What Teachers Want Parents to Know

10 Things Teachers Want Parents to Know

An interesting article and a good read.  I think I agree with most of them.  ;P And I thought I’d have fun and add a few things I wish my class parents knew…

  1. Be honest with yourself, with the teacher (me), and with your child:  This is so broad so an attempt to expound on it is too big of a task on a blog…but, just like in any relationship (friendship, spousal relationship, co-worker) honesty  saves people a lot of time and grief.  Honesty about your child’s progress, about a program at school, how you are with your child, if you are able to handle your child etc.  (Tactfulness is implied) – To be perfectly honest, an experienced teacher can always detect dishonesty in most cases…
  2. Show you are interested and get involved in your child’s education in a way that you can:  I guess every parent is different in how much time they have depending on what kind of job they have..some jobs require much traveling, some jobs work in shifts…but, I truly believe that no matter how young a child is, they can sense it, if their parents are making an effort to invest in their school life and education.  I know and have witnessed the huge impact this has on the child’s attitude towards school and just their general well-being.  So do it.  Do your best not to travel when it’s your child’s open house or at least volunteer for one of the events or field trips.
  3. Develop a good relationship with me (the teacher):  I see this in the same category as maintaining a friendly relationship with your clients or co-workers in a corporate world.  You may not always like them or agree with them, but living in peace with them  will not only make your life easier but will benefit you.  Whether you agree with the teacher’s style is not an issue.  This is for the well-being of your child.  Your attitude towards the teacher will influence your child’s attitude towards the teacher which will also affect his attitude in class.  Make an effort to use positive language about the teacher and appear supportive of what’s going on in the classroom.  (I hope it is understood that this is different from supporting a teacher who display integral issues.  But, even in that case, I think being discreet and tactful about it will help the child know how to respond appropriately.)
  4. Develop a good relationship with other parents in the class:  I also see this as common sense.  It helps you to be informed of what’s going on and gives you a more whole picture of the classroom as well.
  5. Be concerned for the school as a whole, not just the class your child is in:  I guess this is along the lines of being concerned only for what’s relevant to you in terms of governmental system as opposed to the entire country – its policies, structure/system etc.  The effect might not always be obvious or immediate in the classroom, but the culture of the school and where its headed has a dramatic effect in individual classrooms and teachers for that matter.

I based this on what I would do as a parents and also on what I’ve experienced as a teacher and moments when I thought, ‘I would never do that as a parent,’ or ‘I definitely want to be a parent like him/her.’

There’s always more…so stay tuned.  😉

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The Peanut Butter Classroom

The Peanut Butter Classroom

I was talking to my co-worker today and explaining to him that I have 8 blogs spread across three different blogging platforms and that I should be diagnosed with blogging ADD.  😦  Yes, I accept this title fully.  But, I am back here blogging and I want to introduce ‘another’ blog.  This one is for an online course that I’m doing.  The course is called COETAIL and it is basically taking the students through different aspects of Technology in Education.  I love that the course covers all areas of educational concerns regarding Tech in Ed, and that the attendants are international teachers all over the world.  Love that!

It is part of coursework to update my blog, at least once a week, so this blog will definitely be kept up-to-date, at least until the end of the course.  😛  Hope you enjoy!  And hope you’re having an awesome start to the new academic year.

Ulterior Motives to Teaching

Ulterior Motives – from World Wide Wonderings

Why did you become a teacher?  I don’t hear this question as much as I used to when I was a student teacher.

This blogger, Abby, talks about her ulterior motives of becoming a teacher.  It’s not for the long summers or “supposedly” shorter working hours.  She just thought it would be the best way to change the world.  What other reason is there to be teaching?  It just made me smile.

Why did I become a teacher?

Here are a few reasons why I thought I should become a teacher:

  • I like being with children.  I like that they say funny things that wouldn’t be funny when an adult said it.  I like that they are so uninhibited and so expressive…they are so many things that I adults are not.
  • I thought I could do it.  I chose teaching because I thought I could do it.  What arrogance, right?  I’m still working on being that teacher that I thought I could be.  I hope I never stop working on it.
  • I would get to be in a position where I can really influence someone…and if I got it right, I had the power to influence the entire course of someone’s life…talk about high stakes…
  • My plan always was this, that whatever profession I chose to be in, I would teach.  If I had chosen to be a nurse (another profession, I was considering actually), I would’ve wanted to teach other nurses later in my career.  And that would be the same, whether I became a pilot, a journalist, a painter etc.  I’ve always thought that it is the best way to give back what I’ve received.

People always talk about not becoming complacent….that we should remember the ‘first love.’

Today I thought I’d remember mine.  🙂  And also wish Abby, good luck!

#edcampHK

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Yowza.  This was a fun day.

My first ‘unconference,’ and quite a successful one, I might add.  edcamp – this is where we get together with no specific agenda, no keynote speaker or presenter.  Just us, eager beavers, who are passionate about what we’re passionate about and we all come ready to talk. Here’s a little site that explains edcamp a bit better.  (Love the slogan, ‘professional development that is done with you not to you.’  I can hear a British man saying this.)

It was fun to see a lot of non-educators i.e. people who are not classroom teachers.  They were just as passionate about what was going on in schools as the classroom teachers.  Was reminded by this turn-out that education transcends profession and it affects and concerns everyone.

Run-down of our day:

  • introductions
  • ice breaker – what are you passionate about in education?
  • world cafe – a group of people at each station discussing key questions, rotating for different questions
  • Q#1 Where in the world are we?
  • Q#2 What can we do?
  • Q#3 Where are we headed?
  • how we answered each question was completely up to us.
  • harvesting – harvesting our discussed ideas on post-its for the afternoon discussions
  • lunch
  • open talk (??forgot the official name for session???)
  • brave people volunteered to come up with topics to discuss:#1 how can we make worksheets work?  #2 homework? yes or no? #3 technology in education – what do we discard, what do we keep? #4 information literacy
My takeaways –
  • The fact that the topic of homework was brought up was interesting to me and made me think intentionally about homework.  Homework has been an ongoing hot topic in schools since I started teaching 11 years ago! I’ve experienced both ends of the spectrum.  I’ve been at a school that gives minimal homework and then there’s my current school where we have parents (disclaimer: not all!) who ask for more homework.
  • As a classroom teacher, I am required to follow the school policy on homework but there’s always room for creativity.  Homework should be purposeful.  I’ve decided that my own ‘homework policy’ would be – if I’m giving out homework, I should have a very, very good reason for it.
  • Cultural affect on education and the students’ schema has come up several times during the day – I’ve been passionately sharing my experience as I’ve recently transferred from a New Zealand public school to an international school where the majority of the students are Chinese.  One edcamper shared an interesting view about the Chinese students’ attitude in the classroom – many of them come from a culture where ‘grades’ matter.  So, if this activity/homework/discussion/whatever else isn’t going to affect my grade, what’s the point of trying?  There could be a whole discussion about how to motivate students but what I take away from this is, when I try to find ways to motivate my students, what I did with NZ kids may not necessarily work.
  • School – an open community.  One edcamper shared how she wanted to see schools have a more open-door attitude towards the community.  It was pointed out how uninviting signs like, ‘please report to the office,’ can be.  Granted there are safety issues and we do not want strange old men lurking around our students.  But for a non-creepy man, who genuinely wants to connect with a school for the good of the students, a patronizing attitude that insinuates a divide between school and community can contribute to discouraging visitors aka a potentially fantastic resource for the students.
  • The way I picture an open community in a school is an active environment where the community is another rich resource that the teachers and students can tap into.  And in turn, the students will be presented with greater options to contribute back to the community – which will birth a fantastic cycle between the school and the community.
  • The homework here is that creating a ‘culture’ of an open community is work and one that needs to grow and develop over several years.  But it is one that is worth every sweat of effort.
Again, today was definitely a stimulating day.  It was just fun being surrounded by people who share the same passion.
I hope people aren’t offended that I called them ‘eager beavers…’