Monday, September 10, 2012

Are teachers just glorified babysitters?

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Chicago teachers are striking today. Some odd and silly quotes are coming from various people around town there. Makes you wonder what people really think of classroom teachers.

Many quotes seem to be from parents, wondering what in the world they are going to do with their children if there is no school. Like the public school system exists to be one big glorified daycare service. Is it the public schools job to provide something for your kid to do while you work?

Then there's talk of opening up churches and other venues to drop kids off at. Like that's the same as school?

I even heard that some schools were going to be open for half-days, letting kids do things like puzzles.

Is that what people think teachers do? Play with kids all day long?

I have heard from some teachers, especially kindergarten teachers, that people tell them it must be nice to play all day.

Anyone in the classroom knows that teaching is not fun and games. Professional teachers make it look easy. And fun. But being a teacher is one of the hardest jobs in the world.

Getting back to the teachers strike. Does it do your students good to miss a day of school? Each day out is one day lost. These kids cannot go back in time. They get one shot at a public education.

This is not for or against the strike. It's a balance. Can't the smart people running the schools, and teaching, come up with a way to settle their differences WITHOUT a teacher stepping out of a classroom? You step out of your classroom. What does that get the kids?

We are not talking about what perks or pay teachers should or not get. Or state rules. We are talking about the fact that the regular teacher being out of the classroom cannot be good. For anybody. You can't make up those lost day.

>>How to motivate your students.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Teachers and the internet

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Teachers and the internet can be a powerful combination. You can find quite a lot if stuff to help you out in your classroom. But many teachers make the mistake of using the internet as a crutch, or worse, as a substitute for quality teaching. Don't make that mistake. There are three ways the internet can really be an educational partner.

First, worksheets. Creating and printing worksheets has never been easier. The internet has a plethora of sites for you to get free worksheets for virtually any subject. In that past, teachers would need stacks of old worksheet booklets to use each year. No more. >> Find and create free worksheets online.

Next is lesson plans. Don't have a lesson plan idea? Don't panic. The internet is full of lesson plans and ideas. If you have some of your own favorites, there are sites for you to share your ideas as well. >> Find lesson plans and tips.

Teaching tips and articles are abundant online. Again, there are several good books, but if you can find good, solid teaching ideas and tips online, why would you need to buy a book? >> Find teaching articles and tips.

Do not think that the internet can solve all your problems, or is to be used all the time. It's not. Don't become lazy. Never stop learning from others. Keep networking with your fellow teachers.