Sunday, October 11, 2015

Teacher Motivation


A lot can be said for motivating your students. You sure want them to be in your classroom eager and ready to learn. But how about teachers? Do you nee a little motivation? Many of us do! So let's get started on being a motivated teacher!

Think about your job as a teacher. You have perhaps the most important job in the world: Educating young people who will be the next generation of leaders. Isn't that enough motivation right there? The child you teach may be President someday. Or a famous actor, rock star, or win a Nobel Prize. Wouldn't it be great to be remembered as making a difference? The next group of leaders starts with you, a teacher!

How many people are relying on you? Every part of society from your student's families, to the neighborhood, to your city, to your state, to your country. Everyone is relying on YOU to successfully teach their children. Be determined to not let them down.

You chose to be a teacher. You stepped into the classroom. Why? Just to go through the motions? To be the best, you have to teach YOUR best!

You can raise the expectations at your school. If you are looked upon as a great teacher, you lift up the school as well. The reputation of a school starts with the teacher in the classroom. Are you going to be the teacher that people can say is why the school is great, or why the school is lousy?

School improvement begins and ends with the teachers.

It might not seem like it on some days, but you are making a difference each and every day. Is that difference good, or is it bad? Are you bettering your students and school, or are you adding fuel to the fire of poor performance?

Pat yourself on he back. You might want others to recognize you, but let's be honest. Many teachers think they have a thankless job. Well give yourself some credit! Be proud that you chose the best job in the world. Celebrate your accomplishments on a daily basis. Pat yourself on the back at the end of each day for what you have done!  We want our students to have intrinsic rewards. Well, so should we!

Pump up your fellow teachers. As you spread a little cheer around the campus, others cannot help but be lifted up. Raise the spirits of other teachers, and you raise the spirit of the profession.

Now, you might want to go to the top. That is, ask your principal and district officials if possible, what can be done to make teacher's jobs better, and recognize them. Have a teacher of the month. Special parking place. Have students make cards for teachers. Free coffee in the break room? It would not cost much to drop off a teacher care kit each once in a while...like extra pencils, markers, paper, etc. Ask the PTA to do some sort of teacher appreciation. Get a few teachers together and brainstorm.

In the end, you have to be motivated on your own to be determined to be the best teacher ever. What are you waiting for?

>> How to motivate students.

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Schools need alternatives to college readiness


Not every student will go to college. Not every student will need college. Every student does need a high school diploma.

About 66% of high school grads go to some sort of college. That does sound like a large number, but let's dig deeper/

Only about half who enroll in a 4 year college are still there a few years later. So that 66% figure above seemingly drops in half.

How about the drop out rate? It is somewhere between 13% and 7%, depending on race.

This means that literally millions of kids each year either do not start college, or finish.

Are we making it more difficult for the average student to want to finish high school if we continue to push college? College degrees vary in giving the earner a career, and certainly add to their debt load. College is just not practical for many of our students. So why do we keep pushing it?

There are careers that we need that do not require a college degree. They need training, even on the job. These careers go from plumbers, electricians, carpenters, to food and service industry. We need trained people to do millions of jobs daily. Judging by the local freeways and highways, we sure need a lot of truck drivers.

Those jobs mentioned above do need some sort of technical training. Wouldn't it be great if we offered that in high school? Having a way to funnel our students to good paying careers right out of high school? Billions of dollars is spent in trying to prepare our students for a 4 year university, leaving out a good chunk of our student bodies. I would be discouraged if I were not sold on college. I would feel like I am being told I have no future.

We do our students a disservice by not giving them options. We need to start partnering with good technical schools and junior colleges that offer needed programs. No, we are not talking about useless ripoff "colleges" that con students in, take their money, then close. We are talking about good jobs that are needed now. Construction workers, truck drivers, LVNs, and other medical professions like respiratory therapist.

When we graduate kids that have no future, or worse, allow them to drop out, we are putting society at risk. We now have lots of young people without futures. Let's give them one.

This will have to start at the state level, perhaps federal. It will take money and program development. We as educators need to get the ball rolling by talking to our school board and elected officials across the board.

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