Happy parents raise happy kids

Posts Tagged ‘learning’

Sore Losers

Little kid on a winners podium who came third

Winning is easy and losing is not. Let’s face it, regardless their age, no one likes to lose. Even the word “losing” sounds devastating. It is no wonder most of us are such sore losers. Most of the time, parents who are sore losers raise sore loser kids. What can we do to make sure losing is not so devastating?

When I had my early childhood center, we stopped using the word “losing”. We replaced it with words like learning, opportunities, testing, growing and evolving. It does not sound like much but it worked well for the kids. It takes away a lot of the heartache and pain.

When we lose, we feel so terrible because we face feelings that we do not have tools to manage. Some feelings are: disappointment, inability, failure, missing out, inferiority, lack, disempowerment, helplessness, and fear.

How to Be a Great Teacher (U to Z)

An apple and a bookworm

I love teaching. I think teaching is my calling and I know that many teachers feel the same. Over the years, I have collected effective philosophy and teaching tips and am happy to share some with you. In this last post in How to Be a Great Teacher, here are the tips from U to Z.

Use your space creatively rather than in the old fashioned way. A classroom needs to feel cozy and fun so that kids do not wait impatiently for the bell to ring so they can run away. Even if your classroom is small, be creative. You can make palaces out of any sized class. The students can feel like they are kings, queens, knights and princesses. You can tell whether you classroom decoration is good by the reaction of the kids from other rooms, by the fact that your students make sure their parents come to see it and by noticing that you need to encourage your students to go outside and play with their friends.

This post is part 5 of 6 in the series A-to-Z Guides

How to Be a Great Teacher (L to T)

Apple on a stack of books

Establishing a good teaching philosophy and adopting useful tips from experienced teachers are essential tools for effective teaching. In this post, we continued with the letters L through T of How to Be a Great Teacher.

Love of learning is the ultimate teachers’ goals. Use any (positive) way you can think of to promote, advertise and support your students’ love of learning. If they love learning, regardless of what mark they get, you get an A in teaching. To evaluate yourself, ask the kids at the end of every year how much they enjoyed and loved learning with you.

This post is part 3 of 6 in the series A-to-Z Guides

How to Be a Great Teacher (A to K)

Love teaching written on a blackboard

As teachers, our teaching ability is an art form that we keep developing throughout our careers. One of the best parts of any professional development courses I run for teachers, is the discussion about our philosophy and tips we can share with others about teaching. Establishing a good teaching philosophy and adopting useful tips from experienced teachers are essential tools for effective teaching.

Here is a guide that has informed my teaching over the years. I hope the teachers reading this blog will find it useful.

Affirmations are very important in education. Things you repeat over and over again become the thoughts and beliefs of your students. Make sure to plant good affirmations in their minds, ones that they will be able to use long after you are not there. “I can do it!” for example, is a great affirmation that will benefit them more in life than an A in math. Watch what you are repeating.

This post is part 2 of 6 in the series A-to-Z Guides

School Holiday Activities for Your Kids

Little blonde and blue-eyed girl

In Australia, we are halfway through another school holiday season. I love school holidays, even though I finished school many years ago. For parents, the holidays can be a stressful time. Here is an A-to-Z guide of what you can do with your kids these school holidays to make the time a bit easier.

Acting is a very healthy and fun thing for kids to do. Give them opportunities to rehearse a play and present it to you. They can make puppets and use a table as a stage. Be a very supportive audience and encourage them to perfume for you.

Beach is a great place to be in the school holiday. Give the kids a ball and some boxes to build sand castles and they will be busy for hours.

This post is part 1 of 6 in the series A-to-Z Guides

The Magic of Encouragement

Man holding up a sign that says "Feedback"

Children will strive with encouraging. If kids were plants, their environment would be the soil while encouragement and support would be the water and sun they need in order to grow.

Children who receive positive encouragement grow up to have very strong emotional stamina. Their emotional intelligence helps them manage challenges, difficulties and failure. These skills form the basis of growing up to be successful people. Parents, teachers and caregivers are those who can give us these skills.

Here is a list of 20 positive feedback starters that encourages kids to keep doing something you would like to support and promote. You can change the ending to suit whatever it is you want to encourage.

“You’ve done a wonderful job at… picking up the toys”
“It was an excellent idea to… make a strong foundation for the Lego building”
“You must be very proud of yourself for… submitting the assignment on time”

What Does Children’s Behavior Mean?

Little girl in a pink hoodie

This week, a client of mine asked about her son’s behavior. Thomas, her 3-year-old son, does not know what to do when kids take things from him. Sharon, his mum, says he starts crying immediately. She is worried that this will be his behavior in the future. She wrote in her email to me, “If a child cries when kids take toys from him, does it mean he will grow up to use crying whenever things do not go his way?”

The simple answer is:

No. Just because kids do certain things do when they are young, does not mean they will do them as adults.

Kids are inexperienced in searching for ways to get what they want. They have had limited exposure to “life” so they use more primitive and intuitive ways of getting things. When they were born, all they knew how to do was cry. And they found it to be an effective way to get what they needed. We all used crying as a method when we were babies, but that does not mean we do it now that we are grown up, at least, not in the same way.

Choice Theory: Happy Classrooms

Feelings and behaviors

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.

This post is part 5 of 6 in the series Choice Theory

Kids Learn Through Play

Little boy in a straw hat

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.

Teaching & Education Beliefs: Caring


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.

This post is part 6 of 6 in the series Teaching & Education Beliefs

Ronit Baras

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