This book is not for the faint of heart. If you are in the teaching profession, but aren’t intrinsically motivated, passionate, sincere and willing to take risks, there is no point in picking it up. Just move on.
I received this game-changing book a month back. I owe my brother in Qatar a huge debt of thanks for ordering it off Amazon and having it shipped to Karachi. (Due to some technical issues, I couldn’t do it myself.) After having read rave reviews on Twitter, I was more curious than anything else on how this could possibly benefit me as I have to deliver a session for the annual INSET at the beginning of the new academic year at my school. And we all know how teachers feel about attending these sessions… not very good. It was as if the author of the book had reached into the recesses of my heart when he wrote about how frustrating it can be when teachers have to sit through endless sessions of irrelevant jibber jabber when there are so many other things to get done.
In my 7 years of teaching (3 as head of the English Department) I have found very few workshops/ sessions that have provided me easy-to-access and ready-to-apply tricks of the trade that would lead to immediate results. I have always tried to emulate the environment of those sessions- but for the most part- I was operating blindly- until I read this book. 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.
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.