Just Like a Fireside Chat
The Background to Better Homes & Schools
No! That's not me in the image above, he's better looking!
A Lamentable State of Affairs
It is now over fifty years since I began my teaching career. During this time I have been horrified by the deterioration in children's behaviour, academic attainment and even their learning capacities. This decline is not limited to the school environment alone. Homes and workplaces suffer from the same disease. Of course, this degeneration is not universal, but it has accelerated during the last two decades. In the many homes and schools which follow more logical and results-based principles, children are given a far better start in life, academically, emotionally and socially.
I feel compelled to share as much as I can of the concepts, principles and resources that can stem the tide of mediocrity. So, I have developed this website as a platform for passing on what I have discovered that can make better homes, better schools, better parents, better teachers, better children, better workers and better bosses.
- 25 years in the teaching profession as a teacher and principal
- The first Primary & Infants Mathematics Consultant in the Hunter Region, NSW
- 6 years in practice as a Counsellor & Family Therapist
Involvement in Professional Development
- Designed primary mathematics PD Seminars
- Presented at many primary mathematics PD seminars
- Presented at state, regional and national conferences
- Presented at principle's conferences
- Presented public seminars in Stress Management, Relationships, Personal Growth and Depression
A Focus on Behaviour Management
Early in my teaching career, I had already recognised that good behaviour management was critical to effective teaching, so I researched, designed and trialled various behaviour management models. I also began to list important principles that make managing children easier. This resulted in the compilation of 140 'one-liners' that simplify, in a practical way, guidelines the lead to children being more comThroupliant, contented and secure. These 'one-liners' are listed in Resources. At this stage of my research, I arrived at another significant conclusion.
The Better the Character the Better the Behaviour
Through observation and practice, I saw that if I focused on character development, while not neglecting to address inappropriate behaviour, behaviour improved of its own accord. I found this to be so in my own family and in the classroom. I also found that many factors influence the development of behaviour and character in all of us, so a holistic approach is necessary for excellent results. For this reason, I needed to cover a wide range of topics. Every article and educational resource on this site, to a greater or lesser degree, focuses on character development and behaviour management.
Becoming Responsible Citizens (BRC)
As a result of my research, I designed a simple classroom management model that incorporated sound and practical principles. Some of these I had rescued from the 'bathwater.' As the idiom goes, 'Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater'. Many teachers and parents don't realise the impact that 'ignoring the baby' has made. The grade 6 class on which I decided to try the model had been the worst class in the school the previous year. So with the principal's blessing and the support of the parents, I introduced the model at the beginning of the year.
For the first time in my career, I didn't need to raise my voice, I didn't give students detention, no one received extra work, and I only sent one student to the principal. It changed the class for the better, the students were happier, more secure and achieved better results. Other professionals and parents confirmed the effectiveness of the model. A relief teacher who taught my class for two consecutive days while I was away at a professional development seminar, had taught them previous years. When I caught up with her sometime later she said, "It is a completely different class! I didn't have trouble with anyone."
I have named this classroom behaviour management model, Becoming Responsible Citizens (BRC). I will describe the principles behind BRC in Professional Development Seminars.
New Teaching Resources That Are Economical, Effective, Efficient and Motivating
As part of my on-going war against time and money, I designed a range of teaching resources that addressed both. Students were more motivated and caught on to new concepts quicker as a result. These teaching aids are found in Teaching Resources. All of them were designed to use for teaching numerous concepts, at various grade levels.
Early Childhood Friendly
Articles that contain information that could help in nurturing and teaching younger children are marked with the tag displayed on the right.
Go to Early Childhood Friendly to get more information.
The Source of All Wisdom
There is nothing new under the sun. I am not the source of eternal wisdom, just a lowly instrument to channel a little of it your way. If there is anything good and helpful on this site, thank God. If there are any bloopers, typos, mistakes or things that don't make sense, blame me.
I wish you all the best in your endeavours to make better homes, better schools and better workplaces.