Monday, May 22, 2017

3191. Raising Students' Morale at the End of the School Year

A sensitive teacher knows how to recognize and appreciate his students’ hard work, and even more at the end of the school year, and in public. Although there were errors, mistakes and misbehavior he knows that with gracious words he can gain the class of the students to his side. In that way he’ll be raising his students’ morale, as the good generals knew how to ponder their soldiers’ good features and great deeds and feats.
I’ll be writing more maybe tomorrow or later today. / Photo from: House Beautiful. I do like libraries. At present I teach at a library-classroom, and sometimes while my students are writing silently I often look over the books on the shelves, always prone to help them in case they need it.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

3190. Educating Their Emotions Is Paramount

Do we teachers educate our students’ emotions, feelings and sentiments? Of course the first task and duty is for their parents, but we teachers can help a lot.

There may be a great emotion illiteracy: we simply don’t know much about educating emotions into positive feelings. In other words our students should be balanced at emotions, and that’s so or more important than intellectual education and instruction. Remember we’re educating for life now and for their future.

Spanish teacher and neuropsychologist Fernando Alberca (2017) postulates we should educate our students’ and children’s emotions, as I said, to achieve happiness ultimately. At tutoring sessions a lot can be done: leading emotions (something rather passive) into feelings and ideas (something active).

Often our students and we teachers as well may have negative emotions, irrational ones, which are exaggerations and negative emotions, which we should re-orientate into rational, positive and reasonable thoughts. Our students may be suffering because of those negative thoughts that can annihilate their happiness.

Also we have to educate our students into giving themselves to other surrounding people in a wise, joyful and generous service to them: giving ourselves to other people besides has the power of getting ourselves happier – I know some adults that joyfully live for their dear people and they’re happy.

A word about empathizing. We teachers have to learn how to empathize with our students through our daily teaching. For example something basic: we’ve got to learn that our students may be feeling bad because the big exams are around the corner and they may be pretty tired of the school year when the end is approaching. We can hold their last forces to arrive at the final harbor of the school year by talking with them at tutoring sessions: they need to give vents to their pains and sufferings. And joys too!: they need to share them with other people! / Photo from: I gave up. I couldn't post a photo probably because of a temporary failure

Friday, May 19, 2017

3189. Taking On Our Students' Necessities

I think we teachers should have a nice and endearing attitude to our students. A lovable one, because ours is love of benevolence plus affection.
We love them plus their families, which are ours in some way. Plus our colleagues too. Parents, teachers, students should be the correct order for our assistance and attention. But it isn’t a silly love, because as I said it is love of benevolence: so we wish the best to them, and seek it and keep on seeking it.
As I said, the affection and attention order has to be parents, then teachers, then students. It’s so if we wish our school would go on an effective way.
That love, that benevolence love at the same time is delicate toward people of the other gender. We should prevent from nasty gossip about our relationships at school.
By the way in Spanish we have an expression for being attentive and take on our students’ needs, which is very adequate and it is “hacerse cargo”. We must assist our surrounding people’s needs. They deserve that attention. And as a result we will be loved too! One of you told me about this: if you love, you’ll be loved. / Photo from: Live Your Legend

Thursday, May 18, 2017

3188. Educating Kids in an Ample Vision!

We teachers have to educate our students about other countries and other continents. Also we teachers should pay attention to what’s happening in those maybe far countries.
For example rich countries have to help poorer countries develop themselves.
I had a friend that lived in a country of Africa, maybe Nigeria. He told me that those third-world countries had to develop by themselves, with the people they had at those countries.
As well we should educate our students about a sound ecology: they have to learn to take care of our planet. If we take our students to excursions, and we should do it, we can teach them for example not to drop garbage around in the countryside: wrapping papers, cans, plastic bags… We’re educating future citizens.
That friend of mine also told me that clever youngsters went to richer countries to study and many of them stayed in those richer countries of the first-world, after college. And those young people would be the ones that would push their countries forward. Even rich countries took cleverer students and kept them when they finished college.
But I don’t want to show a twofold state of things and contrapose rich countries and poor countries. Because among other things that friend of mine was happy in the country of Africa he had gone to live; yes, he was, and he was positive anyway. / Photo from: African-child-smiling-karate Dada

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

3187. Maybe the Best Classroom Management Ever!

All of us teachers try to set some classroom management, right? To achieve it we can apply some gravity to the activity we with our students are carrying out. We transmit gravity to our students in that way. It’s a bit of some solemnity at the activity we’re doing with our students.
In that way we set our students at working fine. The activity itself gains those gravity and seriousness. It means that what we are doing is quite important, and we can’t play with it. It also means: Okay, let’s be careful, we’re working and working is pretty serious.
I remember now that a colleague of ours said that our students need to work in a peaceful atmosphere, focused on what they’re doing. And another teacher, I also remember it right now, said that working is one of the most serious things we can do...
Even then, when we’re doing things that way, if we smile or have a small laugh, those smiling or laughing in some way are serious too, or a bit, a small bit, solemn. We’re educating our students in the values of industriousness and diligence, and we’re educating them for their lives now and for their future. / Photo from: Marty-Anderson-Office-Computer seelowprices com. The man on the picture looks serious, doesn’t he?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

3186. How to Get the Most from Kids in Vacations

Within some weeks I’ll be assisting and teaching at a couple of English-language summer camps, with teens and younger children.
And that’s okay and I can help out there. However I’ve got to think about the profile I’m applying regarding classroom management. The kids will be spending their vacations and they want to have fun. Even they tend to (in some way) blow up the lessons, and sorry to be so honest.
I’m not upset, I simply tell you all how those kids take those courses. So I have to apply some classroom management. I’ll implement some low profile management. I mean, let’s see, I should not get irritated. I’m also implementing a series of games with the younger kids, about which I have a list of more than 100 games, to foster speaking in English and aiming at having fun. I mean it, I ought not to get angry.
I’ll let you know about it on coming weeks. I will also try to set some order at the games but taking into account that I won’t get 100% nice classroom management.
The first premise is treating among us with respect to each other. And I’m fostering communication and immersion in English. I’ll take advantage of the kids that conduct better to lean and rely on them in favor of the nicest possible classroom management.
I’ll try to combine discipline with having fun and scoring points maybe – I’m not sure about this latter point. I’ve taught similar courses before, quite a nice number of them. It’ll be interesting to teach boys again, and I hope it’ll be useful for them: they do need the language! Things are changing in Spain! / Photo from: arbol-solitario,-prado,-flores-amarillas,-nubes-193429 imagenes 4ever eu. The picture is just a nice illustration.

Monday, May 15, 2017

3185. You Can Relax!

Warmers? They’re necessary for each lesson we teach.
Lately I’m explaining to my dear students that warmers are kind of an introduction or prolog to the lesson. They serve the purpose of warming up to be able to understand and speak in English, the target tongue I teach and enjoy teaching. A few questions plus speaking by the teacher are a nice warmer.
I guess you all are about looking forward to finishing the school year, in the north hemisphere. Is that right? So also, beside warmers, we teachers need relaxing activities… and not only warmers.
For relaxing we can implement a series of exercises prior to a lesson, so before we enter the classroom and we may be at our office. Or even along the school halls in a prudent way! First relax your limbs, if sitting down (even if you’re standing up). They’re quick exercises and take not a long time.
With practice you’ll do these exercises more quickly and with more effectiveness.
Then relax all your face muscles, your shoulders, your limbs again. And try to listen to silence if possible, or try to refrain your inner thoughts in that fast stream we can get involved in. Breathe twice and slowly. And you can repeat the exercises or go for next battle, more ready than before the exercises. And then you’ll see easier to carry out those necessary warmers I told you about: a catchy activity with which you’ll get your students more prepared for their also next battle to learn English, or math, or science, or whatever it is.
In some way those warmers or warm-ups will be relaxing for your students too! They should be so! / Photo from: copicola com. I posted that picture because it’s relaxing, and maybe a place we’d like to be at.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

3184. Resting as Necessary Too for Teaching!

And today some time for spending with the family, and for resting and relaxing, before the week starts again, with the big exams around the corner. If we seek a profound work as teachers we also need resting, and it's kind of some obligation. But the mind goes to my students and I remember them and pray for them and their families. God bless them all. The lessons are already planned: I hope they will help my students!

Oh, by the way: if we want to take some care of our students' families we should take care of ours. Firstly and independently. / Photo from: Jay Graham Photographer

Saturday, May 13, 2017

3183. A Special Atmosphere in the Classroom

Along these years I’ve also found out that my students must receive a massive input in English – the target language – if I want to get a massive output from them.

So at the beginning of the lesson lately I usually speak for a few minutes in English (close to all the lesson is in English!) for my students to warm up. I also make them participate by means of answering some questions I ask them. In that way we make immersion in English and the classroom becomes a place where the vehicle language is English.

Even before and after the lesson my dear students also talk to me in that tongue. They’re great. So those warmers I implement are the first activity proper we carry out. For example lately I’m explaining to my students what warmers are themselves, and the thing is okay and it works, and they are eager to participate. We have few lessons left until the year is over! / Photo from: Beyond Mars  Discover Magazine Blogs. Also Mars has a special atmosphere: When will we go?

Friday, May 12, 2017

3182. How to Get a Lot from Our Students

I’ve found out, over time, that positive motivation can make us reach quite far in our classrooms! Our students can go far in their learning process, if they receive positive motivation, instead of too many punishments and penalties.
So we can in the classroom state what’s right in our students’ contributions, up to the point that we could recognize as okay to closely all their contributions. The point is accepting their right targets, when they give a nice answer. It’s my experience. My students have gone far because they’re nice students plus my recognizing their right contributions, which are most of them!
This is better than just denouncing what’s wrong about them. We get and gain more from our students when we give them positive motivation. However we will praise gently, not too much, so as to avoid too much pride from them.
For example some minutes before right now I was teaching my grown-ups, and I was trying to praise their contributions (not too much remember!). Also I usually tell them after the lesson: Thank you for your hard work, and they can leave the classroom so content – they’re great anyway. Remember the point is recognizing what’s right from them, small things they can be though. Do this way and you’ll get a lot from your students! / Photo from: Future Space Travel. We will reach far if conducting that way, like space traveling in the future.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

3181. The Best Classroom Management!

We teachers have to teach our students how to think. How to learn to think on their own.
We will provide them with texts that will make them think, and we’ll do so in the school subject of English as a foreign language too. Texts that matter are convenient.
I mean we’ll use those texts from which we can draw a nice discussion as a follow-up activity to simple reading. We teachers will help them join what read with their own lives. My experience at teaching English is that we can provide our students with texts that have an interdisciplinary nature: English plus history, English plus short biographies, English plus human-interest texts, etc.
In some way yesterday I wrote about a transcendent view of human beings, something like: If you love you’ll be loved. I don’t mean we should love to seek being loved in a selfish way: love is generosity, love is giving yourself to the loved person, love is benevolence love – wishing what’s good, and is there anything better than God himself?
Anyway if we love we will be loved, more likely than not. In the worksheets I hand out to my students I try to include educative texts, in some or other way. And the students are looking forward to being given a new worksheet. This year I’ve arranged and outfitted about twenty worksheets.
And thank God I can say my students have advanced quite much, yes sir, I’d say so. Also I’ve learned from them! Also English! Also from their way of working hard! I’m content with them all: they were committed students, yes sir, they were. / Photo from: urban-landscape-wallpaper-15 NEW Evolution design. A huge suspension bridge is built after a lot of work and effort invested, like lessons themselves: they deserve a lot of invested attempts.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

3180. Are We Happy?

When are we happy, as philosophers put it? When we generously give ourselves to other people, in full service.
And we can carry out this way by means of fulfilling our professional work in a nice and competent way plus serving others. When we conduct in that way we’re making ourselves susceptible of being happy.
The first premise is giving ourselves to God: that transcendent way of acting makes our lives become precisely that, transcendent, able to go beyond, which is the meaning of “transcendent”. If every single day we go to the office or wherever else to fulfill our duties in a clean way, we’re making ourselves able to be transcendent, because we overwhelm our possible selfishness.
And then we can smile in an honest way. And we’ll find ourselves loving everybody else. With benevolence love, which means wishing what’s good to the others. I’ve seen it in several lives. This is my opinion. / Photo from: executive-looking-through-the-window-with-the-mobile-phone_1098-3569 Freepik

Monday, May 8, 2017

3179. What Can You See? - You Look Admired!

You all have seen that my methodology for teaching and learning English is communicative. Okay then, one activity which is very appropriate for naturalistic communication in the classroom is for the students – and for the teacher too! – to describe pictures.
I bring to the classroom, in my bag, usually a magazine with many varied pictures, National Geographic namely. It has pictures of landscapes, people, animals in the wild and nature… My students particularly like this activity, which I try not to repeat too much, on the other hand.
Usually one of my students has got to describe a picture that I chose for him while his classmates cannot see it. After the description the magazine runs through the classroom, for the rest of the students to see the described photo. Except for the describer the other students have been imagining and making out the picture, and often the reality is better than their imaginations.
I’ve got to recognize that those guys of National Geographic make and select very good and beautiful pictures. Which is also educative: beauty is educative and builds up their sensitivity. I remind you that my students at present are adults anyway. Over in summer things will change again and I’ll also teach teens and children.
I have to teach them, in practice, how we refer to the different places inside the photo – for example I teach my students how to say background and foreground.
How did I start this activity? Well, putting the little ducks to the pond. I mean, my students started to describe and depict pictures on their own: they learned on their own, although I had molded this activity with my own descriptions too.
Right now I’m remembering that long ago I used to utilize posters for descriptions while the whole class of students could see the photographs. While describing pictures the descriptor has to talk about different aspects: what calls his attention firstly, the main points of the picture, colors, shapes, placement adverbs and adverbials, clothes, world vocabulary, animals, vocab for describing a beautiful scenery or landscape…
Along the years and over time I’ve proved that this activity is nice, useful and practical, aimed at communicating inside the classroom, not to mention that for young children you teacher have to use visual aids: they don’t have a mind for the abstract yet – oh, and also discussion can be derived from describing pictures: more and more communication in English! / Photo from: bird-watching-for-kids The BackYard Naturalist. Young students like pictures.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

3178. Only If You Are a Committed Teacher!

Every one of us teachers would like to be a good one, is that so? It is evident and obvious.
We can improve a lot by reading. Just by reading appropriate texts. Reading correct education books and websites, teaching books, blogs alike… all that’s great and necessary.
What we read stays in our mind and remains for long, because it has made us think in one specific way. Reading transforms us and makes us better teachers. Also all this can be said for our students.
One could think that what’s read is forgotten, but the core stays and remains for pretty long, even for all our career as teachers. We need to form and educate ourselves as committed and competent teachers and educators. Is that so? / Photo from: watching-laptop advanced-television com

Friday, May 5, 2017

3177. Communication Has Been Set!

I can tell you all of you that for setting a communicative approach to my English-language lessons I foster communication between my students and me, and among themselves.
Also I foster discussions. Discussions are great for improving my students’ communicative competence. We exploit texts I hand them out. Even from a small point inside one of the texts we can start a nice discussion about a topic, or after having worked on a text we can talk about the topic of its.
With some imagination you can get a lot from a text, both talking about the general topic or from smaller points inside it.
Usually I hand out my students worksheets with two texts: one is B1 level and the second is C1 level of English. B1 is intermediate and C1 advanced. I include these two levels because my students have varied levels of English, but they’re able to get a lot from both texts, admirably.
As well discussions make people think and learn how to think. Moreover it opens up chances of talking in English, our common target language. If you could see those nice discussions we have…! Besides discussions are more human than drills, although these ones are important too.
In few words we communicate with one another in English, which is the main goal of our lessons. THERE IS communication in our lessons, at a grade of some 99% of the lesson time in English.
And that’s the way how I got my advanced level of English, equivalent to C2, which is the highest level, some years ago.
What do I do with low-achievers? I ask them more simple questions. I mean, everybody can actually participate. Alike some high-achiever explains something to some low-achiever. I try everybody would participate. / Photo from: The New York Times. For space traveling we would need a lot of communication, also for living at a space station!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

3176. How to Treat High-Achiever Students

I see you teachers are enthused with teaching. Enthusiasm plus optimism plus seeing things from a positive viewpoint is great.
Remember that my optimism is also hope: the foundation is God himself plus the great potentialities of the human person.
This transcendent view of things also provides a rope to grasp for nice and positive everyday living. God has a superior and great love to us all. The one like all dads and moms on earth can have.
And about human potentialities I’ve seen it along my career as a teacher. When we treat our students as better than they are or seem to be they become greater.
Now I’m thinking of high-achiever students: in English – the subject I teach – you have to think of them very much because they could become bored in the lessons if you don’t give them superior activities.
All this without forgetting our low-achievers. High-achievers can help low-achievers: they can repeat a question or prompt from the teacher in their own words in English… which sometimes are easier to understand than my own words in English as a teacher.
Also we can give extra-work to high-achievers. / Photo from: bmw concept car Pinterest. The illustration might show a concept car that is made as possible if carried out by high-achiever technicians. German made.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

3175. Communicating in the Classroom?

I just came across a definition of communicative approach to learning a foreign or second language that I think is just great:
The communicative approach is based on the idea that learning language successfully comes through having to communicate real meaning. When learners are involved in real communication, their natural strategies for language acquisition will be used, and this will allow them to learn to use the language.
It was taken from also great BBC website

3174. When Our Students Are Great Again!

I read it in Pope Francis some time ago. He proposed not to talk bad about anybody. I liked it and think it’s okay with the school too.
Somebody told me also not to talk bad about anybody at the school. Or otherwise it’d be better to correct what’s wrong personally to the person who did it wrong.
We can teach our students to conduct in that way. It has to do with bullying. The point is teaching them to be honest and honorable with everybody else. It would be much better for them to correct things to their classmates, in a peaceful and not humiliating way, plus aside and apart.
For example when they detect there’s a bullying thing arising they could turn to the offender and tell him not to carry on in that way. Experts say that bullying must be stopped by students themselves.
And how can the teacher find out something ugly is starting to arise among students? I learned something in the school where I worked until 2002. We teachers in charge of a class had a council of three or four students chosen among themselves – this point is important: they had been chosen by their classmates.
And from time to time, or more importantly whenever those chosen students thought it’d be okay, they met with their teacher and told him the problems that were occurring, like some student that could be being left behind, or such or such student was being treated bad or with bullying.
The offender did know he could be reported about that bullying to their teacher in charge of the class of students. And also he knew there was a committee or council to help him. I mean: that council was in favor of all their classmates and existed to help out one another.
Now I add that one student from that council could treat about that problem with the offender kid. For that the corrector student had to be a leader, and had to have a rather strong temper or personality. We educated leaders in some way. / Photo from: Buzzforinfo. The picture is a nice illustration.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

3173. More Satisfied

Lately I’ve thought again that when you give yourself to other people, you may more likely be happy.
And we teachers have so many chances to give ourselves to our students. But not only. I mean that we also have to offer our help to the parents and families, and to our colleague teachers as well. I know you all are committed teachers and will understand this.
Some people have told me about this experience: when you think of other people you eventually forget about your daily problems and the like. I’ve met teachers who have devoted themselves to their students and ultimately they’ve felt better.
I don’t mean we have to help out to seek our selfish welfare. When we think of our students’ troubles we have less time to think of our own problems, to which ones also we will pay attention to, of course.
I’ve met people who felt happy and ultimately they had given themselves to the parents, teachers and students, and precisely in that order. / Photo from: jg consultation

With You All Again

I'm posting again pretty soon!