Research carried out by YouGov in January 2013 found that 19% of young people did not know that Adam and Eve were Biblical characters. Although the survey took place just after Christmas, 30% of 12-15 year olds did not recognise the Nativity narrative as a biblical story, rising to 35% when only 15 year olds were considered. A further 43% of respondents had never read, seen or heard the story of Jesus’ crucifixion.
After enrolling on a mindfulness course, I embarked upon a personal journey into mindfulness and its benefits. It is something I felt so passionately about that I decided to bring mindfulness into the classroom. There are many definitions of mindfulness out there, but the one I choose to share with the children is “Mindfulness is paying attention to your life, here and now with kindness and curiosity” (www.mindfulnessfoundation.org).
Different students have different needs, but how do you go about catering to these requirements? Essex-based teacher and tech-entrepreneur Richard Canning discusses how each student is unique and constantly evolving.
As teachers we’re fully aware that each child has different strengths and weaknesses. In our classrooms we employ every trick we know to try to meet each of their needs and move them forward in their understanding. We’re familiar with the term ‘differentiation’ and know that it should be included within our planning for every lesson. But we’re also aware that effective differentiation in every lesson is often a difficult task, given we need to vary our approach and resources in order to ensure that we cater for what is often a diverse group of around 30 individuals. We don’t attempt this in isolation of course; today’s teacher has a myriad of data, information sources and professional networks to help them.
Much has been made recently about the importance of STEM subjects, but what about languages? Writer and translator Benito Abramo takes a look at why the teaching of modern languages is so crucial.
Speaking a second language can give students a massive head start in many areas of their adult lives. Not only can it open doors career-wise, it can also introduce people to all kinds of new cultures and experiences. For this reason, learning modern languages should be considered an important part of every school curriculu
As discussed in Cazzypot’s article on teacher-blogging from earlier this year, teachers are often very active in their communities. Twitter plays a huge part in this; here, Mark ‘@ICTEvangelist’ Anderson explains why he considers tweeting to be a crucial part of being a modern teacher.
That’s right - I’m that teacher in your staffroom talking about people, not by their first names, but by their Twitter handles. Have you seen @headguruteacher’s latest blog post on assessment? Yes, I simply loved his Pedagogy postcards. Such a brilliant collection of advice from him. What? That post about Christmas term and how you can make it to the end of term whilst still capturing the magic of Christmas…? So positive and full of great advice - let’s make it so we get the best out of all our community in the run up to Christmas. How can we do that?
Christmas is extremely motivating for many learners with SEN, and it can definitely be a time to mix learning with fun (good teaching should always be perceived by pupils as fun). Innovative uses of technology bring education alive and create a positive climate for learning. Here are my favourite resources for teaching SEN at Christmas:
We’ve been lucky to feature a host of enthusiastic SEN teachers on IMS, all of them fighting to make sure that pupils with such hurdles are afforded an excellent education. Here, freelance musician and music educator Jonathan Westrup discusses what best practice looks like for SEN pupils in music education.
The question posed by that title would no doubt have given many music services professionals the jeebies even a few years back. Put simply, there were not many music teachers out there with the requisite experience and ongoing professional support to address it satisfactorily. And when we use the term ‘SEN’, what do we precisely mean? Is it a group of children with dyslexia in a mainstream secondary? Or a small class of children with PMLD (Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties) in a special school? They all have a right to an enjoyable, consistent music education but they all need different approaches and equipment to help ensure that happens.
The most superficial study of the causes of World War One illustrates that rampant nationalism played an important role in the tragedy that unfolded one hundred years ago in the summer of 1914. Schools have a particular responsibility to ensure that any study of the Great War highlights how national pride is one short step away from national prejudice, which in turn precludes empathy and predisposes countries towards military conflict. This is particularly important for my own students at the International School of Toulouse. The national mix of my current IGCSE and IB history students is British, German, Austrian, French, Indian, Canadian, Spanish, Australian, American and Russian. With this in mind I make a particular effort to ensure that my five-day school trip to the Somme and Ypres, Belgium promotes internationalism rather than a narrow sense of nationalistic pride in the involvement of one country.
How should perfectionism be viewed, and is it a healthy virtue for the classroom? SEN teacher and mental health professional Julia Sharman puts forth her argument.
Nearly everything about the modern world is about striving for excellence, and for some it is about striving for perfection. Is there such a thing as perfect? All around them, students are being lead to believe that anything less than perfect is unacceptable; body image, educational or sporting achievements, what they possess, relationships. The media has played a huge part in steering these concepts, and also some parents, but what of the education world? Pressure for schools to be excellent, teaching to be excellent and pupils’ achievements to be excellent has increased ten-fold. There are of course excellent schools, teachers and pupil achievements, all of which are highly commendable, but where does the next ‘push’ push them towards? Is it realistic to expect perfection, and what is the impact of perfectionism on individuals?
Until writing this article, I had assumed that Halloween in America and in the UK were very similar. However, it has been brought to my attention by Mr. Cain, the editor of Innovate My School, that “Americans make British Halloweens look massively understated”. This fills me with a bit of pride. It is my hope to shed light on American Halloween in education by using bits of my own experiences as a student from College down to grade school, and also from my first year of teaching. This being my second year of teaching, and Halloween being upon us, I can only hope that it will be as much fun for the students.