Failure – mistakes are good! Fail – first attempt in learning!

We all fear failure. It is something we are all afraid of. Take each letter of the word FAIL. First Attempt In Learning. I think we should all view failure as a stepping stone to achieving. My boys are learning that failure is a good thing! Read on to find out why failure – mistakes are good.

It is a proven fact that your brain grows bigger when you get things wrong. New pathways are made inside your brain each time you make a mistake! We place such high value on achievements and getting things right. In actual fact if we get everything right the first time then we do not actually learn a great deal. In order to learn we need to make mistakes – these then give us something to work with and something to improve on.

For example if I am working on addition in Maths I may always get the answers right. Now the child who muddles subtraction and addition will actually learn that these two are commutative and do indeed complement one another. In mistaking addition for subtraction and using the wrong calculation I can learn additional facts that will help me to progress further.

I always tell the children I work with and teach that I want them to make mistakes. I want them to fail… sometimes. Failure – mistakes are good. They ensure we learn but they need to be set up in the right way. That’s right! I’m suggesting we set our children up to fail… sometimes BUT it needs to be done in the right way to ensure they learn and grow from the experience and is not damaging to the self-esteem or confidence.

Amazing right?

Share this with your children – failure makes us grow!

Here’s a great poster from big life journal!

School isolation and restraint- are the effects damaging?

The use of restraint in schools has been questioned recently along with the use of school isolation. Why? Ministers say the effects of this can be damaging.

A teacher’s job?

As a teacher my job is to teach a class and ensure they make progress. But how do you do that with children continually disrupting learning?

It’s not easy particularly when children cannot cope with the situation they are in. I have in the past been kicked, hit, sworn at, spat on by children who couldn’t cope in the environment. We might question whether the classroom is the best place for these children. Sometimes large groups are intimidating to children and this can lead to feelings of high anxiety and outbursts that can be quite scary.

The effects of school isolation

If a child has been misunderstood and does not have the language to explain themselves properly, a school that then puts that child into school isolation is pushing the child further away. This creates more anxiety and feelings of isolation for the child. Rather than being supportive and working through the issue together, the child ends up feeling further removed. I’m not sure how this achieves anything good for anybody least of all the child who should be at the heart of everything.

So what happens as a result of these behaviours? That depends on the school. Some schools do not know how to deal with behaviours such as these and therefore do not cope well. They do not have the strategies in place to offer the right support. A child lashes out for a reason – usually because they don’t have the language to express themselves.

So is restraint or school isolation the right reaction to an action that may have been out of fear or emotion not understood?

I think it depends on the circumstances. Restraint used correctly to prevent a child from hurting themselves – yes.
I’m not sure what seclusion achieves… does it solve the problem? It gives everyone else space but doesn’t really solve anything. Could it do more damage than good? Quite possibly!

So should it be used? What do you think? Comment below!

BBC News – School seclusion ‘could have damaging effects’

Home education? Japanese children refuse to go to school…

More and more children in Japan are ‘leaving’ the formal school system as they say it makes them miserable. It appears many children experience bullying and do not engage with such a formal education. Is home education the way forward?

As a result of this children are taking an alternative type of schooling ‘futoko’ which means non-attendance. They pretty much do as they like and don’t gain any qualifications. This will have serious knock on effects in the future.

While our school system is anything but perfect for many it works. For those that struggle in the school system there is the option to home educate. Many parents are opting for home education. For many this is because the school system does not offer what they need. Many special needs are not being addressed properly in schools and this is causing a high level of anxiety in children. We are now in a system where data and results are more highly valued than the well-being of our children. A child will not learn if their emotional needs are not put first. If their heads are full of anxiety and depressive thoughts there is not the capacity to take in more. Many teachers now have a full time teaching job and are also juggling the effects of this system too and playing social worker come counsellor.

Why is it that we continue to push our children into systems that we have had for centuries. Our world is changing so quickly – is education keeping up?

BBC News – Why so many Japanese children refuse to go to school

Private tuition paid for by schools helps pupils pass exams

So a school in London is paying for some of its pupils to have private tuition to help with their exams. Some children are left feeling like they are failing. This is due to an education system that is not able to offer what all children need. Many children do not get the attention that they need to support their learning as class sizes are often too large.

This is leading to many parents choosing to employ a private tutor for their children to ensure they make the expected progress. What about those parents that cannot afford private tuition? A school in London has chosen to spend some of its pupil premium money on private tuition for a select few of its pupils. This is to ensure they do not miss out on the same opportunities that their more affluent pupils get.

At Teach My Child we tailor sessions to meet your child’s needs. Small groups work best as they give a good amount of time with the teacher. They also allow the pupils to discuss and learn together. Small groups offer the care, attention and individuality that cannot be given in a class of 30. If your son or daughter is struggling with maths please get in touch. We currently have a few spaces left for our sessions starting in January 2020.

Let me help you help your child with affordable small group tuition – comment below if you’d like help.😊

BBC News – School pays for private tuition to help with exams

New Year, New You?

Many of us decide to make changes as the new year approaches. We may have habits we’d like to change or we might strive to achieve something over the coming year. Whatever it is why not include your child in this process and encourage them to strive for something this coming year?

Here is an image from Pinterest that could work really well. The idea is you talk with your children about things you might like to have a go at this year or things you might like to stop for example – eating less chocolate or maybe there is a new skill you would like to learn. Discuss what you would each like to do as a family and record these. Pack them away in a safe place and then next year review your New Year’s Resolutions together. It will be fun to see what you wrote down and whether you achieved what you set out to do!

Making stew?

Well I expect we have all eaten a little too much and you might now be wondering what to do with all that excess turkey??

You could make a turkey stew with the help of your little ones. Carefully guiding them they can learn how to chop vegetables, create a stock and then add the ingredients to make a delicious and healthy turkey stew.

Click here for Jamie Oliver’s left-over turkey stew recipe!