Obviously, it should be a common courtesy to keep your kid home when he has a cold or a flu. Sadly, this means that your schedule will be altered. You have to make extra plans. Your day won’t be as smooth as usual. You might have to get a babysitter, or even remember to phone home every hour or two to make sure the phone hasn’t gone up in flames along with the house, etc.
Your kid’s sick. The worst he’s gonna do is watch tv, play on the computer, play Iron Chef, or discover himself further.
Don’t even think of justifying by bringing up something about a test that has to be written or homework that’s due. Your child’s ‘impeccable record’ won’t be sullied. If you don’t see the monumental sarcasm in the previous sentence, it’s likely your child does have an impeccable record, in which case, you REALLY can’t use this excuse!
How would you like to be in a meeting (that lasts 6 hours), and have one of the attendees come in with a cold. Even if you don’t catch it that day, eventually, it will work its way to you.
Let me share a secret with you. You’d never forget ‘that’ person, who was inconsiderate enough to not leave their misery at home. In the same manner, a teacher never forgets your bundle of germs, when he arrives at school, obviously too sick to be there, and contagious like a yawn.
Post with 2 notes
He says the problem with teachers is
What’s a kid going to learn
from someone who decided his best option in life
was to become a teacher?
He reminds the other dinner guests that it’s true
what they say about teachers:
Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.
I decide to bite my tongue instead of his
and resist the temptation to remind the dinner guests
that it’s also true what they say about lawyers.
Because we’re eating, after all, and this is polite conversation.
I mean, you’re a teacher, Taylor.
Be honest. What do you make?
And I wish he hadn’t done that— asked me to be honest—
because, you see, I have this policy about honesty and ass-‐kicking:
if you ask for it, then I have to let you have it.
You want to know what I make?
I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional Medal of Honor
and an A-‐ feel like a slap in the face.
How dare you waste my time
with anything less than your very best.
I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall
in absolute silence. No, you may not work in groups.
No, you may not ask a question.
Why won’t I let you go to the bathroom?
Because you’re bored.
And you don’t really have to go to the bathroom, do you?
I make parents tremble in fear when I call home:
Hi. This is Mr. Mali. I hope I haven’t called at a bad time,
I just wanted to talk to you about something your son said today.
To the biggest bully in the grade, he said,
“Leave the kid alone. I still cry sometimes, don’t you?
It’s no big deal.”
And that was noblest act of courage I have ever seen.
I make parents see their children for who they are
and what they can be.
You want to know what I make? I make kids wonder,
I make them question.
I make them criticize.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them write.
I make them read, read, read.
I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful
over and over and over again until they will never misspell
either one of those words again.
I make them show all their work in math
and hide it on their final drafts in English.
I make them understand that if you’ve got this,
then you follow this,
and if someone ever tries to judge you
by what you make, you give them this.
Here, let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:
Teachers make a goddamn difference! Now what about you?
Can’t site the exact source, but even if it’s true in most part, I believe it has validity and is worth noting.
This is a phrase we’ve stopped hearing altogether, due partly to the soon-to-be antiquated magazine format, but due mostly to technology that renders knowledge more accessible.
How to get your kid to be forced to ‘flip through intelligent knowledge, in order to get to the good stuff’…?
Well, you can’t. Not exactly, anyway. Almost the entire method, structure, and filing of acquired knowledge has changed since your youth.
What you can do is to have your child dedicate 10 minutes of ‘online time’ to finding intelligent topics/articles/knowledge, that he must then tell you about or discuss with you.
This will help your child in getting him used to distinguishing between spam and valuable knowledge, learning to cultivate his desire to expand his interests, give him a bank of topics that he can then use to intelligently socialize with, and make his palette of cognitive resources more colourful.
Every now and then, he’ll surprise you by teaching you a thing or two, keeping you up to speed with quotidian trends.
Where to start. There are many sites that give lists of great educational sites. For example http://tinyurl.com/bnafrzu gives 50 links to sites. Among these, are Wikiversity, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic.
Once your child is in the habit, you won’t have to give him a restrictive list of websites, nor will you have to keep insisting.
It’ll become second nature to him. Kinda like looking at the pictures first…
In an ideal world, every teacher would end up giving all their students 100%, and anything less would be the fault of the teacher.
Teachers know their job is to find and create a bridge between the knowledge to be taught and the student. This bridge must be tailored to the abilities of the student and must render the knowledge accessible, interesting, stimulating, functional, logical, and useful.
Every teacher dreams of the opportunity to do this every day, as achieving this means that each student would absorb and process practically the entire content of what’s being taught. This would make the students’ marks moot, as they would always get close to 100%.
With the obscene numbers of students in every class (see http://tinyurl.com/cjf65gt), teachers find themselves in the impossibility to create this bridge with each and every student. In fact, they’re forced into regurgitating material while building ‘generic bridges’ that they hope will ‘work’ on the majority of students. These generic bridges are not sufficient and they require the student to make up for the gap that’s left.
It is the ability and effort of each student to fill this gap that students end up being marked on.
All teachers would prefer to not be faced with this reality, and would rather be the ‘perfect teacher’ for every student. With every year, the state of educational systems forces teachers to be less ‘good’ and makes it harder for a students to get better marks.
That’s not fair! My kid gets marked, but it’s not like he can mark his teacher, right?
Oh, but he can, and kids do.
Rate My Teacher (http://tinyurl.com/nt2rf) is one such place.
I’ve spent a lot of time creeping on there and looking up colleagues. Bearing in mind the disclaimer that kids are: 1. not privy to all the circumstances that affect the context of the performance of the teacher; 2. governed by their emotions; 3. not trained to give quantitative or qualitative evaluations, I can tell you that, given a large enough sample of kids rating a teacher, rarely do they get it wrong.
A person can get a pretty good feel for the kind of teacher they’re dealing with by going there and having a look.
Yesterday, I read an article that left me speechless. Aside from being humbled and shocked, I realized that I was guilty of conveniently turning a blind eye to certain hardships.
The link was sent to me by a brilliant friend, who’s a special needs assistant, and who created a multiple award-winning organization called Beyond the Crayon (http://tinyurl.com/cuh5cm4). It’s a resource dedicated to authentic inclusion, to educating and to promoting true acceptance.
“Back in the day when I went to school…”
Yeah, yeah, back in the day, back in the day… How exactly does that help your kid?
“I wish parents (and the general public) knew that they are not experts on education simply because they themselves went through the school system as a child…” (Teacher, public middle school, AB, Canada)
We all have a certain aversion to change. It’s in our very nature. At the same time, we like to take advantage of technology that makes our lives easier. We also have a tendency for hypocrisy when it comes to the hardships and the joys of our youth.
When our parents used to tell us how things were ‘better’ or ‘harder’ when they were young, we’d roll our eyes or simply smile and think ‘yeah, thank goodness things are no longer like that!’
The younger generation feels judged and patronized for something they have no real control over. In fact, it is our generation, the generation of parents, who has pushed, worked, encouraged, and caused this progress that we then disparage.
Teaching ‘older’ or traditional values to your children is constructive, helpful, wise, and needed. Complaining to your children about ‘progress’ and them moving forward, when really they have no choice but to follow suit and do their best in the present, is useful to nobody.
When you take an honest step back and have a look, in many ways, it’s like Bon Jovi said “It’s all the same. Only the names will change”. We like him, of course, because like us, he didn’t get to do his homework using the internet.
You can rest assured that your kid too, will grow up to reminisce fondly about today as being ‘back in his time’.
“The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different.” - Aldous Huxley
In certain places, a student’s year-end marks are 50% class mark and 50% government exam mark. Is it fair?
First of all, as harsh as it may sound, school isn’t fair, neither is life. Let’s do away with the question of fairness. Let’s look at how we can make the injustice positive for your child.
In the case of government issued exams, most of the time, they are ‘easier’ than in-class exams. They have to be conceived with the idea that any student in the province/state/country can write them with a reasonable chance of passing.
Simply answered, they are a chance to write an exam without fear of the prejudice of a teacher that doesn’t like your child, or of a teacher that may be more strict than necessary.
Most teachers are very aware of what children need to know in order for them to be successful on the government exams, and as such, teachers do their best to teach your child these things.
Perhaps you never thought about it, but the better a class scores on the government exams, the better it looks for the teacher, for the school, for the principal, for the schoolboard, etc. It’s in the interest of everybody to prepare your child for these exams.
If looked at it from this point of view, it’s actually quite advantageous.
The question that begs to be asked is whether this might not be too much pressure for one single day.
If exam preparation is undertaken, it should be no worse than ‘the big game’ or doing one’s taxes or any other event that must me accomplished in one sitting. In fact, your kid can turn the tables and make the exams work for him.
What is meant by exam preparation?
It’s a series of protocols that your kid should follow, from simple to very detailed.
The simple version for your kid:
Government exams? Bring ‘em on!
The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.
(If you wanna go straight to the gossip, go to the *)
When did ‘bitching’ become synonymous with getting involved?
It is understood that we all ‘have a voice’ and we all want to be heard. The channels for that have been established via social networking and technology, and we’ve been taught that we have the right to add our two cents.
Without judging the quality of this vox poluli, it is obvious that there is an overwhelming amount of time and energy that goes into speaking one’s mind or passing on a message or getting informed. Think simply of the inordinate amount of time spent on Facebook, Twitter, and talk around the water cooler.
Honestly, there’s nothing new in this. Getting together to gossip is as old as time. Off the top of my head, the ‘feminist French facebook’ of the 17th century were the Parisian Salons (http://tinyurl.com/765p8gn).
Whether it is efficient as a tool of social change, informed, trashy, elitist, for the masses, is all moot.
What people do with their time is their business.
That being said, what must be understood, is the value that this has for your child at school or in the classroom. It not only has NO positive effect, but it also actually works towards the detriment of your child.
Teachers hear of the gossip and will warn other teachers of the gossipers. This does not make teachers like you, and this will not help your child.
I can guarantee that finding out who Mr. Smith is sleeping with, and telling your active-soccer-mom-friend Jane, will not help your angel out in Mr. Smith’s Science class.
Helping your child = getting involved in their school life.
NOT helping your child = ‘bitching’/gossiping/getting involved in talking about the life of ANYONE else other than that of your child (or your immediate family).
* Stop gossiping and put in that time towards actually helping your child succeed at school.
Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.
In a world obsessed with numbers, we start defining everything according to numerical checkpoints. 50% is pass, 80% is honours, 1.6% is a great rate from the bank, 1000 friends on Facebook means you’re popular, etc.
Your child comes home with a 56% in Geography (let’s say). As a parent, you think, “he passed, but he’s not ‘very good’. My kid is very capable of being very good! Why doesn’t the teacher see that.”
You’re now frustrated at the teacher, at the system, and at the school, for not recognizing your child’s true potential.
In fact, you’re TOTALLY wrong and have it backwards. The lower his mark, the more the teacher IS in fact being honest in recognizing your child’s potential.
Let me explain: If you offered your son a new car of his choice if he managed to learn all the countries and capitals of Africa in an hour, you’d be witnessing your son working at 98%.
Now, if you take this to be him working at 98%, ask him what percentage he’s worked in Geography in the last semester. You’ll find that you, your kid, and the teacher all agree that the 56% he got in Geography was already about 30% higher than what he actually deserved.
The potential of your kid is infinitely greater than most would like to admit.
As a fellow teacher once said, “If you can walk and chew gum at the same time, your brain is computing more calculations per second than the entire math curriculum of High School.”
Wait just a moment professor, you’re talking about effort, but the mark is performance, not effort. My little plumpkin tries really hard.
Let me assure you that most kids* giving it their all (or even 60% of their potential effort) for an entire semester, could pass with flying colours, and even get very high marks**.
There are obviously exceptions to every rule, but before you go to battle for better marks for Einstein, consider the above anecdote, and if need be, replace ‘new car’ with ‘a pony’.
* This does not necessarily apply to a child on an IPP or who is or should be coded.
** On the condition that the preceding foundational material was learnt and understood. (i.e. knowing that Africa is not a country before giving it all in learning all the countries and capitals of Africa)
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