It’s never too late!

Hello my friends!

I wanted to share this truly inspirational video with all of you!

Always remember that, it’s never too late to make your dreams come true!Never give up!!!!

Love always,

Vassiliki xxxx

WHAT MAKES GREAT TEACHING?

Hello my friends!

Teacher quality is what teachers know and bring to the classroom. Teaching quality is what teachers do with what they know once they get inside the classroom. It includes the strategies and techniques teachers use to get students to learn. These strategies include understanding and applying the evidence on how students learn, using instructional best practices, enhancing strategies for instructional observation and evaluation, providing effective and ongoing professional development and establishing a common vision for philosophical beliefs about students and teaching (Kaplan & Owings, 2002).

There are many variables that affect instruction including the subject, grade level, learners’ needs and desired outcomes. Effective instruction promotes excellence and student learning outcomes through best-practices and teaching practices based on high standards of instruction and student engagement.  It includes elements such as effective questioning and use of assessment by teachers. Students’ perceptions of their learning environment influence their approaches to learning (Ramsden, 2003). For instance, they are more likely to demonstrate deep approaches to learning when they perceive that teaching is high quality, they have some voice in what is to be learned, and they are aware of the goals and standards required in the unit. Specific practices, like reviewing previous learning, providing model responses for students, giving adequate time for practice to embed skills securely and progressively introducing new learning (scaffolding) are also elements of high quality instruction.
Effective teaching practices need to occur in physically and psychologically safe climates. A safe learning environment is the keystone for learning. Effective teachers create physically and emotionally safe learning environments in which students can take academic risks, make mistakes, obtain feedback and revise their initial ideas and understandings (Kaplan & Owings, 2002).

The positive effects of high quality teaching are especially significant for students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Evidence suggests that when taught by very effective teachers, students can gain an extra year’s worth of learning (Hanushek, 1992, Sutton trust, 2011). Research evidence from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development affirms that “teacher quality” is the most important school variable influencing student achievement (2005).

According to Christopher Day and Qing Gu in their book Resilient Teachers, Resilient Schools, Building and Sustaining Quality in Testing Times, the definition of quality in teachers should be understood in the broadest possible sense. It goes beyond the technocratic concerns for performativity and test results. The continuing aspiration for quality is driven by teachers’ sense of vocation and care about and for their pupils. It is about the extra mile that the best teachers willingly travel to motivate each one of their pupils to learn and to bring about the best possible achievement in them. It is related to their passion, commitment and continuing enthusiasm for their own learning and development which is importantly supported by their school and which results in an abiding sense of efficacy, hope and belief that they can and do continue to make a difference in the classroom.

Thank you very much for reading!

Love always,

Vassiliki xxxx

 

GREAT TEACHING AND THE POWER OF WORDS

Throughout human history, our greatest leaders and thinkers have used the power of words to transform our emotions, to enlist us in their causes, and to shape the course of destiny. Words can not only create emotions, they create actions. And from our actions flow the results of our lives.

Anthony Robbins

Hello my friends!

Words can hurt and shock, or they can heal and lift spirits. Words can change lives, for better or for worse. Words are not only powerful, but they can have a last impact.

Be aware of students’ feelings when receiving assessed work back because they can be particularly sensitive to any comments you have written on their work. Giving students face-to-face feedback can be very powerful and productive. Good feedback promotes involvement and shows that the teacher is taking an active interest in the learner. The Great teacher speaks genuinely and listen openly. Spending time with a student means a great deal. Whenever it is feasible turn to them for help. Say thanks. Be on the lookout for even little things the student does that are meaningful to you. Be specific as to what you appreciate. Ask a question. The Great teacher is open to their suggestions. When the student does something positive, acknowledge it. Recognize the positive result.

Bob Greene writes: “A few words though they mean little at the time to the people who say them, can have enormous power. We need to be more aware of the effect that our words might have on someone else. We also need to understand that words we often utter carelessly or while in an emotional state can have a lasting impact. Greene points out that positive words can also have a major influence and can last a lifetime. His story is about a professional writer who was shy and lacked confidence in his childhood. But something happened in his high school English class that changed his life. It was a routine occurrence-his teacher returned a writing assignment to him. He doesn’t even remember what the grade on that paper was, but he does remember the four words she had written on it: “This is good writing.” This was a young man who liked to write and often dreamed of composing short stories, but he lacked the confidence until that day. His teacher’s little note got him to think differently about his abilities, and it was the beginning of  a successful career in writing. To this day he believes that it would never have happened without those four words written in the margin of his paper. Greene concluded his article this way: “So few words. They can change everything.”

Great teachers use words of encouragement. And words of encouragement create an atmosphere in which students can thrive!

Love always,

Vassiliki xxxx

 

 

 

The story of a blind girl

Hello my friends,

I would like to share with you a story I found online which teaches us that we all have to be grateful every single day.
There was a blind girl who hated herself just because she was blind. She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her. She said that if she could only see the world, she would marry her boyfriend.
One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her and then she could see everything, including her boyfriend. Her boyfriend asked her, “Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?”
The girl was shocked when she saw that her boyfriend was blind too, and refused to marry him. Her boyfriend walked away in tears, and later wrote a letter to her saying:

“Just take care of my eyes dear.”

This is how human brain changes when the status changed. Only few remember what life was before, and who’s always been there even in the most painful situations.
Life Is A Gift
Today before you think of saying an unkind word–
think of someone who can’t speak.
Before you complain about the taste of your food–
think of someone who has nothing to eat.
Before you complain about your husband or wife–
think of someone who is crying out to God for a companion.
Today before you complain about life–
think of someone who went too early to heaven.
Before you complain about your children–
think of someone who desires children but they’re barren.
Before you argue about your dirty house, someone didn’t clean or sweep–
think of the people who are living in the streets.
Before whining about the distance you drive–
think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.
And when you are tired and complain about your job–
think of the unemployed, the disabled and those who wished they had your job.
But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another–
remember that not one of us are without sin and we all answer to one maker.
And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down–
put a smile on your face and thank God you’re alive and still around.
Life is a gift – Live it, Enjoy it, Celebrate it, and Fulfill it.

Love always

Vassiliki xxxx

Want a young child to “help” or to “be a helper”? Word Choice Matters.

My dearest friends, hello!

Can a subtle linguistic cue that invokes the self motivate children to help? In two experiments, 3- to 6-year-old children (N = 149) were exposed to the idea of “being a helper” (noun condition) or “helping” (verb condition). Noun wording fosters the perception that a behavior reflects an identity-the kind of person one is. Both when children interacted with an adult who referenced “being a helper” or “helping” () and with a new adult (), children in the noun condition helped significantly more across four tasks than children in the verb condition or a baseline control condition. The results demonstrate that children are motivated to pursue a positive identity. Moreover, this motivation can be leveraged to encourage prosocial behavior.
The study, by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, the University of Washington and Stanford University, appears in the journal Child Development. The researchers carried out two experiments with about 150 children aged 3 to 6 from a variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds who came from middle- to upper-middle-class homes. In both experiments, an adult experimenter began by talking to children about helping. The only difference between the two studies was that in one, helping was referred to with a verb (e.g., “Some children choose to help”), while in the other, it was referred to with a noun (e.g., “Some children choose to be helpers”). Then the children began playing with toys. While they were playing, the adult provided four opportunities for the youngsters to stop and help the experimenter – to pick up a mess, open a container, put away toys, and pick up crayons that had spilled on the floor. In each case, the children had to stop playing to help.
Children who heard the noun wording (helper) helped significantly more than children who heard the verb wording (help). When the experimenter talked to youngsters about helping, using verb wording, the children didn’t help any more than when the experimenter never brought up helping at all.
“These findings suggest that parents and teachers can encourage young children to be more helpful by using nouns like helper instead of verbs like helping when making a request of a child,” said Christopher J. Bryan, assistant professor of psychology at UC San Diego, who worked on the study. “Using the noun helper may send a signal that helping implies something positive about one’s identity, which may in turn motivate children to help more.”

Love always,
Vassiliki  xxxx

EIGHT THINGS GREAT TEACHERS DO DIFFERENTLY

My friends, hi!

I would like to share with you this great article written by Samantha Twiselton published by The Conversation. Samantha Twiselton is a Director of Sheffield Institute of Education and Professor of Education at Sheffield Hallam University.
The ten shortlisted teachers from across the globe were announced in a video from Bill Gates and they are all outstanding individuals making a significant difference to the lives of their students and their communities – some of which are in very challenging contexts.
Here are eight traits that help to make the best teachers:
1. They embrace their powers.
The best teachers recognize and embrace their potential to have a transformative impact on the wider future of the nation, and beyond. By promoting positive values, including tolerance, understanding and inclusion, this sense of moral purpose is the engine that drives the best teachers.
2. Encourage pupils to shoot for the stars.
Good teachers set themselves and their pupils aspirational targets and have belief, confidence and a clear vision of where they are heading – both for the immediate future and the longer term.
Students who have experienced what they consider a “great” teacher will often use the word “inspiring”. Having the opportunity to inspire and be inspired by young people is something all teachers should actively seek – for themselves and their students.
3. Face challenges head on.
Great teachers plan how to anticipate, address and learn from challenges – even the most difficult ones. Only by going through this process can a teacher overcome an obstacle, learn from it and continue to move forwards.
In the same way, good teachers also address and challenge any negatives. This is important, because of course, some pupils have negative thoughts about school and their education. And it is part of a teacher’s development to understand the factors contributing to this. If teachers don’t, then they cannot expect positive change to happen.
4. Know how to listen.
Teaching, like other professions, can at times be guilty of navel-gazing and introspection. This can mean those with the most important opinions – the learners and students themselves – can sometimes end up being ignored.
We always ask our student teachers what they think makes a good teacher – most commonly we hear qualities such as making time, enthusiasm and being knowledgeable and supportive. We listen, and we encourage our teachers to listen to their pupils too.
5. A love of learning
Great teachers demonstrate a relentless pursuit of learning for themselves – as well as being deeply fascinated by the learning of others. This can be engaging in new ideas, building knowledge and developing broader perspectives on an academic and social level. As well as the confidence to admit you can never know it all.
6. They can adapt and overcome.
We live in a fast paced world, with teaching often feeling the effects of that relentless pace. An acceptance or acknowledgement of this and the ability to respond to change accordingly makes for a much more effective teacher. And a great teacher knows every day is different – sometimes exciting, often challenging – but ultimately worthwhile.
It’s also important that teachers are able to take an evidence-based approach to how they respond to change. Not all new initiatives are equal and teachers need to be able to critically interrogate them before deciding how to proceed.
7. Are able to connect the dots.
The depth and breadth of knowledge and skill needed to be an excellent teacher is often underestimated. Not only do teachers have to have a good understanding of – and ideally passion for – the subject(s) they teach, but they also need to know how to make this accessible and meaningful for their pupils.
To do this they need to understand a complex and massively interrelated range of factors. This includes child development, cognitive science, social, emotional and behavioral sciences and the practical implications of these – in terms of how pupils behave and what they need to succeed and thrive.
They also need to be able to combine these different kinds of knowledge, effortlessly and automatically to make the best decisions on a moment-by-moment basis as learning unfolds. It is not surprising that this can feel exhausting for teachers (but also extremely rewarding) at times.
8. They recognize the privilege.
This is not a profession that should be entered lightly, it is not for the fainthearted, or for those who are trying to make a quick fix. It is a privilege to be a teacher, to have the opportunity to impact positively on the lives of so many young people, their families and ultimately their communities.
Teachers get to make a difference to the lives of children and young people – improving their life chances and helping to secure their futures. And in this way, teachers have the most important job of all.

Love

Vassiliki xxxx