become psychiatrists to help. If in doubt, he says, share your concerns with parents and other teachers to get to the root of the problem.

Help children tell their story to friends

“It’s very important to have a narrative about these things,” says Dr Kelvin, “people need a story to explain how things are. When kids come to the clinic after a period of difficulty, I often try to encourage them to have a story about their experience to explain what they’ve been through to their peers and friends.

“Often they either want to tell everybody or nobody, and the responses vary. The kid who tells everybody can become the butt of insensitive remarks; but the ones who tell nobody end up feeling very isolated. So how do they talk about it to their friends and how much do they want to say? What words do they need to tell their story in a way that’s not too painful? I think those are the kind of things that teachers can support pupils with. If you hear the story of why someone is behaving in a certain way you get a depth of understanding.”

Don’t alienate them further

A child who is experiencing mental health discrimination is such a delicate issue that approaching it clumsily or ignoring it all together can intensify the problem.

Davies says that a lack of understanding among certain teachers pushed her further outside the protection school should provide. “I was asked never to attend one teacher’s classes ever again as I was often late to his 9am because my anxiety was too high for me to get the school bus. Another went out of his way to provoke me – I think he thought I was a drama queen who needed a firm hand.”

Even teachers who are trying to help need to be careful, says Wilson. They should listen closely to pupils’ social concerns and approach issues with huge sensitivity.

“For instance, there are an awful lot of children who will have nothing to do with their classroom assistant because their friends laugh at them,” he says. “You’ve got to take that on board because their self-esteem is often at such a low ebb that anything will set them off. It’s all very finely balanced.”

 

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