Showing Appreciation to Fellow Teachers

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Teachers know better than anyone how nice it feels to receive gifts of appreciation.  Throughout each school year, teachers receive cards or gifts from students and their families; but how often do teachers show appreciation for one another?  The opportunities are certainly there.  It would seem that an environment in which team teachers and coworkers take these opportunities would actually be an environment where morale is high and productivity soars.

If you have worked with, or continually work with, any teacher or even office staff that goes out of their way to provide assistance to you, your students, or other people, you have the opportunity to show appreciation.  And hence, you have the opportunity to encourage this person and brighten their day.  Here are a few ways you can show that you appreciate the job someone else is doing.

  • ID badge lanyards are highly used in school settings, and therefore make ideal gifts for any teacher or school employee.  Most of the time, teachers wear ID badge lanyards that were either given to them by the school office or that they picked up at an educational conference.  This means they probably lack that certain panache that adds polish to work attire.

When you want to offer a special gift to someone at your school, consider the lanyard.  Today, ID badge lanyards are available in many different styles and themes that teachers love.  Providing all the same convenience for carrying keys or badges, lanyards today can also look very polished and professional.

  • When you work closely with someone, you can get to know their likes and dislikes.  Perhaps you know of a special hobby or interest a fellow teacher has.  This makes giving them a small gift easier; as you can tailor it to their personal interests.
  • Teachers can always use helping hands, as you are well aware.  Showing appreciation for a fellow teacher doesn’t have to be done with gifts that you purchase; it could be done by helping them where you can.   Perhaps you can take their lunch duty for a day to give them time away.  Acts of service are kind and thoughtful.  There are many ways you can provide service to a fellow teacher that won’t interfere with your own duties.  This is a gift that costs nothing and leaves you both feeling great.
  • Another gift that costs nothing is that of a note.  Teachers like to hear that they have done well at something; we all do.  If you know another teacher who has gone out of their way, taught you something, inspired you or somehow helped you, tell them.  It doesn’t get any simpler than that!  Keep blank note cards in your desk so you can write notes to others when the opportunity arises.  It pays to just say thanks.

Receiving accolades from peers is a high honor that professionals love to be treated to.  In the school setting, there is no need to leave the praise to students and families.  Teachers can and should take it upon themselves to continually life one another up and encourage those around them.  Doing so can only result in a more positive environment.


Plan Ahead to Successfully Host a Substitute Teacher

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Most teachers know what it feels like to substitute in a classroom in which they are unfamiliar.  To add a little excitement into the mix of a sub day, kids, when they realize their regular teacher is not present, may be under the impression that their workload will be light and they will not have to pay attention.  There are several steps you can take to ensure any substitute teacher that enters into your classroom is left with a good impression of your class and a good feeling about your direction.

  1. Planning ahead makes everything about an absence run more smoothly.   One part of planning ahead is to simply have an organized classroom.  This is something that will benefit you and your students every day; and provide a good experience for a substitute.  Have places for all tools and papers; and prepare lesson plans in advance so neither you nor your sub will have to scramble when you need to be out for a day or longer.
  2. Preparing your students with expectations of how they should behave in your absence will ensure that they do not assume they can “get away” with less than respectful behavior while you are away.  Talk to students well in advance about how they are to behave in the classroom; and take the opportunity to point out to them that they are to behave this way regardless of whether you are teaching them or they are taking instruction from another teacher.  Explaining to students that they need to make a good impression of who they are and how they have been taught by you is a good way to hand them responsibility for their actions in the classroom.
  3. Ribbon lanyards come in handy in any classroom and provide convenience for teachers and students.  The way ribbon lanyards can help in the instance of a substitute teaching situation is that classroom keys can be easily seen and kept track of.  Additionally, when bathroom passes or keys are kept on ribbon lanyards at all times, both teachers and students can easily find these items quickly and without interrupting valuable time.  You could even leave an extra decorative lanyard on your desk for your substitute teacher as a thank you gift for handling your class so well.  A little appreciation can make a teacher’s day!
  4. Giving substitute teachers a head’s up as to what can be expected will help their day run more smoothly – and help your students stay on track.  You know your students better than any other school personnel.  Leave a note for a substitute with the name of a student or students they can call on for extra help throughout the day.  If there are particular students who require extra guidance or management, place their names on the list and what usually works with these students.  Also put the name of a nearby teacher who can be called upon for help if needed.  This should be prearranged with that teacher.

The better prepared a substitute is to fill in for you; the better everyone’s day goes.  The amount of success they experience is largely due to the information you leave for them.  By preparing as much information ahead of time as possible, you can ensure a successful substitute day.

Controlling Your Classroom I

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As a teacher, there will be occasions when you will need to lay down the law and remind your students that you are in charge. The last thing you need is a bunch of unruly students who refuse to pay attention in class and try to disrupt your lessons by encouraging others to join in. Difficult students come and go and over time you will learn how to deal with them. These next few articles will take a look at the variety of ways a pupil can hinder your teaching and will also suggest ways to combat these hindrances.

Prudent teachers will start the school year by talking to their students about class rules. You should have a list of regulations written down before discussing each of them in turn with your class. Next, you should get the class to come up with some rules of their own and also make them aware of what the punishment will be for breaking them. Straight away, your class will be aware that you are a no-nonsense teacher who will not be lenient on those who transgress. But by allowing the students a little leeway to create some of their own rules (within reason), they will also see you as a fair-minded individual and are more likely to followed the rules that have been set.

You will probably have at least one student in your lifetime of teaching who thinks they are more intelligent than you and will attempt to advise you on what you should be doing. This arrogance is disrespectful and will undermine your authority if you allow it to continue. How to handle this is delicate and it’s impossible to give pat suggestions on what to do. There are courses available covering this and it would be beneficial to take one.

Then there are argumentative students who will disrupt class anyway they can to get attention. Remaining calm is the best course of action.  Getting actively involved in any dialog will only cause the problem to escalate.. There isn’t anyone that can give you the perfect answer to handling unruly or rude students.  Each incident is unique. Your personality, experience with children and the personality of the student will all play into how it all plays out.  Patience is a key and, courses available on this would be helpful.

Classroom bullies are a challenge. They are doing their best to take attention away from you and shine the light on themselves.  They are stealing valuable time away from each and every student that is there to learn. You need to maintain your position of authority informing the bully that their behavior will not be tolerated. School guidelines and policies will be a first course of action, but if the bully is “seasoned” and depending on the age and aggression of the bullying student you may need to seek assistance from your principal. If this does not help, alert their parents and set up a meeting with them to discuss the problem.

While you can have students who just don’t want to learn, you can counteract most of their bad behavior in your classroom much easier than you think. You are the one in control and at the end of the day; your class needs to respect you if you are to do your job. The following articles will have more examples of poor student behavior and suggestions as to how you can win the battle.

Make A Difference, Become A Teacher

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It should be the goal of every school system to have their schools full of great teachers because they genuinely make a difference to their student’s lives. Far too many people ignore the role that teachers play in their pupil’s lives. Some see them as people who are paid to ensure that children learn whatever the educational system deems fit. This is a very narrow view as it does not take into account the positive influence a teacher has on the lives of young children and adolescents. After all, the teacher is the person that a child will see most besides their parents and in some instances the teacher spends as much time with their students as the child’s parents.

Education boards continuously look at a whole range of things that need to be improved in order to bring school standards up to a certain level. They look at the quality of the facilities available and the standard of the school building. The size of classrooms, general equipment and pupil to teacher ratio are also looked at. While all these are important, one thing that cannot be overlooked is the teachers themselves. The single most vital elements in any school are the educators!
Good teachers will completely change the lives of their pupils and if you feel like you are up to the task then all you have to do is ask yourself if you have what it takes. The best teachers know that their profession is all about giving. If students don’t want to learn, it is your job to find ways to get them involved in class activities. If your pupils aren’t learning then what you’re doing cannot be described as teaching. Even though students may not know that they have a great teacher, their parents probably will when their child comes home and proceeds to tell them everything they learned that day in class.

If you want to be a great teacher but feel that you don’t have the experience, fear not. Although having experience can be absolutely vital in certain situations, teacher’s training programs have advanced to the point where they are now an integral part of the life of anyone who wants to become a teacher. While there is no magic formula that will automatically turn you into a good teacher, these programs will certainly equip you with many of the tools you need to be a roaring success. Such programs are not just boring lectures of limited benefit. They provide hands on assistance where you will learn from the experiences of those already in the teaching profession.

If you love the idea of teaching but are unsure where to start, have a look at the programs available. Education boards know that the quality of the teacher is the most important part of any school and have come up with fantastic programs that will ready you for the classroom. Rather than wonder what you could be, become a great teacher and see that you can really make a difference.

How To Help Students Who Are Victims Of Bullying

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Teachers are not just there to teach a set curriculum to students, they also have a variety of other roles in the school. One of the most important is helping to stop bullying. Those who are victims of bullying will find their academic performance diminish rapidly so a teacher needs to be able to spot those who are suffering from the wrath of other pupils. Regardless of what school you teach in, it should have a strict anti-bullying policy otherwise it can get out of control. As a teacher, it is your duty to ensure that such behavior does not carry on under your nose.

Bullying takes place in a variety of forms but it is always harmful behavior and can never be tolerated under any circumstances. The most obvious form of bullying is that of a physical nature. One student or a group of students repeatedly target a pupil and perpetrate violence against that individual. Name calling is a serious issue but is one that seems to be ignored a lot of the time. To do this ignores the emotional anguish it can cause the victim. Deliberately excluding someone from activities is another form of bullying and this is again emotionally harmful. It is important to note that bullying will continue relentlessly until it is halted. If someone can get away with such vile behavior there is no reason for them to stop it.

Those who are victims can be hard to spot but you must do your best to try and discover if a student is having trouble with their fellow pupils. If you notice that a student of yours has suddenly become more withdrawn and refuses to participate in activities that they used to then this is a sure sign that they are experiencing bullying. It is rare for a victim to voluntarily tell a teacher what the issue is for fear for repercussions so it is up to you to gently coax it out of them.

Once you have successfully got to the root of the problem you must confront the bully. Make it clear that a continuation of such behavior will see them expelled. Be sure to make the victim feel safe by promising and delivering protection from the bully who is now angry that their treatment of the victim is out in the open. Ensure that you spend some time with the victim before allowing them back into their peer group. Isolate the bully from their usual environment so that they know their punishment includes exclusion. This should work wonders because all bullies seek attention more than anything. Yet it is crucial that you don’t push the bully away. They should be allowed return to their peer group with the understanding that they must improve their behavior.

Placing the bully in some sort of mediation program is a great way to modify their attitude. This lets them know that their actions are genuinely harmful and if they see the damage it does to the victim they may change their behavior in time. No matter what else you do, you absolutely must give fully support to the victim and don’t brush the whole incident under the carpet. Your students need your protection when they are within school walls otherwise their performance will drop and the whole classroom will suffer.

Controlling Your Classroom II

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As already mentioned in the last article, you are not allowed use physical means to overcome any problems with your students. This means that you have to be something of a diplomat. We looked at dealing with students who tried to undermine you, bullies and aggressive students. Yet these are just the tip of the iceberg, with a plethora of other issues causing heartache for teachers and ensuring that the rest of the class cannot learn. The bottom line is that you are charged with making sure your pupils learn and are ready for the world and if you cannot deal with unruly aspects, you are failing in your job.

Dictators are not just despotic rulers of faraway lands. They sadly exist in every American classroom and are a nightmare to deal with. Just like tyrannical teachers are the bane of every student’s existence, a pupil that tries to impose their will on the classroom is a headache you can do without. They will order the rest of the class around with no regard for your authority whatsoever. You need to nip this behavior in the bud before it gets out of hand. Tell them that they are a dictator and get them to rephrase this statement in the first person. Turn the class against them but involving them in the process. Soon, the dictator will realize that no one is following them and will fall back into line.

It is a frustrating experience when you have a student that doesn’t look like they could be bothered. Admittedly, there are many pupils who probably don’t want to be there but they at least make an attempt to hide it and even to learn. Those who openly look bored and are no paying attention need to be dealt with. Otherwise, other students will see that the lazy pupil is getting away with doing nothing and follow suit. Such behavior can spread like a virus if you’re not careful. Ask them a question, then swiftly ask someone else to let them off for now. You don’t want to humiliate them after all. Take them aside after class and try to ascertain why they are not getting involved in class.

Then you have the moaner. These are students whose only participation in class involves them complaining either about the subject or the way it’s being taught. They never have anything positive to say and they try to bring down the collective mood of the classroom. To deal with this, ask that student to write down their complaints and promise that they will be looked at in the next class. Ask them to come up with a solution and paraphrase their negative comments. Depending on how you paraphrase, the sheer negativity of the statement may shock the student into mending their ways.

Yes, the list of bad student behavior seems to be never ending but a good teacher will find a way to deal with everything. The next article will look at further ways and means of dealing with troublesome students, so if you have no knowledge when it comes to sorting out tricky classroom situations, then you need to read on.

Controlling Your Classroom I

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As a teacher, it is hard enough trying to juggle the demands of a hectic schedule, what with your superiors breathing down your neck over progress and your own personal issues outside the classroom. The last thing you need in this instance is a bunch of unruly students who refuse to pay attention in class or else they try and disrupt your lessons by encouraging others to join in. Difficult students don’t come in one or two forms however. These next few articles will take a look at the variety of ways in which a pupil can hinder your teaching and will show you the ways to deal with them and their antics.

It is almost certain that you will have at least one student who thinks they are more intelligent than you and will attempt to advise you on what you show be doing. This show of contempt is disrespectful in the extreme and will undermine your authority if you allow it to continue. In this instance, you should ask them to suggest a topic for discussion and ask the rest of the class if they agree. If they do, then proceed with the unruly student’s suggestion. If they reject it, then the pupil’s problem is now with the rest of the class, not you. In some instances you can ask them if they would like to teach the class. 99% of them will refuse and keep quiet. The 1% that agree to do so will soon find themselves woefully out of their depth and will quietly sit down.

Then you will have argumentative students who will disrupt proceedings by shouts the odds against you and anyone else who will listen. They will openly attack you and your teaching methods. It can be difficult to remain calm in such a situation but getting actively involved in the argument will only cause the problem to escalate. Ask them if they have a better way of handling whatever it is they are complaining about. Finally, ask them if they feel that their voice has been heard. Students like this are only seeking attention but you can never allow yourself to be dragged into any confrontation. Patience is key.

Classroom bullies can be really hard to handle. Once upon a time, teachers took matters into their own hands and issued corporal punishment. Such a shameful lack of self control was soon outlawed, but teachers sometimes feel unarmed when dealing with such individuals. First of all, you need to inform the bully that their threats will not be heard and their methods will not be effective. Never give in to the demands of bullies and keep them after class, getting them to explain their abhorrent behavior. Seek assistance from your headmaster and attempt to coax the student out of their destructive pattern. If this does not help, alert their parents and ask them to seek help for their child.

These are just some of the disruptive influences you will have to deal with in the classroom. This is why teachers have to be a jack of all trades in some respects. The following articles will have more examples of poor student behavior and how you can combat them.

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