Educators Live and Love

They Live It

The cool teacher practices what they preach. The expectations they have for each student is what they have, and expect, from the people in their regular lives. Rules are hard to live by, especially when you are an adult and can do just about anything. The thing with these teachers is that they live by these rules. They are there for a reason of use, not just so they can be mean. There is nothing like having a rule in a class that everyone breaks, but the teacher enforces it one day out of the week, or month, or semester. (Insert anything related to dress code here). If you make the rule, you have to enforce it at the cost of losing your integrity, and mistreating a student.

The cool teachers are this way because they take the time to speak to any child that needs to have a moment of attention. They offer real world suggestions that help the student, not just the teacher. The student feels safe speaking to the teacher, knowing they may not like the results of the talk, but will get a consistent answer tailored to their needs.

The cool teacher lives it through their daily lessons.   The cool teacher is ready on a daily basis to give a lesson to their students. They are able to help their students believe that, even if we aren’t doing “work,” we are still learning. There are many days where your lesson and the plan you had just won’t work. Maybe something has happened in the world, and the students are more attentive to that. Maybe there is a major thing going on that is related to your school, and your students may be a bit distracted. I realize that world events are easier to make relevant connections for discussion in a social science class, but that doesn’t mean a few moments of your time to discuss and then redirect aren’t worth a go even in, say, a math class.

Daily lessons are very important. I do believe every individual should be pushed beyond their comfort zone in some way, daily. It could be reading a blog that is against your personal view, or just listening to an opinion to try something new; there is always a point in the day where we should get to see the world in a different way. Look for opportunities for you and your students to step outside the comfort zone of your class, even if just for a few moments. Those moments outside of your comfort zone are strange, but you really can learn a lot about yourself, your students, and how important your environment is to learning in different ways.

The popular teacher lives it through their hobbies. Students know that with the cool teacher, they come first when they are in the classroom, or in an extracurricular activity. They also know that the teacher they enjoy has a life outside of education. It would amaze me, in the beginning of my teaching career, how many students thought that I didn’t do anything but teach. They were surprised that I could throw a ball, laugh at pop culture, and was somewhat human. The interesting part was, as I took a moment to be interested in their hobbies, it was easier for me to share my ideas about how they could become more successful in those hobbies by relating my interests.

During my 8 years as a Sociology teacher, we ended each semester with a talent project. This was the time where the students could bring in the items and share their talent. This was my “way” of doing really cool stuff like playing drums, riding a unicycle, falling off a long board, dropping a shot put on my toe, hitting baseballs and softballs, being a goalie, wrestling a district champion, tasting a ton of cakes, eating traditional family dishes, tossing pizza dough, listening to keyboards, pianos, singers, playing guitars, learning about SCUBA diving, experiencing hunting, and all types of other fun stuff.

This is part of a chapter from my book Rock The Crowd: How The Cool Teachers Inspire More Students, Earn More Respect, and Become Lifelong Mentors. Every Wednesday and Friday (Starting April 8, 2014) I will share parts of every chapter. Don’t forget that the shares from my first book Learning Curve are on Monday and Thursday.

 

Is there anything better for students than being in the class of the cool teacher? When it comes to being a teenage student, and being forced to attend school, there is nothing better than a class where the teacher is passionate about education. How do these popular teachers continue to be the sparkle in the eyes of so many children, while there are others that can’t get them to pay attention? Rock the Crowd shares the methods of those teachers that are considered cool by students, while maintaining the best relationships for valuable learning to take place. For the “cool teacher,” the front of their classroom is their stage, and every day, for hours, they give the greatest performance their students have seen to date. The crowd-rocker teaches with passion and convictions that inspire real student connections and learning that last a lifetime. These teachers are popular, year after year, while others are still struggling to learn how to relate to the students. In Rock the Crowd, I share all the things cool teachers do that make them successful in working with, and producing, successful and long lasting, learning-centered relationships. Rock the Crowd is great for teachers who are struggling to find their teaching groove and to reenergize those that are already grooving.

http://www.createspace.com/4703109

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Classroom Discipline for Educators

Hardcore Discipline

If you don’t like discipline, then right away you are in a losing battle with your students. Anything worthwhile takes discipline to accomplish. Discipline involves a set of rules that you have to follow even when you don’t want to. Discipline is in place so that your students can take those necessary, and painful, action steps toward their learning. Let me clarify painful; we are not talking torture here. Pain can come in the form of wanting something pleasurable now when you can’t have it yet. Most students feel some pain daily, as they really don’t want to get out of bed so early, for example. Are you going to just let them stay in bed all day? No. Should their parents? Absolutely not. So, I ask you to understand that there will be pain in your classroom. The better teachers deliver a lot of pain in their classrooms. This is no different than a personal trainer that gets their clients to exceed their goals; there is going to be some real pain. This pain is designed to grow the student.

I started every semester the same way: All Pain! This was a calculated move on my part, as I started to realize that going soft on kids the first days of school was a waste of valuable time. What are we waiting for? Did they accidently get to school, pick up their schedule, and fall into your class? No, they did it purposefully. I get that no one wants pain, but my job was to educate my students. So, the first day, I would hand them more material than they could mentally handle. I would just keep piling on the handouts and packets until even the smart kids were damn near in shock. Then, I would toss them a heavy ass World History book. That was the back breaker. I could see kids mentally trying to find God, wishing for my death, or waiting for the opportunity to text their mom to fly the coop.

My method was simple. Even the hardest things, once mastered, will get easier. Starting out easy was not going to help them understand the discipline needed to be successful and become a better-educated student. Nothing is easy on the first day. In fact, if it were too easy, you’d think you were robbed. If it is too hard, you will run away. With the law on my side, where could they go? HA-HA! Seriously, my point, which they understood in a few months, was that they could survive, and start to control their own educational destiny. As their friends that jumped ship early on started to complain about their new landing spot, because it was becoming harder, my kids were adjusted to the level and expectations. Remember, your students will be out in the real world in four short years; you don’t have time to go easy on them.

This is part of a chapter from my book Rock The Crowd: How The Cool Teachers Inspire More Students, Earn More Respect, and Become Lifelong Mentors. Every Wednesday and Friday (Starting April 8, 2014) I will share parts of every chapter. Don’t forget that the shares from my first book Learning Curve are on Monday and Thursday.

Is there anything better for students than being in the class of the cool teacher? When it comes to being a teenage student, and being forced to attend school, there is nothing better than a class where the teacher is passionate about education. How do these popular teachers continue to be the sparkle in the eyes of so many children, while there are others that can’t get them to pay attention? Rock the Crowd shares the methods of those teachers that are considered cool by students, while maintaining the best relationships for valuable learning to take place. For the “cool teacher,” the front of their classroom is their stage, and every day, for hours, they give the greatest performance their students have seen to date. The crowd-rocker teaches with passion and convictions that inspire real student connections and learning that last a lifetime. These teachers are popular, year after year, while others are still struggling to learn how to relate to the students. In Rock the Crowd, I share all the things cool teachers do that make them successful in working with, and producing, successful and long lasting, learning-centered relationships. Rock the Crowd is great for teachers who are struggling to find their teaching groove and to reenergize those that are already grooving.

http://www.createspace.com/ 4703109

Attributes to Successful Teaching

Core Attributes to Rock the Crowd

Cool teachers have substance to who they are, and why they are doing things. If you have some cool teachers in your school, then take this list and just observe what they do. Now, there are always those teachers that are fool’s gold and attract the students that want an easy “A” or to get one over on the system. This is a sample of short-term teacher-student relationship, and is based on a take-take rather than a give-take. The students are pumping that teacher up to use them for their weak discipline plan, below average teaching skills and neediness. In fact, you may already know of a few. You instantly see the difference in the teachers that are connecting and forming the right student-teacher relationships. Those teachers have a high percentage of the following qualities that help them connect, educate, and mentor better than others. These teachers are hardcore disciplinarians; they are passionate about their job and life. Their passion bleeds from them and they can’t be rattled in stressful situations. They know why they are a teacher, and they understand their role as an educator. They leave emotion at the door; they are fair. They have hobbies, and are interesting people, and when it comes to working with students, every day is a new day.

Take a few moments to look at your teaching routine and see if you have the majority of things on that list. I will go over each one so you can develop your own twist to becoming the cool teacher that makes great connections to improve the lives of your students.

The core attributes of cool teachers are the meat of this book. By reading these attributes you can see where you stand, and how you can use the info to unleash the cool teacher in you. If you have a problem with me using the terms “cool”, or “popular,” then you may want to stop here. These terms are used because they are true. Kids, even when we were that age, love to be connected to the words “cool” and “popular.” I am not talking about popularity at the cost of self-esteem, but a coolness where many students will open up to your confidence, and therefore, open up to learning. The core attributes are the basics of the teachers I have witnessed during my 13-year career as a classroom teacher. When I started teaching, I was liked, but according to my new definition, I wasn’t cool. I was enjoyed by students, but not popular. In my second year, I started to turn the corner as I thought about the teachers I enjoyed in high school. They were of all shapes, sizes, and colors, but they all had the cool and popular vibe going. Luckily, in the early part of my career, there were some good, experienced, teachers that would talk with me about being a teacher. They had decades of experience, and they were awesome. They would tell stories, and then pull me aside and remind me of what my main purpose was. Just having those lifers speak with me was very valuable, and it helped me shape my approach to teaching.

These attributes are directly related to those conversations, and moments of guidance. I was lucky to have such a great group of mentors during the first three years of my career. These attributes are from my observations, and if you are struggling as a teacher, you are in the right place. Take hold of the message, and make them your own. Your students await your coolness!

This is part of a chapter from my book Rock The Crowd: How The Cool Teachers Inspire More Students, Earn More Respect, and Become Lifelong Mentors. Every Wednesday and Friday (Starting April 8, 2014) I will share parts of every chapter. Don’t forget that the shares from my first book Learning Curve are on Monday and Thursday.

Is there anything better for students than being in the class of the cool teacher? When it comes to being a teenage student, and being forced to attend school, there is nothing better than a class where the teacher is passionate about education. How do these popular teachers continue to be the sparkle in the eyes of so many children, while there are others that can’t get them to pay attention? Rock the Crowd shares the methods of those teachers that are considered cool by students, while maintaining the best relationships for valuable learning to take place. For the “cool teacher,” the front of their classroom is their stage, and every day, for hours, they give the greatest performance their students have seen to date. The crowd-rocker teaches with passion and convictions that inspire real student connections and learning that last a lifetime. These teachers are popular, year after year, while others are still struggling to learn how to relate to the students. In Rock the Crowd, I share all the things cool teachers do that make them successful in working with, and producing, successful and long lasting, learning-centered relationships. Rock the Crowd is great for teachers who are struggling to find their teaching groove and to reenergize those that are already grooving.

http://www.createspace.com/4703109

Educator, Have Some Fun!

Enjoying Self

One of the ways cool and popular teachers become that way is because they know what it is like to be liked. They are operating from a knowing. Many times, especially in education, we operate from an unknowing. We want everyone to feel bad so they know how it feels when they hurt someone else. Popular teachers don’t operate like that. Their self-esteem is high enough that they rarely care if they are popular, so it is easier to be liked. Those teachers trying too hard to be liked, and I know it may shock you that they exist, are falling short. It’s kind of like dieting: if you try really hard, you usually fail, but if you just accept certain things, then all the fight against a force is removed.

Popular teachers enjoy themselves. No matter the size or shape, they enjoy who they are as people in the profession. One thing I always notice about the popular teachers is that they really like who they are, flaws and all. There are times when these people are almost shocked others don’t enjoy life more. The approach of these teachers is to be joyful, knowing that in the end, they could take their joy someplace else if things got too bad. They have a confidence that some of their peers dislike because they seem so happy all the time. Their students will ask why they are happy all the time. They come up with happy sayings that are corny, but memorable. Their happiness and self-enjoyment create a divide with their peers; they are either liked or not. Very few people are middle-of-the-road with these enjoyable individuals.

By enjoying yourself, you see education as a process. Enjoyment leads to smiles, and smiles lead to a better understanding of the wants and needs of your students. It is very hard to be aware of your students’ needs when you are not in a place where you are enjoying life. For those struggling, this is one of the first places to start. Ask yourself: do I enjoy being around me? If you say “no,” or pause to answer, then you may realize others also find it tough to be around you. Switch that around and take a few moments each day to look at yourself, and place yourself in a new light. Approach it with an understanding that you are a work in progress, but you can have some wins now.

This is part of a chapter from my book Rock The Crowd: How The Cool Teachers Inspire More Students, Earn More Respect, and Become Lifelong Mentors. Every Wednesday and Friday (Starting April 8, 2014) I will share parts of every chapter. Don’t forget that the shares from my first book Learning Curve are on Monday and Thursday.

Is there anything better for students than being in the class of the cool teacher? When it comes to being a teenage student, and being forced to attend school, there is nothing better than a class where the teacher is passionate about education. How do these popular teachers continue to be the sparkle in the eyes of so many children, while there are others that can’t get them to pay attention? Rock the Crowd shares the methods of those teachers that are considered cool by students, while maintaining the best relationships for valuable learning to take place. For the “cool teacher,” the front of their classroom is their stage, and every day, for hours, they give the greatest performance their students have seen to date. The crowd-rocker teaches with passion and convictions that inspire real student connections and learning that last a lifetime. These teachers are popular, year after year, while others are still struggling to learn how to relate to the students. In Rock the Crowd, I share all the things cool teachers do that make them successful in working with, and producing, successful and long lasting, learning-centered relationships. Rock the Crowd is great for teachers who are struggling to find their teaching groove and to reenergize those that are already grooving.

http://www.createspace.com/ 4703109

Great Teachers: How Do They Do It?

How Do They Do It?

Do you ever wonder how we cool teachers get it done? How does a popular teacher really get the success in the classroom that many other teachers desire? Every teacher has a small flock of students that like them, and look to them for guidance. But look at the overall body of students you work with. Do they really like you? Popular teachers are cool, crazy, connect to all students, and deliver a lot of good info. Aside from those simple things, they have qualities that are important to connecting with students. I believe that any teacher struggling to find their way should take some time and observe these cool teachers. This isn’t about being tall, short, cute, ugly, black, white, male, female, young, or old. Cool teachers just connect with students. The kids will say things like, “They are just cool.” Cool to kids means many things, but when it comes to an adult, that label brings with it a lot of respect and admiration. This isn’t just limited to teachers, even though they are on the frontline. It is also connected to administrators. Kids know truth from fiction. They know when a person is being fair or unfair, and they know if it is right or wrong. They understand who really has the right passion for the game of teaching, and who has their best interest at heart. We aren’t talking about like or dislike; fairness plays a huge role in being a cool and popular teacher.

It is also about being dedicated to the process. The process popular teachers create isn’t just one where anything goes. It is a direct movement of skill and knowledge, with improvement of the student’s life as a major part of the equation.

Cool teachers get it done by focusing on what is right rather than what is popular. One of the hardest things about teaching is doing what is right in the face of administration and parental pressures. This can be a tough time for any teacher committed to making their students have the best educational opportunity. At times, there can be a real conflict between what the parent is asking, and what the teacher is attempting to do in their classroom.

During my teaching days there was a term that irked the hell out of me. You may have heard of the statement “choose your battles.” Depending on how receptive the administration, parents, students, and peers are, you will have to make a big decision on what is important to fight for and what isn’t. I will say this before you start: “Learn to Choose Your Battles.” While teaching, I wasn’t a fighter of every battle, just the ones when I knew the right thing to do for students was not being done. That can include a lot of things in education, but there are battles that you just aren’t going to care enough about to fight. So I say to you, “LEARN” enough about yourself so you know what is important to you. I had to learn what was important to me in the world of education so that when I did decide to fight, my passion was there with me, and my focus was rightly directed. There is nothing tougher than trying to fight every battle. You can’t do it. You won’t be able to keep up with all the things you need to know to fight properly. My main focus is classroom discipline and structure that lead to student learning and success. I fight for those things because I believe they are important when educating teenagers. My opinion is that the battles I chose were worth fighting for, so I did. When there would be a situation that related to discipline and structure that didn’t make sense, I would do the right thing for my students. Many times this meant standing up when a parent could become very upset with the teacher’s actions regarding their child. This isn’t bucking the system or rules; it is just my way of making sure what I believe in was at the forefront, and being protected.

This is part of a chapter from my book Rock The Crowd: How The Cool Teachers Inspire More Students, Earn More Respect, and Become Lifelong Mentors. Every Wednesday and Friday (Starting April 8, 2014) I will share parts of every chapter. Don’t forget that the shares from my first book Learning Curve are on Monday and Thursday.

 

Is there anything better for students than being in the class of the cool teacher? When it comes to being a teenage student, and being forced to attend school, there is nothing better than a class where the teacher is passionate about education. How do these popular teachers continue to be the sparkle in the eyes of so many children, while there are others that can’t get them to pay attention? Rock the Crowd shares the methods of those teachers that are considered cool by students, while maintaining the best relationships for valuable learning to take place. For the “cool teacher,” the front of their classroom is their stage, and every day, for hours, they give the greatest performance their students have seen to date. The crowd-rocker teaches with passion and convictions that inspire real student connections and learning that last a lifetime. These teachers are popular, year after year, while others are still struggling to learn how to relate to the students. In Rock the Crowd, I share all the things cool teachers do that make them successful in working with, and producing, successful and long lasting, learning-centered relationships. Rock the Crowd is great for teachers who are struggling to find their teaching groove and to reenergize those that are already grooving.

http://www.createspace.com/ 4703109

Rock The Crowd!

Rock the Crowd

How The Cool Teachers Inspire More Students, Earn More Respect, and Become Lifelong Mentors.

Is there anything better for students then being in the class of the cool teacher?  When it comes to being a student and being forced to attend school there is nothing better. How do these popular teachers continue to be the sparkle in the eyes of so many children while there are others that can’t get them to pay attention.  Rock The Crowd shares the methods of those teachers that are considered cool by students while maintaining the best relationships for valuable learning to take place.  For the “cool teacher” the front of their classroom is their stage and every day, for hours they give the greatest performance their students have seen to date.  The crowd rocker teaches with passion and convictions that inspire real student connections with that last a lifetime.  This connection helps the student to focus on learning and understanding the importance of having a quality education. These teachers are popular year after year while other teachers are struggling to relate to students.  In Rock the Crowd, I share all the things that cool teachers do that make them so successful in working with and producing successful and long lasting results.

Pierce Brunson’s education includes Lynch Elementary, Meadowlawn Middle, Gibbs Senior High School (and the Pinellas County Center for the Arts) in St. Petersburg, FL Temple University in Philadelphia  and Wilmington University in Delaware.  He has 13 years teaching in the public school system as a high school Social Studies teacher majoring in World History and Sociology.  As a teacher, Pierce had a natural gift to rock the crowd and everyday he knew the power of taking the stage in front of students and their moldable minds.  Being a natural leech for ideas that work, Pierce started to use the techniques of other campus crowd rockers to greatly improve his teaching techniques.  In 2012 Pierce stepped away from the classroom to pursue the personal challenge of positively affecting 10,000+ students a year with Firefly Event Photography, his company that captures images that reflect the personality of high school students at their homecomings, proms, and graduations.  The second part of his life involves developing content that helps high school students grow the best skills possible to follow their personal path to success.  Anytime Pierce has the opportunity to speak to teachers or students he is only thinking of one thing before he starts…Rock the Crowd!