Thank you far accepting my invitation to speak at our first Parent Expo.....Your presentation was uplifting and informative.
Hilda Jackson
Principal, Havana, 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

Learning Through Games

Most of he following are excerpts from my book "Lessons Learned the Hard Way: 16 Things Every teacher Should Know." It is great advice for parents, teachers, camp counselors, or anybody else working with children. Basically, children learn faster and retain information longer if think they are playing a game.

School and Work

Work. Good, old fashioned, honest, sometimes hard, rewarding work. This is both the promise of America for individuals and for society, it's greatest need. If members of society are finding work and being compensated fairly for it, the amount of negatives in that society - crime, poverty, stress, violence, etc., drops like a rock. The radical experiment that we call democracy gives a political framework for the freedom of each individual citizen to become what they want to be in the world of work.

Summer Reading

I am going to start with one of my favorite dictums: Reading is everything. The ability to read well is probably the single most important academic skill that any child can have. If schools or homes could teach only one thing, reading would be it. Virtually everything else flows from there. So, anything that fosters the ability to read is to be applauded.

The Goal-Oriented Child

A lot can be learned from a child by asking the simple question, "Why are you in school?" The response that you DON"T want is, "I don't know," or "They made me go," or even worse, "I don't know and I don't care, I hate school." If you get something like this as an answer, you are not dealing with a student in any real sense, but a child who is just marking time, as if in prison, which is what school evidently feels like to him. The response to "Why are you in school?" that you DO want from a child is, "Because I want to be a ......" and fill in the blank.

High Stakes Testing

Testing children in schools is not new. Teachers have been doing it in various forms for hundreds of years. Tests can be graded or not graded, but are usually used as a tool to see where a child's strengths and weaknesses are, so as to better educate the child. What is new is government mandated high-stakes testing, which is a whole different animal than a teacher testing for knowledge in her classroom.

Make it Real

I have found that, as a teacher or parent, if you pay close attention to your children, their behavior will often lead to interesting insights into the learning process. I learned a very simple but important lesson when I was teaching at Gadsden Technical Institute several years ago. I found that the exact same students that I had when I was teaching at Shanks High School, the ones who I had to virtually pull teeth (without anesthetic) to get them to learn fractions, took to it like a duck takes to water when I got them at the vocational school. Same student, different setting.

Building a Good Student

All children can learn. This is a given for every parent and teacher. The deeper questions become at what rate, and with what capacity? Which begs the question, how do you help a little child's brain develop so that it can learn at its optimum rate, with the greatest capacity? What can the parent and teacher actually do to build a good student?

Positive Discipline

A question that all parents and teachers grapple with while training children to be successful adults is how to respond to a child in a constructive way when they misbehave or do something wrong; sometimes very wrong. Anger is a natural reaction, but is destructive, not constructive. My first suggestion is, knowing that all children are going to misbehave at some time, is to actually plan for the response beforehand and practice what I call positive discipline.

Testing - free education

This over-reliance on testing as an educational model is not only a huge waste of time and money, but also promotes grossly inefficient methods of teaching.

The stress-free diploma

The longer I taught, the more convinced I became that not only is academic stress put upon children damaging and counterproductive, but much of it is simply unnecessary. I am worrying very specifically these days about all the young men and women who are juniors and seniors in high school, who have spent 12 years of their life in school struggling mightily to get a high school diploma, and who may fall short.

Pages

I don't understand this Goth deal. Some of the white kids are a tough nut to crack. They just want to be dead. They even come to school dressed for the funeral.
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)