Sunday, 20 January 2019

How to Teach with Integrity

nicadez; a teacher's idea

Imagine you send a group of students on to the next grade level. You have tried your best to prepare them especially since you have had them for a year. You have watched them blossom, whether it is a small measure of growth or a mammoth leap forward. You have communicated every aspect of their learning with their parents. You send them forward with your blessings and with great anticipation for the successes to come. Very early into the new level things do not seem to be working out for most of them. What? What is going on? This isn’t what you expected, it most certainly isn’t what anybody expected and there isn’t a single reason to surface other than you were disingenuous in your communication with parents. You deliberately painted a grand picture of success and masked an entire class of students' true performance, for what?.... they could not say. Wow! Is that the only reason to account for a whole class performing badly? 

This scenario isn’t all that different from what is happening between class levels today.  For a myriad of reasons a child's performance can change. The sad thing is, many teachers don't want to take responsibility when the reason points to their own professional practice. I understand that parents should be accountable for the performance of their students in many aspects. I also understand why there might be some truth, in isolated cases, to the idea of teacher malpractice - some teachers have ego issues. There has to be integrity in practice, regardless of personal ambition.

Every teacher may have his or her own way of teaching, and I am advocating for integrity in teaching and dealing with parents. Even to conjure this notion of dishonesty is simply removing attention from your own responsibility to students. Everyone has his or her own style; however, when the class becomes a frenzy of a high number of failures, disenchanted parents and forlorn little faces- the line needs to be drawn.

How does one teach with integrity you might ask. The answer is very simple. Do what you say you are going to do. Plan and work the plan. Check and recheck student learning. Communicate all aspects of learning to their parents so that they are kept abreast of all scenarios. Make your classroom a hub of activity and a space where they can act or react in a safe and non-threatening environment. Your students must be able to talk to you when they understand or don't understand something. They must be able to ask you a question without being silenced simply because want them silent. Essentially, you must give them an opportunity to have shareable moments with you that facilitate learning.

I'll conclude by saying that those of us who teach with integrity take full responsibility for the failures and successes of our students. We revel in our children's successes and lament over their failures. We reflect. We revamp. We take time to make the necessary changes and communicate every aspect with our parents and our students so that learning becomes a shared experience.

Friday, 4 January 2019

Why Teaching is NOT a Labor of Love

Why do teachers stay in teaching till retirement? I'm already in 26 years and ready to give up. Teaching has become a hassle, a hustle and a juggle of blame and defence.  School administrators want accountability while giving teachers little support. Parents want success with little or no involvement. Dangling between these expectations are the teachers and children. The teachers are stressed out. The children are saturated.  So what are teachers to do?

It is time for school officials to put down their clipboards and really show their support for teachers who do so much. It is time for parents to walk the walk by taking full responsibility for their children's failures. Teachers get the short end of the stick because they are the ones in direct contact with children more than anyone else. Oh yes!! Its the teacher blame game!!!!

Blame the teachers for everything!!! When officials want better student performances, target the teachers! When parents want straight As on their children's report cards, leave it all in the hands of the teachers! When society wants a change in its form and shape make the teachers accountable for that!!! 

So tell me, when are teachers going to enjoy the support of everyone in teaching children? When are children going to enjoy learning in a comfortable and nurturing atmosphere? When would everyone take full responsibility for students performances? Maybe never!!! Mind you, there are many parents who do take responsibility and work with their children from the start. Many have to grapple with the idea that their children's teachers are not doing squat on any given day. All these scenarios are real and too often. This also puts pressure on the teachers who labor in love.

Teaching can only be seen as a noble profession when teachers get to exercise nobility by serving others without the hassle and hustle, blame and defence.

Monday, 26 November 2018

Free Journey to Christmas Clip Art Series

Follow me each week on my social media to get linked to a fantastic set of Christmas-themed clip art images for FREE! My Journey to Christmas Clip Art Series is my way of spreading the love and joy that the season of Christmas brings to everyone! This series would be the perfect set of clip art images to add some seasonal sparkle to your lessons this December.

**This free clip art offer will become inactive on 01/01/19**

Come, chime in on the Christmas fun which is already half way through. Simply click the link below to get you started.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Save money on resources

Are you looking for great offers on teaching resources this November? Don't miss this fantastic opportunity to pick up a bargain. Come visit my store for resources that were created with both the teacher and students in mind. Why not give yourself a break and take this opportunity to save as much as 10% on any of my discounted resources? 
Simply click HERE to get started on TES!

Saturday, 27 October 2018

FREE Vowel Sound Poster

This is a poster that I created for my grade 4 students to review the different ways that the long sound of a can be represented in words. This idea came about as we were working on the spelling of words with /ei/ and /ie/. I think that it is a smart idea to go back to the basics to guide them into learning this often difficult concept. You can print them as posters or they make the review sheet for students notebooks. Simply click the picture below to be taken to the free resource.



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