Michigan Project and Northern Michigan University
LEAST approach to classroom discipline is a simple survival
strategy for the teacher.It is a response to teachers’ urgent pleas for quick and
easy methods they can use in the face of mounting discipline
problems.Succinctly stated in the words of one teacher, “We must
survive before we can grow.”It involves the “least” methods that should be employed
to facilitate and maintain classroom control.LEAST is an acronym for the following activities of the
more fully when
you need to obtain more information and/or communicate
when disruption and/or harm will occur
when following through to evaluate and reinforce behavior.
LEAST method evolved in five discrete phases:(1) basic research, (2) development, (3) piloting, (4)
refinement, and (5) applied research.
1.Basic Research.The LEAST approach is based upon nearly two decades of
research on the effective ingredients of teaching and learning.This research is summarized in Helping and Human
Relations, The Development of Human Resources, and Teaching
as Treatment, all by Carkhuff;and Kids Don’t Learn from People They Don’t Like,
by Aspy and Roebuck.1
2.Development.The LEAST approach was developed into a step-by-step method
by the authors and the personnel of the Carkhuff Institute of
Human Technology (CIHT), the National Foundation for the
Improvement of Education (NFIE), and the Instruction and
Professional Development unit of the National Education
Association (NEA/IPD) in conjunction with NEA teacher members.It draws heavily on the skill-based approaches developed in
The Skills of Teaching series. 2
3.Field Testing.The LEAST method was field tested in several settings,
including statewide demonstrations in Georgia, South Carolina, and
Tennessee under the direction of Dr. Griffin;at the Sunnyside Junior High School, Tucson, Arizona, under
the direction of Karen V. Unger and Alexander F. Douds;and with teacher associations in Florida, Kentucky,
Missouri, and North Carolina by Richard Mallory.The responses of the teachers were overwhelmingly positive,
according to the teachers’ reports.
4.Refinement.The LEAST method was modified, based upon teachers and
were made by personnel of CIHT, NFIE, and NEA/IPD, incorporating
the suggestions of teachers in the field in order to improve the
delivery of survival discipline skills in the classroom.
LEAST method was field tested again in the same settings.The response was again overwhelmingly positive.In addition, longitudinal research in the Sunnyside Junior
High School project indicated significant changes in all targeted
student behaviors, including a reported 50 percent reduction in
office discipline referrals.
for more on the LEAST APPROACH coming up in the next issue!
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Kellner is a retired teacher of English who
has served as a department chair at the high school level and an
adjunct associate professor of English at the community college
He is the former publisher of Moneygram,
a marketing newsletter for photographer. He is also the
creator of many photographs and articles that have appeared in
publications nationwide, the author of extensive reading
comprehension materials for a publisher of educational
materials, and a former contributor to Darkroom Photography
magazine. His self-syndicated series, Twelve Unknown
Heroes of the American Revolution appeared in more than
fifty newspapers and magazines nationwide.
Kellner's most recent publication, Write What
You See: 99 Photos To Inspire Writing, is marked by Prufrock
Press. His blog appears regularly at hank-englisheducation.blogspot.com.
The purpose of Hank's most
recent work, Reflections, is to inspire student
writing through the use of poetry and photography.
Most of the poems and photos have been submitted by students,
teachers, and others nationwide, though some are directly from
Hank. Although Reflections has not yet been
published, all of its contents are copyrighted. Teachers
are free, however, to download selected contents for use in
Each selection will include a poem, a photograph, a direct
quotation, and four trigger words.
We at StarTeaching kindly thank Hank for his permission to
use the materials.
By Elizabeth Guy
love those sometimes mornings in late summer
When the air seems like an apple, tangy crisp
Cool, tasting sweetly on the tongue,
The white and yellow heat of summer fading
In the waning light of autumn’s mellow sun.
since, fresh spring disappeared,
Its lovely blossoms browning at each edge.
Too soon, summer’s fullness was upon us.
It drowsed and dreamed
In heated grass and sedge.
I await the fruited harvest.
As ripened colors burst upon my plate,
Sumptuous and succulent
Rich, redolent, and ripe.
I shall savor autumn’s flavor bite by bite.
shall feast upon life’s autumn.
Devour each dimming, lazy day. Treasure lengthened shadows in the twilight, For
my cold winter isn’t far away.
1 by Hank Kellner
autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I
were a bird I would fly about the
earth seeking the successive autumns.” - George Eliot
Glass By -Hank Kellner
swirl and melt
Into muted shapes
No clear shape fixes them
To things my eyes can recognize.
black, subtle green,
Too muted to be seen,
The liquid shapes
Melt into molten glass.
Like gentle waves
On a moonlit lake.
when, as if by magic,
The water seems to slow its pace
As if to take a breath,
I can see the very things
That once eluded me.
there’s a moment long forgotten,
And there’s a long lost love. And there’s the time when I…
And another when I…
why this yearning for the past?
Those times are gone.
Like breezes on a summer night
Or yesterday’s sunset.
tomorrow’s still to come.
I will live my life each day
As if it were my last.
And fondly bid adieu
To days that are long past.
2 by Hank Kellner
2009 Hank Kellner
These poem/photo combinations are from
Hank Kellner's upcoming publication, Reflections: A Collection of Poetry, Photos, and
Kellner is the author of
Write What You See: 99 Photos To Inspire Writing. Published by Cottonwood Press ( I-800-864-4297)
and distributed by IndependentPublishers Group, Write What You See includes a supplementary CD with photos. 8 ½ x11,
120 pages, perfect binding, ISBN 978-1-877-673-83-2, LCCN
2008938630. $24.95. Available at bookstores, from the publisher,and on the Internet at www.amazon.comand
your school or local librarian to order it.Visit the author’s
blog at http://hank-englisheducation.com.
The author will contribute a portion of the royalties earned
from the sale of this book to The Wounded Warriors Project.
Order your own iPod Touch Today with the links below:
are six modules designed to test the basic ability of an
individual in terms of Memory & Concentration. Needless to
say this is the most important basic skill for not just to
survive but also to thrive in this competitive environment.
Each of the six modules tests the six variants of Memory &
Concentration in an individual, namely:
of these modules runs at three different levels, from easy to
At each level, the individual's performance is depicted as
A feedback has been built into the software for all these 18
levels depending on the marks one scores during the
Each individual can assess his/her performance any time by
clicking on "history", which gives complete details
of date and time of taking the tests, marks scored each time
and even time taken to do the test. This builds the confidence
level and encourages more participation to eventually
culminate in improvement and enhancement of memory and
Essentially, this software is a SELF AWARENESS tool that
surely motivates the individual to realize one's capability
and seek or be receptive for improvement. Also, if repeatedly
done over a period of time works as Training tool to enhance
software package is specifically designed to help young
children to learn basic skills that will help them in
school. Continued follow-up will give these young
learners success as they mature.
Three versions of the software exist:
Individual Software on either CD or Online, Family
Version Software, and an Institutional Software package.
StarTeaching wholeheartedly supports
and endorses this software. It will make a difference
with your child or student.
the Administrator's Desk:
Leadership for Today's Administrators
Seek to Take Responsibility
Before You Begin to Place Blame
Judge, Educational Consultant
is a Affiliate Professor with Grand Valley State
University. Prior to this he was a High School principal at L'Anse ,
Kalkaska and Royal Oak for a total of 25 years. During his tenure in education
he has observed many changes and has had the opportunity to work with many outstanding teachers in Northern Michigan.
His position with Grand Valley is to work with educators on
leadership and writing articles on leadership for all educators.
People don’t become leaders by staying beneath the radar and avoiding
responsibility. Rather, they earn their position at the front of the pack by doing the exact opposite: taking responsibility.
They aren’t afraid to say, “It was my fault,” if a problem was their doing, or the result of their
team. Leaders must take the responsibility and try to resolve the situation.
Leaders are out in front, serving as role models. They are willing to assume responsibility for every success or failure that comes their way. There are many
times the opportunity to “pass the buck” and say, "There is nothing I can do about a situation," when the
opposite will have a more positive affect.
Grand Valley offers a Masters in Educational Leadership in Boyne City and Cadillac. If you would like to find out more about our program feel free to contact me
or call me at 231-258-2935.
Many of the topics we will present will be for teachers seeking and administration position and for recently appointed administration. I will also receive comments from those who have just completed their first year as administrators. Since the program in Northern began eleven years ago we have placed over 60 GVSU graduates in administration positions.
For The Things They Don't Teach You In College
Positive Parent Conferences
parent-teacher conference time! Some are positive experiences
where teachers are able to make great connections with parents.
And yet other meetings are foretold by apprehension and met with
strife. Over the years, you will encounter the gamut of positive
and negative experiences, and everything in between. However,
there are strategies you can use to make the best of any
It is extremely important to make a good first impression (even if
you already know the parents). Make eye contact with them, and greet the
parents with a firm handshake. No weak grips! If you've never met the
parents, stand up to introduce yourself. Welcome them with a smile.
Remember that you are building relationships, and setting the tone for
A good way to open the conference is to ask how the student is doing in
other classes. Ask about their other grades, and start building an
overall picture. You will often find the student's strong and weak
areas, and you may even find surprises. I've found students who were
failing every class but mine. And I've found the opposite too. A good
overall picture can really give you a new perspective on your students.
Always try to say something positive. Even in the cloudiest of
situations, you should find some ray of sunshine. And if you do have bad
news to share, opening with good news can help ease the transition.
Be objective with bad news. Give truthful and accurate facts, and keep
from making speculations. Make sure you have your facts straight! Work
with parents, and try to offer suggestions. Most parents will look to
you for ideas. Plan what you'll say ahead of time. If you've taken the
time to get to know your students well, you'll find the conferences
Positive parents are what we all expect and hope for. They come in with
an open mind, are pleasant, and are willing to both listen to your
comments and help with solutions to problems that do occur. These
are often very short conferences at the middle and high school levels.
The parents have heard the stories all before, and with good reason;
students whose parents regularly attend conferences have higher grade
averages and fewer instances of behavior problems than those students
whose parents rarely interact with school personnel.
The truth be known, many parents are intimidated by teachers. Many do
worry that their concerns and critiques will be turned around and used
against their kids. Even though teachers find this entire concept
laughable and preposterous, it does, nonetheless, cross many parents'
So, what do you do with a hostile parent? Diffuse the situation by being
patient and listening. Sometimes its hard to just listen while parents
are going off on you. They may be right or wrong, misinformed or even
plain out of line. It is only a mistake to interrupt them, especially if
they are on a roll. Stop yourself, focus on what they're saying, even
take notes to show you're listening, and let them burn themselves out.
Sometimes the hostile parents are looking for an audience, and sometimes
they just need to vent. By giving them the time to 'get it all out of
their system', you allow them to calm down so you both can reasonably
discuss the situation.
Be sure to stand when they leave, again this is being courteous and
polite. Thank them for attending. And let them know you'll contact them
if anything changes. Parents generally want to be kept informed about
their kids, both the good and bad.
Benn earned his B.S. from Western
Michigan University and his Elementary Certification from
Northern Michigan University. He is a 20 year teaching
veteran of 5th and 6th grade students at Inland Lakes Middle
School in Indian River, MI. He finished his Masters of
Integration of Technology from Walden University.
Prior to teaching, Mark spent 11 years as
Department Manager for Sears, Roebuck and Co. dealing with
emerging technologies. He has been married to his wife
Bonnietta for 32 years with one daughter and two sons. In
the summers, Mark works for Mackinac State Historic Parks in the
as a historical interpreter.
The iPad has been with us less than a year, but it’s beginning to make
inroads into education. For so long, the idea of one to one computing was a goal that looked unattainable. Laptops are way too expensive and
desktops aren’t practical or cheap either. So life has continued using
textbooks that are very expensive, also. So what’s the answer?
Enter Apple’s version of a tablet computer called the iPad. What makes
this device more practical? First of all is the availability of thousands
of applications that continue to grow in number daily. Secondly, it’s far
more mobile than even a laptop. You can sit with it comfortably in your lap just like a textbook. It’s far more interactive than a textbook. In fact,
check out this video on a full algebra course on an iPad.
In the fall of 2010 Seton Hill University issued iPads to every full time
student. The students were to download their textbooks into the iPad.
In addition, iPads could be used as phones and for air and file sharing,
as well as note taking. In Singapore, schools handed out 140 iPads to students and teachers to be used for more interactive learning. In
Summit View elementary Duke Energy Foundation has set up a fourth grade classroom with iPads for learning. Watch the video to learn more.
Here’s another video dealing with the infusion of iPads into the classroom.
With this entire happening in the first year of the iPad, think of the possibilities when the second generation of iPad comes out with
cameras. Then students could use Facetime to collaborate with students from classrooms from around the world. The way we learn could change
drastically, think about it.
Mark Benn earned his B.S. from Western
Michigan University and his Elementary Certification from
Northern Michigan University. He is a 21 year teaching
veteran of 5th and 6th grade students at Inland Lakes Middle
School in Indian River, MI. He is currently working on
Masters of Integration of Technology from Walden University.
Prior to teaching, Mark spent 11 years as Department Manager for
Sears, Roebuck and Co. dealing with emerging technologies.
He has been married to his wife Bonnietta for 32 years with one
daughter and two sons. In the summers, Mark works for
Mackinac State Historic Parks in the as a historical
de la Mazais a Curriculum and Instruction Consultant in southern
California with almost 15 years experience in the field of
education. She has written curricula and taught science,
environmental science, and environmental education to students
ranging in age from 4 to 85 years!
She believes that learning the process of
scientific thinking can help students think critically and be
careful observers of the natural and human-made world.
Helen earned an MS in Wildlife Science, an MA in
Curriculum and Instruction, California single subject teaching
credentials in Biological Sciences and English, and a multiple
subject credential. When she was in graduate school for her MS,
she realized that "interpreters" were needed to
communicate between the scientific community and lay people.
Much of her work has been focused on doing this through
teaching, training, and writing.
The Internet and World Wide Web provide the opportunity for massive amounts of information
to be distributed to a wide audience. In fact, so much information is available that it is
overwhelming to sort through! As a Science Educator you barely have enough time to plan
your curriculum and assess your students, let alone spend hours surfing the web looking for
great resources. The purpose of this new Science Feature in StarTeaching is to help you provide
excellent information, media, and lessons to your students that are already available on the web.
I’ll do the searching for you and highlight every couple weeks some Rad Resources for Science
Educators. Feedback is appreciated! Email me at: email@example.com
Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) maintains a free online lesson
plan library for science educators organized by topic, including Life Science, Earth and Space
Science, Physical Science and Scientific Inquiry. The library also links to external lesson plans
and background information from such groups as BSCS, PBS, American Chemical Society and
NASA, among others.
The lesson plans on this site were written by educators and have been tested in the classroom.
Together, they address all of the U.S. National Geography Standards, the five geography skills,
and the main geographic perspectives.
Next year world population is set to reach 7 billion people - take advantage of this
teachable moment! Our World of 7 Billion campaign provides newly developed lesson plans
for middle and high school classrooms as well as ideas for school wide events. We're also
hosting a student video PSA contest for high school students. Cash prizes will be awarded to
the top eight video entries and free curriculum is available for teachers who have students enter.
Visit the website to find out about the PSA contest, download lesson plans, and background
(Browse by subject “Science” then refine by Type (e.g., “Lesson
Plans”), Grade Level, Keywords, etc. Click on the Title of the Lesson Plan and decide whether it
works then Print and Implement!
The Gateway is a Consortium effort to provide educators with quick and easy access to
thousands of educational resources found on various federal, state, university, non-profit and
commercial Internet sites. The Gateway contains a variety of educational resource types from
activities and lesson plans to online projects to assessment items. Materials that are purposed for
use in the classroom are appropriate for inclusion in The Gateway.
Be Sure to Check Out
Our Website Store for Specials:
The sociology of education is the study of how public institutions
and individual experiences affect education and its outcomes. It is most
concerned with the public schooling systems of modern industrial
societies, including the expansion of higher, further, adult, and
Education has always been seen as a fundamentally optimistic human
endeavour characterised by aspirations for progress and betterment. It
is understood by many to be a means of overcoming handicaps, achieving
greater equality and acquiring wealth and social status. Education is
perceived as a place where children can develop according to their
unique needs and potential. It is also perceived as one of the best
means of achieving greater social equality. Many would say that the
purpose of education should be to develop every individual to their full
potential and give them a chance to achieve as much in life as their
natural abilities allow. Few would argue that any education system
accomplishes this goal perfectly. Some take a particularly negative
view, arguing that the education system is designed with the intention
of causing the social reproduction of inequality
A systematic sociology of education began with Émile Durkheim's work
on moral education as a basis for organic solidarity and that by Max
Weber, on the Chinese literati as an instrument of political control. It
was after World War II, however, that the subject received renewed
interest around the world: from technological functionalism in the US,
egalitarian reform of opportunity in Europe, and human-capital theory in
economics. These all implied that, with industrialization, the need for
a technologically-skilled labour force undermines class distinctions and
other ascriptive systems of stratification, and that education promotes
social mobility. However, statistical and field research across numerous
societies showed a persistent link between an individual's social class
and achievement, and suggested that education could only achieve limited
social mobility. Sociological studies showed how schooling patterns
reflected, rather than challenged, class stratification and racial and
sexual discrimination . After the general collapse of functionalism from
the late 1960s onwards, the idea of education as an unmitigated good was
even more profoundly challenged. Neo-Marxists argued that school
education simply produced a docile labour-force essential to
late-capitalist class relations
The legends of the Michigan Dogman come alive in six haunting
tales by folklore author, Frank Holes, Jr.Based upon both mythology and alleged real stories of the
beast, this collection is sure to fire the imagination!
Spanning the decades and the geography of the
, Frank weaves:
A mysterious police report of an unsolvable death in
terrifying encounter in the U.P.’s remote
begun as one man’s therapy, becomes a chronicle of sightings
governmental agent investigates the grisly aftermath of Sigma
family meets more than they expected on the trail north
campfire tale of ancient betrayal handed down through the Omeena
A Place for Teachers New To The Craft
Be a Mentor
by Jill Gurr
Jill Gurr is founder of the non-profit
organization Create Now! She has mentored more than 50 high-risk
children and youth and has trained hundreds of people to mentor
thousands of kids. Learn more at www.createnow.org
or email Jill at: firstname.lastname@example.org
WHY, WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
Half of the U.S. youth population (17.6 million kids to be exact) is
considered to be “at-risk” of getting into trouble with the law, or
“high-risk” and already in trouble. This isn’t a problem only in
the United States. Street gangs, drug addiction, child prostitution,
abuse and neglect are major concerns around the world.
Our children need help!
It’s easy to turn your back and ignore the problem, but what will you
do when some kids jack your car? Or rape your daughter? Or spend their
entire lives on welfare or in the prison system, on your tax dollars?
DISCOVERING A SOLUTION
One solution that has been proven to work is mentoring. A mentor is a
loyal advisor, a teacher or coach, sponsor, guide, confidante and role
model. He or she is a special friend who serves as an advocate for the
needs of someone else and makes an effort to bring out their best
I learned this first-hand in 1993 when I mentored a group of teenage
boys who were incarcerated at a Los Angeles detention center for a
variety of crimes. As a produced screenwriter, I wanted to share my love
of writing with troubled kids in hope of inspiring them to change their
I had a great idea for a story about two rival gang leaders from
different ethnic backgrounds (Latino vs. African-American) ending up at
the same detention camp where they had to resolve their differences.
During the next few months as I worked on our script with the boys, my
Screenwriting Workshop went through all kinds of changes. In the end,
the boys completed writing the script with me and it was optioned by
producers. The best part though was that a number of the kids who were
illiterate learned how to read and write through my program. I witnessed
other remarkable changes as well -- a tough Chicano gang leader had
tattoos removed from his body, and several of the boys wanted to go to
Thrilled with the results of this experience, I quickly came up with
another idea for a screenplay and started a new Screenwriting Workshop,
this time at a co-ed detention center. Again, these girls and boys were
transformed through their experience of contributing to a screenplay,
but especially from my interactions with them every week as their
mentor. They opened up their hearts, shared their problems, and
flourished under my guidance.
Inspired by these successes, I founded a non-profit organization in
1996. Create Now! matches writers, artists, musicians and other creative
individuals in Los Angeles with high-risk kids who live in
court-mandated institutions, such as homes for abused and neglected
children, runaways, homeless kids and those in trouble with the law.
Through Create Now! I’ve personally mentored more than 50 of these
kids and I’ve trained dozens of other mentors to work with high-risk
youth. Create Now! has reached thousands of the most troubled children
in Southern California.
SO, JUST WHAT IS MENTORING?
You may wonder exactly what is mentoring. It’s not tutoring, which
involves the teaching of a skill or discipline. Mentoring depends on the
nurturing of a close, personal relationship. While helping with
schoolwork can be a part of it, that’s just one aspect. Mentors
inspire us to try harder and give us the confidence to reach for more
ambitious goals. They teach us how to make good choices and open doors
to new opportunities that normally wouldn’t be available.
A mentee, or protégé, is a novice, student or learner. At-risk and
high-risk kids can be of any race and religion. They generally come from
disadvantaged homes in poor communities. All children need the support
of a positive adult, but these particular kids especially need help.
Research has shown that kids who are mentored have improved school
attendance and better academic performance, a good appearance and
attitude, less hostility, more self-esteem and many other improved
qualities that are too numerous to name.
A SUCCESS STORY
Tasha is another perfect example that proves mentoring makes a
difference. She came from a poor community in South Central, Los
Angeles. A bright girl with many talents, she didn’t get along with
her family. When she was thirteen years old, Tasha began running away
from home. She hung out with boys who got in trouble with the law. She
was sent to detention camps and different institutions over the next few
I met Tasha at a detention facility when she was almost sixteen. She
eagerly signed up for a Create Now! TV Writing Workshop with a
professional sit-com writer who prefers to remain anonymous. When Tasha
returned to her home in South Central, her mentor continued to visit her
weekly. They formed a strong bond.
Her mentor moved to another state, so Create Now! provided Tasha with
two additional mentors who helped her periodically. Her original mentor
stayed in touch via phone and email. When Tasha graduated from high
school, her mentors helped her apply to USC Film School and arranged for
a scholarship. She was one of only fifty people in the world to be
accepted into their film program.
Tasha graduated from college in December 2004. She got a job teaching
disadvantaged middle-school children how to make their own videos. One
of her mentors helped her get employed as a production assistant on a TV
show and she’s now on the way to a lucrative career in the
entertainment industry. We’re all very proud of Tasha.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME, THE MENTOR?
Mentors benefit greatly from their experience. It’s a powerful feeling
to know that you’ve made a difference in someone’s life. Most
mentors grow on a personal and professional level through this process.
Many people who mentor develop leadership abilities and have a more
profound understanding of children. Their own family bonds strengthen,
plus they receive admiration and respect from their own peers.
There are different kinds of mentoring. Here are a few:
1. ONE-ON-ONE MENTORING
This is traditional mentoring, sometimes referred to as a “Special
Friend” or a “Big/Little” relationship. You’re paired up with
one child and the relationship tends to be close. Don’t take this
involvement lightly and make sure you maintain your commitment.
2. GROUP MENTORING
With group mentoring programs, one adult volunteer builds relationships
with a number of young people. Meetings can take place with a focus on a
particular project or an ongoing activity.
3. TEAM MENTORING
A group of two or more adults work together as a team to mentor a group
of youths. This system focuses on team building, leadership development,
and community service, but it can be used for any type of program.
4. FAMILY MENTORING
Low-income families face enormous pressure getting food and shelter. The
stress can severely disrupt family life and lead to homelessness. These
families can be matched with mentors (possibly your entire family) who
work with them over an extended period of time. By connecting
disadvantaged family members with useful community resources, helping
them to develop life skills, and strengthening their foundation, you
help the family to overcome challenges.
By using email and chat rooms on the Internet, mentors can reach
children all over the world. Many forms of computer-assisted learning
are becoming popular, as students have access to computers at school,
libraries, and their homes.
Think carefully about what your needs are and how you can best serve
at-risk and high-risk youth before you decide which type of mentoring
program is right for you.
OKAY, I’M IN. NOW WHAT?
There are a lot of things that you can do with your mentees. Many of
these kids have never been out of their own neighborhoods. You could
take them on a trip to the beach, a hike in the mountains, a movie, a
meal, or a visit to a museum. Expose them to cultural events like the
theater or the circus, or just hang out and talk.
Most importantly, LISTEN! All kids need to communicate and vent. It’s
important to hear what they say and be as open-minded as possible. Most
kids need reliable adults with whom they can talk about their fears,
dreams, and concerns. Mentors serve as sounding boards, and when asked,
someone who can give trustworthy advice.
At-risk youth may not have any adults in their lives with the time,
interest, or ability to listen to them. High-risk youth who live in
residential institutions will rarely confide in staff members,
administrators, or even psychologists for fear of punishment. Yet they
might confide in you because of the trust that you’ve developed. It
usually takes time, but when they know that they can count on you,
they’ll start to open up.
Mentoring requires commitment and responsibility. You must keep your
word and be dependable to have a positive effect. If you break your
word, you’ll do more damage than good.
These children have been let down by adults most of their lives. Imagine
if you come along, full of hope and excitement, and reach out to lend
them a hand. They take it and off you go, spending time together and
bonding. They slowly open up and start to trust you.
But then something changes in your life; perhaps you get a different job
in another part of town, or you’ve got a new boyfriend who takes up
all of your free time. Abandonment can be devastating to any child,
especially these kids.
It’s okay if you only have sporadic time available to mentor, since
even a short amount of time devoted to an at-risk youth is better than
nothing. But it’s essential that you communicate this clearly to your
mentee. The most important thing is not to set their expectations high
only to let them down later.
These children represent our future. Through your support as a mentor,
you can introduce them to a larger world where they’re a contributor
instead of just another statistic.
WHERE TO SIGN ON
No matter where you live or what you do for a living, you can impact a
child’s life. To learn about mentoring opportunities in your
community, visit the National Mentoring Partnership at http://www.mentoring.org
If you live in Southern California and have a creative skill that
you’d like to share with at-risk or high-risk youth, please contact me
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"Recipe for a Happy New
From "Leaves of Gold"
will we approach the new year...
Take 12 fine,
full-grown months; see that these are thoroughly cleansed from all old
memories of bitterness, rancor, hate, and jealousy.
Cut these months into 30 or 31 equal parts. (This batch will keep for
one year. Do not attempt to make more than one batch at a time-many
people spoil the entire lot in this way.)
Prepare one day at a time as follows: Into each day, put 12 parts of
faith, 11 of patience, 10 of courage, nine of work (some people omit
this ingredient and spoil the flavor of the rest), eight of hope, seven
of fidelity, six of open-mindedness, five of kindness, four of rest
(leaving this out is like leaving the oil out of the salad-don't do it),
three of prayer, two of meditation, and one of well-selected resolution.
If you have no conscientious scruples, add a teaspoonful of good
spirits, a dash of fun, a pinch of folly, a sprinkling of play, and a
heaping cupful of good humor.
Pour love liberally into the whole, and mix with vim. Cook thoroughly in
a fervent heat. Garnish with a few smiles and a sprig of joy; then serve
with quietness, unselfishness, and cheerfulness-and a Happy New Year is
What's New @
Hello readers! Welcome to your
second January issue of Features For Teachers for 2011!
month, we are pleased to offer you two new columns which will continue
through the new year. Hank Kellner has generously given us
permission to use the poetry/photograph selections from his upcoming
book, Reflections. Now each month, we will provide
teachers with inspirational photographs, poems, quotes, and key words to
use in writing classrooms.
column is by Helen de la Maza, our science correspondent. She's
going to now include super science resources to use in
You'll also find great articles from Jerry
Judge and Mark Benn, as well as guest writers Jill Gurr and Robert
always, we have free activities (from Mary Ann Graziani and Frank Holes
Jr.) and articles with practical ideas
and techniques to be applied directly into your classroom.
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Hand is an
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Tony is a teacher who
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