Posts Tagged ‘Teachers’

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 Of equal concern is the ratio of black and Hispanic children being the subject out this outdated and inhumane form of punishment.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 Untold Challenge of Teaching 6th Grade Math

January 19, 2020

 

It is rare to find a Primary teacher with a mathematics background. Usually, Primary teachers are far stronger in the Humanities (Liberal Arts), than Maths and Science.

It is for this reason that many opt not to teach 6th Grade math. By that stage, the concepts are too challenging for them to explain (that is if they can solve them at all). It is not uncommon for brilliant teachers to request never to be placed in a 6th Grade classroom, specifically due to the overwhelming nature of the math curriculum.

But there is a hidden challenge in being a 6th Grade maths teacher. One that doesn’t get nearly as much recognition and affects even the most confident of maths teachers.

What do you do with kids who simply don’t get concepts he or she have been taught every single year along the way, with no success?

How do you teach equivalent fractions to a child that’s already had it well explained, has already been shown it on a Fraction Wall and has already been exposed to manipulatives?

The same goes with telling time. If a child doesn’t know how to read an analogue clock by Grade 6, it isn’t because teachers haven’t practised skip counting by 5 and described the function of the minute and hour hand.

In fact, it is very unlikely that the teachers along the way have erred in their explanations. So going into the year thinking your explanation is going to be so much more effective than the previous ones is perhaps a touch conceited.

Some may just settle for explaining the concept once more in the hope that another shot maybe all the child needs to become successful. And if it doesn’t work – “Well, at least I tried.”

I believe one is compelled to find a new and fresh, sometimes even unorthodox way of teaching the material. There needs to be a completely different style of imparting the skill in order to break the gridlock. An outlandish game or activity can sometimes do the trick.

Of course, this is easier said than done.

 

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.

Students Get Their Phones Banned but Teachers Don’t

January 19, 2020

 

Confession time: I walk into the classroom with my phone (on silent) in my pocket and my smartwatch on my wrist.

Should my kids get sick at school, or an urgent matter arises, I am the contact. I need the reassurance of knowing I can attend to serious family matters quickly.

This has come in handy. Like the time my wife went into labour, or the time my daughter’s ride failed to turn up, leaving her stranded outside the school gates.

I inform my students that I have the device not to look on eBay or scroll Facebook, but to respond to family matters in a timely fashion. They get it and don’t make a big deal of it.

But I am hardly the first teacher to have a phone in class, and although it isn’t a problem in my workplace, I would guess that there are plenty of teacher’s out there who aren’t as disciplined with their use of phones in class. My daughter constantly speaks of the addiction her teachers display with their phones, even answering social phonecalls during class.

So, the inconvenient truth needs to be raised. If students are forbidden to bring a phone to school, should a teacher be as well?

Kids could face detention or even suspension if they flout a new mobile phone ban in schools.

With just 10 days until kids return to school and the ban kicks in, the Sunday Herald Sun can reveal some schools are preparing to take a hard- line approach.

Under the ban, all phones must be locked away for the duration of the school day and smart watch and tablet notifications switched off.

Penalties for not complying with the new rules will be left up to individual schools, and some are expected to take a “three-strikes-and-you’re out” approach where students would be given detention for a second offence and could be suspended on strike three.

Public primary and secondary schools across Victoria must enforce the government phone ban from January 29.

 

The teacher’s union will ensure that teachers never have to follow the same rules as their students when it comes to technology. You can imagine the outrage if such a rule included teachers as well.

But students see right through the hypocrisy and teachers can never expect to command respect when they spend minutes every lesson checking their Instagram accounts.

 

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 Most Commonly Asked Questions Sex-Ed Students Ask

January 17, 2020

 

Whilst I think Sex-Ed should be primarily the responsibility of parents, I can appreciate the reason why schools feel a responsibility to educate students about safe sex and relieve some of their students’ concerns.

If I were teaching Sex-Ed, I would begin by going over some of the most popular questions asked by children to reassure students that their questions are neither unique nor childish or ignorant.

The following fascinating article addresses some of these questions:

Regardless of whether they grew up in the ’80s or the aughts, kids of certain ages always ask versions of the same questions, Roffman has found. For instance, middle-school students, she said, want to know if their bodies and behaviours are “normal.” Many older students ask her at what age it’s normal to start masturbating.

High schoolers routinely ask about romantic communication, relationships, and the right time for intimacy: “Who makes the first move?” “How do you know if you or the other person is ready for the ‘next level’?” “How can you let someone down easy when you want to break up?”  

But some contemporary questions, Roffman said, are very different from those she heard earlier in her career. Sometimes the questions change when the news does. (More than 30 years ago, Roffman started reading two newspapers a day to keep up with the rapid pace of news about HIV and AIDS; she’s maintained the habit since.)

She said she received a flood of questions about sexual harassment after the Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, in the early 1990s. The same decade ended with a spike in student interest in oral sex and behaviors that had previously been considered more taboo, such as anal sex.

Sometimes changing student questions signal broader cultural shifts, like the recent surge in student queries about gender identities. “There would have been questions 20 years ago about sexual orientation, but not about gender diversity,” Roffman said. But one recent eighth-grade cohort submitted questions like “How many genders are there?” “What does ‘gender roles’ mean?” “What is the plus sign for in LGBTQIA+?” and “Why is ‘gay’ called ‘gay’?” She finds a way to answer them all.

 

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.

Is There Anything Better Than the Laugh of a Child?

January 17, 2020

 

They tell teachers to avoid showing too much personality and that a teacher’s humour can be seen as a weakness. It can lead to a chaotic and uncontrolled classroom.

But I don’t care. I’ll take my chances.

Humour, is essential to who I am as a parent, teacher and now, writer. I don’t seek the laughter of children in the same way as I seek their happiness, security and academic progress. But I certainly don’t believe in withholding humour from the classroom.

Watching the clip above, I couldn’t help but reflect on the amazing impact of a child’s uncontrollable laughter. One of my great joys has been sharing my book, My Favourite Comedian, and watching kids laugh throughout.

So, no, I am not shutting shop on laughter any time soon.

 

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.

Is Recess a Human Right?

January 16, 2020

When I was a school kid, I didn’t merely think “play” was a human right, I thought “playing up” was a human right.

As a teacher, I certainly value the benefits of allowing my students to experience pleasurable periods of healthy play. However, I am also of the belief that kids who waste class time risk losing some of their own downtime. Actions must have consequences, and consequences must involve the loss of something important to the child.

Child author, Michael Rosen, would probably be quite disappointed in me:

 

Play is a fundamental human right, Michael Rosen has said.

The children’s author and poet said that play should not be seen as an “add on”, or an “extra” as he urged adults and children to “get out there and play”.

Rosen’s comments come in a video by the British Psychological Society (BPS), which has said it is concerned that break times are being eroded.

In the video, called Right To Play, Rosen, a former Children’s Laureate who is best known for books such as We’re Going On A Bear Hunt, says: “Play isn’t an extra, it isn’t an add on.

“Play is a fundamental human right.”

Dan O’Hare from the BPS division educational and child psychology said: “Children’s break time has been reduced by 45 minutes a week in recent years, and one of the results is that eight out of 10 children now do less than one hour of physical activity per day.

“We are grateful to Michael Rosen and the children in the video for helping us make the case that play is vital for schoolchildren. Because play isn’t just a means to an end: it’s fundamental to children’s development and wellbeing.”

 

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 to Take A Snubbing!

January 15, 2020

 

Being snubbed is par for the course in education. Experienced and highly capable teachers are often overlooked for leadership roles at the expense of rawer and less experienced colleagues. Teachers are also often kept on one-year deals when they have their heart set on more permanent arrangements.

Students also get snubbed. Some miss out on scholarships and awards, whilst others are left bewildered and dejected when they find out they aren’t school captain after all.

I guess that’s life. Disappointment is a reality of the world we live in. Not everything has to make sense to us.

It then becomes a question of how we deal with the disappointment.

The Answer: Do an Adam Sandler!

Adam Sandler has issued a lighthearted reaction after his critically acclaimed performance in Uncut Gems was snubbed by the Oscars.

This year’s set of nominations has attracted criticism for its lack of diversity, and for overlooking a number of films that received rave reviews from critics. 

Among them was Sandler’s role as charismatic jeweller Howard Ratner, who works in the Manhattan diamond district. The role was widely held as proof that Sandler was capable of more than just goofball comedies. 

In a response, Sandler joked on Twitter that he was happy he no longer had to wear suits to awards ceremonies, and also shouted out his former Waterboy co-star Kathy Bates. 

“Bad news: Sandman gets no love from the Academy,” he began. “Good news: Sandman can stop wearing suits. Congrats to all my friends who got nominated, especially mama.”

 

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.

Imagine if the Best Picture Nominees Were About Teaching

January 14, 2020

 

 

 

BEST PICTURE NOMINEES

“Ford v Ferrari” – An expose about what car a successful teacher can afford compared to a successful YouTube makeup vlogger
“The Irishman” – An Irish teacher’s anti-ageing efforts are undone by the fact that he is a Primary school teacher.
“Jojo Rabbit” – A horror film about the accidental murder of a beloved class pet at the hands of an errant crayon.
“Joker” – A dark psychological portrait about the slow, psychotic disintegration of an unloved and self-destructive Minister of Education.
“Little Women” – A sci-fi set in a utopian world where girls are encouraged to do STEM subjects.
“Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood” – The story of a teacher who wishes he had a stunt double to negotiate the pushing and shoving in a narrow school corridor.
“Marriage Story” – A searing drama about the relationship breakdown of an educator and her Assistant Principal after the tumult of a nasty parent email.
“Parasite” – A biographical film about the person who invented standardized testing.
“1917” – An examination of the last year teachers got a pay rise.

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.

Top 10 Female Characters in Kids Books

January 13, 2020

 

The following is a list adapted from an article by Allison McDonald. The criteria is that the character had to show girls how to be fierce and fearless:

#10) Beatrice Prior from The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth
Brave doesn’t seem like a strong enough word for Tris. She is more than brave — she seems propelled to do the right thing no matter what stands in her way.

#9) Pippi from Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
Pippi is the self-proclaimed strongest girl in the world…and she lives with a monkey named Mr. Nilsson! If that’s not reason enough for her inclusion on this list, you’ll have to re-read this classic to find a million more.

#8) Ramona Quimby from The Ramona Series by Beverly Cleary
Ramona is far from perfect but she has a huge heart, a creative mind, and never loses sight of who she is.

#7) Princess Truly from Princess Truly in I Am Truly by Kelly Greenawalt
Brimming with confidence, this diverse character has no problem loving herself. Princess Truly teaches your child about self-acceptance and self-love, showing that she can do whatever it is she sets her mind to. Talk about princess power!

#6) Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Anne Shirley has to have puffed sleeves, bravely saves her best friend’s sister, and even walks along the rooftop to show she isn’t afraid. She stands up for herself, her friends, and for what is right many times over —showing her strength and confidence each and every time.

#5) Cleopatra from the Cleopatra in Space series by Mike Maihack
Time traveling and saving the galaxy? What can’t this girl do? Cleopatra shows the universe who’s boss when her 15-year-old self travels into the future to save all of humanity. With a lot of drive, determination, bravery, and a little sass, this traveling queen knows who’s boss and plans to show the world just that.

#4) Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins
When I read how Katniss volunteered to take her sister’s place as tribute, I cried. When I saw the scene on film, I cried. And now, years later, writing about it, I still have chills. Sure, she fights and shows strength in so many other ways, but that one act is central to her character, and why she is one of the best female characters you will find on this list.

#3) Matilda Wormwood from Matilda by Roald Dahl
There is something incredibly calm and self-assured about Matilda. She knows her family is filled with idiots, she knows she’s not an idiot, and at a very young age she goes about educating herself because no one else seems to care.

#2) Nancy Drew from the Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene
If there’s a mystery to solve, Nancy is on the job. With a magnifying glass and a keen sense of wonder, Nancy Drew can decipher any question and her bravery is no match for the cases thrown her way.

#1) Hermione Granger from The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
I could wax poetic about Hermione Ganger for days. Her intellect is apparent from the start, as is her drive to succeed. She saves Ron and Harry countless times during the series, but her most heroic act is saving her parents. I don’t want to ruin this for anyone who hasn’t read the final book, but let me just warn you there will be tears. You will be awed not only by the depth of her strength but by the depth of the love that fuels it. Oh, one more reason Hermione is my #1 pick? For the time she punched Malfoy. (I know hitting is wrong, but I know you cheered while reading that too!)

 

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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