Importance of using students’ names in class

When I tutor students, I get to know them quite a bit better than the ones I teach as part of a class. They open up to me about anything and everything, and sometimes this lets me understand them better. I learn from them, just by listening. A thing that came up during one of my tutoring sessions (with a girl named Erin) was the use of names. She was complaining that one of her teachers only used terms of endearment to her students, instead of their proper names. So instead of calling her Erin, she would say: “Sweetheart”, or “Dear”. Even though this was of the only complaint (that she could really verbalize) about her teacher, Erin could honestly say that she didn’t like her teacher. Why is it that this seemingly small thing bothered her so much?

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Does a bottle filled with water or snow roll down a hill faster?

One jar filled with water, the other filled with snow… which one will roll down faster?

Question: Does a bottle filled with water or snow roll down a hill faster?

Prediction? Take your time. Think about it. Ask your friends, ask your kids, ask your parents.

Make sure to get explanations from yourself and all the people you ask, not just guesses.

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Textbooks – what is their purpose in our classroom?

In Canadian schools textbooks are usually large, hard cover, with glossy paper, filled with beautiful pictures, drawings, many “interesting factoids”, spanning a large amount of information. With these gorgeous books, the publishers and authors think that the books are devoured by our students, and that the students read them everyday expanding their mind. I don’t think this is really the case. There are many disadvantages to these textbooks

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Thinking about Diploma Exams – the dilemma of a teacher

What I teach in the class is usually not mirrored perfectly by the diploma exams. The types of questions I ask on my tests are different from those posed on the provincial exam. The topics emphasized by me (due to my preference or what I think is more important content) are not always the ones emphasized in the examinations at the end of the year. Therefore, when teaching such a course, during the final part of the year, I spend time on preparing my students for the provincial tests.

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