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Current Issue Table of Contents | Back Issues

Volume 2 Number 8

Harry & Rosemary Wong say, "Establishing clear and precise classroom procedures and practicing, practicing, practicing them is the same in concept as to why sport teams drill and choirs rehearse." This month the Wongs offer more examples of successful classroom management....
Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong
Promoting Learning by Marv Marshall
4 Blocks by Cheryl Sigmon
Ask the School Psychologist by Beth Bruno
Online Classrooms by Leslie Bowman
From Here to There by Ginny Hoover
Busy Educator's Monthly Five (5 Sites for Busy Educators)
Around the Block by Cheryl Ristow
The Do's and Don'ts of Read-Aloud
Teaching Gayle to Read
Thoughts About Giving
Matthew's Sunshine
Reflections following September 11, 2001
Teachers Are 100% Full Time Workers and Even More
Funding the Season
Forms of Expression, Interview with an Artist
Humor from the Classroom
Handy Recipes
Help Wanted - Teaching Jobs
New in the Lesson Bank
Upcoming Ed Conferences
Letters to the Editor
Call For Participation
New Sagan Center
The League Gives Poetic License to Canada's Young Writers
Creativity Workshop: Writing, Drawing, Storytelling, and Personal Memoir
Gazette Home Delivery:

About Jay Davidson...
Jay Davidson is a first grade teacher in San Francisco, California. He is the author of Teach Your Children Well: A Teacher's Advice for Parents, which is available for $12.95 at

Visit Jay's website:

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Teacher Feature...
Thoughts About Giving
by Jay Davidson

We help others because they need our help. We want to make them feel better and to help them thrive and survive. That's the most common approach to helping others -- and a view that I shared until recently.

My perspective on giving got a complete turnaround a few weeks ago. I share it with you so that you can discuss it with your children.

I was on vacation and went with a cousin to visit her mother in a nursing home. After seeing the amount of care that she had been giving my aunt, and hearing how she, as the only one of her siblings living in the same city, was taking on and doing such an admirable job, I felt it important to tell her how I appreciated what she was doing for her mother.

Her response surprised me. She told me that she was doing it for herself. "I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I didn't do this."

And that's the new view that I got about helping people: some of us do it because we want the other person to benefit, whereas some of us do it because we like the way it feels for ourselves.

Either way, the other person has the advantage of our good intentions, kind words, and helpful deeds. How much does it matter that the motivation behind our actions are different? In either event, the results are the same.

What are the kind acts that we ask our children to perform? Share their toys? Help around the house? Offer peer tutoring to a classmate who needs help?

No matter what the deed, we recognize that some children will help others because the other needs assistance; it's an action that makes the other feel better. Other children will be more motivated because of how it makes them feel to give of themselves.

In either event, the end product is the same: we are doing what we can to help another. We get our kids to think about something other than their hair, their clothes, and their own requests. And that has only positive results.

Jay Davidson is also the author of "Teach Your Children Well: A First Grade Teacher's Advice for Parents" (available at

Visit for more information about Jay Davidson.