Tag Archives: Inspiration

Back to School: Teacher Edition

2016.PNGAs the summer holidays come to an end, it won’t be long before we are back in the classroom with our new students. Take a look at the 7 tips below to give the best first impression and kick off 2016 to a great start.

#1 Clean out your emails

If you are anything like me, you probably have many unread emails sitting in your inbox. Take the time to sort through them and mark them as unread. It will help you to let go of last year and start fresh. Does anyone else love reaching inbox zero?? Click here for a useful article about keeping your inbox organised and here for a great Gmail tip   

#2 Organise your work space

Ensure your classroom is ready for the children and it feels welcoming, positive and inviting. There should be enough chairs and tables for the children and everything they will need should be there.

If you have a work space at home, clean it out and get everything ready for a new school year. Get rid of any clutter and dig out anything you need to start the year. Buy a pot plant or put up a motivational poster to brighten up the space and make it a nice place to be.

#3 Plan

Plan the first few days of school. Organise and plan all of the activities you are going to do in those first few days. Think about how you will set up the rules for the year, explain the behaviour management systems, set up a positive climate and what activities the students will complete.

#4 Buy a diary

Buy a diary and record important school dates to keep you organised. I just love the feeling of a brand new diary! Click herehere, here and here for some ideas.

#5 Rest!

Enjoy the holidays and truly rest. We all know that we could work forever and still never finish our work. Your students will know if you are rested and relaxed, so ensure that you take time for yourself, catch up with friends and family, read a book, take a bath, spend time with pets, go for a walk, go somewhere new – do whatever it is that you love to do!

#6 Get inspired

Learn something new! There are so many great books about education and a million interesting articles and blog posts on Twitter. Hop on and get reading to get inspired. I’m currently reading ‘Teach Like a Pirate’ – stay tuned for a blog post! Click here and here for more ideas.

#7 Set a goal and be positive

Were you feeling stressed last year? What wasn’t working? I always found myself feeling stressed on Sunday nights because I hadn’t prioritised well or organised my time very well over the weekend. This year I am aiming to set aside blocks of time during the weekend to get the important things done to avoid that horrible Sunday night panic.

I have also come across ‘Happify’. It has been scientifically designed to help people overcome negative thoughts and everyday stress through activities and games.  Click here or download the app today and give it a go!

Looking for more tips and tricks? Check out this fantastic article by Kris Carr – it’s a must read!

Enjoy the rest of your holidays and have a great 2016!

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10 Ways to Inspire Our Students

Today, I stumbled across the word ‘inspire’ and it caused me to stop and wonder about how I am inspiring my students. As teachers, it’s important that we are inspiring our students, however, it isn’t an easy task. Here are ten ways that I have come up with regarding how we can inspire our students to be their best.

  1. Show your students that you care about them. Genuinely show interest in each student. Find out their likes/dislikes, what they do out of school, what they did on the weekend and how they like to learn.
  2. Purpose. Provide our students with purpose as to why they are learning what they are learning or doing what they are doing. Link it to a profession or a skill they will develop. For example area and perimeter is used by architects and readings helps you to become a better reader and writer.
  3. Be a good example. Our students watch what we do – be someone they can look up to.
  4. Challenge your students to do their best. Set challenges for your students and provide support as they need it. We often learn the most when we have faced challenges in our lives. 
  5. Encourage your students. Encourage them, not only in class when with their writing, reading and mathematics, but also to be the best person they can be.
  6. Get inspired. If we want our students to be inspired, we should also be inspired. Be a motivated teacher by collaborating with other teachers, attending TeachMeets, reading blogs and tweets and looking at pins on Pinterest.
  7. Do as you say. Teachers are always telling students what they should be doing, whether it be to read more, tuck their shirts in, show respect or take pride in their work. It’s important that we hold ourselves to the same expectations.
  8. Praise. Let your students know when they are doing something well. Every time I let a student know that they have made an improvement or that I can see they are working hard, excitement  and motivation rushes over them and they work harder.
  9. Choice. Allow the students to have choice in their classroom and use the tools they like to show their learning. It’s amazing how inspired a student can be when they are able to choose from a range of activities or tools,  such as Prezi, Go!Animate, Google Docs, creating an interview or a song rather than always writing in their books.
  10. Share. Many students see teachers as special kind of humans who live at school. Share your stories and experiences, allow your students to see you as someone they can relate to.

How do you inspire your students?

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Moving Forward

I attended the inaugural Primary Teachers Network (PTN)  professional learning event, “M.E.S.H. Mapping:  Your GPS to the new curriculum” which focussed on an integrated approach to teaching and learning Maths, English, Science and History in the primary classroom.

The opening speeches by Christine Taylor, Consul General of India Sydney, Amit Dasgupta and Jane Caro were very inspiring as they challenged us to think about teaching in a new light.

Claude Bernard’s quote “it is what we think we know already that often prevents us from learning”, along with remembering that once flying was thought to be impossible, arsenic was good for us and the world was flat, were used to reflect on the beliefs in the past.

As teachers we need to be challenging what has been done in the past and embrace the ‘what if?’ If we have a new idea, we need to try it and give it a go.

We should be asking ourselves “what do we need to be giving our students to strive in their future?”

We need to be teaching our students how to think rather than what to think. We need to challenge their learning and help them to discover who they are. We need to let students discover that there may be an alternate path that may not have been discovered yet.

Christine Taylor outlined that we need to be helping our students to;

  • be literate
  • be numerate
  • critically question
  • use imagination in all KLAs
  • be life long learners
  • think
  • be open to possibilities
  • problem solve
  • play and have fun
  • be resilient and stand up for what they believe in

Amit Dasgupta used the analogy of a 1500 piece puzzle box containing 2000 puzzle pieces. The 500 extra pieces will fit, but will not help you to solve the puzzle. Therefore you need to discard the extra 500 pieces. What pieces are you holding onto that you need to discard?

In order to move forward, we need to do some unpacking. It is a time of rapid unlearning. How much do you have in your mind that you can throw out? Jane Caro affirmed that we do not know what is going to happen tomorrow and we can only anticipate the future from the past, however when you see the evidence showing that something new is working – what do you do?

Do you change your mind or remain stuck in the past?

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Inspiration

I thought I would share some final thoughts that my lecturer shared with the class today. It is easy to get caught up in everyday things and forget why we wanted to become teachers in the first place and what kind of teacher we want to be. I hope these few lines inspire you as much as they inspired me.

Will you just teach … or also inspire?

Will you just teach from the book … or also from the heart?

Will you just be a teacher … or also a great role model?

Is it just a job … or is it your chance to make a difference?

 

“Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk.” – Carl Jung

 

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