55 Teaching Dilemmas. Ten powerful solutions to almost any classroom challenge


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Kathy Paterson. Markham, ON: Pembroke, ISBN Subject Heading: Elementary school teaching. Effective teaching. Review by Erin Daniels. The ability to teach well and influence others comes from within. These fortunate students can hardly wait for the day to begin and never want class to end. These are students whose teachers exhibit both personal and professional power. I do not think that teachers can show professional power without first having personal power. Personal power might be defined as control over who they are, how they interact with others, what personae they present to students, and what their philosophy of education is.

Remind 5. Avoid accepting challenges that know you you will not be able to master or complete. Adopt the Yes-Know philosophy when you and the students face a challenge. Say to them, Yes, this will be tough, butknow youhow to learn and Iknowhow to teach. Together, well make it. You will find that this has a positive effect. Allow yourself a time-out when faced with a seemingly insurmountable roadblock. Avoid everything to do with the challenge, even thinking about it, for at least 48 hours.

Then retackle it with enthusiasm. If the hours add up without success, it may be time to consider alternatives. Remind If you have truly persevered, you have not shown weakness. Have you ever watched the behavior Boy, that class was loud. I have a headache, the of a great mentor and wished that colleague.

You gotta be kidding. They were on a war path. So what did you do? I just yelled louder than they did until they heard me. Did that help? The distraught teacher sighed. No, she murmured. The peer just smiled slightly and nodded, We need to be peace models, she added quietly, every minute of the day. Aim to start the day in a positive mood. Create 2. You might say, I am strong and today I will be more orIpatient am compassionate and today I will Practise 3. Look carefully at little details, like a bird on a wire, snow on a lawn, raindrops running down the windshield.

Draw a lifeline, and be aware of where you are now, how far you have come, and where you would like to be in the future. Such a visible indicator often provides a sense of inner calm, a positive reminder of growth and accomplishments, and a visual image of the future. Identify 5. Find constructive ways to overcome these stresses or apply stress management techniques. See Tension Taming Techniques, next page. If, for example, you find that you have taken on an extracurricular expectation requiring more time than budgeted for or if you are faced with inappropriately angry parents in a conference, try to disengage as quickly as possible.

Accepting an early defeat is easier than a final one. Accept 7. Forgive any person who has hurt you in any way. You will thereby release anger, which is detrimental to feeling peaceful. If possible, avoid any situation where you know you will feel threatenedfeeling threatened makes one defensive. If you cannot avoid the situation, find a way to lessen your involvement. Exercise, especially through yoga or classes focusing on stretching, and remember the benefit of a long walk outside. If these are few, you may have reached your stress quota.

Insist on taking a time-out; one of the best ways to do this is to go for a long walk. Choose your battles carefully. Avoid the ones where failure is probable unless this avoidance would lead to personal reproach for not having fought at all. Consider each situation separately. Consider yourself a teacher in progress as opposed to a teacher product. Then, if possible, do it, or at least something close to it. Plan for two hours rest more than usual at least once a week.

If you have trouble sleeping, try meditating, listening to relaxation music, using guided imagery tell yourself a story , or discussing the matter with a doctor. For example: Count the ceiling tiles; make mental lists of things to do; review the words to a familiar song.

Make a point of finding one miracle a day, perhaps something as simple as snow sparkling in the sun. Push all thoughts of work from your mind. If these are present and you cannot remove them yourself, seek professional help. If you suffer from any of these, it may be time to seek professional counsel. Think of a teacher who has had to take a long period away from school. In most cases, the class survived perfectly in her absence. Remember the proverb about all work and no play.

Remember also that the more fatigued you are, the less likely you are to teach well and the more likely you are to get ill. Possibly to overcome this societal oversight, teachers may feel driven to work faster and harder all the timea sure stress trap. It is better to remind ourselves that spending quality time with the students is more important than spreading ourselves so thin that no one benefits.

Its time to take stockand make choices. Research has shown that tasks completed by a multi-tasker are often not finished as well as the same tasks done by someone who spends more time and focus on the activity. They can even be overly assertive, even aggressive, with others who interfere with their forward rush of activity. If you recognize this about yourself, realize the inherent stress traps.

Insecurity: Has it been worth it? Am I good enough? It may be better to focus only on positive completions in order to break a cycle of doubt. Know your personal limits; if you are unaware of them, listen to friends, family members, or peers who are usually quick to comment on them. It is good to remember that when a student fails, a teacher fails even more. I dont get paid enough for all this stress. Teachers who constantly complain about their jobs or feel sorry for themselves are heading toward stress breakdowns. If the job is not for you, perhaps you are wise to consider a change.

They are in a sure stress trap. With ample excellent resources available, there is no need to constantly originate materials. The stress of trying to live up to these unrealistic expectations can build quickly. When we consider what is at stakethe future of our youthit becomes essential that teachers are conscientious, meticulous, well informed, and reliable. We know we must be consistently observantattentive to the smallest of detailscompetent, knowledgeable, and, above all, dependable. Our professional integrity depends on being powerful in all these areas and in taking delight in our roles.

Attention to Detail: As teachers, we know that the ability to observe what is going on outside ourselves is essential. Of equal importance is the ability to pay attention to an inner voice, to value intuition. In order to teach with power, teachers need to see what is present and to consider what is not.

The observant teacher enjoys more creativity and confidence, wastes less time and energy, and experiences less frustration. Professional Competence: This strength means being knowledgeable about the curriculum and strategies for implementing it, but also about children, their individual learning styles, growth patterns, wants, and needs. Achieving competence is a tall order, but results in more success with students, a sense of personal security, and confidence. Winging it is minimized. Active Learning and Professional As Growth: far as students are concerned, teachers are expected toeverything know.

As unrealistic as this may seem, there is truth to it. In order to teach powerfully, we need to know about such things as child development, learning styles, and curriculum materials; we also need to keep up with change and to have some personal time. Balancing these needs permits teachers to enjoy more student respect and self-confidence. Dependability: Dependability is closely connected to honesty and trustworthiness.

It means you can be counted on to keep your word and offer support to the best of your ability. All teachers will instantly recognize that this trait is essential to the development of rapport with students and, consequently, to successful teaching. The dependable teacher, a true mentor to students, will help to create mutual respect and cohesiveness in the classroom. This teacher enjoys inner peace, respect from and for students, and student confidence in the information shared and taught and in the teacher as confidant. Integrity: Integrity is a complicated mix of morals and virtues. The teacher who teaches with integrity teaches from the heart, connecting with the students and turning them on to learning as well as to the love of learning.

This powerful teacher lives in harmony with self and is truly happy with the career choice made. Have you ever missed something a moving along smoothly when all of a sudden a person wearing a ski The class was student did, such as forming a mask dashed in, swiped the teachers purse from her desk, and ran out. It has been on my desk since the first day of school. There were a few random guesses, but no details volunteered. OK, the teacher continued, describe the vandal. Descriptions varied and were scant and mostly incorrect.

Now, said the teacher, what have we learned? If you score less than half of them right, make a deliberate effort to pay more attention to your surroundings. Note:The questions from 11 to 18 should have particular relevance to teachers. Consciously 2. For example: When waiting for a traffic light, check car models or licence plates; count how many houses are on a particular street; look closely at peoples nonverbal communication.

Keep anecdotal notes on everything; organize these weekly, summarizing what you need to keep and discarding the rest. Allow yourself time, perhaps an hour a week during a quiet walk, to consider the implications and possibilities of current situations. It takes time to develop introspective abilities. Be patient. When you receive facts from observation, ask yourself questions about them. How can I What do IYou thereby use both sides of your brain. Pay attention to what your students or colleagues are wearing on a particular day. Try to recall these details that evening.

Little trials like this improve observation skills. Act 7. If you have observed the facts skeptically, intuition is right more often than wrong. Strive 8. Learn 9. Avoid multi-tasking if possible. This approach, although sometimes necessary, does not allow for careful observation. How Observant Are You? Try to recall what the school secretary was wearing yesterday.

What did you or your family have for dinner last Sunday? Try to recall any small details of a TV program you recently watched. On the standard traffic light, is the red at the top or the bottom? What two signs are found on a telephone number pad? Describe the standard Yield sign. What is the difference between the top and bottom sides of a standard floppy disc?

What images are on the back of the most recent Canadian five-dollar bill? On a No pedestrians road sign, which way is the walking figure facing? Describe the logo of your favorite channel situated in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen , recording studio, or food-producing company e. Describe the logo of your school board. Visualize the main doors to your school. What color and size are they?

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What do the door handles look like? Visualize the school playground. Mentally describe the equipment. What are the colors? Describe your school letterhead. Visualize your class. Mentally move from student to student and describe how each holds a pencil. Visualize your class when students are reading silently or being read to and focus on how each student sits or fidgets. Visualize your class during a writing assignment. Do certain students assume the same postures all the time?

Recall a favorite picture book you share with your students. Describe the first visual image or illustration in the book. You will be your own judge as to how well you observe. What we look at closely is determined at least in part by our personal interests. Since we are teachers, the final eight responses should be relatively easy.

You may be surprised at how often you look at something, but dont really see it. How often have you had to fake What are you going to do this weekend? Melissa asked your way through a lesson, or rely Well, actually, Im going to go to school. Im really going to school. To a class. To learn. No way! You mean teachers go to school too?

Yes, the teacher laughed, and we go to Safeway, Sears, and pretty much all the places you go. Melissa bounced off and the teacher smiled, hoping she had helped to dispel a common teacher myth. Ten Ways to Strengthen Professional Competence 1. Always be well prepared. Students deserve no less. Find a planning procedure that works for you and use it faithfully. Keep 2. Regularly 3. Often busy teachers opt out of this responsibility to do marking or planning.

Subscribe to an educational journal and read it during silent reading at school. Rather than Web surfing for answers to specific questions, invite a few students to do this for you. This is efficient use of time for you, a learning situation for them. Periodically consider whether it has changed and check your progress. Ask 8. If you suspect this is an area of personal weakness, talk to a friend, colleague, or mentor and find a way to overcome it. For example: Teach a different grade or course, or take some time off.

Realize 9. Read everything you can about teaching and children. Be curious! Active Learning and Professional Growth about the curriculum, the students, and the specific subject matter. How often have you had to I dont know the answer to that question, Ms.

Wallis said. Why dont about which you actually knew Youre the teacher. Wallis swallowed. She had been saying that a lot lately. But it wasnt her fault she got stuck teaching Grade 5 Science. She wasnt a Science major. Then a little voice nagged in her Youre head. Its your job to know! That weekend Ms. Wallis enrolled in a Science workshop at which she asked numerous questions not only of the instructor, but of colleagues who also taught the subject.

When she arrived at school on Monday, she felt a great weight lifted off her shoulders. Ten Ways to Grow Professionally Exchange 1. Ask 2. Initiate 3. If you are reluctant to do this on your own, convince a colleague to register with you. You will both benefit. At a convention, be sure to attend sessions in areas of your personal weakness, rather than because a speaker is funny or entertaining. Work 6. Usually, a principal will provide coverage for personal development such as this.

Provide each other with constructive criticism. Ask to be evaluated regularly, either by the principal or other person in authority, and expect and accept graciously the feedback.

Invest in your own development. Take advantage of every possible professional development opportunity offered by your school board or institution. Learning is forever, curriculum keeps changing, and talking with your peers is advantageous. At least 9. Ask How often have you had that Letter from a Grade 3 student: nagging feeling thatI you lovehavent Mrs. She always does what she says shell do and she tells the truth. I can tell her stuff and its OK. She to do? And you are a dependable doesnt tell the other teachers or kids. I love Mrs. Avoid making promises or setting consequences you cannot keep.

If you have inadvertently gotten into this awkward position, admit your personal mistake or failure, apologize, and accept the consequences. Students should know exactly what the teacher will and will not do. Meet 3. It is your professional responsibility to do so. It is a good idea to keep individual folders for each student. Arrive 5. Have your plans organized, your head in teaching zone, and your smile ready. Provide 6. They need to trust that the information you give them about their child is accurate.

If you are unable to provide certain, perhaps sensitive information to students, tell them ahead of time. Work 8. Do the best you can with what you have. Accept 9. Learn to say no and to delegate. When Accept responsibility, offer apologies, and promise to complete the project as soon as possible. Can you remember a teacher from who exemplified the saying to thine own self be true.

He not only I had a teacher your youth who stood out from kept all the of us captivated by his every word, he also was quick to take a stand in rest? Most probably, that teacher taught with integrity. When a particularly sensitive topic arose in our high school. When confronted by authorities on this decision, he simply said, It was in the best interests of all.

Ten Ways to Practise Integrity.

Know yourself. Make a list of your personal and professional goals, in hierarchical order, so that you know what is important to you. Write them into your philosophy of education. Act 2. When 3. You will want to make the choice that best aligns with your personal philosophy and value system. Acting on impulse may jeopardize your integrity as a teacher.

Hold 4. Know what is expected of you and then do it in the time allowed. Make 5. Show intellectual responsibility. Keep up-to-date with your field by attending conferences and workshops. Practise this age-old dictum: If you cant say something nice, dont say anything at all. Respect your students by taking a private, one-on-one approach if you want to discuss issues personal to them. Tell them honestly what you think.

I suspect you are Commit Not caring for themselves as well as they care for their students is the downfall of many teachers. When it comes to taking care of their physical and mental health, teachers sometimes put themselves at the bottom of the list. They fail to give themselves the time they need to recharge as effective, influential educators. In order to teach well and influence children, teachers must maintain optimum health and wellnessteaching excellence is lost when the teacher loses sleep, health, mental acuity, or sense of self. Teachers also need the support and guidance offered by a mentor and once in a while the challenge and opportunities offered by a major professional change.

Many factors contribute to teacher burnout, a Sustainable Energy: significant problem presenting itself as an overall condition of fatigue. To determine if you are at the danger level for burnout, do the Are You Burning Out? Teachers always seem to overexert themselves, making them good candidates for this debilitating state.

Knowing how to sustain productive energy enables them to maintain more serenity and avoid burnout. In a relationship built on trust, a mentor Wisdom of Having a Mentor: provides a sounding board for ideas, frustrations, fears, and accomplishments. This person helps with the resetting of goals, if they are unobtainable, or to celebrate the ones reached. A mentor also helps with the re-evaluation of strength and teaching power, and can provide encouragement to slow down when overexertion is imminent. All teachers benefit from having a mentor, often, but not always, a close personal friend.

Teachers, if they are to maintain optimum power, need Courage to Change: regular changes in their procedures, courses, grades, or schools. Change is good. It can be as insignificant as making upgrades to existing materials, or as big as changing schools.

The latter, although fraught with anxiety for many, is a sure-fire way to stimulate personal growth and increase teaching power. Everyone was surprised when Mrs. Nolan didnt show up for work one day and no Have you ever felt as if you lacked substitute appeared to take her class. It was several days before the truth became the energy or desire to teach one known.

Nolan, exhausted and sick, had been hospitalized with pneumonia more student, one more day? Her peers surprise turned to shock. How had that happened? Had there been warning signs of burnout? Then one teacher recalled that Mrs. Nolan had volunteered for a third extracurricular activity that term. Another noted that she had provided tutorials almost every night and that she was always the first to arrive in the morning and the last to leave at night. There were other indicators too.

Nolan often spent entire weekends working on a curriculum committee. And with her many talents, she was usually the first person approached when someone needed help with anything artistic. The other teachers were silent. Burnout had been written all over their peer and none of them had even noticed.

Check your humor content regularly.

Hinton House - 55 Teaching Dilemmas: 10 Powerful Solutions to Classrooms Challenges

If you find you are at laughing students or colleagues rather withthem, than reduce stressful situations and refocus your humor by checking to see that you do not laugh at others. Budget laugh time into every day. Refer to Teaching with a Sense of Humor, page 72, for good ideas. Recognize, 2. No one can be everything to everyone.

Create 3. Allow yourself at least thirty minutes a day and longer on weekendsa necessary preventative measure. Examine 4. Is it negative? If so, play the Stop game, where you tell yourself to stop any unconstructive thoughts, shift to positive thoughts, and take stress reduction measures. See Tension Taming Techniques, page Find something you enjoya hobby, reading, movies, make musicand time for it regularly. Understand that you are not being selfish, but if you allow yourself to burn out, you are. Learn how to behave assertively and to avoid feelings of guilt.

See Assertiveness, page Spend some time with active, joyful notin people the teaching profession. Establish a strong, social support group of people with similar likes, hobbies, traits, and interests and meet with them regularly. They need not be other teachers. Practise 9. See Self-Reinforcement Strategies, page Get a pet even a goldfish is enough.

The responsibility inherent in pet ownership has a positive effect on energy. For example, taking a dog for a walk when feeling overwhelmed by so much to do will boost your overall energy. Are You Burning Out? If you answer Yes to more than half of these questions, take steps to reduce burnout risk. Even on the worst days, one moment will be worth remembering. Refer to this Success Journal when you are feeling down. The good thing can be something very small, such as all students remembering to write the date on a worksheet.

Choose to adopt a happy attitude. Begin by smiling at yourself in a mirror. You cant take your students homenor should you take their problems. Remember that students will learn in spite of us. If you promise yourself an hour to readtake it. I like to pay for all the deliveries at once.

Then when they arrive, they seem like real treats. Keep a water bottle on your desk. Consider this mandatory me-time. Joan Neehall-Davidson. Have you ever wished you hadbeen a mentor several times and found it a positive experience. It wasnt I have someone to talk to, tountil tell all your I needed an objective ear to listen to a particular concern of mine, however, troubles to, and to provide you with that I realized I needed a mentor.

I was fortunate enough to find onenot my an objective, empathetic response? Her advice is constructive and important to me. Ten Ways to Find the Right Mentor 1. Begin by thinking about people that you admire and respect. Choose someone with values similar to your own. Before committing yourself to a relationship, enjoy a few casual get-togethers, to see how well you function together. Establish 4. If you find this difficult, you may not yet have the right mentor. Choose someone who is experienced and successful in life. Often, it is preferable for that person not to be in the educational profession so that you will gain an alternative outlook on situations.

Video Lessons from around the web. Not directly educational. Rather this site promotes learning.


  • Physical Fluid Dynamics.
  • Educating Economists: The Teagle Discussion on Re-evaluating the Undergraduate Economics Major!
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United Streaming : This is a for pay site. Includes a lot of videos that are short and tied to standards. Many school districts have an account with them. However, there are some sites here. I would really recommend starting with the Teacher Resources link above. Monthly Archives: December December 30, How do we teach kids to be good critical thinkers whilst still keeping up good stories? They are memorable. Many variations make them easy to compare. Universal themes Because they use universal themes, they have many interpretations and are meaningful.

Links to the oral and written literatures of the world. Links to popular culture and many academic subjects and skills. Enhance transitions from childhood to adult life. Builds connections between children and adults. Students may react negatively to other cultural norms and will need them explained before going too far into the folk tale. Some have a hard time analyzing stories they love from their youth. Not all folk tale lore is intended for entertaining children. Some contain adult themes. Students will need additional instruction in documenting oral, audio, visual, and unpublished sources.

Allegory — J. We were intrigued, frankly, by the idea of a professionally supported social network by and for teachers. One cool feature — any posted lesson plans or teaching ideas can be rated by users and you can see the items with the highest ratings and the most downloads easily. December 21, Five 5 lessons about the way we treat people. I also learned her name was Dorothy. Nat King Cole. The little boy pulled is hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it.

By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient. The little boy again counted his coins. December 16, Today we tackle a couple of topics- Scheduling and Survival Camp for 6th graders Transitioning First up, we take a look at scheduling: Need to involve stakeholders for input: Administrators Counselors Teachers Students Some questions to ponder: Should each course receive equal time?

Northeast Lakeview College

Do core subjects especially those tested receive more time? Is literacy something different? How many subjects should students deal with? Block Schedule vs Daily schedule How long can kids attend? Are staff trained in different time use strategies?

55 Teaching Dilemmas: Ten Powerful Solutions to Almost Any Classroom Challenge / Edition 1

Assemblies, testing, special presentations. Create Student Session Topics 4. Prepare Snacks Prepare Receipt books for sale of Items! Meets Title I requirements for providing plans for transitions. Meets Title I requirements for parent involvement. Fulfills several indicators for accreditation standards. Provides for healthy, safe, and supportive school climate.

Supports middle school philosophy. Contributes to cohesive staff. Makes first day of school easier. Diminishes locker anxiety for parents and students. Informs and explains rules and procedures. Provides information about tutoring opportunities. Produces fewer discipline referrals. Provides positive first impressions and dispel rumors. Provides relaxed, first meeting atmosphere for stakeholders. December 9,

55 Teaching Dilemmas. Ten powerful solutions to almost any classroom challenge 55 Teaching Dilemmas. Ten powerful solutions to almost any classroom challenge
55 Teaching Dilemmas. Ten powerful solutions to almost any classroom challenge 55 Teaching Dilemmas. Ten powerful solutions to almost any classroom challenge
55 Teaching Dilemmas. Ten powerful solutions to almost any classroom challenge 55 Teaching Dilemmas. Ten powerful solutions to almost any classroom challenge
55 Teaching Dilemmas. Ten powerful solutions to almost any classroom challenge 55 Teaching Dilemmas. Ten powerful solutions to almost any classroom challenge
55 Teaching Dilemmas. Ten powerful solutions to almost any classroom challenge 55 Teaching Dilemmas. Ten powerful solutions to almost any classroom challenge

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