As parents we are all biased. We see our children through our loving eyes. To us, they can do no wrong. They are innocent and vulnerable. Be that as it may, it in our lapse of judgment in small everyday mundane things that eventually lead to kids doing all the things they do to get on our already frayed nerves. Among the many misdeeds that become a hot topic of conversation with other parents are:
constantly lost in their cell phones
answering back (with a hurtful tone)
heeding the advise of the cool friend over yours
not sleeping/ eating/ doing homework on time
throwing tantrums/ showing sass
Any of that sound familiar?
Most of it we can chalk off to growing pains and a right of passage. As they get older and into their teens, we can also blame a part of it on raging teenage hormones. But the bitter truth is, some of the blame falls neatly on our shoulders too.
So how can we minimise this troublesome behaviour? Let’s look at it from the the perspective of teachers who spend a handsome amount of time with your children. Truth be told, most teachers I have worked with over about eight years are honestly on your side. They care about the overall holistic growth of the students they teach. However, the natural love a parent has for his or her child is a factor that is not present (although there is a great deal of fondness and adoration), and thus the bias I spoke about earlier does not get in the way of an objective assessment on how a child, your child can work to realise his or her true potential.
If there were a ‘wish list’ that teachers could share with parents, these little pointers would be on it: Continue reading →
Teaching children to write is a daunting task. One of the most frustrating aspects of teaching young writers is that they just keep repeating the same words over and over again. They love ‘like, big, small, funny, said, sad and happy’.
In their defense however, I would still ask if they are exposed to alternative words and to what extent. With this in mind, I have designed a little free to download thesaurus. It can be used in a number of ways in class or at home to enhance vocabulary and hence develop flair in the children’s literary work.
On ideas to maximize use out of this 30 word thesaurus, just keep reading and you can get the free download at the end of the post.
John Hattie, a renowned researcher in the field of education conducted a study in which he put forward his findings on those parameters that make the most dramatic impact on the learning of students. Read it HERE.
Needless to say, giving kids effective, precise and timely feedback lies right there almost at the top. One facet of doing this is to make ‘learning visible’ by showing students the process of learning through self-reflection.
I have taken the most popular self reflective exercise completely free for you to download.
They are pretty self-explanatory.
So enjoy. Download them by clicking on the picture below, completely free!!
It has always been my belief that the energy a teacher carries into the classroom is radiated and absorbed by the students.
A passionate teacher is the most effective motivational factor there is, that kind of drive is not lost upon the children.
However, is there anything else that can be done? Yes. Lot’s has been written about it , and lots of tips and tricks are out there that can be googled in an instant. But by far, teaching kids about the Growth Mindset- a method that teaches kids that failure is not a permanent condition since the brain (just like muscles) can become better at its job provided it is exercised consistently and vigorously.
Taking that into account, a child needs to be constantly reminded about the traits that make a student grow into life-time learners, certain habits that can be inculcated slowly and gradually into the work ethic of each student.
While we are busy printing, cutting, pasting, laminating and planning the first day of school, how many of us teachers take a minute to reflect upon what could essentially be the most important 5 minutes of the entire year… those first moments when your student sets his or her eyes on you.
As the children come into the classroom one after the other with their inquisitive minds, peering eyes and wary of their surroundings, I can safely say that at this point, most of us are politely standing on the side waiting for the kids to get seated or maybe guiding them to empty seats- helping them settle down so to speak.
As we watch the emptiness being filled in the classroom, we underestimate how each and every one of those little ones have already formed some sort of impression about their teacher.
Once we have an inkling on how those first few moments could shape your future relationship with your students, perhaps we could take a minute ourselves to make the most of the situation:
A good while back I did a ‘stationery haul’ blog post on my other blog, though I was on the fringe about it thinking what type of a crazy person goes bonkers over a bunch of pens and cute pieces of sticky bits of paper. Click HERE to read that.
If it’s the one thing that I perceive as total eye candy, it’s the pictures of dollar store hauls and classroom decorations. Well, that’s two things. Anyhow, here in Karachi where I live, we don’t have dollar stores, but we do have stationery shops and the locally made products are pretty good and not too heavy on the pocket.
Regardless, my family knows the way to my heart is… well, through fancy pens, chevron themed anything and all things neon coloured that also go click.
I am not a highly experienced teacher, but I like to think what I lack in experience, I make up in an unbridled passion to learn as much as I can from any source available.
Although I write for a well known educational magazine that caters to the entire MENA region (though I no longer reside there), hands-on exposure in the classroom has made me more wise and even more motivated to gain and spread teaching know-how all around me as far as my reach will go.
Over the past year and a half, I have had the good fortune of learning from very experienced teachers at my school and have had the privilege of leading a team of highly skilled English Teachers as well. In addition, following educational blogs and teachers, picking up on their tips and tricks is also a great self-indulgent hobby of mine.
I came across this idea several times, and I must say I really think it’s out of the world.