One of the nice things about being a teacher is that you are always learning. Last quarter I had two deaf students in my math and reading classes. They were amazing men with lots of interesting stories in their lives. They also had a wonderful attitude and huge motivation.
One of the nice things about being a teacher is that you are always learning. Last quarter I had two deaf students in my math and reading classes. They were amazing men with lots of interesting stories in their lives. They also had a wonderful attitude and huge motivation.At some point in the quarter, we were discussing the differences between their, there, and they’re, and their interpreter pointed out that if you’re deaf, those words aren’t a problem because they each have their own sign. I had never thought about ...
When the research came out a few years ago showing that the adolescent brain is still under development into their early 20s, most high school teachers weren’t surprised. Many of us were relieved, as it helped us understand some of the strange behaviors and choices we would witness in many of our students. It’s actually biological: their sense of right and wrong, their understanding of appropriate boundaries, their sense of how to determine if a situation is safe or unsafe – these are all skills that are not yet honed ...
Last night I assigned my adult writing students the following topic: What does it take to be a good parent? My students range in age from 20 to 65. Most, but not all, are parents, so I anticipated that some of them would balk at the question. I also suspected that there would be a wide range of opinions. Once again, I was wrong in my assumptions.
This is the time of year when students are stricken with spring fever and teachers are experiencing the pressures of the end of the year. High stakes testing is imminent, and everyone’s pushing to meet goals and complete the curriculum. So how do we all survive? How do we make sure grades don’t drop, graduation requirements are met, students keep up?
Scheduling the SAT or ACT is another important decision that you need to make with some intention. I suggest that students take these tests in the spring, when their math courses are nearly complete. The content of the math has gotten a little more difficult, so it’s important to have as much of the content complete before taking high stakes tests. The spring presents its own challenges, however, as students are tired, prom is almost always the same day as the SAT, and motivation may be at a low. Seniors ...
Last week’s column elicited many positive and helpful comments, particularly from a local teacher who did not want me to share her name. She did say it was okay to share some additional ideas for how parents can be involved in the school. Here are some great ideas.
In a recent conversation with the headmaster of a local school, he mentioned his frustration that as kids progress through the grades, he sees less of the parents. So I thought it time to revisit one of my most important tips: if your student is in middle school or high school, you should be more involved than you were in elementary.
Recently I joined the Adult Basic Education team at Wenatchee Valley College teaching reading, writing, and math. I was a little nervous at first because I was facing a room full of students ranging in age from 20 to 67 and skills from 1st grade to college. Fortunately, 40+ years of teaching prepared me for the challenge of individualizing lessons, teaching, and approaches. What I wasn’t prepared for was the commitment, enthusiasm, motivation, and respect these students displayed.
Another semester is on the books and already there are angry parents and disappointed kids. So I thought it pertinent to review some of the things we need to do to remove the surprise from report cards.
I write a lot about problems: challenging students, challenging relationships, challenging situations. I hope these articles help and welcome specific questions. But this week I’d like to focus on a couple of students who have challenged themselves to be the best that they can be. Names, grade, gender have been changed for the sake of anonymity.
I have a student whose father is seriously ill and hospitalized as a result. My student whom I shall name Fred, has been visibly shaken by this. Fred still manages to attend school and keep up with his work. But it’s taking a toll. Every time his classmates ask about his dad or express concern or consolation, Fred visibly winces, but answers and appreciates all concerns.
This week I met with a mom who was concerned that her son was failing freshman English because he didn’t complete a required book report. The book was too difficult, but when her son tried to change books, he was told there were no other choices. Then he went to several of his teachers seeking help. They couldn’t help, her son explained, because the book was too difficult, even for them. So he didn’t turn in a report and now is failing the class. Is anyone feeling the breeze from ...
I leave for work each day around 7:15. It’s still dark at that time, but I see kids walking to school. Today there were 2 little girls, probably 9 or 10 years old, walking on snow-covered sidewalks – alone. And this only a few days after an 11-year old was almost grabbed on the college campus.
One of the best habits a person can develop is effective use of a planner. A planner, used correctly, will practically eliminate stress, last-minute chaos, accidental oversights. And it’s never too soon to introduce the concept to your kids.
A reader asks: “We had our children a little later than most of our friends, so while ours are still in elementary school, we see some of the challenges our friends have with their middle school children. Is there something we should be doing now to avoid the problems later?”
Report cards from the first quarter are arriving home, so I thought it might be a good time to review some things your family can do to avoid the surprise in the mail.One of the greatest academic frustrations we face with our kids is seeing that report card with “fails to turn in homework” marked as the reason for a low grade. It’s frustrating because we know our children can do better. It’s frustrating because we know that homework is often “automatic credit.” And it’s frustrating because our students have ...