Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Student Success

Following up on Tips For Success In School I wish to focus on student success. As teachers everything we do needs to support our students' pursuit of success. However, we are only part of the solution. 

Our society is asking us to educate. Unfortunately society is sending us unhealthy students who are not ready to learn. Most students are tired and hungry when they arrive at school. These same students lack energy and have not done their homework. 

Each family needs to set up a workable schedule. The schedule should include designated study time and sleep time. Eating breakfast is not an option. Making good choices at lunch is  important. Drinking water is critical. If a student is not taking physical education classes at least three times a week, then the family schedule needs to include additional exercise time.

Here are the Tips For Success In School again. Consider the number of issues which would be minimized or eliminated if these five things happened daily for students.

1. Complete all homework on time.
2. Get eight to nine hours of sleep each night.
3. Eat a healthy breakfast.
4. Eat a healthy lunch.
5. Exercise 45 minutes three times a week.

Before we talk about other issues that impact student success, let's ensure these five things are in place. From a strong foundation, great things will be achieved. From a weak foundation, we will keep getting what we get.

If you need me to charge you for this advice in order for it to be more meaningful to you, I will. This blog is valued at $250. Individual replies to questions are $50 each. Make checks payable to Alan K. Campbell. Address available upon request.

Monday, March 28, 2011

No Extra Credit Will Be Given

Just as with the "Late Work Is Not Accepted" blog, the message is direct.

Teachers should not give extra credit assignments at the end of a marking period to help students improve their grade.

Students should complete the original work on time instead of trying to complete extra work. Giving extra credit assignments at the end of a marking period is an indication of a poor decision-making on the part of the student or the teacher or both.

Yes, I have given extra credit assignments at the end of a marking period. I did so when my planning and work during the marking period was weak. The behavior changed when I eliminated extra credit work. I was forced to do a better job throughout the course. Student behavior changed when they realized I was being honest with them and would not give them extra credit work.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Tips for Success In School

1. Complete all of your work on time.
2. Get eight to nine hours of sleep each night.
3. Eat a healthy breakfast.
4. Eat a healthy lunch.
5. Exercise 45 minutes three times a week.

These tips are for students and teachers.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Teacher Health

Teaching is hard. Being an effective teacher is even harder. You manage students, plan and deliver lessons, confront paperwork, and participate in meetings. At the end of the day, you go home, do more school work, then fall into bed only to wake-up to do it all over again the next day. Sound familiar?

In order to be an effective teacher, you need to recharge YOU everyday. Your home needs to be a place for you not another version of school. When you get home focus on your family, exercise, read a book, drink water, and eat healthy. Laugh, argue, cry, reflect on or about anything but school. Go to bed early, those tests can wait. Sleep deeply. 

In order for you to have the energy to give in your classroom each day, you must yourself be healthy. What have you done for you lately? 

Share the simple things which help recharge YOU.

Friday, March 4, 2011

E-Learning: Crayons and Computers

E-learning, or electronic learning, refers to learning through the use of an interactive, electronic device. Frequently, this learning occurs through a process of completing tasks while using the Internet. Just as with a physical classroom, respect and commitment are critical to student participation and success. 

Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum with regards to belief in  the effectiveness of e-learning, it's here. Learn how to use e-learning effectively with your students now. Teach your students to be respectful and safe online. Understand it is another tool, just like a crayon.

As with the great painters in history, a crayon became a paintbrush which lead to the creation of the masterpieces. The same will be true for our students, computer usage will become e-learning which will then lead to the creation of the masterpieces of tomorrow. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Student Teacher

Next month I will have a student teacher join my class. We have met and talked in general terms about how I run my class.

I have asked her to envision her own classroom. How will it look? How will it sound? How will it feel? How will it smell? How will it 'taste'? What will students think after being in the class for 45 minutes or 80 minutes? 

What advice do you have for a student teacher? What do you wish you would have known when you started teaching?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Homework: Quality Control

Most students use homework once. There is a repetitive cycle of doing (or copying) homework and getting a grade. Work lacks quality and is often turned-in late.As teachers, what can we do to get students to improve the quality of their work then reuse it?

In my class I address these issues by allowing students to use their notebooks on quizzes, tests, and exams. Questions are written to support the use of homework assignments and students who do quality work are rewarded.

How do you get students to improve the quality of their work and to reuse it?

* I no longer accept late work. 
   See previous post, Late Work Is Not Accepted.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Late Work Is Not Accepted

When writing about an emotive topic there is no reason to hide your message.

Teachers should not accept late work.

The acceptance of late work indicates a deficiency in the planning or communication of the assignment by the teacher or the lack of a work ethic by the student or both. Neither of which will be fixed or given reason to change by accepting the late work.

I have accepted late work at times during my teaching career. I stopped when I realized it did not change the behavior creating the need to accept the late work.

Please share your side of the issue.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

What do parents really want?

The life of the parent of a child is full of challenges. As a teacher you have the opportunity to help. Parents do not always receive the full story about homework, projects, or day-to-day events in class.

My suggestion is simple, be transparent.

Provide parents with a copy of the syllabus at the beginning of the course. The syllabus should include all homework and important due dates. Send short regular updates via email to inform parents of upcoming due dates and what is being done in class. Give parents what they really want, the information to help their child be successful.

What do you do to be transparent?

The Beginning

As with our students, there is a need to be heard. Today is the beginning.

We must change the way in which we do education. We can look to the past, live in the present, and hope for the future, but we must change. At The Simple Teacher blog, I will post simple ideas to deal with the problems we face in education. With your help we will make a difference.