If you are interested in education, or an educator yourself, you might find interesting notes and resources. This might strengthen your beliefs or validate your choice. Hope the posts inspire and offer some interesting insights.
Join the journey of creating, collaborating and reflecting in this exciting field!
When we start working as a teacher, often we forget to record our progress. We do know that we have learnt every time we enter a classroom and every academic year, we strive towards excellence. We set standards that are on par with professionals from the corporate world.
And ,we do this without expectations or incentives. We love the profession and we are here because we believe that we make a difference.
Teaching is probably the only profession that celebrates others’ progress – journal jotting
You can list the following and keep updating your list every month:
a) Courses you took up – courses online,a Degree that you obtained after you started working etc
b) Books you read – any book that you completed reading and that has added value to your learning
Awards or Recognition for teachers is rare and you need to document this with the description of who,when and for what you got the award.
A note of appreciation from the Management or the School Head can also be entered.
Testimonials – students/parents/peer
Students’ testimonials,gratitude note from parents or peers are something we cherish.
Workshops you attended /conducted
If you conduct workshops,record the session and the feedback you receive from the participants.
If you attend workshops,describe your learning and reflection.
a) Classroom activities – Record any new activity that you have planned
b) Students Assessments – Thinking of a different assessment?Add that to your dossier
c) Reflection – Your Reflection, Students’ responses – We take classes with the best of intentions – did the class go as per your expectation?Write down your reflection and if students receive your ideas well,make a note of that as well.
Snapshot – If all this seems like too much work,an excel sheet can be used to create a snapshot of your portfolio.Or you can use this Power point template : Portfolio
Go ahead !Feel proud of all that you have done for every child, what you do makes the world a better place!
The session plan below is structured and facilitated by Neha G Utmani – Visual Art and Art Appreciation facilitator for EY, PYP, and MS at Trio World School Bangalore
Using art as a tool facilitating Children to learn about themselves and construct their own identity within the context of community.
What is Identity?
Identity is not fixed. It is shaped by experiences. When children have positive experiences they develop an understanding of themselves as significant and respected and feel a sense of belonging. However, relationships become the foundation for the construction of identity – ‘who I am’, ‘how I belong’ and ‘what is my influence?’
In early childhood settings children develop a sense of belonging when they feel accepted, develop attachments and trust those that care for them. As children are developing their sense of identity, they explore different aspects of it (physical, social, emotional, spiritual, and cognitive), through their play and their relationships. When children feel accepted they feel safe, secure and supported and grow in confidence becoming explorers and learners
Session focus: Physical and Emotional Identity
Warm up: Introducing each other and making each other feel special ( you are special activity)
Main activity: students were given a portrait template and the session started with a discussion
What is this template all about?
So this is a face?
Whose face it could be?
Why do say I don’t know/ it is no one’s face!?
If you want to make this template/sketch look like it is you, what would you do?
When the group arrived at “you need to work on the details” / “you need to add eyes, ears, nose, and mouth only then it will resemble me!.” move to the next level.
I facilitated this session for PYP and Middle school children focusing on identity in different levels
Level-1 Focus and instruction: focus on realism for the little once, as physical identity is very strong in them (I wouldn’t want to initiate the concept of abstraction); it is best to work on skin as skin concept, feel the texture of oil pastels make this blank face look like you, if you have forgotten how you look, let’s try to remember how we look by feeling our face (feel your forehead, eyebrows, eyelids, nose, lips, ears, neck feel your hair remember the kind of haircut you have) now draw eyes, nose, mouth, hair – to make the blank face look like your face.
Level-2 Focus: understanding favorite color, feeling the texture of oil pastels,
Color the face with your favorite, (do not add eyes nose and mouth) just work on the hair
Level-3 Middle school grade 7and 8
Focus: Physical and emotional you
Students were asked the following questions what is art to you? Students write down their responses on post-its and stick it on the Art Room door.
Most of the students arrived at the conclusion that art is painting, drawing, singing, dancing, feeling, emotion, expression! I then asked if art is an expression and what if we don’t know how to draw/paint/sing/dance/write,? we don’t express? Then most of them said no we still express we talk and express, we express with our body language. We then worked on the main activity.
Instructions given :
“Close your eyes and experience your physical you by gently feeling your face, keeping your eyes closed to focus on the qualities you have, what kind of person are you! Use the blank template to work on what makes you who you are”.
This session was interesting for me as well, witnessing the student explore and understand them self.
I thank Mr. Vinod Singh, Ms. Hema Narayanan and Ms. Talia Nicholas for giving me this opportunity.
Below are the photographs to the session.
Template given to the students
Students of grade 7and 8 write their response on what is Art
When I stepped into the teacher’s shoes more than a decade ago, I was nervous and had to figure out most things. Now there’s no looking back. Yet I know that it will really boost your morale to know there’s someone to support you on this incredible journey. So here we are congratulating you on your career choice and guiding you as you progress.
If you are new to teaching and are waiting for the academic year to begin, there are plenty of resources on this website that will help you create great classroom experiences.
Five practical to do steps :
a)Preparation is important – the more prepared you are, the more confident you feel. If you are nervous about talking to a group of students, practice talking aloud in front of the mirror.
b)Wear comfortable clothes. If you are attire is comfortable, you will feel good
c)I was told to maintain a strict face when I entered the classroom the first time. Nothing could be more wrong than this piece of advice. Go with a warm smile and greet students enthusiastically – it is your first connect with students.
d)Give a short introduction about yourself, if you feel like it. You can then ask students to introduce themselves in a unique way. For instance, “I am Govind and I love playing basketball”.This will help you remember at least some of the students, especially if their responses are interesting. Do this only if you have the time to spare else you can dive into your subject, right after introducing yourself
e)Devote the last five minutes of your class for interaction. You can prepare for your next class, depending upon this interaction. I was very reluctant to admit “I don’t know” to any student. I would feel guilty about not knowing something that a child seemed to know. Now I know better. It is okay to say that you don’t know and will find out when posed with a question for which you do not know the answer.
There are other simple strategies: walk around the class as you teach, use the black/whiteboard/screen as you explain. Pause to make sure students are being attentive.
How would it be if we can incorporate small activities that promote self-care in a creative manner? There are plenty of activities that help create a balance. The more I read about chronic illnesses and the stress that children undergo, the more I realize that it is so very important to focus on mental health. We are teachers, parents, adults passionate about education yet we are unable to usher in any revolutionary change. Maybe then, the change has to start from us – within us.
We are also increasingly aware of the pressures (peer,societal,parental) pressure that children face. What can we do now that we are more aware?
Take better care of ourselves so that we can be more empathetic when we deal with children – journal jotting
Build a routine that includes self-care. You can weave in interesting activities into your everyday schedule.
Pick up a brush and paint something.
Take a pen and write your musings.
Write a letter to your friend.
Take a walk in the park
Potter in the garden
Learn a new hobby
Meditate with music
Plan a surprise for your loved ones
Sit in silence and just observe the beauty all around
Try making eco-friendly products at home
You can share any of these activities with your students too.
Have a class display board and write down your self-care activity for the week . Ask all the students in your class to write one activity they will take up for that particular week.
Do share your classroom board display – the more we share, the more we learn and the more we help students learn!
Accepting your self will help you move ahead in every sphere of your life. When you are in a state of acceptance, the way you respond is better.
“Life, after all provides you a chance every moment to get better. Counting your blessings, feeling grateful create a sense of harmony within you” – journal jotting
Try this activity: choose a glass jar and tie a ribbon around the lid.
Make a label –Blessings jar.
Use one sided paper, handmade paper or bills – any paper that has space to write.
Write the date .Think for few minutes about what made you feel really good. It might be that you cooked a great meal today, a friend called, you had an aha moment in class or an incident made you smile.
Benefits When you select a jar and decorate it/label it, you are setting an intention. When you use paper that is scrap, you are mindful of the resource and being earth sensitive. When you think about the happy incidents, you reflect more on the positive and feel grateful for your blessings .Lastly, even if you do not have the time to write in your journal every day, this 2 minute activity will calm you.
A week into 2019 now – how does it feel? Have you noticed the newness all around? Self help books, podcasts, online courses and videos, retreats that promise a better version of your self this year. I have been enrolling for many of these courses, where the content gives you few tips but then urges you to sign up (read ‘pay’) for the next level of training. Or, there are these five or maybe seven things you need to do every day to see results of whatever project you are working on. Now let me tell you this – it is not that these courses, posts, videos or books have not helped me. They have. Every time I read, it acts as a trigger to refine my thoughts. But there is also a sense of overwhelm. I signup for so many of these, that I sometimes only skim through the content.
I sign up for a 21 day meditation course that just requires 20 minutes of my time, but fail to turn up. Some how those three weeks turn out to be the most hectic, that whatever free time I get, I would rather curl up and sleep.
The reason I am sharing this? Well, as educators, we know that the year goes by as fast as we celebrate the New Year. Can we think of going through this year in a mindful manner? Was just reading about fixing our mind on one word – say “great” or maybe “compassion”.
Focus your mind on one word that you want in your life now. -journal jotting
You can then come back to this word whenever any event/situation/student’s behaviour upsets you. It’s been close to a week and it is helping me be a little less worried, and be more present with my students.
Find your inner voice – read/sign up for self-development if you want. Post that, reflect on any one positive quality that you want to work upon .Philosophers, saints, healers and management gurus stress that we offer our best, when we work upon our ‘self’.
And life need not be spent looking inward all the time – it is equally important that we share what we learn with peers, and our students. – journal jotting
There are plenty of resources that promote development of self and well being.
It’s the last month of the year 2018 – and most of us are fond of making new resolutions for the new year or maybe, re work on our old resolutions, our ‘old’ selves. We all accept this underlying fact -change is a constant.How different and wonderful will it be if we envision beautiful changes in a creative way ! We can first attempt this and then share it with students. All of us are aware of the stress, the unwanted pressure that students are exposed to. We can probably offer this as a tool to mitigate that stress .Students can make their imagination to create something beautiful and meaningful.
Here are few prompts – you can cut these / write down :
Quiet time Relax
These are just few prompts – you can create a positive affirmation vision board with these words.
Notes to self for the New Year – sample vision board
This is a simple vision board. You can make a large or a small board. You can use pictures or photos of yourself or the places that you want to see. The possibilities are many -this is a great learning tool for students as well to cope with stress and enjoy life.
The most important observation is :
Vision, by itself does not manifest results. Actions along with vision shall bring in results. It is better to keep our imagination fertile with positive thoughts even as we work. Work can eventually be for the upliftment or empowerment of others, rather than being centered around the self – journal jotting
There are many online resources and few sites that sell vision boards. But I think the best way is to make your own – keep the design simple or funky – it’s your creativity at work 🙂