Sunday, April 23, 2017

3170. When Teachers Are in Love

We teachers have a lot to say to our students, their families and all humankind. Also if we’re Christians.
A lot of people live as if God our dear Father would not exist. And he does! A friend of mine doesn’t believe in God and the poor man lives as if we human people would be the victims of fate. And that’s not the case at all. I respect my friend a lot, and listen to him. And that transcendent stuff can be said and shown in our everyday teaching and working.
We teachers are or may be great humanists, and have the elixir of happiness or may have it. A creature, a person, who listens to our teaching can feel comforted because of our competent working, and trying our dear students would learn a lot of useful things for their lives as citizens of this our dear western world. I’m referring to both knowledge and abilities as well.
We teachers don’t confine our work to just fulfilling a report or chart we have to show to our boss: we can have a great soul with plenty of human ideals.
By the way, and in spite of maybe seeing our students as the opposite, our young people are living the period for great and grand ideals. Of generosity, solidarity, cheerfulness, a tremendous sentiment of wishing to live…
Our students’ potentialities are pretty great, and we have to channel them: to extract all the strength and force that live in their interiors, plus love: tell me what young person, young man or young woman, doesn’t have the ideal of a perpetual, authentic and genuine love, though in the surface they may be showing something different. / Photo from: Girl watching the sunset on the beach www zastavki com

3169. On Men and Women

I’ve been resting for some time with my family. Now I’d like to say something in favor of women.
First premise: I learn quite much from my female students. They have some perspicacity men don’t have, or not at the same level. They learn and acquire English in a particular way, from which I can learn a lot.
They have their love for specific details and little things a lot of men don’t have, or again not at the same level. If you saw the details I encounter in them, you’d gain a vision which is beautiful.
I could say many positive points about them. By the way, all my current students, and also within a few months, are adults. More things can be said in their favor. They also have a shrewdness and perception as well men have at a different level.
You have to count on them and on their opinions. Regards young students, teens and children, on the other hand, I prefer to have lessons for boys and lessons for girls. Many teachers I’ve met coincide in the same way and vision. Well, it’s just some more option. We’re so complementary, men and women at many, many other aspects. / Photo from: New York Daily News

3168. Just for Fun

I'm a bit resting today. I have a lot to say on coming posts. Today I wanted, as I said, to rest and to express my love for Ireland and her people and her folk-lore. - I think I've been to the castle on the picture: I guess it's Cashell, is that right? It's in the center of the island, a bit to the west.

My family roots come from the north of Spain, Cantabria namely, where the Celts settled a zillion years ago and whose landscape resembles Ireland in some way. / Photo from: helloireland com

Saturday, April 22, 2017

3167. How to Learn a Vast Vocabulary

We foreign or second language teachers need to learn the vocabulary of that language, if we’re non-native.
We need the words to communicate in that tongue, English in my case and my students’. Also in order to teach it.
What can we do? For example reading a text with new vocabulary, from the Web, from novels, etc. The fact of looking up a word in the dictionary or using an online dictionary like Wordreference and thinking of that word makes you learn English vocabulary. An action like that – looking up the word – makes you learn the word. And if you see that word again, later on, it will ring a bell to you and it will be easier to retain and learn.
You’ll be learning a rather vast lexis! With practice and continuity, of course. That’s an example of a learning strategy, you may have others. Over time you’ll find you’ve learned a vast lexis, and you’ll be able to teach an ample vocab to your students too. The teacher can give what he has, and not what he doesn’t. If he knows many words his students more likely will learn many words too. / Photo from: WallpaperCave. The picture is just a nice illustration.

Friday, April 21, 2017

3166. I Write for Nice Committed Teachers!

I’m reading an interesting book about what Pope Francis is doing in favor of immigrants, the homeless, girls that may fall in prostitution networks… He has done quite a lot for them and keeps doing things for them.
Something else could be done by us teachers.
I live in Europe, the target and finish of many immigrants that travel across the Mediterranean Sea to find something better than in their origin-countries, submerged in endemic wars. Many of them die on the way here. Something may be done.
For example I know many teachers and young people that invest their free time by doing things in favor of for example the elderly: old people that live rather lonely. And they are doing something great!
Summer is coming, and also I know teachers who are volunteering for English camps for boys or for girls, and that’s great too. Also some of those teachers are assisting at urban summer camps, as well by doing things for kids, like for instance teaching English as a foreign language.
Maybe we can plan our summer by also doing something for other people. We can dedicate time to our families, of course, plus volunteering for some nice enterprise.
And something specific we can also do is carrying out our professional work the best we can do: that’s the first priority. I mean: by doing our job better than what legally is indebted to us. I know many of you do it so.
And as well what I’m telling you on the last posts: receiving and accepting our students with attention and affection – doing more than what is owed to us as teachers. Anyway I know most of you teachers are doing your best and fulfilling your duties as very committed teachers, because you’re the ones that drop past blogs for teachers too! / Photo from: Learning-English-in-Ireland Teach Ezi. The picture might show a young person among the many ones that volunteer at their free time.

3165. Treating Our Students in a Nice Way for Success

We teachers have some or many students, okay. But each student is unique and worthy to pay attention to, as you know.
Let’s treat our students with tenderness and affection, for they could have so few people around who could love them. This doesn’t prevent from firmness concerning classroom management. What is more, attention, affection, even some kind of clever and intelligent tenderness are great boosters of a sane classroom management: when we love, with benevolence love, our students, in the long term, will respect us.
And not too much in the long term – also in short.
Now I’m thinking of a summer course we ran in a school of Jaén, south of Spain. It was a program that offered remedies for students who had failed many subjects along the school year, before final September exams. Okay, those boys had a lot of hours of classes and studying at the large study hall or the classrooms.
Discipline was rather wooden, do you say so? And those boys and young men, whom you might find they could be so troublesome, when they encountered tutoring sessions with a teacher, if that teacher received each student in an open and affectionate way those poor students saw heaven open: I mean they greatly appreciated affection and listening to their problems and choking anxieties – for example some of them suffered from broken families, drugs, adaptation and adjustment problems.
The students lived in the school, so they had few relationships with people outside, except on weekends. One of those courses was my first job, in 1993 summer. By the way, we male teachers should have a prudent and delicate attention to girls: there should not be any gossip at the school. / Photo from: Urban teachers. The pic shows a smiling teacher.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

3164. Dreaming Nice of Our Lessons!

Thinking about our lessons, in a peaceful and tranquil way may be pretty sensible.

Something I carry out sometimes is strolling along a park or the countryside, and while I’m doing so I think of my students with ample lenses, trying to think what else they can do at their learning and acquiring English as a foreign language.

Also I think of the lesson plans themselves. For example lately I’ve thought of insisting on learning strategies in the classroom, having my students ponder about those techniques, and why we do such and such activities in the lessons.

As well I think of how much they can give from themselves and which the goals should be, as I said, with more ample lenses. It’s kind of dreaming high about what they can give. I said I do this sometimes: actually walking along someplace I do it rarely (but a few times anyway), and what I do more regularly is thinking and meditating about my students and our classes, short it may be though.

I do so because I can think of higher goals about them all. By the way also I wanted to tell you today that considering ourselves as children of God can prepare us ourselves to face likely troubles and problems we can encounter in life and teaching. It may constitute a relaxing thing, alike because we can make prayer, this is, talking to and with him, as he loves us pretty much. / Photo from: Landscape

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

3163. How to Foster Fluency in the Target Language

Some weeks ago I watched a video in the Internet about the educative school company where I taught in Jaén, southern Spain, and I got stunned: I saw a girl aged 12 or 13 from the female school of the city plus a young man from the male school speaking in fluent English, and it was all amazing, like they were totally bilingual.
As a matter of fact more and more students of that institution can do so, and in many other Spanish schools too: the overall thing in Spain is changing, and on the street you can hear more English than twenty years ago, definitely.
When I taught at that male school I didn’t make immersion in English, but now I would do it: it’s the only way our students can learn the tongue and also acquire it.
Acquiring a foreign or second language entails and implies unconscious gaining the language in a particular atmosphere where the students are exposed to that tongue. We teachers have to create immersion in the classroom: that room is a piece of an English-speaking country, let’s say, and as well we teachers should talk in Shakespeare’s language before and after the lesson: remember the classroom is a place where that language is the vehicle one for communication.
And besides all this is beautiful and I like it so much: beauty is educative for our students! / Photo from: wallup net. I think the picture is from Ireland.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

3162. Nice Guys!

So we have that the teacher has to smile. Also he has to thank his students for small services, like erasing the chalkboard or picking up a piece of paper. With this elegance he is pushing toward the direction of a sensible classroom management.
On the previous post I mentioned God, as the basement which we can rely on. He’s in love with each person, and has a limitless affection of a great dad and a great mom, even more, more than all dads and moms together, of course.
And the teacher also has to ask for forgiveness. Before I thought this would subtract authority to me the teacher, and that’s not the case. Even that action could reinforce our authority as teachers.
Once I was told by the deputy head teacher or subdirector to ask for forgiveness to a kid I had applied a serious punishment on or something kind of that. This was reactive to me: I was discovering a new and fresh attitude in the classroom that works: it makes the teacher-student relationship more humane.
And alike the teacher should ask for permission. I know a teacher that asks for permission to his students when he has to verify or check out a student’s notebook, textbook or tablet. Politeness is so great! Treating our students nice as well reinforces our authority, because our students may feel they’re treated with exquisite respect, and they may think all that is something so serious! Bad manners are never nice. / Photo from: Irish Countryside WallpaperCave. I adore Ireland :-)

3161. How to Smile at Students

I insist on purpose: we teachers should smile. I told you about this on the previous post, #3160.
The teacher has to accept, listen to, receive, morally embrace his students. It could happen, the kid could have his smiling teacher as the only smiling person around.
This is perfectly compatible with classroom management and discipline. Even more, smiling can be very encouraging and classroom managing, because it shows the teacher has the classroom control. He should be joyful and optimistic.
I can tell you all my optimism leans on the strong potentialities of the human person plus the deep and firm basement of leaning and turning to God.
Many kids, well, every kid, or grown-ups too, need a stimulating person around. For this purpose also we have to make lessons very participative. Politeness and elegance make the rest, regarding classroom management.
Plus fortitude, because the teacher has also to correct his students, telling them the truth and what’s upright, honest and honorable. Correcting apart and aside I mean, never in public, although we must be firm at cutting off any misbehavior rising point. So as you all can see the teacher needs fortitude, which is gained with effort and repetition of actions: each fortitude action is a victory! And never sour or vinegary faces around! If we fall at this point, never mind: let’s rectify and carry on with the lesson! / Photo from: ThoughtCo

Monday, April 17, 2017

3160. A Nice Way to Manage the Classroom!

Okay, classroom management is an important point for our classes.
The teacher could talk or present a point from his subject by smiling, which can be elegant and encouraging, but turning into a serious look if there arise some misbehavior. What I mean is that smiling can be even classroom-managing, and it might show the teacher has the class-control in his hands. But if you think that a serious look is better, there you are.
Also politeness by the teacher, like thanking some small service by a student can sow a sane and upright classroom management. Plus the way we dress can help: it’s up to you, evidently, but an elegant “façade” may also help managing the classroom, and I’m now thinking of a teacher we had when I was some 14 years old. He was elegant and a smile was all the time on his face: he imposed respect, and he was kind and nice with us his students.
And he did nothing special for managing us as students. Even his lessons were interesting and said something special to us teens…; I mean you finished the lesson by thinking, Okay it’s been interesting to listen to him! He gave himself to us: that might be his secret, the secret of feeling happy! / Photo from: resized stan and car Prewarcar. The picture is a nice illustration for the post.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

3159. The Teacher's Duty of Reaxing Too!

I have some stuff for posting, but today I wanted to write about something necessary both for the teacher and for the students, which is resting and relaxing. All that’s also one teacher’s duty, because amid other reasons the teacher has to spend long with his family and recover strength for next battle.
By the way I pray God for peace in so many countries.
As I was saying he should stay and remain with his family. In Spain for example we’ve had – where I live, in Granada – some short vacations or holidays, celebrating the Holy Week plus Easter.
I was also thinking that the teacher has to learn how to keep his family in peace and harmony: it’d be strange a teacher would be able to pacify the classroom and not his own home… And this harmony passes alike through politeness at home: thanking the helping out, asking for in a nice and kind way, etc.
And concerning the spouses I could say that there should be communication between them two, for instance when their kids are already in bed or they could “get lost” for some hours or a few days to live for each other and have enough and sufficient time for talking about them two.
I’d say quite many things about communication in the marriage but I’d write about it on other posts, and I’ve had so on other posts. Anyway, and this is pretty important: there should be communication within the marriage: it would be awkward and kind of dangerous the husband would inform about a family problem to his female secretary instead of his wife.
A friend of mine used to say one’s secretary should be mature at age and rather old – I’m sorry but I don’t have many words to express what I mean in English, my target language; I can’t write enough nuances, but you may understand what I mean.
Have a happy Easter, all of you readers and TeacherLingo! / Photo from: biking-on-hilton-head-island Hilton Head Island. Oh, that pic might show a marriage plan while they “get lost” for some hours, maybe someplace known by the rest of the family, but for them two to keep alone and talk between them two about their relationships as spouses.

Friday, April 14, 2017

3158. How to Train for Exams

How to train oneself for exams and tests? Daily. Every single day. That’s the answer. I mean: through classes and personal work and studying. And the teacher will help his students by telling them about adequate learning strategies, plus the ones the very students will apply or otherwise discard, if they aren’t useful.
As I’ve said somewhere else many students, on their own, don’t know how to prepare themselves for exams of English as a foreign or second language. Because the thing is different as in History or math for example.
They take their textbooks or tablets or iPads and… so what? Well the thing is different in these two latter cases, because those electronic devices can nicely help to practice for an exam and they are interactive.
What if the textbook is a printed book?
I knew a student, more than thirty years ago, who one day, when already tired of not knowing how to deal with his English textbook, he took it and… started to carefully and willingly read the texts and stories of the characters of his book, and took some more interest in those stories and began to read the texts, which contained grammar patterns, and that student took the stories and read them twice, thrice, trying to enjoy and understand them, and… his grades started also to improve, and he got able to use those grammar patterns for communication, plus that vocabulary too, and his grades became better and better.
Nobody had taught him how to do it. He was his own teacher. And his real English-language teachers over years recognized his effort and change: he even was able to write compositions and essays, with fewer and fewer mistakes, and also was able to read and understand and enjoy his first novel in English: Animal Farm.
And in the end he got “sobresaliente”, which in Spain is the highest grade. We teachers could save and prevent from this long pathway to our students, but ultimately, it’s them who will have to learn on their own, together with their classmates’ and teachers’ assistance and help, for instance by learning strategies from their classmates and teachers.
So as to finish, let’s one day take the textbook to the classroom and let’s elicit from the students how to face its studying and how to learn from it. More and more our students in the classroom will try to suggest the best ways to tackle that interesting book.
/ Photo from: country_house_2-wallpaper-3840x2160 medhaindia com. The picture might show a house typical of a story, like the ones our students could maybe find in their textbooks. Studying from books and the Internet is great and we have to convince our students about that point! A teacher can be the most appropriate person to teach about how to study and learn, because he’s an expert in those mental operations and techniques!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

3157. When Big Exams Are Around the Corner...

Exam and test contents should not be a surprise for our students, something unexpected.
Exams and tests should assess and evaluate our students’ knowledge and practical competences. I’m focusing on English as a foreign language, but what I’m saying could be useful for other school subjects.
Okay then, our exams and tests should, above all, assess our students’ communicative competences. Grammar and vocab are means, tools, instruments for communication. And their contents (of exams and tests) and their kinds of exercises should be very similar, even equal to the ones we will have done in classes.
When teaching kids I used to include vocabulary activities, grammar exercises, writing an essay or composition, all biased to rather showing the communicative competences my students had or should have accomplished. Those tests assessed reading and writing skills, sometimes also listening, while I assessed speaking along the year, both with short answers or topics my students had to convey.
When I was a rookie teacher, the first test I applied to my dear students was a complete failure, and they could have not expected at all the types of exercises they had to carry out – they were rather college-difficulty exercises: even the best students crushed at all. This was close to twenty-five years ago, when I started my career as a teacher.
The level was intermediate but my test, the very first one was, like is aid, college-difficulty-level. Now it’s a story or anecdote. My students could have not prepared themselves for such a test. Nor could they carry out those activities. Something else to comment on is how to practice and study for English exams and tests, but I hope I’ll be able to write about that tomorrow or soon anyway.
By the way, I said on post #3148 that Grecian women were educated as wives and mothers, and they evidently didn’t work out. I want to say that being wives and mothers was and is something great too. / Photo from: jaidyn-reading-a-book-1-portrait-of-young-woman-karen-whitworth Fine Art America. The picture is just a nice illustration.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

3156. Our Competent Work Can Be Great!

Some quick advice about classroom management? Let’s try to implement and apply interesting activities, which are meaningful for our students.
Also let’s look in their eyes, when addressing them, like combing all the class of students while talking to them. As well let’s stop talking when we detect somebody is distracted or they’re chattering among them. Silence can be very eloquent.
The point is roping our students with the activity we’re carrying out, and praising, gently, their right answers, not too much anyway.
Addressing each student when talking and combing all the class of students may be helpful.
Now something about learning strategies. One key strategy for our students is trying they would connect and relate new knowledge with things they’ve already learned. Let’s comment on this point to our students, and let’s give them examples.
For instance connecting present perfect in English, our target language, with present simple, which they may have already mastered. And explain their difference of meaning and usage.
Young children may take longer time to learn things because they may not have previous knowledge with which to connect. But often we can give them examples about things they already know.
I have other points to post about, on coming days. One way to cooperate with countries and nations that have conflicts and wars? Let’s carry out our work in a competent way, plus let’s treat foreign students with affection and attention, wherever they’re from.
That’s only a tip for those countries: hopefully we can do other things: praying, alms, cooperation with a project about one of those countries, helping the homeless by writing a letter to the city-hall or mayor and suggesting some solution and calling the attention, helping out at some charity, visiting the poor or the elderly... But let’s start with our competent daily work! / Photo from: Pinterest

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

3155. Students as Autonomous Learners...

I’m lately saying students must be the protagonists of classes. Also the teacher, of course. This latter one should teach his students to learn how to learn.
The students’ job is studying, learning and working. So they should be taught how to learn. Someone taught me how to be a teacher. They should be taught their profession.
Even more in the case of English as a foreign language: when exams and tests are around the corner the students will study harder… but they may not know what to study or how to do it.
They need learning strategies. We can in the lesson ask how high-achiever students learn, and maybe we teachers can suggest further learning strategies: organizing their work, planning it, summarizing, drawing conclusions, revising and reviewing, receiving feedback about their learning, drawing the main points about a grammar pattern, practicing the communicative competence by writing, reading for the gist, for the main points, understanding a word from the context, practicing the communicative competence of speaking in the classroom, scanning or skimming a text, communicating with other people…
We have to bear in mind, while teaching, that we have to make our students autonomous learners. They must become aware about their own learning, taking up the strategies that work and discarding the ones that don’t.
They must wish to learn, in a free way: they learn because they want to! / Photo from: British Council take an exam. Well the girl on the picture looks mature enough

Monday, April 10, 2017

3154. The Protagonists? Our Students Plus We Teachers

The students I have in my classes have to be the protagonists of their own learning, crystal clear.
I will – after Easter short vacations – talk with them in the classroom. They’re grown-ups. With one group I’ll speak in English with them, while with the other group (lower English level) I’ll do it in Spanish, our common mother language.
Currently they’re all the students I have. I’m a part-time teacher.
And I’ll ask them why we carry out such and such activities in the classroom. The point is for them to become kind of more active students – they already are but they can be more active or more protagonists, or maybe more aware, and that’s it.
As well I’ll draw some conclusions about the activities they prefer, and maybe the ones they do not like that much. I will do it.
Let’s see what they want to tell me. I want for them to be more aware about why we carry out those activities they seem to like quite much. For learning English – learning and acquiring too – I implement activities to exploit some worksheets I compose: reading, understanding, maybe listening comprehension, discussions about the worksheets topics or from points that have been treated on those nice worksheets...
They’re so good students that they’re looking forward to receiving a new worksheet, at least up to some extent. / Photo from: Beautiful-office-computer 4-designer com

3153. Our Students as Protagonists!

One teacher, some time ago, told me that he had to be honest and sincere with me. He told me he did all – planning his classes, working hard, etc. – because he loved God above all, and his students as well and also for God.
I liked what he told me.
He also tried to love his colleagues, and the parents and families. He alike told me all this didn’t prevent him from trying to carry out his work with technical efficiency.
I insist on purpose: he was a good teacher, a competent one, and tried to work fine.
Ok, on my behalf, I can tell you I have other points and posts to tell you all, and I hope they’ll be helpful and useful to all of you. For example I’ve got something about the point that our students have to be the protagonists of their learning and so also of our lessons – this doesn’t impede nor block that the teacher also is a protagonist in the classroom.
Should the students not be the protagonists of lessons there would not be progress at their learning…! I’ll tell you more on coming posts. / Photo from: Brigita-Lithuania ISA

Saturday, April 8, 2017

3152. More on Educating Our Students for Life

We teachers can help our students in these rather hard times. They’re times of crisis, because crisis etymologically means “change”, and these times are times of changes.
Anyway, I was going to write about another point. And it could help these crisis times.
We teachers, as anybody else, have faults and defects. Ok, we can’t hide nor conceal them, before our students. I mean, our defects are transmitted through our conducting in the classroom and out of the classroom.
We have the duty of behaving in an honest, honorable and upright way: we set an example, both we want or we don’t want it. Be tranquil: our struggle to be better also is transmitted through our conducting, both regarding the subject we teach – English in my case – and regarding our trying to be better persons.
Let’s be nice at home with our families too, cooperating actively to create a lovely atmosphere. Let’s also be nice at school, prone to help and assist our students in their needs. Let’s be easy to listen to our students: whatever they want to tell us is important for them.
And alike let’s be prone to detect any possible anxiety among our students: they may have problems at home, they may suffer in the classroom because they cannot learn as quick as their classmates, they may feel bored because they think they’re not learning new things about their communicative competence at speaking in English, they may feel bullying, they may be foreigners or have some family in Syria (I’m thinking of two of the students I’ve had along these years), etc. Let’s look in their faces, for any possible restraining of anxiety. / Photo from: The Year of Living Englishly Wordpress com. The picture is just a nice illustration.

Friday, April 7, 2017

3151. Being Creative at Planning Lessons!

Creativity at teaching. Essential. Think of it. Teaching that is not creative is not teaching.
But be easy, for you have many possibilities and chances of being creative at teaching, since you’re a committed teacher that passes by blogs about teaching, and stops to read posts.
Also because any person is a principle of creation. So he or she are creative teachers. Also because each teacher, as each student, is unique, and I believe in your potential to teach in a creative way. I believe in you, in each teacher.
And even more over your career years. The more veteran a teacher is the more creative he can be. But also let’s be careful we don’t innovate at all. A good teacher has to improve his teaching. As he can see the effects of his teaching on his students. I mean, if he sees his students are happier and happier, he’s on the right pathway.
He tries – more specifically – each and every of his students would learn and progress as learners and persons. And this entails happiness, which is the ultimate goal of our teaching.
Even more, we can think that every single person must reach a transcendent happiness. Or in other words we can count on a transcendent view of every person, and this is fulfilled when that person – because of his transcendence – treats God.
Something more practical? Well, what said before is something practical: speaking to and with God as our Father. But also I could tell you: plan next lessons, with your students in mind, plus their needs and expectations, their particular ones, plus just their ways of being, and you’re over the right pathway again. I believe in you! / Photo from: where-to-wait-at-traffic-light_thumb London Cyclist. The picture shows a scenery that for many people can be daily: I’m referring to regular average teachers and students on my posts.

3150. A Nice Atmosphere in the Classroom

Although we’re about more than the middle of the school year something about classroom-management should be said. Angela Watson posted something about this some days ago. And also I had to say something, though her writing and language are better... Anyway here you are.
The point is for us teachers to work in a nice and quiet atmosphere. Also because that’s the only way our students can work and learn... The big test is around the corner – as Angela Watson wrote – but we should do something else about classroom management.
For example we could again set some basic conducting rules, while at the same time we try to do our best and carry on with the syllabus or course outline. We may spend and consume some time by adjusting some nice behavior among our students but it’s worth the try anyway.
Of course we can remember this point for next school year. Next I’m copying some notes I wrote some days ago about this point. I think it’s the best I can do now because I’m toot tired to post after this term lessons... Here you are.
Setting some classroom management rules can be okay. This is perfect at the beginning of the year. The point is setting some conducting rules, and when the students have learned them, you can proceed and continue with the lessons-contents, which you should have already started.
Some more strict but mild-at-the-same-time relationship between the students and their teacher should have already been set. But if we’re like now, in the middle of the school year, what to do?
The situation can be so in-need-of-rules that you could start anew. But the big test can be around the corner and you could be consuming so much instructional time… Try to balance both things: training the students for the big test and spend some time for instructing them.
Some of these ideas are by Angela Watson: I didn’t read her whole article about this point but you can find about her at the link below. 
Lo que vengo a decir es que al principio de curso hay que estar más serios, al asentar unas reglas. Ya les trataremos con más llaneza. Nunca como un sargento del ejército, en cualquier caso. Es compatible combinar reglas y tratamiento delicado y respetuoso del alumno. Tratarles con respeto serio, que se den cuenta. Y explicarles el porqué de las reglas.
Los alumnos deben tener claras las maneras de funcionar en clase. Es decir, tratarles con gravedad, eso es lo que intento explicar. / Photo from: TravelStyles5   raileurope co uk traveling by train in Europe. The picture is just a nice illustration.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

3149. Our Profession as Educators is Great Again!

The ultimate teachers’ work? Educating our dear students, although sometimes they may bother us teachers...
And educating in values, as you know or may know. Our work is not merely teaching math or helping them get and gain a communicative competence in English as a foreign language. Thus our educating and teaching are a subsidiary work to their parents and families.
I say families because the elder siblings may educate too. However this is a work or duty of their parents, as this work or duty, based in love, is the primeval parents’ one. And we teachers help.
Their parents don’t have to know about all the subjects their children have to learn about: math, sciences, English as a foreign language, history, literature, the mother language’s linguistics, sport, religion, the foundations of our civilization, other cultures, fine arts, etc.
And while we’re teaching those subjects we also educate our students, for example at working hard and getting appropriate studying techniques and learning strategies.  - By the way, I mentioned religion: the first educators here also are the parents, who will be educators of their children as children of God. / Photo from: Happily-ever-after-family-walking-along-the-road-hand-in-hand Stacey Hanlon Photography

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

3148. Educating Our Students for Life through Sensitivity

On post #3147 I wrote about beauty as something educative, and that’s okay.
We have to teach our students to appreciate and esteem beauty, and also have to educate their sensitivity. That’s quite important. And we can achieve that goal by showing them beautiful sceneries, and taking them to excursions to the countryside, the mountain, the forest, a river…
In that way we’ll be educating them with values that make us all more human and humane. As well little by little, for instance in the subject of history, or as a topic within the English-language subject, we can try to teach them how to value and understand some nude, other sculptures and paintings. In that case – nudes – we will explain to our students how well ancient Grecians esteemed beauty, and about the beauty canon they had and why they had it.
Alike those people educated their boys and young men to follow what’s beautiful, and subsequently were able to distinguish between what’s good and what’s wicked to do. Girls were educated in another way, as wives and mothers, in that ancient time – obviously it was a different time and women didn’t work out; their mentality was pretty different, as you know. Anyway wives and mothers is great! 
What I mean is that young people were educated from a canon of beauty and good. They had values. / Photo from: Nike or Victory of Samothrake in great Louvre museum, Paris

Monday, April 3, 2017

3147. Beauty as Something So Educative

I’ve discovered that beauty can be very educative, well, better said, I found it so quite many years ago.
An activity I implement in my lessons is describing pictures for example of beautiful sceneries and landscapes, from magazines. They’re both interesting for describing them in the target language, which is English, and also to make our lessons more human and humane.
A picture of a scenery is kind of a window that’s open to nature, often beautiful nature.
After one student has described it he may show the picture to his classmates, who have been trying to imagine the landscape as the first student was telling what he could see.
Our students, I’ve observed, need to learn from beauty, and watching landscapes can be very instructive. Also we could project a video and pause at sceneries to describe by one student, and the rest of his classmates can add something else, from what they can see.
As well they could describe what one or several people are doing, from a picture or image too. In this latter case they would have to use present continuous in English. This activity is nice also because they can fit in different grades of achieving by our students – some of them can say more than others or we can show different difficulty levels of pictures or moving images. It’s a nice activity and my students like it pretty much. / Photo from: mending-wall Asher Days WordPress com

Saturday, April 1, 2017

3146. Have a small laugh with your students...

Have you ever seen yourself teaching? Maybe with a video, maybe not. It is interesting. But you may not like what you look. Doesn’t matter too much, if you’re trying to do your best and trying to improve your teaching.
Has any of your students taught a lesson of the school subject you teach? In my case I’ve seen it. Twice.
Once a student of one of my classes wanted to teach a lesson, an English lesson. And I let him proceed. In this case I liked what he did – he could be some 12 years old. He was smart and got it, yes he got it. Obviously he imitated me in some things I usually do. That was ok.
But one other time another student, some 14 years, imitated me in one of my lessons! He went to the front of the classroom and he imitated the things I do! And I didn’t like it too much. I was at the back of the classroom and he was the teacher.
This was some twenty years ago, and I was starting my career as a teacher or close to that. Another teacher was in the classroom: it was him who had told this student to go to the chalkboard and imitate my gestures, ways of addressing the students, trying to keep them silent…
It was a nice joke by that teacher anyway, a good colleague and friend of mine, and he carried out this fake and mock on my behalf, for my sake. And well, you know, I accepted it, as a joke, as I said. I got nothing against that kid, a naughty but smart one. That was okay. That teacher and I had a small laugh, and also that kid, a nice one.
Try it yourself, and have a small laugh with your students, if you think that’ll be good for rapport with them. It can help create a nice chemistry with your students, but you decide, ultimately. / Photo from: Paw My. The child on the picture is kind of similar to the cat, isn’t it?