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April 2018
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  1. Teacher tips: skills

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    How to improve your listening skills  (1)

    Bobby Coles

     

    One of the biggest keys to becoming an effective teacher is having the quality of good listener affixed to your persona. Improving your listening skills can be accomplished simply enough, once you have accepted that there is a need for this to occur. Then, you can focus your attention on improving these listening skills.

    A teacher is responsible for delivering the curriculum to students and to figure out the best methods possible of achieving this goal. A major cog in this is that ability to know when to listen. A true leader knows how to stand up and speak so that your voice and purpose is heard and acknowledged. However, a true leader also knows how to sit and listen.

    Leadership, which is the cornerstone in the construction of an effective teacher, comes from knowing when to speak and when to listen. Teachers need to realize that they do not have all of the answers. If a teacher thinks they have all of the answers, they haven’t yet heard all of the questions.

    Teachers have the fundamental knowledge that they have two ears and one mouth, so it goes without saying that listening is of prime importance. Good listening skills also help to make a teacher approachable, which helps the students to feel that they can advocate for themselves without fear of repercussions.

    A teacher that listens well is appreciated by students, and is typically seen as more fair. To improve listening skills, an effective teacher may decide to have discussion time in which they do not speak, rather just listen, offering only opinions or directions where necessary. Teachers should always be willing to allow students the opportunity to question things, as opposed to just sticking to their guns.

    Students need teachers that challenge them in new and exciting ways, and part of this is giving them the respect that they deserve, so that they feel as though the classroom environment resembles a community.Once a teacher has come to the conclusion that they need to listen more attentively, they will be in a greater position to make a positive impact on the lives of their students. Children need to buy what the teacher is selling, and as such, the teacher must be a good listener and take to heart the thoughts and opinions of their students.Every man is your superior in that you may learn from him, which is a philosophy that all teachers should embrace.

     

     

     

    leadership skills  are more important (2)

    William Bond

     

    Leadership skills are important whether you are teaching a grade school class, a middle school, a high school or college class.  It begins during the first day of class, after welcoming all students to the class. Hand out a outline of what you intent to teach during the first three months of the class, and what is going to be expect of  all students, and includes discipline guidelines, the importance of of getting homework in on time, assignments, and other exciting things you plan to do during the class. Show that you are a leader from the first day. Appear and act fully as the leader of your class. Be excited about starting the school year with your students. Make your class a team working together.  Discuss what it means to  being a good student, and describe how other students have succeeded in your class.

    Let your students know that you will be happy to give them extra help if they need it, or find someone to help them, to make them successful. All students want to know most of all that you care about them and will work with them to help them succeed. Discuss your purpose in your class. Discuss your purpose in teaching – to be a school teacher who helps them learn. As a teacher you have a chance to discuss the purpose of each lesson. Each day, the student must work hard, pay attention to get the maximum results from the class.  Lead the discussion in  class, by letting all students get involved during problem solving, and the key points of the discussion or lecture, students learn better when they can become active learners and get fully involved in the class.

    Discipline students when needed, and give reinforcement when needed.

    Success in your classroom means that your are fully skilled in teaching the material, but you can also discipline when needed. When you find a child is trying hard, attempting to give the right answers in class, and trying to be a good student, take the time to  reinforce this positive behavior.  The student enjoys getting the compliments for trying hard; some students may not get this reinforcement or compliments outside the classroom.

    Summary. Leadership skills develop when you are fully prepared for your class daily, develop an exciting class, try different methods to show you are a quality teacher, and you run your class so the students can be successful and learn the material so they can add to their knowledge base. You lead in the way you direct your class, and make it exciting. If you have problems continually with one or two students, ask to talk with them privately and find out a strategy to solve the problem.  You can become a powerful, meaningful, successful teacher when you put your students first, and you continually work to get better and better each day.  You can do  it. Go for it.

     

    a good leader will serve you well (3)

    Nan Keltie

     

    Along with being energetic, enthusiastic, patient, and knowledgeable, a teacher must also possess leadership skills.

    Definition of leadership:
    Leadership is “the ability to lead,” according to Webster.  To lead means to “to show the way, to direct the course of (someone) by going before or along with to guide them or cause (them) to follow.”  A good teacher will bring her students alongside and teach them how to work and play, grow and learn.

    Necessity of leadership:
    Children, like little lambs, need a shepherd or leader, and that‘s where you come in.  When preschoolers first step into the classroom, they should quickly sense that you are in charge and you’re the one to follow.  This gives them a sense of security. Being in charge doesn’t mean being a commander or being able to talk louder than the children.  Quite the contrary.  Some of the best leaders use steady, calm voices to keep those following in a state of calm.  Yelling to get a child’s attention only causes more excitement in the classroom.  The key to controlling a group of children is to keep them calm and attentive.

    Establishing leadership:

    The difference between a commander and a leader is simple: A commander gives orders and watches while others carry them out.  A leader, on the other hand, explains or states the plan of action and goes alongside the group.  A good leader is also watchful over his charges and is willing and ready to assist and encourage. Your job as preschool teacher is much the same.  As you give instructions and assignments, you may need to demonstrate just what it is you expect of them.  Then, as you answer questions and encourage cooperation and good work, you are helping instill the confidence in young children that they can handle the task.
    Response to leadership:
    Children sense tension, hesitation and concern.  For that reason, it is important to establish your authority – your right to lead – from the very first day.  If you go into a classroom hesitantly, you will lose control.Have a plan with a particular goal in mind, but allow for flexibility.  This keeps you from feeling stressed when things don’t happen on schedule.  For example, if your main goal for the day is to study autumn in general and leaves in particular, have a craft in mind, a few songs and some activities.

    At the end of the day, if the children have been introduced to real leaves (how they feel, how they look, how they can be used to make crayon rubbings), you’ve played a game or two and sung a song about leaves, consider your day a success.  This, in itself will begin to produce confidence in your leadership skills. Day after day, as you consistently lead by example, establish routines and class rules, and introduce interesting activities, you build your credibility as a leader.  Your students relax, knowing you are capable, committed and comfortable in your position as their  preschool teacher.  This quiet determination to be a good leader will serve you well – both now and in the future.

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  2. Garden Based Learning

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    Seeking garden activities and curricula for your classroom, program, or club? Working to integrate the garden into your teaching and learning with children, youth, or adults? Looking for gardening resources, research, and support? Here, you’ll find that and more.  Our programs utilize the garden as a vibrant foundation for integrated... Comment
  3. Multi-age classroom

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    Multi-age classroom. Mostly this means that the class contains students from two grades.  Sometimes it can mean that there are three grades in one class.  One of the best classes I ever taught was a ‘three grade’ classroom.  When a class is evenly divided between two or more grades the... Comment
  4. 10 Tips on How to Write Less Badly

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    Most academics, including administrators, spend much of our time writing. But we aren’t as good at it as we should be. I have never understood why our trade values, but rarely teaches, nonfiction writing. In my nearly 30 years at universities, I have seen a lot of very talented people... Comment

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