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Why, why, why do good teachers leave the profession in the thousands every year?
We enter the teaching profession with an eager ideal to make students successful in their lives ahead. How many of us go home every day disillusioned, frustrated and defeated by having to war with disruptive students? We are big and they are small; we 'know' a lot and they know little; we want to give them our knowledge and they want to learn. Why are we then beaten down almost daily by the kids who most need our help?
Too many classrooms have become battle zones between students who want freedom and teachers who want order. Some of us 'go to war' every day, without a clue on mastering the strategy of war. We only know by experience that scolding doesn't work, that punishing only reinforces bad behaviour, that it's impossible to help our classes hold their emotions by blowing our lid. I speak from personal experience. I remember my strong feeling, entering the school gate every day, thinking 'today's going to be The Day!', meaning I'll crack the code, feeling so near and yet so far...This is what I realised in the process: the sad truth is that we can't teach classes that won't listen.
Although Whole Brain Teaching is a simple system, in fact so simple it'll knock your socks off!... it still needs the teacher to apply it diligently and in a continuous fashion, very similar to the system of learning a foreign language - keep at it daily and advance steadily along the academic year. There are no shortcuts. I tried to dabble with it when things got too frustrating at times, but that didn't work. The best advice I received from my colleagues was to build a solid and constant routine in my classes - something I never managed to do... in the name of 'free creativity' in the classroom. Big mistake! A solid routine is what kids need.
First, you need to understand your students' disruptive behaviour and the source of their lack of attention. This is where YOU, the teacher, learn from your students. Observe and try to understand them. Do it in a compassionate manner. Make regular notes and use them. Here's how you can chart your progress by keeping your students' behavioural improvements in check.
Second, learn about the levels and tools of Whole Brain Teaching. Find out why they work. Research the subject until you're convinced. Do it with an open mind - think of it as your own independent professional training. There are loads of materials available on the subject and a worldwide community of teachers applying it and eager to share their views.
You only need to visit www.wholebrainteaching.com to see it for yourself. For downloading free materials or participating in the Forum, you need to join the community, which is free as well.
Third, if you want to improve both your own and your students' performance in class AND make it fun, then keep at learning and applying these simple principles until you crack it! If you wish to write about what you're learning, you can also get certification for your work!
Packed with knowledge, published on Tuesdays.
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Here we shall build some lessons to help you improve your writing skills.
Lots of lessons: cause & effect, comparisons, linking signals, relative clauses, presenting information, expressing emotions and grammar games, of course. We had more lessons on: intensifying adverbs and phrasal verbs, expressing various concepts such as addition, exception, restriction and ambiguity. Lately we started some exercises: likes/dislikes, frequency adverbs (twice), verb tenses, etc.
Learn how to build a website, by using the SBI! system - start from the basics, developing a site concept and a niche, supply and demand, learn about profitability and monetization, payment processing, register domain, website structure and content as a pyramid. Also learn about the tools I'm using to build this website. We also covered how to build traffic, working with search engines, building a good system of inbound links, using social marketing and blogs with the SBI system, how to use Socialize It and Form Build It, how to publish an e-zine and how to build a social network in your niche.
We looked at a few games by now: Countable & uncountable nouns, Free Rice, Name That Thing, Spell It, Spelloween, the Phrasal Verbs Game, Preposition Desert, The Sentence Game, Word Confusion, Word Wangling, Buzzing Bees, and The Verb Viper Game.
Be prepared to play and learn more pretty soon.