Posts Tagged ‘Kids / Children’
National Teacher Appreciation Day was this week on May 7 2013. This is a wonderful idea. Teachers deserve much more appreciation than they currently receive.
Teaching and education are the tool and the outcome in a student’s life. Much like the artist uses a brush to paint. The teacher is the artist, teaching is the brush and education is the finished canvas.
Teaching has been my journey for the last 27 years. I am not a school teacher any more but I still consider myself an educator. I teach, I coach, I present, I motivate, I do public speaking, I write, I do community work and in all those things I educate kids and grownups to find the gift they have inside let it shine.
I learnt about Down Syndrome first hand during my first year of university. I was working with a child with Down Syndrome during my work experience. At first, it was scary and I felt devastated. After getting to know the kid, I learned that he was no different than any other child with intellectual difficulties. To my greatest surprise, he improved quickly and learned a lot. It made me wonder how far we could go. I had my doubts when he did not get things the first time around, but he taught me that as long as I continued to teach him, he would continue to learn.
This experience, coupled with my work on a project about creative thinking (where we tried to teach physics to grade 1 students), taught me that too often we limit kids by our expectations. If we allow them to move forward at their own pace, they will exceed our highest expectations.
A couple of months ago, we went to visit some friends of ours who had a guest. Their guest was a young man who loved cooking but did not really think of himself as cook or a chef. To feed his love for cooking while travelling, he made a nice and easy garlic spread and which we tasted on a piece of bread. It was heavenly.
Since I love introducing the kids to special and healthy food options, I loved the idea. My kids are very much healthy eaters. When they make a sandwich it is full of vegetables and adding the garlic as a spread was a great way to add flavor to the sandwiches without adding junk to it.
When I came home, I had to try it. Here is what you do.
As an advocate of emotional intelligence, I object to kids watching TV. Everything I try to give them, the TV is destroying. I think bringing a TV home is like bringing the opposition into your living room, to tell your kids that you, the parent is wrong. Why would you do that?
When Eden was young and we were a young couple, we did not have a TV at home. My grandmother, who wanted to buy a new TV, suggested we take hers and we refused. We worked and when we were home, there were better things to do with our time than watch TV. Some family members and friends thought we were nuts and that we were not preparing our daughter to live in the real world. 24 years later, I can tell you, she is prepared for the real world, maybe even better than many other kids her age.
A month ago, Brisbane experienced a huge storm and trees were up rooted not far from us (it was really scary). Many houses experienced major damage and were without electricity for days (Many difficulties pop up when you do not have electricity for 3 days. We depend on electricity so much). We were the lucky ones. The only thing that happened to us was that our 20 year old 25 inch TV shorted (even though it had a surge protector). Tsoof and Gal were very happy because they have been wanting to buy a new TV for a year. Eden and I were not very happy. We ended up buying a huge TV with the promise to only watch videos and minimize watching TV.
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).
Schools struggle a lot with the increased use of mobile phones by children. Many new regulations are in place to stop children from bringing mobile phone to school. At a primary school level, some schools ask the students to deposit their mobile phones at the office. In high schools, the phone devices are part of everyday life and a regular item in each class. In the past, teachers had to deal with the concentration and focus of the children. Now, they need to fight the attraction of the mobile phones as well!
With the introduction of mobile phones, one new problem that teachers to deal with is cheating on tests. In the past, students had to think of very sophisticated ways of writing cheat shits on paper, on their hand, the back of the ruler or the calculator. Kids today have a very handy way to keep the information and they use it well.
A survey conducted by a media sources with some common sense discovered that a third of teens with mobiles admitted to storing information on their phone, using it in an exam or texting their friends the answers while their friends are in the exam.
Education is one of the most important investments in life (followed closely by investing in relationships). Many people around the world spend a fortune on a good school for their kids. Sadly, this fortune is often wasted and they end up blaming their children for not making the most out of the opportunity they were given. It is similar to investing in the share market or in property, you find a lousy house or buy very shaky shares and complain when they do not increase in value.
Children spend the majority of their most valuable childhood years in educational institutions. Think about it this way: out of 7 days a week, 5 of them are dedicated to schooling. If the kids are also stimulated in other ways, they may even spend some of their weekends in educational endeavors.
Much like other investments, the decision whether to invest or not, and in what to invest depends on the potential return. If the return is high, it is considered a good investment. If the return is low, it is not a very good investment, and if there is likely to be a loss, it is a terrible investment.
This week, in my art class, we talked about Facebook. I have to say I am a bit nervous when we talk about Facebook. Some clients of mine experienced a big trauma when a member of their family posted something on Facebook. The post was the sort of thing that was so terrible, each and every one of them wanted the earth to open up and swallow them. They are still sorting out the issues and nothing they do will be able to remove the post.
Another couple I coached separated because of Facebook. There was nothing they could do to forgive each other for writing those things. You see, when someone says something nasty, it is painful, for sure. But when it is written online and the whole world can see it, the pain aches for a long time afterwards. In both of these cases, we are talking about grownups.
Can you imagine what happens if kids do it?
Parenting is a really important part of every child’s life. Not only because we rely on our parents 100% for food and shelter, but also because it lays the foundation for our futures. I want to share some things I learned in my psychology degree about how important parenting is in shaping kids’ lives, for better and for worse.
In my third year of psychology, I did a course on Psychopathology – the study of mental disorders. I found out that humans have an amazing capacity to cope. And boy, are we complicated! I also found out that one of the most important things with regards to mental illness is what happens to people in their early family life. On the one hand, if it is bad, it is one of the strongest contributors to mental illness. On the other hand, one of the best protective factors against mental illness is a supportive family. So what I want to talk to you about is the importance of a positive childhood. Because it is important.
As children, we look up to our parents. They are all powerful and all knowing. They tell us how to behave, and the difference between right and wrong. We turn to them when we need help. We copy their behavior, their coping mechanisms, and their attitudes. We define ourselves based on their feedback.