Many of the students that I teach in our programme come with life experiences that leave them with various shades of trauma. This article “A new movement to treat children as sad, not bad” in “The Hechinder Report” tears into the often held perception that bad behaviour should be punished because it does not conform to expected norms. This is an oft believed maxim when rules are set and students are expected to follow them. No matter what. It is all well and fine except that the students themselves do not factor into the equation. It makes for great management of the masses, but doesn’t solve the underlying problems.
The article suggests some great takeaways:
- If a student misbehaves, find out why.
- We all have bad days, difficult situations – so do students. But not all of them have developed the coping mechanisms as yet.
- A caring environment is a safe environment where students do not have to constantly justify their actions.
This huffington post article discusses the excellence of the Singapore education system. I don’t miss the crowds, the weather or the rudeness of many of the general public I met on my last couple of trips down there, but I do miss the education system. Having worked in that system, and had all my kids spend most of their years in that system before moving across to Australia, I can vouch for this system that had a lot going for it. What it didn’t have, I understand they tried to fix after I left…. I have no idea if they succeeded.
I worked in the education system for 23 years before moving across here. As a teacher, I was moulded to excellence. I doubt I would have seen the potential in myself if there weren’t such a strong culture of mentoring and sharing within the system. For the ten years before I left, I took on leadership roles that enabled me to mould other teachers, enabling every teacher to be their best for the student. This was not an individualised, solitary job where the teacher was cloistered in a classroom of their own, left to their own devices to do as they pleased with the student. Here, we had the flexibility to create avenues for excellence, in our case, to mentor teachers, hold collaborative planning sessions, long before it became the buzzword anywhere else. I miss that now. I doubt anyone even knows what I do in my classroom. Before I got my permanency here, my job focus was on doing the right thing to get and keep a job… Not on refining my craft. The first 3 years here, I moved constantly from one school to another, all with different systems, and all leaving me with no sense of accomplishment. In short stints like this, I was told to teach in particular ways, many of which promoted practises that had gone out of fashion ages before. It was a depressing period in time for me, and led me many a time to consider leaving the profession. A couple of the schools I was in were more enlightened …. In one, the principle saw the value of my work and tried hard to keep me on staff …. To no avail…. Policy from on high overrode everything else and I slumped back to moving to short stints again. What I see is 5 years of wasted time before I got into the school I am currently in…. I love it here. But where in Singapore we can’t condone the wastage of manpower and expertise, here we are all expendable.
Today, I don’t do half of what I could do as a teacher back in Singapore. I don’t have the recognition, the resources, the up to the minute training. I miss the education system … And the saddest thing I think is, where in Singapore we would have craved learning from best practices from around the world, here, no one wants to know.
Download this actual 7+ English past exam paper from King’s College School. Exclusively available here for free. Maximise your child’s potential!
This sample exam paper begs the question, "How fair is it to expect students to read beyond their level in test situations?" I noticed this same phenomena when teaching for the O’levels in Singapore. I discovered then that some primary schools were using O’level texts in their testing in primary 6 …. 4 years before their grade level. It is one thing to stretch our students within the classroom situation, quite another to test them using these materials. Many questions come up, one of which is…. How would an esl learner survive in this scenario?
See on Scoop.it – The reading skill
UNESCO World Heritage Centre
This well organised and informative website would be a great resource for classroom research and reading.
See on Scoop.it – The teaching professional
The Common Core should finally improve math education. The problem is that no one has taught the teachers how to teach it.
Read this excellent article to discover nuggets of insight into how to teach right. I am not a maths teacher. I am an English teacher now placed in a situation in which teaching maths is part of my portfolio as I teach in the intensive language centre. How do it (successfully, my students point out)? By doing much of what this article suggests for the teaching of math. But the relevance of this article goes beyond just math. What I take away from this is the need to see the equation from the point of view of the learner. All effective teachers, I believe, identify the needs of their students and find the best way to meet those needs. This passion is what keeps me so enthralled with the career I have chosen.
See on Scoop.it – The teaching professional