FEATURES FOR TEACHERS
Features For New Teachers
Volume 5, Issue 2
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“The school will teach children
how to read, but the environment of the home must teach them what to
read. The school can teach them how to think, but the home must teach
them what to believe”.
The child is the center of any educational setting where curriculum, teachers, infrastructure all revolved around him or her. The physical structure in any educational setting is one of the major means where learning takes place. Curriculum is another facet accessible for every teacher, further translated accordingly in the form of prescribed text books and other supplementary reference material. Teachers perform their role as facilitator, trying to achieve their targets throughout the academic year.
The above mentioned chain could be figured out very easily in any educational system through a top down approach or bottom up method, and outcomes may be observed very easily. The formal school structure has been now rigorously experiencing the unwillingness of parental involvement and only for this reason, the practical dimension of curriculum could not even be achieved. This vulnerable aspect is now becoming an educational dilemma especially during the in-class support time which indicates that parents are no doubt aware of their children's day to day school activity but actually don’t even know whether learning is taking place or how they could become the real partner of their children in the entire educational world.
The statute defines parental
involvement as "the participation of parents in regular, two-way, and
meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other
school activities, including ensuring that parents play an integral
role in assisting their
child’s learning; that parents are encouraged to be actively
involved in their child’s education at school; [and] that parents
are full partners in their child’s education and are included, as
appropriate, in decision-making and on advisory committees to assist
in the education of their child. …” (A-1)
formal schooling is not sufficient to decide what and where a child
would be in the near future and the entire responsibilities cannot be put
on the school system only because each classroom contains a mixed ability
learners, and teacher(s) usually deal with individual differences.
Only parents are the key mediators whose involvement and induction help
teachers to deal children with specific needs and sort out solutions of
any pertinent impediment. The reason behind is that parents understand
their children best because they usually spend more time with them and
that’s why through their on-time support, children learning ability and class
participation can flourish and foster.
As Stenhouse mentioned (1977, p.3) “The
central problem of curriculum study is the gap between our ideas and
inspiration and our attempts to institutionalized them.’’
indicates that parents are the ones who can
play a vital role in their children’s learning and minimize the gap
between curriculum and child’s understanding. Hence this partnership
will also determine how a taught curriculum should practice in
the home environment where children could further complement their
learning through the practical dimension of education with their
child is placed in a center of a triangle; certainly curriculum,
parents, and teachers would be the three vertices which are
interconnected, and this triangle functions as a scaffold.
Without of one of these, the
figure of a child is seen incomplete.
Educationists strongly suggest that appropriate measures must
be required for a school system to induct parents in the system.
we need to educate our parents about the underpinning of the
curriculum and what outcomes must be catering through their
support. "The child pulls parents and teachers together, but without the help of
one another, parents and teachers pull the child apart.” Debora
Education is a continuous process and allows all
stakeholders to strengthen their connectivity with education as a
lifelong learner. Hence involvement in children’s education is again
a golden chance for parents to update and enhance their learning and
understanding about new modes and perspectives through their
children’s eye. Thus there are numbers of benefits of parental
involvement when schools work together with families to support
and children tend to succeed not just in school, but throughout life
(Source: The Parent Institute)
there are many ways through which parental involvement could be
strengthened in our school system. Not only is it prudent to call parents in
parent-teachers meetings (PTM) but in parents
conferences where parents
could discuss the
educational issues of
their children and seek
for the solution. Also the home assignment is the best way that their
involvement can be observed clearly. However, it’s important to see
how children could be facilitated during this process. There are some
other occasions where every school manager could invite parents to
supervise the co-curricular activities which could be a great
incentive for both children and parents. If parents get involved in
helping teachers in preparing low -cost and other teaching resource material,
it will be
an additional means of support from parents to engage themselves
their child ‘s learning and
assess the learning that is occurring. A school could initiate the
services of professional parents by engaging them in yearly
/annual activities such as debate, art, drama, speech and other
competitions. ‘Parent day’ is one more innovation where the rich
diversity of expression could be celebrated and promoted collegiality.
indicates that the most accurate predictor of a student’s
achievement in school is not income or social status, but the extent
the student’s family is able to:
Create a home environment that encourages learning.
clearly shows that those parents who are been involved
in teaching learning process, their
children shown remarkable interest in studies and day to day
activities. Moreover a
culture of respect, trust and ownership could be commenced through
parent’s indication in education which will further assure the
ongoing progress of child learning’s.
I recently received a question regarding higher order thinking skills:
Dear Dr. Manute:
"I am a middle school teacher and recently our Principal has been promoting the use of higher order thinking skills in our everyday teaching. My problem is I have very little expertise in this area and I am reluctant to share that with him, any ideas?"
S. Miller, Colorado Springs, CO
Dear S. Miller -
The use of higher order thinking skills in everyday teaching is not new; in fact it has been around as long as there has been teaching! Effective teachers have utilized these methods but may not have known what they were called. Let’s use the example of teaching a lesson in social studies. In years past a lesson plan might include words like listen, take notes, lecture and discuss. A more progressive approach includes verbs like compare and contrast, create, analyze or demonstrate. Do you see the difference? The key lies in the verb used or what action during the lesson is required. Are the students, and for that matter the teacher, passive or active participants? Passive means teacher centered instruction, while active leans toward student centered instruction. If you were a student, which classroom would you rather be in?
The jargon used to indicate basic to higher order thinking skills is very easy to understand. If you look at the words used to describe the basic levels of knowledge and understanding and then compare them to higher levels of application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation, bingo, you have it at your fingertips! Where do you find this information? Where else, the internet! Start by looking up Bloom’s Taxonomy. There is a wealth of information available and from there use your teacher skills to implement them into your daily lessons. Your students will be amazed and you will have a lot of fun being an active participant in your lesson.
Good luck and good teaching!
Individualized instruction is not the same as a one-to-one student/teacher ratio or one-to-one tutoring, as it may seem, because economically, it is difficult, if not impossible to have a teacher for each student. Even the most expensive public school system in the United States (Washington, DC, 2003, approximately $11,000 per student per year) would require at least 5 students per teacher to pay teacher salaries, without anything left for buildings or non-teaching staff.
In a traditional classroom environment, lectures consume approximately 80% of an average teacher's in-class time, to say nothing of the time needed to prepare lessons. Yet lecturing is an inherently inefficient method of conveying information. The average student retains only approximately 10% of what is presented in a lecture, but without substantial reinforcement that figure falls to an abysmal 2%, or less, within 24 hours.
Therefore, throughout the history of education the notion of lecturing has been challenged as a time-effective method of teaching, and alternative pedagogical models have been proposed. For example Educational Research Associates has concluded that placing greater reliance upon well-designed instructional materials – whether audio, video, multimedia Computer-assisted instruction (CAI), or simply a good textbook – can hardly be less efficient than the lecture method, but yields a huge net benefit by freeing teachers to focus upon the needs and problems of individual students.
In this way, individualized instruction is like direct instruction, which also places greater reliance upon carefully prepared instructional materials and explicitly prepared instructional sequences. But where direct instruction is very rigidly structured for use with children in primary school, individualized instruction is recommended only for students of at least junior high school age, and presumes that they have greater self-discipline to be able to study more independently. Thus, individualized instruction has points of contact with the constructivism movement in education, started by Swiss biologist Jean Piaget, which states that the student should build his or her learning and knowledge. Individualized Instruction, however, presumes that most students of secondary school age still lack the basic knowledge and skills to direct most of their own curriculum, which must be at least partially directed by schools and teachers.
In a traditional classroom setting, time (in the form of classes, quarters, semesters, school years, etc.) is a constant, and achievement (in the form of grades and student comprehension) is a variable.
In a properly Individualized setting, where students study and progress more independently, achievement becomes more uniform and time to achieve that level of achievement is more variable.
Where implemented according to Educational Research Associates' recommendations, Individualized Instruction has been found to improve student accomplishment substantially even while reducing cost dramatically.
The coming of computer- and Internet-based education holds the promise of an enormous increase in the use of individualized instruction methodology.
Which larger shape could be made if the two sections are fitted together?
The key to any event is your personnel. As a leader, choosing your
team is the single most important piece of the puzzle. If you are
already working on a teaching team, you have a great start. But you will
undoubtedly need to enlist the help of others to pull off the event.
Interested in FREE writing activities you can print out and use immediately in your classroom? Simply click the following link to our writing page: http://www.starteaching.com/writing.htm
Have weever thought about the question, ‘What is the purpose of the classroom observation?" If it is an informal visit to a classroom, or if we are guests and want to see the classes, or we are donors and want to investigate the infrastructure, etc., then certainly we would get in and out very quickly. But if we are teachers and are engaged in a process of learning, then our response would be entirely different.
it is first agreed between observer and the observee then there are also
points to be determined. For instance, whether the teacher initiated the
process of observation by suggesting his/her name voluntarily, or it is
enforced on him/her? Does s/he willingly accept the visitor in the
classroom? Then s/he must have thought about both positive and negative
(improvement) areas to be highlighted by the visitor or observer. Thus
all would be based upon the mature relations with each other, the purpose of
the observation, and it would enable us to determine the outcome of
In my professional career as teacher and then teacher educator, I have had many opportunities to be observed and then observe others. Many times it was institutional policy, control and enforcement, but there were quite a few times when new teachers invited me to become their critical partners. Furthermore it was to suggest to them how to be more effective in various aspects such as handling of content knowledge, pedagogical skills, time and resource management, classroom management, etc.
there are many other informal ways to provide feedback to teachers for
· Sharing opinions in an informal ways projecting oneself at his/her place using structure like, “If I was at your place, I would have…..’.
· Invite him/her for observation of my own or another teacher’s class and discuss wanted and unwanted behavior and its impact on students learning
·Audio or video recording of the taught lesson could be analyzed either individually
s/he get more time to reflect) or together
· Engage him/her in an open discussion on taught plan and its execution plan, etc.
and/or peer coaching could be another way to invite comments
Taking down observation notes is a skill that matures with time in the life of a teacher or teacher educator. In my career I have seen myself growing in that skill; initially I used to take down what is good or bad inthe lesson, then gradually I noted down how the objective/s of the lesson are achieved. In the later years as teacher educator, I started observing a lesson with two major themes focusing on ‘What was the teaching saying?’ and ‘What were students saying?" Then I fine tuned my own observation by linking teachers’ instructions, explanation, and discussion points with students’ learning and outcome. I used to highlight my analysis (positive and areas to be improved) about each lesson.
Classroom observation and feedback process becomes demoralizing when the element of force directs the process, when the mutual coordination and trust building seems impossible due to misunderstanding. This culture creates a bossy attitude among the observers which cause humiliation and lack of trust, and eventually fosters hatred, jealousy, and unwillingness to work. To avoid such a condition where colleagues would play ruler and subordinate role, it is necessary to understand and practice a diversity of perspectives; to respect other ideas and avoid unnecessary impositions on a fresh teacher; rather it is suggested to inspire them by modeling one’s role appropriately when unconsciously s/he learns and adapt where necessary.
Teaching leads to inspiring other young peopleand adults. It is a voluntary process and no one can dumb his/her ideas on others’ heads; thus it is suggested to keep this (classroom observation and giving feedback) process lively when both the partners show willingness to share and create new knowledge.
Further it is suggested to create a friendly bond between observer and observee by co-planning and peer coaching. As one cannot be perfect in knowledge, it is therefore important to remind all those who are TEACHER EDUCATORS to become nurturing and not be perfectionists; And above all, avoid creating model of imposition and enforcement.
During Thomas Jefferson's presidency he and a group of travelers were crossing a river that had overflowed its banks. Each man crossed on horseback fighting for his life.
A lone traveler watched the group traverse the treacherous river and then asked President Jefferson to take him across. The president agreed without hesitation, the man climbed on, and the two made it safely to the other side of the river where somebody asked him: "Why did you select the President to ask this favor?"
The man was shocked, admitting he had no idea it was the President of the United States who had carried him safely across.
"All I know," he said, "is that on some of your faces was written the answer 'No' and on some of them was the answer 'Yes.'
His was a 'Yes' face."
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