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or...keep the wolf from the door
or...keep body and soul together  
or...make both ends meet   


Some wisdom from the past...

The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be ignited .
You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him to find it within himself.
Napoleon Hill: 
What the mind can conceive and believe, it will achieve .

I have to suppose
 That there are those
  Whose knowledge grows

But others just doze
 Or contemplate clothes
  Or soap opera woes
    Or come to blows

    Teaching I chose
    Why? Heaven knows!

Here I am being understanding, kind, loving...


Of course, teaching ISN'T all about standing at the front of a class and TELLING...
These days, prior to invasion, we are more likely to set up activities that will lead to discovery of life's secrets.

But wait, there's more!
These activities provide precious liberty from the rag, tag and bobtails, which can be utilised for individual conferencing - evaluating current work,setting goals together...

...always remembering the maxim: KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid).


A candid teacher confesses
That the secret to half her success is
Not her planning as such
Nor evaluation so much
As her bright, intuitional guesses
- in one ear and out the other -
    - empty vessels make the most sound -
- no rose without a thorn -
    - hope for the best, prepare for the worst - 
- nothing's so bad, it mightn't be worse -
    - worse things happen at sea -
- the longest day must come to an end -

Teachers don't THROW IN THE TOWEL
when we feel we have RUN THE GAUNTLET
and follow this RULE OF THUMB :
Teach everything at least 4 need to...
see it / hear it / say it / do it
and they need to be loved, encouraged, empowered!

Over the years I have been involved in many different teaching situations, often sharing a class with another teacher for part of the day and using the release time for the following:

Management and support-teaching courses have enabled me to develop some rudimentary skill in leadership such as running democratic but time-efficient meetings, observation and feedback, active listening and questioning.

Below is an outline of the modules I have created for enrichment groups. This year, 1999, I intend to break some of these down into shorter units which focus on fewer skills.

Enrichment modules developed in 1998 have all been based around a problem-solving approach. There are logical steps to take that are common to many situations and so a problem-solving model can be followed.
   Leadership, Debate, Conflict Resolution and Research are some of the modules in which pupils have been involved.

   My hope is that these communication, social and work skills will ensure the pupils meet the demands of a challenging life with enthusiasm and confidence.

If you are interested in finding out more about the way these skills are taught, email me at

Today I came home from school early
I took 80 children to playgrounds, you see
We went on the bus and we went to three
We went there to play but also to be
Studying structures for ' Technology'
We tested the swings and slides (weeeeeeeeeee!!!) 
For appearance/appeal and for their safety
But most of all play-ability
The kids all drew plans to later study
They'll make models improving on what they did see
But that doesn't explain why I am home free
Unless you know how trying trips can be!


To return to Dizzys :

Ideas :
 Brainstorming of current knowledge often leads to creation of new ideas. Edward De Bono's "CORT" programme provides models for creation, analysis and improvement of ideas. His 'Thinking Hats' concept works well as a vehicle for helping children understand what sort of thinking is appropriate for a task.
Robin Fogarty's "Keep Them Thinking" provides useful models for improving ideas.


Active Listening :
 Using positive body language encourages a speaker. We practise eye contact, leaning forward with an open body postion, nodding and making affirmative sounds. Role playing these and their opposites is guaranteed to be fun!
 Asking questions and summarising to clarify meaning, are skills that require a lot of practice. Open questions provide the speaker with an opening to share anything. Closed questions are useful to discover details. Reflective statements and even silence can work wonders when a speaker is not providing details.
 Negotiation is practised for use of equipment, someone's time and to achieve agreement between peers or a leader and a group member.


Conflict Resolution :
 Understanding the different possible reactions to conflict and choosing the most appropriate. Aggressive, passive and assertive styles are analysed. A problem solving model is used to develop a strategy to follow when faced with others' conflicts. Active listening and questioning skills are necessary.


Debating :
 Arguing to a plan. The key being a problem solving model used by the team to prepare their approach and their actual speeches. Team work involves cooperative, constructive peer evaluation during preparation. On-going self evaluation and goal setting is made simple with the use of a video camera. I have a list of topics that catch the pupil's imaginations so that motivation to argue is not a problem! I also use  templates for each speaker postion which provide the outline and structured language as base to work from.



1  Statement of 'problem' / topic/project...
2  Research  (the skills for this also need to be taught...key word notetaking, interviewing, summarising)
3  Analysis (of problem in light of new knowledge)
4  Brainstorm (of any and every idea, piggyback on ideas...)
5  Action Plan (choose the best ideas and list the steps to take to achieve them)
6  Do last...

Non English Speaking Background (N.E.S.B.)
 I have rewritten some common nursery rhymes to help these children learn social English and essential school vocabulary. Below are a few examples.

Go back to enrichment modules

My turn next, my turn next
I'd like a turn, I'd like a turn
Please may I have a turn after you?
I would like a turn after you
Please let me have a turn after you?
I'd like a turn

Excuse me, excuse me
(May /can) I speak? May I speak?
I have something that I'd like to say
May I please go past that way?
Am I finished, May I play?
Excuse me

She's a girl, she's a girl
She is sweet, she is sweet
She does her hair in a pretty way
She stands up straight in a lovely way
She smiles at you~ and she will say
That she's a girl

I like maths, I like maths
I can count, I can count
I like numbers that I can name
I like shapes that I can explain
I like colours that aren't the same
I like maths


I will work so quietly
Can you help me try it please?
I can work and be so good
I know how I know I should
I will work so quietly
Can you help me try it please?

I am going to [my room / the hall etc]
Come with me, please, to my room
We can go together now
We can [walk /run/ hop/ skip etc] I’ll show you how
I am going to my room
Come with me, please, to my room 


(Can /May) I go and get my  (book, bag, etc)?
Get my _____
Get my _____
(Can / May) I go and get my _______?
(Can /May) I go?

I am sorry, so sorry
I’m sorry
I’m sorry
I am sorry, so sorry
It was an accident

(Child’s name) has (big school bag/ colour bookbag)
Big (school bag/ red bookbag)
Big school bag
(Child’s name) has a big school bag
(She/ he) has (her/ his) (lunch/book) in there


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