January 2013

Monthly Archive

What makes a successful student

Posted by on 26 Jan 2013 | Tagged as: education, Education Professional, teaching, Uncategorized

I am working through how to articulate good learning and study habits for my students.

Here is a simple list of DISPOSITIONS that I have come up with so far — do you have any you would add?

  • Risk taking — often more is learned in figuring out what doesn’t work than in getting everything the first time.
  • Humor — when we can laugh at our selves, it’s easier to get over simple errors.
  • Work ethic — do you know a better way to express this quality? The ability to do “whatever it takes” to master a concept or task. Not relying on others to do the “heavy lifting” but seeking help when stuck and powering through the tedious or difficult.
  • In the same vein, perhaps, is willingness to try… and keep trying until you get it.
  • Humility — accepting that someone else might have a better way, a more concise explanation, a simpler or more elegant technique.
  • Hubris — just enough to think you really can master what seems to be an impossible task!
  • Curiosity — wanting to learn why, or how, or when… wanting to learn, just for the sake of knowing.
  • Clarity of purpose — if for no internal motivation, an external motivator such as wanting to go to college, or be a scientist, or to get an “A” can be enough to get a student through.
  • Time — students who will make time to come in and chat quickly before or after school or during lunch recess can often figure out in a few minutes what an hour of instruction didn’t clear up.

Did I mention teaching full-time?

Posted by on 26 Jan 2013 | Tagged as: education, Gardens and Life, good things, Making a Difference, teaching, Uncategorized

For the last two weeks, I have been the “in charge” teacher in a classroom, and for at least another week longer. Maybe more.

Some days are much easier than others, and I have found it important to change the classroom culture dramatically. The students were accustomed to a fairly open environment, where they could talk and eat as much as they liked. They were not accustomed to turning in work on a daily basis, apparently.

However, I get tired of wiping down desks, watching students race through tasks haphazardly if at all, and waiting for them to finish speaking so I could teach. I got tired of being treated as a baby sitter who could be tricked and ignored. I decided to insist on respect from the students, and to respect them enough to tell them the truth…
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Into the new year, and…

Posted by on 13 Jan 2013 | Tagged as: Education Professional, Family Matters, Gardens and Life, good things, Uncategorized

BANG!  I started off the new year with both feet into the deep end…

I spent the first “back to school” day (January 2) recovering from the vacation and trying to get my substituting materials in order.  Then I subbed the next two days.  For a middle school class, the first day back after vacation and again the following day, a Friday.  And survived.
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