Thursday, January 21, 2016

Beginning a new school year - seven great teaching ideas( plus one on the Treaty of Waitangi )to think about

Pass on to interested teachers.

Beginning a school year is a challenge to all teachers - even the most experienced. In teaching, it seems, there is no shallow end!

Check out the links below the seven ideas below - you might find some of them useful to you.

Business 'guru' Steven Covey advice is to 'begin with the end in mind'. A good idea ( for an individual teacher or staff) is to define the attributes of a great learner that you would like all students to achieve by the end of the year. 

This is equally a good idea to discuss with a new class at the beginning of the year.  They could be posted in the classroom for reference. In New Zealand they could be part of a class treaty linking the idea to the Treaty of Waitangi if so this might define positive teacher behaviours as well.

Once such attributes/ competencies have been defined then when  seen in action students could be given praise. See ideas 6 and 7

Here is what educator John Holt hoped all schools would achieve - it reminds us of how the very young learn before school.

In 1970 he was asked:

‘If American schools were to take one giant step forward this year towards a better tomorrow what should it be?’

John Holt - a perceptive educationalist

‘It would be to let every child be the planner, director of his own education, to allow and encourage him with the inspiration and guidance of more experienced and expert people, and as much help as he asked for, to decide what he has to learn, when he is to learn it, how he is to learn it, and how well he is learning it. It would make our schools,..... a resource for free and independent learning, which everyone in the community, of whatever age, could use as much or as little as he wanted.’

Idea number one : what attitudes do students bring with them?

In a few days teachers and students return to school to begin a new year.

One excellent idea is to gather data about students current views on a range of
school activities. Ideally this would be best as a whole school activity and the information gained used to suggest area for teachers to improve attitudes. Student poor attitudes interferes with their achievement levels

For some ideas click on this link.

 Number two:The power of personal experience/writing

A good idea is to prepare a small presentation about yourself - students will be extremely curious about their new teacher!

Value the 'voice' of your students

Give the a potted history of your life experience and tell them that over the year you will get to know all about them.

To read more click on this link

 Idea three:  developing a 'growth mindset' through a simple portrait( the research of  Carol Dweck)

With strategies we can all dr

What are your students' views about their artistic ability?

Do they believe that only some students are born with the ability to draw or that everyone is  an artist?

For further information click on this link.

Ideas Four:Observation is an important skill in all areas of learning - all too often students look but don't see. 

Close observation encourages a slower pace of work which assists student memory.

Once the skill of observation is in place it can be used throughout the year in all learning areas.

 Ideas Five: what talents do your students bring to your class?

All individuals whose talents weren't recognized at school.

With the current press in schooling focusing on achievement in literacy and numeracy it is all too easy to overlook the unique talents that students haveAn education focused on developing all students talents and gifts also provides students the opportunity to become literate and numerate in meaningful contexts

Link to further ideas to consider

 Idea six:-how do we learn?

How did you get better at firing arrows?

Did  your students learn something new during their long holidays - or get better at something during this time?

Idea seven:Developing a 'stance' as a teacher - ideas of Robert Fried and William Glasser

Socrates's 'stance' was clear -is yours?
It seems students quickly pick up on the stance of their teachers so it is worth thinking about what's the 'stance' about teaching you want them to pick up? Now is time to think about how you want to come across to your students and fellow teachers.

Robert Fried, in his excellent book 'The Passionate Teacher',  writes about how teachers need to create an atmosphere that makes the students want to be their rooms.

1 comment:

Ryan M said...

Thanks for this. I have read a lot about Steven Covey and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Some other excellent points too.