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Is Coaching Different From Mentoring ?


Posted on August 28, 2018 | by Vinod Kakumanu

Almost more than half of the teachers have been mentored at some point in their lives. Either when we were hired as a teacher, or when we were a new student in the class. Not many of us can say that we have been coached. Although, only a few of us will be able to give a clear definition of both the words. Coaching has became a catchphrase in the education sector in the last few years and nowadays there are a number of institutions promoting and advertising it in schools. Many schools have smoothed this as professional development however it is a basic strategy having its roots in the education sector and as a psychological approach.

Is Coaching Different From Mentoring ?

 

A coach and a mentor are two diverse professions, even though the words are used somewhat interchangeably. A mentor is said to be someone who is an insider, someone who is an expert in a particular field, who supports the newcomer. A mentor for few teachers might be an experienced senior teacher in the same school or district. For example mentor could demonstrate the students how to use the online platform and integrate technology with his day to day studies or how to get some practical view of the lessons being taught in classes. A mentor shows a newbie the ropes, tricks of the trade and helps the newcomer to get through the transition of their careers. A mentor passes on their knowledge, skills, experience and helps a mentee to improvise their communication relations and make contact with other people.

The basic difference between coaching and mentoring lies in the actual reason being the support provided to the novice and the formality around the process. Coaching clearly is far much formal around the process than mentoring and has more large-scale goals to achieve.

Coaching in simplest words is, professional development. Its main purpose is to facilitate an adult learner improve their practice – whether it is teaching or leadership. Thus, this makes coaching much more structured than mentoring. Effective coaching is anchored in goals. A coach is a teacher, a facilitator of others’ learning. To efficiently guide the learning process of an adult, the coach requires a toolkit. One more difference to be noted is that the coach does not need to be expert in exactly similar field as the person they are coaching. The job of a coach has much wider expanse, deeper and extensive role than that of a mentor and coaches usually receive far more training to become a coach however a mentor does not have to undergo comparable training process.

Mentoring is a supportive and long-term process between a mentor and mentee. In state education, mentoring is usually structured around complying with standards, which provides a lot of elementary documentaries as evidences of mentoring and their outcomes. The process usually is said to come to an end when the mentee is capable enough to carry on their duties without someone looking over them.

Coaching is the opposite; it consists of peer to peer discussions that provide the person who is being coached by coach’s feedback on what seems to be their strengths and weaknesses. Here the discussions are led by the coach but everyone who is being coached can take part and provide feedbacks on the same.

When should you consider Mentoring:

  • When a school is looking to develop their teachers’ part of some succession planning.
  • When a school seeks to develop their diverse workforce to remove the hindrance towards the success of the school.
  • When a school wants to create a teacher that can balance both personal and professional.

When should you consider coaching:

  • When a school is looking to develop their teachers in certain subjects.
  • When a school has several talented teachers, who are not meeting expectations.
  • When a school is introducing a new program.

Schools are Looking to Hire and Recruit Teachers Adept in Pedagogical Styles


Posted on August 28, 2018 | by Vinod Kakumanu

Teachers are incomparable influences in our life’s. Their presence coincide with our most impressionable phase of the lives we lead. Remember how you learned most of the things, you simply just do nowadays like tying the tie, the shoelace, a knot? Let’s take a wild guess and say that you did not learn it from a YouTube tutorial or any animated app? Then how did you learn it? You learned it by watching, observing when those things were shown to you and then repeating. The same principle is at work in teaching or tutoring. There is a differences though, the most marked one is the minimization of modelling while lecturing. Teachers must model for their students. Modeling is said to be one of the basic and most effective teaching strategies – to learn by observing or to teach by live demonstrations. Schools or learning institutions usually look forward to recruit teacher or to hire teachers who are adept or can adapt to the modeling pedagogical style.

Schools are Looking to Hire and Recruit Teachers Adept to Modelling Pedagogical Style

 

Now, saying that teachers need to model for their students, and for some handy subjects, like mathematics, science etc., the question invariably surfaces; what should they really model about?

Let’s see, use related visuals or examples? Model as if thinking aloud so the students can listen to that process. Quickly communicate what we are doing and what is actually needed. Present or model logically the way you would have approached a given problem pertaining to the principle under discussion.

Why Modelling And Showing Examples Help?
Educational modeling can be referred to as showing students examples of what they are going to be learning or what they have to learn or the product of the process they are to yet learn. This process’s definition cannot be limited to just showing visual examples of the process, it is helpful for students to observe and learn the process and they can imitate it to develop their own skills and understanding towards the topic.

Numerous advantages of modeling can be observed, like primarily models assist students to see what they are supposed to produce. The idea is to combine the general ideas around the given work with a solid example to ease their work and give them a good idea of their finished products must look like.

Secondly, models help them to have a better understanding towards the significance of the task they are being asked to complete. Sometimes students just simply don’t understand the point in doing some tasks until later and hence complete the task half heartedly or not giving their 100 percent. A clear demonstration of the given work will help students to clear their mind and give their best for the same.

Sometimes, as teachers you also lose the sight about how you actually want the project assigned to the students turn out to be. Providing students with a demonstration or example will let them know exactly how you want the projects to be like.
In fact, the process is very well in practice in curricula of IB and Cambridge International. It’s not pointed to promote them but it has to be said that it is a progressive element deserving appreciation and, if possible, emulation.

Types Of Models To Include Within The Classroom
There can be no single type of modelling to prescribe for the classroom. The types of model to be included are determined by taking your course into consideration, by deciding which elements should be taken in consideration. Some of the types of samples to be included can be:

Professional Sample: This kind of sample, essentially, is to give the students a view how a professional will work around the project, which might as well be given to them. And thus the lesson is explained to them. This will help them to see the top-notch example of what they are doing and also how their work will be viewed in the outside or real world.

Student Sample: Students sample are those samples which you might have collected from your previous students about the same topic that the present ones are given. This gives the present students a students’ perspective of the given topic. Although, you might want to ask the previous students if they are okay with this.

Personal Sample: Sometimes teacher also like to work with the students and make their own samples for the topic they have given to the students to encourage them for the project. In your personal sample you could include all the things you expect from the students or draw out a rough overview of how you want the project to turn out.

Variety And Explanation
Why do we need models, again? To help students get a deeper understanding and learn the topic more interestingly. You might want to make sure that if you are providing them a model – professional, personal – must have a variety and good explanation. Models with variety are required because only then the students will have freedom to what they want to observe and cultivate a novel way.

Why is Teacher Training a Must?


Posted on August 28, 2018 | by Vinod Kakumanu

Teaches are a crucial and integral part of the education system. A great teacher is crucial to a student’s development and growth. So, how does one become a great teacher? As teachers, we are always concerned about the education the students receive. But rather than focusing on the classroom, we should take a step forward and think that if education is going to improve, we must work on improving initial teacher training. Personalized education is well, not rocket science, let’s be honest here – it is much more complicated. And the training for the teachers must be such that it makes the lives of students easier and learning effective which we do not see often. Teaching is an important process, but teacher is the fundamental element in this process and it is always the method which determines the output of the system.

Teacher Jobs

 

Teacher learning or training is a continuous never-ending process which promotes teacher’s teaching skills, master novel knowledge; develop better or newer proficiency, which in return assists in improving student’s learning. Researches and some studies have shown when teachers are good at class management students show much more interest in the classes and have better education outcomes comparatively to the situation when the teacher is not so good at classroom management.

The teacher’s training process usually has two categories to it. The first category undertakes the coursework assigned to the students for there working year. It usually covers content, methods and psychology. The latest courses also deal with technology involvement and integration and several issues related to cultural diversity. The other category usually comes to practical learning and modeling.

Teacher training is an important aspect for the teachers’ careers because of many reasons. Firstly, someone who is a fresher and comes to teach for the first time might not be very confident to command a certain set of students. He or she might have a vast amount of knowledge about their particular subject(s) but sometimes what the fresher or in rare cases, the experienced ones lack in the art of expressing themselves. If a teacher can’t explain or convey what they know to a student, if they can’t convince the student, they basically fail as a teacher as the students will slowly lose their interest from that particular class and subject and overall rather than being a positive asset of the students’ life, the fresher teacher will become the exact opposite.

Secondly, teaching is not only about giving long lectures or notes or homework. Teaching is so much more than that. Training for the teachers is also important for them to have effective class management skills. If a teacher is in the classroom, the students must be quiet and paying attention to whatever the teacher is talking about, even if it is a school notice, the hundred percent attention of the students must be on the teacher. The atmosphere created by such encourages students dive deeper into the topics. Although, if a teacher fails to achieve such an atmosphere it might result into just opposite of a productive classroom atmosphere.

The teacher training is not something which is only necessary after the recruitment of a teacher in any institution. No, teaching is all about learning, you teach what you learn and as stated above learning is an infinite and continuous process. The training of teachers must go on from time to time in between their jobs, to initiate them in newer technologies so that they can model that out for the students. Sometimes, using the same teaching strategy for so long might make a pattern which does not really interest the students and might make the lessons boring.

Training sessions are needed to help the teachers learn or create new teaching strategies which will bring back the interest of their students in the classrooms and encourage learning. Another aspect that must be taken into consideration is the application of the topics the students learn in their lessons. The teachers also need to figure out ways for applicable learning – which actually helps the students in real world because theoretical learning will help them in gaining marks, but practical learning will help them in life.

Strategies and Nuances of the Teaching Job


Posted on August 21, 2018 | by Vinod Kakumanu

Teachers are said to be the life of the classroom and their teaching methods are somewhat more important than any other thing in a student’s life because a teacher can make a student or break a student. Most of the teachers have different styles of teaching and with changes coming through with time, teachers are also trying to evolve their teaching styles to make it more interactive and student-friendly such that learning is, well, fun! The classroom is a vibrant setting where students and teachers from varied backgrounds come together to study, create and learn. Being an effective teacher needs you to be constantly updating your teaching techniques, no matter how long you have been teaching, the best teachers are those who have evolved with time and hence easily withstood time to remain one of the best.

Teacher Jobs

 

Being a teacher, you should know that one method will not suit all the students, there need to be different methods of teaching for different people. Here are some strategies that we have found be beneficial in teaching different types of students:

  1. Visuals – Visualization is one of the methods to give students a break from what you can call as monotonous teaching. Dull and boring teaching methods might take a back seat with visuals gaining prominence in pedagogical practice. Visuals give students a practical and more enhanced view on the topic and make learning much easier and fun. It also helps the student how to actually apply the learning they imbibe in school. Visualization can be effected through many forms viz. drawing diagrams, sticking or showing pictures, projecting pictures on smart boards, making models; basically, anything that makes the ongoing topic more interactive.
  2. Behavior Management – Behavior management is also a very important aspect of learning in the classroom. A proper and well-behaved environment is very important in the classroom for all the students to get their chances to interact with the class or speak their mind or pose questions without hesitating and whenever they want to. Noisy misbehaved and disruptive class does not compose a good environment for learning or teaching. Thus to create an atmosphere of shared respect will be both beneficial for the students and the teachers.
  3. Collaborative Learning – Values of collaborative learning are instilled in the students by organizing small activities in the classroom in which different students of various abilities or mixed abilities would work together towards a common goal. When the students verbally connect with other students and respond to them, they develop self-confidence and also enhance their communication skills which is one of the most important lessons of their lives. To this end, some activities that can be taken into consideration are projects related to current topics, some physical activities, group worksheets etc.
  4. Inquiry-Based Learning – Inquiry-based learning refers to posing such questions that actually make the students think. It inspires them to think. Usually, the scenario is that the students are the ones asking the questions to the teachers but, for once, the scenario must be turned around and the teachers must ask some questions to the students might as well to just check their understanding of the chapter being taught currently. However, the questioning must be done to make the students pay attention to what is being taught. To encourage students to look deeper into their own ideas increases their problem-solving skills as well as helps them to gain a better understanding of the topic.
  5. Personalized Teaching: Differentiating between your teaching abilities for different students by giving them different types of tasks according to their potential and abilities to make sure no one gets left behind. Assigning each student various tasks would mean that the ones who are good get stretched and the ones not doing good get the support they need. This can include making group worksheets and let the good ones work with relatively slower ones or various other measures can be taken.
  6. Use of Technology: Coming to technology, installing various technologies in your classrooms is a unique and great way to make classroom learning more fun and interactive. The brownie points are given because in this century everyone is already surrounded by technology so incorporating them in the classroom is a great idea. Interactive whiteboards or laptops etc can be used to show images and videos which help students to visualize the concepts and apply it in the real world.

Teaching as a job brings a whole lot of pressure provided you take the role seriously because you are the one who can make or mar so many futures. To become an effective and good teacher is a difficult task but not the one that cannot be accomplished, we wish you luck for that and remember – evolving is the key!

Absolute Don’ts of a Teacher Job


Posted on August 21, 2018 | by Vinod Kakumanu

As much as we love the thought that every teacher out there is going to be marvelous, the reality of the matter is that it would not be so. There is always going to be that one teacher we are never going to forget, and dare I say, for all the wrong reasons. Teachers are the people whom we trust fully with ourselves and our future and when those expectations are not met – well, it’s disappointing. A teacher’s job is also not a trivial engagement. Sometimes, and I think everyone would agree with that, we all have bad days – even teachers. But having a bad day as a teacher and being a bad teacher have fundamental differences. Some points to be noted as drawbacks are:

 

  1. Cell Phone: Picture the teacher is always on the cell phone. For a teacher on the job, what is the most important thing? Of course, their students. Nothing other than their students must be given importance during the teaching time. If teachers are spending time on their phone rather than spending time teaching the class, it gives the impression that there is something or someone far more interesting and important outside the class than within the class for the teacher. This constitutes a completely unacceptable behavior for a teacher. Hence, the cell-phone engagement in the classroom is, according to us, the number one attribute for qualifying as a bad teacher.
  2. Temper Problems: Students are kids and kids are, well, kids. Anything and everything leaves an impression on their mind and it is usually very quick and stays for a long time. Any action done by the teacher is an impression that lasts in the student’s mind. You as a teacher must make sure not to lose control, or in this case, your temper in front of the students. Sure, you might be having a bad day, or the kids might be exasperating but nothing excuses your behavior because you are the adult in the room, not them.
  3. Not Paying Attention: This is related to confounding distraction with multitasking. You cannot teach a class while simultaneously checking your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other myriad social media accounts. You should be taking rounds in your class and looking after the students and helping them, teaching them instead. A teacher is the life of the classroom, her/his attention is what makes the classroom lively if you take that away, you are sucking the life out of that classroom, so do what you are there to do – teach.
  4. One Method Policy: For some teachers, the basis of discerning a bad learner profile to good learner profile is on one criterion – worksheets. Some students get things by doing worksheets, some don’t. Some understand what the teacher is teaching and complete the worksheet, some don’t. That alone does not make them bad learners. Several teachers employ on stereotypical method of teaching and expect all the students to learn equally. And when this does not happen, the students who do not really understand the teacher’s method, they are dubbed slow learners.
  5. Monotony in Teaching Job: Monotonous teaching is suffocating learning to be very figurative. Typically, students fall asleep after ten minutes, don’t you realize? Studies indicate that the ones who want to study very much might be awake for maximum twenty minutes then they also give up. Constantly speaking without any expression or gestures or anything interesting to look by or listen to or non-interaction kills the joy of learning. You might want to vary your voice tones, ask sudden questions, make the classroom more interactive to overcome the problem of monotone teaching.
  6. Teaching Only The “GOOD” Learners: A good teacher can turn a good learner into a great one and a slow learner to a better learner. A good learner can learn at the faster pace but a teacher’s duty is to look after all the students, teach all the students and not only the good learners.
  7. Teaching The Same Way Every Year: Some teachers use the same tests, worksheets for students every year, effectively they use templates. Don’t do that, bring some newness in the lessons, showcase creativity, raise or down the difficulty level to make it interesting.
  8. Words Mean Nothing: There are teachers whose words never affect the students – the reason could be anything lack of confidence, consistency anything. A teacher must be consistent with his/her words but should not lie or be violent to make children listen or obey.
  9. Hating The Students: Why are you even a teacher if you hate students? If that’s the case, You clearly are in the wrong profession and must go forward and look for different profession rather than wasting your and a child’s time and faith in teachers.

Five Secrets to Land Your Dream Teaching Job


Posted on August 21, 2018 | by Vinod Kakumanu

Many a time someone else gets the job you have been looking for. There are a set of people who get their dream jobs easily but not because they are more talented than you, rather they stand out due to their innovative approach. Nowadays, landing a teachers’ job is not as easy as it was in the past, due to the fact that schools now expect significantly more from the educators. To be an excellent teacher you need to have that extra zing to be a good mentor, pioneer, and a specialist in educational programs. Here are some principal steps that you can follow to improve your chances of selection while competing for a teachers job –

 

Planning – Good preparation is vital for being selected as a teacher. You have to be prepared by knowing where and when to apply for the teaching jobs. To gather this information, the most ideal approach is online teacher job portals like www.educatorone.com, human resource departments at schools, attending job fairs and keeping in touch with recruitment agencies. Sometimes even a move to another place can help you since that place might have relatively more openings for teachers.

Make a professional profile/resume – Your resume is taken as a reflection of your personality. Schools often receive thousands of applications and in order to get selected, your resume really needs to be effective. Make your resume a professional one by highlighting your strengths, accomplishments, audio/video demos etc. Your job-objective should be impressive enough to get you selected.

Prepare for the interview – Once you are done with the resume, next comes interview. You need to come across as a relaxed and confident individual to handle even the toughest of interviews. Gone are the days when one used to prepare self for the interview by practicing the run of mill questions like “tell me about yourself”, “where do you see yourself in the next few years”. Nowadays, it is more important to acquaint yourself with the school where you are being interviewed, its activities and about the students and other staff. You ought to get ready to discuss your own particular qualities and learning of distinguished instructions, lecture planning, innovation in the classroom, classroom administration and parental correspondence.

Make sure all your teaching job qualities and skills are known by holding workshops/blogging/Special certifications – Make sure that your application enlists all the special skills you have. In case you speak another language, have a flair for writing, are exceptional in extracurricular activities and sports, you need to highlight these talents. Schools always look out for that individual who can give them something extra. The selection committee needs to know your talents and this enhances your job prospects. Your portfolio should cater to the needs of the school you are applying for, hence you should highlight those. You can start by inviting parents and students and teaching them something really exciting for you and them as well. This is a great way to interact with the community and if you are able to create a bond with them, getting a job in that place becomes easier due to good recommendations from their end. You can even create a blog about a certain topic which you need to share with them and make it viral. This creates more impact since it reaches out to a wider audience. Even social networking sites like facebooks, Instagram may help you land a good job. To get a good teaching job, you need to be abreast yourself with advancements in pedagogy and technology as well. Broadening your teaching skills by doing pedagogical, technical courses from reputed organizations make you attractive to employers.

Sub in the school or district – Subbing is the most effective way to get noticed since you get to meet the faculty and other people from various schools. You need to establish contacts here with almost everybody in the place where you are subbing so that they can help you find a permanent teaching position. Working as a substitute teacher also helps you understand your strong areas and subjects that interest you. It gives you free access to teachers who are working on the subject with you and helps you share your ideas.

Teachers desire a dream job that would allow them to teach and mentor students using their own style and let them showcase their skills effectively. Finding your dream teaching job directly leads to job satisfaction and also a  rewarding teaching career. There is no dearth of votaries who assert that no job can compare with that of the teacher’s job since this job gives you the opportunity to share your knowledge with children and shape their future.

Practices to Adapt in a Preschool Teacher Job


Posted on August 21, 2018 | by Vinod Kakumanu

Preschool teachers have more than one set of responsibilities on their shoulders. Being a preschool teacher is an associated qualification to their identity as a teacher as they enter the students’ life when their minds are most impressionable and brains in accelerated receptive mode. The values they imbibe in the preschool or in that formative period of life is significant in shaping their lives. By virtue of this intricate and intimate correlation, the responsibility on a preschool teacher’s shoulders increases fundamentally. These points aside you can scarcely argue with the fact that teaching a bunch of preschoolers and actually making them understand what you are teaching is one heck of a task to achieve. A list of some teaching strategies for the preschoolers for easing the preschool teacher job relatively is therefore in order:

 

  1. Symbols and Logos – One way to enrich the vocabulary and promote learning among preschoolers is to let them verbally label common brands and symbols. The process of translation from pictures to words actually helps the children, as it is widely acknowledged that visual stimuli aided instruction have a much faster and longer impact over the mind than written words. This activity can be made more interactive if the parents and students collectively take pictures of things or logos around them in their neighborhood including the street signs, pictures of birds, car logos or clothing brands and so on. Then, the children should bring the pictures to the classroom and name them by themselves and share their dubbing exercise amongst other children. This makes this activity more interesting and interactive.
  2. Sound Recognition and Matching – This particular activity will need you to cut out a few large but not too large sized alphabets and few small sized but not too small ones, cut out from the cardboard. For every alphabet, there should at least be one corresponding object placed in the pile. Firstly, let the children pronounce the alphabet correctly, and then encourage them to choose an object starting with that alphabet. This activity is said to be one of the students’ favorite because it is best for practical learning and it also results in something creative which can be kept or displayed in the classroom walls.
  3. Switch Out Activities – You must have heard someone saying this to someone else or maybe to you only “You have an attention span of a child” because children indeed have a very small attention span. So, if you plan on activities that will take a lot of time, they will not be very beneficial or useful for the children. To keep the children focused, try switching from one activity to another after a short span of time. Suggestions by experts are to start the day with more soothing activities such as listening and reading and then moving towards the lively activities like dancing or running. What will probably help more would be representing and displaying the daily schedule with colors and pictures to make students excited about the activities of the day?
  4. Start a Garden – One of the best ways to teach children about natural growth is to have them work in a natural garden – it does not matter if you have a nice open space or just a bit by the window, the work and effort that will be made by the students are all that matters. Working in the garden will also help them with their personal growth, cultivating life and promote relaxation and distraction from the lessons and stress. This will also help them to reinforce a routine to take out some time and regularly observe the growth of the plants and check are they been taken good care of or not.
  5. Establishing Rules – While this might be something understood, setting rules at the starting of the year is something which greatly helps further in the lessons for the teachers. The year must be started with some ground rules like keeping your hands to yourself or using inside voices. Post the rules in a common area or maybe post it on the walls of the classroom so the students can have a clear look and this will remind the rules daily. If a child breaks a rule, remember not to use harsh language and you should always remember using euphemisms for disciplining. Reminding the students of the rules instead of using negations will help more rather than denying them.

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