He is a powerful speaker with deep insights into the educational process.
Reginald James
Superintendent of Schools-Gadsden County, FL

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.

Blogs

Alternative to suspension

I firmly believe that all children are put on this planet for a positive purpose; that each one has a gift that our society needs for its betterment. This is a good mindset for all teachers, because sometimes that gift is buried under layers of misbehavior. To help the child succeed as an adult, it is important to hold to the belief that down in there somewhere is a very worthwhile individual, even if that child just called you fat, slapped little Jimmy and then stole Suzy’s pencil as he fled the classroom.

Parents, toddlers and math.

I don’t want to step on anybody’s toes in the teaching profession, but the most important teachers that any child ever has are their parents. Hands down. This fact should be very liberating and exhilarating for the young parent. After further consideration, it is also scary as all get out. It is scary because of the enormity of the responsibility of raising children coupled with the fear of all new parents that they simply don’t know what, exactly, to do. First, a bit of free advice: Parents, start teaching your child from day one.

The power of giving

Since it is the holiday season, I am going to back into my argument for positive school transformation by examining the benefits of “giving” on children. Not “getting,” “giving.” Everybody likes to receive presents, which is all well and good, but the benefits of receiving are short term and often mostly material. The benefits of giving, however, run much deeper, and can actually be transformative for a child. This concept has large implications for children with behavior problems.

Imagination

It being near Christmas, it might not be a bad idea for schools to unwrap a present that children bring with them to school daily, one that is often left unopened in many school systems, and that is the gift of imagination. One of the greatest assets of the human species is the power of the brain to be able to think of things that don't exist, to just make things up. Not only can it be fun and creative, but is the key to solving many of mankind's problems, many of which are constantly evolving or just plain new.

Children are not failures

Once again, high-stakes testing has shoved itself front and center into the educational spotlight, sucking all the air (and money) out of the room. As this foolishness unfolds it seems to just get worse. With this new series of state-imposed tests, since it is a first for this material, there will be no way to actually measure learning gains for a child, leaving the apparent sole purpose of the test to simply give arbitrary "grades" to schools. The state of Florida is spending millions upon millions of dollars to give a school a grade. And for what purpose?

The value of drama in schools

Part of the problem with schools becoming more and more test-oriented, is that subjects that aren't easily testable often take a back seat to those that are, which is a shame on many levels. First of all, children and teachers miss out on a lot of creative and, heaven forbid, fun experiences, dulling the overall school experience for everybody. But even more importantly, these very same fun, creative, but not test friendly subjects, such as drama, can easily be the best way to teach the testable core subjects.

Building character

The ever increasing emphasis on test scores to judge how a child is doing in school may obscure an interesting idea about schools, which is that it is possible that the most important learning that takes place in a school is not necessarily just academics. While schools are focused almost solely on academic achievement, there are other issues that could and should be concentrated on as much as academics, such as teaching and building a child's character.

Children, teachers and stress

When teaching, I always found it critically important to know not just my children, but their families, also. Some households are sunny and pleasant and others are filled with various forms of negativity, including yelling, name calling, cursing and physical abuse. What is behind a lot of these negative behaviors is often varying amounts of stress, including financial and emotional. I have found that too much stress in the household is the leading cause for child mistreatment or just plain bad parenting.

Role Models

How do you know what you don't know? The answer is simple as well as enlightening. You don't. The implications of this for children.are far reaching. We tell children all the time that this is America and they can be anything that they put their mind to. Well. what career choices are in their mind? Is it going to be a botanist, or chemist, or engineer, or electrician, or translator, or environmental scientist, or inventor, or what? If a child has neither seen nor heard of any of the above or hundreds of other unknown job possibilities, how in the world are they supposed to aspire to them?

School, the arts, and society.

Over the last couple of years I have become more and more worried about the increasing use of technology amongst children and the possible detrimental effects that this is having on them. Children and young adults are changing right before our eyes and the changes are deeply troubling. The latest statistics show that teenagers are spending, on average, nine hours a day glued to some media device, whether it be a computer, TV, or cellphone. They often don't even interact with other human beings, unless it is through an electronic device.

Pages

Actually, this handicapped label isn't necessarily all bad for him. Now he doesn't have to do any work. Chemistry? "No, I can't do that." Algebra? "No, I can't do that either. And I've got the papers to prove it."
Professor Johnson Unhinged - Section on Teaching

7 Minute Lecture Series

 

01. Introduction
(7 minute Lectures)

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

03. The Phone Call
(Reward Effort)