Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Teachers and Homework Policy

The L.A. Unified School District just made a major district wide policy change regarding homework. No teacher can count more than 10% of a student's grade from homework.

There were several reasons for this. They don't want students passing classes and getting credit from busy work. Teachers, admit it. Your homework most of the time is busy work.

Teachers should be grading students on skills and performance, not completed work.

Do you know another perk from this policy? Teachers may feel a little better when they don't assign homework. Less work to collect, grade, and record. Less work for you is a good thing.

Not all students have a home life or situation that is conducive to doing the many types of homework teachers are inclined to give. The best homework for all students, is work that can be done by everyone.

You don't want to saddle students with work just because. Sadly, many administrators and principals want teachers to assign tons of homework.

And how about teachers who give homework as a punishment? (Most students feel it is a punishment anyway.) It makes students think badly about school and school work. If it is seen as a punishment, how eager are students to show up for your class? You want a positive classroom as much as possible.

Homework should never be a drudgery or an onerous chore. It should be an enriching, enjoyable learning experience. Don't you think it's silly to give out 50 of the same problems? Math teachers are most guilty of this.

The best place to do 50 problems is in your class. You are the teacher and facilitator. What help can the students really get outside of class?

Don't assign homework on a Thursday night. This will give you less to collect and grade over the weekend. Your weekends should be as free as can be to lower your stress.

>>Read more tips on teachers creating and assigning homework.

>>Lower Teacher Stress.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Teachers and Summer "Vacation"

What is the first thing teachers should do over any summer break? Take a vacation. The school year is a long and grueling one. Teachers need to recharge. Even if this means just relaxing at home, you need to relax and enjoy life. Set aside two to four weeks to do nothing but rest and relaxation.

You may choose to earn extra money. Teachers can tutor students, or maybe even teach a class a local college. Many community services need volunteers in various programs. Work with kids at your church. If you are a newer teacher, any extra interaction with kids in an educational setting is good experience. But remember to set aside that vacation time. They say that students suffer and forget when they are off for three months or so. Well, the same thing happens to teachers. Teaching is an art and a skill. It takes practice.

Teachers should take time to reflect over the last school year. Decide what worked and what did not. What did you have problems with? How can you get better? Summer break is a perfect time to regroup and rethink your teaching strategies. If you have never done a diary or log book, you should start out next year with one. You will write down failures, successes, and questions that you had during the school term.

Read some teacher books. These can be teaching tips or even inspirational stories from other teachers. No reason to just read the latest crime novel while sitting on the beach. Make your summer reading list one that will make next year successful. >>Best books for teachers.

Set aside a part of your closet or drawers for newly found teaching tools. On your vacation travels or trips, you may go to museums and other educational venues like zoos or national parks. Pick up literature, pictures, books, and other things that you may be able to use in your classroom. Many of these items are free. Check out the gift shops for paid items.

Stay in the loop with other teachers. Teachers need support from other teachers. Teachers can also be support to others. Stay in contact and even meet with them.

Teachers should never let a summer be wasted. When people tell you that you have three months off, remind them that you are not really taking it off. You are learning and improving. Whether you are a veteran or new teacher, you need this time to prepare. Remember how many times you said last year that you had no time?

As soon as you know what grade and subjects you are teaching next year, start preparing. Get copies of any new textbooks. Start the first four weeks of lesson plans. Wouldn't you like to start off the school year with four weeks of planning done?

Think about that as you begin your summer! As soon as one year ends, teachers should be getting ready for the next!

>>Home loans for teachers.

>>Free worksheets for your classroom!.

>>Going back to school? Get college money help..

Monday, June 6, 2011

Teachers and ARM Mortgages

Teachers normally have long-term and stable jobs. Yes, some have been suffering layoffs recently, but teachers are still prime candidates for home loans. When considering a home loan, and adjustable rate mortgage, or ARM, will be an option. Teachers need to know why or why not an ARM is attractive.

Most teachers plan on a long career. Many choose to be at the same school for years. This alone is a reason to not be enticed into an ARM adjustable rate mortgage.

An ARM will give you a very low interest rate for a set number of years. Typically five. After that the interest rate can go up, down, or stay the same. The benefit is that you get a low payment for five years. The trade off is a higher payment that may be unaffordable.

Why are teachers not a good candidate for ARM mortgages? Because one of the reasons to get an ARM is the home buyer is normally looking to move after a couple of years. Teachers are stable and don't move often. If you know you will be staying in your house for many years. stay away from an ARM.

Teachers are also college educated and need to look at the history of mortgage rates. One enticing reason for an ARM is the chance at getting a lower interest rate. Well, there is no such guarantee. Interest rates rise and may rise quite high.

Teachers who do a little research will also know that home prices do not keep going up and up. This is another come-on for ARM mortgages. The enticement is that your home will increase largely in value, then you can refinance for a better deal after five years. This has caused many home owners to lose their homes. Their homes did not increase in value. In fact, they dropped.

Now these homeowners were stuck with a mortgage payment that increased and a home that dropped in value.

This history is recent and should not be ignored.

Even if you think you will move in a couple of years, what happens if the home value drops? You will not have built any equity and will be selling a house for less than you owe.

Teachers should really look close at their home buying choices. Nothing beats a fixed 30-year rate.

When does an ARM make sense? It rarely makes sense given the recent mortgage crisis. It would make sense if you are planning on selling your home after a couple of years AND you were absolutely certain that the home would increase in value. If not, and those are big ifs, you are gambling.

Teachers have stable, long term careers. Make your home buying choices the same.

>>Home loans for teachers.

>>Free worksheets for your classroom!.

>>Going back to school? Get college money help..