Motivation Monday

Week 4 here in Western Australia, Welcome back to autumn 2 for our english and UK followers.

the-object-of-education

 

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May Motivation Monday

It’s been a long term her in Western Australia already and it’s only week 2.

Went to a inspirational Teach Meet last Friday ill tell you more soon, also a post about report writing and how I get by.

But for now a motivational moment, that is quiet fitting for this weeks posts Realteachersknow.jpg

 

When is full really FULL!

Sometimes we need a little help to find space for everything.

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The mayonnaise jar and two cups of coffee

When things in your lives seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the two cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “yes.”

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things – your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions – and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

“The pebbles are the other things that matter, like your job, your house and your car.”

“The sand is everything else – the small stuff. If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and enquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked.

“It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

When to do what….

This is lovely, by such a beautiful mind
This is lovely, by such a beautiful mind

One of the hardest things about modern day teaching is that it follows the pressures of modern day living. You go to university and they tell you things like.

Children will NOT have full sensation in there fingers until they are 8-10years old, But you walk into a school and you are expected by the curriculum to have children writing by 6.

At the moment there is a need to have children reading earlier and earlier. In the 90’s children were given home readers in Year one the year they turn 6. Teaching in London at the moment  we give home readers to children as young as four, we teacher them shared reading lessons and guided reading lessons. At Four I could write one letter in my name, My brother at 4 could read a short story and write simple words. He at four was ready I at four was not. interestingly while he went one to have a lot more success at school now that we are adults it’s has for now evened out. If you compare us both 23 I held a Bachelors Degree he held 2 Bachelors degrees. I had a steady salary  job he worked casual work. I have no doubt he will be amazing in his adult life but I have defiantly caught up by 23.

So if me not being ready at 4 has no impact on me at 20 something why push it.

Today The Washington Post posted an article Titled

Report: Requiring kindergartners to read — as Common Core does — may harm some

It got me thinking Why?

Please Share your opinions why do you think we should teach reading at 4 years old?

How to save a life….

I’ve come across this story a few times in the last few weeks, it is amazing there are these teachers who go above and beyond every day no one will ever celebrate them until they miss them.

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A few weeks ago, I went into Chase’s class for tutoring.

I’d emailed Chase’s teacher one evening and said, “Chase keeps telling me that this stuff you’re sending home is math – but I’m not sure I believe him. Help, please.” She emailed right back and said, “No problem! I can tutor Chase after school anytime.” And I said, “No, not him. Me. He gets it. Help me.” And that’s how I ended up standing at a chalkboard in an empty fifth grade classroom staring at rows of shapes that Chase’s teacher kept referring to as “numbers.”

I stood a little shakily at the chalkboard while Chase’s teacher sat behind me, perched on her desk, using a soothing voice to try to help me understand the “new way we teach long division.”  Luckily for me, I didn’t have to unlearn much because I never really understood the “old way we taught long division.” It took me a solid hour to complete one problem, but l could tell that Chase’s teacher liked me anyway. She used to work with NASA, so obviously we have a whole lot in common.

Afterwards, we sat for a few minutes and talked about teaching children and what a sacred trust and responsibility it is. We agreed that subjects like math and reading are the least important things that are learned in a classroom. We talked about shaping little hearts to become contributors to a larger  community – and we discussed our mutual dream that those communities might be made up of individuals who are Kind and Brave above all.

And then she told me this.

Every Friday afternoon Chase’s teacher asks her students to take out a piece of paper and write down the names of four children with whom they’d like to sit the following week. The children know that these requests may or may not be honored. She also asks the students to nominate one student whom they believe has been an exceptional classroom citizen that week. All ballots are privately submitted to her.

And every single Friday afternoon, after the students go home, Chase’s teacher takes out those slips of paper, places them in front of her and studies them. She looks for patterns.

Who is not getting requested by anyone else?

Who doesn’t even know who to request?

Who never gets noticed enough to be nominated?

Who had a million friends last week and none this week?

You see, Chase’s teacher is not looking for a new seating chart or “exceptional citizens.” Chase’s teacher is looking for lonely children. She’s looking for children who are struggling to connect with other children. She’s identifying the little ones who are falling through the cracks of the class’s social life. She is discovering whose gifts are going unnoticed by their peers. And she’s pinning down- right away- who’s being bullied and who is doing the bullying.

As a teacher, parent, and lover of all children – I think that this is the most brilliant Love Ninja strategy I have ever encountered. It’s like taking an X-ray of a classroom to see beneath the surface of things and into the hearts of students. It is like mining for gold – the gold being those little ones who need a little help – who need adults to step in and TEACH them how to make friends, how to ask others to play, how to join a group, or how to share their gifts with others. And it’s a bully deterrent because every teacher knows that bullying usually happens outside of her eyeshot –  and that often kids being bullied are too intimidated to share. But as she said – the truth comes out on those safe, private, little sheets of paper.

As Chase’s teacher explained this simple, ingenious idea – I stared at her with my mouth hanging open. “How long have you been using this system?” I said.

Ever since Columbine, she said.  Every single Friday afternoon since Columbine.

Good Lord.

This brilliant woman watched Columbine knowing that ALL VIOLENCE BEGINS WITH DISCONNECTION. All outward violence begins as inner loneliness. She watched that tragedy KNOWING that children who aren’t being noticed will eventually resort to being noticed by any means necessary.

And so she decided to start fighting violence early and often, and with the world within her reach. What Chase’s teacher is doing when she sits in her empty classroom studying those lists written with shaky 11 year old hands  – is SAVING LIVES. I am convinced of it. She is saving lives.

And what this mathematician has learned while using this system is something she really already knew: that everything – even love, even belonging – has a pattern to it. And she finds those patterns through those lists – she breaks the codes of disconnection. And then she gets lonely kids the help they need. It’s math to her. It’s MATH.

All is love- even math.  Amazing.

Chase’s teacher retires this year –  after decades of saving lives. What a way to spend a life: looking for patterns of love and loneliness. Stepping in, every single day-  and altering the trajectory of our world.

TEACH ON, WARRIORS. You are the first responders, the front line, the disconnection detectives, and the best and ONLY hope we’ve got for a better world. What you do in those classrooms when no one  is watching-  it’s our best hope.

Teachers- you’ve got a million parents behind you whispering together: “We don’t care about the damn standardized tests. We only care that you teach our children to be Brave and Kind. And we thank you. We thank you for saving lives.”

Love – All of Us

– See more at: http://momastery.com/blog/2014/01/30/share-schools/#sthash.FQupyzG1.dpuf

Childhood dreams

London P1060373I’m Living out TWO of my dreams, even when it hard it is more amazing than most people ever get to do….. very few people stick with a dream long enough to see it though, many people don’t have the foresight to plan that far ahead and lots of people don’t fight hard enough for the dreams they have. I wanted to be a teacher since I was 6 wanted to live in the U.K. since I was 13. after 10 years I got here.