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Current Issue Table of Contents | Back Issues

Volume 3 Number 8

Harry & Rosemary Wong remind us that, "An induction program is an organized, sustained, multiyear process with many activities designed to help you succeed...."
Preparing for the First Day of School by Jan Zeiger
Classroom Discipline Forum Will Support New and Veteran Educators by Kathleen Carpenter, Editor in Chief
Six Traits of Writing Forum by Kathleen Carpenter, Editor in Chief
Ideas for Welcoming Teachers & Students Back to School by Kathleen Carpenter, Editor in Chief
Classroom Rules??? by Bill Page
Learning Your Students' Names: Fun, Fast, Easy and Important by Bill Page
Making 2002-2003 The Best Year Ever by Bill Page
Your Summer Reading List: The Process of Change in a School System by Dr. Rob Reilly
Beware of the Standards, Not Just the Tests by Alfie Kohn
The Importance of Reading Aloud by Lisa Frase
Dear Old Golden Rule Days, Chapter 2 - Creative Activities by Janet Farquhar
Objection overruled, or You can always go to law school if things don't work out by Taylor Mali
Dealing with Dishonesty by Tom Lucey
The Maiden Week by P R Guruprasad
Is Learning to Read Easier Than Learning to Play the Piano? by Grace Vyduna-Haskins
School was GREAT today because... by Linda Todd
The New Teacher and Coping With Special Needs Students in the Classroom by Dave Melanson
Learning About Community Service by Jay Davidson
Book Reviews - We Can Work It Out: Creating Peace in the Home & Songs for Howard Gray by Susan Gingras Fitzell
Summer Recess by Joy Jones
Tips On Time Management by Jan
Class Books Around the Year Compiled by Terry
Literacy Centers Organization by Catherine Thornton
Why the Center Approach? from The Mentor Center
Classroom Teachers' Management Tips (Part II) from the Chatboards
Why Teach? by Lynda L. Hinkle
4 Blocks Literacy Tips: Storing "Making Words" Materials from: The Mentor Center
How to Encourage Substitute Teachers to Return to Your School by Lucy, Substitute Teacher
Teaching Students To Discuss Controversial Public Issues from: ERIC Clearinghouse
August Columns
August Regular Features
August Informational Items
Gazette Home Delivery:

About P R Guruprasad...
After completing his first class BSc Degree with Physics as major subject followed by BEd degree from the Univ. of Madras, he entered teaching. He taught English, Maths, Science, Physics and Chemistry in schools in India, Bhutan, Ethiopia, Botswana and South Africa, and worked as Education Officer in Macmillan India Limited where his career responsibilities included conducting teacher development workshops in Science and Maths, offering editorial assistance and developing curricular support materials. He is now working as a freelance education consultant involed with lesson content writing, curriculum development and teacher training.

You can learn more about P R Guruprasad by visiting his web site at -

Teacher Feature...

The Maiden Week

by P R Guruprasad

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The First week in school is the most important period in the academic life of the school. This is the most appropriate time for initiating strategies particularly in terms of human relations [all other pedagogic effects will come later]; when we say human relations we mean all those concerned with the education of the child viz. parental community, teachers and children. First week at school is the time when many children begin to understand each other and the teachers. This understanding, as we all know, is fundamentally important in molding the lives of children, the prime responsibility of any school.

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We should, as teachers, project a good image of ourselves. Sometimes, teachers seem to have more influence on kids in how they think and act than any others including parents. Let us be a role model.

Unless we exhibit our own interest in the curricular subject area, it is not easy to convince kids to become interested.

One of the main reasons why children don't do well in school is because the teacher is not easily accessible by kids [emotionally as well as pedagogically]. Let us get closer to kids very much like a good parent.

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We should look dignified and speak with soft, low-pitched voice [except in specific teaching situations which call for voice modulation, like for instance when story telling or enacting Ulysses and the 'Cyclops']. Children in particular as well as parents and colleagues who are exposed to the school for the first time observe us keenly.

Let us be caring and kind but firm: There is a distinct difference between being liberal and being kind. We should be firm but not harsh in maintaining discipline. Let us set an example to children [they emulate us]. [As shown in the 1960s movie 'To Sir With Love' or more recently in 'Kindergarten Cop', thanks, Arnold Swartznegger!]

Let us be sensitive to pupil needs: Empathising is more important than sympathizing. Let us act as surrogate parent: We don't exist but for our children in the class. Parents and the school management have vested great faith in us, the teachers. Hence, it is our moral obligation to live up to their expectations. We cannot fulfil this responsibility unless we treat all children in the classroom as our own. Remember the Village School Master in Oliver Goldsmith's 'Deserted Village'? Let's BE the role as best as possible.

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We should not only be interested in the subject area we teach, but also let kids know this. Relating lesson concepts to children's everyday situations is the most important requirement of any good teaching learning.

Teachers are like salespeople. The only difference is that we deal with young children; but this one difference makes a great difference. When we sell 'concepts' [some of them being abstract] it is our duty to make them attractive by using teaching aids so that children understand and remember the concept/s and apply them in problem situations.

All these can most effectively be begun in the first week of school.

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Children get closer to us when we use their names to address them. This is the starting point for a healthy relationship between the teacher and the learner. Identifying with kids and using good humor go a long way in making the child COMFORTABLE.

You can download this article in its original PowerPoint format here - THE MAIDEN WEEK.ppt

If you do not have PowerPoint installed on your computer, you can download a free copy of PowerPoint Viewer here - downloads/2000/Ppview97.aspx