This week, a question for kids, and a question for adults for the Shabbat table.
The kids' question of the week: What makes a great teacher? How can you tell that someone's a great teacher?
The adults' question: How can parents help their kids' teachers become better?
One way would be to share with them the most important book on teaching that most teachers never read:
The First Days of School by Harry and Rosemary Wong.
The greatness of the book is its understanding how setting the right tone on the very first day of school makes all the difference in classroom management. Do your kids/grandkids/nieces/nephews/neighbors a favor and get a copy to each of their teachers.
Another tool that few teachers are aware of but should be is this remarkable new approach to classroom management. You have to see it to get it:
Chris Biffle, the creator:
Middle school science teacher implementing:
HS math teacher using technique:
4th grade reading
1st-grade teacher who is using the technique (modified) to teach math:
(Does the method make her a better teacher?)
Did you know: The Jewish People invented the concept of compulsory public-supported education nearly 2,000 years ago? It had been the responsibility of every parent to teach their own children, but the rabbis observed that orphans were not being educated, so they instituted a new rule - everyone will use and support a new public school system, so that no child will be left behind. Along with this history, the Talmud gives a few rules for how to run a school, including the necessity of evaluating a teacher's effectiveness and making whatever changes needed in order for the children to learn.
PS - http://bestjewishkidsbooks.com has school supplies and gifts for teachers.
The iPhone app: http://tinyurl.com/amazingcalendarlink
Android version: http://tinyurl.com/amazingandroidcalendar