Teachers are like potters. They mould the raw clay of the minds of the children into beautiful pots or figurines that last a lifetime. The effort they take in moulding the mind of the child is reflected in his personality throughout life.

Like artisans chiseling a rock to carve an exquisite sculpture, teachers chisel away unwanted flaws in the mindset of the child to transform him into a creation of art.

The role of the teachers in child development is highly commendable. It is important that we understand why we should appreciate teachers, When children enter school, their minds are like a clean slate – fresh and impressionable. The positive inputs and knowledge fed by the teachers make the child develop into a strong personality.

Not just academics, teachers play a vital role in inculcating moral values, ethics and integrity into the child. One instance of proof is the “conduct certificate” issued by schools and colleges for students. When they issue such a certificate, they must also understand the role they play in shaping the child’s character and conduct.

Eminent personalities like Dr. Abdul Kalam, former President of India have always attributed their success in life to their teachers. Even current celebrities like Bill Gates of Microsoft, Hillary Swank of Hollywood, American Poet Maya Angelou and our own Bipasha Basu of Bollywood have credited their teachers for their fame and status in life. Famous Anchor Oprah Winfrey and Former American President Bill Clinton to do not miss lauding the contribution of their teachers at every interview. In fact, Clinton’s Teacher Mr. Sputlin was the person who identified  Clinton for his leadership qualities and convinced him that he was wholly capable of organizing things.

When you are climbing uphill, you need a stick to hold on; A teacher is that support. If for some reason, you slip and fall, can you, in any way blame the teacher? This is what most of us do. If there is any folly on the part of the student, we blame teachers.

Only a complete comprehension of the role of a teacher can make us realize their value. Let us look at five reasons why we should appreciate teachers.

  1. Teachers educate students.

Academic education is not child’s play. Mastering the rules of grammar for a language or the concepts of science or mathematics is a laborious task. Understanding alone is not sufficient. Trying to explain this information in a simple and easily understandable manner is more Himalayan.  Teachers do all this and more-

  • They teach fundamentals
  • Explain concepts
  • Clarify doubts
  • Formulate and conduct tests
  • Assess performance
  • Review results
  • Summarize the information
  • Improvise teaching techniques

The list is endless.

  1. They guide students

Teachers have been known to identify and tap the potential of the student. Teachers interact with students regularly and thus are able to assess their strengths and weaknesses. So they are able to easily divert the student into the right path, channel their energy and make them focus on their targets.

  1. They inspire students

Teachers lead by example. Often teachers are living role models for students. Children often imbibe the positive qualities of teachers. Great masters have had even greater teachers. Aristotle- the Father of Science, was taught by Plato. Plato himself was the student of the legendary philosopher Socrates.

  1. Teachers counsel students

Teachers do not limit themselves to the academic field of duty. Instead, they go a step further and take a personal interest in the lives of students. They devote time and patience to listen to children about their personal and family issues and counsel them accordingly. Teachers must have a psychological bent of mind in reading the student, understanding his problems and advising them accordingly.

  1. Teachers motivate their students

It is not enough to just coach, guide or inspires the students. Teachers provide unflinching support and motivate the students when their spirits sag. The faith of the teacher in a student makes him triumph when all else fails.

Teachers are instrumental in identifying the spark of genius or talent in us. They are the winds that fan the fires of passion. They are the light that leads us into the tunnel of life. It is a time we understand why we should appreciate teachers and honour them accordingly.

Our own Teacher-President Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was such a living example and inspiration as a teacher that his birthday on September  5th is celebrated as ‘Teacher’s Day in India’. Let’s Practise is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and to enhancing the respect for teachers world wide.

 

A child is the dream of every parent come true- the culmination of his/her desires, the materialization of his/her ambition and the torchbearer of his/her legacy. Every parent inevitably dreams for greatness to be bestowed upon his offspring. These dreams are usually woven around the child’s future- what the child will become, what he/she acquires and how he/she lives. Most often parents tend to perceive their unfulfilled desires as goals for the child.

In this process, have you tried understanding your child’s aspirations?

Gone are the days when children used to blindly toe the line and obey their parents unquestioningly. With technology sweeping every aspect of our daily lives, children are exposed to new concepts, revolutionary ideas and radical thinking. Children have developed the art of questioning every act or event and tend to evolve a thought process of their own. In such a situation, thrusting our ideas on the child or forcing him to give up his aspirations would be the biggest folly a parent could commit.

WHAT ARE YOUR ASPIRATIONS FOR YOUR CHILD?

Every parent paints a vision of what he wants his child to be and this differs from individual to individual. But on the whole, on analyzing this data, we found the predominant parental aspirations to be:

  •        A happy child
  •        A healthy child
  •        An intelligent child
  •        An all-rounder
  •        A well-behaved child
  •        A top performer in academics

Above all this, some parents may aspire for the following from their children

  •        Affluence
  •        Social status
  •        A  touch of  the genius
  •        A prominent personality

Whatever the case may be, it is not wrong to aspire for your child but it is more important to put their aspirations first, ahead of yours.

You should not have too many though, so be careful not to choke on your aspirations, parents.

A simple assessment of the academic grades of  3500 middle school students was done along with their parents’ expectations in Bavaria. It was found that when the parents’ expectations are high but realistic, the children’s grades shot up. But the moment the parents started to over-expect from their child, the kid’s grades took a nosedive. This clearly shows that it is not wrong to expect but clearly wrong to over-expect from your child.

Why all this confusion? why not take the simple route of understanding your child’s aspirations? This is how you do it.

    1.Have a heart- to-heart chat with your child.

Sit with your child and open up a conversation on the topic of his interest. Slowly bring in the topic of his future, ambition, goal etc. It is important that you merely initiate the conversation. Then LISTEN.

  1. No negative responses.

Do NOT negate, criticize or ridicule the child for whatever he might express even if it might be a shocking revelation for you. For instance, you might have dreamt of your child becoming a scientist, he might want to become a painter.

  1. Accept his choice

Hear the child out fully. Then question him gently if you find his aspiration to be a very different one. You have every right to question but none to be judgemental. Merely accept his decision whatever it may be.

  1. No motivation?- ok- but no demotivation!

Sometimes parents are not able to digest the academic, career or life aspirations of the child. In such cases,  if you cannot motivate, be passive- do not demotivate them.

  1. Don’t over-react

In the process of encouraging your child, don’t exceed yourself in your enthusiasm. Adopt a balanced stance to allow the child to make a realistic judgement about his aspiration.

  1. Celebrate his strengths, identify his weaknesses

Now that you are at the crossroads of making important decisions regarding your child and his aspirations, it is imperative that you examine his strengths and weaknesses objectively. This will help you guide the child in the future in times of need. Most importantly, it will help you to stop him from taking wrong turns in life.

Your child may be a great guitarist but he might fail in algebra. Never mind, try motivating the child in the field of his passion and strength. Your support is the best foundation you can provide.

  1. Do not thrust your ambitions on your child.

You might have wanted to be a great ballerina, don’t nag your child to do a pirouette if she can’t. Allow the child to spread her wings and soar high to find her own destination.

  1. Be supportive always

Children often fail even after choosing their own path. Do not adopt the ” I -told-you-so” attitude. Be a support to fall back on at all times, especially when they fail.

Children are the footprints we leave for the future. Make sure they leave an indelible mark in the world by understanding their aspirations and supporting them always.

Let’s Practise can help your students excel. We are teachers and parents ourselves, so we have a lot of experience dealing with children. We offer worksheets and test prep material for Math, Science, English, Hindi, and more. You can give them some extra information with whatever they want to pursue or lend them a helping hand in the areas they are weak. Just contact us to begin!

Grammar is the backbone of any good conversation, writing or speech and this fact is universally applicable for any language. The grammatical usage of a person speaks volumes about his/her education, upbringing, social class etc. Then why take chances? Let us sharpen our Grammar skills to improve our verbal and written communication.

Like any other language, English too has its own grammar rules. What one should ideally do is identify the thumb rule of the particular context and stick to it, making note of the exceptions, if any. The only way to improve your grammatical strength is to make a conscious effort to work on your grammar literally, every day.

Let us begin by looking at some of the basic errors we commit in the usage of English Grammar.

1.AGREEMENT OF THE VERB WITH THE SUBJECT:

The subject of a sentence is a NOUN- meaning a person, place or thing.

The VERB is usually an ACTION word that follows the noun- it tells us what the subject is doing, has done or going to do.

For example- Peter ate his breakfast.

Here, ‘Peter’ is the SUBJECT and ‘ate’ is the verb in past tense.

Now the important THUMB RULE here is

THE VERB SHOULD AGREE WITH THE SUBJECT IN NUMBER.

Look at this simple table- it tells you how the verb has to agree with the subject.

Verb- to be        tense- present

Verb- to write         tense – present

Rule: SINGULAR SUBJECT TAKES ON A SINGULAR VERB.

PLURAL SUBJECT TAKES ON A PLURAL VERB.

Example: I am /You are/She is walking

They are walking.

  1. AGREEMENT OF THE VERB WITH SUBJECT FOR COLLECTIVE NOUNS

A collective noun is a term used to define a group of persons or objects as a single word.

Example: Crowd- a group of people

Some collective nouns are listed under:

Now the important THUMB RULE here is

ANY COLLECTIVE NOUN IS TAKEN AS A SINGULAR OBJECT AND MUST BE FOLLOWED BY A SINGULAR VERB.

For Example: An army of soldiers is passing by.

A bouquet is presented to every dignitary of the function.

  1. CONFUSION IN THE NUMBER OF THE SUBJECT WHILE USING “OF”

Generally, users of English make the common mistake of confusing themselves over whether the subject is singular or plural when “of” is used.

Example:

A shoal of fish looks colourful as it passes by.

Here “shoal” is a collective noun referring to a group of fish.

People often get confused becomes of the use of “of” after the subject. When the subject is followed by an “of”, learners assume the subject to become plural.

Now the important THUMB RULE here is

CHECK whether A COLLECTIVE NOUN appears BEFORE THE “OF”. Then it is SINGULAR.

Incorrect usage: A shoal of fish look colourful as they pass by.

Correct usage: A shoal of fish looks colourful as it passes by.

  1.  CORRECT VERB USAGE FOR 2 SINGULAR OBJECTS LINKED WITH

“EITHER/OR” & “NEITHER/NOR”

Sentences using “either/or” and “neither /nor” cause some confusion among learners. They are often unsure of how to use the following verb here.

Now the important THUMB RULE here is

WHEN 2 SINGULAR OBJECTS ARE LINKED USING “EITHER/OR” OR “NEITHER /NOR”, THE VERB WILL BE IN SINGULAR.

Incorrect usage:  Neither Sammy nor her mother are going to the party.

Correct usage: Neither Sammy nor her mother is going to the party.

Incorrect usage:  Either Philip or his dad are leaving today.

Correct Usage: Either Philip or his dad is leaving today.

  1. CORRECT VERB USAGE FOR 2 PLURAL OBJECTS LINKED WITH

“EITHER/OR” & “NEITHER/NOR”

When plural objects are used with “either/or” or” neither/nor”.

Now the important THUMB RULE here is

WHEN 2 PLURAL OBJECTS ARE LINKED USING “EITHER/OR” OR    “NEITHER /NOR”, THE VERB WILL AGREE WITH THE NOUN/PRONOUN THAT PRECEDES IT.

For example,

Neither the dogs nor the cat eats the food. – Here the verb “eats” is in agreement with the singular noun “the cat”.

Neither the cat nor the dogs eat the food – Here the verb “eat” is in agreement with the plural noun “the dogs”.

Keep these thumb rules in mind while you use nouns and verbs and surely, you will never go wrong.

English Grammar is like Algebraic Theorems- there are rules like theorems with exceptions like corollaries.

Just master the rules of English Grammar by memorizing them and use them wherever necessary. Like Math, you will always get it right.

Let’s Practise has a lot of study sheets and exam papers to help your child with their grammar. We assist students from 1st to 9th standard and have worksheets for CBSE, SSC, IGCSE, and ICSE Boards. You can check out the information about ICSE Board here.

It is very difficult to make today’s generation listen to you. It is essential for students to understand the concepts and not treat subjects as mere topics for passing the examination.  To make this happen teachers should make their class fun and exciting for students. Especially if it is a science class, then teachers can easily evoke the natural curiosity of children through lively classes and digital learning.

Experts at Lets Practise share five tips to make the science class interesting and make students love science.

 

  1. Get them engaged

Engaging students in some activities is a great way to get the science class started. This will refresh the young minds and keep them excited for the rest of the class. Students should be encouraged to prepare and stick colourful charts related to their lessons on the classroom walls.  The teacher can use them to demonstrate science concepts and also involve students in discussions. End each class with a great question that students can solve in the next class.  

 

  1. Evaluate student’s understanding

It is very important for teachers to know how deep students understand their lessons. Every student’s level of understanding is different. So you can evaluate your students by having surprise class tests, checking their lab reports or by asking one of them to conduct a small science experiment in the class and explain the results.

 

  1. Explain difficult concepts

Some students are hesitant to clarify their doubts in class for fear of being embarrassed. Teachers should welcome questions even illogical ones and then bifurcate them as easy and tough science concepts as perceived by students. Teachers should then elaborate on these topics and try to make them simple.

Example: They can explain the process of growth of plants by sowing seeds in their class windows, etc.

 

  1. Assign  science projects to groups

Projects are a great way to enrich the child’s experience. Teachers can divide students into groups and assign one project for each group. This way student will get time to explore science concepts and also learn together. Group projects will also encourage students to coordinate with each other. The teacher can also gift certificates and awards for the best team project. Teachers can suggest topics like the best use of renewable energy sources, solar energy projects, the life cycle of a butterfly, etc.

     

  1. Use technology

Teachers can use digital technologies to empower children.  It is proven that visuals are much powerful than words. Teachers can project complicated science concepts or chemistry experiments on a digital blackboard for ease of understanding. This can also be used to study the generation of electricity, rain cycle, etc which cannot be visualized in class otherwise.

 

Students will face many situations in life where they can apply different science concepts. Though some science concepts are boring, a teacher can make them fun and interesting for students. Those were five tips from our experts to make your class interesting. If you have any suggestions or personal experience that can help science students, please share them with us at  http://www.letspractise.com/contactUs                                                  

                                                            

 

Is it your child’s first field trip? If so, we understand how difficult it would be for you to leave your child alone especially if the trip demands an overnight stay. Learning from a child’s experience is as necessary as learning from his books. These kinds of excursions will help emotional and intellectual development in her.

So, if parents are hesitant to send their small ones on the trip, they can clarify all their doubts regarding the excursion with the teacher.  The following are some questions that you can ask her teacher or the in charge of the trip:

  •    What is the medium and route of travel?
  •    Who is responsible for the safety of the kids?
  •    What are the do’s and don’ts for the trip?

Experts at Lets Practise share five useful tips for parents to help the child prepare for a field trip:

  1. Plan ahead

To prevent your child from getting nervous at the last minute, parents should plan everything in advance. If it is a two or three-day trip, neatly iron and packs her clothes and other essentials for the trip. Also, let her know where you have placed them. Most of the schools ask their children to come in a particular colour for the trip. So check her school dairy if any such information. Keep her dress, shoes and socks, bags, et cetera ready the previous night itself.

  1. Talk to them

Parents should talk to their children about the field trip, especially if it is her first time. Ask her what she is expecting from the field trip. Explain to her everything that she may come across in the journey. Make her understand the way she should behave in the trip. Mentally prepared children are less likely to suffer homesickness. Keep some over the counter (a cough, cold, headache) medicine handy and inform the teacher about the same.

  1. Know how much cash is appropriate for the trip

We know that you take care of every need of your child. You would have a surely packed couple of snacks, clothes and other essentials, but there are times when your child wishes to buy something from the field trip. Giving too much money is not safe for the child at the same time a very little amount can also leave your child in an embarrassing situation. So, you can ask her teacher to suggest the amount that you can give her.

  1. Place contact details at right places

Though this point seems too much, you cannot ignore this while preparing for the trip. Every school makes sure that their children are safe but to be safer parents can keep the contact information in the child’s pockets, bag, water bottle, etc. this will help the child to get back to her group even if she gets away from them.

  1. Safety Precaution

This is the last but most important tip for parents to prepare their child for her field trip. When it comes to your child, her safety would always be your first priority.  To ensure that your child is safe even when she is away from you, you need to take the following actions:

  •    If your child needs personal attention at certain times, please inform her teacher or the trip in charge in advance.  Example: vomiting sensation during the bus journey.
  •    If your child is allergic to anything, it is very important to let her teacher know that.
  •   If your child is taking medicines for anything, you can give the medication for the appropriate number of days.

 

Try these tips in next first field trip and if she had already been on a trip then let us know about her experience. Was she able to relate it to her curriculum? If you have any valuable tips for other parents please share them with us here.