My philosophy about teaching is simple. I agree with Madeline Hunter when she said, “Kids don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care!” Many think she was being too “warm and fuzzy” but what she meant was you are not going to reach some kids academically until you first reach them on the “human to human” level. Sometimes the subject matter in our classrooms can’t compete with the “drama” in their lives. The main ingredient missing in a lot of our classrooms today is a “connection with kids.” I believe that research is clear, and from experience, when students know you value them as a human being, not just another student; they will work harder for you and challenge you less. I also believe teachers don’t need any more theory and new, trendy programs with catchy names.
I believe teachers need to be given research based, proven, practical strategies and applications that teachers can start implementing immediately – without throwing anything out that is working in their classroom. I believe educators have the toughest job in America as they are asked every day to wear many different hats – mom, dad, nurse, counselor, teacher, advisor, judge, jury, lawyer – just to name a few.
I understand that students come into our classrooms and schools with different backgrounds and cultures and their cognitive abilities, assets and experiences are just as wide ranging. Sometimes the only thing students have in common is their age! The “one size fits all” approach does not work anymore.
I also know the biggest unchallenged assumption by many today (especially politicians) about education is that kids are coming to school willing and ready to learn. As educators, we know this is not the case. We have a generation of kids coming to our schools basically un-socialized. Many students are learning behavior from TV shows, video games, social media and myriad of other influences.
I know there’s not much we can do from 4:00 PM until 8:00 AM but there is a lot we can do from 8:00 AM until 4:00 PM. I am dedicated to helping educators be successful through motivation, inspiration, humor and a common-sense approach to stress management. Most importantly, I leave educators with as many proven, practical strategies as I can. After all, there are numerous people who were once helped by a teacher overcome a serious childhood problem. And many of those minor miracles happened in a classroom, led by an enthusiastic, well prepared, loving teacher.