Saturday, March 17, 2012

Student Teacher Relationship

Student teacher relationship is certainly objectionable if it is there between a major and a minor.
But what about it, taking place between a major and another?

What does it mean being a major?

Doesn't it mean that you are matured enough to take the decisions of your life with a responsible independence on your own of your own?

In that case if an adult student decides to have sexual relations with her/his teacher, what is so wrong with it?
Will it disturb the equation of learning and teaching between the two?

I don't think it will, since such an equation depends not on their relationships but on the curiosity level of the personalities that both of them have.

Real strange people are we! We are not bothered about all the psychologically distorted sex between lesbians and gays, and are even making legislation's for them to get officially married for that matter; but when it comes to straight sex between two consenting majors, our morality gets hurt!

Relationship between students and teachers.

With the globalization and innovations in technology we keep learning about various relationships that have been developed between people. As a child goes to school now days, the first thing he learns is socialization. What ever he has learned from home is now polished at school.

Since human beings are social animals they build relationships with other human beings. A school going child first of all tries to build a relation with his/her teacher. A teacher’s character plays an important part on how good a relation a teacher can build with his/her students. If teachers understand every student and make an effort to bring in a positive change in each of the student then there is a strong relationship build between them.

A well developed student teacher relationship is the most beautiful and beneficial relation. Since a teacher can transfer his experiences of life and knowledge to his students by his/her relationship with them he can benefit the society.

They say if the pillars of a building are strong the building will be strong as well. Students’ i.e. young children are the pillars of a society and they can be made strong by building a healthy relationship with them. Gone are the days when parents and teachers could maintain a relationship of sanctity with the children, now they need to have a more friendly relationship with them.

With all the exposure children get because of the electronic media and the electronics around them they need to have a friendly relationship with their parents and specially the teacher otherwise they opt for learning through other means which will teach them wrong things probably. Because a good student teacher relation is one of the most beautiful relation two human beings can have. This relationship is intellectual and helpful for building a young ones mind and personality.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Accelerative Integrated Method (AIM)

A Foreign Language Teaching Methodology.

The foreign language teaching methodology known as Accelerative Integrated Method (AIM) uses gestures, music, dance, and theater to help students learn. The basic premise of AIM is that students learn and remember better when they do something that goes along with the words they are saying. For example, while the students say regard (to look), they hold their hands in front of their eyes in the shape of binoculars.

This "Gesture Approach" includes defined gestures for hundreds of essential French words, known as "Pared Down Language." The gestures are then combined with theater, storytelling, dance, and music to help students remember and use the language.

 Teachers have found great success with this integrative approach to language learning; in fact, some students achieve results comparable to those in full immersion programs, even when the AIM-educated students only study the language for a few hours a week. AIM is particularly well-suited for children, but it could be adapted for older students.

 Accelerative Integrated Method was developed by French teacher Wendy Maxwell. In 1999, she won the Canadian Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence, and in 2004 The H.H. Stern award from the Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers. Both of these prestigious awards are given to educators who show great innovation in the classroom.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Teaching Philosophy

“ I have no question that students who learn, not professors who perform, is what teaching is all about…teachers possess the power to create conditions that can help students learn a great deal- or keep them from learning much at all. Teaching is the intentional act of creating those conditions, and good teaching requires that we understand the inner sources of both the intent and the act.” (Parker J. Palmer, The Courage to Teach)

The best teachers possess a unique ability to gently awaken and transform our assumptions and beliefs about the world around us. They awaken a sense of joy, creation and innovation. They challenge us; they make us believe; they inspire a sense of inquiry; and, they bring a sense of meaning and importance to our personal experiences. They inspire us to create positive change, and motivate us to be better and to do better.
From my work in instructional development, and through my own teaching experiences and attendance at a number of workshops and conferences focused on the scholarship of teaching and learning, I have learned that there are multiple approaches to improving teaching and learning in higher education; that a commitment to learner-centeredness is of utmost importance; and, at the same time, that context matters. Each teaching experience is unique – from instructor to instructor, semester to semester, discipline to discipline, course to course, and even from day to day.

I strive to implement an approach to teaching based upon a fundamental commitment to student engagement and active learning. Whether instructing a graduate research seminar in Landscape Architecture, or an interdisciplinary course on the theory and practice of university teaching, my teaching strategies are most informed by experiential and collaborative learning, peer development, critical inquiry and discussion, and a clear focus on student autonomy and responsibility for learning. My teaching strategies are informed by the simplicity of Kolb’s (1984) theory of experiential learning and the authenticity embedded within Mezirow’s (1990) theories of critical reflection and transformative learning. As such, course activities are intentionally designed to encourage learners to discover and apply new meaning, through a cycle of experience, awareness, reflection, practice and transformation.

I have found students are very receptive to learning strategies which establish a fundamental link between research, theory, and practice. As I continue to diversify and build my research agenda, I strive to bring these experiences into the classroom. I have used on-line learning journals to encourage a thoughtful integration of the course material, and am often inspired by the students’ learning progress and their ability to synthesize, critically examine, and transform the course material through their personal learning experiences. I have found that students appreciate being provided in-class opportunities that actively engage them in the learning process through critical inquiry, problem-solving, respectful debate and small-group discussion. I have learned the value of the peer review process, as students increase their knowledge of the course material, and discover the potential of providing effective feedback to others. I often incorporate both informal and formal peer review strategies as part of the assessment process.
From the first day of class, I encourage students to set clear learning goals. I develop mid-semester evaluations that encourage critical feedback regarding the design and delivery of the course, and also require learners to reflect upon their individual learning progress. I have found that students appreciate an instructor who is well-organized, approachable, enthusiastic and passionate about the subject matter. Throughout the semester, I do my best to learn and address each student by their name and to provide unstructured time to listen to their knowledge, ideas and concerns. I strive to intentionally align the course learning objectives, activities and assessment strategies, and to continually communicate this link to the students – in-class, on the course website, and in the objectives of each course assignment. I am aware that course assessment techniques have a strong influence on what, when, and how students structure their learning, and strive to ensure that there are sustained opportunities to receive and apply formative feedback throughout each semester, in order to foster a commitment to continuous improvement and learning.

In no way do I profess that I have succeeded in every teaching situation. However, I have learned from every teaching experience and am inspired to grow as an instructor. I am committed to a philosophy of continual improvement and am motivated to learn from: the advice offered by experienced instructors and colleagues; the scholarship of teaching and learning; my own reflective practice; and, most importantly, the feedback that I receive from students through informal mid-semester and end of the semester instructor evaluations.

My philosophy of teaching is certain to evolve as I discover the methods of teaching which enable me to effectively create a climate for learning that awakens a sense of joy, spirited curiosity, innovation and personal excellence. Like many, I am often challenged by an intrinsic fear of teaching – a fear which paradoxically drives my passion and commitment to university teaching and learning. In the end, it is the heart of teaching that embodies my passion for this profession. I simply could not imagine a more rewarding career.

Kolb, D.A. 1984. Experiential Learning. Prentice-Hall Inc., New Jersey.
Palmer, P. J. 1998. The Courage to Teach. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA.
Mezirow, J. 1990. How critical reflection triggers transformative learning. In Mezirow, J. (Ed.) Fostering Critical Reflection in Adulthood (Pages 1-20). Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco.

Sex Education in The Philippines

The Department of Education is once again faced with another controversy.  This is because they have integrated sex education to elementary students as young as 9 years old.   Many parents, including the Catholic Church, have criticized this initiative by the Department of Education. 

The question now is, as a regular citizen, what can you really say about sex education integrated in elementary classes’ curriculum?  Are these beneficial or are we just feeding the curious mind of our kids?  I know this is a very sensitive issue; thus, if handled with great caution I think many will benefit.  However, we also have to consider that learning doesn’t stop in the four corners of our children’s classroom, nor at home- although these venues are major contributors in our children’s growth process.  

One major downside of this initiative by DepEd is that children might someday indulge themselves in sexual activities and might even master it, successfully avoiding pregnancy.  Surely contraceptive methods will be introduced in their agenda, but looking into the emotional impact of failed relationships to our children.  These kids will surely have relationships at a young age.  However, due to their immature decisions, most of the time it can just lead to failed relationships.  Girls/women will always be at a losing end.  

Therefore, my recommendation in this matter is to introduce sex education only to young girls; that, we should not only introduce the scientific part of sex education but also how to manage relationships without being taken advantage by men. 

What about you, what can you say about this realigned approach to sex education?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Teacher Advocacy

Recently I was asked to join a panel discussion in San Fernando, Pampanga hosted by The College Board, as part of their annual AP conference. The topic was Teacher Advocacy. There were four of us on the panel and they were kind enough to give us some general questions ahead of time so that we could be prepared.
Since this event happened during our blog’s annual month-long hiatus, and since the topic is particularly germane to we’re all about on this site, it gave me a great excuse to review my own beliefs about teacher advocacy. Besides that, being on a panel usually means that you don’t get to answer all the questions, even the ones you really want to answer. So here they are, the questions I was prepared to answer, and the answers I was prepared to give:

What exactly is Teacher Advocacy?
 Teacher advocacy is simply speaking up in support of teaching and learning and promoting those policies that improve the teaching and learning conditions in our country.

Why do teachers need to be advocates?
Of all the stakeholders in our education system, teachers are uniquely positioned to know which policies work and which ones don’t. While teachers may not have all the answers, they do get to see what all the answers look like as they play out in classrooms. When teachers see what works and what doesn’t work in schools, they owe it to their students to speak up.

How has Teacher Advocacy changed over the years?

Until fairly recently, the principle means by which teachers could advocate for their profession was through their union. And while that channel still exists, and is still unmatched in terms of political leverage and resources, it does have a serious limitation. Unions, by their very nature, are democratic organizations. Policy direction is decided by a floor vote during annual assemblies. The consequence of this process is that those members who disagree with the final vote essentially have no voice. I have witnessed, for example, a two hour debate at an NEA convention on whether the Association should support charter schools. The answer was no, but it was far from unanimous, and the thousands of teachers who voted to support charter schools were basically ignored.

Things have changed. With the rise of social media, anyone can broadcast their opinion. It just as easy to open up this website as it is to go to  On the other hand, information consumers have also become diversified. We don’t all read the same newspapers and watch the same newscasts like we used to. People tend to seek information that confirms what they already believe.

What are the barriers to Teacher Advocacy?
Time, poise and training. Teaching well takes a tremendous amount of time. So does advocacy. Trying to do both comes at a cost, and if you aren’t extremely good at time management, something important is bound to be compromised.

Advocacy takes poise. You have to believe in what you have to say and have the confidence to speak up at the right time. Not every teacher can do that. I hear a lot of very informed, passionate talk in the staff room, most of which never goes anywhere.

Advocacy also takes training. The skill set teachers use in their classrooms is not the same skill set needed to speak up for the profession. A lot of passionate teachers simply don’t know how to articulate their passion clearly and concisely. All it takes, though, is a little training.

What are the most important principles of effective Teacher Advocacy?
Understanding, respect and articulation. Advocacy starts with understanding the issues, and understanding them from both sides. Usually (but not always!) that leads to a softer, more nuanced position. When you’re ready to state your position, it needs to be done respectfully. No one likes a shrill, harsh voice.  Finally, effective articulation is extremely important. Teachers who don’t speak or write clearly and competently not only make themselves look foolish, but they bring shame on the whole profession.
With that in mind, then, welcome to year four of Stories from School! We are a community of Teacher Advocates. We’re passionate about education and try to present our views clearly and respectfully, from a place of understanding. (We also love reading and responding to comments!)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Online Degree Program - link to a great Teacher Salary

Teacher salary rates are hardly opulent, but they are respectable, and a modest salary beats no salary at all. Having said that, be reasonably sure that the profession suits you before embarking on a teaching career. If you are not fond of – or genuinely dislike – children, young people or human beings in general, look for something else.

Otherwise, you, your administrators and your students will all be deeply disappointed. If you have thought it out and decided that teaching is something you would enjoy, then there are several ways to get started. In the new millennium, one way to begin pursuing your next career is to keep your present job while you earn a teaching degree online. There are a number of institutions that offer these opportunities, but there are also a number of reasonable precautions to be taken before you begin. First, if you want to earn a teacher salary in the area where you live now, check out your state’s certification and licensing requirements, and choose a school accordingly.

There are websites that exist specifically for this purpose. Another consideration that most of us can’t overlook is tuition cost. Ask hard questions and do not accept vague answers, particularly with regards to additional (“hidden”) charges. Don’t be afraid to do online research about your instructors, either. Your teacher salary may provide you with an income, but your work will impact many other lives for years to come. Seek out other individuals who have undergone training at the same school you are considering and ask for their opinions.

Finally, make sure that you have the time to commit to your studies, and then commit it. Your future teacher salary is nothing to fool around with. If you are pursuing an advanced degree, be sure that your new credentials will match the accreditation level that you are seeking and don’t settle for less. Do not repeat courses that you have taken before; you have already received credit for those. There are many other programs out there that can fulfill your requirements to the letter, so get what you came for in the first place.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Teacher Salary and Career Outlook

It’s a noble profession and one that brings a lot of personal satisfaction, however, it can’t be denied that a teacher salary and the job outlook is something to be considered before going to college for four years in this field. Know that in 2008, there were approximately 3.5 million jobs for teachers in the kindergarten, early education, middle education and secondary education fields.

Of course the number of jobs are spread out across the United States much as the population trends are. Understandably, the growth trends indicate that the cities and states that are growing the most are expected to need the most teachers. For example, states that are currently growing rapidly like Nevada, Georgia and Arizona will see a spike in teaching jobs in the years to come.

However overall by 2016, the enrollment K-12 is expected to drop and the need for teachers of these grades because of the children of baby boomers leaving the system. Because of that, in many areas a teacher salary could be expected to drop. The one way a student can help make themselves more marketable and command a larger teacher salary is to focus on the less populated subjects such as math and science. Additionally, if a teacher becomes certified in multiple subjects, they can have a better job outlook as they can switch concentrations if the demand dictates it.

As with most professions, the longer one stays in the education field, the more experience one gains, the more the average teacher salary can be expected to grow. For those wanting a larger income and a position of more responsibility, there are other avenues a teacher can climb in the educational corporate ladder.

Many teachers go on to become librarians, special education teachers, guidance counselors or administrators.

Depending on the school system, there are often times positions available such as senior or mentor positions whereby they mentor newer inexperienced teachers in addition to their own classes. If you’re looking to become an educator, there are many opportunities today and in the future and overall, the future is bright. However, having multiple specialties, being willing to move or take a position in a rural or urban area could be the key that gets you hired over someone else.