Strategies for a Family Hiking Trip

Greta Siddiqui regularly participates in a variety of outdoor activities, including running and jet skiing. The mother of three and certified teacher also enjoys taking her family camping. Through her personal and professional experience, Greta Siddiqui has learned a number of strategies to keep children engaged and learning while exploring the wilderness.

To keep children interested while trekking through the wilderness on a hike, parents should make them part of the process from the very beginning. Children love to do things that they have helped to create, so involving kids in the hike planning goes a long way toward making them feel included. Once on the trail, bring the maps out and let the children try their hand at using a compass to discover where they are.

Guidebooks are also a great way to keep kids engaged during a hike. Try looking over guidebooks before the hike begins to get children excited about spotting birds, plants, and wildlife. To make the experience even more exciting, make a game of it. Challenge children to spot as many items in one category as possible, or start a kids-versus-parents competition based on who can identify more birds. A little bit of creativity goes a long way toward getting kids excited about hiking.

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Greta Siddiqui: Classroom Management for Substitute Teachers

A credentialed educator, Greta Siddiqui has earned New York State certification in Elements of Instruction. Since that time, Greta Siddiqui has held several teaching positions and volunteered at each of her children’s schools.

Among the most difficult aspects of teaching is learning to manage student behavior. Children like to test the limits of adults in authority. Children need to know what is expected of them, and if those expectations are not clear, they may act out to obtain information. Therefore, substitute teachers must make a point of setting clear expectations at the very beginning. This can be done compassionately and kindly. A successful substitute teacher begins by explaining his or her role and describing the planned classroom routine. The substitute teacher then continues this pattern throughout the day by clearly introducing each activity and explaining what the students are expected to do. For example, “We are now going to get into our reading groups and complete the activity I will hand out. Please talk quietly with your group so that others can hear.”

Substitute teachers should thoroughly prepare before the day begins. They should know how to conduct each activity and make each transition. Also, they should practice positive ways of communicating what they wish the students to do. Positive reinforcement may include offering rewards, such as stickers or extra recess in exchange for on-task behavior, so long as those rewards comply with school policy.