One of the sins of our profession and many others is claiming ‘ownership’ of ideas without sufficiently acknowledging the genesis of the initiative. So often something claimed as belonging to a person by that person, has its origins elsewhere. That applies to information gleaned from the web but also results from the claimant not sufficiently researching to determine whether her or his idea has been tried in another place and at an earlier time.
As a long term educator, I can attest to that happening for me on quite a few occasions. Ideas I had and actions I initiated were, not infrequently, usurped by others who claimed practicdes and innovations I had introduced as their own. I never protested loudly because if children and students benefit, does it really matter where the idea originated.
Nevertheless, one puts these things away in the back of one’s mind and it does impact upon the respect held for purloiners.
ALWAYS acknowledge your sources. Encourage and require children and studenst to do the same.
I weep for the way in which spelling has been discounted in this modern day and age. Too often the elements of word study are neglected and ‘anything goes’. Teacher too often do not know how to teach spelling and do not know how to spell themselves. Spelling. grammatical constructs, word usage and application including meaning are discounted.
When I trained as a teacher in 1968 – 69, one of our ‘method’ units was the teaching of spelling. Furthermore, we were required to sit a test of 100 spelling words and were allowed one error. An error included writing the word, realising it was wrong and correcting that word. Failure required the test to be sat again and again and again. The test HAD to be passed before trainees graduated. Failure meant one did not graduate until the test was mastered.
A far cry from then until now, when it often seems anything goes. Dear teachers of today and tomorrow, how I hope you will help reverse that trend by teaching spelling.
When dealing with issues, try to avoid extreme responses before considering the substance of the situation. It is easy to go from being very very excited and euphoric to very very downcast and despairing when considering things without proper digestion and comprehension. Never rush. When presented with issues considered carefully the ramifications of your responses, making them as evenhanded as possible. Never be impetuous or rash; when looking at issues consider all things carefully. Show wisdom up front of making decisions. Try to avoid being a person who is wise in hindsight because what has been done could’ve been done differently and better.
Technology with all its advances is better understood by children and young people than teachers. Students in terms of their intimate technological knowledge are often streets ahead of their instructors. teachers worry they can’t keep up.
In 1996, Heather Gabriel wrote in ‘The Australian’, that teachers should not stress out about this factor. She suggested that the classroom be like unto a ship, the teachers the captain and students like unto the crew. A good ship’s captain does not try and try to do everything. He or she delegates to the crew and oversees the totality of function to ensure the ship safely negotiates from the start to the end of its journey.
Similarly, teachers can engage students to oversee aspects of the classroom’s technological challenge while ensuring that technology enhances learning outcomes. That to my way of thinking is an apt analogy
The myriad of educational initiatives constantly coming at us, means schools could always be in a state of flux. We are constantly urged to try this, that and the other idea, meaning there can be little time to settle on an agenda. Organisations deserve predictability and steady state. Schools also need to be places where deep learning is offered.
Rapid movement from one idea to the next to the next means there is little time for stabilising the agenda. Rather than deep learning, schools become like a frog hopping from lilly pad to lilly pad to lilly pad. One slip, and the frog is dunked. In the same way, schools can become places of instability. Students and teachers need both predictability and surety.
The work done by teachers, school leaders and others connected with schools is metaphorically like an iceberg. One tenth of an iceberg is visible above the water, with the other nine tenths below the water. It is invisible to the casual observer.
Similarly, 10% of what educators do is visible to parents and the community. The other 90% is not seen, hidden from view, but essential if their roles are fulfilled. The depth of education is not seen. But without the devotion to planning and preparation, then follow up to teaching and visible management and leadership efforts, our roles would be far less effective.
‘No one on their death bed ever regretted not having spent more time at work’ is something I heard many years ago. Work IS important and we need to do our very best. However, there needs to be life after work, a time for family, friends and relaxation. We need renewal and revitalisation. That does not happen if our noses are forever on the grindstone. We need to do our conscientious best at the coalface. We also need to live life.
Teaching should be a joy. I hope that all pre-service teachers are going into the profession because because they want to, not because they feel under qualified to go into any other profession. Teaching is challenging but it should also bring joy. Teachers need to be ‘wannabees’ not ‘gottabees’. All the best to all those who are preparing to enter our classrooms as teachers of tomorrow
Please consider being teachers and principals who appreciate the efforts of students and peers. “Thanks’ is a little word, hugely appreciated by those deserving recognition but so often overlooked. It is easy to pick, find fault, criticise and throw brick-bats. It seems that too often we overlook the bouquets.
THANKING people and meaning it creates a warm glow within others. The benefits of this positive remembrance lift offerers as well as receivers.
There is room for all educators to give and receive genuine thanks for appreciation is positive and uplifting.
Should the development of speech and speaking programs be part of the curriculum available to children and students of all ages? Is ‘speaking and listening’ becoming an extinct form of expression?
My concern is more with the qualities of speaking and LISTENING than with the mere speaking of words. There is speaking and speaking. Listening as a part of the speech platform seems to have gone by the bye. Too often people listen for pause, so they can begin speaking. They listen but don’t hear or comprehend.