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Newsletter April 2011


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A monthky e-newsletter for teachers in schools and colleges

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Newsletter April 2011

  1. 1. April 2011Volume 5, Issue 4 Inspiring Teachers Driving educational change through excellence in teaching What’s in store this month This week, you read about needs a source for a dose of updates. Achieve your destiny, a inspiration whenever we feel I request all of you once unique organization formed low. A compilation of links to again to visit by four enthusiastic such stories and videos is useful andThis month: students. Tips for improving for motivating yourself and click the link follow usShh keep quiet…Editor’s pick..….2 class participation and your students too! Some jokes and become our fan. discussions and how to and announcements of careers Now you can leaveKindle the interest indictionary Indira enthuse your students to plus the interesting links, comments on all theNarayan ………. ..4 refer to a dictionary are completes the newsletter. resources. articles for classroom. In A new feature introduced this links …4 our daily routine, each of us issue is links to the websiteAchieve …yourdestiny …………..5 The month that was… College ChampionsA daily dose of • One-day workshop on 13th March at A unique model of engaging faculty andmotivation………6 Tirupathi for “Achieve…your destiny”, a building a truly distributed team unique group started by Dileep and his • To make faculty as stakeholders in friends to make students true engineers. expanding the reach of Students’ session at Sree Rama Engineering and College, Tirupathi – 14th March • The “Art of Mentoring” invited talk at • To help enhance the profile of faculty Enhance Edu, IIIT-Hyderabad for through consultancy and research Principals– 16th and 29th March options • Students’ session and judge for BTech At the end of one year engagement, apart projects at Vignan Institute of Technology from the performance based cash and Science, Deshmukhi, Hyderabad – 23rd incentives, the faculty will get visibility in March academic and industry circles, expand • ICT in teaching – Academic Staff College, their horizons and get an impressive JNTU, 25th March profile. For details read:
  2. 2. Inspiring Teachers Page 2 of 6 Updates from the website Faculty of this month is Other Initiatives - Most Long Term process DR. Ramakalyan Ayyagari from of you are aware of the unique for the training has NIT Trichy who chose to be in Inspiring Teacher Awards been streamlined to academics after a very brief stint which were given in 2009 and make it more effective. in industry. He has instilled in 2010 to about 70 teachers Please read and let us his students the same love that from schools and colleges. know your comments. he has for the subjects and some Read about some more eges.shtml of his students have also initiatives like conference and followed his footsteps to join scholarships at academics. Read on at r-initiatives.shtml an_ayyagari.shtml “Ssh…keep quiet!” Or “Come let’s talk!” EditorQuick Tips forClassroom Discussions In most of our classrooms, An element of surprise always Students would then come upGet students talking students want to talk among works with students. Make with probable causes, repairearly on in a group themselves, and need to be chits with one important and so on – leading to andiscussion. The longerthey stay quiet, the less controlled by the teacher. If concept on each and put in a animated learning exercise.likely they are to there is a good commanding bowl. Then ask students pickparticipate. Would everyone in class talk? teacher, the teacher speaks up one by one and explain or No, obviously there will beInitially, don’t bother and the students listen. give an example. This could beabout their language. some who just dominate andThis is especially true Occasionally when the used either to introduce a topic other who are too shy. Onenowadays when many teacher asks a question, it is or to reinforce or assessstudents come from way of dealing with this isnative language met with a silent stare, or learning after a topic. called aschools. By insisting on some chorus answers. Whengood language or Another way is making think/pair/square/shareEnglish speaking, they you ask them to speak one discussion look incidental. technique, which can be usedmay feel inhibited. by one, everyone becomes Students will open up in an in large classes also. AfterMake sure to silent again. informal discussion rather giving the topic or thesummarize the learningor outcomes from the So how do we make these than a formal setting. For question, allow students a fewdiscussion. I have seen students talk? If not every example, a class on minutes to think. Then letthat many people do notknow how to abstract class, can we at least have troubleshooting could start by them pair up and share theirout the learning from a one class per week, with an the teacher saying “ my inputs with each other. Thendiscussion. If we don’texplicitly do it, they may energized discussion? computer refused to boot make two pairs square up.feel that they didn’t get Remember, a good teacher today and I didn’t have time toanything except Continued on next page not only speaks well but find out the problem….” andentertainment from it. makes the students talk. look for some reaction.
  3. 3. Page 3 of 6 Inspiring TeachersClassroom Discussions continuedUltimately, you can make Students see such shows and speak and when to listen andone or two groups come they can pick up some good how to think on their feet.and present their views to topics from their subjects. Finally that is what matters ineveryone. You can see to it life! A tested and tried techniquethat most students get a is to ask students to prepare This article appeared as “gettingchance to come up and talk your students to talk” in May 08 and run a quiz after finishingduring the semester or issue. It has now been updated a unit. They make groups with new ideas.term. But everyone feels and conduct the quiz with aparticipative. This also scorer, timer and so on.ensures that dominating Invariably, the quiz may leadstudents are not stealing to discussions and Question in History Exam:the show every time. arguments. In fact, as a Describe the history of the papacy from its origins toChoose the topic / question teacher you can check the the present day,carefully. If you choose questions and answers, and concentrating on its social, political, economic,something for which there make sure there are some religious, and philosophicalis only one right answer, debatable areas. impact onthere is no scope for Europe, America, Asia, What is your preparation to and Africa. Be brief anddiscussion. The moment Why is it call "after dark" when it concise, yet specific. conduct such discussions? really is "after light"?someone gives the answer, The teachers must be wellthe fun is over. Give them Doesnt "expecting the read, well rounded and unexpected" make thetopics which question some unexpected expected? thinkers. They should be ablefundamental concepts. If to tolerate diverse opinions, Why are a "wise man" and ayou have posed a case study "wise guy" opposites? moderate the discussion in aor problem to give them neutral way and most Why do "overlook" andinsights into a subject, ask important, be open to new "oversee" mean oppositeleading questions like what things? opinions. If a solutionare the possible solutions? emerges from the group Why is "phonics" not spelledThen after they come up the way it sounds? which is different from whatwith arbitrary solutions, ask the teacher expected, it How come abbreviated is suchthem which is feasible? Or a long word? should be welcome.which is best? Or most Why do you press harder on thepractical and so on. I am quite sure if we try this buttons of a remote control out in our classes, the when you know that theYet another way of group batteries are dead? students will also fare well indiscussion is to conduct placement interviews and Fwded email from Prof KVmock panel discussions as Jayakumar. most important they willthey happen on TV. learn tolerance, when to
  4. 4. Inspiring Teachers Page 4 of 6 Kindle the interest in dictionary…Indira Narayan I maintain my previous the learning skills and as sentences can be prepared stand that the dictionary is a one is trained to be able to encouraging students to teacher’s best quickly locate a word in the increase their vocabulary Friend, best support…Let dictionary, thereby a mental each time they refer to the me add that the dictionary is flexibility is developed.. dictionary. the best friend to different Looking up word meanings Generating words where people in different may not be an interesting the dictionary has to be Picture Caption Contest professions. I always advice task, but it helps not only used can be done by students to keep their to get the meanings but using a particular activitySend a funny but dictionary right in front of also to know some and asking lead questions.intelligent caption forthe above picture before them, on their study table synonyms and of course For example, you take a th15 April to and tell them that when they the different usages of recipe of some dish andinfo@inspiring- come across a new word or a some words. To enthuse make sentences that new term they should students to use the the various immediately refer to the Dictionary a few of the items/dishes/ingredients dictionary and get the following activities can be one associates with that. meaning of the word. t done in class. New words and new usages would be a good idea to Complete the following will emerge from this kind maintain a notebook and sentences: of an activity. It is an make these entries. This way 1. Capacity means absorbing task too! No we can make our own the…….to do something boredom. working dictionary. An interested and creative 2. You are ……when you When the usage of the teacher can think of manyMrs Indira Narayan has are drowsybeen an English dictionary becomes regular situations and elicit wordTeacher in St Ann’s 3. When you are there will be a meanings. Get started.High School, defenceless you feel…….Secunderabad where Substantial improvement inshe is the Academic Many such kind ofHead Mistress now andcontinues to teach. Interesting Links ♦ eGFI is engineering students’ resource centre initiated by the American Society for Emgineering Education. Projects and more http: // ♦ A unique model of making UG projects useful for SMEs and a huge effort by SRISTI in compiling a database education/techpedia/ ♦ A novel school ♦ Excel tools for teachers
  5. 5. Page 5 of 6 Inspiring TeachersAchieve your destiny – students’ initiative at TirupathiRakesh, Dileep, Shiva and Social. The students ‘Young Caliber’ was initiatedSubrahmanyam and were taken to ashrams by the same group, to bringLakshmi Narayana look and parks, they were social awareness to ordinary students. But asked to make short films, Our mission is to enableif you read what they are they learnt some IT skills students to learn not onlydoing, you can’t help too and overall became their subjects but otheragreeing with the adage confident and creative skills, becomethat you can’t hide the conscientious young men useful to the society andfragrance of a flower. Yes, and women, from the shy, achieve their destiny. Theythese four youngsters are confused youth that they must be able to set theirbound to become great were. goals clearly. They must useleaders and they have I had the opportunity to all the resources available tobegun their journey. They interact and conduct a them and become trueare my heroes. workshop for them. Dileep engineers”.Studying in Vidyaniketan, had been reading myan engineering college articles in Career Guide Dileep and Lakshmi The Achieve Teamnear Tirupathi, they saw (you can read them on- Narayana have already gotthat precious time and line here placed in TCS, Rakesh in Can be reached atenergy of students was Tech Mahindra. Shiva is a achieveforyou@gmail.combeing wasted and they m/ArticlesArchive.aspx ) faculty while pursuing hiswere not becoming ‘true He wanted me to talk MTech. All of them plan toengineers’. And without about these ideas to his continue his work. Beforejust talking about it, they students for a full day. joining their jobs, they wantdecided to do something This program was very to take two more batchesabout it. They started an well organized, they had and improve this programorganization and named it managed the venue and too.‘Achieve…your stay very professionally. Says Sunny, “I joined thisdestiny’ and within no Most important, the program to try somethingtime 62 students from 8 students were very different. In school we hadcolleges joined for a 45 receptive to the workshop hobbies, but in BTech thereday course. This is not a and stayed back long after is no encouragement for‘run-of-the-mill’ type of the workshop to discuss them. In this course, wecourse. Our heroes their personal challenges brought out long forgottenorganized lectures, visits, and ambitions. talents, saw and learnt teamtraining and awareness in Dileep says, “The seeds of work, discipline, interviewfour areas: Technical, this thought were sown skills etc. I feel we can alsoCreative, Entrepreneurial two years back when start clubs in our college.”
  6. 6. A dose of motivation every day…..resources from the internetTeacher’s Academy What and how much is has many motivating offline. learned is influenced by the anecdotes and messages MY HERO is a website which learner’s motivation. for everyone. This is one uses videos and text to bring out Hyderabad “People Often Say That site that doesn’t start the best of humanity and to Motivation Doesnt Last. sending lot of unnecessary empower young people to PHONE: 97011 41118 Well, Neither Does Bathing mails. realize their own potential to - Thats Why We http://www.inspirationalstor effect positive change in the E-MAIL: Recommend It Daily.” How very true! We have to find stories/index.htm asp ways of motivating The stories submitted by ourselves everyday. s/ Steve Goodier runs a readers are catalogued into This is a personal website and e-magazine various categories including one collection of Kwek Sing called Life support Systems. for teachers. Do read and share Cher with flash movies ( with your students. that can be also played About Teacher’s Academy… This July we will be teaching with a growing community of our teacher mailing list. completing four years. Do read the blog and leave your comments on-line Training and awareness See us at: workshops for teachers, Click on like students and principals Professor/203174356365130 are our core strengths. Share articles, useful Uma Garimella links, teaching resources and tips for effective