A real gift…

This is just wonderful…

A group of children from Dayton Elementary surprised their teacher Monday with a rare surprise — the gift of color.

Beau Scott, the 4th and 5th grade higher ability teacher at Dayton Elementary School, is color blind. At stoplights, the colors look the same.

A few of his students wanted to do something special for him. Claire De Lon, a 5th grader, and Nori Patterson, a 4th grader, both were trying to raise money for colour-seeing glasses for Scott.  An amazingly thoughtful gift.

“It must be really hard for him to see that way,” Claire said.

Nori said she and her family wanted to do something nice for Scott, and the two girls found out they were both trying to do the same thing.

Scott is one of Claire and Nori’s favorite teachers, so it made sense to do something for him.

So the two joined forces and started to raise money for the glasses.

Claire sold decorative mice with candy cane tails, and students in the class donated anywhere from $5 to $10 each to raise a little more than $300 for Scott’s glasses.

Both Nori and Claire were nervous because, in some cases, the glasses don’t work for everyone.

636491925372539110-IMG-0313-1-The students told Scott they wanted to perform a Harry Potter “magic trick.” So when he closed his eyes, the students gave him a wand, a broom and his Quidditch goggles — also known as the color-seeing glasses.

Then, on the count of three, the kids held up a sign saying “Merry Christmas” on different colors of paper.

At first, he didn’t notice the change, he said. But after lifting the glasses slightly, he could see the difference.

“Oh my gosh, guys,” he said. “Oh my gosh. This is awesome. I can see the colors.”

His wife, Aliya, was in attendance, and the two discussed what he’ll be able to do with the glasses.

One thing he’s looking forward to is picking out clothes for his children, he said with a laugh.

“Now you can see at stop lights,” Aliya Scoot, his wife, said with a smile.

Just the best don’t you think!


Head teacher banned for pay rise ‘eyesight’ trick

From the BBC.

This is appalling and thankfully a rare case amongst many great and hardworking Headteachers.

_99409224_school.jpgA head teacher has been banned from his profession for tricking a colleague “with poor eyesight” into signing off a £19,000 pay rise.

David Bishop-Rowe, 61, taught at Sutton School and Specialist College in Dudley from 2002 until 2014.

A professional conduct panel heard he got the rise in 2013-14 without the governors’ approval.

Mr Bishop-Rowe was guilty of “serious and sustained dishonesty”, a professional misconduct panel found.

The National College for Teaching and Leadership panel heard a colleague who signed off the pay rise said she “didn’t know what she was signing”.

They also saw evidence that Mr Bishop-Rowe had carried out private consultancy work during working hours, instructed the deputy head teacher to falsify an invoice and wrongly claimed additional salary payments.

He owned a company called Education Development Consultancy Limited and carried out paid, private work without the governing board’s permission.

‘Absolutely disgusting’

In December 2013, a whistleblower complaint was made and shortly afterwards the school began an investigation into Mr Bishop-Rowe’s behaviour.

He was suspended in April 2014 and resigned the following month.

The school caters for around 160 pupils aged 11-16 with moderate learning difficulties.

In a statement to the panel, a colleague described Mr Bishop-Rowe’s 21% pay rise as “absolutely disgusting”.

Mr Bishop-Rowe was told by Alan Meyrick, acting on behalf of the Education Secretary Justine Greening, that he was banned from teaching indefinitely and would not be able to apply for restoration.

Mr Meyrick said the fact Mr Bishop-Rowe had offered “some apologies but no reasonable explanation for his behaviour” meant there was a risk of repetition in the future.

Christmas gifts at School

Around Christmas time some children or children’s parents may well want to splash out on a small gift for you.

It is a nice and welcome gesture although the one thing I treasure is a card I got from the parents of a girl in my class who had been struggling but was now doing really well…best gift ever.

be90521f-56d0-409b-9820-ca2da3ccc31d_large.jpgAnyway, home made sweets, chocolate, mugs, home made cards and the occasional oddity (children have some strange ideas on occasionally) are lovely, however we do need to be careful here.

Not all children will give something and you should not expect anything…if you get something it is an extra but you must not treat children any different.

What happens if parents give you an expensive gift?

Personally I would refuse because I would rather see the money spent of the child but you also have to be careful not to upset the parents or feel beholding to them because of the gift they have given you.

Firstly, look at the school policy on gifts.

You will probably have a limit and if it exceeds that then you would to inform the school and see what they decide.

Gifts are great but sad to say there is always a possibility of corruption, favouritism and then it all becomes very unpleasant.

Something to think about when the end of term comes.

Christmas at school

What a time…

Everyone is tired.

626345-800x600.scale_type-center_crop.jpgThe children have just gone through an 8 week term which is exhausting for them. The teachers have just gone through an 8 week term which is exhausting for them and we Teaching Assistants have also gone through an 8 week term.

It is tiring for all concerned. It’s a shame those who set the term dates (the local council) don’t look at the effect it has on children…

Anyway as children get tired there can be a tendency to be ill tempered, to be clumsy and sloppy with school work. It’s not their fault.

Patience is not always great abundance.

So you need to prepare yourself for the last few weeks before Christmas. Lessons will change (sometimes at the last moment) and chances are you will end up making decorations, be involved in Nativity rehearsal (if you are in a Church school), choir rehearsals with children getting very excited.

I tend to join in their excitement, it’s fun for them and for me.

You will need to put up a Christmas Tree or decorate your classroom, maybe sort out some Christmas themed activities.

Some of the children may well bring you in a card or a small gift which is lovely, chocolate seems to be the thing – shame I am diabetic!

The parents will have a whip round for both you and the teacher and may well come in and give a small token of their appreciation for the headache these children can give you over the last term…oops ermm…I mean for taking care of their learning and emotional needs when at school!!

I have a child who I have had in interventions in the last two years and he has recently gathered speed in his learning, so much so that he has not only caught up in one subject but is now ahead of where he should be.

This is why I do the job, this is ultimately for me as a Teaching Assistant do fulfilling.

You may finish any interventions you are doing and will need to write a report. I was doing one last term and will be embarking on another this term. The report will usually go directly to the SENCO and if you can make time discuss their results with the SENCO and what the next steps maybe.

As the last few days of term come in very little work will be done and with a bit of luck you may leave a little earlier.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to one and all!

Naughty Children

So what do you do with naughty children?

Untitled 1
Typical Classroom Behaviour Ladder

As a Teaching Assistant you will have naughty, willful, obnoxious rude children.

Hopefully not too many but they can be tricky to deal with.

Firstly, you need to familiarise yourself with your schools policy on behaviour.

Every school has a policy (which will differ slightly) and each classroom should have a behaviour ladder of sorts.

Pegs are moved up and down depending on the behaviour of every child in the class.

If it goes beyond the ladder or is in the playground then you need to know who to take the child to. In the classroom, it will normally be down to the Teacher although you should advise the teachers on any behaviour issues anywhere in the school as soon as possible.

If it is serious you may need to write the incident down, sign it and date as part of safeguarding.

Relationships with children are complex and sometimes fraught but in a school every child is treated equally, no favourites and no arch enemies!

In my experience every child has a reason for good or bad behaviour, but I have on occasion (and rarely) seen some children treated poorly by adults, being called stupid or sarcasm used which saddens me but it is a rarity.

My key word is kindness, being kind without being soft.

…continuing from yesterday as campaigners condemn ‘ludicrous’ hijab questioning…

Muslim campaigners have condemned “discriminatory” plans for school inspectors to question girls who wear hijab in primary school.

Yersterdays post explained that the Head of Ofsted Amanda Spielman would be asking why they (the children) wear the headscarf, which “could be interpreted as sexualisation of young girls”.

But some have asked why the pupils and not the schools will be challenged. I would take a guess here that because there is no legal basis for any school uniform the schools cannot really be held responsible for what children wear.

hijabs-630x388Oftsed should instead ask “why are primary school uniform policies allowing hijab for girls under the age of puberty when Islamic laws state otherwise,” she added.

Maybe parents should be asked as they, of course, are the one clothe the children. I’m not sure if a child will really understand.

Ofsted said the move was in line with its current practice of assessing whether a school promotes equality.

The hijab is traditionally worn as a sign of modesty once a girl reaches puberty which I would guess most Islamic parents know so I am not too sure why you would want a young child to wear it.

Research by the National Secular Society in September suggested 59 of 142 Islamic schools, including 27 primary schools, in England have a uniform policy which states a head-covering is compulsory. “The hijab in primary schools should be something that is dealt with via the schools uniform policy,” said Sajda Mughal, head of JAN Trust, a charity working with BAME and Muslim women.

She called the move by Ofsted “nonsense and discriminatory” and said it will be used by extremists to advance their narrative of “them and us'” and could fuel marginalisation which seems a little over the top in my opinion.

“I know as a Muslim mother of young girls, I’d be alarmed and horrified if I found that my daughters were questioned if they wore the hijab,” she said.

Surely if you dress your child with a head covering you would teach them why you are doing it, what it is for and what part it plays in your faith?

Amina Lone, from the Social Action and Research Foundation, was one of those who lobbied Ofsted to take action.

“As a second generation Muslim woman and a parent, I have huge concerns about the increasing encroachment of gender inequality in public spaces for women of faith,” she told the BBC’s Asian Network. “The hijab is absolutely not required for children.

“Gender equality was hard fought for in this country and we shouldn’t be diluting that.”

She said it was “absurd” to be having this debate in 2017 and stressed this was not about secondary school children or adults.

There is no ban on Islamic dress in the UK, but schools are allowed to decide their own dress code.

Current government advice states: “Pupils have the right to manifest a religion or belief, but not necessarily at all times, places or in a particular manner.”

Shereen, a hijabi, said the choice should be between the parents and the child.

The mother-of two, whose own daughters do not wear a hijab, said the headscarf has been misrepresented.

“It has nothing to do with sexualising children. That claim is ridiculous,” she told the BBC Asian Network.

Vlogger and mother, Nilly Dahlia agreed. She started wearing hijab aged 22.

“Hijab is not about sexualisation. It is a sign of submission to our faith,” she said.

“I do feel like the government are trying to control Muslims.”

But blogger Hifsa Haroon-Iqbal said the issue was simply a school uniform one.

“If schools do not want young children in primary education to wear hijabs in school, this needs to be made explicitly clear within the school uniform policy.

“This is not about racism, being islamophobic or discriminatory. It is common sense,” the mother-of-three wrote. “To subject a young child to questioning about why they are dressed in a particular way is ludicrous as it will always warrant the same response, ‘because my mother dresses me’.”

Then maybe the parents will need to asked why they are not following their faiths rules?

Ofsted inspectors to quiz schoolgirls in hijabs

I saw this on the BBC today.

Apparently Inspectors will question girls who wear hijabs in primary school to find out why they do so, head of Ofsted Amanda Spielman has said. She said creating an _98820290_8191dc4a-d80f-44d5-aabc-7025e2cc7267environment where Muslim children are expected to wear the headscarf “could be interpreted as sexualisation of young girls”.

She may well have a point as the hijab is traditionally worn as a sign of modesty once a girl reaches puberty.

And as far as I am aware it is not uncommon for young girls to marry older men. This certainly happens in other countries but is illegal here although why make your child wear a hijab when she is so young.

But the Muslim Council of Britain said Ofsted’s policy was “deeply worrying”. The announcement comes after Ms Spielman met campaigners from the Social Action and Research Foundation think thank on Friday.

In September, the foundation’s head, Amina Lone, co-ordinated a letter to the Sunday Times from campaigners arguing that the hijab has “no place in our primary schools”, and demanding action as Muslim girls as young as five were “increasingly veiled”.

Of course, evidence needs to be produced if this is the case. At my school no child wears a hijab and seeing as you can legally send your child to primary school in any clothes I am not sure Ofsted has a leg to stand on, unless they change the law – which of course could happen.

“This is an affront to the historical fight for gender equality in our secular democracy and is creating a two-tiered form of non-equality for young Muslim girls,” the letter said.

Explaining her decision to act, Ms Spielman said: “While respecting parents’ choice to bring up their children according to their cultural norms, creating an environment where primary school children are expected to wear the hijab could be interpreted as sexualisation of young girls.

I believe we should and can bring our children up with our, that is British cultural norms which no longer includes head coverings. If you wish to do that as an adult then great but not as a child.

“In seeking to address these concerns, and in line with our current practice in terms of assessing whether the school promotes equality for their children, inspectors will talk to girls who wear such garments to ascertain why they do so in the school.”

She urged parents concerned about fundamentalist groups influencing school policy or breaching equality law to complain to the school or to Ofsted.

Muslim Council of Britain secretary general Harun Khan said: “It is deeply worrying that Ofsted has announced it will be specifically targeting and quizzing young Muslim girls who choose to wear the headscarf. “It sends a clear message to all British women who adopt this that they are second-class citizens, that while they are free to wear the headscarf, the establishment would prefer that they do not.”

I don’t believe that this is the case because we are talking about primary school children NOT adult women.

He also said many British Muslims who wear the headscarf have done “extremely well” in education. “It is disappointing that this is becoming policy without even engaging with a diverse set of mainstream Muslim voices on the topic,” he said.

Mr Khan urged Ms Spielman to reverse the decision and said it risked being “counter-productive” to Ofsted’s promise to uphold British values.

It will be interesting to follow this.