Online Platform for the biggest teaching challenges

Published / by Admin

All of us face some challenges while teaching–it’s no easy job anymore. Hand on heart, haven’t you encountered at least two of those during your lessons?

  • Little interest in traditional subjects
  • Students not respecting the rules
  • Obese children
  • Worsening level of communication skills
  • New forms of addiction, such as social media addiction or smart phone addiction
  • etc. etc.

Some challenges differ from country to country, but some are encountered by the teachers all around the world. Each teacher tries to use their own methods of tackle the challenges. Some are more successful than others, that’s for sure. And though we are those who should ‘teach’, we should not forget that a clever teacher never stops learning. Why not to share our experiences with the others?

 

An online platform for teachers

In Empire United, we consider staring an online forum, designed especially for teachers. The registration will be free and anonymous. Discussing people won’t have to be afraid to share their opinions and even the most extraordinary methods of tackling the common teaching challenges.

Moderators, from the team of Empire United, will ensure the board is spam free, and people don’t use it for the promotion of their products or services (which, regretfully, happens to many forums).

 

Your ideas are welcome

We are just still in the process of planning the platform, trying to design the optimal format. Please feel free to send us your feedback on the idea, and which sections you’d like to see in the forum. Also, if you have any experience with moderating comments or discussion, you can apply for a position in moderation board.

Starting a forum is not a little investment, and needs to be planned properly. In any other case, if you don’t have the strategy on growing the forum and attracting quality teachers to it, you gonna fail with the project. Therefore, we will be really glad to get any feedback form your side, so we are able to design the platform you’ll enjoy visiting.

 

Conclusion

Teachers around the world should not compete. Oppositely, we should cooperate, trying to find ways of improving the education in general, with a higher goal in mind: helping to change to future to better by raising a new generation of leaders, who prefer to build bridges instead of fences…. Thank you for helping us making it possible!

Elementary school in nature

Published / by Admin

Pen and paper, blackboard, clean and warm classroom. That’s how most of us imagine the elementary school. But is it really the only, and the best option? Doesn’t a better environment exist, a place where children can not only learn to count and write, but also strengthen their immune system and build strong bond with the nature?

Kindergartens in the woods have been around for a couple of years, and though most parents don’t support the concept, they managed to find their clientele and prosper. In Canada, a group of parents decided to take the experiment even further, starting the first private elementary school in the nature, as http://elementaryteacherinterviewquestions.com informed. If the weather is good, the children spend most of their days in woods. And if it rains, there are small wooden huts where they can write and read,  divided to small classes up to twelve children.

 

Alternative subjects

Apart from mathematics, grammar, geography and other traditional subjects, pupils studying at the first elementary school based primarily in nature learn some skills that should give them a special edge when confronted with their contemporaries.

They learn which herbs they can collect, which berries they can eat and which they should rather avoid, and the names of the animals…. They spend each Thursday walking in the woods for the entire school time (if weather allows that), hiking on local trails, knowing the nature.

The leaders of the project believe to help the children to learn to appreciate the nature, and avoid allergies and various diseases so many kids suffer from now both in Europe and in United States. What’s more, considering the typical sedentary lifestyle, which results in other diseases, such as obesity and diabetes, they hope to show the children an alternative way of living, which is characteristic by movement and a quality time spent in the nature, without smartphones or computers.

 

Unknown environment helps to improve the intelligence

When you go to a typical classroom, you face the same setting day in day out. However, as countless scientific studies proved over the years, it is the unknown, the stepping of our comfort zone, that helps us to grow as personalities.

When studying in the woods, children are often confronted with a variety of new tasks and situations. They need to face them, and sometimes even solve them on their own (with a close supervision of the teacher). This setting helps them to develop their intelligence (IQ), which should give them a competitive edge for the future.

 

Hygiene and cuisine in the elementary school

While the activities take place outdoors, and teachers do not restrain children from getting their hands dirty, the school pays attention to the hygiene in the dining room and toilets. They bring clean water to the camp with a help of a small solar-powered water pump, and the dining room is located in a specialized tent, which meets the highest standards of hygiene.

The food selection is also interesting. A typical elementary school serves children with meat, potatoes, rice, and maybe some boiled vegetables. And of course bread. This Canadian school, however, serves a lot of local fruits and vegetables, most of them are served raw. The children in the school do not eat any meat except of fish once a week.

The owners believe that such a diet will lead to the truly healthy development of the children, and will help them lead a healthy and balanced life in the future. So what do you think? Would you be interested to enroll your child in this school? Or do you have even a better idea for an alternative concept of teaching? Let us know in comments….

Reading more books

Published / by Admin

For one reason or another, students do not read as often as they used to do. Well, we still read, but WHAT do we read has changed dramatically in the last ten years.

Just ten years ago, before the first smartphone has been invented, people did not have such an easy access to information. Now, there is always something to read, to hear, to see. Always and everywhere. An immerse multitude of information is presented in front of us, in the form of Facebook messages, notification, statuses, and other things. The problem is the following:

  • These short pieces of information have no value indeed, and won’t result in any positive development of the reader.
  • Reading them actually makes no sense, so we can wonder (and try to find out) why so many people spend the significant portion of their time checking them.

 

Reading books teaches us many important skills

Reading books isn’t only about getting involved in the story, or about amusing ourselves when we feel boring. Books actually help us in many other areas, including (but not limited to) the following :

  • Reading real books improves our communication skills. Facebook and internet are full of short messages, and lack any substantial vocabulary, or syntax. Books, on the other hand, present us with a variety of styles and sentence construction, and typically include vocabulary we didn’t even know before reading the book.
  • Life lessons to be learned. Many books present us a real life inspirational story, or a life changing experience. Books are full of destinies of people who opted for all kinds of journeys in their lives, and they can inspire young people to seek their own mission of life, or even directly present them one. The heroes of the books can serve as perfect role models for them, people they can identify with and follow.
  • Helping to get rid of prejudice, finding peace. Nowadays people like to divide themselves into groups, competing for their place in the spotlight. Books often help to ruin the prejudice, and gain better understanding of people from different backgrounds, cultures, and religions.

How to make reading more attractive

Teachers may object that children just aren’t interested in reading. But we at Empire United may also object that teachers do not motivate their pupils enough to read. Reading should form an internal part of classes, and students should be presented with titles that are close to their heart. Titles for teenagers, or books that narrate fascinating real life stories. Teachers can read the books directly in classes, and after reading a chapter start a discussion with the students.

Currently used obligatory reading lists are full of outdated pieces of art, that bare no relevance to the young generation. Forcing them to read such books just builds blocks and barriers within them–soon enough they start hating books, and won’t read anything for the rest of their lives. Only stupid Facebook statutes and Yahoo news…..

 

Conclusion

Students do not read books anymore, and forcing them to read titles that bare no relevance to their lives won’t help the situation. Teachers need to look for new books, new kinds of titles with positive role models, and introduce their pupils into the beauty of reading. The reward will come in terms of improved emotional intelligence, vocabulary, and communication skills. Everyone at school will benefit from reading more….

Smaller Classes – Better Results

Published / by Admin

Elementary and secondary schools has been following the trend of cutting costs in the last decade. Decreasing the number of classes (merging them together) allowed them to decrease the number of teachers, and run their school more economically. These decisions, however, had a positive impact only on one thing–the school budget. Both teachers and students suffered by the changes, and we try to understand why, and give some ideas on how to cut the expenses but keep the quality standards.

 

Big classes are stressful for everyone

Many teachers struggle with the discipline in their classes. Several factors are to blame for the recent development of things within the classrooms:

  • Teachers aren’t as respected as before, they have lost their position in society.Both pupils and their parents see the teachers differently now, and often do not pay much respect.
  • New addictions, such as social media and smart phone addictions. With ever-present mobile phones, teachers struggle to keep the discipline in the classroom.
  • Loss of interest in traditional subjects (systematic mistake) – children ‘understood’ (or even heard in their families) that mathematics or physics aren’t important anymore,  and that a cheap word processor will correct their grammar mistakes. Logically they are losing their interest for the most traditional subjects.

The discipline has lowered significantly. It’s not easy anymore to handle the class of fifteen children, let alone thirty of them. Environment where you do not feel respected can be very stressful, and many teachers can actually suffer from burn out syndrome.

 

Stressful for students

Students do not find themselves in a better position. Young people always strive for recognition, trying to find their place in the crowd. But this is again difficult to do when studying among thirty other children. On the top of that, should they have any special or individual needs, teacher can hardly attend them in an environment of a big class.

 

Smaller means better

In a recent experiment conducted by Middle East Teacher society, students from big classes tested against students from small classes. The type of school or academic results weren’t put into equation. The exam was crafted specially to test some competences needed in today’s society, such as communication skills, deduction and induction, working with information, understanding of a difficult text, etc.

Students from smaller classes (up to 15 students) scored much better results than students from big classes (15 and more). The results held up even internally, when we compared classes within the same school.

 

The primary mission of education

At Empire United we believe that education should prepare people for the real exams of life, such as finding a job, leading harmonious relationship, navigating through the complicated web of information. Small classes obviously present a better environment for the development of these abilities  than bigger classes do. It makes no reason to save money if we don’t manage to accomplish our primary targets. If we don’t manage to do it, the education is useless. Please consider it with your colleagues and administrators, and try reducing the number of students in each class. This single change can eventually lead to an overall improvement of students’ results, and feelings of everyone working in the educational institution.