I Heartily recommend Bill Hoatson's book. It contains wisdom acrrued by a supurb and committed teacher over many years of experience in some of the country's most challenging classrooms. He testifies to the effectiveness of the caring development of self-respect together with goal-directed discipline, an approach he supports by proven strategies with real kids with real discipline problems. Both his writing and his informative lectures are witty, insightful and wonderfully entertaining.
Emanuel Shargel
Professor Emeritus, College of Education, Florida State University

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.


A Positive School Experience is Vital

As I watch another school year start and see the children pouring off the buses to go into their school, I wonder - how does that child view the school and what awaits him in the year ahead? Is it Disneyworld, full of joy and wonder, or a factory which is dull, grinding and meaningless, or off to work in the coal mines, hard, joyless and dangerous? After all my years of teaching, I firmly believe that a child's emotional experience in school is way more important in the shaping of the adult that they are to become than any actual academics that is being taught.

Teacher and Parent Bonding

As the start of the new school year is almost here, I have a word of advice for both teachers and parents: become friends. Seriously. If not friends, at least come to know each other as human beings. This will ensure the success of a child in the classroom almost more than anything else that you can do. The easiest and quickest bonding time is from week one, before the child has had a chance to misbehave or struggle. The conversations are short, positive, and invaluable.

Infant Development and College

Over the years a persistent problem keeps hitting the headlines, and that is the gross under-representation of minorities, especially African-Americans, in high-paying but extremely complex fields of study, such as engineering, physics, chemistry, etc. A lot of talk has been given to better college recruiting, better high school preparation, a better career counseling system as remedies, all of which are good ideas, but all of which focus on the older child.

School and Society

As an educator, I have been watching carefully what many legislators around the country are trying to do to schools in the name of "reform." With their efforts to expand high stakes testing and "raising the bar" on children by picking artificial targets to be met to be considered a success, they are steadily ratcheting up the pressure on children, teachers and parents to meet preconceived goals that may or may not have anything to do with what an individual child needs.

Schools need to foster cooperation

I read an interesting article from USA Today, with the headline, "Study: Kids social skills key to success as adults." The study, reported in the "American Journal of Public Health," went on to say "Teachers rated kids on the ability to cooperate, resolve conflicts, listen to others points of view, give suggestions without being bossy and other skills."

Reading disabilities and success.

It is amazing how different children can be.

4th of July and Public Schools

I was going to detail how to teach children how to read that are struggling at it, but I will save that for next week. I had a wonderful Independence Day experience and would like to reflect upon that. The little town of Greensboro always puts on a stunningly good fireworks show, but even better is the fact that it draws white, black and Hispanic families together to share the experience. The unity and joy are what America is truly all about, and it is good to feel it. I was down at Shell Point beach, and it was the same thing.

Praise for the Civil Servant

I am very interested in politics and have become increasingly disturbed over the last several decades of the incivility and downright mean spiritedness of the discourse and debate over our future as a country. One particular trend hits particularly close to home, and that is the open war declared on civil servants in many of the states in our union. I would like to know when, and more importantly, why, teachers have become the enemy? And why in the world is some of the public cheering this on?

Changing troubled children

I have tried for a couple of days to grapple with the senseless and horrifying tragedy in Charleston, SC , make some sense out of why something this insane could possibly happen, and what to do as an individual and a society to prevent this from happening again. And I mean EVER! What makes this a double tragedy is that it was preventable and absolutely did not have to happen. I have had decades of experience dealing with thousands of children, all of whom I have loved. Most were wonderful children.

"First, Do No Harm"

""First, Do no harm," is not just a catchy title, but is the motto of the entire medical profession, and is drilled into their head from day one. It should also be the motto of anybody that has anything to do with educating a child. It basically means whatever you do, don't make things worse. Good advice.


If your child comes running to you from the direction of another adult asking for something, what you don't say is "yes."
Professor Johnson Unhinged - Section on Parenting

7 Minute Lecture Series


01. Introduction
(7 minute Lectures)

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

03. The Phone Call
(Reward Effort)