this is my story.

In response to Vicky Loras’ “What’s your Story?” challenge , I am posting a little of my personal story this morning in hopes that it will shed further light on why I do what I do.
My childhood
I grew up on the west side of Chicago as the only child of a single mother. There were many issues between my mom and me, especially as I got older and began to test boundaries. Luckily, I had my grandmother and lots of aunts, uncles and cousins there, so when things got weird or uncomfortable, I always had somewhere to go. When my mom got re-married and moved to Louisiana with her new husband and me, things went from bad to worse. Continue reading this is my story.

Quick update-Mom to the rescue!

Today, I had a student’s mother come to visit and volunteer in my class. I honestly had no idea what I was going to have this parent do, since she showed up unannounced, so I just asked her to hang out and observe. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw her helping a struggling student and basically shadowing and encouraging him during my entire lesson. She affected my class by giving in a not-so-small way. Some of my kids received one-on-one help from a caring adult throughout my whole-group instruction. Interestingly enough, this parent came and went without even staying for her own son’s class. She knew that it might be embarrassing for him to have her around, so she came to help with another class. I know there are many parents who work during the day and are unable to do this, but even if there is just one parent who is willing to be there, it does make a difference. I presented an open invitation to parents at open house last month to come observe or volunteer in my classes, and this was all I needed to do to get this Mom involved. I hope she won’t be the last!

Avoiding conflict with students

Although I have my share of issues with my students (ahem, stolen iPhone that has not been found), one thing I can say is that I have yet to get into a heated confrontation that resulted in a kid cursing me out or threatening me. I know it’s sad that this is even notable and I definitely do not consider myself to be an expert at classroom management! Nevertheless, here are some humbly-submitted thoughts on avoiding a “knock-down, drag-out” fight with a student. I am not guaranteeing this advice as foolproof, but (so far), it has worked for me… Continue reading Avoiding conflict with students

Staff Training: the good, the bad, and the UGLY

I have conducted and attended quite a few trainings and PDs over the last few years as an instructional coach and independent consultant. Lately, I have really been thinking about how training IS done and how it SHOULD BE done. I came up with these quick observations:
The good
Knowledgeable, prepared speaker
One thing I can say about most presenters I come across is that they know their stuff. Hence why they were chosen to present on a given topic! Most trainings I attend are characterized by very detailed descriptions of how to get things done, revealing the depth of the speaker’s experience. Continue reading Staff Training: the good, the bad, and the UGLY