Professionalism!!

A principal walks into the classroom, she said to the teacher I hope you are not “chit chatting ‘and you’re teaching” When the teacher replied said that I have taught and students are working now,  she looked at the children’s work and asked them questions as what they were doing and pointed to the sight words and asked them to name it, just to check on the teacher if she had taught them or not and the children answered them all correctly, she leaves the room without thanking the teacher and the children. She wanted to cross check the teacher, if she had really taught them or not. She comes to class unannounced, well- she has a right, in front of the children she said “chit chat” to teachers and asked if we were doing that or teaching, now that’s not is not right!

Is that a professional way to talk to teachers in front of the students? Is this approach appropriate? Shouldn’t there be another approach? She could just come to class, look around and talk to children and ask them what they were doing and could have asked the teacher quietly as what the children were doing? Rather than adopting such an approach…which one is more appropriate? And why?

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Managing the middle school’s girls’ behavior

It’s 7:20, the school bell rings. Students start coming up the stairs towards the hall to put their bags in their lockers. As they get ready for class they’re loud, giggling, teasing, non-serious, running and showing attitude to the teachers. They look in their lockers trying to find their books and waste their time. The teacher proclaims that they have 2 more minutes and they need to quickly get their books and stationary.  After 2 minutes, she whistles and reminds them that their time is up and they need to go to their classes. Some of them ignore while others continue to talk and giggle, wasting time. A few head toward their classes. This is the start of another day for middle school girls and teachers!

Once all the students arrive, I take their attendance. After I’ve finished with the attendance, I notice that they’re all in uniform (blue trousers and white shirts), but their hair is down and some are wearing trendy goggles, jewelry, makeup and other hand accessories.

I start the lesson by explaining the classroom rules and procedures; they keep interrupting by asking questions to distract me.  I try and keep them focused but their behaviour gets rude and obnoxious.  I keep calm and explain the classroom rules and the consequences precisely but they are not interested.

After the class I reflect, think, ponder and question myself as to why they behave the way they do.

Some of the behavior I note is a lack of respect for teachers, self and school property, short attention span, lack of motivation, over socializing, laziness and general lack of integrity, bulling and lying.

As I conclude the students’ observation, I begin to research the reasons as to why middle school students behave inappropriately.   Research indicates that middle school children are aged 11 to 13 years.  At this age they go through hormonal and puberty changes. These changes have a huge transformation on their mental (brain) and physical body, sometimes making it difficult for them to control their behavior. Additionally, because of the increased amount of hormones in their bodies, they can fail to understand their emotional and social situation. Their mood suddenly changes for no reason and their feelings swing backwards and forwards, they laugh at one moment and cry the next.  They feel a sense of strangeness, confusion and exasperation and sometimes they start to “lose it”. All of this can lead to them becoming rebellious, emotionally up and down, to experience mood swings, become self absorbed, stubborn, forgetful and grumpy.  They desire more independence, think more abstractly, and irrationally, as well as form their own moral code and assert their opinion. They are desperate for greater freedom and desire strongly for attention, and like to have a status within their peer group. Also, they don’t like to be controlled by their parents or by their teachers. They also do not want to be around their parents the same way they used to be and are against parental control.

All research and observation directs me to believe that the reason for middle school students’ behavior is related to their hormonal changes of puberty.

 Considerate with Middle school girl’s behavior:

Parents and teachers must work together (to devise a plan that) helps middle school students understand this is an important phase in their life.  Parents in particular need to be involved with their children in disciplining and guiding by providing a structure secure, harmonious, peaceful, supporting and understanding home environment. Mothers can a play an important part in their lives by communicating, understanding and explaining to them about hormonal changes in their bodies and what they need to do and how they need to look after themselves.  Research agrees that parents need to communicate with their children, discuss and understand the changes   in their child’s body and mind. Furthermore, they must provide a secure, peaceful, loving and supporting environment that encourages the child to open up and trust and respect their parents.

 Disciplining Middle School’s Students:

Teachers need to create a behavior plan for middle school students.  Parents and students have to cooperate with teachers to facilitate the plan in order for students to find success in school and in their life. The plan needs to be rigorously implemented, have a proactive and a progressive discipline process, so that every student can learn, feel secure and be successful.

First is the discipline procedure. Next- teachers and administration oblige discipline and follow the process. Teachers need to put forward a systemic procedure of behavioral correction in which inappropriate behavior is followed by consequences. Furthermore, teachers should speak to the students about the discipline procedure and the consequences by going through  each policy, explaining what kind of code of conduct is expected from the students and what  the expectations and consequences of their behavior are and further explain that positive behavior will be rewarded and negative behavior will be penalized.  Students and parents must agree and sign their agreement.

If the student’s behavior escalates and is unresponsive, then the rule can be changed to suit its needs. Teachers further explain that disciplinary actions are designed to teach students  self discipline and help them substitute inappropriate behavior with  acceptable behaviour.

Defining Bullying

Bullying is a major and a serious problem with middle school girls; as it can appear  in different forms. Bullying is defined as physical or psychological intimidation that occurs repeatedly over time to create an ongoing pattern of harassment and abuse. Bullying is the belongings of others, stalking, hitting, coercion, intentional exclusion, and gossiping or spreading rumors. Both result in victims becoming socially rejected and isolated. It is not something that just happens at school, it can happen anywhere: at home, over the phone, through text messages, and online.

Stopping bullying in School

Teachers, school administration and other staff should ensure that all students learn in a safe and fear-free environment.  Parents, teachers and principals need to cooperate together to preclude bullying. This can be done by developing a comprehensive, intervention curriculum.  The school’s counseling and drama staff can instigate an anti bullying program, which can incorporate all the important components of the  prevention and intervention curriculum . The program can be presented as drama; the aim should be to educate students as to how to deal with bullies.  Students can learn about bulling by vicariously acting with positive model attitudes and behavior. They can relate and identify realistic and common bullying situations with other students. This will help them to clarify the universality of their experiences.

The other part of the program can be a discussion, which follows after the drama.  During discussion Students can process their feelings and discuss alternative ways of handling bullying situations. Teachers and principals involved in the program should reinforce these concepts; this is done by speaking to the students and explaining to them the policies on bullying.

Teachers need to provide support material and explain the types of bulling and to explicate different strategies as to how to deal with them.   Anti bullying rules can be developed and each student asked to sign an anti bullying pledge.

Conclusion:

 Middle school students are generally indiscipline; they show inappropriate and obnoxious behavior. They usually ignore school’s policy and regulations and enjoy doing whatever they prefer. Research agrees with these affirmations and further asserts this has to do with their hormones and age.  The findings recommend that students’ behavior can be disciplined if action is taken.  It also emphasizes the importance of understanding and communicating with them.

When action is undertaken, teachers and parents are able to see positive changes in these students; however inexperienced teachers often feel the challenge.   At first students are reluctant to change, nevertheless with persistence, care, patience and behaving in a positive manner towards the students, the desired results can be seen. Not only does it mark a new beginning of change for the students, teachers can see how discipline and proper behavior affects (was affecting delete) students’ learning.

Parents’ involvement, schools discipline polices teachers’ class rules and regulation, parents and teachers’ interactions, communication, guidance, a secure, peaceful, caring environment and structure are all vital for disciplining middle school girls.

Educational achievements and discipline cannot take place without forming a triangle, the teacher-student-parent.  Without effective involvement from all three elements, the triangle is incomplete and in spite of the utmost efforts from even one of them, the venture of learning will be destined to fail.

No evil propensity of the human heart is so powerful that it may not be subdued by discipline. Seneca ~

The great end of education is to discipline rather than to furnish the mind; to train it to the use of its own powers, rather than fill it with the accumulation of others. ~ Tyron Edwards

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Occurrence in public hospital clinic

   We all know that for a sick person, one option is a visit to a doctor. Recently, when I got “under the weather” I had no choice but to go to a public clinic and it was quite a daunting experience. According to Kuwaiti Law it is mandatory that expatriates have health insurance from government scheme or local insurer.  Having health insurance gives the expatriates comprehensive medical coverage in Kuwait that includes access to Kuwait healthcare facilities.

At 3:30 in the afternoon it is so quiet in the clinic that all the doctors are yawning or sleeping. Hardly any patients are in the clinic.  A good time to go, I thought upon entering the clinic. As I walked into the clinic I could smell dettol. There were cleaners mopping up with a forlorn look on their faces. A guy was standing near the machine where I picked up the ticket for expatriates.  I put a KD (dinar) in the machine to get a ticket, and gave it to person who enters the information into the computer. He took my health card, looked at it, then looked at me. He gave me a lazy look and gave me a printed paper with a room number and my number to see the doctor. I looked at the paper and I walked towards the corridor, saw the room number. When I found it, it was busy; I waited for few minutes outside the room.

Once the door opened I could see there was a man cleaning the room. As he left I walked into the room and greeted the doctor. He didn’t show compassion towards me. It seemed as if I had interpreted his break time or napping time. I started by telling him that I had cough, fever, and other problems. He didn’t seem interested. He started prescribing medicines and when I inquired about some medicines, he didn’t give information about the medicine or its side effects.  After, asking for an examination he gave me an inadequate response. “It’s not what you think it is” he said. When I recommended that I get a certain medicine because it suits me, he didn’t even answer my questions.  After getting a cold reception from the doctor, I thanked him anyway and left the room. I was disappointed as to why I even bothered to come to this clinic when I got such little help!

I walked to the pharmacy. A lady was sitting there with heavy makeup. She gave me a look that was unapproachable, yet I put the paper in front of her. She stared at the paper and started getting the medicine that were prescribed by the doctor. She told me what time I should take them. As I pick up the medicines,  she tells me “cough outside”.  I looked at her, and thought to myself that if one is working in a hospital clinic, they have to endure sick people and unhealthy people. They all come to hospital, with germs, virus, and bacteria. As a health worker one has to bear it.

 My conclusion from the experience is – if one is sick do not go to these public clinics although we pay to go there. They have a bad attitude, are arrogant, and unsympathetic. It is not a welcoming and a friendly hospital. The doctors are not serious about patient’s health, they don’t inquire or investigate the patient’s illness. They don’t prescribe right medicine to the patient. Overall the workers, the doctors, nurse, cleaning workers, clerical staff, and pharmacy staff is unfriendly, unwelcoming, distant and unhelpful towards patients! Staffs were rude, arrogant, and lazy or had a negative attitude. There was a lack of care and compassion. Staff did not do enough to ensure the patient was comfortable. Staff did not keep patients well informed and inadequate response to requests and complaints.

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Reasons to write..

Thoughts that come to our mind can be expressed through writing or speaking. Some people choose to speak to express, while others choose writing as an expression of their views, thoughts, ideas and opinion and it can be expressed creatively.

. The difference between speaking and writing is that when one is writing one can hear their thoughts but when speaking a lot of people can hear the person’s thoughts through speaking.   It helps the person to think better and so it enhances their speaking, because it gives the person the chance to put all their thoughts together, organize, edit, revise and then they can speak articulately.

Writing can make the person express their views and opinion on any topic. It is also a way to communicate with other people who can’t speak directly and thru writing one can communicate and is able to reach an unlimited amount of audience throughout the world.

Writing is also more personal and can be therapeutic because it can expel all the frustrations that had encumbered one’s mind, and this aggravation can go   on a paper, pen or word-processing and anger, fear, worry and stresses can be tackled without hampering the person who had embodied the emotions with just a paperweight.

Writing enhances communications skills, which can be hampering because mostly it is difficult to express oneself, whether it is verbal or written. By writing regularly, one can develop the skills of self expression. Writing on a daily basis gives one the time to think carefully and reflect on what to achieve the most and develop a clearer, achievable image and plan for the result.  

Writing also develops analytical and rational skills, by writing down our problems on a piece of paper, it encourages us to think clearly in both ways linear (sequential) and non-linear (creative) way. By writing it down we can see where we are heading, what directions is it taking us to, and then we can get to a solution.

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Mall

The other day I walked into one of the biggest mall  in Kuwait, I couldn’t help noticing that it has a beautiful architecture. The exterior is Arabic style and the interior is western, which is quite a fusion.   This is a two storey mall, basement has a huge space for car parking, the first floor has all the shops and the second floor has the food court.

 While shopping, I realized that it is humongous, modern, and decorated and has lots of huge plants and open space with beautifully lighted chandeliers.  It is a small world on its own, with plenty to offer for all tastes.

The mall has everything one would do normally during the holiday time or on weekends. It has all the brand shops, everything from clothes, shoes, cosmetics, jewelers, accessories, furniture, bookstores, electronic shops, pharmacy, and fitness shops.  Although, the mall offers so much to the public, yet there were very few serious shoppers.

 They have coffee and tea shops. The food courts have all kinds of restaurants from fast food to traditional, organic and healthy food. It has Cinema Theater, where one can watch the latest movie. It is very convenient to shop, entertain and eat   under one roof.

While shopping there I couldn’t help noticing that there were a large number of teenagers just wondering about. These boys and girls were all dressed casually, trendily or were dressed as pop stars. The boys’ hair was long weird hair styles and wearing torn jeans and pullovers with strange words or sentences written on them.    On the other hand the girls were all made up with very heavy makeup, bizarre hair styles and they were wearing revealing and skin tight tops and jeans or dresses, with unusual jewelry and high heals.  I noticed they were just walking and chatting with each other.

Some boys were following the girls and girls were following the boys and they were giggling and exchanging mobile numbers. They were just walking from one corner to another aimlessly.  Several of them were just killing their time and had nothing worthy to do. While others were there to make new friends and socialize with them and were finding the mall  a cool plan where they can hangout, chill, eat, have fun, tease each other, listen to music, make fun of each other, make new friends and look for a new fight!

 I left the mall wondering to myself, what is the purpose of this mall? Don’t these teenagers have any other place to use their energies and hangout? Very strange for something happening in a mall in my opinion.

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