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Category Archives: classroom control

101 Ways to Cope with Teaching Stress | Smart Teaching

Here’s one for the teachers. It arrived via an email from one of the people involved with the US site on which it appears.

101 Ways to Cope with Teaching Stress | Smart Teaching

  • Stop smoking: That little buzz you get from a cigarette may calm you down temporarily, but the nicotine that’s blowing into your system will actually make you jumpy and over alert. In the long run, that’s not good news for your stress levels.
  • Minimize your caffeine: Teachers may thrive on coffee breaks, but consider cutting back to just a couple of cups a day. Even better would be to substitute at least one cup of coffee or soda for green tea. The tea can boost your immune system and contains less caffeine than coffee.
  • Eat breakfast: Eating a good breakfast not only boosts your metabolism, it also keeps you focused so that you’re more productive throughout the entire day.
  • Snack right: It’s easy to grab whatever snacks are in the vending machines or school cafeteria, but it’s also important to eat right while you’re at school. Physically, a diet of fatty, greasy foods will make you feel weighted down, bloated and tired, while your emotional state may be at risk too if you feel guilty about wrecking your diet.
  • Set realistic goals: As a teacher, it’s easy to get caught up in saving your at-risk students from failure or sponsoring every club each semester. Set realistic goals for yourself and you’ll be able to find a less stressful balance.
  • There’s your first five, and I’m afraid I passed only one. I won’t say which one. 😉 Too late for me now, but maybe some of you can profit from the advice.

    What’s more, a lot of it could be called “101 ways to cope with HSC stress” — so even students may care to look.

     

    ADHD, etc

    I really am not an expert on this, but I have certainly encountered examples during my teaching career. Quite often, especially early on, I probably did not handle such people well either.

    I was prompted by tonight’s 7.30 Report to write a post on Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder. The report showed strong neurological evidence that this disorder, which is still subject of much controversy, really is a physical thing.

    A world first study conducted by University of Melbourne researchers has identified a new area of the brain, linked to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in children. Researchers have discovered a significant lack of activity in a region at the back of the brain, which underpins a child’s ability to manage stress. The finding points to a biological basis for the controversial condition rather than problems of inadequate parenting or poorly behaved children, or even diet as the primary cause of difficult behaviour. The findings could lead to better diagnosis and treatment of ADHD, which affects up to five per cent of primary school aged children…

    There are links to video interviews and to further stories on the 7.30 Report site.

    Some issues are discussed in this UK article: Socio-educational and Biomedical Models in the Treatment of Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder and related Neurobehavioural Disorders in Childhood and Adolescence, and their Implications for Adult Mental Health by Ian N Ford BA DMS FRSH.

    …We would suggest that there is evidence to support the existence of AD/HD as a neurobiochemical disorder ( or a spectrum of related disorders ) which has a significant impact upon children and adults, affecting their ability to function effectively in a variety of situations, social, intellectual and in education or employment.

    These individuals respond best to pharmacological and behavioural treatments, yet traditionally such treatments have been kept as a second tier if not a last resort. One can say that there is not an ” objective clinical test ” for AD/HD and that the diagnostic criteria used are inadequate, inconsistent and confusing. But then all one has to do is read a few sets of notes from a Child Guidance Clinic to wonder if explanations of behavioural problems as due to ” sibling rivalry ” or whatever stand up to similar examination.

    It is easy to criticise American doctors for prescribing Ritalin without proper investigation, and to blame the increase in diagnosis of neurobehavioural disorder as an attempt by parents to seek a ” disability ” that explains why their child is not academically gifted. However, one has also to question whether the British establishment has got it right either…

    An American psychiatrist, Dr D B Henley, has posted a number of mp3s on the subject (and others) here, and this YouTube as part of a continuing series “It’s a Brain Thing.” It’s 30 minutes long.

    There are other stories on the ABC site including Meditation helps kids with ADHD.

     

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    Thanks, Antony

    Even if I think Antony really misread the purpose of my entry How to Maintain Classroom discipline (1947) — not intended to elicit admiration for the bad practice shown in the first half of the video there — I am happy that he has referred his readers to this blog in his entry disgraceful teaching discipline? Perhaps Antony experienced a Mr Grimes I somewhere in his career? I know I did.

    My point further is that all of us can be Mr Grimes I — the shouting, bullying, sarcastic and basically insecure person barely holding it together on classroom discipline — on occasions, especially when we are inexperienced, or when the nature of the teaching environment we are in wears us down, or we are having a bad hair day, or whatever. None of us is Teacher Perfect 24/7 week after week for forty years or so, and I challenge anyone to prove otherwise. We are in a terrible state if Mr Grimes I is the norm, however, and the point of that very old — sixty years old — object lesson on the video was to show us a better way. Mr Grimes II is of course just a bit too perfect, and the whole video is simplistic. That doesn’t mean that the lesson it offers is of no value, because what it said sixty years ago really remains true.

    To extrapolate from that video some kind of view about the state of public education, or to say that a Mr Grimes I should be “named and shamed” on tabloid television, as Antony seems to suggest, is just a bit over the top, don’t you think?

    Hmmm. That last sentence has raised a very interesting problem of subject-verb agreement. Any suggestions? I suspect I have got it right, but something niggles…

     

    LOL! Pedagogical and theological disaster zone…

    This is from a show seen in Scotland. I hope someone at the ABC or SBS takes note.

     
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    Posted by on October 7, 2007 in classroom control, humour, teaching

     

    How to maintain classroom discipline (1947)

    Not all of it is irrelevant sixty years later… Groundhog Day! Really! To be honest, I have been Mr Grimes I as well as Mr Grimes II — but never in Maths, of course.