Sunday, November 30, 2014

2076. Greetings from Granada, Spain



You Ukrainians (or from that country) are one among the first countries in visiting and stopping by my blog. You have my congrats! I pray for you. / Photo from: Ukrainian landscape

2075. We're writing history every day



We’re writing history. 

If you have a mental look at the 21st century, many remarkable things have occurred already: the attack to the World Trade Center in 2001, 
wars, 
three remarkable Roman Pontiffs (Saint John Paul II, Benedict XVI, Francis), the Islamic State, 
the Youth Days with the Popes -- with many young people, 
kids with brain paralysis that can walk, 
the launch of satellites, 
brilliant literature and movies, 
aid to zones devastated by earthquakes, 
the use of tablets and smart boards, 
discoveries in medicine, 
great research essays about teaching and learning… but please always remember that you, maybe in a lost village in Nebraska or in Las Alpujarras, near Sierra Nevada, etc., are pushing the world onward. 

Tomorrow Monday alike you will carry out the advance of your dear students, and the advance of the world. 

These today crises are crises of saints, said Saint Josemaría, founder of Opus Dei (www.opusdei.us ) / Photo from: TeacherStudent_secondarypgs_web www kaitlynsconnections info

Saturday, November 29, 2014

2074. How to feel cozy in the classroom



Students in our classrooms must feel nice. All the school must be nice. 

The first premise is teaching the students to drop for instance wrapping paper into trash cans (or litter boxes). 

In girls’ schools the classroom might be even cozy. 

Take into account that we the teachers and the students spend long for a single day. And this is day after day, I mean, a lot of time. 

The school is kind of a second home. 

There should be central heating, and, if possible, air conditioning, or fans. 

Something that has proved to be sound is to make a small job list. 

You can have students who erase the chalkboard and clean the eraser, rearrange desks into rows, 
turn off lights at the end of the day, 
be in charge of selecting useful posters and projects to set on the notice boards, 
open the window to air the stuffy classroom, 
remind their classmates of rearranging desks into rows, 
a team to set a Nativity scene and other things related to Christmas, etc. / Photo from: NSW-Kingsgrove-North-High-School. kab org au

2073. Good manners at school and home? Essential



Politeness and good manners are essential because they help have a peaceful life. 

So we teachers should teach good manners, also at tutoring sessions. 

And as well we’ve got to teach politeness, good speaking, turn-takings, respecting to the teacher, good dressing, hygiene, to parents... Also we’ll get a nice tutoring sessions with parents. 

We can insist on this point to the parents in order to teach these nice things at home. Oh, and try, if possible, both parents attend the tutoring session with you: they’re the main educators of their children. / Photo from: friendly www gopixpic com

Friday, November 28, 2014

2072. Helping gain a nice self-esteem



Talking with our children is essential. 

We can make a nice positive comment whenever possible, “You helped out yesterday in our country house, and that’s good, you’re one of the eldest siblings.” 

That is a positive reinforcement, and the kid can get a positive view of himself for example at adolescence, when crises may appear. 

Obviously the thing isn’t praising all the time, but when necessary, and other times. / Photo from: helping out. gallery georgetown org

2071. Pushing students up to learn positively



If you’re a non-native teacher of English and you’re trying to create and make up an atmosphere where English is the vehicle language, and you shift to Spanish a few times, so as to explain something a bit more complex, I’d tell you to go back to English, to hold the immersion up. 

You can have a group of beginners or false beginners. 

I would tell you to use English all the time. The point here is that you’ll have to explain with given words, 
by using the whiteboard, 
by using real objects (realia), 
drawings on the board or posters, 
worksheets, 
cognates (similar words in both languages). 

Thus the teaching and learning will be a slope or gradient upward. / Photo from: cow-eating-on-round-top-hill-mike-mcglothlen fineartamerica com

Thursday, November 27, 2014

2070. Making the class more humane



The atmosphere of our classes will be nice if we teachers get concerned with getting to know each and every student, and as much as possible, the teacher should treat each student differently. 

With effort and commitment we can reach a lot, however not all we wish, but anyway we can reach far. 

Oh, and remember to arrange a date with their parents. / Photo from: teignmouth-classroom. 

I have got to clarify that the placement of desks on the picture above is not the only one to reach a nice class: mostly I’ve taught in classrooms where there were rows of desks. 

So both are options that can serve the purpose of implementing nice and interesting activities. 

Remember that the class with its teacher, should become a work group. / Photo from: teignmouth-classroom

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

2069. A lot of creativity in one activity



A useful and helpful activity with kids can be composing a story with given characters and each character has this feature or that different one. 

This activity is better after the reading class or set time for reading, because you proposed an abridged book that kids liked a lot. 

Now you have their minds open to fantasy. / Photo from: ClassroomShot mondopub com

2068. Again father and son



Our son or one of them, or one of our daughters when a teen may have serious problems for making friends. 

Here parents can do a lot. The kid should be treated as an adult, and this can be accomplished with our honesty and sincerity. 

We can tell him things such as “I’m worried about that new friend” or telling him something we’re concerned about. It has nothing to do with telling the worries the parents may have, but the point is making the son to participate in some of our worries. 

In other words we have to go right to the crux by being honest with our son. Just that. / Photo from: www businessinsider com au

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

2067. The true achiever



Who’s the person that achieves to master a language? 

A person who really wishes to learn a language, and he has the firm resolution to do it, he shall learn for sure. 

It’s a mixture of effective willing plus likes. You love what you know. You know more and more, and this fact makes you love learning, carrying on learning. You are continuously learning, from there, from here. All the time. Every day. You pick up one word here, one other word there. That’s the person who actually learns. 

And alike a person that has the need to manage the language to survive. Necessity sharpens our minds. / Photo from: ks 7sayers com

2066. Educating in honesty and sincerity



A key point in the education of teens is honesty and sincerity. 

For example: you’re writing on the chalkboard and a student throws a piece of chalk to the chalkboard. This is a serious and grievous occurring. 

Stop the class and ask who was it. 

I’m talking about real happenings, in this case about a colleague of ours. 

Likely nobody will say anything – let’s think this way. You get serious. Silence is very eloquent. Now you say you’ll find the student. You say that that student can come up to you out of the classroom and confess the truth. 

If the student appears, you’ve got to talk with him. Let him say what he thinks about that action. Likely too he’ll say it was something wrong and mischievous. 

Let him take an exit, I mean, believe in what he’s saying – the point is educating him also in honesty and sincerity: if he isn’t honest, it could happen he thinks he did wrong. 

Let him say why the thing is wrong or explain to him about your hard work and responsibility at educating them. 

I’ve seen another case when the teacher didn’t scold the kid, he just let him know about the dangerous thing which is to leave the school and get across the road – the responsible person will be you. Explain to him that you could go to jail, in case he would be hit by a car. In this real case too, in the end the student thanked the teacher (!). / Photo from: bobananneeclaydon com fall landscape

Monday, November 24, 2014

2065. Teaching grammar with meaningful examples



When presenting a new verbal tense I have said once at least that the teacher should proceed according to a logical process. 

1. Saying sentences by using the verbal tense – the students listen to the examples. 
And here is the main point: those sentences should be meaningful ones for them, not about things which are out of their worlds. 

2. The teacher asks questions to be answered by the students, using the verbal tense – be patient at this step; think for example of past simple: you will have to wait for a while until they start to say correct samples. 

3. The teacher and one student that understood the grammar of the verbal tense write sentences on the chalkboard or smart board. The students read out the sentences, by turns or as a chorus. 

And number 4 is they write sentences with that grammar point, both on their tablets, and on the chalkboard, by turns and in a volunteering way. I’ve learned this process mainly from Mrs. M. J. A. / Photo from: happydoll org

2064. Connecting people from different countries



Something we teachers of English or other languages have to bear in mind when teaching adults is that the students should learn and practice communication, and we shouldn’t confine our classes to give them facts of the languages. 

Also in kids’ case. 

The point isn’t for them to know information about the language, yet to learn how to communicate in that language. 

Thus we could plan our classes with that aim. 

I state all this because we could dedicate a long time to teach facts, information, something nearly dead, say. 

In this way, besides we contribute to connect people from so varied countries. It’s something brilliant, isn’t it? / Photo from: people-happy-cheering bachflowerssingapore wordpress com

Sunday, November 23, 2014

2063. A program for learning how to study better



At the school where I teach there’s going to be a program soon about studying strategies, taught by a team of teachers. 

The idea is to help our students study better and harder, or in other words, learn how to carry out their current “job”, which is studying. 

In the program brochure you can read that the teachers in charge of the program will work with our students in several fields, such as making good use of time, making up outlines and summarizing, studying time planning, and training in presenting a topic – in Spanish, for the course is for general purposes and not for a specific school subject, such as English. 

I guess it’s great, and covers our students’ needs and expectations. 

The school is Asociación Cultural y Deportiva Alayos, in Granada, Spain. / Photo from: www alayos com

Saturday, November 22, 2014

2062. Do you know your studying skills?



The point with many students isn’t just to be more responsible about their studies but to learn about your skills, trust them, and reckon you can always learn to study better. 

Somebody wrote that in a leaflet in Spanish I found. I translated it into English and here you are. / Photo from: www detusalud com

Friday, November 21, 2014

2061. Father and son



Parents can be the best friends of their children. 

The point is to hold a fluent communication between parents and their children. 

According to Teresa Artola obviously the interests and likes of both parts are different, but a confidence between parents and children can be built up. 

The son or the daughter doesn’t expect their parents be equal to their gang friends, but they do expect you dad or mom behave as parents. 

For this aim something essential is both father and mother have prestige, I mean, he or she are coherent and faithful to what they say. As well both dad and mom should open up to their world and interests. / Photo from: father_son_talking_on_bench www landryamps com

Thursday, November 20, 2014

2060. Treating teens



An adolescent, a teen may get confused by his own ways of conducting and replying to others: his family, his parents, his friends, his classmates… 

He is not a child anymore. This process of evolution takes years of time. 

When he realizes of all that can be at ten years in boys. He’s starting to become an adolescent. 

Because of all this confusion he tries to set a border between him and the others. 

For example when he’s ten years, he tends to shout: it’s a way to show that he isn’t a child any longer, but he is someone. 

His parents can become somewhat puzzled because of this behavior and this change. Yet they and his teachers should know what happens at adolescence and more specifically what is going on with that specific person. 

His adults ought to treat him as an adult: he has his own way of thinking, or he is creating it in some way. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

2059. Love of benevolence educates



The kid is educated by whom he knows loves him with love of benevolence. 

The kid should notice this tactfulness for example at tutoring sessions. At those moments he is being educated firmly and tactfully. However, as well in classes too. / Photo from: www 11plustutoringacademy co uk

2058. The best teacher



The best teacher is not the one with more knowledge but the one that educates the best, and makes his students realize of their skills. 

Something that sort was said by Majón. 

Also that teacher knows how to challenge his students and expects a lot from them. / Photo from:  magazine wfu edu

2057. Kids adore stories



As an answer to a question of one of you about books to learn languages, I would recommend classics and abridged versions. 

Think of universal classics of literature. They provide values too. 

Concerning whether it’s ok to use a dictionary while reading my reply is a qualified yes. Dictionaries of English, better if bilingual, are a key factor for understanding a reader or a book. / Photo from: 467x267-dadreadingwithkids-ts www pbs org

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

2056. We can set a nice example



In my career as a teacher I’ve encountered parents whose mind was that it’s the teachers who educate my son or my daughter. 

And actually the factor which influences most on kids is parents, also when they’re teens. Their parents’ attitude to work sets an example to the kids. / Photo from: budadiminiata ro. Girl watering plants

Monday, November 17, 2014

2055. Your valuable opinion



Some minds can shed light on a single problem to solve. Definitely that’s better than arguments amongst teachers. 

You may have the solution or one solution to a problem of the department of English, like for example a general dropping of grades in a single class-group, in their tests for instance. 

Get ready to “put up your hand” if you honestly think you may have the solution. 

I’m referring to teacher meetings. Listen to the other teachers and provide your opinion. Just that. Your opinion may be worth the same as other teachers’ – bring it up! / Photo from: o-PARENT-TEACHER-MEETING-facebook www huffingtonpost com

Sunday, November 16, 2014

2054. What do you think about teaching?



This blog is twofold: on one hand something has been written by me, okay, and on the other hand is what both you and I implement in everyday classes. 

I would love this blog be of any interest to you; interesting and useful. 

Is there anything you’d let me know? Feel free to think on your own and write a comment. / Photo from: Photo teacher writing on chalkboard unionusa net

Saturday, November 15, 2014

2053. Treating with teens



Teens are teens. Don’t get bothered because they don’t follow your instructions or advice. 

Now I reckon that many things that my dad or mom told me were not followed or at least I made an ugly face at that time. / Photo from: teen-girl-pic-of-mother-talking-to-daughter www medicinenet com

Friday, November 14, 2014

2052. Teaching how to learn



If you have tutoring sessions in your school schedule, take advantage of them, for the student to learn how to focus on the points that you may present in a class, 
or how to hold an active attitude in classes, 
or how to focus on an exercise from his text-book, 
or how to take on the steps of such an exercise, 
or how to get and retrieve stuff from the activity that can be useful later on.
/ Photo from: girl-student-listening-classroom www gopixpic com

Thursday, November 13, 2014

2051. Keeping a diary?



Expert and scholar H. D. Brown used to advice to keep a diary when learning and acquiring a language. 

There the learner can write about what goes well, his frustrations, the findings that are useful and helpful for learning and acquiring, etc. 

In that way learning is more reflexive.

I personally met H. Douglas Brown himself, by email. / Photo from: www govfoop com

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

2050. How to learn grammar



So remember that the aim of our English classes is communication. 

And the basis or skeleton is grammar. 

In order to learn and acquire a grammar point the logical steps with our students are listening, speaking, reading and writing. / Photo from: photos uc wisc edu

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

2049. Boys and girls study different



According to a work study by Linda Sax boys and men are better at math, and also it’s them who are more aware about their learning strategies and aptitudes. 

However girls tend to get better grades than boys. 

Anyway the point is that both boys and girls learn differently. 

Concerning comments by the teacher, girls are more sensitive. 

When setting out to college it’s young men who leave the birthplace more than girls. 

What I mean about all this is the difference that we’ve got to take advantage from in order to better educate boys and girls. / Photo from: teen_girl_student www isagenixhealth net

2048. How to treat teens



Teens do need and expect us adults to give them rules and firm criteria of conducting albeit they don’t look that way. 

Parents still influence on teens, although they may prefer to stay with their friends. 

An American study says that during adolescence parents still influence on teens even more than their classmates and friends. / Photo from: antartica. hotelantartica com

2047. More about teaching and learning English

I'm about to write further about teaching and learning English as a foreign language. Please await. As soon as possible I'll give you more stuff.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

2046. Memory is flexible


Both students and non-native teachers of English can learn a lot of words of vocabulary. The more they learn, the more they can remember: memory  can be expanded with this training, like chewing gum.

Friday, November 7, 2014

2045. A nice landscape


Remember that if you want your students would speak in English, you first have to output a lot of messages in that language, and not only according to time but also by preference. 

And let them speak, many mistakes they can commit though.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

2044. A clear and respectful vision of our students



We teachers should treat our students with due respect. With respect, as if they were adults. 

If we do so, they will tentatively conduct also respectful to us teachers. 

And let’s not repeat the same instruction several times and in an upset mood. 

It’s something cool for them to feel respected by their teachers. / Photo from: wall alphacoders com. a lighthouse

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

2043. Autonomous learners learn



Autonomous learners have the creativity enough to face up with an actual learning and acquiring the language. 

They face up the text-books or iPads with creativity. They’re capable to get the most from their text-books or tablets. They learn and acquire the language on their own, by themselves. 

They get to know how to solve problems or how to get the most from a text or an activity. 

They’re autonomous: they have the learning strategies, their own ones so as to actually advance in their process of learning and acquiring English or another language, beside their teacher’s role. 

Finally they’re conscious of their abilities, whilst the low-achiever student may not have that awareness. / Photo from: www slate com

2042. How do you treat your students?



Let’s treat our students somewhat demanding and hard, or better said, treat them and their work seriously, respectfully, and they will give more, they will advance more. 

Let’s treat our students seriously: we aren’t their buddy, I would tell you. / Photo from: professor jaxonpool com

Monday, November 3, 2014

2041. You aren't alone in class as a teacher



When at class remember you aren’t alone as a teacher. 

You can count on the Other. This one is God. All good comes from him, and also from us as teachers. 

You can count on his force and grace. 

I told you many posts ago that one day a teacher was teaching some disruptive kids. They were about to blow up the class, and the teacher realized of that. They were putting their teacher to the test, so as to find out the point they could reach, to blow up the class. 

The course was a remedial one in summer for students with problems of studying, disruptive ones, rascals, etc. 

At a sudden that teacher noticed there was a picture of the Most Holy Virgin Mary on the wall. He glanced at it, and at once he felt peace: he wouldn’t care about disruptions, otherwise he would do whatever he could. 

Interior life is a stupendous thing: we can turn to God when we have problems or whenever we like, and talk with Him. / Photo from: wordandsart wordans ca