Announcing new ebook available on Education Reform

I thought I'd share some exciting news with you.  I've begun a new series of books exploring tough topics in education and suggesting real, practical ways for solving them. The series is entitled "Education Reform and Other Myths" and the first book in the series "Examining the Stumbling Blocks in our System and What to Do About Them" is available TODAY on Amazon Kindle.  Education Reform Myths Stumbling blocks in the system and solutions

Through Amazon Kindle, you also have the opportunity to participate in their lending library -- I'm really excited about that part, although it's only going to be available for the first 90 days of the book's Kindle publication.

To check it out for yourself, visit Education Reform and Other Myths on Amazon!

I'm eager to see what you think of it. For the first 25 people who read this book and write a review of it, I'll give you a copy of the next book in the series "Breaking the Bully Culture" for FREE.  Drop me an email when your review is posted and I'll put you on the list to get your complimentary copy of "Breaking the Bully Culture!"

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Classroom Behavior Management: the big story no one wants to cover

I wish education professionals would have told us that behavior management is probably the most important and challenging issue you’ll face in the classroom. It would have been nice to have been given a variety of solutions, tools, books, and websites to use once you are working in a classroom.

Susan Jamieson

I came across this remark, and several similar, in a recent eSchoolNews article entitled "Ten things every new teacher should know.”  I think it's particularly interesting because, now that back-to-school stories are cropping up all over, there isn't much emphasis on this aspect of education. Right now, there is much being said on the impacts of budget cuts and how that's leading to larger classroom sizes, or how schools are considering lengthening the school day or year to help narrow the achievement gap, or how parents will have to chip in more this year because of tough financial times.

Yet, to actually discuss what goes on in the classroom and how that affects learning (never mind waste of time and dollars) just must not be a sexy enough issue to make the 6 o'clock news because you rarely hear about it.

Oh, sure...we hear about it when it's out of control. Last year, THE hot topic in education, bar none, was bullying. Certainly that is a behavior management and discipline problem, but at its extreme end. It was tragic and gut-wrenching to hear all these stories of kids harassed in person and through social media, often with tragic and fatal results. And, of course, the visuals were great, so it made for good news. But how about the everyday tragedy of what's going on too many classrooms across our country? Teachers who spend more time "babysitting" than they do teaching, or end the day frustrated again because they had too many kids who wouldn't sit down, be quiet and pay attention. (more…)

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Basic “order” in the classroom: too much to expect?

Once again I was amazed and disappointed in the general level of basic order in our classrooms.  You'd think by now I'd get used to it, but it always rams home exactly WHY so little productive learning gets done in too many of our schools.

I was a guest speaker today for two Middle School groups.  Now, I'm hardly a "novice" at this so I don't come in with what I would consider unrealistic expectations.  For example, I do not expect the entire group to sit there, riveted on my every word for the full hour.  I don't expect that they are going to think I'm the greatest thing that ever happened to them since Justin Bieber, the Jonas Brothers, or <insert today's biggest teen idol here.>

I DO however, expect just a basic level of courtesy and a rough approximation of attention -- if you don't feel it, at least fake it. (more…)

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