Tuesday, October 7, 2014

#30GoalsEDU: Support Character Development

Some people think that teaching is the easiest profession in the world. I mean .... we get "the book", teach our lesson and go home.... Right?
.....
Wrong!!!
Our profession has to do with communication. Getting to know so many different people, so many different characters.
So, what is our job?
Just teach someone a foreign language?
How do we influence the kids? I mean except for their parents and siblings, we are the people these kids spend time with.
Is our job to help with their character development?
Is it our job to teach them how to behave?
Well... yes and no actually.
When it comes to little kids everybody should help to "shape" their personality. Teach them manners, what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is bad and that people have the power to make people sad or happy.
With teenagers, that's a totally different story. My students usually trust me with things they wouldn't tell their parents. And that is good from one point, because they do come and ask a grownup to help them.
The question is though.... I am a language teacher. Should I get involved in their character "shaping?
Should I be there for them as a parent? As a friend? Help them discover themselves as a personality?
Talk with them about various subjects like "Equality", "Kindness", "Justice", "Morale" ?

I do care about them and I do keep contact with them and I am always there when I am needed.
But should I do that?
I am NOT their parent. I am NOT their friend (Teachers are not usually friends, they are just teaching)
To tell the truth, I am being their friend. I do share things from my personal life with them - family, work, people. I do want them to feel close and not just see me as an "encyclopedia"
I do believe that they should be taught some more things but the language.
The advantage in my case is that I am a language teacher, so I can use the foreign language to actually talk about various situations.
Here are some very useful links on what is character and activities for Kids' development:

 http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/06/25/what-is-character-its-3-true-qualities-and-how-to-develop-it/

 http://www.pinterest.com/MelodyeReynolds/character-development-lesson-ideas/

 http://www.rootsofaction.com/developing-character-strengths-a-vital-goal-of-education-part-2/

I'd love to know what you people think on that and how you act!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

#WeekChallenge : #Journal writing Day 7

Sunday today and the last day of the actual #WeekChallenge... Not that I have been writing interesting things... Just my boring everyday life!!

Work/ teaching/ students:
No lessons today, but lots of preparation for the week to come: printing activities, writing plans, reading, looking for new videos and games.
Also went our with my dear student Katerina to catch up and talk on her options.... well mostly to catch up after summer! It is so nice to see students evolving!!! A nice Sunday morning!!

Family:
Sunday today and traditional lunch at "grandma's" - chicken roll and baked potatoes - yummy - accompanied by Retsina and "Baba" as dessert (yes I now double training for me tomorrow)

Gym:
I was supposed to go running at the seafront this evening, the new gym is organizing runs with trainers once a month, which is a wonderful idea, but.... it actually rained. It has stopped now, but it will be pretty slippery and the humidity is killing me ( short breath and asthma) so I guess I'd better stay home (shoulder is not in its best shape as well)

Health/psychology:
Much calmer than the past days and struggling to stay that way. Work helps!

I don't really know if this journal-diary writing has helped or not. It will make me remember what to avoid next time I am in similar situations (maybe?)

That was it! Next post with more professional matters!!!



Saturday, October 4, 2014

#WeekChallenge: Journal writing: Day 6






Rainy Saturday today and one more day on the #WeekJournal!!
Health / Psychology / Gym:
Slight shoulder dislocation from yesterday's fall, in pain, on painkillers.... No weight lifting for me today (or this week more like it) but I will try to spin later in the evening.
My mood is getting better, I mean I have decided not to get so worried about things I cannot change. As long as I have my health (physical and psychological) I will survive.
Time to control my nerves and my anger though.... Working on it...
I also decided to do sth for myself and keep myself happy for a change. It is not time to lose it....
So next weekend will find me in Athens (YES!!!) and also thinking of taking part in RPM Initial training soon (??? we'll see!!)

Teaching/ work:
I had a cancellation today, so I took the chance to have a lesson with Gianni (instead of tomorrow) - In a really great mood, both me and the kid, lots of laughter and hugs and jokes!
Continued with my prof. student - exam prep. - you know vocabulary exercises, exam tips, grammar review, that kind of stuff.
Last one, advanced level student, worked on some grammar (tenses review), talked on competitive sports (pros and cons) and in the end watched one of my favourite videos and talked about loneliness and relationships.

Saturday evening will be full of preparing for next week and housework.... 
To be continued...

Friday, October 3, 2014

#WeekChallenge: Journal Writing: Day 5





Health/ Psychology:
Day started with a total nervous breakdown, lots of arguments and really bad vibes around the house.
I really don't know how I could switch off the mood button and go to work today. Every day is actually getting worse and it is really hard to pretend that everything is alright when I go to work.
I went to the hairdresser's (after 5 whole months) to get a haircut and a dye and the result is fantastic, but still it has not changed the way I feel right now.

Gym/ Nutrition:
No gym today, because I actually wanted to have my hair done. I cannot watch my diet the last few months, it seems impossible. I am not disciplined and I am not careful of what I eat at all. It seems that if I hadn't been training so hard, I would be at least obese by now....

Work/ Teaching:
Lesson Marathon again today with my big backpack that weighs over 10 kg today - I think I am going to use the British Council site for kids for my last lesson. Last time we created a monster and my student had a lot of fun! After creating the actual monster, he made him sing dance and even sneeze!! Really funny!
I'll stick to the book and some extra conversation themes with the rest of them today.
Tomorrow is a new day....

Thursday, October 2, 2014

#WeekChallenge: Journal Writing: Day 4


Teaching/ Work:
A new lesson marathon today with 15 minute breaks in between. Sometimes I wonder, have I taken up more than I can handle?
Will be working with videos today, two wonderful sites I use are: Kieran Donaghy's Film English and David Deubelbeiss' English Central.  Wonderful ideas with prompts for discussion in the first one and lots of vocabulary and pronunciation activities in the second one! I have had the luck to meet Kieran Donaghy in person this March in the Thessaloniki convention and experience all these wonderful ideas!!
Today it is also reading time, since we are preparing for the TIE exam with one of my students and the book we have chosen is "Great Expectations".

Gym:
TRX class with Penelope today at the new gym. This person is the most positive person I have ever met! Always with a smile with her face and lots and lots of energy! I am also taking a friend to try out the new gym as well!

Health/ psychology :
Still a bit under the weather, but I keep going. I am not in the best of moods. I think I have reached my limits. It is a great responsibility to know that everything depends on you financially. I really don't know what to do, I will have to give up a lot of things to support the family all by myself and I can't help wondering how this summer will be... with no income at all? And what if I get sick?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

#WeekChallenge: Journal writing day 3


Work / teaching:
Wednesday today and it is my unofficial day off, since I have only a couple of hours work. Yes, still exam prep. work, but I thought we should practise some vocabulary today and play "taboo"!! It is fun and a great way to recycle vocabulary!
Since I don't have much to do with work today, I guess it is the day that I actually have to do some cleaning around the house, go to the supermarket... stuff I do not particularly enjoy but they have to be done!!!

Gym:
Spin class with my favourite gal Rena today. I have decided to stop spinning every day and keep it to 2-3 times a week, because I am beginning to build a lot of muscle on my quadriceps!!!! I am going to try different classes (so far I have only been spinning and "Body-compating"), like Yoga/Pilates. TRX and Abs hips classes, as well.

Health/ psychology:  
I had to take a Panadol cold & flu yesterday to keep on moving at work. Pseudo-ephedrine works wonders I have to say, still not in the best of moods, but today I am going down-town for a lesson, so I guess I will also do some window-shopping and people-observing!!!

Have a nice day people!!
To be continued...

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

#WeekChallenge: Journal writing day 2


Health / psychology:
Feeling a bit under the weather today, I hope I will not be worse during the week!
Some days are harder than some others, knowing that you HAVE to work or else you will not be able to pay the bills!!!

Teaching/ work:
Lesson marathon today with 7 hrs...
Mostly exam prep. and advanced levels. It's a real pity because when you know that your students can express themselves in the foreign language and you can work on so many projects, i.g. videos, songs, art, literature, but you simply can't because you have to prepare them for an exam ...
I have tried to make a difference and use non-exam- related material just to make them go beyond that.
Unfortunately I cannot change the system on my own. It seems that everybody in Greece hates the exam-mania but they all work towards it. Even teachers criticize me for not being part of the system.
As I mentioned before, I have to work, I bring the only income in the family... so Dora... give them what they want... you can still be a good teacher, even in exam prep....

Gym/Nutrition:
Pilates class at my old gym. I am not a Pilates person, it has nothing to do with the trainer, I just don't like it....  the thing is, I cannot spin every single day. I need different forms of exercise plus stretching... Especially that because my quadriceps are off since Saturday evening!!!  What I also find bad at my old gym, is that in the mornings, usually older people take part in the classes. Lots of "talking" and complaining that you are actually standing  in "their spot"... (as if  they have rented it or sth)

Other stuff:
I came across my old math tutor while I was on my way to a lesson!! She has not changed at all!! I remember her always nicely dressed, a hairdo and make up, a real lady!!! While I run around in my training clothes and sneakers!!!LOL!!
Tiring day...
To be continued...