Why do I correct papers with a pencil!

The purpose of any assessment should be to increase student learning and build their confidence in that subject. 

Why do I correct papers with a pencil! 

I have been asked this question a number of times by students and parents. The answer is simple -Red is not a positive colour! Why use a colour to correct a paper that is so loaded with negative thoughts? When students see a red mark, the first reaction is that something is incorrect, it upsets and discourages them. It’s intimidating to see red marks all across a paper.  

All corrections are hard for students to receive, even when meant constructively.  

The fears within a student for an assessment stem from the fear of failure rather than the assessment itself. Traditional grading methods need to be revised. The idea that grading work should be about spotting mistakes and correcting errors is a very narrow one. There will be far more student learning going on if the purpose of the assessment was centred around showing the students what they know, rather than what they don’t. This is not to say that the students shouldn’t made aware of what is incorrect, but that can’t be the focus of an assessment. Errors should not be treated as defeats, but a second chance to redeem yourself.  

The aim of education in modern times should be to increase opportunities for students to be active participants in the learning process. An assessment should encourage the student to see the errors and evaluate the mistakes positively, it should engage the student in self evaluation.This purposeful reflection about what they are learning and how they are learning it, gives students a voice in their learning process and methodology.  

Positive comments, self evaluation, personal attention, non-red ink – these are just some ways to create an environment of learning that is tied to enhancing student success, student self-belief and student progression through the educational channel. 

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Dear Parent, let your child fail!

While wishing for failure may go against our parental instincts, it’s healthy — and necessary. Failing helps our children learn important life lessons about how to adapt, work hard and persevere; they’ll develop coping mechanisms, and qualities such as responsibility and accountability. 
At times I want my child to fail!
It is only when he fails that he will have an opportunity to get back up.  It is only when he fails that he will learn to work hard.  It is only when he fails that he will learn what doesn’t work.  It is only when he fails that he will learn that sometimes people need help.  It is only when he fails that he will learn empathy for others struggling.   It is only when he fails that he will learn that life is not always fair.  
I want my child to fail – and you should want yours to also.  If your children are struggling, help them to learn to succeed.  Don’t make success easy for them, but teach them the skills they need to succeed.  If your children are not struggling at times in school, ask why not.  Create a curriculum that challenges them and makes them work harder. Learning from failure is one of the most important skills they will ever learn.
The secret to a kid’s future success is to raise them in an environment where they are encouraged to test the boundaries and engage themselves regardless of the results. 

If children cant handle failure, they lose the opportunity to experiment and learn from past experiences. 
Disappointment can benefit the child, as long as you teach them how to cope with failure and how to bounce back from it.
I want my child to fail.  It is how he will learn to succeed.

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Staying Alive Vs Feeling Alive

Staying Alive – We have a lot to do each day. What all we do depends on the various roles that we play – parent, professional, friend, spouse. The social norms of how these roles are to be fulfilled, traps us. The fear of failure in any of these roles, paralyses us. We spend all our waking hours in trying to succeed in these. This is called Staying Alive!

Feeling Alive – to be so consumed in the passionate bliss of the moment that you don’t think about the past or the future. You just enjoy what you’ re doing and love every piece of it. A moment ……. When looked back months or years later, automatically puts a smile on your face!

We need to have more of these moments in our lives.

In our effort to juggle the various roles in our lives, we learn to exist in life. But we forget how to live it. We need to have fun. Having fun doesn’t mean you don’t take life seriously. It just means that you enjoy whatever it is that you are doing ………. Having fun with your kid, having fun at work.

We all have different interests that we want to pursue, and also have various responsibilities that may restrict our ability to achieve them. But we can always try and make one small change, or try at least one small risk.

The point is to do something to feel passionate, excited, and exhilarated. To accept challenges and move out of the comfort zone. To feel alive doesn’t mean complicating your life, it just means to do things you want to do and enjoying the process.

Occupy some part of the day with things that put a smile on your face.

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My calling

My Calling ……….
What is it that makes you happy? The first obstacle that we face in answering this question is to figure out what it is that truly makes us happy. If you didn’t have to worry about the constraint of time, the pressures of everyday life …… What is it that you would do?

The minute you answer that question …. You have found your calling.

My WORK is my calling ……

Being a teacher is my true calling. Over the years I have worked as a teacher and have considered myself lucky to have been able to turn a passion into a profession. But that’s all that I considered it to be …… A passion to teach! It’s only now that I realised that all of us have a function to perform ….. Mine is to teach. This is my purpose in life.
Today even after 13 years of being in this profession, every time I take a class it feels as if I am doing it for the first time. I am just as excited as I was all those years ago. It’s exhilarating to see a student succeed and to see the joy of achievement. The moment that I cherish is to see the look of accomplishment when a student has arrived at the solution all by himself. Knowing that I have helped someone achieve their goal, gives me the motivation to work even harder.
Everyday as a teacher I learn something new ….. I learn about people and their behavior.
My interaction with my students has taught me number of valuable lessons ….. Not just about teaching but also about life. I think the biggest mistake teachers make is when they teach the way they were taught. When they think of a student as inferior, less intelligent and less knowing. Over the years what has struck me as the most important aspect of being a teacher …. Is the ability to listen. To pay attention to what the student is saying. It has helped me improve my way of teaching and has made me value a students opinion.
For me being a teacher is all about an emotional connect ….. I have very often been told that isn’t the way one runs a business. But how can I effectively teach without motivating the student to learn. My student will be passionate about learning if he sees me passionate about teaching.
My calling is what I do ten hours a day …. Can’t think of a better way of leading life!

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