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Donna Eaves

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About Donna Eaves

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  • Birthday 06/05/1978

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    Tasmania, Australia
  1. Donna Eaves

    New Australian site for teachers

    Thanks heaps John for including me in the newsletter. I've been a bit busy with the new school term starting to get into the site updates at the moment, but plenty more things coming soon. I appreciate your support.
  2. Donna Eaves

    Problem Solving Approach to Changing Behaviour

    Thanks Anne - this actually sounds like just what I need. I started the year with about 4 (almsot 5) students who displayed extremely challenging behaviours in the classroom. In one term I've managed to bring that down a significant amount but two of them in particular are still proving to be very difficult - including one boy who has just managed his 9th suspension in about 17 weeks of schooling - mostly for serious violence against other students and teachers. Another isn't a regular suspension, but is very difficult to control in the classroom. The other 2-3 are improving but still challenging. I think that your strategy above will be great for these students, to discuss their current behaviours and where they might like to head in the future and how they see their time at school. I have a uni intern starting with my class this week, so I might be able to use some of my time sitting down individually with these students (because seriously, when else do you get that time) and follow your basic strategy above. It would be good to have a serious discussion with them and get them to think positively about their time at school and what they hope to achieve. I'll give it a try and let you know how it goes...
  3. Donna Eaves

    Are holidays really necessary?

    As jaywalker mentioned above, I too am frustrated by parents full day absenteeism just to have a haircut or a dentist visit. I have a couple of mothers who regularly book their children in for appointments during school hours and come in just to tell me they think it would be easier to keep them home all day - a bit inane when they've just made the effort to come all the way into school to let me know that. I know I'd make every effort to book my son in for appointments with minimal disruption to his schooling, and if he did have to miss time, he'd be away from school as little time as possible. It may be that I'm a working mother, but more importantly that I value his education. Should an opportunity arise to take a family holiday to another part of the world, I wouldn't hesitate to take my children out of school during term time, but I know I'd be able to monitor the education, and I know I certainly wouldn't make a habit of it. Absenteeism is a big problem at my current school of employment and the same parents expect so much when reporting time comes around. I don't believe they realise the serious detriment to their child by their regular lack of attendance.
  4. Donna Eaves

    New Australian site for teachers

    Thanks John - that was my next step I got a bit too interested in a number of discussions going here. As it is I should be doing some other planning ... but I'm excited to find another teaching forum with active participants
  5. Donna Eaves

    Student Teacher Support

    I'm here and keen to chat. I am actually finding the same problems with my own forum which I started for this very reason. Being a computer and internet enthusiast, I wanted a place to discuss everything and anything to do with education with my colleagues so I began the process of learning web development and with a bit of help from my fiance (a computer programmer) I created AusTeachers (and specifically, AusTeachers Discussion Forums with the hope that there'd be many other young teachers particularly, like me, who wanted to share what they'd learnt and gain more information. I even had the opportunity to present the website at a conference of almsot 100 beginning teachers in my state a couple of weeks ago and I got a lot of comments about hwo good it sounded, and I've had lots of people checking the site according to the stats, but very few are actually taking the next step and posting. I've even had people donate books to me to give as prizes for contributions to the site, and very little response. It can be very disheartening but it means a lot to me and I shall continue to plod along with it for the sake of the few who do pay attention. Here's to hoping for more luck for both of our sites - but as it stands, I'm here and ready to discuss anything and everything
  6. Donna Eaves


    My teaching experience has been short compared to some, but I'e taught in many schools and over many age groups and I've experienced a wide range of challenging behaviours - ADHD being a common disorder I have come across in my teaching. My current grade 2 class has one female student who is being satisfactorily medicated for ADHD, one male student who is unsatisfactorily being medicated (keep changing medications, no consistency in taking tablets, sometimes not medicated at all) and another who I believe is suffering from either ADHD/ADD or something very similar. It is a very challenging class at the best of times, but these three students in particular make the world of difference to the dynamics of the room and my educational program. I do believe that some children are inaccurately diagnosed, and innapropriately medicated for ADHD/ADD. I have seen some students who appeared over-drugged which caused even more problems, but I also know that my female student with ADHD was a nightmare problem child last year before finally being diagnosed and medicated for ADHD. Although she can have difficult days still, she appears to be an average child with no problem disorders. Her learning is now very far behind due to problems with her disorder in the past 3 years or so, but she's now able to concentrate on catching up to her peers. I wish there was an easy test to do to assess the presence of ADHD ... easier for children, their families, their peers and teachers. It's a hard one to know. As for my educational program for these students if you are interested, the program involves a lot of individualised planning for these three students, and a lot of flexibility in altering the program to keep them under control and a lot of adaptability on my part in assessing their behaviours daily (every minute actually) and adjusting my prgram to best suit their, and also my own, needs. The educational focus involves a shorter focus, constructivist (physical and concrete learning) and varied program to maintain their attention span as much as possible and focus their attention onto the most important concepts in the learning. I have to assess what is most important and ensure that these particular students are prepared to deal with the way in which I deliver the lesson/concept/idea to them. For example, I know that Jim* (for name's sake) is generally unable to sit for 20 minutes and do his journal writing with the rest of the class after having sat on the mat for 10-15 minutes. Typically he must stay on the mat for at least 5 minutes and when I see his attention focus disappearing (and it disintegrates rapidly) he knows he is permitted to go to the book box suited for his level and is allowed to read without disturbing everyone. When we're ready he sits to write in his journal with us until he loses focus again and then he is allowed to go and type what he has written so far onto the computer. When he finishes typing that up he has to return to his desk and write some more, and continues the process until the time is up. He still achieves the same goals as the rest of the class but he has a very roundabout way of getting to that point. It also means things like asking Jim* to come to me to show me his writing instead of going to him to see how he's going. I know that for Jim that 20 second walk is enough to retrain his focus on his work when he returns. It's very tiring watching out for these three particular students every minute but I know if I don't, all hell may break lose at any moment when they lose that concentration and focus. We have special rules which we decided together, between myself and these three students and they get drilled into them every day so by now (half way through the year) they know and can act accordingly. That's not to say we still don't have days which are horrid, but they are less and less from a huge effort earlier in the year to focus on goals which are realistic to their capabilities. I don't look at it as a disability as such, but just another way of learning to be considered and prepared for. Hope that helps.
  7. Donna Eaves

    New Australian site for teachers

    I had a sneaking suspicion that e-mail eventually found it's way into my inbox via yourself jaywalker - and I can't thank you enough. I have so many ideas through which to develop my site but I want to be sure that the money and more importantly, the effort are not going to be wasted before I put even more effort into it. Promotion is the number one hardest thing I've found in this venture of mine, but in any case, I'm enjoying further developing my passion for all things IT at the moment and using my other passion, education, to help me develop my skills. Thank you for your support and you've made me smile incredibly after a difficult and tiring day. And again, thankyou John for your generous offer of support as well. I shall attend to that asap. Donna
  8. Donna Eaves

    How international are we?

    I'm completely in agreeance there I know Tasmania is close enough to that cold barren land below, but I have a feeling that you'll find very few members posting from Antarctica. But in any case, add me to the Oceania section
  9. Donna Eaves

    Introduce yourself here

    Hi, I'm Donna. I'm 26, mum to an 8yo boy, and a beginning teacher in Tasmania, Australia. This is my third year since graduating with the University of Tasmania with Bachelor of Education, with Honours. This is the first year I've taught full time, but my experiences have included relief teaching (casual, fill in teaching), grade 1/2 class part time, literacy specialist for grades 1/2, part time teacher in a grade 5/6 (10-11yos) all male class in a very tough school and I'm currently in a grade 2 mixed class at the same school - very difficult population of students. My honours research focused on children's perceptions of other children, using photographic stimuli to investigate children's attitudes to others - stereotypes, discrimination, acceptance and tolerance of those different to themselves. Information on my honours research can be read at my personal webpage: http://donnaeaves.dyndns.org (see Honours Research on the left sidebar. I am also the creator/owner of a new Australian education website, AusTeachersAusTeachers. I have a strong interest in early childhood education and I am interested in working with disadvantaged students and I have skills in Japanese teaching (I love working with younger children on languages other than English) and a passion for IT.
  10. Donna Eaves

    ATW Member Websites

    I am the owner/creator of an educational website for teachers in Australia. The site, AusTeachers, was established about 9 months ago to overcome an empty space on the internet for Australian teachers to discuss anything and everything relating to their teaching in the one discussion forum. The site now has a lot more general information relevant to teachers but the discussion forum is a major part of the site at this early stage. The discussion forum address is http://forum.austeachers.net The site is now divided into 6 sections: The School - general school issues The Classroom - issues and ideas relating directly to the classroom The Planning Folder - focusing on lesson plans and activities for all ages The Staffroom - the discussion forums The Library - information on a wide range of teaching resources The Newsletter - recent and relevant teaching information and general site information. That's the very brief run down. The site is still being slowly developed. I'm only a beginning teacher so I'm working hard at beginning my career well and with a difficult class this year it leaves little time for the site, but it's slowly and surely growing. I hope someone finds it interesting and relevant. Although the focus is on Australian teachers - all teachers are welcome.