Tuesday, May 31, 2022
Monday, May 30, 2022
Some section of school policy suggests implementing honesty and responsibility on the students. The students may forget about it and start to do things that lead to academic dishonesty or simply lying. They may begin to cheat by copying each other's homework, using their notes on a test without teachers' permission or having someone else write the paper. The students may bribe someone to do their work or let them copy their homework. They may start to submit the same paper to two different classes. They can also tend to plagiarise and present their work without changing any lines. Students may commit these dishonest things under peer pressure or anxiety about getting good grades. One of the most common reasons for academic dishonesty is students' ability to manage the pressures of their social and educational lives. Some students genuinely may not know what constitutes cheating or plagiarism and may not ask the course instructor for clarification.
I have experienced this kind of situation. Once in my class, there were two kids. Both of them were very hardworking; however, one was a bright child, and the other was very weak. They both were close friends and used to sit together. At the beginning of the class, they were not together, and their result differed. Since the day they sat together, their results were equal. Every test I took had the same mistakes, scoring the same marks. I did not say anything and kept on noticing the two girls. Their half yearlies were near; they both were appointed at different places at the opposite corners of the class. When the result came, I got a little worried because the weak girl had scored significantly less, and the bright one had scored well. I was just waiting to make them realise their mistake and learn from them.
According to the incident, the intelligent girl's first dishonest behaviour was shown. The girl should have warned the weaker girl about the consequences she might face shortly. She should have told her that you are not doing the right thing by copying from me because it will affect her future. You will be deprived of the proper knowledge. I asked her why did she do this. She told me that she was insecure about her friendship with the girl as she did not have many friends.
The weaker girl showed dishonesty because she was afraid of getting bad marks on her tests as her parents were stringent in this matter. The girl was also insecure about not being able to set a good example to her younger siblings as she was the eldest in her family.
One example of academic dishonesty is disrespecting the teachers and their fellow classmates.
I had been teaching the junior school and now was deployed to teach the seniors after 2 years. Everyone knows how many handful teenagers can be. Being promoted from middle school to senior school, the children were disrespectful towards me and used to disturb the class and not allow me to teach peacefully. But, slowly and gradually, most of the children accepted me and started giving me respect. Still, one of the girls asked silly questions and tried to disturb the class. One day she came to ask about some of her quarries which I simply explained to her, and she was pretty satisfied with my way of teaching, which changed her attitude towards me. She became quiet and did not cause any trouble in the class anymore.
Sometimes children do not accept a junior teacher and show respect to teachers who teach them. So we should deal with patience and give them time to adjust to the situation. Slowly and gradually, good relations are developed between teachers and the students.
THE DOON GIRLS SCHOOL
Sunday, May 29, 2022
The world out there beckons to me,
Whichever way I look there is pain and misery.
Injustice, suspicion, distrust lurks behind,
Every face is a mask, a true friend is hard to find.
Disheartened, discontented, disillusioned
I do not know where to go...
With tears in my eyes and my heart beating with uncertainity,
I tell myself; let the river of time flow.
I want to scream, make myself heard,
Be fearless, unflustered, soar like a bird.
There is something that holds me back with force,
Pins me to the ground, there is sorrow and remorse.
Not knowing what to do
I submit and surrender to fate
Accustomed to sorrow, soon I will be, solitude will be my soulmate.
A bright flash of light makes my heart skip a beat,
And what do I see, Hope herself comes knocking and drops a smile at my feet. Is that a dream, an illusion or destiny’s new trick.
I turn around, warmth and love comes flowing from every window and brick. There is song that echoes in the air,
Tells me to open the doors of my heart and cheer.
The wave of time washes away my wounds,
Soothes the scars,
There is a new moon that shines bright, a new sunrise is not far.
Friday, May 27, 2022
1. The most common instances of dishonest behaviour shown by students in class
There are some common instances of dishonest behaviour in class like not speaking the truth, making mistakes and not admitting, taking each other’s things and not returning, and blaming each other for any misbehaviour. I would like to share one instance in my class last year.
I still remember a child in my class from the previous session who was intelligent and enthusiastic. She was expressive and overconfident about her academic performance. She got her all spell check words correct the entire session without even a single mistake. She was happy with her performance in the class. Towards the end of the session, post the pandemic, our school opened offline for teachers and gradually for students. This child started coming to school. She was a very fun loving student. We had a good time with each other for about 2 weeks. She used to discuss a lot. Once she came in the morning and confessed that she never got all the words correct in spell check during the online classes, and she lied to everyone. This, she spoke in front of the entire class with confidence. We did not ask her why, but she wanted to tell herself. She did not get scolded. In fact, she was appreciated for having the courage and being honest to speak the truth.
There were specific reasons behind her behaviour:-
- She was scared of getting judged.
- Her mother used to hit her for any mistake, so she cheated to keep her mother happy.
- She said that she used to pray to God to get me as her teacher since Grade K.G. and wanted to create the best impression in front of me. She never wanted me to dislike her.
Some common reasons behind dishonest behaviour:
- Children want to create a good impression on their peers and teachers.
- They do not want to get judged; hence they make a different impression in front of the class.
- They are scared of losing friends and feel that speaking the truth or being honest may take them away from their friends.
Sometimes they are not honest because this is what they observe in their surroundings.
When children do not get a healthy response to their honest behaviour, they avoid speaking the truth.
When elders do not trust them, children avoid speaking the truth.
2. we must indeed show Respect to earn Respect in a classroom
It is essential to give Respect to everyone, including children, as Respect cannot be snatched but earned. We have always heard the phrase ‘Give Respect to Earn Respect. Earning needs hard work, patience, dedication, collaboration and confidence. We sometimes make mistakes assuming that ‘Giving Respect’ is not our job but receiving ‘Respect’ from everywhere is our right. It is 2-way traffic where coordination and collaboration are required.
I have an example of sharing from my class a few years ago-
A new angry child entered the classroom on the first day of the session. He didn’t ask for permission to enter the room; he didn’t wish his teachers and classroom nanny and threw his bag near the dustbin. He then came to me and said that he wanted to go back home and will not stay in the class. Now, I had to show that I was his teacher, got a little firm and asked him to go out of the class with his bag and ask for permission to come into the classroom. This child did not listen to me and started howling. This continued for many days. He was regular with his behaviour of not respecting teachers, and I was firm every time in making him follow the rules and respect everyone and everything in the classroom.
Things were not working, and then I thought of changing my strategies. I started wishing him myself; initially, he didn’t respond, but gradually he started wishing back. I appreciated his written work, drawing and involvement with his peers. Magic... He was a changed personality. Started wishing all the teachers, nannies and peers. He used to share many things and help everyone in the classroom. It has been 5 years now, and he still comes to wish me every morning. Sometimes, It is more important not to think like teachers but any individual struggling to adjust. We can’t even get closer to the insecurities that ultimately captured the child. We must give Respect, time and opportunities to others to receive the same.
Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Joy Of Learning program will inspire you by using examples of where the
values are already being used by children and adults in schools
An Unhappy Student
Happiness is the most fundamental emotion for a person. If one needs to be happy, they need to learn to realise their distinctive qualities have a sense of self-respect, accept the limitations of their capabilities, and feel joyful.
To learn anything, the learner must be receptive to learning. They are interested and feel inquisitive to know more. There are various ways wherein we, as mentors, make a difference in the lives of the varied students we are a part of. Feeling truly happy makes the student feel receptive and open to learning.
I would like to share a student I have met in my 12 years of experience. This student helped me gain a perspective and confidence that with empathy and understanding, we teachers can truly make a lasting impact on the life of students.
My first interaction with this 15-year-old - The first day I entered his class, among all the mixed curious faces trying to craft their own impression of me – was with a new teacher in their school who had come to teach them English. This one boy was staring out of the window; he caught my attention as it seemed like a challenge to make him willingly turn to my class.
Days passed, and yet this student seemed to remain unhappy, never interested in the class. Despite all attempts at different kinds of activities, nothing seemed to work. Even getting more minor marks made no difference for him.
Determined that I wanted to make this boy happy, I set up a meeting with his parents to understand the reasons for his state of mind. This interaction gave me an insight into the child and his mentality that also helped me understand his actions.
He was a brilliant student but would never respond or participate in class. He would not pay attention as he had grown to believe that other than the two subjects that interest him the most – Science and Math, all other subjects were just a waste of time.
Hence, he would remain unhappy in all other subjects. I started talking to the boy and explaining how all subjects are integrated with one another. It was indeed not a one-night wonder. It took months, but there was indeed a gradual improvement.
I included activities where he spoke of the subjects he loved, and happiness started setting in with his interest. Soon by the end of the year, he stood as the highest scorer in my subject and most importantly, he was a very happy boy who had learnt to associate life with his studies.
My learning from this experience, which I wish to share with my fellow colleagues, is that we may form impressions of our students as mentors, but we should never judge them. We must know the reason behind their behaviour. We will certainly be able to help the student and make them happy.
An Intolerable Student
“An intolerable student”, the term itself, I feel, should never be an impression in any teacher’s mind about any student. However, the fact also remains that we all face such an adverse issue wherein we may have to encounter such behaviour in a student.
I cannot share a personal experience as I have never ever categorised any of my students as intolerable or unmanageable. Hence, I shall share my general viewpoint on the subject.
There may be many ways a teacher may label a student as ‘Intolerable’. They may be exhibiting very inappropriate behaviour in class towards their teachers /peers.
They may be disturbing the class to the extent that it is impossible to continue teaching in the class.
There may be innumerable complaints against this student from a teacher and their classmates, and no amount of counselling / or any other strict action aiming to rectify the student’s behaviour seems to change their behaviour.
Any behaviour or issue can never be diagnosed, judged or handled without knowing the reason behind those actions. The reason should not be seen based on any one particular act. Still, other situations and scenarios that might have happened earlier, both at school and at home, should be considered.
A child who is over-pampered at home or a child who has no listener at home will exhibit behaviour to gain attention. Usually, this kind of behaviour reflects a negative outcome.
E.g., The over pampered child has grown to believe that whatever they do is acceptable and may bully a fellow classmate. The child yearning for attention has been raised to think that if they just usually speak, they may never be taken seriously; hence, gaining attention will adhere to inappropriate behaviour like bullying a child. Therefore, the action of both the children though may be the same, but they both cannot be handled in the same manner.
Some of how we can handle the children are first being good unbiased listeners. All children need someone to listen to them without judging them. This will develop their confidence in the teacher; once the bond of trust sets in, the journey of rectifying the child’s behaviour will be very smooth and, most importantly, effective.
Saturday, May 14, 2022
My experience with the values of Happiness and Tolerance in the classroom.
The child was quiet and passive in the class. He did not interact much with his classmates and teachers. He was slow in his work and understanding; he was also quite irregular in attending school.
Diagnosing the problem
i. The child was politely asked about his family, parents, daily routine, and likes and dislikes. After a friendly interaction, I learned that both his parents were working and hardly spent time with him. He is the only child. He takes tuition for all the subjects and depends on his maids for everything. He doesn't want to come to school also.
It was pretty evident from his behaviour and from the interaction with him that the child was in an unhappy state. You always remain sad and depressed. The child was counselled the parents were called and informed about the child's psychology confidentially. Individual attention was given to the child by the subject teachers. Parents also took time out for their children. Positive reinforcement and acknowledging the child's efforts brought a change in his behaviour.
Advice to the educators to instil happiness and tolerance among the students.
1. Make the environment happy tolerant, and respectful for everyone.
2. Use comments to shape the child's behaviour.
3. Right counselling at the right time.
4. Make the child feel memorable, safe and loved.
5. Make learning exciting and enriching.
6. Practice before you preach.
Wednesday, May 11, 2022
1. An Unhappy Student
A while back, I came across this “unhappy student”, who I want to stay anonymous, so let’s call him X; clearly, the math teacher in me never fails to keep hidden. X’s parents recently separated, and he was living with his father, stepmother, and a step-sister who was almost as old as him.
X used to come around like a miserable, troubled kid who preferred to stay alone. He often cried and complained that he didn’t have friends and wanted to go home. Repeatedly refused to have food and acted stubborn as he was pampered by his grandparents at home. After discussing with his parents, we learned the scenario and that he felt unwanted and unloved because he was sent off to a boarding school whilst his stepsister wasn’t. Whereas his father just wanted him to have a better future, a higher sense of independence and self-awareness. Instead, his parent’s divorce created emotional turmoil and insecurity for him.
I felt the best way of overcoming this emotional barrier was through communication and creating an atmosphere where he felt wanted and comfortable sharing his feelings. That was not enough; we had to channel his energy into different things so that he could get distracted and becomes emotionally healthy again. We enrolled him in several activities like guitar and vocal music, which were his interests. That opened up various opportunities to perform on stage and build up confidence.
Love, care, patience, and empathy have made him a happier kid than he was initially. He has not opened up about his feelings yet, but I respect that and give him space, to grow more confident and content and time to reflect upon himself. It wasn’t just me battling against his emotional demons. It wouldn’t be a fair fight; it was a united team effort of the House-Mother, teachers, tutor, House-Masters, and parents, who did everything to mend and give direction to him.
2. An Intolerant Student
Bob Keeshan was right when he said, “Parents are the ultimate role models for children. Every word,
every movement, and action affects. No other person or outside force has a greater influence on a
child than a parent.”
Children who witness violence between parents may also be at greater risk of being violent in their future relationships, and it becomes a part of their personality. I had seen such a case myself.
Keeping the kids’ identity hidden and calling him Y, he had joined the school on a particular recommendation in the middle of the term, which was very unlikely. That was enough to draw attention to him, but he still managed to do that, as he used to hit and abuse other kids. He was a challenging child and had significant anger issues. By addressing this issue and taking the parents in the loop, we discovered that Y’s behaviour resulted from the domestic violence that used to take place at his house.
The school took this sensitive matter very seriously, and firstly, his hostel was changed until he was comfortable and settled. Secondly, they changed the faculty that dealt with him to those staff members who knew and understood the matter in depth. Everyone showed patience and calmness, which slowly changed him, and even a little of his good behaviour was encouraged and appreciated.
His way to cope with his anger was to hit people, i.e., he let his feelings out ‘physically’; now, our challenge was to channel his anger and frustration and give it direction. Thirdly, we introduced him to drums; this turned out as an excellent escape for him, gave him something to focus on, distracted him and in the end, he turned out to be one of the best drummers and became an asset to the school.
During all this, Y was regularly undergoing professional counselling offered by the school, which helped him deal with his behavioural issues and anger management.
After a slow, steady progress and baby steps over 5 years, we successfully taught Y how to make friends, manage his anger, balance his studies and lastly, WE transformed
him from an intolerant student to a ‘tolerable’ one.
JOL Cohort 2022
Tuesday, May 10, 2022
My experience with handling an unhappy student and an intolerant one.
Happiness and Tolerance, what the two values mean to me and how I handled the situations fo an unhappy student and an intolerant one.
Dealing with ‘An Unhappy student.’
I still remember a student studying in my class 3 years ago. I was the grade mentor of one of the sections of K.G. She was a new student in the school, and I knew nothing about her. I met her for the first time and made a perception that this child has some special needs and she is not able to understand instructions. She started coming to school regularly, and I noticed a similar pattern each day, like not eating her meal; after circle time, she used to stand near my chair without speaking anything, used to get shocked at any sound and would not make friends.
Every day during circle time, everybody used to have free discussions about their likes/ dislikes, favourite person, place, problems etc. One day, every child spoke, she was quiet, and even after motivating her, she chose not to speak. I thought of giving her some more time. That day she came to me and asked me to write a letter to her mother. When I asked her what to write, she told me the entire story that her mother was living in London and expecting another child. The mother couldn’t come to India because of her work commitment and medical issues, and this child was not able to go with her father because of some visa issues. For 6-8 months, she stayed without her mother.
Every day this child would come to me after the circle time and share her feelings. She would come with a piece of paper every day with colour pencils and used to dictate her letter. She wanted me to draw her mother with her baby sister and some gifts. Surprisingly, she would keep all the letters with me and not take them home. I got to know about the root problem. After speaking to her father and mother, we started working together in a similar direction, where we gave her enough time to speak her heart out. Her mother was advised to speak to her every day and explain that soon she would be with her mother. On the PTM, I handed over all the letters from Aadvika to her father for her mother.
She was an entirely changed child and used to participate in all the activities, laugh, make many friends, and improve her academics. Finally, she went to London, but the habit of discussion in circle time activity continued. She would call me from there frequently to discuss her new school and life.
My advice to educators:
• Never jump to a conclusion
• Make a habit of changing perceptions
• Give time to your students
• Trust students- sometimes they know more than us
• Respect their feelings and be alert to their silence
• Teachers have a magic wand that can make desirable changes
- To be patient
- Sometimes a different approach can work
- Share stories indirectly catering for the problem
- Give time to your students
- Trust yourself and your capabilities
- The child is a clay container. Mould the way you want.
3. So, the first thing I have to do is examine my own behaviour to see whether I am making the child unhappy. If this is not the case, I have to closely interact and interview the child (in the most friendly manner possible) to pinpoint the root cause of the child’s unhappiness, whether it is because of the classmates/ some other teacher or domestic issues or a combination of two/three of the above reasons.
4. Having pinpointed the root cause/causes, I have to take the following actions:
As a teacher, I have to first pinpoint the root cause of this behaviour to overcome this. However, what happens in real life is the following:
An incident of ninth graders promoted to class 10th.
Every student in the class decided to do rigorous practice for their board exam from the beginning. The children were excited about their Maths classes, but we know that children have different abilities in a class. When I started teaching, two and three children started asking fundamental questions from the beginning, which slowed down the class's momentum. My advice to children is always to work on their basics before coming to the class. Some students seemed unhappy and did not speak in the class the next day. One of the students stopped asking any questions, and the other student started troubling and disturbing the classes. This continued for 2 or 3 days and was a little unsettling for me because I want my students to grow immensely and equally. I approached the students outside of the class and asked them if something was wrong or if something troubling them. They, too, replied they were not able to understand Maths. I understood their problem and replied, "Don’t lose faith. I will help you take extra classes for you both to reach the class level and ensure that you score good marks in your exam”. Slowly and steadily, the children seemed to be getting the concept and were happy to see themselves go with the flow of the class.
JOL Cohort 2022
Sunday, May 8, 2022
Originally posted on Facebook, some edits were done by our team.
It is incredible how young mature today physically and emotionally may be mentally too, but intellectually and spiritually, they remain starved.
We hardly had any exposure to the type of current generation in our times. We barely knew about sex in school. It was only in university we got to know some details about it. There wasn't any question about drinking or smoking. The word drug was restricted to drug and chemist stores.
Today's kids have sexual exposure even before they step out of teen. They are at ease with drinking, smoking and drugs. By sixteen or seventeen, they are grown up men and women. And if one goes to have physical relations, drug consumption and tobacco at the same time while in school, of course, the schools are bound to be doomed.
Pressure from society, the school environment, the amusement industry, and social and digital media are instrumental factors for physical maturity. They help one grow physically at an astonishing speed. By the time they are 35, they are burnt out and spent force. The body starts showing signs of decay and deterioration, and they hit the pills.
They neither have a childhood or a girlhood, continually at bay, in an exceedingly cooking pressure state of affairs.
The human mind has to grow gradually and mature quietly to carry on and live a wholesome life. The process starts at school. Alas! It is just the other way around today.
There is something very sublime, rather an innocence, associated with schools. One learns only when one is vulnerable and innocence intact. We've lost that innocence today.
Our schools sound senseless and hollow, fated to be doomed without that innocence and sublimity.
Send part of the post
- Soham Anand, Dehra Dun, India. Originally posted on Facebook for friends and teachers.
- Honesty & Respect - Ms Nitin Sharma
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- The School System Is Doomed For Failure - 2: Soham...
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