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Essential Tips for Parents of Online Learners

The effects of Coronavirus on families with kids With schools closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, parents everywhere are facing a new set of challenges as they find themselves juggling work obligations and overseeing their kids’ e-learning. The worldwide lockdown imposed to prevent the spread of the virus is redefining people’s routines and lifestyles. Unable to receive support from their network of family, friends, and teachers, parents are taking time off work to help their increasingly agitated and anxious kids withRead more

Schools Go Online: Top Tips on Organizing Distance Teaching Effectively

The Effects of Coronavirus on Education The COVID-19 pandemic has had an immense impact on education worldwide. Since March 2020, closures of schools, universities, and colleges in an attempt to slow down the spread of the virus have affected over 90 percent of the world’s student population in 193 countries across theRead more

Teachers Go Online: The Benefits of Remote Tutoring

So far, one of the consequences of COVID-19 is that students and teachers are finding themselves relying on technology for learning. While the industry of online education is predicted to rapidly grow in the coming years due to the global pandemic, there is already a large online market, consisting of teachers who embraced technological innovations early by choosing online teacher jobs, i.e. remote tutoringRead more

How to Learn New Words Fast: 13 Smart Techniques for Language Learners

The ability to speak one, or more, foreign languages is an increasingly sought skill in today’s world. However, mastering a foreign language means more than just memorizing vocabulary words – it takes time to properly learn a language, but it is ultimately worth it as it gives us broader access to education and information and allows us to connect with people from all over the world, making life decidedly moreRead more

9 Great Benefits of Partnered Study Sessions

You’ve dropped ‘social life’ from your vocabulary, spent your every night engaged in private study, you’ve focused until you head explodes in class, you’ve hired an awesome online tutor but still, the stress is getting to you and you just can’t get a handle on the work. It’s not you, millions and millions of students go through the same meltdown every year, as the pace and distractions of life, work and classes overcome them… and imminent tests loom on theRead more

16 Ways to Express Gratitude in Russian

Expressing gratitude in a foreign language Saying thank you is an important part of everyday communication in all dialects in the world and the Russian language is no exception. Even though it is such a simple expression, it can mean a lot to the recipient and reinforce bonds between people. As in every language, there are many different ways to say thank you in Russian depending on the context we find ourselvesRead more

The Benefits Of Language Exchange With Native Speakers While Learning A Foreign Language

Whether you’re emigrating to Spain next year, visiting Taiwan for a year on a work visa or trying to pass your high-school French exam… no matter what your reasons are for learning a foreign language, the idea of taking on a new tongue, especially from scratch, may seem more than just a little daunting. This might have something to do with the fact the two languages rarely follow the same set of rules or constructive processes, and learning a language is not nearly as simple as learning new vocabulary and keeping the grammatical rules the same. For example, English past tense adverbs indicate whether the verb was continuous like I was waiting or perfect like I had waited, simple like I waited or perfect continuous like I had been waiting; while Mandarin employs an aspect particle to indicate the time and nature of the verb, without modifying the verb’s form at all. This is a sticking point for Mandarin speakers learning English, who struggle to adapt to changing verbs which, in their language, always stay the same. Likewise, though for English speakers trying to master spoken Mandarin, Mandarin employs pitch to indicate variations in the meanings of words that a second language speaker might read as phonetically identical, as opposed to English where pitch alters the emotional connotation but certainly not the core meaning of a word. The fact is, while your syllabus or theory lessons are vital to forming a solid foundation in your new language, the best way to put what you’ve learned into practice is by exchanging meaningful language and conversation with a first-language speaker. Supplement Your Syllabus Lessons With Active Language Exchange You may have heard it said that some people are linguistically gifted, finding it easier to take on a new language than others. This may not be as true as you think, and may instead have everything to do with the way a language is learned and how it is practiced. For example: Are you learning Spanish conversationally or theoretically? Are you learning theory exclusively or are you supplementing theory lessons with regular, practical language exchanges? You see, language and thought are inseparable. Cognition is, to an extent, dependent on your available language constructs and, more often than not, you make sense of what you have observed by using words in your mind. It follows that learning a new language, especially one that employs a very new set of rules, is akin to learning a new way of thinking. For a Mandarin 2nd language English learner, leaning the structural theory of English tenses may be like trying to balance an equation when you’ve never had an algebra class in your life, it boggles the mind. In cases like this, where the theory behind a language is so foreign that it makes the language seem cognitively inaccessible, engaging in active language exchange, with a native speaker, is the perfect way to supplement your theory-based lessons and make the most out of your language learning syllabus. By practicing language usage with a first language speaker, struggling students may find themselves becoming linguistically gifted after all, even if the theory seemed like algebra at first! When you practice a new language in conversation, the lights ignited by your language syllabus lessons will start to burn brighter and those theoretical sticking points that seemed counter-intuitive will now be illuminated by context. Think of it like learning to drive: learning driving from a parent who lets you practice on the way to the store is easy… but learning from an instructor who expects you to know all the theory first can be very tricky indeed, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and nervous behind the wheel! Language is the same! The most effective course of action to true driving mastery is taking lessons with a professional instructor while practicing regularly with a parent or friend. Likewise with language, learning your language theory from a tutor is essential, but practice with a native speaker makes it perfect! The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis There is a popular theory in linguistics named the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis of linguistic relativity: it states that the structure of a language directly affects a people’s world view or cognition. So the way your language is constructed, in other words, has affected the evolution of your culture and it’s people’s way of thinking/living. This theory also works in reverse as, for example, the way verbs or nouns are constructed, categorized and chosen in two different languages may tell you much about the variances in cultural focus, among the native speakers and originators of those languages. For example, the Spanish language uses different forms of the word you to indicate whether the subject is a friend or family member, or a person above the speaker in social standing. You might see this as speaking to the rich friendship and familial bonds of Spanish speakers, as well as the exaggerated cast differences in Spanish societal history, for example. It follows that practicing language through a realtime exchange of conversation and culture, with a native language speaker, might help you to understand the peculiarities of the language you are learning. Furthermore, it’s easy to see the value of native language teaching when you consider the level of misunderstanding which could arise, should you use a learned language in a company, without paying heed to these culturally-rooted nuances. Some languages won’t make these distinctions for the word you at all. In cases where new distinctions need to be learned, however, once again, there is no substitute for practice with a native speaker, who’ll be quick to highlight cases where you’re at fault or using words in a way that’s not exactly common practice. It’s easy to see why so many people believe the theory of linguistic relativity to be true if you look at some more examples of the principle in action: For example, most languages describe spatial relations in terms of the body, i.e.: left, right, front, back, yet many tribal peoples, such as certain Australian Aboriginal tribes, describe spatial relations in terms of fixed directions on the earth, i.e.: north, south, east, west. So, if I were speaking in one of those aboriginal languages right now, I might say that my coffee mug is on my desk, just north of my iMac. Strange but true… and deeply rooted in culture, as all language is! Much can be read into this and more often than not, as an English speaker like me, you may have no idea which way is north at any given time… I wouldn’t blame you, however, as Australian Aboriginal peoples are far more connected to the earth and open sky, they are deeply aware of the position of the sun, where it rises and where it sets. They use their sense of direction to judge the time of day and need to know whether the sun is low in the west or low in the east… whereas Siri robotically announces the time to me on the hour, every hour. Spoken language, as spoken by the culture to which a language is native, exemplifies this theory of relativity even more. There are countless words in the English language which are lost in time because popular culture simply has no place for them anymore. Likewise, there are numerous synonyms for ‘car’ but there’s only one name for ‘badminton racket’. The best way to put language into practice is to speak it with a native language speaker in an active cultural and language exchange. A nature language speaker will quickly tell you that you shouldn’t ask ‘where the motorized vehicle is located’ but rather ‘where the car is parked’. Language, thought and culture are inextricably linked, when the world was slow and people fewer, Shakespeare was en-vogue and small-talk was considerably more time-consuming… but now, in the 21st century, we opt for speed of delivery, now that the streets are bustling and the coffee break is short! Language lessons will tell you the ‘right’ way to use language, but language exchange will teach you the common way to use language. So, while it’s necessary to have a theoretical language backbone, regular practice through supplementary language exchange will make real-world usage a whole lot less daunting to navigate. Language evolves with culture and these evolutions are often not picked up in standard language syllabus lessons, they are, rather, best imparted by supplementing your lessons with meaningful and constructive Language Exchange, with a native language speaker. Get All The Practice You Need With Eurekly’s Free Language Exchange It goes without saying that correct or common pronunciation, common usage, dialects, and slang are best mastered through supplemental practice with a native-language speaker. These elements of language aren’t common topics in standard language syllabus, yet failing to grasp them can lead to inefficiency, misrepresentation, and confusion when you put a language into practice. To be clear though, not taking your language theory and syllabus lessons would be something like learning to drive without knowing the rules of the road, likely to make things very difficult for you at the next intersection! In other words, you should work hard to absorb the theoretical basis laid down for you by your regular language tutor, but do yourself a favor and get some real-world practice, by supplementing lessons with language exchange. In a setting like the Language Exchange Sessions now available for free for students, language learners are given the opportunity to engage in free, real-time online language exchange with native language speakers… the perfect solution for learners looking to master their new language fast and make real sense of language theory! During Eurekly Language Exchange, parties can meet, converse, share cultural differences and practice language skills that actually work in the real world, and they can do it as often as they want, for free. This provides the perfect platform for picking up pronunciation, slang, dialectic and popular nuances, and is the ultimate way for a student to learn how a language is really used, it’s cultural relevance and much, much more. Language Exchange Sessions on are more than just language practice, they are cultural exchanges and language-habit forming opportunities that are invaluable as a supplement to theoretical, syllabus based tutoringRead more

Skyrocket Your Teaching Income: TOP Tips to Successfully Market Yourself Online as a Tutor

Teachers Go Online The Internet, arguably the most useful technology of modern times, is rapidly changing the face of many professions. Teaching is no exception to this. Read on to explore the vital role of the Internet in education and exactly how to market yourself as a teacher online. The Internet is changing teachers’ lives Technology has undeniably greatly changed the face of the classroom and, with it, teachers’ lives. With tablets, laptops, and smartphones seamlessly connected to support learning in class, teachers are embracing technology to enhance both students’ learning and their practices. The Internet not only simplifies teachers’ lesson preparation, with a lot of software available out there that allow them to plan interactive, multimedia-rich classes, but it also significantly aids assessment, making it faster and helping them give real-time feedback to their students. The Internet now also makes communication between teachers and students instant, meaning teachers can be contacted at all times with questions and initiate group discussions on the curriculum, engaging their students more effectively. With more and more students opting to take classes online, it looks like the shift to technology-based learning will keep impacting the teaching profession more and more. Advantages and disadvantages of the Internet for teaching The Internet can both benefit and pose challenges to the teaching profession. We list some of the most significant advantages and disadvantages below. Advantages: Provides access to a wide breadth of information: The Internet means that teachers have the ability to access resources from all over the world with the click of a button, which can greatly facilitate lesson planning. Bridges communication gaps: Teachers using the Internet to post information and reminders on curriculum and assignments can help to avoid miscommunication with students. This information can also easily be shared with parents via e-mail, which allows them to stay on top of their child’s performance. Energizes education: Teachers who use the Internet in the classroom often manage to get students more excited about learning than their counterparts who stick to more traditional teaching methods. Interactive online activities can make complicated subjects fun and easier to understand. Disadvantages: Contains a lot of inaccurate information: Given that anybody can post to the Internet, it is inevitable that a lot of incorrect facts end up permeating the web. Students who do not question the reliability of their sources may use and learn wrong facts about anything from historical information to scientific data, making the teacher’s job more difficult. May foster cheating: The Internet has made it easier than ever to find services offering academic papers for sale and, as such, raises many concerns for plagiarism and work ethic that have to be dealt with strictly by teachers. It can be a distraction: Students may find it hard to concentrate in class when surrounded by digital devices and it is argued that they can learn less when allowed by teachers to use computers or tablets. Marketing yourself online as a teacher With millions of teachers around the world competing for jobs, the importance of knowing how to market yourself online cannot be understated. The most successful online teachers are the ones who manage to build up many referrals and maintain a good online presence, thus making their business grow. Marketing yourself online as a teacher involves a range of self-promotional activities, from creating teaching blogs and videos, to getting a logo and a professional website and interacting with students on educational topics on social media. Reasons why more and more teachers choose to market themselves online To get the word out about their services in what is a competitive professional environment. To showcase their teaching abilities and build confidence in their service. To increase their income, by attracting more students. The role of social media in self-marketing The presence of social media is growing vigorously in every aspect of our lives. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram are some of the world’s most popular social networks with many millions of active users and teachers should think of them as an opportunity to easily reach their audience and increase their clients. Effective social media marketing for teachers means developing a thoughtful brand by sharing and generating knowledge and content related to their services, in order to reach and engage with students and other educators alike. Teachers will benefit from developing a solid social media strategy to promote themselves online. Below we outline how to market yourself on social media. Instagram Promote yourself as an Instagram teacher Instagram can be a great tool for showcasing your work and promoting your teacher’s brand. Create an account especially dedicated to your teaching services and update it regularly. Your posts can range from pictures of completed student projects and exciting classroom activities to educational photo and video tutorials on your teaching subjects. Use industry-specific hashtags to maximize your reach and engage with content made by like-minded educators, to increase your visibility on the platform. Getting more Instagram followers Here are some different techniques you can try to grow your Instagram following: Using hashtags: Instagram users most often discover new content by searching for hashtags they are interested in. Make sure to accompany your post with teaching-related hashtags, in order to be easily found by students and other teachers. Creating competitions: A sure-fire way to get audiences to pay attention to your Instagram is giveaways. Offer discounted online lessons or other privileges associated with your services to people who follow your account and interact with your content. Posting attractive images: As Instagram is a visual platform, you are guaranteed to increase your following by consistently posting quality images that are colorful and attention-grabbing. Participating in “Follow Loops”: Many teachers work together on Instagram to help increase each other’s following, by participating in “follow loops”, otherwise known as follow-for-follow strategies. Making your teacher Instagram account inviting Some tips to make your Instagram account attractive and inviting include the following: Use your best images: Pick high-quality images that authentically represent you as a teacher and that will appeal to your audience, such as snippets of classroom activities. Create stories: Instagram stories are a very popular feature. They enable you to communicate messages in creative ways and allow your audience to engage through polls and comments. Write thoughtful captions: To maximize engagement, it is important to accompany your images with captions inviting the audience to participate and share their perspective. Connect your content to current events: Posts on current events tend to get a high level of response and remind your students that classroom content can be relevant to real life. Be positive: By posting consistent positive content, you become an inspirational figure for your students and can shape important attitudes about school and learning. Warning: Keep in mind that posting photos of your students is not considered appropriate, as it violates their privacy and can be downright dangerous by exposing their location to potential predators. Facebook Creating your Facebook teacher account When creating your Facebook teacher account, it is important to keep it clean and professional. Ensure your personal account is private and use your teacher account exclusively for education-related purposes. Choose a professional photo as a profile picture and list your educational background professional teaching achievements. Updates to your page can include announcements, blog posts, and videos about the subjects you teach, in order to establish an online community around your classes. Communicating with students via private messages Facebook, as a platform, has a large focus on personal, one-on-one interactions and makes it very easy for teachers and students to communicate quickly and directly. However, it is a legal grey area in education whether private communication over the Internet is appropriate and should be allowed. While a lot of schools do not yet have policies in place that prevent this, it is best for teachers to stay on the safe side of the law by restricting communication to the official, monitored and supervised platforms in order to not inadvertently cross professional boundaries. Using Facebook to promote yourself as a teacher When getting started on Facebook, it could be very useful to post an advert about your services. Once you start to build up your following, you should aim to keep your audience engaged by regularly sharing photos and videos of student projects, activities, and events and content related to the subjects you are teaching. This is, essentially, marketing yourself, as not only posting on Facebook can give your students’ parents a glimpse into what their children get up to daily, but it works to inspire trust and confidence in your services as you are building yourself up as a thought-leader in the education community. Ways to use Facebook in the classroom Facebook can be a lot more than a self-marketing tool, though. A growing number of teachers are actually using the social networking platform creatively to boost engagement in the classroom. Here are some ways you can do that too: Create a Facebook group for your class: Groups on Facebook have privacy settings, meaning that teachers can make a Facebook group for their class that is a safe place to share information online. Use the Facebook Timeline for class projects: The Facebook Timeline feature can be a fun way to share presentations. Share multimedia: Resources, such as videos and website links, can be shared across the social networking site. Create Facebook polls: Students love taking polls, so this added Facebook feature helps to keep them engaged with the curriculum. Use Facebook Live to provide additional help: Facebook Live allows teachers to record videos which students may view through live streaming or later, a feature that works wonders for supplemental learning. Pinterest Pinterest for teachers Pinterest is a favorite platform with educators, as it is a great place to find inspiration for lessons and classroom activities. Using online “pinboards” teachers can save anything from photos to blog posts in one easily accessible and usable place. Pinterest not only contains a huge wealth of posts with tips for teachers to look through, but users can also create their own pins linking to their website, blog or other social media and gain exposure themselves. Teachers can also create collaborative boards on the platform, making it a truly interactive tool. Earning money from Pinterest as a teacher There are several different ways to make money as a Pinterest teacher, such as: Affiliate Marketing: With affiliate marketing, you receive a commission for every sale that occurs from your referral link within one of your posts. Teachers should focus on sales of products that fit within their niche, i.e. education. Selling Your Own Product: Creating a pin linking to a product, such as an online course, could be a great way to boost your tutoring income. Re-pinning others’ pins to win an audience and, indirectly, make money: By pinning people who are in your target audience’s pins, you draw attention to your own, thereby building a following and potentially gaining new clients. ‘Teachers Pay Teachers’ Teachers Pay Teachers, commonly referred to as “TpT”, is an open online marketplace, where teachers come together to sell and buy original educational resources in digital, downloadable formats. Since its establishment, it has become widely popular with educators across the globe, who use the platform not only to earn extra teaching income but also to communicate with a very active community of like-minded professionals. Teacher Blogs What they are Teacher blogs, often referred to as edublogs, are blogs created by teachers for educational purposes. These blogs help teachers share their knowledge and ideas and allow them to connect with their reader-base of other educators and students, all while establishing their professional brand. The rising popularity of teaching blogs With websites like WordPress, the landscape of blogging architecture is becoming increasingly simplified and so it is no wonder that more and more teachers are turning to blogging. Blogs give teachers credibility since they are evidence of their passion and commitment to their work. Educational blogs also often create conversations around various topics, inviting students, parents and other teachers to participate, establishing strong and curious learning communities. How to increase your income with a teacher blog: Here are some ways to make money through your teacher blog: Placing ads: Ads are the most straight-forward way to make money from blogging. Partner up with companies that share your values. Using affiliate programs: An affiliate program pays you a percentage of sales each time people click from your site to theirs and buy something. Doing product reviews: Many companies are looking for credible bloggers to review their products online for a fee. Online Tutoring Platforms What they are Online tutoring is the process of tutoring in an online, virtual environment in which teachers and students are separated by time and space. Most tutors use established online tutoring platforms for their lessons, which are websites that incorporate the latest technological developments on the market to create sophisticated learning environments. Using online tutoring platforms has both benefits and challenges for teachers. Benefits: They offer user-friendly, synchronous teaching environments that allow easy interaction and file-sharing. They often provide training for tutors. They vet tutors professionally, thereby increasing their credibility. They actively help tutors find students. Challenges: They sometimes present technical problems or system compatibility issues for the users. They can be impersonal, with only a small percentage of tutors actually using the optional digital whiteboard and chat features. They do not allow students to develop a full range of skills in certain specialized subjects, given online courses are rarely accompanied by practical requirements. Time to Market Yourself! In today’s age, marketing oneself is paramount for professional success. In an online education environment that is rapidly growing, teachers can significantly increase their earnings by successfully using Internet resources, such as blogs and social media, to build a credible brand. While online tutoring platforms often help to advertise their tutors, it is wise to independently maintain a carefully-curated online presence that will earn your clients’ confidence. Join Eurekly to reap all the benefits of tutoring on one of the world’s leading online tutoring platforms and maximize yourRead more

Student Motivation: The Road to Success

Student motivation and student engagement are the secrets to successful learning. Students who are motivated by and engaged in their own learning adapt better to a classroom environment and perform considerably higher academically than their unmotivated peers. What is student motivation? Student motivation is the learner’s desire to actively participate in the learning process in order to realize their academic potential. Students can be either internally motivated (performing school tasks because of the enjoyment they derive from them) or externally motivated (performing tasks to obtain a reward, such as approval or good grades). Factors affecting student motivation Student motivation can be affected by several factors. Some of these include: PARENT INVOLVEMENT: Students are more motivated when parents show interest in their learning material and actively listen and inquire about their day. TEACHER ENTHUSIASM: A teacher’s enthusiasm in the classroom leads students to experience greater interest in and enjoyment of the material, enhancing their motivation. TEACHING METHODS: Students are more likely to feel motivated when educators use a variety of creative teaching methods. The importance of student motivation for students Motivation is particularly important for students because: it correlates with academic success; it has a direct impact on how we learn and leads to lasting learning; it promotes drive and determination. Student laziness Student laziness can often be a manifestation of boredom or hide other reasons behind it. Research has found that the laziest students are often some of the most cognitively gifted. It is a teacher’s role to try and find the reason behind a student’s laziness and to encourage motivated and active learning. What is a lazy student? While a “lazy student” could vaguely be defined as one who refuses to do the work to fulfill their potential and maximize their capability, it is important for teachers to evaluate kids thoroughly before labeling them as such. It is widely argued that what is actually behind laziness is anxiety, boredom or distraction. When teachers are confronted with what may look like laziness, like a late assignment or avoidance, a simple motivational speech for students will not do. They should examine the situational factors holding students back rather than labeling them as “lazy”. Studying techniques for “lazy students” Students who are bored at school and appear to be lazy often use a variety of techniques to help them study, such as: Studying little and often vs. in one go Using helpful apps that break down the material and make it easy to understand Watching videos on the material to help them remember it Studying with a friend in order to go through the material in-depth Causes of students’ laziness There are many reasons for the so-called students’ laziness. Some of these include: FATIQUE: mental activity requires energy and when we are exhausted, our mind can’t work effectively. POOR LIFESTYLE CHOICES: for example, staying up late and consuming junk food, which makes us lethargic. DISTRACTION: for example, spending too much time on social media. LACK OF SELF-WORTH: when people do not believe in themselves, they lack the drive to achieve goals. The teacher’s role in student motivation Teacher’s personality While a teacher’s job is to transmit academic knowledge to their students, their personality can make or break how effective they are. The emotional involvement, enthusiasm, openness, and creativity of the teacher are just as important as their in-depth knowledge of the curriculum. The importance of teacher enthusiasm Enthusiasm is one of the most essential characteristics of effective teachers. Teachers who have a positive attitude and show passion and excitement in their teaching tend to be very successful in engaging students and stimulating responses from them. Research shows that high levels of teacher enthusiasm have a positive impact on learning, making students more willing to contribute in class and even remain disciplined. Sharing common interests with your students Sharing common interests with the students helps to create a bond with them. Studies show that when people share commonalities, their relationships improve. It is, therefore, wise for teachers to reveal some details about themselves to students, in order to relate to them and find out what they may have in common. Common interests could include sports, the outdoors, a love for animals or pop culture. How to motivate unmotivated students and help them study A teacher can help students stop feeling lazy while studying using a variety of different methods. First of all, teachers should try to discover the reason why students are procrastinating and feeling lazy. They should then focus on finding the best learning method for the students and encourage different styles of learning. Breaking down the material into reasonable chunks and helping students to understand the topic vs. just memorizing it will also help students to study, as will linking the material to real-world connections and encouraging short-term milestones. Setting goals Setting goals is fundamental to the academic success of students and can help them develop critical thinking skills, which will serve them all throughout life. Discussing goals with students Settings goals and targets is key for improving academic performance. Teachers can be very valuable in helping students set goals to achieve their full potential, as they know what each student’s strengths and weaknesses are and will be there to track their performance. A comprehensive discussion between teachers and students about their learning objectives and the steps necessary to achieve them will help students take ownership of their learning and foster positive growth. Examples of personal learning goals Here are some examples of personal learning goals: Improving reading skills (by reading one chapter of a book per day, for example) Better grade at a certain subject (for example, going from C to B over a semester in Biology) Developing good conversational skills in a foreign language (e.g. by incorporation of chat in the language into lessons) Improving essay-writing skills (for instance, by assigning short story writing tasks) Improving test-taking skills (e.g. practicing better transition times from task to task in the classroom) The significance of breaking large goals into small tasks When a goal is too large, we can end up feeling discouraged, dejected or overwhelmed. Focusing on short-term educational achievements is a solution to this problem. Proper goal setting breaks intimidating aspirations into achievable milestones and leads to better results and greater levels of contentment and learning motivation. Motivating students using a vision board Vision boards are collages of inspirational images, quotes, and visuals that serve to motivate people to pursue their goals. They can be very effective when applied to education as they can be revisited daily by students and help them to visualize their academic goals, making them seem measurable and attainable while providing clarity and focus. Student engagement Educators are cluing onto the fact that student engagement plays an important role in learning and are investing more and more thought and time into their student engagement strategies that will encourage them to participate in class and boost progress and achievement. What is engagement in the classroom? Student engagement refers to the degree of attention, participation, and interest shown by students during a lesson in the classroom. Engaged students will normally listen, take notes and ask questions, demonstrating that they are invested in learning. More specifically, there are three different types of student engagement: EMOTIONAL (how students feel about their education experience) BEHAVIORAL (how attentive and active students are in class) COGNITIVE (how intrinsically motivated and invested students are in the learning process) Student engagement’s impact on learning Student engagement results in higher educational achievement and can help students learn better by remembering more about lessons. Furthermore, a study in the British Educational Research Journal suggests that there is a connection between engagement in school and overall achievement several years later. Making a boring class fun An interesting class encourages student engagement, which is why educators are always looking for fun, new ways to deliver their lessons. Some suggestions for making a boring class fun include the following: Creating classroom games (for example, spelling bees for an English lesson) Using technology (for example, to connect to a classroom in another country during a foreign language lesson) Relating material to real-life situations (for example, by giving students example tax calculation-related examples in Math class) Inviting a guest speaker on a class topic (for example, someone who has lived through a historic event in History class) Student competition When prompted appropriately, competition in the classroom can be a very effective tool for discouraging complacency and maximizing student engagement, pushing them to excel. Prompting competition among students There is a lot of debate surrounding the topic of whether prompting student competition is good for them. While it can be argued that competition at school builds character, develops drive and will help prepare kids for future life as adults in a competitive world, it can also lead to feelings of envy among students and diminished self-esteem. Educators should try to create a co-operative rather than a competitive environment, aiming for “healthy competition”. The healthy competition requires teamwork and positive participation, building classroom community skills in the process, and does not focus on winning. The advantages and disadvantages of students competing with their peers There are both advantages and disadvantages to students competing with their peers in the classroom: Disadvantages of competition: It puts the learning process at risk by prioritizing winning, making the concepts of knowledge and understanding the subject less important to the outcome. It affects student relationships, potentially resulting in feelings of hostility and resentment among them. It creates performance pressure, which can be very stressful for some kids. Advantages of competition: It makes lessons fun and exciting, encouraging student participation. It helps to develop a sense of drive and purpose in children, making them better positioned for when they find themselves in competitive environments in the future. It encourages student communication and friendships. The advantages and disadvantages of students competing with themselves Some students can take the competition a step further and start to compete with themselves, always trying to improve their previous achievements. This type of ‘perfectionism’ can have both advantages and disadvantages, which are discussed below: Advantages of self-competition: It encourages motivation, determination, and persistence. It results in better grades. It discourages procrastination. Disadvantages of self-competition: It carries the risk of stretching oneself too thin. It causes anxiety over small mistakes. Rewards Motivating students with rewards Motivating students can be one of the most challenging aspects of teaching, which is why a lot of teachers turn to rewards in order to stimulate learning and motivate good behavior. While rewarding systems are generally considered acceptable in education, there is some debate as to whether they should be used or not. The benefits of rewards, according to proponents of using them in the classroom, include increased motivation, boosted self-esteem and a feeling of pride and achievement which often brings improved results. On the other hand, it is argued that rewarding leads to entitled attitudes and decreased effort for tasks not involving rewards. Effective educators should use rewards cautiously and steer clear of material motivators. Some great non-material and creative ways to reward students include: Extra or longer recess time when a class has demonstrated good behavior A field trip (even if it is a neighborhood walk to learn the area’s history) Board Games Movie day Self-rewarding Self-rewarding is vital for boosting one’s mood. When a behavior is followed by a pleasant outcome, we are more likely to repeat it, which is called positive reinforcement. Therefore, it is important that after a long study session or achieving desired results, students take some time to appreciate their efforts and reward themselves. Some common ways of self-rewarding are: A Netflix break to watch an episode of a favorite show A day off studying to spend with friends outdoors Catching up on social media The problem with parents paying students for good grades Many parents pay their children for good grades as a way to increase students’ drive and motivation. However, there are many reasons why experts advise strongly against doing so. Paying for good student performance at school teaches kids that learning is not valuable in and of itself since the ultimate goal is money. Working hard in school should be the norm and not an exception, so paying for grades is highly likely to create entitled attitudes that will follow them onto their adult lives. Help your students find their road to success! Student motivation is the key to realizing one’s full academic potential. Teachers must concentrate their efforts on creating engaging learning environments for their students and work alongside them to encourage them to reach their goals. While classroom competition and reward systems are popular ways to motivate students, teachers should think outside the box when it comes to choosing their motivating strategies. As Eurekly is a large community of learners passionate about improving their academic skills, you should have no trouble finding a truly motivated student on ourRead more

21 Questions About Classroom Discipline That Bother Every Teacher

Classroom discipline is very important for effective teaching and learning, yet it constitutes one of the biggest teacher challenges nowadays. Before teaching a new class, teachers should work intensively on their classroom management strategies for achieving school discipline. Read on to learn everything you need to know about keeping your classroom in order! The importance of maintaining classroom discipline 1. What is discipline in the classroom? To define discipline, one must refer to the strategies a teacher uses to manage student behaviors during lessons, as well as the code of behavior that the students must comply with. This code of behavior usually includes rules of attendance, dress code, social behavior, and work ethic. The term may also be applied to the punishment that is the consequence of the transgression of the code of behavior. 2. What are the 3 types of discipline? The three types of discipline are preventative, supportive, and corrective discipline. PREVENTATIVE discipline is about establishing expectations, guidelines, and classroom rules for behavior during the first days of lessons in order to proactively prevent disruptions. SUPPORTIVE discipline, on the other hand, occurs in the case of a transgression. It is usually a verbal warning or a suggestion for the correction of behavior. CORRECTIVE discipline comes into play when a student has failed to change his or her behavior after repeated attempts at supportive discipline. It mostly refers to the consequences delivered following an infraction. 3. What is the importance of discipline in schools? Discipline in school life is extremely important, as it sets the foundations for students’ success later in life. Discipline is a transferrable skill in life and it can bring on many virtues, such as professional success through being focused and staying healthy. Discipline is what helps students achieve good performance in school and it is responsible for keeping order in the classroom. 4. How does poor classroom management affect learning? Poor classroom management affects students’ motivation, which inevitably negatively impacts their academic performance. Teachers who fail to manage a classroom effectively by not setting rules and routines and doing inadequate preparation create learning environments that are chaotic and counterproductive for learning. Discipline problems Even the most experienced teachers have to face classroom discipline problems. Unruly students’ behavior means that instructional time is lost and students get off task. It is a teacher’s job to figure out why a discipline problem occurs and how to best solve it in a well-managed learning environment. 5. What causes discipline problems in the classroom? There are many reasons that cause discipline problems in the classroom. Handling discipline problems requires sensitivity and insight on part of the teacher, in order to understand the root of the issue. Some common causes of discipline issues in the classroom include problems at home (e.g. if a student is experiencing an emotionally turbulent time at home) and learning disabilities, like ADD, which can cause a lack of focus. Discipline problems in the classroom are also more likely to arise if there is a lack of clear communication about the rules and consequences for breaking them. 6. What are some disruptive behaviors in the classroom? Some common disruptive behaviors in the classroom include: talking in class, late arrivals or early departures, persistent use of electronic devices, eating, drinking or sleeping in class, and, more seriously, threats of violence and physical and verbal aggression. 7. What are the major and minor disruptive behaviors? There are two categories of disruptive behaviors in the class: minor and major. MINOR disruptions include unintended hurtful words, not working on tasks, lateness, and use of electronic devices. While they require a warning from the teacher, they can be easily ignored and do not seriously disrupt teaching or learning. MAJOR disruptions, on the other hand, go beyond rudeness and include profane language directed towards others, sexual words and innuendo, physical threats, vandalism, and stealing. 8. How do disruptive students affect the classroom? Disruptive behavior by students interferes with the teacher’s ability to effectively deliver a lesson, as it requires a large amount of the teacher’s time and attention in order to be addressed. Disruptive students can also influence their peers with their actions and encourage them to behave similarly, compromising the teacher’s authority. 9. How does students’ behavior affect learning? According to research conducted by the United Federation of Teachers, exposure to even mild classroom disruptions lowers the academic achievement for all students in a class. Constant interruptions can interfere with focus and detract from learning. Handling disruptive behaviors: psychologists’ advice There are many different types of disruptive behaviors that can prevent effective teaching and learning and, so, it is vital that teachers work on perfecting their practices for managing them. Teachers should create classroom behavioral expectations from the first day of class by outlining both productive and disruptive types of behavior, the process by which disruptive behavior will be addressed, and the consequences for ongoing disruptive behavior. 10. How do you calm a noisy classroom? A noisy classroom is a very common occurrence that can be disruptive to the teaching and learning processes, whether it is caused by students raucously returning to class from their breaks or classmates gossiping together during lessons. The best way to ensure a quiet classroom is by cultivating a peaceful atmosphere and establishing respect for the teacher from the get-go. You must set the tone and expectations on your first day, making students understand the classroom is a place for learning and not socializing. To quieten chatter in a class, resist raising your voice, which only works to encourage more noise. Help students familiarize themselves with your non-verbal cues for quietening down the class, which include hand signals, counting down backward from 5 until silence is achieved, or clapping. 11. What exactly should I say if a student is disruptive in class? Psychologists’ advice Disruptive students can be a big distraction in class. Even when teachers clearly set boundaries for behavior, disruptions may occasionally take place. Teachers should be careful to assess each incident individually and respond appropriately, as causes for disruptive behavior can vary. In all cases, teachers must remain calm and firm when addressing disruptive students, explaining to them what it is that they are doing wrong, why it is a problem, and what the proper behavior is. It is important to listen to what students have to say and make them feel understood. Here are several phrases that you can learn by heart and apply them during your class in case of disruptions. Remember that it’s not only your words that matter but also your polite and friendly intonation and your overall teacher’s confidence. Psychologists suggest that teachers use the following phrases if they want to stop a conflict as quickly as possible: Instead of accusing the student of his or her bad behavior, describe the problem in a calm manner. E.g.: Say “James, you keep talking while I’m explaining the new topic” instead of “James, keep quiet!” Use I-messages instead of you-messages. This is the best way to show how you feel without making anyone else feel guilty. E.g.: Say “I can’t focus on our discussion because there is too much noise in the classroom” instead of “Stop being so noisy!” Draw the disruptive student’s attention to how his or her classmates feel. E.g.: Say “How do you think Martin felt when you interrupted him?” instead of “Stop interrupting Martin!” Speak to a particular student instead of addressing the class as a whole. E.g.: Say “James, it disturbs me when you are talking during the lecture” instead of “We all know that it is prohibited to talk during the lecture”. Remind the disruptive student of classroom rules. If you have none, it is advisable to establish them and to hang them on a wall. E.g.: Say “James, remember that according to our classroom rules, talking during the class is considered disruptive behavior. If you continue talking, I will have to ask you to leave the classroom”. If you have just given a reprimand to a disruptive student, switch to your work with the rest of the class as quickly as possible. E.g.: Say “James, remember that according to our classroom rules, talking during the class is considered disruptive behavior. If you continue talking, I will have to ask you to leave the classroom. So, we’re discussing Jack London’d novel ‘Martin Eden’ now. Ann, what’s your opinion about the relationship between Martin Eden and Ruth Morse?” Instead of instructing the disruptive student on how to behave, verbalize his or her emotions first and show your understanding and support. E.g.: Say “James, you feel very upset about the results of your control work. You must find them very disappointing” instead of “James, stop wining over your control work”. Having verbalized your student’s emotions, switch his or her attention to some other task as quickly as possible. E.g.: Say “James, you feel very upset about the results of your control work. You must find them very disappointing. And now, let’s play a game”. When asking a disruptive student to leave the classroom, be firm but polite. E.g.: Say “James, unfortunately, it’s time for you to leave the classroom” instead of “Get out of here!” Should you find it difficult to remember everything this when you are stressed, then just remember two short phrases that are always appropriate to start your conversation with. These are “Please, …” and “I need you to…”. Whatever message you start with these phrases, it will sound polite and conciliative. E.g.: Say “Please, answer my question” or “I need you to do this task”. Here is an insightful video on how to deal with your students’ challenging behavior: 12. How do you discipline a student without yelling? Can teachers yell at students? Even though teachers are allowed to yell at students in order to discipline them, it is not advisable as it sets a poor model. Yelling is a sign of loss of control that can be counterproductive, driving a wedge between a teacher and his or her students and provoking fear. There are plenty of methods that do not involve yelling that a teacher can use to maintain order and control in their classroom. Establishing routines with students from the beginning of the year is particularly vital to maintaining good discipline, while a variety of classroom management techniques (such as countdowns and revoking privileges) can help you gain control of unruly students. 13. How do you handle a conflict between students and teachers? The student-teacher relationship can be complicated and it is not unusual for students to end up in conflict with their teachers. Some conflicts are healthy and arise naturally through debates due to competing ideas on various issues. However, if the conflict persists and appears to be antagonistic in nature, you should address this directly with your students. Listen to them to get their perspectives and carefully explain your position on the conflict in a way they understand. Teachers can seize this opportunity to teach their students the rules of civic discourse and effective self-expression. When you have tried everything to no avail, try getting assistance from a colleague, the principal, or administration. 14. How do you deal with aggressive students in the classroom? Aggressive students often antagonize others and are drawn to physical fights or verbal arguments. Aggression constitutes severe misbehavior and should, therefore, be dealt with accordingly, with stiff consequences that send a clear message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated. If you are breaking up a fight between students, you must remain assertive and speak in a firm, no-nonsense manner. If necessary, you could consider giving the aggressive student a time-out, separating them from the rest of the class. 15. How do you handle an argumentative student? Argumentative students who disrupt the class can be difficult to handle. If you are wondering how to discipline an argumentative student, the answer is to try to understand the motives for their behavior and allow them to be heard without losing your temper. This will help you get to the root of the problem. While confronting the student, you must show them that you have control over the situation by being firm and outlining the consequences of their actions. Speak with the student privately and create a behavior management plan for them to deal with possible anger management issues. 16. How do you respond to a disrespectful student? When confronted with disrespect, an easy mistake to make is to take it personally. Disrespect can be an indication of complex psychological issues that a student is facing. Resist the urge to admonish, scold, or lecture the disrespectful student and respond with kindness instead, modeling the type of behavior the student should ideally be exhibiting. Turn the incident into a memorable lesson for the student by delivering consequences, but ensure to do this privately, rather than shaming them in front of their peers. For overt disrespect, students’ parents should be notified by letter, an act which adds a layer of seriousness and accountability. 17. How do you deal with disturbing students? It is very important that teachers talk to the parents of disturbing students who are constantly making trouble. Empathize with the student and try to get to the bottom of their behavior, while staying in close proximity with their family to monitor progress. Discuss the behavior with your colleagues, in order to develop a common and consistent approach for dealing with the student. Above all, while dealing with a disturbing student, you should remember that it takes time for problematic behavior to change so stay patient and positive. Student punishment Before proceeding with student punishment, teachers should think carefully and understand its pros and cons. While punishing students can quickly stop a problem, it tends to be a short-term solution that can often be accompanied by negative side-effects, such as a drop in positive attitudes toward school and a more negative perception of teachers. 18. Should teachers punish students? Punishment is defined as inflicting a penalty as retribution for a transgression. According to that definition, since students often commit transgressions, it would make sense to punish them for bad behavior. However, teachers must refrain from applying such a “black and white” approach to dealing with unruly behavior and use critical thinking instead to determine whether punishment is necessary. Teachers should always consider alternative options for dealing with bad behavior, before proceeding with punishment. 19. Which forms of student punishment are acceptable? In most of the Western world, acceptable forms of punishment include but are not limited to demerit systems, daily report or behavior contracts, apologies, time-out, detentions, being made to write essays, and being made to pick up litter around the school. 20. Which forms of student punishment are unacceptable? Why? A study conducted by Unicef identified over 43 types of punishment that were being given to students at schools around the world a decade ago, including physical punishment (e.g. smacking) and psychological punishment (e.g. verbal abuse and isolation). Punishment in schools differs widely from country to country. For example, while Sweden has made corporal punishment illegal, it remains popular in Nigeria. In the majority of Western countries, any type of physical punishment is unacceptable as it is illegal and constitutes criminal assault. While some schools use physical exercise as a form of punishment (i.e. press-ups, sit-ups, running) and it is not illegal, it is not considered acceptable as it is cruel and can be degrading for students. 21. Is it acceptable to punish everyone in the class for one person’s mistake? Collective punishment is the term used to describe the situation when a group of students, for example, a whole class or a whole grade, is punished for the actions of one or a few students. Examples of collective punishment include being taken off recess early or the class being banned from using a certain recreation area. Most schools do not allow collective punishment, as it is known to demotivate well-behaved students and is unlikely to improve the offender’s behavior according to a 2019 study. Patience is a virtue Knowing how to maintain student discipline in a classroom can be one of the most challenging aspects of teaching. Teachers must learn to evaluate situations on their individual merits in order to know how to respond, distinguishing between minor and major disruptive behaviors and delivering the appropriate consequences and punishments where necessary, always according to school policies. In case of severe problems with classroom management and students that are unresponsive to corrections, teachers should reach out to colleagues for support and involve administration and the student’s family when necessary. Further reading Need more information on the topic? Read these outstanding books and articles written by successful educators who managed to take classroom discipline under their control: Davidson, J. & Wood, C. (2004). A conflict resolution model. Theory into Practice, 43(1), 6–13. Edwards, D., & Mullis, F. (2003). Classroom meetings: Encouraging a climate of cooperation. Professional School Counseling, 7, 20-28. Kohn, A. (2006). Beyond discipline: From compliance to community. Reston, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Kraut, H. (2000). Teaching and the art of successful classroom management. (3rd ed.). Staten. Island, New York: AYSA Publishing, Inc. Lewis, R. (2001). Classroom discipline and student responsibility: The students’ view. Teaching and Teacher Education, 17(3), 307-319. Marzano, R.J. (2003). Classroom management that works. Virginia, USA: ASCD. Roffey, S. (2004). The New Teacher’s Survival Guide to Behaviour. London: Paul Chapman Publishing. Rogers, B. (2006). Classroom Behaviour: a Practical Guide to Effective Teaching, Behaviour Management, and Colleague Support. London: Paul Chapman Publishing Ltd. Tauber, R. (2007). Classroom management: Sound theory and effective practice (4th ed). Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey, Greenwood Publishers. Vitto, J.M. (2003). Relationship-driven classroom management: Strategies that promote student motivation. Thousand Oaks, CA: CorwinRead more

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