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Showing posts from March, 2017

3145. You Are a Creative Teacher!

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Creativity. Just creativity. So important for the student, as well as for the teacher. Thinking is creative. Otherwise it is not thinking. We teachers have to teach our students to think, and not just knowledge. We should dedicate part of the class, or a school subject to thinking, as I had in the school where I taught in Jaén, south of Spain, 1993 through 2002. Or the whole class, better said, should be dedicated to thinking. That school subject had interesting topics and contents, of an interdisciplinary nature, this is, involving several subjects or areas. Learning has to be creative. Otherwise it’s not learning. As well creativity is important for teaching. A teaching that is not creative is not teaching. Your teaching is creative, if you're reading this. But let’s focus now on the student. He has to invent ways for learning. The ones which are okay with him. And they’re useful and helpful for real learning. When learning and acquiring a second or foreign language, the student…

3144. Communicating with Overseas!

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I was going to write about the social media in the classroom, do you remember? And I’ve remembered an anecdote or story of my mid-90s of last century. Emailing was starting. And we in our school thought of communicating with students over the Atlantic, with students from the US. Said and done. All regarding emailing was starting, as I said, and so another teacher, one expert at computing, assisted me in this nice enterprise. Now emailing is so basic, but then communicating with overseas was all a historic fact. So first I had to take all my class to the computing classroom, where my students composed their texts on the computers, both in English – for them to practice English, our common target language – and in Spanish, for the American students to learn and acquire that language. Summing up, my colleague compiled all the texts and sent them to the concerted American school in a single email. You know, my students were expecting their emails, from the US! I took their American emails…

3143. On Using the Internet in the Classroom

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If you’re not integrating social media into your class, you’re ignoring one of the most powerful forms of literacy in the world today. I copied that quote a couple days ago. I’ve got to admit I’m not a digital native, first premise. For I was born in 1969 (!). I was born when computers were being made smaller for the trips to the Moon (!). Up to then a computer might take up a whole room (!). Anyway I should listen to that quote and I want to. A second premise should be that we’ve got to boost our students into the social media in the classroom too. Also by taking into account that in some way we teachers should filter the social media contents our students are about to watch in the Web. Because they should focus on the topics to search about. I was going to write about the consequences of that quote of the beginning of this article, but you may be (for sure!) younger than me and may be integrating your students into the social media. Up to today what I do with my adult students regar…

3142. Teaching Adults is Simply Great!

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Lessons with grown-ups are great! Besides those lessons enrich the teacher too and for a great deal, because the students have many things to tell you, also after the lesson or at recesses. And from the way they work they can teach you a lot. It’s my case now. As well those lessons take them somehow to their young age, when they were kids or young people, but now with a lot more of experience and a way of learning and acquiring which is nice, plus some learning strategies that make them some of the best students ever. Moreover those lessons, in themselves, make those people become more active intellectually and that makes for it. Those lessons encourage them and move their mood, and provide a taste of youth, when they were young. If they’re retired people those classes take them out of home and make them relate with other people. Adults may be some of the best students I’ve had. Still they can do many great things of course, and those lessons can help them do things for the community …

3141. Have a Nice Day!

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Tentatively I’m not posting today, well maybe later. But you can read my previous posts: I said a lot on them. Like I said maybe I’m posting later. Have a nice day!/ Photo from:Bicycle-Safety-On-The-Road AAA Exchange

3140. Making Up a Cozy Atmosphere

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The only way for our students to learn and acquire the target language or any other school subject is to make up a cozy, human and humane atmosphere in the classroom. But this is compatible with discipline, class management, and hard working. Of course it is. We teachers have to treat our students also in a transcendent way: let’s consider people, or persons, have a spiritual part of their being. Even more, they’re children of God, and not less than that! Let’s treat our students with a supernatural view. That’s the only way for treating them okay and nice, and as they deserve. If we see people, persons, souls, we shall be able to treat our students in an appropriate way, corresponding to their nature, and according to their way of being. If I’m a man, and have to teach a girl, a beautiful one – or otherwise if she were rather ugly anyway – I should view in her a child of God and a person with a spiritual part and a biography that I have to contribute in a nice, prudent and respectful…

3139. Our Students May Be Nice!

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If we teachers treat our students politely and respectfully, more likely we’ll be respected too. Or over time maybe. As simple as that. It’s something I’ve seen, as you may have seen too. Teens may tend to be disruptive. Some or many of them at least, okay. But even they themselves are confused about themselves. They don’t understand themselves. For example one adolescent may reply a bit harsh to his teacher, but quite often maybe he pretty soon realizes that his answer was not nice. I can remember myself that when I was a kid, some 14 years, one day one of my high school or secondary education teachers asked me why I looked tired and with my head between my hands and if I was okay, and I told him – he was a nice person and very honorable – that at that moment my head seemed heavy or something like that – a rather silly reply you know, and after some time I realized I had given him a silly and ugly answer. Many of our teenager students may be doing nonsense and silly things, but we ad…

3138. Why So Many Teachers Are Nice?

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The teacher? He or she is the main lesson resource. If we want an effective teaching at our schools let’s take care of the teachers. Anyway at a school the order of assisting them should be the parents and families, then the teachers, and then the students. I learned about this when I was teaching at a school north of Granada, in the fantastic province of Jaén, where people are so kind and nice... My first years at that school were terrible, but very instructive anyway: I learned what a teacher should not do, this is, to be kind of a sergeant. But today is Sunday and the weather is bright: I went for a walk in shirt sleeves – do you say so? You know what I mean. Well I was saying that for a teacher one of the most important things is his or her family, and he or she should devote as much time as possible to them, because teaching is so demanding and time consuming. As you know, some many Sundays I don’t post. Or a brief something, like today. I also wanted to see to a bugging problem …

3137. Teaching is Great. Treating People is Great!

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We teachers teach our students, willingly and with professionalism. But do we receive something from them? I think we do. We can learn how to be more human and humane when treating those kids or those grown-ups. I can tell you from my experience that treating people, treating singular persons, enriches a lot. While we’re treating our dear students – although sometimes they may make us suffer – we may be polishing our personality and manners and ways of leading a lesson. I think we teachers receive a lot from our students. As I am telling on recent posts, we teachers have to learn how to teach and treat people. And sometimes we’ll have got to rectify something we’ve done wrong to some person. Maybe we might have treated some student in a hard way, and perhaps we have got to rectify, maybe in public, to ask that student for his forgiving. Teaching can be one of the most enriching jobs we can think of, though every profession is so necessary, of course. One interesting point is to learn …

3136. How to Empathize with Your Students

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Yesterday I said I was posting on the point that the teacher has to be human and humane at his teaching. Here you are. The way he would interact with his students has to be full of normal human reactions, at least up to some extent. I mean, the teacher will lead the lesson according his students are interacting along the lesson, in a nice way. Let me think. For example, the teacher will stop to listen to a student that is trying to say something that has entailed a lot of effort for him or her to say, and which has to do with the thread of the lesson. The teacher will react in a human way, at least up to some extent, when addressing his students, and he will prompt his students in a way which will help them advance more in their learning processes. There will be empathy. He’ll say a word of encouragement, and will say they’re doing well, if the case, and this is pretty important. The teacher cannot be a glacial model one can admire but not imitate. In the classroom, at each lesson, th…

3135. For Irish People but Not Only

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I dedicate this post to my Irish readers and so many of you who are in the US and Spain and all over the world. I miss Ireland quite much. - Be alert because I'm posting on the fact that the teacher has to be very human and humane, as you are. I'm posting on this maybe tomorrow, for I have not much time today. / Photo from Eskipaper, and it shows a cute Irish village, similar in some way to the places I've found in your lovely awesome country.

3134. Listening to Students? Well That's Great, Look!

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How to empathize. This is sheer important for us teachers. And for many other people, but I’m focusing on us teachers. We deal with… people every day and not with goods! Okay then, we should put in our students’ shoes. How? Let’s see. It springs from the person’s interior, first of all, first premise. It’s a nice trait we should have or gain anyway. We’re concerned about the students, and their lives and biographies and learning processes. Second premise, let’s listen to them whenever they’d like to tell us something, albeit we could be in a bit of a hurry: be careful, because one of the most important points about our job as teachers is raising all those kids. Whatever we do and whatever we don’t influence on them. When they’re telling something they’re interested in that thing is quite important. We should listen. And we could paraphrase as they’re telling about their problem. We can paraphrase as they’re telling us that point. Also it’s kind of benevolence love and a clever and sma…

3133. Young People's Problems as a Topic?

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Unemployment among young people is so big, in Spain as well as in other many countries, as you know. I don’t intend to be pessimistic and it is not my style, but that’s quite real. We have some danger of a generation of people who have never worked with a consistent job, is that so in your countries all over there in the Web? And there are quite many valuable people, potential teachers, who would do it well as teachers. I pray this would change, and at the same time we have to work well, be honest and upright, and we’ll be helping our western society, so much in need of many things. Let’s be honest and there will be more honest people, each one in his or her position in society. I get glad when I see people working on the street, or in offices, etc. They’re people who try to do things well and that holds our western society, in this global world where we live. So unemployment is a big problem, also because work makes men and women be mature and thorough people, right? In Spain the you…

Class management I meant

On last post I meant class management and not behavior management, for this latter one could mean something different. I was referring to the teacher's nice class management and discipline. Sorry.

3132. Think of the Best Behavior Management

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The teacher in the classroom can be firm but should act gently, all the time. He’ll be moderate but demanding and firm. Behavior management has to be firm but gentle, polite and nice. Because you love your students with benevolence love, which as you may know means to wish what’s good for your students: bene-volence, well-willing, willing what’s well. I knew a teacher who was rather kind of a sergeant with his young students, and that’s not the way. And he changed, and changed his mind, and now his students rather love him, and wish what’s good for him. We teachers have to strive to be direct and firm but gentle in manners, which isn’t mannerism, in a pejorative way. You gain more with an affectionate word than with thousand bad ways and manners. Behavior management is wanted because the teacher wants what’s good for his students, for his real and individual students. And this implies and entails addressing them in a nice way, doesn’t it? The teacher has to gain his students, not for …

3131. Teaching like Conducting an Orchestra!

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The teacher should lead the lesson with discernment. He will insist on one planned activity if he thinks it’d okay with his students, and will maybe skip another activity he had planned, if he judges it’d good for his students’ learning the foreign or second language. He also knows how to encourage his students, when it’s appropriate to recognize their effort and also how to denounce when his students are not applying themselves to a correct learning approach or rhythm. As I said he’ll encourage his students with both a smile but a serious gesture too. When denouncing something that is not going well anyway he’ll be and act gently. It’s kind of conducting an orchestra. As well and this may be a bit more difficult and skillful, he’ll know how to lift and hold on with the class morale. All this demands nice discernment from the teacher, and how to gain it? I’d advise practice, practice, experience, experience, and in the meantime he will try to do it all gently but firmly. Each lesson i…

3130. A Nice Vision of Our Work as Teachers!

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Leaning on God. That helps quite a lot. The spiritual and supernatural resource and way may help a lot. In today western society we need it. The point is to live as in dollar bills is said: “In God we trust”. Spiritual life helps. The point also is having a transcendent view of life. I mean, transcendent viewing and thinking too. It gives us peace at everyday work, at everyday living. You may think of a teacher that has this transcendent vision of life: life may show a positive and optimistic vision. Obviously our students may also have this vision of life, which is so important today… as always anyway. And parents and families alike. Moreover we know that we are children of God, and not less than that! And that helps a lot, a great deal, as it’s been said. The power of prayer is fascinating. Think of whom we pray to. He’s our Dad, with awesome love of dads and moms! I can assure you living and working in this way is fascinating too – as many of you also know. Or you can say: trying t…

3129. How to Enhance Memory

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My senior students – retired people – tell me sometimes they’re losing memory, up to what extent is this? What I have clear in mind is that I make them train their memory, by repeating exercises they do, like remembering points from past worksheets I hand them out: they’ve got to recall their topics, their vocabulary, the main ideas, their summaries. This may be a plausible possible solution, up to some extent. A nice activity we do in the classroom – actually the center library – is defining and saying the meaning of words from those worksheets. It is an activity where they’ve got to remember notions and ideas, and manage their communicative oral competence. By the way this exercise may be carried out is various ways. For your real students. For example they’ve got to define words by using a given word, or if they have some more communicative competences and resources they could have to define words WITHOUT a given word, which by far is much more difficult. Thus the point here is tha…

3128. Students' Creativity May Be Just Great!

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We teachers have to take advantage of our students’ best chances for learning creativity, this is, to learn in a creative way. We could facilitate our students enough time for creativity, and so foster and boost their creativity whenever it’s simpler to provoke. Sometimes our students are about to show their creativity, and we teachers should take advantage of those times for our students to learn in that creative way. For instance we can set and assign project-works by teams, I would advise of three people, as I’ve said on other posts. Specifically our students might have got to search information and stuff about specific points within the school subjects: math, science, literature, history, chemistry, physics, sports, catechism classes, mother language classes… Well namely it’s like flipped classrooms: the students have to research about a specific point, topic or issue, and after that studying process, they will present their results and those topics themselves to their classmates …

3127. In Contact with Real People in the Classroom

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We teachers cannot forget we work with people, with singular persons, with singular human persons. It’s evident but let’s think of it. So when we plan a lesson, which is something we must do, planning lessons, we should have our real students in mind, our actual students in mind, with their needs, their expectations, with their ways of being. Also something pretty enriching is the dialog with them in the classroom, for example when there’s a small conflict or any tension. We teachers have to learn how to listen to them, although immature we may think they are still. What’s important for them should be important for us their teachers. Reading books and novels is enriching but dialoging with human persons and coexisting and loving them is much richer, is this so? And let’s be human and humane for we could have refugee children or kids among our students: let’s be affective and attentive to their special circumstances. Let’s meet their parents and families and let’s listen to them quite …

3126. How to Remember New Vocabulary

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We foreign or second language learners (and teachers too!) like to learn new words – tentatively! Also our students have to learn new words, to have more resources and “weapons” to communicate with native speakers as well as in the classroom, is that so? Okay then, in order to learn a new word we can enhance our memory by using that word. If you use the word, more likely you’ll be able to retrieve that word for its using in conversations, debate forums, etc. Thus our students and we teachers-learners will use the new word or words into a context, a meaningful one. In that way we’ll remember those new words we’re learning. If there’s usage, there’s remembering. No usage, no remembering – maybe. Also we learners can play with the new words: like writing sentences with them, and that’s something many students of mine tell me they do. Also some students think of the word over and over, or they revise the word mentally from time to time, kind of that. Or writing two columns: the foreign wo…

3125. Working as a Team in the Classroom

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We teachers should be updated about education trends or research trends, more if they seem okay. What I mean is that quite many teachers are trying the following working scheme. The class plus the teacher would be a working team. Anyway this does not mean the teacher is secondary or minor role, or he cannot present topics, like for example grammar patterns. The point is roping the class into a process of learning: the students also are the main characters at this play. The teacher would boost their learning, for example by making them participate more, and also by doing everything that would put them as protagonists of the lesson, together with their teacher. In other words the teacher would foster and boost his students’ creativity. In the lesson there would be the teacher’s creativity plus the students’ creativity too. The class with their teacher is like a work-team or group. The trend is creating thinking classes, thinking individuals. / Photo from: arion2render a Spanish rocket P…

3124. Our Attitude to Our Students

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We teachers should be very human and humane with our students: with each and every student. Kids need adults that would listen to themselves. And they have us: they should expect we’re going to listen to them, in the classroom, at tutoring sessions, at the school halls, at the playground. As I said on the previous post we teachers could be like their dads or moms. Be careful: we teachers might be the single persons who could be listening to them. Maybe their parents are split or engaged in busy businesses and don’t listen to them much. Maybe not anyway. We teachers have to make those parents realize they must listen to their kids. All this listening to them by us is pretty educative for students. Better if male teachers would listen to boys at tutorials and the same concerning girls. Even more: we in some way must live for them, for any of them, and they’re part of our reason we go to the school every day: we owe ourselves to them. They’re the reason of our lives, partially at least. …

3123. Nice Correction to Our Students!

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Let’s not tell off our students nor reprimand them too severely. We should otherwise be cordial, which is absolutely compatible with discipline and behavior management. In that way we’re behaving in a very very educative way concerning our students. Let’s be merciful with them all. We can be against what’s not good, okay, but we cannot be against anyone. I insist: let’s be merciful with our kids. We should forgive them, although we’ll be prone to teach them what’s upright and honest. If we’re upset, let’s not reprimand them when hot, but better after some time or on next day or so. We’ll gain more with an affectionate correction than with thousand angry words. Let’s give our students nice correction and advice for their lives, now and when they are adults. Let’s not give them harsh condemnation but okay with advice for their lives, now and when they’re grown-ups, as I said. Okay for benevolence love too, and all this gently pushes toward correction and amendment. We can get serious in…

3122. In Close Contact with Nature!

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Phew! I’m back at the blog. Here you are. I was thinking of writing something about the care toward our planet we should educate our students at. Something I used to do when we ran an excursion was to throw all the garbage and litter to garbage containers. Thus our students plastically learned how to take care of our environment. Sometimes I explained to them that for example plastic couldn’t get destroyed easily if they threw plastic disposable bags to the ground – not to mention drink cans... Even sometimes we were able to see squirrels, something that got our students more immersed in nature. We used to go to the town outskirt forests and countryside. As I said on a previous post, running school excursions was great and generally all of us came back to school joyful, after a day in close contact with nature, our surrounding nature. We teachers must educate our students in taking care of the environment and even beyond that point: all the world! / Photo from: fish, water, sea, under…

3121. Your Work as a Teacher is So Great!

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I don’t know where the thing below is from but it might be good posting I guess. I found it among my old Word documents. Do you have any idea where it may come from? I like it. “Professional work [is] a reality distinct from mere intellectual or manual activity, or even of work considered as a force that transforms nature. It is, undoubtedly, a richer concept, one related to professional vocation, which a person has regarding a particular kind of work rooted in his or her aptitudes, tastes, gifts, virtues, etc.” El trabajo profesional es una realidad distinta de la mera actividad intelectual o material, o incluso del trabajo considerado como fuerza que transforma la naturaleza. Es, sin duda, un concepto más rico, relacionado con la vocación profesional, que una persona tiene de acuerdo con un tipo particular de trabajo enraizado en sus aptitudes, gustos, dones, virtudes, etc. / Photo from: Mending-Shirt in 1916 in the IWW www old-picture com. The picture is just a nice and interesting…

3120. Teachers? Special People!

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Smiling helps students get motivated. Smiling has the power of creating a nice atmosphere. Besides, we teachers must be peace and joy sowers in our classrooms and the whole school, also among our colleagues and parents and families... Even smiling gives seriousness to the lesson, paradoxically... Also we teachers have to notice if the activities are going smooth; otherwise if an activity gets blocked and prevents from rather a quick pace we could skip the exercise with our expertise, our abilities and our skills. The teacher is the main source and resource for the lessons and they have no substitution, for example by a robot (so far, but I guess teachers will always be necessary…). We teachers are encouragers, mediators, actors and actresses, a bit of a clown sometimes, catalysts, family-members-like, advisers, psychologists, culture-spreaders, culture-creators, culture-developers, entertainers, a bit of superman or superwoman, criers, sellers, assistants… phew! / Photo from: astronau…

3119. School Excursions Are Great!

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School excursions are great. It may be sensible to take our students to an excursion for instance to the countryside. In that way they’ll see us teachers in a different context than school, and this may be educative too! I used to take them to an excursion in the former schools where I taught, and those trips turned out to be good. The excursions used to take morning through evening, and we returned home so happy. Some of them took place in May, with nice weather and to a shrine or chapel of the Virgin Mary. At that place we said some prayers and spent the rest of the day by enjoying that day off. Also those opportunities were okay because you could observe the kids in a different context too and you got to know them better. Even though those travels were leisure we teachers tried to keep discipline, but in a more relaxed way. As well they were a chance for the kids to get to know us teachers better. Those chances were enriching all in all. Something not that positive was that we teac…

3118. Getting to Know Our Students Individually

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We could consider the school as our students’ home extension. Ultimately what we teachers do is to help parents and families educate their children. As a result we will address our students by their proper names or family names if they aren’t too buddy-like… To transform the school into their home extension – but we teachers are not our students’ buddies – we should keep in touch with their parents and families. So we could call parents to school at least three times a school year, but it’d better if we could talk with them each month or each two months, and have tutoring sessions with them. We should count on parents and maybe on elder siblings alike for the education enterprise. At those tutorials we could tackle what their parents and families want us to insist more on. Even in some cases we’ll make parents and families become aware they should think of education with more interest and concern because they might be too indifferent and unmoved! Although we may have many students, th…

3117. How to Manage Behavior

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I’ve written quite a lot on behavior management. Today I’m saying that the teacher’s authority must lean on both gentleness and firmness. The teacher must be gentle and firm with those students who may be misbehaving and bothering and disturbing us and the rest of the class too. Think of it, gentleness but firmness at the same time. We teachers are developing our professional work during the lesson, and that must be respected, yes sir, it must. If we teachers tolerate some disruptive behaviors we could have some problems at classes. But if our students see we’re easy but firm in denouncing what’s wrong, they’ll respect us more and more. And let’s continue with our professional way of teaching during the lesson, which is something very serious. Also we could combine seriousness with smiling too. We show ourselves as serious and willing to help our students in their learning process, okay, and while we’re conducting the lesson in that way and things are going rather smooth we can smile …

3116. Learning to Work as Teams is Necessary

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We teachers can make grammar presentations, and our students will appreciate it, okay. However we second or foreign language teachers can ask our students to make those presentations, by working in groups. We’d mark them a deadline and they’ve got to prepare a grammar point presentation. It’s sound to have our kids work in groups, for they’ll have to work as a team in their future lives, right? And they could obtain that grammar information in the Internet, their iPads or textbooks. But we’ve got to teach them how to work as a group – by the way remember that grammar is like the language skeleton: it serves the purpose of helping in our students’ gaining communicative competences. I would recommend groups of three people: I consider that four is too much and their work could result as blurred or lost among themselves – when three they may be more responsible. I’ve written on this blog about group working. They could choose with whom they’d like to stay as a group, but maybe some teach…

3115. Committed Teachers!

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Phew! I’ve invested a nice great effort lately on my blog. It’d be great it would help you teachers, busy teachers, who are the ones that publish and read from TeacherLingo. I’d like today to say that kids grow up without stridencies when there’s love at home. In that way they can learn, because they can work and study. Kids need their parents’ love plus all their family’s love. Otherwise they will learn with scarcities. At school we teachers will achieve and attain to also educate them if we love them, with benevolence love, which means to wish what’s good for them (bene-volence). They’ll be able to recall us easily if we loved them with that benevolence love. Also if we were demanding toward them, if we asked from them and at the same time we gave them knowledge and gaining competences for their future. What teachers can we remember the most? So love to our students, but never overprotection, neither at home nor at school. You tell me that in large families there’s less risk at appl…