Posts Tagged ‘Teachers’

All Students Can Achieve Reading Success

January 8, 2020

Some readers take their time to reach their breakthrough moment whilst others are hampered due to a lack of practice at home.

Phillis C. Hunter reminds us all that every child can succeed in their pursuit to become confident readers. Here she gives a brilliant speech that has inspired many a teacher.

One of the chief motivators in writing my novel, My Favourite Comedian, was to publish a book specifically designed to ignite disenchanted readers. I believe that a book that is both relevant to a child’s everyday experience and is packed with suspense and comedy is a good chance to engage even the fussiest readers. Additionally, the book should be suited to reading aloud and ensure that the dialogue isn’t swamped by descriptive overkill.

 

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.

Why Teaching?

January 7, 2020

 

I often get the question, “Why on earth did you choose teaching?”

My usual reply is, “The money, of course!”

But it turns out I chose to teach for the same reason as most – out of a desire to make a difference in an area I felt was in need of more idealism and passion. I also obviously enjoy working with students and really appreciate how lucky I have been to work with so many gifted and caring individuals.

 

Michael Grossman is the author of the hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian. 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 Golden Globes: The Teacher Version

January 6, 2020

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

 

Michael Grossman is the author of the hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian. You can buy a copy by clicking on this link.

How Restraint in the Classroom Can Transform You as a Person

January 6, 2020

In the classroom, we are tested beyond comprehension. It can be quite a challenge to keep one’s cool and it often involves sucking in some pride.

But, if you can overcome the urge to lose it and maintain a calm and considered approach to dealing with bad behaviour, disruption and rudeness, think about what you have achieved! And the respect that you are likely to get from your students cannot be understated. They realise when they have given as good as they got and haven’t been able to break you that they have a teacher who possesses self-control and resilience.

But it goes beyond that.

If you can withstand a hectic and unruly classroom situation, resisting all temptation to blow up and completely lose it, think about how much easier it becomes to deal with stressful situations at home. If you can leave the classroom with your voicebox intact and your reputation restored, you should surely be able to duplicate the act when it comes to dealing with your partner, children and mother-in-law.

Keeping your emotions in check in the classroom is as challenging as it gets. If you can achieve it, you can do just about anything!

 

Michael Grossman is the author of the hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian. You can buy a copy by clicking on this link.

What Polar Bears and Male Teachers Have in Common

January 3, 2020

It seems like I have a fair bit in common with polar bears and the Vaquita porpoise. According to some commentators, male teachers are an endangered species on the verge of extinction:

 

So how does Australia go about attracting men back into the classroom?

Kevin McGrath is the researcher behind Australia’s first longitudinal study of teacher numbers. He has also crunched the national workplace data on the gender and leadership positions in schools.

His studies have found schools are set to run out of male principals in the next 20 years and the male teacher will be extinct in the next 40 years.

Some argue that’s a good thing, given the struggle women face in the workforce, domination in one occupation can be considered a triumph.

 

Whilst I maintain that quality teachers should be the aim, I find the reaction to the lack of male teachers quite bewildering.

One of the biggest myths in education is that the lack of male teachers is being addressed.

This is pure rubbish.

Can anyone name me a strategy or policy that seeks to promote or incentivise the career to men?

You can’t? Of course not. None exists!

Interestingly, whenever a female gender gap in representation exists, such as in STEM courses at the university level, scholarships programs have been instituted in the name of diversity.

But here’s the thing.

It is ILLEGAL for universities to give scholarships to men in areas where they are underrepresented! That’s right, illegal!

How is that fair? How is that not sexist?

I’m proud to be doing my part for the endangered species that are male teachers. I aim to continue until my own work-life extinction.

 

Michael Grossman is the author of the hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian. You can buy a copy by clicking on this link.

Teacher as Imposter

January 2, 2020

 

I once watched the movie Speed and asked why Sandra Bullock didn’t just stop the bus.

Now I teach comprehension.

 

I once poured glue all over my hands so I wouldn’t drop the ball during recess.

Now I teach sport.

 

I was once asked to recite my tables and replied, “Dining Table, Kitchen Table, Tressle Table …”

Now I teach Maths.

 

I once humiliated myself by spelling organism incorrectly.

Now I teach science.

 

I once shattered a shower screen.

Now I teach singing.

 

I once thought General Patton was a make of car.

Now I teach history.

 

Michael Grossman is the author of the hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian. You can buy a copy by clicking on this link.

Education New Year’s Resolutions 2020

January 1, 2020

 

Below are some New Year’s resolutions I suggest the broader Education sector should take on for 2020 based on an article I wrote a few years ago:

1. Schools Should Become More Involved With Cyberbullying –  At present many schools have opted to turn a blind-eye to cyberbullying.  As the offence occurs out of school hours, a growing number of schools have been only too happy to handball the problem to the parents of the bully. Whilst I believe that parents are ultimately responsible for the actions of their children, I ask that schools do more to help deal with this ongoing problem.

The reason why I feel schools should involve themselves more actively with this issue is that most cyberbullying cases result from pre-existing schoolyard bullying.  Having started in the playground and classroom, the bullying then gets transferred online. Whilst the school isn’t liable for what goes on after school, the problem is often a result of what started during school hours.

To me, the best schools are the ones that work with the parents in a partnership for the wellbeing of their students.  For a school to excel it needs to show that it cares about its students beyond its working hours. That is why a teacher or staff member that is aware of cyberbullying must be able to do more than discuss the issue with the class.  They must be able to contact parents, impose sanctions and actively change the situation at hand.

2. Schools Should Address Mental Health Issues from a Young Age – Youth suicide has become an epidemic, and now that we are more familiar with the problem, schools should make children aware of the pressures they may face before facing them. They should be made aware of the options they may encounter should they fall on hard times, and the places they can go to discuss issues affecting them. Some will argue that teaching children about depression makes them more likely to become depressed. “Don’t give them ideas,” they may say. Well, those people clearly haven’t lost someone to suicide.

3. Schools Should Teach Climate Change Very Differently – This is loosely connected to the previous point. It is quite apparent that a growing percentage of children are feeling extremely anxious about predictions concerning our planet. This is harming our kids. I would like to see climate change taught as an opportunity to motivate children to make good personal decisions and inspire them to lessen their own carbon footprint. I don’t think it’s helpful to have them lie awake at night fearful about what politicians are doing or failing to do. Just like we would never teach young impressionable children about the dangers caused by regularly consuming the treats in their own lunchboxes, I don’t think it’s helpful to make them fearful about what a Government’s environmental policies.

4. It’s Time To Stop Blaming Teachers For Everything – Education is supposed to be a team effort.  All parts of the system are supposed to work with each other and for each other.  Yet, it always seems to be that the teachers get singled out for blame.  Poor testing results – blame the teachers, a bullying problem – blame the teachers, lack of classroom control – yep, let’s blame the teachers for that too.

The question has to be asked: At what point do we focus our attention on the administrators when handing out the blame? It seems to me that whilst there is always going to be poor teachers in the system, nowhere near enough focus is directed to policymakers as well as those in management positions and on school counsels.

5. More support for kids floundering in the classroom – Differentiation is an essential practice in a modern classroom, but it doesn’t completely address the issues at hand. When a child is 3 class levels below their peers, what does one do? If the school can’t get funding for that child, what then? The same goes for children on the spectrum. They require a more controlled and traditional classroom set-up. The new, more chaotic and interactional style of teaching and learning doesn’t seem to be doing them wonders. How does a teacher give them what they need without stifling other learners who are embracing group learning and creative and engaging lesson planning? These issues need to be dealt with to support teachers.

 

I must stress that these resolutions don’t necessarily apply to my own workplace, but from what I am discovering, are very big issues that should be considered over the course of the year.

 

Michael Grossman is the author of the hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian. You can buy a copy by clicking on this link.

Teaching With Your Heart … and Small Intestine

December 26, 2019

 

I’ve heard of going the extra mile to keep your students engaged, but this takes the cake. And for what it’s worth, cake is the reason I won’t be trying this lesson any time soon:

 

A teacher in Spain is baring it all for education.

Veronica Duque, 43, has been teaching for 15 years and currently instructs a class of eight-year-old students in various subjects, including science, social studies, art, English and Spanish. But when she decided it was time to liven up her standard anatomy lesson, she went swimsuit shopping.

“I was surfing the internet when an ad of an AliExpress swimsuit popped up,” Ms Duque told Bored Panda. “Knowing how hard it is for kids this young to visualise the disposition of internal organs, I thought it was worth giving it a try.”

Rather than expose her outer body in a bikini, she wore another type of revealing swimsuit – a full-body wetsuit printed head-to-toe with a diagram of the human anatomy.

Her husband tagged along for a lesson, snapping a few photos of his wife’s “naked” bod in actionand sharing on Twitter.

His post quickly went viral with more than 65,300 likes and 13,000 retweets.

 

I think I’ll stick to the traditional overhead projector slides. As much as I like engaging my students, I like keeping my job more.

 

Michael Grossman is the author of the hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian. You can buy a copy by clicking on this link.

It Must Have Been Love, But It’s Over Now

December 11, 2019

 

To say I didn’t have the best school experience is a pretty big understatement. It’s not much fun to be a creative type in a very conservative school.

That’s why I’m indebted to the films and music that helped elevate my surrounds and provided me with the strength to keep going. Roxette was a breath of fresh air. They were cool enough to be considered cool, even though they were especially attractive to dags like myself. Below, I have attached one of their most underrated and rousing songs.

I am so sorry to hear of the death of lead singer Marie Fredriksson, who passed at the young age of 61. An immensely talented musician and a mother of two children, she will be greatly missed.

Thank you for helping me overcome challenges. Rest in peace.

 

Michael Grossman is the author of the hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian. You can download a free ebook copy by clicking here or buy a copy by clicking on this link.

The Harmful Effects of Constantly Changing a Teacher’s Year Level

December 9, 2019

 

There is a rather ludicrous tendency to have teachers switch classes on a regular basis. They may be a 4th Grade teacher one year and a 1st Grade teacher the next.

The reasoning goes something like this. A teacher that constantly moves doesn’t get too comfortable in a year level, Being too comfortable, the argument goes, can lead a teacher to revert to lazy practices and repeat old, tired lessons from yesteryear.

But I would argue the teacher merry-go-round has a harmful element. It prevents teachers from mastering a given year level and stops them from building on their previous year’s work and learning from mistakes made in the past.

The curriculum is too dense and the expectations of teachers are too high to treat the end of year shuffle like a game.

Yes, you don’t want your teachers to revert to laziness, but even more so, you want them to excel.

 

Michael Grossman is the author of the hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian. You can download a free ebook copy by clicking here or buy a copy by clicking on this link.


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