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Archive for the ‘Mission Statements’ Category

Diversity Teaching | Blaming the Student

Photo Credit by frerieke | Leadership Training - Everybody is Equally Huggable

Photo Credit by frerieke | Leadership Training - Everybody is Equally Huggable

“The problem is that they become institutions in themselves, and the bulk of the energy goes to making them better places to work than places to learn.” Halps

Stressed Out K – 12 Education Series 4.0

Google Alerts Rock

Once again my Google Alerts has delivered a gem to my mailbox. This time its Teacher Magazine in a Discussion Forum moderated by Anthony Rebora titled Classroom Management: Blaming the Student?

This past week Teacher Magazine ran an impromptu poll identifying “disruptive students” as their biggest classroom management issue in live chat Managing Difficult Classrooms. Surprised guest Principal Robin Weaver responded, “From my perspective, that ‘blames the student’ when we must be the responsible party (as adults) to figure out how to turn it around.”

Rebora posed a follow up discussion question, “How, in your experience, can teachers and school administrators work together to help children with behavioral problems?”

Experience is Priceless

Like so many educational issues children with behavioral problems will never have a cookie cutter solution. In my experience the best thing you can do with classroom behavioral issues are to learn the language of those acting out and then dare to teach it to difficult administrators. I wish it were easier than that.

Becky Norris posted, Day in and day out, I see the same students in different teachers’ classrooms. In one classroom, the student may be an enormous disruption. In another classroom, the same student is quiet but does not participate or engage with the curriculum. In a third classroom, this same student again is engaged, respectful, even enthusiastic.

Halps poignantly wrote, I agree that we really need to start centering schools on the concept of what they exist for — helping the community raise their children. The problem is that they become institutions in themselves, and the bulk of the energy goes to making them better places to work than places to learn.

P.S. If you have been inspired from this article please consider leaving a comment and subscribing to the RSS feed (top right column) to have future post delivered to your feed reader. Please send your friends to http://laroncarter.com to connect with me on the web.

Confident Teaching | Be Encouraged Mothers

LaRon Carter Mothers Day“A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest.” Irish Proverb

Stressed Out K – 12 Education Series 3.3

Be Encouraged

My mother, Winifred E. Carter, is my shero. For three quarters of my life she has been a phenomenal single mother and guiding light in my life. Watching her strength and ability to endure all of our challenges has had big influence on how and why I do what I do. Be encouraged momma. You deserve the very best that life has to offer and I will do everything within my power of faith in God to channel your blessings. And I know one of those blessings you desire is to be a blessing to others. So, I write today in honor of you to all the single mothers born to teach their children.

Get Confident

For a new teacher teaching in it self soon becomes overwhelming. Each young professional new to the art has his or her own set of variables that factor into their learning and teaching experiences. The purpose of the Confident Teaching Category is to make a serious connection between the things you want to know about reducing stress within the difficult task of solving classroom problems whether at work or at home. Your confidence will take a bold stance to assure your boss, your students, and yourself that you “Got This” once settled in clearly identifying the problems, develop effective action plans, and monitor your results for staying on course.

Go Deep

While working through the writing challenges of this Stressed Out K – 12 EDU Series I’ve had to navigate through extraordinary life hardships. All of which have built my faith upon the things I hope for. Becoming all that God has created me to be is no small task, nor is it for you. And this is why. Once you set a goal that is bigger than you and attach high standards of operating along the way, all hell will come against your good pursuit. Like a football wide receiver I have to go deep in order to give my best everyday. You can do no less for those you serve day in and day out. They need you to go deep. Whether it’s in the classroom, at home, or in your place of worship, stay focused and stay confident. Let your phenomenal shine, it’s your day, it’s your time. And by the way, Happy Mother’s Day!

As always please comment and share. Are there any words of wisdom my mature mothers can pass on to young mothers or mothers to be?

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 from someone 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 and @K12Live or connect on http://laroncarter.com.

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

Confident Teaching | Embracing Mission

Photo Credit by Diego Cupolo

Photo Credit by Diego Cupolo

“High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation.” Jack Kinder

Stressed Out K – 12 Education Series 3.2

Does It Make Sense?

The purpose of this blog post is to spark internal discussion into the idea of whether or not your mission statement makes sense. The mission statement shouldn’t only sound good; it must applicably address the needs of those you serve, right? If you fall short here you bound to increase your stress levels.

Does It Breathe?

Now just because you have a mission statement that makes sense for all the right reasons, it still may not make sense to those you serve. When a concept or idea is so far removed from the normal life style of those hearing what you have to say, it sounds whack. I’m specifically talking about the part that breathes high expectations into low expected outcomes. You know the win-win stuff champions are made of.

Understanding Mission Framework

Your mission statement isn’t any good to anyone if you don’t believe it. Now by some sort of slick skill sets may be a few will opt in if you’re in the game to get over. Don’t be that teacher just showing up for a paycheck. Everyone loses when a teacher loses focus of the purpose for taking the job. An effective mission statement should be tinseled with questions like:

• How do I want my classroom operation to look?
• How do my students and parents want the program to best serve them?
• How will I set-up safety systems to guard my students mentally, physically, and spiritually?
• What are my student’s strengths that I can expand on?
• How do I know if I’ve clearly identified my student’s challenges?
• What must I do to enhance my life coach and learning skill sets?
• Who are all the players needed to engage my students intellectually?
• Who are my model educators and how do I Get Lock In?
• What is my vision for my student’s exit plan?

As always please comment and share. Has this information help you in any way? Do you need help with constructing your mission statement? Would like to post a display link of your mission statement?

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 from someone 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 and @K12Live or connect on http://laroncarter.com.

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

Confident Teaching | Defining Your Mission

Photo Credit by Afroswede

Photo Credit by Afroswede

“High expectations are the key to everything” Sam Walton

Stressed Out K – 12 Education Series 3.1

Spell Out Your Mission

After setting the stage for high expectations in your classroom help others understand your leadership by defining exactly how your mission looks, sounds, and feels. No need to be overwhelmed with having it all together at one time. As a matter of fact take a couple of days. No way. I’m just kidding its going to take a lot more time, perhaps weeks or months of revisions. Do your homework and study how Good to Great companies have designed their mission statements.

Clear Vision is Key

The clearer you are with your mission to provide and serve the clearer your community of learners will be able to identify how their investments will pay off. And that’s exactly what you want, for them to invest into your cause. Hopefully, you’ve done your part to unselfishly and specifically identify their best academic interests based on state board curriculum objectives, culture, and family needs.

Approach and Follow Through

They may not understand how it all works, but they will buy into what you’re aiming for if you help them take the hood off. Ken Blanchard describes it as your people approaching the bowling lane with a blinder on, ball in hand, hearing all the pins crash around him, but not knowing what happened after rolling the ball. If you want your students to become better problem solvers for themselves they’re going to need clear leadership from you. Teach students to approach problems according to your mission and to follow through with fundamental basics. Keep it simple, but clear.

Smack Down Basics

When designing a mission statement that sets the stage for rock star performances include what I call smack down basics. Smack downs address the core issues that prevent you from teaching and your students from learning in a physically, spiritually, and emotionally safe environment. What is your classroom’s thermostat setting? How should your student’s feel about school? How do your students, parents, and community leaders co-exist? What about your discipline systems? Are they clearly defined in your statement? Is your vision for the future revealed in plain English? Now get to work, you can do this.

As always please comment and share. What do your old mission philosophies have to say to your new realities? Are there some classroom or school mission statement concepts that have worked for you in your teaching environment that you are willing to share?

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 from someone 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 and @K12Live or connect on http://laroncarter.com.

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

Confident Teaching | Expect the Best

Photo Credit by GirlReporter

Photo Credit by GirlReporter

“A master can tell you what he expects of you. A teacher, though, awakens your own expectations.” Patricia Neal

Stressed Out K – 12 Education Series 3.0

High Expectations

One thing about effective teaching that remains consistent is the affect of designing your day around high expectations. Excellence in education comes at a high price and you hold the keys to making it happen. Nothing we’re unaware of, but sometimes it can get away from us real easy.

Stay focused on controlling the way you think about classroom situations. Lean toward optimism when others around you bring in all that negative garbage to the teacher’s lounge. You can do it. You’ve done it before right? Keep thinking the way you did when you started teaching and you’ll do just fine. Expect the best.

Above The Pavement

My career in the classroom began on the urban streets of Indianapolis, Indiana. I come from an outstanding city of commerce, sports, and hard working families that are driven to provide better for their children than what they grew up with. Yet the streets in my hood are as challenging as any major metropolitan city. And if you’re teaching in a city like mine you understand where I’m coming from. You’ve got to teach above the pavement so to say.

Geographic and economic circumstances can create a gloomy forecast for families in the hood and that may trickle over into your classroom. When you see the fog coming it’s important to stay focused on high expectations. Wrestling with low expectation has a spiritual element to it that you won’t beat down throwing elbows at. Press through the gloom on your knees praying for the leaders in your school, the families of your students, and your wisdom. I’ve said it before. In the words of my man Tavis Smiley at the end of each show, “Keep the faith” and keep it moving.

Sweet Smack Downs!

Stay out of the teachers lounge if it isn’t conducive to maintaining high expectations and unwavering student support. If my colleagues want to sit around and say a bunch of negative things about their students, their jobs, the principals, and their spouses during my lunchtime I’ve got to eat somewhere else. I love my teachers, but I love teachers with a sweet smack down mo better.

Smash The Boards

You’d think that I was Shaquelle O’Neil smashing the boards against negativity when it comes to protecting my confidence. Students do a good job cutting away at my high expectations of them without me having naysayer’s put their two cents in as well. Stay focused. Stay confident. And smack down negativity whenever you see low expectations on the rise.

As always please comment and share. Are you frustrated with colleagues having such low expectations? Why is it important to maintain high standards for your students and their families?

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 and @K12Live or connect on http://laroncarter.com.

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

Purpose Teaching | Clearly Defined Goals

Photo Credit by johnthescone

Photo Credit by johnthescone

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” Zig Ziglar

Stressed Out K – 12 Education Series 2.2

Danger Zone No Goal Ahead

How dangerous cannot having goals really be? Extremely. Well, lets say not having clearly defined goals and an effective action plan for your goals is extremely dangerous. Sometimes your colleagues will approach projects with cookie cutter strategies and others will lesson plan out of plain old ignorance. But the smarter teacher operates in a less stressed learning environment because she understands how teaching systems work. She gets help with her Individual Educational Plan (IEP) and seeks to understand her purpose behind delivering lessons to each student she serves.

Fundamental Basics

Not to suggest that you have to have a special education certification and do an IEP team meeting on every issue, but you do want to develop skill sets for meeting the basic needs of your students. You are more than able to develop extraordinary skills for meeting your student’s needs by following some of the concepts and ideas covered here in the Stressed Out K – 12 Education Series.

Who’s Listening

Elizabeth Gilbert was on point in her description of thinking differently about creative genius. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when working on your lesson plans. Of course you should always have the final decision of what goals to use in your program. But, don’t sleep on getting valuable input from your department, your students, and to a certain degree their immediate family for important goal setting. Think of it as the student being on loan. Your goal is to help the parents get their child across the finish line, preferably in first place. The way I see it you have two options. You can be an agent for change. Or you can be stressed out doing your own thing. Listen to what your clients are saying and watch great things happen.

Listen for Details

Listen to your students life’s stories for specific details that can help you to set some really meaningful goals. Details that allow you insider’s information is privileged intelligence that not only reduces classroom management stress, but creates leverage to your career success. Here’s where effective interviewing techniques are extremely important for Step 1 to Achieving Your Goals. Deciding on most important goals may be a little different from what you had in mind originally.

Case Study

I was facilitating Profound Impact vs. Stress and Frustration Workshops at a conference recently when a group of new school employees mind mapped ideas for their mission statement. The group identified things like student achievement and an inviting environment as their #1 mission statement goals. However, after further investigation through mock student and family interviews we discovered that for their case study student nutritional needs being met mad a stronger case for being their number one goal (Kendra Van Wagner).

Can you see where it was more important to feed the children before any learning could take place? This is the kind of smart investigating that will help you to get clear on which goals are most important.

In the next segment (2.3) I’ll shine light on why setting dates on measurable goals are so important.

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 | Pursuit of Mission

Photo Credit by dbking of Chris Gardner

Photo Credit by dbking of Chris Gardner

“When you discover your mission, you will feel its demand. It will fill you with enthusiasm and a burning desire to get to work on it.” W. Clement Stone

Stressed Out K – 12 Education Series 2.1

The Question

Pursuing your mission can mean a lifetime of discovery and ongoing development. Would you agree? What smacks me upside the head is that if our purpose in life is important enough to require years of refinement, why then don’t we spend more time studying the idea of purpose?

Many teachers have given up on their dream in less than three years on the job because they lacked purpose. I am a Marine. I understand mission and the purpose behind carrying it out. Have you ever wondered how long you’ll be in this career?

Are you unhappy because you just can’t seem to grab classroom discipline by the ears? Are you recognizing the journey? Or am I the only one on this page realizing it is an aggressive pursuit of a purpose-based mission that defines what we do? Listen to what Chris Gardner wrote in the movie Pursuit of Happyness, “You got a dream, you got to protect it. You want something go get it. Period.”

The Genius In Us

We must spend more time thinking different about how to produce winning outcomes of our pursuits. For most of us that means thinking differently about creative genius (Elizabeth Gilbert). Our creative genius is not only on the line, but our students depend on us to deliver. As a matter of fact they probably won’t even show up if we haven’t found our creative genius. You know what I mean. Absence is one thing, one of the worst if you ask me, but for a student to be present and mentally somewhere else because the teacher doesn’t have his stuff together is a crime.

Back to the Basics

Before you begin planning for next semester or next year’s objectives, you will need to create clearly defined goals (Dorit Sasson). Need I remind you that if you are not clear about what you want out of yourself, you’ll be opening up the doors to a stressed filled teaching experience from the minute the bell rings. Get ready.

When I sat down to create my teaching goals on that first teaching assignment my heart was hungry for change and my head was budding with ignorance. I was just fortunate enough to have more success than failures. That allowed me to gain some momentum with learning the curriculum and in gaining trust from my students. I really didn’t experience much stress in the beginning.

After building a little success with the lesson plans my confidence to take on behavioral issues had leverage. And throughout my career that case worked both ways. Being able to have behavioral management success leveraged lesson-planning success. And how many of us know that both of these contribute to a less stressed life outside the classroom? The bottom line is productivity. Reducing stress with effective systems affects the bottom line. Productivity is real basic. You have to create measurable goals.

Regardless to what we set goals for, whether personal or professional, following a universal system and mastering it makes life more beautiful all around. Here are 5 Key Steps to Achieving Your Goals, the very steps I’ve been using from the beginning.

1. Decide on most important goals

2. Snap your intentions to a timeline

3. Don’t be distracted | Stay focused

4. Get down to business | Make it happen

5. Complete projects, reflect, and adjust (before moving onto the next clearly defined goal)

If you can find the time take 20 minutes and review the TED video and blog links above and come back tomorrow prepared to go deeper into what goal-setting is about before we investigate why mission statements are important?

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