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Archive for March, 2009

K12 Live | Spotlight on Success

The Facebook Group That Tweets Out On Friday's #K12Live

The Facebook Group That Tweets Out On Friday's #K12Live

“Faith is the courage to face reality with hope.” Dr. Robert H. Schuller

Tweet Out Friday #K12Live

The Launch of K12 Live on Facebook

K12 Live is a web community based movement that spotlights some of the brightest teacher’s you know, discovered, or read about the outstanding methods and systems they use to produce win-win results for the students they serve.

Here’s how it works:

► Join the group and let us know why you do what you do? Why did you choose to work in education? Why did you choose your specialized area? Why did you choose your students or did you? You get the idea.

► Then each Thursday or Friday come back and post a spotlight of outstanding K – 12 school employees or parents you work with, it could be someone you recently discovered or never forgot about how they impacted your life as a teacher.

► You can link us to a video (highly recommended) of your spotlight recognition. You can point us to a blog or podcast that tells a success story that might inspire others in education to grow beyond the day-to-day challenges that destroys careers and smashes a student’s passion to dream.

► Then give them a Tweet Out. Let the entire micro blogosphere know in 140 character spaces that person is a shinning planet in your universe. Encourage others to follow them if they’re on http://twitter.com using the hash tag #K12Live so everyone can read about them at http://search.twitter.com/search?q=k12live under search tag.

Ex. @kchichester rocks the chalkboard inspiring her students to dream big American dreams and never loose hope! http://twurl.nl/2kvitu #K12Live

Ex. @lnicewaner is blogging about the creative solutions of technology in the classroom, she gets it http://twurl.nl/4w5wqd. #K12Live

Ex. @deployedteacher wants you to check out @dogtagsforkids for sending kids dogtags from their parents overseas. Great pride at school #K12Live

► Finally pass this link around to your family and friends so that they can join in on the fun of being celebrated for the hard work they love to do. And courage them to connect with others from this group. Support may be one of the most valuable keys to managing life’s challenges. Post it and watch it go down at http://search.twitter.com/search?q=k12live under search tag.

P.S. If you have been inspired from this article please consider leaving a comment and subscribing to the RSS feed (just below this article) to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Then encourage family and friends by sharing this blog address and invite others to subscribe so we get a chance to connect as well. Just send them to https://laroncarter.wordpress.com where they can bookmark or subscribe to the page. Feel free to direct message me on Twitter @laroncarter or connect on http://laroncarter.com

Copyright © 2009 | LaRon A. Carter “The Guest Teacher

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Purpose Teaching | Time Based Goals

Photo Credit by Chris Breeze

Photo Credit by Chris Breeze

“It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.” Robert H. Goddard

Stressed Out K – 12 Education Series 2.8

Timing Out

Get out there ahead of the pack. Timed based goals are the only way to go when it comes to being accountable for your classroom success. Time out for making a goal that isn’t measurable. That doesn’t mean you can’t be flexible. Outlining your goals on a clearly defined timeline is a major part of assessing your performance even if you have to adjust the dates later. I’m just keeping it real with you. You can start developing your lesson plans strategy or whatever else your shooting for without strict timelines and end up with a lot of unnecessary stress. Failed attempts to meet rush deadlines and spinning your wheels trying to create forward movement aren’t worth it. The students suffer the most and you look silly not operating on a timeline.

Start the Clock

You’re fooling yourself to have goals like this, “My goal is to replace poor learning behaviors with rich and exciting strategies for growth and development,” without identifying when all this is to take place. Try restructuring your goal to, “I will leverage good classroom behaviors by immediately reviewing the rules and procedures at the beginning of class. I will take no longer than 60 seconds to manage (Ken Blanchard) negative behaviors and more on rewarding positive behaviors in a point system that keeps the student fully aware of what’s going on with their progress.” Both you, your students, and your boss will be bowling with the blinders off so to say.

Keep it Moving

Don’t skip the foundational steps. Design your goals the way an architect drafts up building plans. First he has the vision in his head. Next he sketches the ideas onto paper. Then he drafts the blueprints to scale. After that he may cut out a model. But before any building takes place you better believe he will test the soil for foundation strength. Your timeline like the architect’s is critical to project managing the events needed to complete the goal.

Build your plan for building trust and credibility with your students and their families over time. Be specific about it though. Set measurable goals that are attainable (2.6) and realistic (2.7). If you don’t do the time properly you won’t really appreciate it nor will you be able to produce consistent win-win results. There’s time to get it right the first time, if you don’t believe that then you won’t have time to do it over. Believe that then play to win.

As always please comment and share. What timelines have you set your goals into? Are they specific? Are they measurable? Are they attainable? Are they realistic and properly timed? You be the judge.

This is a new series called Stressed Out K – 12 Education. Over the next several weeks we will explore classroom issues surrounding special needs, at-risk behaviors, student – teacher and teacher – parent relationships, and much more as it relates to reducing stress created from educational systems, narrow minded thinking of difficult colleagues, and the headaches of some one else’s undisciplined kids.

P.S. If you have been inspired from this article please consider leaving a comment and subscribing to the RSS feed (just below this article) to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Then encourage family and friends by sharing this blog address and invite others to subscribe so we get a chance to connect as well. Just send them to https://laroncarter.wordpress.com where they can bookmark or subscribe to the page. Feel free to direct message me on Twitter @laroncarter or connect on http://laroncarter.com.

Copyright © 2009 | LaRon A. Carter “The Guest Teacher

Purpose Teaching | Realistic Goals

Photo Credit by Porcelaingirl° {josie-grossie}

by Porcelaingirl° {josie-grossie}

“Focus on the goal, not the task. See it happening, not how to get it done.” Star Trek Voyager

Stressed Out K – 12 Education Series 2.7

Reality Check

Realistic goals can play on your intelligence. Reality is reality for the person that thinks it’s real. You know what I mean? My reality may not be yours and visa versa. So I’m not really sure just how real I can keep this post, but I’ll give it a shot in under 400 words.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but usually one of two things will happen when attempting to set realistic goals. One possibility is that you stand a real good chance of talking yourself out of a goal that sounds to phat for your God given abilities. I mean He’s still working with me, right? So I couldn’t possibly pull that one off. Remember the story of Jesus turning water into wine? Didn’t he tell his mom that it wasn’t his time when she did the mother thing saying, “My son can do anything, follow his instructions?”

Order Your Steps

Secondly, we can set goals out of sequence and stumble over our feet trying to get out of the blocks. I call it out of sequence others may call it setting your goals to high. Accusing someone of setting goals to high doesn’t make since if you’re teaching that the sky’s the limit and you can achieve anything you can conceive is contradictory I think. Watch what you do and believe what you say I always say.

Here’s the deal. You and I both need a dose of confidence in being bold when under taking projects that have daunting task attached to them. A word of advice is to focus on the goal. Tasks have a tendency to mount up into overwhelming challenges. And if you’re not careful challenges can unnecessarily turn into problems. By directing your energy onto the vision of accomplishing your goals you reduce the stress factor. By reducing your stress you will allow the universe to guide you onto a course that has been properly sequenced for win-win outcomes. It’s just not realistic to focus on anything else.

Please comment and share to my Asphalt Check Blog on what are some goals you have not been able to achieve because you yourself or someone else has talked you out of it?

This is a new series called Stressed Out K – 12 Education. Over the next several weeks we will explore classroom issues surrounding special needs, at-risk behaviors, student – teacher and teacher – parent relationships, and much more as it relates to reducing stress created from educational systems, narrow minded thinking of difficult colleagues, and the headaches of some one else’s undisciplined kids.

P.S. If you have been inspired from this article please consider leaving a comment and subscribing to the RSS feed (just below this article) to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Then encourage family and friends by sharing this blog address and invite others to subscribe so we get a chance to connect as well. Just send them to https://laroncarter.wordpress.com where they can bookmark or subscribe to the page. Feel free to direct message me on Twitter @laroncarter or connect on http://laroncarter.com.

Copyright © 2009 | LaRon A. Carter “The Guest Teacher

Purpose Teaching | Action Based Goals

Photo Credit by ~*Leah*~

Photo Credit by ~*Leah*~

“A thought which does not result in an action is nothing much, and an action which does not proceed from a thought is nothing at all” Georges Bernanos

Stressed Out K – 12 Education Series 2.6

Rubber Meets the Road

I’ve grown to love this part of goal setting. Don’t just stand there you have to do something. Action based goal setting is where the rubber meets the road. When I created Empowering Basics University 20 years ago I didn’t understand how important monitoring actions were for me to produce the results I desired the most. I didn’t know any better I was young and just made things happen. If I could think it it was in motion within minutes. I don’t move as fast as I use to however, actions remain the foundation for my company’s three-step problem-solving model called PAR (problems + actions = result).

PAR Technology

I like to put it this way, “The problems you have plus the actions you take equal the results you get – It doesn’t get any simpler than that.” Master it and then teach this to your students. Lead by example. The results of your actions will be the yardstick for measuring your goals.

Consider this, one of my goals maybe to bring students and parents together with the community leaders in order to network people that would not otherwise be connected. The task of networking is orchestrated by specific actions. The actions might look brand new or common based on the dynamics of the group and specifics of each situation.

Be the Change

One thing I’d do after interviewing everyone involved is to find some an existing social networking platform that could be an extension of what’s already in place. And making it happen for little or no cost is always the plan. I might start with emailing a white paper or linked report,
http://scribd.com

But it doesn’t stop there I might send an audio file,
http://utterli.com

Or I might even send a short video link to introduce my cause.
http://youtube.com
http://viddler.com

If your strength is Power Point send it.
http://slideshare.net

Conference Call Services work really well.
http://freeconferencecall.com
http://thebasementventure.com
http://skype.com

Video Conferences Services work better.
http://screencast.com
http://ooVoo.com

You can blog it or vlog it doesn’t matter.
http://wordpress.com
http://tumblr.com
http://vimeo.com

And if you want to really shine try conference call recording for others to listen to at their own convenience.
http://talkshoe.com
http://blogtalkradio.com

Yep, you can video record a call as well.
http://ustream.com

Broadcast your events by email,
http://evite.com

Now if you want to really be swank with it Tweet and Linkedin Group the thing, you know.
http://twitter.com
(Dan Hollings is a great resource for learning about Twitter http://twurl.nl/8ey8rc)
http://linkedin.com
http://plaxo.com
http://letsfreckle.com

I pretty much use all of these services in one way or another because I like quality free stuff! Click around on the links [at] http://laroncarter.com to see how I’ve used them and email me if you have any questions, bemyguestteacher [at] gmail.com

As always please comment and share
on my Asphalt Check Blog as to what systems you use to assist in being the change?

This is a new series called Stressed Out K – 12 Education. Over the next several weeks we will explore classroom issues surrounding special needs, at-risk behaviors, student – teacher and teacher – parent relationships, and much more as it relates to reducing stress created from educational systems, narrow minded thinking of difficult colleagues, and the headaches of some one else’s undisciplined kids.

P.S. If you have been inspired from this article please consider leaving a comment and subscribing to the RSS feed (just below this article) to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Then encourage family and friends by sharing this blog address and invite others to subscribe so we get a chance to connect as well. Just send them to https://laroncarter.wordpress.com where they can bookmark or subscribe to the page. Feel free to direct message me on Twitter @laroncarter or connect on http://laroncarter.com.

Copyright © 2009 | LaRon A. Carter “The Guest Teacher

Purpose Teaching | Measurable Goals

Photo Credit by Marvin L

Photo Credit by Marvin L

“Action is the real measure of intelligence” Napoleon Hill

Stressed Out K – 12 Education Series 2.5

Commit to the Process

Before looking closer at the science of goals, I need you to commit. Commit to staying the course and eliminating the very idea procrastination. Basically I’m asking you to move your feet. As a new teacher you will face obstacles that may send you home in tears, screaming all the way up the Lodge Freeway. So, cry it out, but commit to clearly identifying the problems and creating aggressive action plans to make significant changes in the way you deal with classroom issues. Don’t just stand there waiting for something to happen or worst than that looking the other way as if you don’t see the that elephant dropping those damn turds all over the place.

One thing I had to realize early on was creating effective goals could not be accomplished by cramming the night before like some of us did in undergrad. You’re in the real world now and half stepping will kill your career by strangulation. The business of building undeniable confidence to achieve your goals begins with understanding what’s most important. I can’t say it enough. You must identify what’s most important for your students and for you. Sometimes that can only be achieved through extensive interviews with a bunch of people as mentioned in previous blog post.

Measure Against a Known

The next step after creating specific goals is to make them measurable against something you already know the measurement of. What am I talking about? I mean to make your goals along side of things with size, depth, and volume like a calendar, a grade book, or previous accomplishments. Sometimes you may need to measure against someone else’s goals just to get started. I have to caution you to use comparison goal setting with a dose of maturity though. There are to many unknowns on that playground, you can get sucked into somebody else’s school employee drama real easy. But if you have to measure that way to gauge an idea of what you’re up against, have at it for a quick minute then back off and create tailored goals to meet your own professional needs.

Basically you’re wasting time writing goals if you haven’t added a measurable clause. Measuring your outcome is the only way to know where you stand. I know you already know this, but sometime we forget the basics. Allow me to engage you. Suppose you have a goal to increase customer services provided to your students in the area of teacher to parent network, a measurable goal looks like this:

I will increase my telephone contact with parents by 50% (.50) this week (1).

Now if last week your connect rate was 4 household contacts or 2% out of a total of 200 students your formula would be:

4 X .50 = 2, So that means you add the extra 2 calls onto the 4 to equal 6 household contacts for this week (1).

You should have some success with that goal so carry it over to the next week (2).

6 X .50 = 3, your new goal is an extra 3 calls onto the 6 to equal 9 household contacts for week (3).

Keep this going until you’re at a rate of about three contacts a day and they don’t have to all be phone calls. Some of the contacts can be emails, text messages, tweets, or old school face-to-face connections. You may not want to add them onto your Facebook network. LMBO. Be creative and increase your goals effectively by making them measurable. It doesn’t hurt to have someone hold you accountable either. Be consistent. Keep climbing and keep the faith.

Please comment and share to my Asphalt Check Blog on how adding measurable goals have enriched your goals or not.

This is a new series called Stressed Out K – 12 Education. Over the next several weeks we will explore classroom issues surrounding special needs, at-risk behaviors, student – teacher and teacher – parent relationships, and much more as it relates to reducing stress created from educational systems, narrow minded thinking of difficult colleagues, and the headaches of some one else’s undisciplined kids.

P.S. If you have been inspired from this article please consider leaving a comment and subscribing to the RSS feed (just below this article) to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Then encourage family and friends by sharing this blog address and invite others to subscribe so we get a chance to connect as well. Just send them to https://laroncarter.wordpress.com where they can bookmark or subscribe to the page. Feel free to direct message me on Twitter @laroncarter or connect on http://laroncarter.com.

Copyright © 2009 | LaRon A. Carter “The Guest Teacher

Purpose Teaching | Specific Goals

Photo Credit by Shoofly1

Photo Credit by Shoofly1

“Education is too important to be left solely to the educators.” Francis Keppel

Stressed Out K – 12 Education Series 2.4

What’s Most Important?

Remember the case of Jeremy in Teacher’s Customer Service Connects Power Sources (1.1). I interviewed his teachers and paraprofessionals, the principal and main office staff, Jeremy and his big brother J.R. before getting to their grand father and ultimately setting specific goals to meet the student’s needs.

And if you go back and review Purpose Teaching | Clearly Defined Goals (2.2) you’ll see how workshop attendees discovered that for their case study “student nutritional needs” being met mad a stronger case for being the number one goal. In mock interviews we had to listen to the data and what it was saying about the community. We made student behavior observations and listened to what the family was saying about the business of learning in the hood, especially in this suffocating economy.

Goals You Make Happen

Think about it. The ‘S’ in SMART goal systems (2.3) stands for specific. Great success never follows vague ideas. Can you hear failure in this goal? “I will help all my students to succeed,” pretty broad goal, right? A more specific goal is written like this: I will create small teams of support groups with each student’s care takers to help monitor and reinforce my lessons and other instructions. By soliciting the help of others you reduce the personal stress of trying to be a super teacher by yourself.

One of the staple questions I’d ask my students each new marking period was, “What is the purpose of going to school?” My student’s almost always respond with, “To get an education – To get a job” – And an occasional, “To keep my parents happy.” Is it any wonder why students aren’t producing quality work? They aren’t clear on any specific academic goals.

Communicate specific goals to your students in your mission statement. Identify specific characteristics and personal values that carry enough weight to breathe life into your goals. Help your students understand the value of applying themselves to produce a quality education from the inside out. Help them set goals that produce highly intelligent highly paid problem solvers.

Goals Student Make Happen

Students that have specific goals no longer enter the classroom with blinders on. Listen to your students for details. For those with challenges of following the wrong crowd write goals like this: I will surround myself with people that are smarter than me and can hold me accountable to achieving my goals.

For those with challenges of starting/finishing homework write goals like this: I will keep all assignments in my organizer and begin working on them as soon as I get home and finish my snack.

For those with challenges of attendance write goals like this: I will miss no more than one day of school this marking period and I will complete all missed assignments immediately and put together a study group if needed.

For those with challenges of making the grade write goals like this: I will monitor my grades weekly and interview my teachers for understanding how to get the most out of his/her assignments. I will prepare for nothing less than an “A” grade and ask for extra credit because I’m worth it.

Please comment and share to my Asphalt Check Blog on your specific classroom goals and if at all possible share how adjusting those goals specifically made a difference in your classroom management.

This is a new series called Stressed Out K – 12 Education. Over the next several weeks we will explore classroom issues surrounding special needs, at-risk behaviors, student – teacher and teacher – parent relationships, and much more as it relates to reducing stress created from educational systems, narrow minded thinking of difficult colleagues, and the headaches of some one else’s undisciplined kids.

P.S. If you have been inspired from this article please consider leaving a comment and subscribing to the RSS feed (just below this article) to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Then encourage family and friends by sharing this blog address and invite others to subscribe so we get a chance to connect as well. Just send them to https://laroncarter.wordpress.com where they can bookmark or subscribe to the page. Feel free to direct message me on Twitter @laroncarter or connect on http://laroncarter.com.

Copyright © 2009 | LaRon A. Carter “The Guest Teacher

Purpose Teaching | Focused Goals

Photo Credit by Laura Padgett

Photo Credit by Laura Padgett

“People often procrastinate because they don’t have a clear picture of what’s important. And knowing what’s important involves knowing where they’ve been, where they are now, and where they are headed.
Ken Blanchard and Steve Gottry, The On-Time On-Target Manager

Stressed Out K – 12 Education Series 2.3

Steep Curves Ahead

The last time a blog was posted by the Guest Teacher I wrote, “Tomorrow I’ll shine light on why setting dates on measurable goals are so important.” Well, if there was ever any doubt as to the importance of eliminating procrastination as it pertains to measurable goals this is it. Don’t be distracted from what’s most important, no matter what the case maybe. Stay focused.

Over the last couple of weeks I have not met important deadlines –distracted, missed valuable appointments –distracted, and just yesterday lost a contract because I did not respond in a timely manner to a phone call to confirm a Done Deal –more distractions. Life sometimes opens windows that blow in all kinds of stuff from the outside, but we have to be resilient. We have to press through the challenges that would otherwise knock us down and take us out of the game. At the end of each television and radio broadcast talk show host Tavis Smiley petitions his listeners to, “Keep the faith.” I couldn’t have said it better. Faith, in our ability to weather storms, should be the foundation of achieving your goals. Stand firm on this instruction and don’t be distracted.

On the other hand procrastination is an evildoer all by its self. Procrastination doesn’t need any help from us although we seem to be more than willing to assist in its wicked ways of shredding our goals to pieces. Procrastination is one of the chief distracters we can put on our payroll. And trust me he will cost you. So, rather than give it more attention than it deserves lets investigate systems that give leverage over procrastination’s ability to eat up timelines leading to our success.

The System of Goals

I have had the privilege of studying under some great teachers in my lifetime. One of them is Dr. David Forbes who taught me to create SMART goals and ROSE action plans, both of which were passed onto him from other teachers. Smart is an acronym for:
S – specific
M – measurable
A – action based and adjustable
R – realistic and reachable
T – time oriented or time based

And a rose action plan stands for:
R – rationale. What is my God given purpose?
O – objective. What are 3 – 5 things I must do to meet my rationale this year?
S – strategy. What must I do each day/week to satisfy my objective?
E – evaluation. Monthly/quarterly look into patterns of track record toward my goals.

Both of these systems, when used correctly, have been instrumental in making my goals and dreams happen. Over the next few purpose teaching segments I will commit to sharing the very best goal-setting strategies that I know. We both know any goal worth going after will inevitably be tested for structural flaws. Even our intent will undergo stress tests for authenticity. So, don’t even think about giving up on your goals to become the very best teacher you can be without embracing the journey in its entirety. You’ve got your work cut out for you. Together we will win.

Please comment and share how procrastination has really messed up your game plan in or outside of the classroom. I would imagine many readers (including myself) would benefit from your experience.

This is a new series called Stressed Out K – 12 Education. Over the next several weeks we will explore classroom issues surrounding special needs, at-risk behaviors, student – teacher and teacher – parent relationships, and much more as it relates to reducing stress created from educational systems, narrow minded thinking of difficult colleagues, and the headaches of some one else’s undisciplined kids.

P.S. If you have been inspired from this article please consider leaving a comment and subscribing to the RSS feed (just below this article) to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Then encourage family and friends by sharing this blog address and invite others to subscribe so we get a chance to connect as well. Just send them to https://laroncarter.wordpress.com where they can bookmark or subscribe to the page. Feel free to direct message me on Twitter @laroncarter or connect on http://laroncarter.com.

Copyright © 2009 | LaRon A. Carter “The Guest Teacher