Tag Archives: school

Nail Creative Writing Like a Pro

captureAfter having taught primary grades the English language for about 5 years, I have now taken a huge leap from there, to teaching grades 9 through 11. It has been an interesting couple of months to say the least.

Right of the bat, I saw some consistencies in the weak areas the children were facing, especially when it came to essay writing. While the initial weeks were more of a learning experience for me, I had the opportunity to critically evaluate the general writing quality of the children across each stage.

I came to a couple of very important conclusions, and tackling these will take center-fold precedence when the new term starts. In my lap right now, are a bunch of writing papers that I need to grade and it has been a painful process… I’ll tell you why in a bit.

I wanted to share my insights with you as parents will always be an important part of their children’s education, alternatively, your teen can read this post and see where that takes him or her.

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The Dread of the Final Exams

Exam DreadIt’s that part of the year again, the final exams fast approach, the scariest scrap of paper, you know the one- with boxes and dates and page numbers and chapter names, is handed over to you. For a second you don’t want it. Your heart rate increases, your mood takes a nose dive and a sinking feeling in your gut suspends you in time. As your body recovers, in the next couple of minutes you hold it scanning for the gaps in the dates and especially focus on the date of the first exam and with more fervor, the date of the last one. It’s seems like a life time away.

In the next few moments you know what you have to do. This is serious business and not a moment can be lost. You go into super-mom mode, a checklist has neatly been imprinted in your mind- you are now the ‘man with a plan’.

Get kids to show books for work completion….. check (or not, give a couple of slaps, condemn the kid)

Is it corrected…… check (or not, well better make an appointment and take the teacher to task)

Hassle the tuition teacher to get her priorities right…. check

Unleash hell on the whole household- EXAMS ARE UPON THE KIDS…. check

Does this sound familiar? Yes… I thought so too. Let’s focus for just one minute and assess the situation. Let’s analyse exactly how our response is going to yield any positive results shall we?  And then let’s talk about what we can do to help our already stressed and burnt out kids with their exams in a way that is productive and not stressful.

After the discussion there is handout that you can download and keep for easy reference if you feel this post has helped you in anyway.

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I Am A Teacher

4ab766c21921df310245ad5ddeaf625fTo you, the parent, I am just a person who teaches your child the stuff in the books. But I am much much more than that. You, the parents need to know, that I call your child, my child. I love him/her, I care for him/her.

I do not understand why you so often treat me like some sub standard bystander with just a passing interest. I can not fathom, that while I tirelessly make carefully laid out lessons plans in the dead of the night and the corresponding teaching materials, be it PowerPoint Presentations, charts, flash cards, and the tonnes of other things, while I invest in so much of that on my own dime, while I painstakingly go beyond my physical comfort hardly getting a moment to grab a glass of water, I still get blamed if the child fails to get an A Grade.

Here is something else you need to know… Continue reading

A Message for you Mom and Dad- About Me Starting School

back_to_school_bannerSchool is starting soon. I know this because I have heard both of you talking about it, I often hear you say, “How many more days before school opens?” because apparently I drive you ‘crazy’. It hurts when you say this, but I don’t show it, you see, I am pretty good at not showing my true feelings.

I know I look all merry when picking out my new school bag and supplies, but seriously you look even more excited than I. Besides, you end up getting your choice and try to make it look as if it’s mine. It’s okay, I can understand that you feel joy in this. So I play along and pretend to love the bag that you have selected for me.

downloadThese books however are another matter. I see you standing and talking to the shop keeper, dad- you keep checking the receipt against the book list, just in case there aren’t any missing. Mom- how happy you look as you flip through these books; you look at me, giving me a smile, so proud that I will be studying for a bright future. But mom and dad, these shiny new books, they scare me, how will I ever be able to do this stuff? The writing is so small, the premise so unfamiliar. How will I make you proud? Mom, could please sit with me and help me get friendly with these instead of focusing on getting them bound and plastic coated before dumping them in my brand new bag? Dad- I know they were expensive, and I will try to keep them neat, but things happen at school. Please don’t get mad at me or start threatening me before the year has even begun. I know money does not grow on trees.

school-bussesMom and Dad, I’m anxious. Will the bus take me and bring me back safely? I mean there are so many of them… how will I find the right one? And those tires are so huge. Some kids are so mean on the bus. How do I deal with them when they tease me on my new bag (the one you thought was so nice- but really it’s so uncool)?

teacher_clipart_Silhouettes_3_by_JMA_47How about the school? How will I find the class? What if my teacher turns out to be mean also? What if she picks on me? Humiliates me? Mom I am scared to leave your side- you have always loved me so much and when you yell at me, I know you mean well. But my teacher, will she care? I won’t know the way to the bathroom. I always get confused about which books to take out. But will she care?

No-Bullying-circle

Some children are such bullies. Dad you say to me to stay away from trouble makers. Do you think I like it when kids shove me or push me? I try to stay away, but I get picked on anyway. And I can handle it, but every now and then, I’d just like a tap on my shoulder from you to acknowledge how brave I am, but you seldom care to understand. It’s not easy. You are so strong and I want to be just like you, it would mean a lot if you sat with me and told me how you became such a superhero.

I know I will eventually settle down, I know I’ll make friends, get a grip on the timetable, learn to read the new words and solve the difficult math problems, I know I’ll accept whatever type of teacher is in my fate and adjust myself to her, I know I will find out where the bathroom, cafeteria and nurse’s office are. I’ll even develop tactics to avoid being bullied, who knows, I may even stand up for myself once in a while.

But mom and dad I’m scared. I am anxious. Though I feel a certain amount of excitement too, I wish you would really understand my fears. Mostly, I’ll just miss you at school. Will you miss me? Will you sit with me mom and dad and just say, “It’s all going to be okay.”