Beyond assigning blame

In the context of the murder of a child in a prominent school, it is important that schools and teachers reflect more on their attitudes, practices and beliefs. Schools need to train and sensitize the support staff too because they are an important part of the care circle for children.

What is your question today?

Sharmila Govande
How can children be taught to question all the things that they see or hear or read rather than accept the answers given by the teachers? How can teachers work on building children’s curiosity levels and engage in questioning until they are satisfied and are clear about any concepts? Children ask questions when they feel that their questions are appreciated. Therefore parents and teachers should encourage children to ask questions. Here are some techniques that teachers can adopt in their classrooms to promote a questioning culture.

A walk into history

Akanksha Arvind
A student living in Texas writes about her experience while on a visit to New York and Washington DC. For her, all the American history she studied from her textbooks came alive in that brief visit. From seeing George Washington’s house to observing the conditions soldiers faced during the World War, to glimpsing the slave quarters, this trip was an eye- opener of sorts. Read on to learn more.

Making it visible

Yasmin Jayathirtha
While talking about the atomic structure, most teachers find it difficult to explain to students about how an atom looks. Questions like what led to the idea of atoms, what could be the size of the atoms do come up because students are being taught about things that they cannot see. This article illustrates a few concepts that can be understood.

Time to teach!

Sneha Rawlani, Manika Khanna, Radhika Misquitta
Why is there never enough time for teachers to teach what they want to and for students to learn everything they need to? Given that teachers are under a lot of pressure to improve learning outcomes and that plenty of time is lost in several other routine tasks, the question is can teachers also learn to maximize their time? Here is an article that talks about how technology can be leveraged in the form of a task timer which helps in breaking down tasks. Read all about it here and apply it in your classrooms.

Put your best face forward

Manaswini Sridhar
As teachers, have you have wondered why your teaching does not strike a chord with students, at least sometimes? Have you taken the time to take a re-look at yourself and your teaching methodologies? Teachers constantly nag students to change their learning styles but they themselves are so set in their ways. What can a teacher do to present herself as a friendly person? This article suggests that teachers must change their body language so that they are seen as smiling and friendly personalities. A course in voice modulation will also help.

Winter visitors

Geetha Iyer
Why do birds migrate? How do they decide where to go? What obstacles or hazards do they face? These are some questions that can set students off on a healthy discussion about bird migration. This can be an interesting topic for projects, as it will help students think about concepts in an integrated way. Apart from enhancing thinking and writing skills, it also helps students learn the process of arriving at conclusions. Read on to learn more about bird migration.

Not a textbook, but a travel guide

Aditi Mathur and Ratnesh Mathur
Most teachers and parents swear by textbooks and insist that children should follow them. But what if you are not the textbook sort? Supposing you want to travel? Will your trip be driven by the textbook or would you like to plan your own fun trip? Here are some interesting tips on how you can take that fun trip to anywhere using not a text book but a travel guide.

Getting students on to the career path

Lamia Bagasrawala
Students in high school are faced with life changing decisions. Many students are at the crossroads during this crucial time while trying to decide on their future course of action. Parents too, have limited awareness and are unable to guide their wards properly. How can schools facilitate the career- guidance process? If this is integrated with the school curriculum, it makes the task that much easier. The author highlights some activities and processes that can be initiated when students begin high school.

The power of reading

Neeraja Raghavan
The power of the word and an individual’s ability to read and understand can be awesome. This article in the RIA series takes us through the journey of a teacher, a student and a life- changing friendship. This deeply moving book is a story of Michelle Kuo– the teacher and her student ,Patrick Browning and how she steers his literary awakening. And how does she do this? She gets him to read, read and read! A must read book for teachers too.