Sunday, April 28, 2013

1057. The right moment to catch the fish




Teacher A said to teacher B, “Keep and stay ready because whilst you’re doing something else, a positive idea can pop out about that student you’d like to help. 

At once those ideas come to mind. And those ideas can be a booster for the kid. 

Scribble down those thoughts, or just keep them in mind. Those thoughts are ok with him or her. Those ideas did not come to mind while you were planning the class. And the class is also for him or her. Think of the students you teach, I’d tell you, when planning a class.” / Photo from: lokelures com. Fishing in the sea.

1056. Some students feel anxiety in the classroom




Teacher B said to teacher A, “Anxiety is something we should take into account as teachers. 

Now I’m referring to kids’ tests. Some sane tension is good in life to survive, or some people can feel anxious when they’ve got to take a flight. 

In our case - school - some sane anxiety can be good to improve the way students face their tests. It makes them work and learn and strive– who has not prepared a coming exam, with some anxiety and being tired before the end of the academic year? 

However some kid can feel sort of choked before exams. Usually this latter case occurs when the students procrastinate their duty of studying and practicing before exams. 

Finally we can have some case that is special: I’m now referring to pathological cases where a chosen specialist has to intervene; some schools have at least one psychologist for special cases of treatment. 

Just let me say something else: I don’t appreciate or recognize anything special among my students before a test. I don't believe they're anxious.” / Photo from: popsci com. A private jet airplane  

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

1055. To talk with parents? Just essential




Teacher A said to teacher B, “At tutoring sessions with parents and families (elder siblings for example) you can make them find out things about the kid they did not know. 

As well you can learn things about the kid out of the school, things that you did not know. 

It’s better if you all can sit at ease in a small lounge of the school. It’s essential for both dad and mom to attend the tutorial, if the case. As I said, you can get helpful information to assist the student. 

You might attend the meeting with things thought and even some written notes. However it could be more important to listen to them, and to their worries and concerns. Empathy here is important – between both parts. Even more, with experience you’ll connect with them. It’ll be a natural conversation. You’ll suffer with them and you’ll rejoice with their joys.” / Photo from: besteducationpossible blogspot com

Monday, April 22, 2013

1054. Very responsible adult learners!




Teacher B said to teacher A, “In the classes of English there are like two large groups: low-achievers and high-achievers, if I talk in simple terms. What to do with varied students and mix-abilities? 

There’s not a simple solution and all I’ve tried is partially valid. 

You can try to combine and alternate a low-level activity with high-level ones. 

Ask high-achievers often, to avoid these latter ones get bored and disappointed. 

When I compose a worksheet I include simple sentences with more complex ones. I try to make worksheets that have sentences or a story with two big levels. 

Praise gently the low-achievers whenever they hit the target and give a good response. 

And address the high-achievers quite often and ask them questions; make them intervene often; this is an essential key factor!” / Photo from: fox5sandiego com. adult learners. 

1053. More about motivation




Sometimes a student is going bad because either (or both) he doesn’t understand the textbook or he doesn’t like/wish learning. Or one could be the consequence of the other. 

So, the teacher’s mission is helping the student wish to learn, but alas! with an amicable respect for his freedom. As soon as he wishes, he’ll run forward. / Photo from: commons wikimedia org. Fly fishing on the South Santiam

1052. Positive motivation as a booster




Teacher A said to teacher B, “Lucas got a Pass in the last test. 

He looked not much satisfied, but he told me he used to fail so far. 

Now he’s being more optimistic and positive: he has improved, and thinks he can go on improving the mastering of English. 

All this is positive motivation and optimism: to see the good side of things. This motivation is a booster to study harder.” / Photo from: hadfieldeducation com. Examination-takers    

Sunday, April 21, 2013

1051. An atmosphere of working well




Julio Gallego Codes is an expert in studying, learning and motivation. 

In one of his books he says that parents, or the father for instance, should talk to the kids, one by one, about their studying. 

And this within an atmosphere of confidence, trusting, gently asking about today in the school. This makes an atmosphere of working well, of a real interest of learning new things, of improving and struggling for better working. / Photo from: blokeshealth com. Skiing. 

1050. Perseverance is essential to learn or acquire a language




Teacher A said to teacher B, “I give credits to my students – now I’m referring to the adults. I don’t tell them to do any homework, they study though. They work on the worksheets I hand them out. With perseverance they can reach high standards. Namely communicate in English when travelling abroad. The youngest of these students are sixty-something, perhaps fifty-something.” / Photo from: criptana  casas cueva - cave houses

Friday, April 19, 2013

1049. Families with children



Teacher B said to teacher A, “Parents’ and the family’s view of the world influences on youngsters. 

Those former ones have more influence than their children’s friends for example, according to experts. 

Think also if parents read, if they have culture and literacy, think of their view of work, well done work, their attitude to work, to their intellectual background. 

You can explain a lot about a kid when you meet their parents or parent; then you’re able to understand what the kid is like. And you then can help him more.” / Photo from: pbs org. Mom and daughter talking.

1048. The students are growing inside them, concerning language




Teacher A said to teacher B, “It’s not always necessary the students repeat words after the teacher, for instance. 

It’s also good for the students to hear, to listen, just that. 

It’s essential they listen to a lot in the language they’re learning and acquiring. That can have to do with the ‘silent period’ that Krashen stated maybe.” / Photo from: australiangeographic com au. West Coast trail in Canada. Trekking basics and getting started.

1047. Can be a powerful engine




Teacher B said to teacher A, “The teacher is the main source of resources. 

He directs the program of the year, for example, or plans activities for the four skills of language, he provides high-achievers with extra material or makes them monitor some classmate, is the main motor of the process of learning the foreign or the second language, is a problem-solver, downloads or shops activities from TeacherLingo, etc.” / Photo from: antiquecarsclub com. A Cisitalia race car   

Thursday, April 18, 2013

1046. Everyday helping one another



Teacher A said to teacher B, “Last week we were playing the game of ‘Simon says’. There was a kid that had never played before. Spontaneously another kid explained the game to him. 

The second student felt more protagonist of the class and his self-esteem rose, I’m sure.” / Photo from: usatoday com

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

1045. School and family, family and school




Teacher B said to teacher A, “Education. 

Listen. That is what parents expect or ought to expect from schools. 

The school helps parents and the family. These latter ones cannot teach math, history, biology, literature, sport… yet the school contributes by helping the family. 

The school has to educate too. 

So, parents or the parent, have the priority in the education of their kids, and they turn to the school as an aid. There should be a rather close relationship between the family and the school, because the aim is the education of the kids.” / Photo from: guardian co uk. Young girl reading in library.    

1044. You're doing it pretty well




Teacher A said to teacher B, “You as the teacher can assign as homework for the students to do whatever they think is okay. Implement it one day. 

Give them examples of what they could need: re-read a text to understand it, to revise a graded [or marked] test, do some drill from the course-book exercises...” / Photo from: iccsd k12 ia us. Climbing a mountain of ice.

1043. You learn because you're free to do it




Teacher B said to teacher A, “Only when the person is free, he or she can be educated. 

Also learning is a free labor. 

One lets himself be educated by whom he knows that loves him, with love of benevolence. When you are free, you are a person, and you can grow.” / Photo from: britishcouncil lv (Latvia).

1042. Perseverance as the key to learn a language




Teacher A said to teacher B, “Perseverance is a key to open up a good process of learning and acquiring English or any other language. 

The people who have achieved the goal of being able to, for example, talk about anything are perseverant. They study and practice the language day after day, with a nice emotion sometimes, with a bored emotion some other times.” / Photo from: intheboatshed net. A double-ended 15 ft rowing boat built by Adrian Morgan… with perseverance.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

1041. What can you perceive from those three people on the picture?




Teacher B said to teacher A, “Intuition is a key factor to learn and acquire a foreign or second language. 

We receive some clues about what two people are talking about: we understand some words, we perceive gestures, face expressions, intonation, repetition, context… if you wish to learn, and acquire, a language, for instance English, invest in intuition. 

Many learners have followed this way as one more learning strategy.” / Photo from: bls gov. Police and detectives.    

1040. A happy life demands ethics




Teacher A said to teacher B, “Life should develop, should be lived, with ethics and morality. 

We’ve got to find the right pathway, and that implies ethics and morality. I’m referring to what Aristotle called ‘good life’. With no ethics and morality a person cannot have a good life. 

And all this needs virtues, good operative habits. 

Morality and ethics with no God – who loves us boundlessly – doesn’t stand for long.” / Photo from: longbeachyellowcab net. Happy friends together.  

1039. Everyday family life can be great though regular




Teacher A said to teacher B, “The first people that have to be nice and polite are the family, parents and children. 

In some way the tutor-teacher can teach good manners to parents. 

Within a couple, there must be politeness and doing favors and having nice details. 

Otherwise the house becomes a place where living is depressing or aggressive. Mom has to enamor Dad every day. Dad has to make Mom fall in love every day, in the first years of marriage, but also after twenty-five years of marriage. 

One example: Mom has to appear with a beautiful look, which doesn’t mean being provocative. If Mom doesn’t do this, Dad might feel attracted by his younger secretary. Something similar could be said in relation to Dad.” / Photo from: teinteresa es. Familias numerosas.  

1038. People that can face up problems




Teacher B said to teacher A, “A person, for instance a student, can repeat nice actions so acquire good habits, human virtues, like knowing how to listen to a person’s concerns and problems with real interest. 

Now, think of counting on God’s help: those virtues turn into supernatural virtues – it doesn’t mean they aren’t human ones any longer.” / Photo from: longbeachyellowcab net. Dressing up.   

1037. We live with people, with unique persons




Teacher B said to teacher A, “In schools we teachers and administrators must make living and working into a human and humane way. You may think of human relationships among teachers and students or among us teachers. 

It has to do with being polite but it’s something more profound: it has to do with human dignity. We are people, we are persons. Each one is unique.” / Photo from: englishfirst com. An English teacher in Indonesia      

Monday, April 15, 2013

1036. Starting to write, like other pioneers




Teacher A said to teacher B, “Writing is a process. Writing compositions can be like writing about one point, period, next idea or point. It’s a sequence. An imaginative one. 

Have your students write like I’m telling you. If you give them linkers, they’ll have more weapons to carry on writing. But, also, however, and... henceforth, therefore

They will write chains of ideas, then paragraphs. 

Yet, each writer is different in his views of writing. 

You can have them recall the lexis and grammar they’re learning lately.” / Photo from: ctie monash edu au. The McCormick-Romme 'Umbrella' airplane preparing for a test flight, c.1911.

1035. Writing in class




Teacher A said to teacher B, “When writing compositions students should enjoy the process. Some students can get out a lot from few elements. They are imaginative. 

Then one nice point would be an introduction to the story, a development and something brief to end. It’s of a paramount importance students should practice writing... And you, teacher, can guide them.” / Photo from: problogger net. Writing tips

Sunday, April 14, 2013

1034. Describe the picture and other tasks




Teacher B said to teacher A, “What do we do to speak in English, as I told you on post # 1033? I ask them to describe the meaning of a word, or to describe a picture from a general-content magazine, or it’s me who says the meaning and they say the word. We have fun, and that’s so essential.” / Photo from: innovasjomorge no. Fjord in Norway.

1033. Taking the cab to success




Teacher B said to teacher A, “I’m achieving my students to speak in English. They make many errors and mistakes but so what? The important thing is there is communication. I tell them very few corrections: they’ll polish the language tentatively with the passing time.” / Photo from: expanish com. Radio Taxi in Buenos Aires. I have a nice number of friends from that country.   

1032. Every kid has a potential tentatively




Teacher A said to teacher B, “If you’re going to talk with an adolescent, treat him as an adult, not like a child. As an adult: listen to what he wants to tell you, think of how to help him, and be honest in your responses.” / Photo from: giveforyouth org. tutoring sessions 

1031. I work with people, human beings




Teacher A said to teacher B, “I teach English to a group of just retired people plus a girl – the center is between the oldie generation and the young one. From the beginning I thought I wouldn’t set homework. 

I hand them out worksheets in classes. Nevertheless they read and work on those worksheets at home.” / Photo from: millysmuse blogspot com. cleaning robot. Robots can be very helpful for some tasks and chores.    

Saturday, April 13, 2013

1030. Let's communicate among us in English




Teacher B said to teacher A, “For next year or upcoming ones we could make an interdisciplinary nature with some school subjects in English: science, history, literature in English, chemistry, technology. 

In some schools the faculty of teachers are engaged in something like that. In Spain, more and more students are taking English classes, at the face of being capable of working in that language, either by going abroad or working together with colleagues from other countries. 

One of the goals for example is getting the First Certificate of Cambridge University. Others aim at the Advanced or the Proficiency examinations. Others aim at B1 through C2, within the Common European Framework. Others at TOEFL.” / Photo from: brightonsuites com. family strolling   

1029. Making a comical drama




Teacher A said to teacher B, “A non-native teacher of English should identify with that language, as much as possible, as if he was a native speaker - but without a double personality: you're you yourself. H. D. Brown and others have said one good thing is to imitate a native speaker. With practice it’s more and more simple.” / Photo from: singin-in-the-rain-2. the picture is the last image of the masterpiece of the choreography of “Good Morning”. The actors were Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds. The film was Singing in the Rain (1952).

1028. They became responsible




Teacher B said to teacher A, “Study and work make the person mature, and gain virtues. You may think of responsibility, personal growth, discernment, order, thinking development, following a schedule [timetable], carrying out society and his country, etc.” / Photo from: adventuresofcatandjack blogspot com. kids washing their car  

1027. Adults can acquire another language



Teacher A said to teacher B, "Adults and young people can acquire the foreign language, not only learn it. They need to receive massive input and intake, for example orally. Then they start to acquire the language, like babies. 

Although we're referring to adults and young people, these ones can also acquire the language, obviously in a different way as infants. / Photo from: teaching_speaking_tips. englishonline org cn

Friday, April 12, 2013

1026. Something I forgot



Oh, silly me: I forgot to say that the ideas of post # 1025 were expressed by scholar Alejandro Llano - so they're not of mine. / Photo from: the international space station turns 10. from boston com

1025. The class as a work group




Teacher B said to teacher A, “The class has to become a time for group-work: the students and the teacher make up a group where the first ones are learning and acquiring a foreign language with their teacher’s help. 

It’s like a little society where the thing everyone deals with is the foreign language. 

Or like a group of scientists where they’re trying to produce a process of learning and acquiring that language.” / Photo from: esamultimedia esa int. international space station work (ISS)     

1024. Educating kids to become responsible citizens




Teacher A said to teacher B, “I believe that we teachers should go to a general and comprehensive education of our students, more tan thinking too much in disciplinary means. 

Therefore, the individual tutoring sessions are so important for each kid. 

As well we’ve got to educate in values and virtues: hard-working and studying, honesty and sincerity, generosity, environmental friendship, lending objects, helping their classmates, chastity, fortitude, love, getting to know their boy or girlfriend, helping out at home, small jobs, freedom and responsibility, faith, hope and charity, not dropping wrapping papers, etc. 

Oh, by the way, better if male teachers make the tutoring sessions with boys, and female teachers with girls: let’s get rid of gossip among people; at the sessions privacy and intimacy are brought up by students.” / Photo from: teacher scholastic com. a police officer conveying a talk to students     

Thursday, April 11, 2013

1023. Turning all into something educative




Teacher B said to teacher A, “The general conducting of the students in the school is okay. 

Many have got to work harder, but it’s also true that there’re many boys that work nice. 

From time to time there’s something special. One day I got into the classroom. I was going to sit when I saw there was a..., sorry, a package with a condom on the chair. 

Like I said these things aren’t usual. The aim was to disturb the teacher. That teacher asked who had been the author. No answer. He then turned to the secondary section boss and told him what had happened. 

Anyway, the boys that had spent some years at our school have, for sure, learned more positive and educative things than negative. In the end the anecdote of the prophylactic turned into something educative. The teacher, on the following day, explained that we shouldn’t split and separate the union of the bodies with being open to create a new life. He also mentioned that that union of the two bodies should take place within marriage: it expresses the spouses’ love and donation to each other.” / Photo from: bbc co uk. _62157309 _ stradivarius _ violinist    

1022. Just a great team




Teacher A said to teacher B, “The end of the academic year is approaching. 

Now we teachers and students have to sprint. 

Both of us, teachers and students have invested a lot of effort to work. Albeit you may be tired, you have no other way than sprinting. 

However don’t worry: both teachers and students can exert a lot of effort still. We both can reach a high intensity and extent of work. We can go through dire straits and get out unharmed into summer vacations. 

Did you know one of the most stressful jobs is teaching? Come on, fellas! We're gonna get it! Turn to our Father God to help us to reach the end.” / Photo from: gsps ca. police officers            

1021. The right link

If you wanna see "Good Morning" song (1952), the best thing is to type (in Google) "Good Morning 1952 Singing in the Rain"

1020. Singing in the Rain (1952)




Today I’d like to talk about a grand movie. 

I’m referring to Singing in the Rain, released in April 1952. It’s one of the best musicals ever. 

The three main characters were:  Gene Kelly as Don Lockwood, Donald  O'Connor as Cosmo Brown, and  Debbie Reynolds as Kathy Selden. 

The site which I took the picture from is doctormacro com. 

The scene on the picture above is the famous “Good Morning” performance – it is a song. The choreography is just awesome. Did you know how old Debbie Reynolds was when filming the movie? 19 years old! 

Alfonso Méndiz, a professor of Universidad de Málaga wrote in one of his great books that Gene Kelly got a terrible cold as a result of the also unforgettable “Singin’ in the Rain” scene.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

1019. You don't need an army to keep students quiet




Teacher A said to teacher B, “In order to manage your students’ behavior the point isn’t shouting at them. 

I knew a teacher that used to talk in a low voice. His students were about 9 years old. He attained more when speaking in a low voice than talking aloud. In that way he achieved his students be more silent and work harder.” / Photo from: telegraph co uk. swiss guard at Vatican state.   

1018. Assign small jobs to disruptive students




Teacher B said to teacher A, “In order to get a quiet atmosphere of work in the class, you could assign small jobs to disruptive students. 

It’s amazing to see those young people with the responsibility of carrying out those small jobs. Gently praise their achievements at serving their classmates. They experience a personal growth.” / Photo from: autoevolution com. general motors suggests washing cars as mothers day gift  

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

1017. Over care: too much care




Teacher A said to teacher B, “Some moms look after their child too much: they protect their child too much. And the child is the center of the family: his parents, his grandparents, his uncle and aunts, his cousins… 

Everybody focuses on the child. 

I guess this is not good for the child. 

Some parents prefer to have a dog or a hi-fi player than to have more children. I don’t want to be negative: I do know many, many, many heroic moms, who do things so nice.” / Photo from: wbur org. police officers. thousands mourn woburn officer    

1016. I admire brave people




Teacher B said to teacher A, “If someone really wishes to learn and acquire English or any other modern language, he has to plunge into the water, he has to take risks, he has to practice as much as possible, he has to make good use of chances to speak in English. 

That person should lose shyness and fear of speaking in English. 

Also that person has to intervene and contribute in the classes of English, as much as possible.” / Photo from: pyb co uk. rock-climbing courses in snowdonia    

Monday, April 8, 2013

1015. A demanding teacher got a lot




Teacher A said to teacher B, “If no words, no communication. 

I knew a teacher, a committed one, who used to assign as homework to study lists of vocabulary (and other homework). His students achieved to learn a lot of words, usual words, common words, so those students were able to speak in English more fluently than just single sentences. 

They were able to make presentations or describe objects for example. He was a demanding teacher.” / Photo from: fallsrivermusic com. flute pic2   

1014. They're still in love




Pedro and María are married. 

Usually they talk to each other, at late evening or at night, when their kids are already in bed. 

They told me that it is essential for a marriage to last until death to hold communication between them two. They talk about this and about that, about any of their children, about the love they keep to each other… although they got married thirty-five years ago. 

Neither of them has young beauty, but they love each other, with a more matured love than when they were young. 

They assured me that communication within a marriage is essential. Don’t they ever argue? Sure! but in the end they go back to peace. They told me that if you wish your marriage would last, it is essential to hold communication. / Photo from: thedamnedwriter blogspot com. old couple still in love   

Sunday, April 7, 2013

1013. An immersion inside an English-speaking country




Teacher A said to teacher B, “In our school, in a town of the south of Spain, not Granada, we teachers of English used to send some voluntary students to Ireland for some weeks in September, at the beginning of the academic year. 

They lived with carefully chosen families. 

The point was for those students to practice English in a situation of immersion – obviously, because they spent a span of time in an English-speaking country. The experience was great. 

Those kids returned to Spain with some fluency in English. 

However, we teachers thought those kids could have a problem back in Spain with the rest of the school subjects (science, math, history, etc.) but the case was that they had no big problems to catch up with those subjects, perhaps because those students were smart enough. 

One teacher went there with them, one teacher of our Spanish school. The kids were about 11 or 12 years old.” / Photo from: artsedge kennedy-center org. children playing piano