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Archive for the ‘Teaching’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Choosing a Good Physics Tutor

Going Back To CollegeDifferentiating a good tutor with a mediocre one is the first step you can make to ensure your child reaps maximally from the fruits of education. Being entrusted with a teaching task is one of the greatest forms of honor in our life. This is because; the person given this responsibility must submit himself within the teaching career in regard to his methods, strategies and actually works all through in that profession to ensure the trainees under his career acquire full skills. But a tutor is bigger than a teacher because any tuition entails a lot of things apart from mere teaching. This is even more practical with sensitive fields like physics tuition.

A tutor not only teaches but also gets involved in other areas to impact positive attitude towards the tutees. Thus, teaching is part of the tutors work and it is not only in academics that tutors involve the tutees but also in shaping their characters. More so, a good tutor of O level physics tuition along with other types of physics should be well trained. It is not sufficient for a tutee to acquire only the academic knowledge but also more essential is the growth of their character. With this, they get their strength which motivates and goads them in pursuing knowledge that is pursued from good tutors. That is, a good tutor should be in a position to shape the character of tutees when pursuing their knowledge in school. However, mediocre tutors only impart on academic knowledge. That is all what differentiates good tutors from the mediocre ones.

It has been said that an educated individual without character makes for a “clever devil”. Normally, it is not new to see educated people that lack meaningful character and knowledge in society. As long as academic victory is desirable, wisdom should be sought and this cannot be acquired overnight. But character training is conducted when the tutor and tutee have taken adequate time together during the learning process. This is why in some cases the tutor-tutee associations last the entire lifetime of the latter.

Generally, a good tutor will influence the way your child is shaped towards academic victory. This can be measured as success attained within the career or good jobs that are attained after the course is completed. Hence, finding a tutor who is dedicated in raising the life value of others is a great treasure. Again, being called a tutor is taken with great honor since it is a recipient of an individual's mentorship.

How to choose a good tutor for your child:

– Explain to your tutee why the tutor is necessary and what the tutor has to accomplish.

– You can interview several tutors with the presence of your tutee.

– Check the credentials of the tutor. Confirm about experience, training and references. The tutor should be a certified teacher or with expertise in the career subject.

– Set goals for the tuition and come up with a tutoring plan.

– Monitor the progress of your child and the tutor

– Request for academic improvement reports after a few months.

Benefits of choosing a good tutor:

– Save time

– Relieve frustration

– Improve understanding

– Build confidence

– Foster independence

– Raise grades and scores

– Become empowered!

James Liao a.k.a The Educationist of Singapore, a MASTERS scholar from NTU, has been on the forefront of Singapore's education fabric for more than a decade. Through this period he has helped many students improve from F9 to A1 in Chemistry, Physics, A.Maths and E.Maths. As a result, these same students managed to qualify for Junior Colleges and most of them have already graduated from NTU, NUS and SMU.

PostHeaderIcon School Direct Creating Waves in Universities

British universities are feeling the effects of the government’s plans, announced last July, to expand the School Direct scheme that funds teacher training through schools and which is resulting in reductions in the number of training places funded through universities.

Already the number of university courses funded to train secondary English teachers has been cut from 54 to 28 while eleven geography courses and nine history courses have lost their funding. And, the position could get worse – the government’s aim is to increase School Direct places from 300 to more than 6,000 from September and reduce university-led provision to 26,000 from 28,000.

Under School Direct, students apply directly to a school or group of schools for teacher training. Universities are then contracted by the schools to provide the academic elements of training. This means that the funding a university receives depends upon how much business it obtains from schools rather than having places directly funded by government.

This system is creating uncertainty for universities. Even Cambridge University, which only recently was celebrating the first ever ‘perfect’ Ofsted report for a teacher-training course, is concerned.

Elaine Wilson, who runs the Cambridge Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) for secondary teachers, confesses that she does not understand the government’s motives for changing a system that has proved so successful. By cutting the number of students it funds directly, she says, government runs the risk of seeing the PGCE programme fold in the future, although there is no immediate risk.

Wilson says that she is not against change but wonders what evidence there is to support the new system. Students on the PGCE course already spend one third of their time in local schools. Cambridge is itself involved with the School Direct scheme but has only been able to fill 10 of 20 places allocated. There is also a complication for students in that they not only have to apply to the school but also have to complete Cambridge’s admissions procedures.

Voicing similar concerns. Samantha Twiselton, Dean of the University of Cumbria’s Faculty of Education, has no issues with the philosophy of training teachers in schools but says that, although Cumbria has been allocated 315 School Direct places, it is only budgeting for 200 to be filled because the recruitment process is untested. There was also a risk that too few teachers could be trained in the future because there would be less government control.

Other university teacher educators echo these sentiments. They say that the system makes cash flow more unpredictable and subject to fluctuation because schools’ needs will vary. Also, universities will probably have to wait until the school year starts to be certain of student numbers.

Professor Peter Tymms, Head of the School of Education at Durham University which currently has an ‘outstanding’ verdict from Ofsted, has said that losing the rating would leave the school in serious trouble. Other countries, he says, cannot believe that England wants to downgrade the role of universities in teacher education.

For his part, Oxford University’s Professor John Howson is concerned about the primary education sector. He points out that, by the end of the decade, the sector will need several thousand more teachers to cope with an expected pupil increase of 800,000. He doubts that primary schools will be able to meet this need on their own.

The government has added to the concerns by announcing that only those providers that receive ‘outstanding’ verdicts from Ofsted will be guaranteed any funding for teacher training in the future. It also raised the ire of university providers when Sir Michael Wilshaw, chief inspector of schools in England who is already under fire for negative comments he has made about the quality of schools, said that under Ofsted’s new inspection regime a greater proportion of school-based training was rated as ‘outstanding’ than university-based training. Describing the remark as ‘overtly political’, the Universities’ Council for the Education of teachers pointed out that the evidence base was too small as only four out of 73 universities with teacher training programmes were included in the verdicts.

Defending the government’s position, a Department of Education spokesperson has said that schools asked for more control over teacher training so that they could take charge of their own profession and better serve the needs of their pupils. The Schools Direct scheme is already proving popular, with schools reporting strong competition for places. School Direct does not mean the end of the important role played by higher education institutions. Rather, by creating strong partnerships with schools, they have the chance to increase their initial teacher training places.

The government’s confidence, however, may be misplaced. With September just a few months away, it is rumoured that, so far, offers have been made to students for only 10% of the available School Direct places, which is adding to the uncertainty. Clearly, these doubts will need to be resolved if this new system is to become a credible alternative to the traditional university route to a career in teaching.

– Alison Jones

PostHeaderIcon Best Chemistry Tuition for You: Online or Offline?

When studying, people have different ways of learning things and different grasping capacities. A good tutor is the one who understands the quality of his student and teaches him/her accordingly. Chemistry is a subject that requires a nice amount of concentration and dedication towards learning to be understood properly. Chemistry tuition then is something you will require in order to understand your strengths and weaknesses and confront them willfully.

Chemistry combined Chemistry Physics tuition and maybe along with the other subject of your choice is recommended for everyone learning the subject.

Offline and online, there are many options available for the tuitions in chemistry and other science subjects and the choice depends on one's attitude towards the subject. If you're a quick learner and do not have much time to give in travelling and thinking about it, online tuitions are a way to go for you. They will not only be a good option, but big money savers too. For those who want to learn face to face and have much more interaction involved, offline tuition is definitely a better option.

If you go for online tuitions, you get many advantages like it generally gives you the freedom of time since the lectures are stored online and you can simply watch them as per your convenience. It is also recommended since you do not have to feel shy about anything and you can freely post your doubts and have them solved. With all this, it proves to be a money saver as compared to offline and provides a better insight through various web links where you can find more researched articles on the topic you want to learn.
Offline tuitions have the biggest advantage of interaction. If you want your doubts to be solved in front of you and you want a moral support along with the teacher's guidance over the topic, offline tuitions provide a decent way there. If they are nearby your place, the commute time is something that has not to be thought of, although it is not necessarily a time saver. You can still get all the free online lectures in case of doubt, so having offline tuition will prove to be an added advantage.
As said earlier, both have their own advantages and disadvantages too. Chemistry is a subject that has to be understood with deep learning and understanding and a good tutor definitely helps in that. If you go for combined chemistry physics tuitions, you get to learn physics along with chemistry and both subject have many similarities on the same time when they have amazing contrasting differences too. Learning them together definitely gives a deeper insight in sciences.

Once you decide what to opt, you can just relax and concentrate on learning and having fun with the subject as once you know how to enjoy learning, it becomes a very easy task and you do not feel exhausted after hours of it. It just proves to be another fruitful exercise that helps you learn greatly.

James Liao also known as The Educationist of Singapore, a MASTERS scholar from NTU, has been on the forefront of Singapore's education fabric for more than a decade. Through this period he has helped many students improve from F9 to A1 in Chemistry, Physics, A.Maths and E.Maths.

Visit us at our website for more details and sign up for a free consultation now in order for your child to experience this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

PostHeaderIcon Lessons Learned from Teaching English as a Second Language

When it comes to teaching, it isn’t just a matter of teaching the children, you also soon realize along the way that you can benefit just as much from those students as they will from you. This is probably something seen in almost all movies involving teachers. Eventually the teacher comes to realize that they should have been learning from the students too. As much as it has become a romantic cliché, it is still true that if you aren’t getting something out of teaching then you probably aren’t as open to learning new things as you thought.

So, here are just a few of the lessons I managed to pick up along the way when I taught English as a second language (which has a particular need of learning from your students and fast).

Have a Plan Z

There is a good quote in the military that fits this one: “A plan never survives first contact with the enemy”. And sure, while the students aren’t your enemy, they can mess up the plans you had set out rather easily, just by the simple aspect of asking questions. And when it comes to asking questions, you want to be answering those as often as you can. Because your plans are bound to get messed up, having a plan B and C or even Z can be crucial, the key is that you want to be flexible to the needs of your students. If you keep getting asked the same questions over again, then maybe you need to change up your plan for that day to the topic that apparently wasn’t quite clear to your students.

Know the Staff

I will admit I am not always the friendliest person to get to know, especially in the mornings when I’m usually just getting to work for teaching and seeing the other teachers before the day begins, but even for me, when overseas or in an area you don’t understand the language for, knowing people who can speak your language and the other one you are dealing with, can make such a difference. Even if it isn’t a language barrier, just cultural differences can have an impact and having faculty members that know those students and can provide feedback can be crucial. So remember not just to learn from your students, but the other staff, and maybe you might enjoy some of the time with them. You will need some social interaction other than your students if you want to survive after all!

Take Your Weekends

This one any teacher can attest to. No matter how much work you might have to do on the weekends, if you aren’t taking some of that time to just relax and enjoy yourself and what you will find in an entirely new place, then you probably won’t be as effective when the weekday rolls back around and you have to start teaching again. It can be exhausting if you spend all weekend grading papers then go right back into school to teach. You need to take that weekend for yourself and then save the grading for random bits of time, or even after school or at lunch times. Just remember you need that rest and relaxation, you’ll be a happier teacher in the end.

Learning a Language

English as a second language means innately you are going to be dealing with other languages, many of which you probably don’t understand, know or had even considered to learn. That doesn’t mean it isn’t incredibly beneficial to both your students and you when it comes to learning their languages. Don’t worry, you don’t have to become fluent in a language unless you want to, but learning things like counting your basic numbers and things like hello and goodbye in the language they speak can have a significant impact, plus it can supply you with some comedy for your class. Nothing gets a class laughing better than the teacher trying to say ‘Take a five minute writing break’ and actually saying ‘take a brief wind break’.

These are just a few of my lessons and how they impacted me with learning and teaching. I’d love to hear about some other lessons people picked up from teaching in general and not just teaching abroad. And hopefully this will help you prepare to be open in learning your own lessons while traveling or teaching!

Christina Chandler is an enthusiastic poet and writer with a degree in English Education. She has spent a year in India and two years in Japan teaching English as a second language. She now continues towards her postgraduate degree in Higher Education.

PostHeaderIcon 6 Tips To Help Kids Learn To Read At Home

Teaching kids to read at home can be a fun family activity with life-long benefits. Learning to read is a valuable skill that serves many educational and everyday purposes. Here are six tips to help parents get started.

1. Set the right example

Young children often mimic their parents’ actions, from dressing up to yelling at the dog. When kids see their parents pick up a book to read, they will want to do the same. Keep a supply of reading material available so the kids will notice your interest in reading.

2. Create a comfortable reading environment

Make a corner of the family room or study a reading nook for everyone. Adjust lighting for reading visibility, and arrange sofas and chairs for seating comfort. Include an afghan or lap blanket for cosy evenings spent enjoying a good book. Set aside a reading time each evening instead of watching television. Discuss characters and plots, asking your kids questions to see how well they’ve understood the story.

3. Provide age-appropriate reading material

Check with the local librarian or a preschool teacher about the level of books your child should start to read. Picture books, pop-up books, and audio books or books with puppets are some favourite options. You may want to start by reading the book aloud to your child, and then as he or she becomes familiar with the story after several readings, you can read it together.

4. Choose a suitable reading program

For example, Montessori at Home recommends a three-step process to help kids learn to read: Phonics, sight words, and reading. As children begin to recognize sounds (phonics), they soon make sense of words by putting sounds together. The final step is putting words together to create short, relevant sentences.

There are plenty of reading programs to choose from, but most follow a similar approach.

5. Have realistic expectations

Some parents are so eager to help their children reach the exciting milestone of learning to read that they push a child to learn faster than he or she can manage. Some kids learn to read naturally on their own. Most become readers in gradual steps. Encourage your child to learn at his or her individual pace. Be patient when mistakes or delays occur.

6. Have fun with books

Share a read-aloud time before bed. Dramatize dialogue from a story, or dress up like favourite characters. Take family excursions to the library. Reward good grades and house chores with the gift of a kid’s book. Enrol your child in a school or online reading club.

Reading is a hobby as well as a skill. The world of books opens a wide vista of experiences and ideas for readers of all ages. Kids who read often and widely typically earn higher grades in school, and it prepares them for advanced learning skills that require more sophisticated levels of reading comprehension. Teaching children to read at home is a special gift that can be nurtured the rest of their lives.

This article was written by Little Learning Planet owner Racheal Tighe, an Australian primary school teacher with a passion for teaching kids how to read.