I remain in touch with Rick Dalhgren and the Time to Teach
group via a newsletter for trainers. CTE is flourishing. They are smart, skillful teachers with a very powerful product
I started this blog and the Save Class Time website in anticipation of
going into the consulting business using the Time to Teach materials,
which are truly first rate. Other opportunities came up and my other
businesses took off so I put my active plans on hold. However, I love
having the knowledge and knowing that I could get into the presentation
and training market using Rick's materials.
I'm not actively teaching in the K-12 environment, although I did
do classroom teaching for 25 years. I remember reading one of Ricks
books and thinking it took me about 7 years to figure out everything
he's captured in less than a hundred pages.
I hope this helps. My silence shouldn't be interpreted as anything negative!
"In the field of education, the first to make the greatest use of blogs
were writers, teachers, and technology experts, said James Farmer, the
founder of Edublogs, a
2-year-old nonprofit service that hosts about 70,000 education-related
blogs. “There are probably only a few hundred school administrators
[with blogs], but it’s only a matter of time before it explodes, like
it has in every other part of the edublog community,” said Mr. Farmer,
who is based in Melbourne, Australia."
Blogs mentioned include:
High school principal Kimberly Moritz talks about learning and school management. Opinions expressed here reflect the personal views of Kimberly Moritz, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Gowanda School District as a whole.
Leader Talk: Scott McLeod, is a Minneapolis-based educational technology expert. His blog Leader Talk "is the first group blog written by school leaders for school leaders. We hope
that our insights and resources are beneficial to P-12 administrators and educational leadership preparation programs."
A teacher generated website of
classroom tested ideas that will help all teachers be more time
efficient. Solid classroom practices. Nothing fancy, just experience
born wisdom shared freely on the web.
No mention of the number 1 place to save classtime: effective classroom management. We can take back instruction time, and make every minute with the kids better by creating classrooms where kids know what is expected up of them when it comes to behavior.
We just have to teach to the behaviors we want... in a consistent and specific manner, then follow through with logical and consistent consequences... humane reactions that help teach our behavior expectations.
Here's a great and practical forum posting from a veteran of classroom management tactics.
"Teaching is a great job if you can do two things: 1) Teach the students to be kind and polite. 2) Manage the paperwork.
CANI:Constant And Never-ending Improvement
If you improve by 10% per year, in a very short period of time you will be one of the best teachers in the school.
Take responsibility for your students. How do you explain why some classes are orderly and others are chaotic? If Patton walked into the class, do you think for one second anyone would be disrespectful? Norman Schwarzkopf, or Jaime Escalante?
Let’s take our lessons from: Blaming the students, their parents, their neighborhood or your principal for rude and disrespectful behavior only eliminates your chance to effect change. Many teachers like to play the blame game. They do not take responsibility for their students’ behavior, but are quick to place blame on someone else. If you acknowledge your own responsibility as a teacher and a mentor to your students, you have the opportunity to change in your classroom.
All is fair when controlling 30 or 40 recalcitrant teenagers. A) Lessons from military history. B) Lessons from evolutionary psychology. C) Lessons from interpersonal relations. D) Lessons from experience."
Part of my decision to go face to face with with Time to Teach seminars is the need to see things for real. After nearly six years of working primarily online, I'm exited to be going back into schools where I can work with teachers and see kids being kids.
Not that e-learning and online teaching isn't real. I'm hopelessly web 2.0 , 3.0 and onward. I've been in it since the Commodore 20 Apple II days last century, and I'll keep marching till I stop.
I've grown so much in the way I inteact with the world, ideas, and my own professional development that the Internet, communities of practice, ed-tech, and critical thinking will be with me as long as I am me.
So I'm looking for exemplary blogs by school leaders as a way to see into schools as I work up my seminar presentations and make the connections to get back infront of teachers doing realtime pro-d.
I've found a few that I'm adding to my Google Reader:
Mr. P's Blog: Steve Poling, is a principal at DeGrazia Elementary School in the Marana Unified School District in Arizona. Steve is connected to blogs across the Internet. I like his voice.
Changing High Schools: Written by "The Super" a Superintendent from the North East with a true ed-tech vision. I'm impressed by his enthusiasm and curious about the change a fellow with vision and a leadership position can do with a public school district. Fun!
I'll be on the look our for more blogs from school leaders. If you know of one suggest it? (In the meantime I'm going to back track through the blogrolls on these blogs and see what I can find.
ISTE and Eschool News team up to pull together resources for school emergencies. The theme is disaster preparedness. I'm wondering if they'll develop more information about a safe school climate? It seems to me the most dangerous thing going on in school is the climate of fear and intimidation that runs wild in institutions dominated by a 'cells & bells' authoritarian discipline structure that does little more than model how to bully weaker people into submission?
Hmm... I may be up on my soap box a little too quickly. Let's see how the site evolves.
I recently presented at CTE's Time to Teach National Conference in Charleston South Carolina. I was part of an energized group of over 100 administrators, master teachers, and curriculum specialists who spent four days learning research based practical strategies that will help any teacher create a orderly classroom environment based on mutual respect. I appreciated the 'use it on Monday morning' practical aspect of this conference & training. I know this will make classrooms better places to learn and boost student performance.
I've taught thousands of teachers over the years. I love technology infused curriculum and have brought that knowledge and passion to my teaching. The single greatest complaint I've heard from teachers around the world is: "I don't have time to teach this! The curriculum is overwhelming me as it is." When I realized that working with the Time to Teach behavior management strategies would really save teachers 6-9 hours a week I lit up. Finally a way to bring high interest curriculum into a teachers day, by eliminating the stressful interruptions of pesky low level misbehavior.
I'm so excited by this possibility, that I've decided to develop several conference presentations and an all day workshop to teach these ideas. After 6 years of teaching primarily online... I've decided to go back to the face to face classroom. I've got to reach out beyond the net to the classroom teachers who need this. (It took me 30 years to put all this information together.. now I think I can teach the basics in a day. I'm developing a my new website and blog to support my research and teaching about classroom management. By blogging first and formalizing later, I hope to catch the immediate excitement I'm feeling about this new venture. .
As it happened, I didn't just learn at this conference, I ended up presenting as well. In a clever real world tactic, the conference presenters had us teach key elements of the strategies as a way to lock in the key content. I prepped mini lessons all of the core concepts and got to through in one about power searching as well.
I need to blog this to get it into me skin. For now, I've got time to talk about the Essential Beliefs that are the foundation for the Time to Teach classroom mangement, non violent behavior intervention strategies. So here's the foundation beliefs for Time to Teach:
Time to Teach National Conference in Charleston SC
It's a long time since I left the home office and ventured into the face to face learning environment. Spent the day sitting, listening, & reading. Had to get up and stretch, walk and hit the head more than most too. Working solo without time constraints has wimped me out for conference learning.
Sitting and Listening? This isn't how I usually learn and work. I paid more continuous attention to one subject today than I usally do in a week. That's a good thing. Sometimes turning off the computers and immersing myself kicks me into gear.
On the down side flying across the country, getting stuck in the Houston Airport for 3 hours and not getting more than 3 hours sleep didn't exactly set me up for optimum learning. Skipping breakfast to make up for my alarm not working hitting the conference without my coffee left me feeling like the 'unwired' instructor. Things warmed up as I made small talk with folks from North Carolina, Kansas, Texas and Iowa.
As an e-learning & online teaching pro I do this all the time...talk with people from around the country. Now I was doing it face to face. Nice time/reality shift
I'm curious about this new area of strategies for classroom management. For years now I've been teaching great curriculum content to my online students. However all too often they say they just don't have the time to teach it. Well, this program promises line teachers will get 6-9 hours of classroom time back every week. Finally a subject area that creates time to teach!
The presenters are all classroom teachers or principals or superintedants and they've got the fire and passion. They promised me this is the most powerful solution there is to problem behavior. They promised me that classroom teachers can eliminate 90% of pesky behavior --- and it works with all any grade level wherever you teach. Based on what I'm seeing and connecting with (so many of the strategies affirm my own classroom experience) I'm beginning to believe!
This training is helping me dredge up all of the classroom experiences I generated over the decades in school.
I'm thinking about my baptism by fire as a playground aide at Manual Arts Elementary in Watts bck in 1967. I was the only guy on the playground with 600 kids who'd just made a jail break from the authoritarian classrooms. They hit the baked blacktop with huge energy, craving just a few minutes of freedom from the 'cells and bells' drudgery of the school I'd been hired to break up fights and establish order. Over time I learned how to just help the kids play and burn energy. (But, yeah... first I had to stop the fights and establish some order.) Not an easy thing to do for a 18 year old college freshman.
I thought too of my first real middle school job out in the tough scrub of East Contra Consta County. The kids showed up for kintergarten a year and a half behind and my boss told me that if they didn't show two two years of growth on the school performance tests in the spring, I'd get canned. (I figured out how to do that and a lot more.)
That memory triggered a vivid mind image of Joey a 6'2" angry 8th grader. What did I know? I was the new guy and it was sink or swim time. During a softball game I called third strike on Crazy Joe.
"You're out!" I figured Joe would skulk off muttering about a bad call. (He really was out!)
I didn't expect him to turn on me with the bat and swing for my head.
Luckily Joey wasn't very good with a bat. I managed to step into his swing. I took the Louisville Sugger out of his hands, got an arm-bar on him and frog marched him down to the office. My nice guy teacher mask was gone and I mad as hell. (I thought that a two day suspension for trying to kill the teacher was a bit light!)
Ah the early brushes with order and discipline taught me a lot. If I'd only gotten these Time to Teach strategies when I was in teacher's school or during my student teaching I might have lasted at that first Middle School Job. (As it was I burned out badly after just 2 1/2 years and quit teaching to write and travel.)
The big lesson I learned today, is you've got to be just. If you give kids a choice and then honor that joice... as long as you've explicitely taught to the behaviors you want, you can be a just and fair authoritative teacher. I may start blogging some of my war stories in detail. Anyone out there have a story to share?
I ended my first day at the conference hopeful that I'd found ideas that would really work on Monday morning.