SCHOOOL

During these times of COVID-19, education is in its most un-usual situation ever exposed to. For all parties, parents, students and teachers, this circumstance is a steep learning curve, that has to have been managed in a short amount of time. What is astonishing, is the sheer fact, that we, as humans can adapt to this kind of situation in a rather fast and consistent manner. We are able to meet he need, that is needed. Being in that position myself, like many of us, I came up with an image, a visual representation of that situation. It is as if you had a car, a car that you always had and were happy to have, using it conveniently, maintaining and taking care of it, so that it is and will be there for you, during all and every day. But now, one of the wheels ‘fell’ off, and out of four, only three are left. , Unexpected, abrupt and unforeseen. What to do now? As life is by times throwing hurdles in our way we know, that that can happen, agreed. So nevertheless, the spear tire is there, I can exchange, use it for a certain length of time, be a bit upset, disrupted by that situation, but the solution is there, an easy to solve problem, no worries. But now, there is no spear tire, no support and I am confronted with a moment of ‘how will I support my car to continue smoothly’? This is was is happening right now. What will take the place of the fourth wheel? What is supporting the car, for that the journey will continue as smoothly as it was before. One needs to be creative, solutions need to be found and a lot of help and support is needed.

To complete the picture. The fourth wheel is the school environment in case that wasn’t clear. The stability of the school environment breaks away, home situation changes, mentors, teachers and councillors are not as reachable any more as they have been in a normal situation, hence the fourth wheel is missing.

Technology is now needed more than before to keep up a certain normality. Primarily to stay in touch and give, as much as possible the support the children need. Academically but most of all emotionally. They need to know, that even if the fourth wheel is missing at this out-of-the-ordinary moment, we will carve a wheel out of wood, or any other material, just to be sure that the car can continue, even so slowly as slowly can be. It needs to be steady, consistent, and accountable on. It is the feeling of being taken-care-of. That is what is important for the students and also the parents.

BTW

You never know…

Disappointment

I was wondering; to what point a teacher can tell a child, student that he/she is disappointed?

Isn’t the ‘disappointment’ the privilege of the parent(s)? To what extend has a teacher the right to use this emotional state of mind to teach children? And most-of all, when is it the right time to use this emotion to set limits? Is it limit setting?  Where s the logic behind that expression?

What is the child supposed to do after that comment? Does the child need to start pleasing the person, teacher to re-gain … what?

I do have tremendous issues with that expression towards children that are with you, being taught and helped to build up their knowledge and confidence.

Don’t we all agree that we are there to support them through their mistakes? How do I, or does one help the child by using that emotional state of disappointment? I really don’t understand.

I hope that teachers all over the world do not use this expression. You are there to guide, support and help to classify their doings, hence mistakes.

As a parent, ok, you can or could be disappointed, depending on the situation of course. But as a teacher?

As a definition, it says, … sadness or displeasure caused by the non-fulfilment of one’s hopes or expectations.

Questions: As a teacher you should always help the child to be successful . The older the more they shall take care of themselves, but at no time, they should only please you, they should please themselves. That is creating strength and self-confidence.

As we know, we learn and learned through our mistakes. Why take away that part of learning by using disappointment as tool of teaching?

Some food for thought.

PALINDROME

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The use of a calculator – isolation of difficulty

Knipsel percentage

Within the set-up of a secondary classroom, children age 11, 12, 13 the use of a calculator should be seen as the support to a full understanding  of the “concept” at hand. By times, the focus should not be held on finding the answer within the different operations +, – ,x and / .

It is the isolation of the difficulty that makes the difference. The difficulty is what the focus needs to be addressed on.

It is important to make clear what  the concept is, that is to be learned. If the children do work on percentages; that should be the focus .

Yet if he answer to the problem is more important than the way of operation, why not let them use a calculator?

That will lead to less frustration in their process to understand the process of operation, the way of conducting the problem.

Ideally the children do know their facts, yet, as we all know, that’s the ideal scenario and that is never the case, because all children are different.

To use a calculator is, hence, unconscious repetition of these facts. That allows the child to fully focus on the “concept” that is introduced.

Tools are made to support one’s weakness, to allow full participation during the activity.

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Contributions to the adolescent community

The major responsibilities I have to ensure the integrity of the adolescent community that I will be teaching in. Additionally, I will state my major concerns regarding this endeavour.

Maria Montessori said: “We must make it possible for the individual to be free and independent. The key to this complex problem is to furnish means for development of the free personality that have to do with the environment as well. The environment must promote not only the freedom of the individual, but also the formation of a society” (Montessori, The Education of the Individual, 2015. p. 18)

My major contribution to the adolescent community will be based on respecting their sensitive periods of dignity, justice and social and economic independence. The environment will be prepared in the right way to meet their needs. They shall have the opportunity to develop their sensitive periods along their personal growth. I will support this growth, being an additional material, they need to construct themselves. As a guide in their environment, Personal contact is extremely important and that I will be teaching  how to use their energy to improve them, the environment, so that they realize that the cornerstone of education is the development of the human personality. Personality grows best in the right environment. It is the environment that will that fosters independence. It is all about the independence that will be offered to them. Within the environment they become socially independent, reach a sense of collaboration and dignity. I will provide them the opportunity to develop their dignity in becoming economical independent. They will learn to tke care of them selves in multiple manners, take care of the others, being respectful, helpful, caring and supportive. With this comes the respectability of the environment. Real work, adult work is offered to them. They will do work that is important and adds to the environment. They will start to produce and create. What gives them the chance to do the exchange, earn money to re-invest I projects that they have.   These study and work projects will help them in their development in becoming an adult. They will learn how to actively contribute to their, our society, becoming an positive, self-sufficient, responsible, caring and respectful adult.

I want to make sure to provide the necessary opportunities for the adolescents in the environment. My role as the adult has a well defined position. For that I want to quote Maria Montessori, who says it all in one paragraph: “In going about his dedicated labours on behalf of the child, the adult must realize above all else that his task concerns a revelation of the child’s soul. […] This work must have a twofold objective: constructing a suitable environment and bringing about a new attitude toward children on the part of adults.” (Education and Peace, Montessori-Pierson Publishing Company, p.72). I would like to construct a society of trust, not a society of fear. A community based upon dignity, integrity and joy with a vision of a greater community.

My ajorconcerns are to establish the ownership that is needed in oder strt the community, mainytain and cherish it. I am also concerned that the children will appreciate the investment I make to establish a harmonious self-functioning community.

To conclude I like to quote again Maria Motessori: “Maria Montessori said “So the first thing his education demands is the provision of an environment in which he can develop the powers given him by nature. This does not mean just to amuse him and let him do as he likes. But it does mean that we have to adjust our minds to doing a work of collaboration with nature, to being obedient  to one of her laws, the law which decrees that development comes from environmental experience.”, (The Absorbent Mind).