Only Someone who has maintained an attentive heart throughout many years in the urban educational arena could write with this degree of insight, compassion and humor about the real challenges faced by teachers, students, and parents alike...... I pick up this book whenever I feel alone in my struggle to understand what I am actually doing as an urban school teacher in an age of violent disregard for any kind of gracious interaction or sincere effort. Also, I get to laugh out loud.
Mona Callan
Art Teacher-22 years

Bill's Books

Support and learn about Bill's efforts to instill his humane and effective teaching methods, in the home and in the school, by purchasing one of his books.

Transform the school, transform society.

Humane Schools to build a Humane Society!

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The heck with grades, reward effort.
Find a child's success level, teach there!
Parents are not looking for a good bureaucracy for their child.
All children have a positive purpose for being on this planet.
Success breeds success.
Education should be kind and loving... Always!
P...A...T...I...E...N...C...E... the single most important quality in an educator.
A joyless school is not a school at all, it is a poorly run factory.
A child's best is their best. Period!
Artificially "raising the bar" is idiocy. It's not teaching, It's posturing.
They are looking for a good teacher.
The teacher's job is to nurture their success.
Don't punish mistakes, correct them.
Children from financially stressed backgrounds don't need more stress, they need success experiences.
A sense of humor is a close second. Legislators seem to have neither.
Children deserve better!


All children can succeed and all children have a positive purpose for being here on earth.  For many children coming from stressed backgrounds, however, a positive future and a successful adulthood seems not just impossible, but a cruel hoax.  The forces of poverty, want, violence, divorce, hopelessness, crime, desperation, sterile environments, academic failure and negativity create a totally different child than one that comes from a background of wealth, stability in the family, environmental stimulation, emotional and physical fulfillment, hopefulness, academic success and positivity.

My name is Bill Hoatson and I have been teaching children from stressed backgrounds for 30 years.  As a teacher, I have always believed that all children, regardless of their background or behavior, are a gift from God and should be treated as such.  I have spent my entire adult life helping struggling children and their families, so I have learned a thing or two about turning failure into success.  I would like to share the lessons I have learned to help others foster success in the struggling child.

I like to say that all children can learn and get to the promised land of success.  The trick is how to get them there, especially those that don't even know the promised land exists.  Let me shed some light on the path.  It can be a wild ride but the children are worth it.


Rethinking Education Blog

The absolute joy of reading

The Absolute Joy of Reading

Tallahassee Democrat 

Gadsden County Times 

Latest Video

7 Minute Lecture Series - 3. The Phone Call

Learn how Bill Hoatson discovered a simple and highly effective strategy to diffuse a potentially volatile interaction with a student. This technique led to a fundamental change in how he managed his students from that point forward.

(Voice offstage right): I ain't pickin' up nothin'---that's what they got maids for! Mr. Fletcher (Janitor): You come back here right now or I'll show you what this stick is for!
Mr. Harrison's Classroom

7 Minute Lecture Series


01. Introduction
(7 minute Lectures)

02. How to Create a Dropout
(Positive Behavior Shaping)

03. The Phone Call
(Reward Effort)