Teachers as facilitators of learning and as second parents

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We salute our teachers for planting the seeds of knowledge that guide, inspire, and making us all what we are today. Thank you for helping us grow and learn.

Today is Happy Teachers’ Day. As we celebrate this special day for teachers around the world and for their hard work, we must never forget that one of their greatest contributions is to help young minds learn and grow.

Aside from teaching children to behave and to judge what is right and wrong, teachers play the role of second parents to the students. They take charge in shaping the life of the students under their care. They empower them.

Each child should have a caring adult in their lives. Teachers substitute biological parents in mentoring and making students learn. They are facilitators of learning.

With just the right mix of chalk and challenges, teachers could change lives and inspire so much that they awaken the natural curiosity of the minds of those they were teaching. In other words, teachers exist to make a difference in their students’ lives.

Teachers teach their students how to deal with pressure, approach problems, express themselves verbally, and in accepting mistakes and finding solutions. It is not an easy job, though.

And while their salaries may be higher now than in days gone by, but all too often they’re held in little or no esteem notwithstanding the fact that their duties have broadened by which to include responsibilities far beyond what was asked of them a generation or two ago.

Teaching has become much more difficult.  Good teachers are worth their weight in gold but, clearly, most are not in it for the money. They had the respect of the community.

We are praying for their safety, health, overall wellness, and that they must continue thriving. We are thankful for having them.

We must thank them for shaping the future generation, for giving our kids much needed advice, their sacrifice, patience, dedication, and for letting us parents breathe easy.

We salute our teachers for planting the seeds of knowledge that guide, inspire, and making us all what we are today. Thank you for helping us grow and learn.

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In what way schools could really make kids smarter

SCHOOLSIt has been said that the most important attribute that schools can give students is the ability to learn on their own. Kids could learn in different kinds of setting and, in that sense, learning has become something they could see from both sides of the desk. Schools should be a place where everyone expects kids to do well.

A real emerging challenge, though, is on how to get kids of today to learn so much even by just sitting and listening. Sure, schools could make smart kids but it depends on their ability to deal with the growing need to build a culture that promotes academic distinction while, at the same time, trying to teach everyone. Here are few pointers in which schools should be doing to make kids smarter:

CREATIVE USE OF TIME

It’s a fact that there are fast learners and slow learners. One effective way in making it possible for slow learners to move along with their peers is through creative use of time and combining it with techniques such as cooperative learning. Schools should make effective use of time in the service of better learning.

CREATING A GENUINE EDUCATIONAL GOAL

The goal is something that would describe what these young learners need to know. Then, after finally figuring it out, a test or series of tests must be developed, based on that goal, that measure knowledge and skills. Traditional preoccupation with process and inputs must be abandoned and that schools focus, instead, on results.

With this method, schools are tasked to respect diversity and in rewarding the ability of students who could generate answers on their own, not merely repeating the information they have soaked up like sponges. Authentic test is designed just so students could show off in no matter what way comes most naturally to them and that’s what’s important. It should, therefore, encourage teaching to the test.

CREATING A PSYCHOLOGICAL SECURITY

This is very important. Teachers should be most knowledgeable about child development in the first place. Teachers should very well know about its importance and the way they’re going to support that in school.

Teachers and administrators in schools should agree to the fact that learning, in itself, involves more than just native ability. It must be noted also that success in school is not a product of anything but of overall development which was made possible to some extent by a child’s ability in internalizing the values and ways of significant adults. Schools should be a place where people understood children’s developmental needs.

LEARNING ORIENTED, NOT TEACHING-ORIENTED

Teachers should know the right questions to ask. Teachers should have the answers, but to the point that they must not control the questions as well. It is about shifting from teaching to learning in which the teacher becomes the manager of instruction, facilitator, coach, and one who creates the proper learning context aimed at helping the student in taking responsibility for his own learning.

In other words, teachers should not be presenters of information but managers of instruction. They should be functioning as teams of professionals that share ideas and communicate frequently. Students, on the other hand, should be learning both on their own and in flexible groups and should be playing an active role in their own learning.

COOPERATIVE LEARNING

Someone once said that “cooperation is the basic phenomenon that distinguishes our species.” It should be understood as the underpinning for everything. Cooperation means students collaborate in a common environment where they can share their talents and skills in a way that benefits everyone.

PARENT’S INVOLVEMENT

There should be parents’ involvement in schools wherein they would be given time and opportunity for an open forum with teachers concerning their kids. When there is an open communication between parents and teachers, kids could only benefit a lot from it in a positive way.