Friday, February 25, 2011

The Student Teacher

Next month I will have a student teacher join my class. We have met and talked in general terms about how I run my class.

I have asked her to envision her own classroom. How will it look? How will it sound? How will it feel? How will it smell? How will it 'taste'? What will students think after being in the class for 45 minutes or 80 minutes? 

What advice do you have for a student teacher? What do you wish you would have known when you started teaching?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Homework: Quality Control

Most students use homework once. There is a repetitive cycle of doing (or copying) homework and getting a grade. Work lacks quality and is often turned-in late.As teachers, what can we do to get students to improve the quality of their work then reuse it?

In my class I address these issues by allowing students to use their notebooks on quizzes, tests, and exams. Questions are written to support the use of homework assignments and students who do quality work are rewarded.

How do you get students to improve the quality of their work and to reuse it?

* I no longer accept late work. 
   See previous post, Late Work Is Not Accepted.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Late Work Is Not Accepted

When writing about an emotive topic there is no reason to hide your message.

Teachers should not accept late work.

The acceptance of late work indicates a deficiency in the planning or communication of the assignment by the teacher or the lack of a work ethic by the student or both. Neither of which will be fixed or given reason to change by accepting the late work.

I have accepted late work at times during my teaching career. I stopped when I realized it did not change the behavior creating the need to accept the late work.

Please share your side of the issue.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

What do parents really want?

The life of the parent of a child is full of challenges. As a teacher you have the opportunity to help. Parents do not always receive the full story about homework, projects, or day-to-day events in class.

My suggestion is simple, be transparent.

Provide parents with a copy of the syllabus at the beginning of the course. The syllabus should include all homework and important due dates. Send short regular updates via email to inform parents of upcoming due dates and what is being done in class. Give parents what they really want, the information to help their child be successful.

What do you do to be transparent?

The Beginning

As with our students, there is a need to be heard. Today is the beginning.

We must change the way in which we do education. We can look to the past, live in the present, and hope for the future, but we must change. At The Simple Teacher blog, I will post simple ideas to deal with the problems we face in education. With your help we will make a difference.