Posts Tagged ‘K-12 Education’
It is the end of the school year here in Australia and like every year, my kids say goodbye to some wonderful teachers and I get sentimental. Noff (my youngest) is finishing primary school and will be going into high school next year, so we had to say goodbye to quite a few teachers.
As we were making up the end of year gifts, we made a list of all the teachers Noff has had in the last 8 years, and examined their contributions to her life and to ours, her family. Noff had about six teachers she said she really liked. Of those six, two made a significant impact on her life and one was such a fantastic teacher, Noff will remember her forever. She is what you might call a “forever teacher”.
Even just one teacher like that is enough to set your kid up for life. Noff was lucky enough to have this teacher for a whole year and then continued to stay in contact with her in one way or another for the next 4 years.
We, the Baras Family, would like to bestow the 2013 Best Teacher in the Entire World Award to Ms. Kellie Scrogings! Kellie (or Ms. Scrogings, as the kids must call her) was Noff’s Year 3 teachers. She then directed the school musicals when Noff was in Years 6 and 7.
Teachers can make the classroom a happy environment for children by addressing the basic needs based on the choice theory and making sure kids have a choice.
In previous blog posts on choice theory, I explained William Glasser’s theory that everything we do in our life is a result of our choice. It is applicable to parenting, business, management, and relationships. It is very applicable to education and the way classrooms are designed.
Unfortunately, most classrooms are not places where one can be free to follow the basic needs based on the choice theory.
For children, life is a playground. They love to play. From tiny babies who hold toys and manipulate them clumsily, to school children, who play sophisticated games that require thinking, planning and manipulating, kids just love games. In fact, games are a source of calm and comfort for most. They stimulates the mind and body using a “fun incentive”.
Education in early childhood is very important in building the foundation for happy learning. The early impression children have of learning determines their attitude towards acquiring new knowledge later on in life. Researchers discovered that pre-teen children who called their learning activities “play” were more successful, happier in school and more socially content at the end of adolescence than those who considered their learning activities “work”.
Children play games for many purposes. For example, games can be used to improve social skills. During games, kids must negotiate, share, relate and connect with others. This helps develop understanding, compassion, empathy, acceptance and trust. Later on, this allows healthy intimacy.
Previously on Teaching & Education Beliefs, I wrote it was the last set of beliefs, but they were not. Sorry. Today’s beliefs are. Here are the last 20 of my top 100 beliefs about teaching and education.
All kids are gifted. Every child has some talent or skill. Teachers are there to help them develop and excel in it. But remember, numeracy and literacy skills are not the only gifts available and they are not great predictors of excellence in the future.
Kids’ hobbies are very important for their emotional intelligence, more than their academic success. Encourage kids to have hobbies, share yours with them, introduce them to different people with different hobbies and give a stage in class to share theirs.
Here are the last 20 of my top 100 beliefs about teaching and education. Today’s beliefs are about teacher’s attitudes and responsibilities. To read all of them, check out the Teaching & Education Beliefs.
1. In order to raise a new generation of thinkers, teaching should encourage kids to question, even it is means they question you. During my lessons, I teach the kids to question me and the world around them; we should not keep doing things just because we always have. If we do that, we never grow and evolve. Our job as teacher is not to think for them, but to teach children to think for themselves.
2. If you focus on a child’s problems, all you will see is problems. If you focus on their strengths, you will see their gifts. Teachers consider kids problematic or gifted depending on what they focus on.
“Teaching is not about what we give our students but about what they choose to take. We spend too much time giving our students information and too little teaching them how to absorb it” – Ronit Baras
Teachers, just like everybody else, do better when they think ahead and get organized. Today’s 20 teaching and education beliefs are about this. If you are here for the first time, you may want to start reading “Teaching & Education Beliefs” from the start of the series.
1. When I need to cover a topic over 8 weeks, I aim to finish it early, maybe in 6 weeks. This gives me time to deal with unexpected circumstances that pop up. If everything goes to plan, we have 2 weeks to have fun. If not, we have two weeks to compensate for the delay.
2. If I want to help my student, I must take care of myself. Kids are born with senses to read the people around them. There is no point pretending when you are around them. They will be able to tell when something is wrong.
Here are 20 more of my top 100 beliefs about teaching and education:
1. Teaching is the business of manipulating students to think they are smart, wonderful, talented, pretty, successful, happy, healthy and wealthy. Whether we like it or not, us teachers have a lot of power over what our students think about themselves. Do not feel guilty. It is part of the job description. Just be sure to use this power wisely.
2. When I am upset with my students I think of them as the cutest babies. My anger dissolves.
In today’s part of Teaching & Education Beliefs, I want to share with you the first 20 of the top 100 beliefs I have about teaching and education.
Last week we discussed where beliefs about teaching come from: from our parents and our own teachers. In this post, I want to share some helpful tips that I found useful through my career.
1. I am an educator. I teach, I coach, I present, I motivate, I do public speaking, I write, I do my community work. In all those roles, I educate kids and grownups on how to find the gifts they have inside and let themselves shine.
2. School is not a place where kids come to gain knowledge; it is a small version of real life. Children have opportunities to use trial and error without detrimental consequences. Kids come to school to learn about themselves, grow and evolve.
To find the school that best fits you and your child, and make sure you get the highest return on one of the biggest investments of your life, there are some things to think about. You need to consider how each of the factors or school characteristics influences your child’s education and success.
Here are some tips of what to consider when trying determining your formula for finding the best school. These will improve the chances of your investment being a success. They are in no particular order.
The size of the school needs to match your kid’s personality. Big schools have more programs, more enrichment, and more options in teaching. But there is always a risk that your child will get lost in the hustle and bustle. Check out the school, go meet the principal, talk to parents. Often, parents choose little schools because they want their child to get personal attention. The principal knows the children by name and the school has a personal touch. My children went primary school with over 1600 kids in it. The principal knew all the kids’ names, their parents’ names, their parent’s professions and what their hobbies were. It is possible to get a big school with a personal touch. This was good for my kids. Other parents who went to the exact same schools felt that their child was just a number in such a big school. It was not for them.
As parents, our choice of appropriate school for our kids needs to be revaluated every year. If a child is spends up to 13 years at school, we should be re-evaluating our choice at least 13 times.
Unfortunately, some people just send their kids to the closest school. Sometimes, it is the only school available and in fact, they do not really have much of a choice. The majority of parents believe they should make schooling choices about two or three times. Depending on the structure of the education system, parents make choices about day care/ kindergarten, primary school, and middle school/high school. Some parents even consider this question only once and decide to send their kid to a college (which goes from kindergarten to Grade 12).