The Parent/Student Lecture was inspiring and quite an effective down-to-approach on how to become a successful parent and student. I look forward to hearing future lectures by Mr. Hoatson.
Teacher, Gadsden County, FL

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Bless teachers everywhere.

I had the privilege of peeking in on a graduation ceremony this week and it is truly inspiring to see the pride in the parents towards their children that have struggled so hard and so long to get their diplomas. My hat goes off to the graduates and their families. They have earned this wonderful moment. My hat also goes off to all of the teachers in a child’s life that made this moment possible. Take the time to enjoy it, because moments like this will keep you in the classroom during the times that you really wish that you weren’t.

Nationwide, the average teacher only lasts 5 years in the profession. This is not only a national disaster, but a very personal disaster for the individual child, especially those that are struggling in school and in life. The truth is they need you, the good teacher, the one that actually looks past test scores and simply cares deeply for the child. They need you more than you will ever know, especially those of you that leave or are driven out of the profession early. They are there on that platform, clutching that precious diploma, because you were there in the classroom during the difficult years, tearing your hair out as you were trying, often against their will, to get them to the promised land. Teachers, you are more important than you think and this is a personal plea for you to stay in the profession, no matter how hard and crazy it gets, because in reality you are not just an instructor, but a life-preserver – possibly the only one – for children who are drowning in a sea of societal and academic problems. The irony is, if you walk away from the profession after just a few years, there is no way for you to feel it or even understand it.

I started teaching in 1976 and have taught at all grade levels, both regular ed and exceptional ed. I can walk into places and hear “Hi, Mr. Hoatson” coming from the cashiers or mechanics or nurses or teachers or shop owners. Sometimes it’s simply a mother or father that I had taught twenty years ago, showing off their own young child. I love it. I also smile to myself, because these very same wonderful adults were out of their minds when they were younger – disrespectful, rude, lazy, sometimes violent. I remember wondering if any of them were going to live past twenty, stay out of jail or otherwise self destruct. But here they are, decades later, perfectly normal adults – good people – and sharing a laugh with their old teacher. You cannot possibly get to that feeling of accomplishment and realization of the impact that you have had on a child unless you are in the classroom long enough to see the fruits of your labor. If you leave the profession early, all you see is the labor. And labor it is. When things were going bad at school I could be asked when was the last time I thought about quitting and my response would be, “What time is it?”

A couple of quick, unrelated stories: I taught the sheriff of Gadsden County, Morris Young, back in elementary school. He reminded me the other day, to my horror, of when I would kick his desk to wake him if he fell asleep in class. He said it with pride – the point being that I would never let a child sleep in class because I expected every one of them to grow up to be somebody of worth, maybe even important.

Several years ago I got a call in the middle of the night, from a woman, crying, because she was in prison and they were going to try and give her the death penalty for something that she didn’t do. She had been a student of mine who I hadn’t have heard from in ten or more years and she didn’t know who to turn to, so she called Mr. Hoatson.  Another time I got a call from jail – it was a young man who I was training for a job at a vocational school – and he called to tell me that he had messed up and that he was very sorry that he couldn’t be in class the next day – or year – because he got caught dealing drugs. He swore he’d do right when he got out, and he did.

I was standing in line at the local credit union and a young man was filling out a deposit slip for his paycheck when he suddenly turned to the teller and said, “Mr. Hoatson right there taught me how to do all of this. Hey, Mr. Hoatson. “ Message to all teachers – what you do has nothing to do with test scores, but everything to do with how you positively affect children for the rest of their lives. Bless teachers everywhere. You are so unbelievable valuable. Stand tall, and stay in the profession, please. Stay and fight for the children. They need you and, even years later, will be grateful that you did.


Shut up! Be quiet! I don't want to hear a sound! Well, Mr. I wish my child was a rock instead of a human being, you should have thought of that before you decided to get your freak on. Lot's of language, in a normal tone of voice, is important for the brain. Yelling and screaming don't count.
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)