Jiayi Education

The Exceptional Qualities of a School Principal

School PrincipalThe School Principal should possess special qualities of being a leader. These qualities will determine him/her of his/her qualifications in managing his/her people in the school vineyard. Without these extra-ordinary strengths or qualities of the school leader, he/she should not be worthy of his/her job as school leaders. This might be the reasons why there are school leaders who fail to functions successfully in their job as School Principal. If only all of School Leaders have the exceptional skills or qualities of being a leader, then we are absolutely sure that our educational system is on the way to standard and excellence.

Being the leader of an educational institution, the School Principal has to possess remarkable qualities which make him/her superb among others in an organization. These qualities are as follows:

a) Transparency
The School Principal should first be transparent in his/her work as school leader. He/She should have the clean conscience of facing the night and day with all the honesty inside and outside of himself/herself. The one that has the drive to teach his/her people to bring back the value of honesty because he/ she is a model of such virtue. Before the School Principal could mandate honesty and transparency among his/her people, he/she should be a paragon of such virtue for others to follow. The old adage “Honesty is the best Policy” is used by the Department of Education (DepEd) as a living reminder to all school leaders in the educational vineyard. Posting this adage to every classroom in the school cascades the virtue of honesty from the school leader to the students. For that, transparency becomes the aftermath of honesty which the school leader should possess.

b) Good Visionary
The School Principal should visualize about the future of the school. This kind of special quality is considered an exceptional one because not all of us can have a good visionary gift. He or she can be a fortune- teller who could guess what happen in the future. But unlike the fortune- teller, the School Principal can guess what will happen in a month or year to come through his/ her anticipating skills, decision- making skills, extra-sensory skill and through his/her experience. My School Principal almost never sleep for the night because even she is about to sleep or even she is already sleeping, she is still bringing with her the plans and the future of her school. I even told her once ” I am sure you are not sleeping Ma’am because every slits and slats of the school issues and concerns you have all the prepared solutions”. She replied “We should always dream. We have to dream big, bigger than our dream!” To prove that, while others including me were already snoring in the deepest silent night, she sent text messages to our cellphones about instructions of our job as coordinators, teaching personnel even to PTA officers of the school. That is a school principal’s additional quality to ponder with.

c) Risk Taker
Another quality of a school leader is being a risk taker not for himself/herself but for his/her constituents. The best leader is the one who tries to cross the unchartered seas and see for himself what lies beyond. This is another exceptional skill of being a leader. Most of the educational leaders are obedient and they conform to the norm of the department. But among those many, someone has to be brave enough to wave his might and risk his job just for the improvement of his/her school and people. The very good example of how the School Principal is risking his career is his/her decision to divert funds for another projects. This is a violation of department’s policy. But sometimes, a leader should do the diversion for school improvement and students’ academic improvement too. The School Principal’s role is not really an easy one because if his/ her decision won’t give the right outcomes, then he/she would find himself/herself in jail. However, many of the School Leaders become successful because they have with them the quality of being a risk taker. They are taking risks in their abrupt decision on matters of immediate solution to a problem. Example to this is sending to hospital an ailing student or a student who meets an accident inside the school premises without parent’s permit. Another is to report to Department of Social Worker and Development (DSWD) personnel of student’s case of parental abuse and to uniformed men of drug addiction problem. These are only few instances of the risk- taking decisions of School Principal in his/her journey of leadership.

d) An Eye and Heart for his/her People
The School Principal should capitalize his/her own personnel. He/She should know who his /her potential personnel are. He/She should not leave those non-performing ones but tries to think of remedies/ solutions in making these people in his/her vineyard the best as possible. While giving better opportunities to those the performing ones, best challenges or opportunities will also be given to the later. Aside from that, the School leader should think of what joy, comfort, reward, incentives and award he/she could exhaust from his/her leadership for the betterment of his/her human capital. The feeling of self-awareness of people’s emotion should be profoundly considered by School Principal in order that the harmonious relationship exists within the organization. School Principal should accept his/her weakness and should listen to his/her people so that everyone has a place in an organization. By this, School Principal should not have only an eye for the school problems but an eye for his/her people’s potentials, emotions and needs.

Do you have these exceptional qualities? Then, you are now a sure candidate for school principal’s job.

Teaching TEFL English Made Simple for the Novice Teacher

Teaching TEFL EnglishTeaching English to people who are just beginning to learn English (second-language learners) can be quite a challenge, especially when the novice teacher has not studied languages herself. Teachers should be mindful that language learners have a variety of learning styles much like all students in the regular classrooms. Some students prefer writing while others prefer social interaction as a setting for learning. Visual learners need unique stimulation in the forms of pictures, drawings, and designs; whereas, kinesthetic learners need to employ body movement. For that reason, one would be advised to ask questions to determine the student’s level, his preferences, and his cultural background. The correct methodology to be utilized in class depends somewhat upon the learner’s and the teacher’s preferences. No matter which of the following strategies you should employ to teach your new students, it is preferable to try more than a single strategy and to mix as many as needed.

Presentation, Practice, Production

The Three P’s Strategy is commonly used in classrooms to teach all subjects. First, the teacher presents the topic of the day, week, or month. He sets up a situation that elicits and models language. Presentation techniques vary. I would recommend jotting down some notes on a whiteboard. Perhaps, the teacher will stand at a podium or move around the classroom. He might utilize a projector for a PowerPoint presentation or for drawing diagrams. Next, students practice what they have learned, often through simple drills, and then they “produce” a tangible project such as a written paragraph or a diagram to be explained to the class. The Production Stage utilizes some authentic (real life) materials and encourages students to use language in a real-life context. The PPP Strategy often integrates a variety of the other techniques because it is basically a means of organizing and presenting a lesson.

The Communicative Language Teaching Approach

The Communicative Language Teaching Approach is often employed together with the PPPs. The CLT approach evolved naturally to encourage open communication and interaction between teachers and their students. As a teacher, you will focus on communicative competence rather than on grammatical structure. Students will use the language in a quasi-authentic context in which the teacher elicits responses from them while also paying attention to fluency and accuracy. The goal of CLT is to achieve communicative ability while thinking of English as a form of communication. The teacher will ask questions to get to know the students. His questions will elicit topics that will introduce the class to new vocabulary as well as new idioms. The learning activities that you choose should be interesting to the learners and related to the authentic (real) world in which people live.

The Grammar Approach

Some people call it the “grammar-translation” approach. Learning the rules of grammar and translating interesting writings still has much value and is not to be derided. The mother tongue of the learner can be employed to discuss the grammatical structure of a writing in English. Nevertheless, in most cases the native-speaking teacher only speaks English to explain the grammar of a phrase or text. Even without good knowledge of grammatical structure, at some point learners will discover how useful this component of learning can be. Therefore, I would suggest teaching a grammar point or eliciting the students’ observations of grammar rules that become apparent while teaching through the communicative approach. The two approaches intertwine quite well if we permit them to do so.

Phonics, Reading and Literary Approaches

Depending upon your student’s level, you might decide to implement a reading program. For beginners, you might teach phonics or the sounds of letters. Students will benefit from some readings that are not much higher than their current reading levels. Such levels vary between students. As students progress, the teacher might ask questions on the readings to check for understanding. Online resources and computer programs are helpful nowadays in the areas of phonics, reading, and literature because computers sound out the letters for students in a delightful way while making learning become more like a game.

Total Physical Response

Total Physical Response (originally by James J. Ascher) is a technique that utilizes commands requiring students to use their bodies to show understanding of terminolgy. TPR can be used to review vocabulary as well as to practice authentic situations. You should prepare by selecting commands carefully before utilizing them in class. It will be a part of the lesson-planning process. Although many teachers say TPR is efficient at any level, I recommend using this form of instruction mostly for the lower levels. I recently used TPR in a class when I asked my student to stand up, to put her hand up, to turn around and to sit down. It was very effective, but as the lessons advanced I used less TPR. At any point in a lesson, no matter what the level, the kinesthetic learners will appreciate the movements of TPR.

The Natural Approach

In the Natural Approach, beginning learners are exposed to excellent models of language, namely, their teachers. It is through the subconscious and natural acquisition of language that learners best acquire English. Therefore, students need to be relaxed in the learning environment where they are encouraged to use the language naturally. This can be accomplished by telling an anecdote to the class and listening for how students respond. You may teach your class by playing games with them, by sharing personal experiences, and by solving a problem like “which dress code would be best for the school.”

Online Resources

The teacher with whom the student interacts is the best classroom resource. That is why I would not put students in front of computers for the entire class period. On the other hand, there are thousands of resources that you can find on the Internet to use for teaching English language learners. Teachers often share their handouts for free online, and there are publishers who share free materials for both ESOL and TEFL classrooms. I would suggest exploring the Internet for additional ideas and materials. Students might benefit from some assignments and tests that you will find on the Web.

No matter which techniques you choose, be mindful of learning styles and seek to meet the needs of individual learners. If you begin with a short story and then you ask your students open-ended questions on a simple topic, you will be on the right track to being an effective teacher of English language learners (ELLs).

Importance of Empathy for Dealing With Students

Importance of Empathy for Dealing With StudentsThe word Empathy comes from Greek and means ‘what suffers’ or what is the same, the ability of a person to understand the emotions of another.

The concept of empathy is of great importance when you relate and interact with your students in the class. The better you understand them, the more you receive from them in return. This interpersonal intelligence, in the opinions of Howard Gardner, directly reverses many of the actions that your students are held during the school days.

Perhaps, you observed during your school years that there were teachers who could connect very quickly with students while others maintained a relationship with their students something more complicated. They were not connected with the students- with their emotions. These teachers were less empathetic.

Another aspect that should not be confused with the fact that- being an empathetic teacher has nothing to do with being a cool teacher or rolled teacher. This is not true at all. Empathy is something deeper sense to be “cool” or “rolled”. In fact, the teachers with good empathy can start a very good relationship with students.

Here are five simple but useful actions that can enhance empathy with your students:

    • Learning the names. Knowing your students’ name is important. Sometimes we find some teachers who, after several months, still do not know the name of he/his students or confuse them regularly. Teachers might complain that they have many students and that takes the time to know all the names. That is not true. In a few days, you can get them all if you really want to. There are lots of tricks to learn the names of the students. Avoid calling your students by their last name. It has been observed that a lot of the students hate to be called by their last name. There may be several exceptions and in such cases the students can be called by the last names. But calling a student by his surname may create a rift between you and the student due to excessive formality.
    • Have a good memory. Good memory is important for being empathetic to your students. Ask your students about the party weekend, congratulate them on the achievements, hear about their pets, show interest after an illness or accident. You will be surprised to see the happy faces of your students.
    • Maintain eye contact. At the beginning or end of class, students approach you to ask a question very often. At that time if you only keep your eyes on school supplies and neglect showing the visual contact the student who speaks, then you miss many things. If you look to your student during his question, you will be able to capture student’s emotion more and understand what he is asking and also what he cannot ask but whirling in his mind.
    • Listen rather than hear. Active listening is very crucial. HEAR is simply perceived sounds while LISTEN is to understand the speech. Listen to be empathetic.
    • Change the closed questions to open questions. One factor that can help you empathize with your students is the way you ask questions. When interacting with a student, there is a difference between asking if you are concerned or to ask why is concerned. While the first question is answered with a simple yes or no, the latter implies a reason to create an emotional bond between you and the student must take advantage of.

Are Your Children Studying Really Well

Are Your Children Studying Really WellMost of the students seem to be overconfident due to the availability of employment opportunities. The economic reforms process initiated in most of the countries of the world are responsible for enhanced employment avenues. Though there is a considerable decrease in the government jobs, there has been an increase in the private sector jobs. For instance, at present, there are new private players in all the three sectors of the economy. Hence, there is an increase in demand for human resources too.

According to a survey, many students do not have command over the English language even after completion of their graduation!. Some students seem to be negligent and do not pay attention to the teachers in the class rooms.

The developments in information technology are not being utilised effectively by the ignorant and innocent children!.

Parents of children are either illiterate or busy with economic work. in some cases, there is a slight negligence by the parents. Thus, the children seem to be enjoying the freedom as they are unaware of career development and their contribution to the economic development.

Some students are attracted to the tutorial centres. They are thus do not concentrate in the class rooms. There are a few students who do not even know the names of their teachers, parents occupation, etc. They are also ignorant of their future!.

Many students do watch useless stuff on television channels, instead of utilising the growing number of channels for their own development!.

The students do carry so many books to the educational institutions and there are also so many periods or classes. But it seems they are not acquiring adequate knowledge!.

During the examinations, many students do involve in malpractices. In other words, they try to show a false result to their parents. Mugging up, copying, asking other students, enquiring the examination supervisors, taking slips, etc are some of the methods being practiced by innocent children.

Playing e-games by using the cell phones, watching live sports shows, movies, chatting with their friends, etc are some of the latest issues in the class rooms.

The students must understand that all the subjects are equally important and play a dominant role in their future life. For instance, the knowledge of economics does play a role in the life of a civil engineer too!

They need guidance from the teachers and the parents. The parents must allocate some time to assess their children at home. The teachers alone cannot transform the disturbed minds of ignorant children.

If the students are neglected, and do not receive counselling at an appropriate time, their future might be in doldrums!.

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