The Power of the Positive Phone Call Home When I first started teaching and was overwhelmed by the demands and complexity of the job, my survival strategy was simply to take all the advice that came my way and implement it. So when my wise mentor suggested that after the first day of school I call all of my second grader's parents, I did so. In spite of my exhaustion, I called each family and introduced myself. I asked a few questions about their child. I said that their kid had had a good first day. I said I looked forward to working together. Throughout that year, and the years that followed, I continued this practice -- I had an intuitive feeling that it was key: The positive phone call home. When I taught middle school, this strategy made the difference between an unmanageable group of kids and an easy group. First I'd call parents of the kids who I knew would be challenging, those I suspected rarely got positive calls. Some of these kids were difficult, extremely difficult. I know how many hours teachers work.
The Importance of Time Management to Having a Life Outside TeachingThe Educator Cross-posted at Bluff City Education During my first two years of teaching, it seemed as if I had no personal life. The demands of learning the craft required so much of my time and energy that I would often work 12 to 15 hours a day, with little energy or free time left over. I [&hellip... Cross-posted at Bluff City Education During my first two years of teaching, it seemed as if I had no personal life. This year—my third—I decided that things would be different. Exercise for 30 minutes at least five times a weekSpend one weekend day work-freeRead one book a month for pleasureSpend 15 minutes (minimum) a day reading the newsAttend church every Sunday This might not sound like a terribly ambitious list, but any early-career teacher can tell you that completing these tasks within the context of the job’s responsibilities would definitely be challenging. 1. 2. If this sounds like something you need to do, check out the important/urgent matrix from Coveyhere. 3. 4. 5. Like this:
The Pencil Mataphor Classroom Management and the Flipped Class Editor's Note:This post was co-authored by Aaron Sams, CEO of Sams Learning Designs, LLC and founding member of the Flipped Learning Network. Let's face it. We teachers spend far too much time and energy trying to keep students quiet so that they can listen to us. We have taken countless courses and workshops on classroom management in our careers, and it seems that the underpinning goal of classroom management is for teachers to keep kids quiet so that they can learn. What if the goal of class was for the students to actively engage in the content and participate in tangible ways in the learning process? Noise Is Good As we pioneered the flipped class, we got away from the front of the room and got a whole different perspective on what classroom management could look like. As we did this, the dynamics of the classroom dramatically changed. But, as with any change, we found some new challenges. 4 New Management Issues Who Gets My Time? Redirecting Off-Task Kids Becomes More Important
12 Choices to Help You Step Back from Burnout "Our very lives are fashioned by choice. First we make choices. Then our choices make us." - Anne Frank A tired teacher is a powder keg waiting for a match. In my bouts with burnout, I've learned that stepping back from the brink is about choice. These 12 choices have helped me recover and be a better teacher for my students. Choice #1: Choose to Be Happy First, happiness is a choice. Use happy triggers to boost your mood when you get upset. Choice #2: Choose to Disconnect We are making a dumb use of our smartphones. Choice #3: Choose to Be Mindful Mindfulness is being called society’s next wonder drug. Choice #4: Choose to Make Time for Sleep Sleep loss harms your thinking, your health, and your mood. Realize that watching your favorite movie may not be restful when you're exhausted. Choice #5: Choose to Get Outside and Get Moving Last year when I was in charge of prom on top of everything else, I was close to quitting. Choice #6: Choose to Be Grateful Choice #7: Choose What to Overlook
Det finns ingen anledning att missunna lärarna deras semestrar Åsikter. Så här mitt i sommaren med ett väder värdigt Mallorca är det härligt att ha semester, men hur är det med lärarnas semester? De är väl lediga hela sommaren och dessutom på övriga lov? Och hur kan de komma sig att det kan gå hem efter lunch en gång i veckan? Inte allt för sällan inleds en konversation i juli med frågan: ”Semester?”. Om jag får frågan fortsätter nästan alltid meningen med: ”Visst ja, du jobbar ju i skolan, klart du är ledig”. Hur kan det komma sig? Svaret på hur det ligger till med arbetstiden finns i något så kryptiskt som Bilaga M. På hemsidan för Sveriges kommuner och landsting (SKL) kan man hitta avtal och bestämmelser. Bilaga M gäller för ”lärare vars huvuduppgift är undervisning förlagd till läsår”. Till att börja med så arbetar alla kommunalt heltidsanställda, oavsett anställningsbilaga, lika många årsarbetstimmar, i genomsnitt 1 767 timmar exklusive semester. Det hela är inte särskilt komplicerat egentligen.
Why so many kids can’t sit still in school today The Centers for Disease Control tells us that in recent years there has been a jump in the percentage of young people diagnosed with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly known as ADHD: 7.8 percent in 2003 to 9.5 percent in 2007 and to 11 percent in 2011. The reasons for the rise are multiple, and include changes in diagnostic criteria, medication treatment and more awareness of the condition. In the following post, Angela Hanscom, a pediatric occupational therapist and the founder of TimberNook, a nature-based development program designed to foster creativity and independent play outdoors in New England, suggests yet another reason more children are being diagnosed with ADHD, whether or not they really have it: the amount of time kids are forced to sit while they are in school. This appeared on the TimberNook blog. State-based Prevalence Data of ADHD Diagnosis (2011-2012): Children CURRENTLY diagnosed with ADHD (Centers for Disease Control) By Angela Hanscom
Teacher wellbeing: how to mentally prepare for a new school year | Teacher Network | Guardian Professional You may be feeling zen now but for many teachers the start of term is like an onslaught. To help you get ready for a new school year, psychologist Gail Kinman offers advice on how to prepare and how to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Your employer has a legal and moral duty of care so, if you feel stressed, remember to talk about it with your line manager. A couple of weeks before a new term Ask yourself how you feel Some people dread going back, while others are excited. If there are steps you can take to change things: great. Reflect on the way you work For example, if you usually do lesson preparation or marking late into the night and miss out on social life or sleep, think about whether there are other ways of managing your workload. Listen to your body Recover before term starts by spending time listening to your body and what it needs. Try mindfulness techniques A great way to relax and prepare for a new term is through mindfulness techniques. Build up your emotional resilience
Less Is More: The Value of a Teacher's Time | Edutopia This past weekend, I had the privilege of being part of a panel at the Maryland State Education Association's Education Policy Forum with 2014 National Teacher of the Year Sean McComb, Maryland Teacher of the Year Jody Zepp, and educator-turned-influential radio host Marc Steiner. We convened in front of policymakers, superintendents, and other thought leaders. It sounded title-rific until we actually started talking about the profession we love and lead. One of the first questions we were asked was: "If you could build a school, what would it look like?" I had a few models to draw from, including Lori Nazareno's teacher-led Math and Science Leadership Academy in Denver, or Chris Lehmann's inquiry-and-design-driven Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia. The Unseen Work Yet the best investment that seemed most tangible to the policymakers right in front of me was time. If I started a school right now, I would restructure school time nationwide. Students need more time with teachers.
Conference Time: Chatting With Parents | Edutopia Just as you've finally settled into a rhythm in your class, it is now time for parent-teacher conferences. This event can cause dread for some teachers. There's always this fear that the parents are going to ask something about their child that the teacher will not know the answer to. 1. If your school stores student grades digitally, bring a laptop or tablet that can allow parents to see grades. For younger students, bring in some examples of student work so that parents can see what their child has created. 2. There will be times when you'll need to have to have conversations with parents about certain behaviors or attitudes that are cause for concern. 3. One of the things I've learned over the years is that some parents want to be listened to. 4. This one has been big for me. Every parent-teacher conference is different, but these tips can help make the event better.
The Heart of Teaching: What It Means to be a Great Teacher Posted 01/14/2015 6:59PM | Last Commented 01/23/2015 11:15AM What does it mean to be a great teacher? Of course credentials, knowledge, critical thinking, and all other faculties of intelligence are important. However, a great teacher should be much more than credentials, experience and intelligence. What lies in the heart of a great teacher? You are kind: a great teacher shows kindness to students, colleagues, parents and those around her/him. You are compassionate: Teaching is a very humanistic profession, and compassion is the utmost feeling of understanding, and showing others you are concerned about them. You are empathetic: Empathy is such an important trait to have and to try to develop in ourselves and our students. You are positive: Being a positive person, is not an easy task. You are a builder: A great teacher bridges gaps and builds relationships, friendships, and a community.