RIGOR, SLO’s, & PACING GUIDES

Class-work by Leroy Campbell
How can I teach unencumbered?

With all that is required of the educator how does one manage all of the increasing demands, maintain balance between effective teaching and classroom management, while remaining sane in the process? While trying to accomplish this great high wire act, this also includes the unrealistic expectation of operating at optimal level in producing students who perform at high rates of proficiency in classrooms that exceed 30 or more students. It reminds me of the dilemma Pharaoh created for the Israelites by taking from them the resource of straw, but requiring they still meet the daily quota of bricks without it. An impossible task only made seemingly more difficult when you consider the very people the schoolhouse serves and supports is blaming it for the ‘crisis’ in education.

It is in the face of this landscape, the educator, with the threat of ‘burnout’ looming over their shoulder, must marshal from within them the fortitude, resolve, and determination needed to stand their ground and believe they can still make a difference. Like David’s stance against Goliath, the educator must enlist the accompaniment of hope, love, and wisdom believing they are armed sufficiently with resources to aid them in triumphing in making a difference in the lives of the students they teach. Armed with passion, knowledge, and compassion, the educator ascends and transcends the reality of the condition of their current circumstances to raise their students to greater heights of academic achievement and success by modeling the power of belief.

An unencumbered educator builds and rebuilds momentum fueled by a passion filled with a resolve and hope they can make a difference. Despite increasing, sometimes unrealistic demands, an unencumbered educator uses their knowledge of content in a way that is relatable, enjoyable, and memorable for the students and inspires them to engage consistently in the process of teaching and learning. And as Jesus saw the multitudes as sheep without a Shepherd, the unencumbered educator consistently looks at their students with the eyes and a heart of compassion. They have a sincere regard for their students with a healthy understanding of their limitations that minimizes the threat of burnout and positions them to be a source of empowerment for their students. Strive, in the face of the challenges associated with teaching, to be an unencumbered educator. ‘To this end I labor struggling with all his energy that works so wonderfully in me.’ – Colossians 1:29

May God bless you and help you excel and thrive in being unencumbered in your efforts to engage and inspire your students in the process of teaching and learning.

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HOW DO YOU ENGAGE CHILDREN TO TAKE OWNERSHIP OF LEARNING?

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‘I have learned that, although I am a good teacher, I am a much better student, and I was blessed to learn valuable lessons from my students on a daily basis. They taught me the importance of teaching to a student – and not to a test.’ –  Erin Gruwell

What are the best practices for accomplishing this task? How much of this is my responsibility and how much of it is the child’s, or the student’s? Is this just a challenge for teachers, or do parents share the same concerns?

Both parents and teachers need each other’s support in order for the child to succeed. It still takes a village to empower a child to succeed. The community that rallies around the schoolhouse to support it, instead of condemning it, is the school and community that thrives. When a community is overcrowded, studies indicate the outcome for that community is not a hopeful one in relation to crime and poverty. Why then should we expect better results from overcrowded schools and classrooms? Passionate, individual educators intentional and determined to inspire, influence and be impactful will always make a difference, but how much more impactful if the schoolhouse was infused from within and throughout the community engaging to hold children accountable to take responsibility for their learning.

When my children were in elementary school it was important to me that they were above reading grade level so if they slipped in performance, at least they would be on reading level. In 4th grade, my son fell to on and was earning a ‘C.’ After talking with his teacher how I could help him, I implemented a reading strategy at home that required my son to write down thoughts about what he was reading and share them with me. We would read together and talk about what he read. By the end of the school year his grade rose from a C to an A! As a parent and educator I understand the challenges on both sides and become incensed when criticism of the schoolhouse is ‘blamed’ as the sole cause for poor academic performance.

I recall when President Barack Obama publicly addressed the children of our nation about their role and responsibility in achieving academic success and there was a ‘public outcry’ that the President would have the audacity to tell the nation’s children what they needed to do with what appears to be a ‘national crisis.’ From my vantage point, this is what is wrong with education. If the President of the United States can’t challenge the nation’s children to do better, then the problem is not just inside the schoolhouse. At what point are children held accountable to do better. Clearly, testing alone is not working. Blaming stakeholders is not working. Relying solely on the schoolhouse is not working.

Be blessed!

Father, grant us the wisdom and courage to unite as a community to rally around and support the schoolhouse by engaging our children in being more accountable to their role and responsibility with their education so our homes, communities, and nation can thrive.

OutOfTheDarkness Click on the book to purchase your copy today!

Read to gain insights on experiencing the elevated, expanded, exponential lifestyle encountered walking by faith. Learn more about God’s plan, purpose, fulfillment, power, and glory in salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

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‘Celebrate Literacy!’

Class-work by Leroy Campbell

‘There is a reason it used to be a crime in the Confederate states to teach a slave to read: Literacy is power.’ – Matt Taibbi

If I told you 4 years ago an educator who lamented returning to the classroom, after working outside of the classroom for 10 years, would be honored in 2015 with an ACE Educators award, receive up to $6, 000.00 in grant funding to implement an art, literature, leadership program within his school community, develop a peer tutoring program for the local elementary school involving middle school students, and engage an entire community in the promotion and celebration of literacy would you believe me?

For the past two years, there has been a great outpouring of support and engagement from the community I serve and support as an educator in promoting and celebrating literacy. I am in awe and amazed at the outcome of the response of staff, students, business community, elected officials, and individual professional colleagues who have responded to the call to action to ‘celebrate literacy!’

Inspired from the movie, Gifted Hands, about the life and legacy of Dr. Ben Carson and seeing how learning to read greatly transformed his life and empowered him to thrive and succeed, a seed to take up the mantle of reinforcing the value and necessity of literacy was planted. Matt Taibbi’s quote included with this post was the enlightenment I gained from learning about the life of Dr. Ben Carson. The inspiration from watching the movie and insight gained, however, had occurred sometime around 2008. By the 2010-2011 school year I began a 4 year sojourn feeling frustrated and disillusioned about what would become of me as an educator having to return to the classroom. Not a good time and my mind was not in a good space.

I entered my current school community in the fall of 2012. By June of 2013, the idea of launching the literacy initiative came back and with the help of the PTA President and a 1st grade teacher from a neighboring elementary school, Literacy Day was launched. The goal was to engage the community in the celebration and promotion of literacy. We had evening after school events involving authors, students speaking publicly about literacy, music performed by our orchestra, puppet performance, poetry, etc.! It has been an awesome 2 years! Books-A-Million has donated over 300 books and $900.00 to the cause. Our local library and community center has allowed us to have art exhibits to display student artwork to promote the arts. Students, in the am and pm, have visited the local elementary school, 10 minutes walking distance, to serve as peer tutors and read to the elementary age students.

Though resistant to the change I have learned to accept it and it allowed me to encounter an amazing outcome I would have never thought possible understanding where my mindset was at the time. Grateful to God and His grace for His awesome, amazing ways!

Be blessed!

Father, help us as educators to leave room in our hearts and minds to be fueled and fashioned by You to do a great work in us so the great work of what we do can continue to inspire, influence, and impact students, schools, and communities across our nation.

OutOfTheDarkness Click on the book to purchase your copy today!

Experience the elevated, expanded, exponential lifestyle encountered walking by faith and discover the plan, purpose, fulfillment, power, & glory revealed in salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

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Be A Child’s Champion As An Educator

https://www.ted.com/talks/rita_pierson_every_kid_needs_a_champion?language=en

Be encouraged as an educator!

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Why Am I Yelling?

Class-work by Leroy Campbell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.’ – Saint Francis de Sales

Reminded from a conversation had Monday, reflecting back on my experience during the 2010-2011 school year when I was enlightened with the thought of not raising my voice, or yelling, as a means to manage student misconduct, because if they are currently not listening to me yelling will not make them listen; they’re already ignoring me. It was within that enlightenment I started communicating with individual students my understanding, ‘I only know of 2 places where yelling is an acceptable form of communication, prison and the armed forces. I refuse to yell at you to communicate with you and you should not train yourself to only respond to someone yelling at you just to get you to respond or comply.’

This moment was more about my growth and development as a professional educator than it was about student misconduct, because there was a time when yelling was one of my main tools for classroom management. By my third year as an educator I was yelling, breaking yard sticks, and sadly you could hear me at the end of the hallway with the student standing right next to me. Not something I am proud of and would readily admit when conducting classroom management workshops for teachers, because I wanted them to understand how far off I was and how helpful Cooperative Discipline was in enabling me to make better choices in choosing how to respond to power behavior and student misconduct. At the end of that third year, I had to be willing to admit I needed help in order for me to arrive at the enlightenment in 2010-2011, in an environment that was full of power behavior demonstrated. I would always say, during my time in that school community that 1 day’s stress was a week’s worth in a ‘normal’ school community.

This was also my first year returning to the classroom after 10 years serving outside of the classroom, so feeling like Rip Van Winkle, I was disillusioned about the ‘reality’ of what had become of some classroom environments, because nothing I experienced my first 10 years teaching had prepared me for what I faced that one school year! Although I was warned and despite what I was told, nothing could have prepared me for what I observed and encountered. Who I had become as a professional and a Christian would be put to the test, but I was up for the challenge.

May the God of all grace richly bless you and help you to develop the necessary mental stamina and internal resolve necessary to be effective and productive in your role as an educator to inspire learning and influence a greater demonstration of student self-efficacy.

 

 

Tate Publishing Out of the Darkness Cover Design

Discover God’s plan, purpose, fulfillment, power, & glory revealed in salvation through faith in Jesus Christ and experience the elevated, expanded, exponential lifestyle encountered walking by faith.

 

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Excerpt Chapter 4 Out of the Darkness

Curious about the content of my book Out of the Darkness: A Journey into the Marvelous Light? You can read excerpts of the Introduction – Chapter 4 on my blog myimmanuel.wordpress.com. Buy a copy today! Purchase an autographed copy with free shipping by contacting me directly authorcjones@yahoo.com!

myImmanuel

Chapter 4

My Father as a Rolling Stone: God’s Purpose in Salvation

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,
I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
– Revelation 3:20 (NIV)

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you
to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
– Ezekiel 36:26–27

In chapter 3, we talked about God’s plan of salvation. Redemption is a divine act by God to deliver the soul of man from sin, death, and Satan. Salvation is God’s divine plan of love, expressed through His Son, Jesus Christ, to save us from remaining eternally…

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I Will Progress, Succeed, & Achieve as an Educator: My Declaration

‘I think the teaching profession contributes more to the future of our society than any other single profession.’

– John Wooden

I learned to share in the classroom management workshops I facilitated, ‘No matter whether anyone else validates, or affirms me in my role, I will affirm myself, both as a professional and an educator.’ I may never receive the full acknowledgement or applause for what I do, but I will not diminish myself in my own eyes regardless of what everyone else around me says!

Though I have not posted lately, I am filled with amazement and awe in seeing how time and God has unfolded before me an amazing transition and journey since returning to the classroom in the fall of 2010! When I reflect back on my own personal internal disposition when I initially returned to the classroom feeling disillusioned, disgruntled, and disapproving of having to take the journey, I can now laugh and chuckle at the previous perspective seeing how grace and God has unveiled a greater purpose beyond anything I could have ever imagined!

The past 3 years, after transitioning from one school to another for 3 consecutive school years, I have settled into my current school community feeling a greater sense of fulfillment beyond anything I could have ever imagined comparative to what I had encountered previously prior to leaving the classroom in 2001. Looking back, from the fall of 2010 up to today, grace and an internal disposition understanding my need to be accepting of God’s greater purpose and plan for me is what has allowed me to experience the fullness of what I am experiencing now, in the classroom as an educator, then could have been imagined , or anticipated.

The personal, positive self-talk I ascribed to that helped me, by grace, to stand in the current ‘place of fulfillment and satisfaction’ I feel, despite the strong sense of discouragement felt previously can be attributed to: 1) reminding myself I did not want to become an embittered professional having a negative disposition towards my students, 2) sincerely and actively seeking to remain elevated in my thinking with the appropriate positive perspective in order to see the ‘silver lining’ within my circumstances, 3) being determined to apply the strategies, practices, and skills learned, while being open-minded to making the necessary adjustments to the ‘new reality’ of the current classroom/school community environment different to what I was accustomed to previously, 4) actively embracing ‘new professional language’ associated with systemic change enabling me to remain informed and confident about my role and responsibility in today’s school community climate.

Embracing change has afforded me the privilege of now teaching graphic design (with access to 32 MacIntosh computers in my classroom, implementing a new literacy initiative this year to help promote and celebrate literacy that has caught the attention of our city’s mayor and his attendance at our kickoff event in october 2014, co-sponsoring a female mentoring program I once established while outside the classroom that is also being established as a non-profit by one of the former students who participated in the first implemented program, and engaging again in the role I held outside the classroom as the Peer Mediation Coordinator with the potential of leaving the classroom again in the future).

No matter how difficult the day, or dark the moment, believe in yourself and your role as an educator. Be determined to progress, succeed, prosper, and achieve as an educator! The light of your role and your passion for inspiring, influencing, and instilling knowledge is making a difference despite what others say or believe!

May you receive the necessary insight, wisdom, encouragement, inspiration, and motivation to aid, help, and support you in being effective, positive, and productive in your role as an educator, by God’s grace!

Tate Publishing Out of the Darkness Cover Design

You can purchase your copy of Out of the Darkness: A Journey into the Marvelous Light from the link on this site, or this link! https://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=9781634181839

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