Crocosmia hiding behind brightly variagated shrubbery. Nature can play with colour as she chooses.
MANAGE MEETING WITH PARENTS, GUARDIANS, AND CARERS
Depending on your School's rule about the degree of PGC access to
teachers to discuss students, try not to get caught out. MAKE SURE you understand fully the Rules about how available you are expected to be.
If a PGC turns up to a collect a child at the end of the school day and then
tells you he / she wishes to discuss what appears to be the child's difficulty in class. Tell the PGC, or whomever, that you will be happy to discuss the matter, and take out your appointment book
immediately. Say you would be pleased to arrange a mutually convenient appointment (only if the enquirer is listed as one who is entitled to discuss a child), of 15 minutes duration, and
that you will take an email address or mobile / cell number, to which you will send some suggested dates and times.
Do not agree to meet anywhere but at the School, and for 15 minutes duration only (unless the situation turns out to be
very serious, in which case you should conclude the meeting promptly, saying you, or a School representative, will get back to the parent / carer as soon as possible.
IMMEDIATELY, you must involve the School Management, and any other appropriate staff member(s), before any
further meeting with the PGC).
Some matters of School or Department of Education policy, and possibly including
insurance cover, may be involved in his or her concerns, and the issue should be left to be dealt with by the appropriate people.
If the PGC contacts you in the meantime, have an appropriate phrase to hand, approved by the School Management on legal advice, to
let him / her know the concern is not being ignored, but is being dealt with at an appropriate level. You have to make sure you do not get stuck in the middle of anything. Your inclination
may be to say something helpful and consoling, but you must curb this urge, and stick with the 'party line'.
Meetings with PGCs should only be held at the beginning
or end of the school day, only in the School, and only when you are comfortable you have all your information on the particular student to hand, and feel prepared.
A certain amount of flexibility is reasonable, but you cannot be expected to hang around at the School at 5.30pm, 6.00pm, 7.00pm, or whenever the PGC arrives from work. An appointment is an appointment,
and you are a professional. Having given some leeway in case of bad traffic conditions, and trying to contact the PGC by mobile, if you cannot get a clear undertaking from him or her to arrive within a short period of time, go home!
If the 'problem' turns out to be 'another student', be very swift to say you will listen fully but "You
cannot and will not discuss another student with anyone but his / her parent(s), carer, or guardian(s)".
MANAGING CLASSROOM BEHAVIOUR
Give Children an Opportunity to Discuss and Plan Behaviour in their Class ~ and to Choose Priorities
At the very beginning of the year, it is an extremely useful exercise, to announce
to your class that you will ALL be having discussions during the first weeks of term.
You and your students shall be listing on the board what is the kind of behaviour everyone would like to experience in the classroom, playground, and anywhere else connected with
your School and, equally, what behaviour would be unacceptable.
Very young children are perfectly well able to understand what is fair and unfair; and they know how to say what they do and do not like.
There are posters listing 'Respect', 'Consideration', and
Students do not see these posters on classroom walls all over the World.
THEY ARE JUST WALLPAPER!
However, if through a broad-based discussion in the classroom, encouraging everyone to take part, ensuring
to ask EACH student to offer both a positive and a negative type of behaviour, and after a generally agreed trimming of the
lists, a consensus will be reached.
Your students will have been integrally engaged in the development of the 'Rules of Behaviour' for their class.
These are their ‘Rules’, and therefore the students will be self-regulating to a much greater degree, and also pointing
out if someone is being mistreated out of sight of you, the teacher.
The teacher has to make it clear to all the children that she is available for a quiet chat, if any child has something he or she needs to talk about. You can chat during yard
break when the rest of the class is outside.
If you are on yard duty, and think the child seems very upset,
beg a colleague to swap duty days.
If a child is behaving in an unusual fashion for him or her, the teacher should be able to call the child to a quieter place where they
can talk comfortably. The child can be asked gently if there is something going on that the teacher doesn't know about. Ask if the child has been upset or hurt.
Every child in a class has to know, the teacher is there to help him or her however
she can, and she wants to be told about any problems, so that she can help.
Because these are in the 'Rules', every child can be comforted that he / she is entitled to respect, consideration, fairness and
The whole process of developing the 'Rules of Behaviour' has two extra and significant benefits.
Firstly, as you listen to the ideas from your collected students, you will get a very good insight into the various personalities in your class, which will prove a very helpful start to
students, through working together to formulate their 'Rules', arguing for their own ideas, and learning how to compromise, will also get to know each other, and will
have learnt about give and take.
They will feel, at the end
of the process, that this is their class, and they have been shown consideration and respect by you, the teacher, and by their fellow-students.
SOME MINDING FROM FIRST THING
On cold, especially wet, mornings, consider introducing a mini Body Check, first thing. You can get some circulation going in the feet
and hands, and make the children feel warmer and more comfortable, ready for the day.
Ask the children to go to their tables, sit down, and take off shoes and socks: some students may need help with this.
(I think you should suggest to the children's PGCs via a note at the beginning of First Term to always have an extra
pair of socks in their schoolbags. Some children's families cannot afford new, sturdy, shoes, but might be able to afford a pair of inexpensive secure plimsols or slip-ons with velcro closures with grips on soles which they could wear in school
every day and which could be kept on the children's hooks in small drawstring bags. Sitting in wet sock all day is very uncomfortable, and a health hazard.)
Have everyone take off socks saying it enables better 'wiggling of toes'. Place
a couple of tissues onto each child's place on the tables, and as you pass around the room, check on socks discreetly.
Tell the children the tissues are for
using on their feet before and / or after their session, and always to ask for more if needed. Carry on with HERE WE GO! from points 2 to 7 for feet, and 9 for hands and wrists,
detailed below, under the heading WHEN EVERYONE NEEDS CALMING DOWN!
Please see the last Section of this Post WHEN EVERYONE NEEDS CALMING DOWN! for those days when nothing else will work!
YOUNG PEOPLE THRIVE ON RESPONSIBILITY
Even quite young children are capable of taking on responsibilities in the classroom. THEY ENJOY having a job, and usually take pride in the work.
NATURE TABLE ~ Give every student a week in rotation, as Monitor for the Nature Table, repeating when required as the year passes. This
job would include changing the water in a vase of flowers daily (keep vases and pots small and / or low), using only water that has reached room temperature for flowers and pot plants ~ not straight from the cold tap. Pot plants should be watered
only when they appear to be nearly dried out. The Monitor shall require instruction in the care of pot plants. The Monitor will brush down the surface of the Table daily, removing
dead leaves, to keep it clean.
Encourage all the children
to bring in pieces for the Table, encouraging oddities and items other than the usual dried leaves, sea shells, and blossoms from the garden.
Consider having a colour theme for the Nature Table, giving the children a couple of weeks' notice in which to collect their material
~ it's extraordinary what can turn up! If a child has a story behind his or her contribution, encourage the telling of the story, while the object is passed around the class, if it is not too fragile. Keep pushing the boundaries of what should be on the Nature Table. Offerings for display from students will be given to the teacher in the first instance, but the Monitor should
choose the arrangement of the display of the material on the Nature Table for his / her week.
Take a photograph of the Nature Table every Friday, noting the name of the student who was Monitor and who looked after it for that week. This photograph SHOULD BE part of each STUDENT'S PERSONAL FILE.
~ Depending on the age range of your class, give every student a week in rotation, as Monitor for the Class Library. He or she will be responsible for making sure all books are
put back correctly on the shelves by the end of the day. You, the teacher, should announce to the class that collection of Class Library books will take place in 10 minutes. That should give students time to finish a sentence
and make a note of the page they are reading, so that they can continue during the next Library Period. The Class Library Monitor shall need clear and detailed instructions on how to replace books correctly
on the shelves, and will have to understand the system used to display books ie, alphabetically by author, or divided in sections of interest, or divided into ease of reading sections. The Monitor should
be given sufficient time to fulfil his or her job, therefore Library Period should be held in the early afternoon, at the latest.
Always let the Monitor know, from the beginning, he or she should ask for help immediately, any
time he or she feels under pressure to get the job done in time.
If a student shows a marked reluctance to be Library Monitor, have a quiet word ~ it could be that he or she is not confident in reading skills, reassure him or
her that you will help with the reading. Then move on seamlessly to the next student. Tell the reluctant student, discreetly, that he or she will get at least one other chance as Library Monitor before the end of the School year, and
he or she shall be able for the job with some extra work and help. Every child must be reassured he / she shall get a chance to take a turn as a Monitor, as long as some extra work is done. [You
will have become aware of the children who have reading difficulties from the beginning of the first term, but this is a helpful indicator of a child's confidence level.]
NO-ONE IS LEFT OUT IN THIS CLASS!
TIDY CLASSROOM ~ The students should learn, from the first week of the first term, they shall be expected to keep their desks tidy and the space around their desks clear. They need to know that having schoolbags, rucksacks, satchels, coats, pullovers, sports gear, etc, on the floor is a Health
and Safety Issue. If the alarm bell rings, the students are expected to leave the classroom immediately and calmly, so there cannot be obstacles on the floor which might trip them up.
TAKING CARE OF YOUNGER STUDENTS' POSSESSIONS ~ You will need to spend time, as early as possible at the beginning of the school year, arranging for coat hooks
with name tags, at heights suitable for each child, where they can keep their outdoor wear, shoe bags, sports bags, etc, depending on the School rules.
Get your students involved in the design of their name tags. Some may not be able to write their names yet, but if they colour and design their name tags after you have printed their names, it will assist all students identify their own coat hooks. If bags for outdoor footwear are required
by the School, ensure all your students have their names very clearly marked on their bags.
Likewise, if your School offers a locker for each student, encourage your students to make colourful stickers of their names and
other decorations, having printed the names for those who cannot yet write their names, and thus make it easier for them to locate their lockers.
a sink in your classroom expands greatly the activities you could carry out with your students.
after Artwork sessions, students should be responsible for cleaning and drying off their desks; washing paint brushes used; and the plastic jars which contained water for rinsing the brushes,
and then putting away all the Artwork material in its proper place.
It should be relatively easy to organise the washing and drying, one desk or table at a time. However, if you do not have a sink, you may have to schedule your Artwork sessions around the attendance of a Classroom Assistant. Classroom
Assistants can be in short supply.
At the earliest possible opportunity of the new school year, try to book the availability of a Classroom Assistant as frequently as possible. Having
an Assistant in the classroom will broaden greatly the number of projects you can undertake with your students.
Some of the more mature and able students may be suitable to be nominated as Artwork Monitors, for some of the easier
CLASS BINS ~ Teach the children, from the youngest classes, about the recycling bin, the food & liquids bin, the tins / cans / bottles bin, and any
other bins in the classroom, from day one. Make sure the children take responsibility for their own material, and dispose of it correctly. After a short period, they will be
doing these jobs automatically.
Give every student a week
in rotation, as Monitor for the Bins. He or she will be responsible for checking how full the bins are, and for informing the teacher that one or more bins need to be emptied. This
job will require instruction on Health and Safety issues, and the use of rubber gloves which each student shall wash with detergent containing anti-bacterial and disinfectant before and after the job of looking in the Bins. Again, first check the School's Rules on students taking part in these latter activities.
FOOD AND LIQUID BINS ~ must be emptied, washed, and sterilized daily.
Find out whose job that is also, it is a Health and Safety Issue.
Judging by nationwide radio programmes, it appears that many adults put utterly inappropriate and offensive material in their green bins (recycling
bins), and that incorrect material is put in the brown (composting material bins) and grey bins (bins for landfill or combustion material). The fact of misuse of the bins came as no surprize, but the public was shocked to hear dirty disposable
nappies were to be found in amongst washed yoghurt cartons, cardboard, newspapers, and magazines in the green recycling bins.
Young children would love the job of instructing on the appropriate material for the bins at home. Having learnt the information, and then carried out the
job of monitoring the Class bins, they could bring their knowledge and experience home. They may not be able to manage the size and quantity of material to be put in the bins, but they could supervise the work. They would love this responsible
and important job!
There is also a possibility they could drive the rest of their family bonkers!
The children should be asked
to produce POSTERS, specific to a particular bin, once you are happy all the students understand the rules regarding what material goes in which bin.
These posters will help reinforce the information gained, and will also be part of their 'Artwork', 'Social Studies', 'Environmental Studies'.
POSTERS should be displayed in the classroom initially, and later kept filed for display at Parent Teacher Meetings, and for inclusion
in EACH STUDENT'S PERSONAL FOLDER.
EXPAND THE MONITOR SYSTEM
Depending on the set-up of your classroom, and the services provided in the School, you may wish to establish other monitor positions, for the well-organised running of your classroom, and the development of responsibility
in the students.
You may have noticed, that apart from giving students useful jobs, which will help them develop independence, responsibility, self-reliance, self-confidence, and self-esteem, having
monitors for various jobs will mean you should be spending a good deal less time at the end of every day, tidying up!
WHEN EVERYONE NEEDS
Some days are just like that!
Is it because
the sun has come out? Because it's Friday?
Or it's just that everyone in the classroom is jumpy, giddy, not able to concentrate
~ and that includes the teacher!
There is no point in fighting it. Children will get fed up, and anyway it totally contagious!
TRY AN ALTERNATIVE!
Have some calming music at hand
in the classroom at all times. Please do NOT bring in one of those recordings of gently falling water, or the whole class will be heading for the lavatory.
How about some very laid back Reggae, or some smooth and easy Jazz, or some John Field Nocturnes? Whatever you have, whatever
you like, that you can bear hearing repeatedly, that is calming and relaxing with a groove, and the children don't give out about. Mix the music up frequently. You'll need some back-up selections, in case of rioting on grounds of taste!
Turn on the music quite loud for a
short period, to get the attention of all the class, and then lower the volume sufficiently to be heard, when telling them what's happening next.
SAFETY IS YOUR PRIMARY AIM. You will need to wander around the classroom continually for the duration of the BODY CHECK to make
sure everyone is taking it easy, and no-one is straining too hard. If a child loses the pace, just gently ease him or her back with the rhythm.
(FYI ~ You will be carrying out a Mindfulness Body Check!
usually last from the toes to the top of the head. However, if you have very young students, leave out some of the exercises because they would lose interest / concentration if you tried a full Body Check.
ON COLD, AND ESPECIALLY WET MORNINGS, consider introducing a mini Body Check first thing, you
can get some circulation going in the feet and hands, and make the children feel warmer and more comfortable.
Also, if you sense that the Body Check has calmed everyone down, and you want to
get on with work, you can end it at any time. I think you should let the class know you will be doing more of this again.
Please don't call them exercises, or
a Body Check. You want the students to feel the music, and become aware of their bodies in a relaxed way. Naming something can sometimes build a barrier. The
class will probably come up with its own name anyway, go with that!
clear with the students ~ this is NOT a competition, so please don't try too hard. Say the reason the children keep their eyes closed is to help them concentrate on the music and
your voice, so that they REALLY experience all the movements fully.
Some children / students may have movement difficulties, make sure they know that this
is for relaxation and fun, and they should do the bits they can, and just enjoy the music!)
HERE WE GO!
1. "Everyone, please take off your shoes, trainers, boots, any other footwear, and leave your socks on." (Some students may need
2. "Now, everyone please find your most comfortable
position, maybe stretching out on your chair, or leaning across the desk, whichever works best for each of you." (The children will change their positions once they get the hang of what's going on.)
3. Tell the class who the musicians are, and the type of music they are playing, and then say: "Close your eyes, listen to the music, breathe in and out gently,
and listen to my voice".
4. In a steady, slow, relaxing, voice, tell the children: "We are starting with our toes. Wriggle your toes very slowly
and gently. Can you feel each toe? Can you feel your toes rubbing against your socks? Can you wriggle your big toes on their own?" (Let the wriggling go on for about 2 minutes.)
5. "Now, keep your eyes closed, and keep breathing
gently, because we are going to bend our feet slowly, curling them under and then straightening them out." (Count out slowly for three goes.) "Here we go for the first try; slowly curl
your toes under as far as they go without stretching too much, and the slowly uncurl them until they are back to being straight." "Can you feel your skin stretch on the top of your feet as they curl under?" "Do your toes touch the soles of your feet
when they curl all the way under?" "Your feet are now feeling really relaxed." (After three stretches we move on. Ask the questions interspersed between the exercises, as your slow, calming,
voice will keep the children relaxed, and really feeling what's going on with their feet.)
6. "Now, lift your feet slightly off the floor so that you can move them around. We're
going to pay attention to our ankles. So, eyes shut please; first, give your ankles a gentle shake to loosen them up in time to the music. Then, starting with your left foot, roll your ankle around gently, in
as wide a circle you can manage for three turns. Now, have a go with your right ankle, rolling it gently in a circle for three turns also. Now, roll your two ankles at the same time, with the music. It doesn't matter if
you roll them both in the same direction, or in different directions. All you have to do is listen to the music and roll your ankles in time with it." (Give everyone about two minutes maximum at this exercise at the start,
and extending the period over time. This is very good for strengthening ankle muscles and keeping supple tendons and ligaments.)
7. "Now, we're moving up to our knees. Eyes
closed, and breathing gently, try swinging your lower left leg round in a gentle circle from the knee. Perhaps, if you sit nearer the edge of your chair, you'll get support
for your leg, and your knee will be free in the air. With the music, swing your left leg gently around from the knee" (count to ten slowly in your head) "and now, swing your left leg round in the other direction, gently,
with the music. Now, we're going to swing our two legs at the same time, in any direction you like, in time to the music, nice and easy." (Count to ten slowly in your head
and finish this exercise ~ you can start with the right leg next time.)
8. "Now, is everyone comfortable in the seat? Snuggle back into it, because we're going to be paying attention to our hip bones
and our lower backs. Keeping your eyes closed, take a few gentle breaths and let the music give you a rhythm. Then, gently, start to roll from your left hip over to your
right hip, and then from your right hip over to your left hip. Think about how you move with a hoola hoop. Move from side to side and then bring in you lower back so that it moves along also. You'll end up rolling in a circle on your chair, very gently." "Are your hips feeling comfortable?" "Listening to the music, is it like dancing sitting down?" (Let this go on for 2-3 minutes,
or longer if the children are really in the groove!)
9. "Now, listen to the music please, because we are moving to our hands. Eyes closed, with gentle breathing, lift your hands up in the air and move your fingers gently as if you're playing the keyboard along with the musicians. Use both hands, all your fingers and both thumbs." (They'll play 'air piano' so there is no distracting
banging, and it's better for loosening the fingers. Let them have 2-3 minutes playing the keyboard.) "Your fingers and thumbs are now loose and relaxed, so please move up to your wrists and roll them
both around, in any direction you like. Maybe, it's like you're conducting the music." (Give 4 minutes for the full exercise, for the first go. Smaller children may find the fine motor skills tiring, so spend less time
on those with them.)
10. "Now, we're paying attention to our shoulders. Listen to the music, and start rolling your shoulders to the rhythm. It will feel
a bit like when you are swimming. Making sure to go gently, and keep your elbows away from your neighbour. Your arms can hang loose by your sides, as your
shoulders rise and fall, rise and fall, and go in circles backwards for a bit and then forwards for a bit. Your shoulders and your back will be relaxed and feeling good. Keep moving with the music and breathing easily." (This is really great for de-stressing everyone, so if the class seems 'blissed-out' let them carry on for a while. If they go gently with the music, they won't pull anything.)
11. This exercise would usually involve rotating the head very gently on the neck, and slowly lowering it towards one shoulder and then the other, then down with the chin, and slowly backwards with the head. It's
a marvellous exercise, but I would not include it in a Body Scan unless you know your students very well, bearing in mind some may have physical disabilities, brittle bones, or are just very awkward, as they are still growing, and
so keep falling over themselves in the playground. A strained neck is painful. I'd really steer clear of this one, with students, unless you are totally confident or working with older students
who are sufficiently mature.
Maybe, just keep it for yourself as part of your unwinding after a long day!
Please mind yourself!
Best of Luck!
Iseult Catherine O’Brien
If you see any errors, typographical or factual, or if you disagree with any of my ideas, I should be very glad to hear from
Please let me know what you think of my ideas ~ if you don't tell
me, I won't know if I've gone wrong somewhere!
I am an elected Member
of The Tutors' Association.
All my Posts originate in my website, www.icobrien.com, "Education Matters". They are developed, updated, and continually revised.
"Common Arguments Against Vaccination,
And The Answers to Them"
"Common Arguments Against Vaccination,
Answers to Them"
By Dr Ramesh Manocha
Vaccines are among the greatest inventions in the history of medicine. They have saved countless lives and reduced human suffering by an amount which is impossible to calculate. However, today there are many rumours and
concerns going around about the safety and effectiveness of vaccinations, which have caused many people to reject them. Here, we will consider their questions and answer them as we can.
Vaccines cause autism.
This is a common refrain, but one that has been thoroughly debunked over
and over again. There is no evidence showing a connection between vaccination rates and the prevalence of autism. This argument also relies on the idea that suffering the worst effects of these preventable diseases,
including death, is preferable to an unsubstantiated increased risk of autism, an extremely controversial idea.
is dangerous! And it's in the vaccines!
Firstly, that's not quite true: the only thing in the vaccines was Thimerosal, which is
not the same as the dangerous mercury you are thinking of. Secondly, the FDA called for (and achieved) the removal of that substance from all vaccines other than the flu shot back in 2001. And if you like your vaccinations like you like your Jamba
Juice (i.e. — a la carte), doses without Thimerosal are available if you are really a stickler for it.
- Scotty Hendricks
Download from 'Generation Next'.
More: Vaccination 101: Here's Why You Should Vaccinate | Big Think
Dr Ramesh Manocha | July 10, 2017 at 3:24 pm | Tags: vaccinations | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/p2buvd-5wy
If I quote a person, group, organisation, or establishment, I do my very best to source the material quoted, and to attribute
it properly. If I cannot satisfy myself I have found the author or speaker who voiced a quote, I resist using it, no matter how tasty a bite! If I refer in passing to views expressed by others, I attribute the views even if they have not been given verbatim in
I work on a basis of goodwill and good intentions. I shall make
errors, being human, and when I do, I apologise now, and should always welcome a correction, which I would insert in the relevant Post prominently, in clear unambiguous text and type, repeating the apology. That's is the best I can do!