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 nearly fifty years since I began my teaching career. During this time I have been horrified at 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 sensible principles, children are given a far better start in life, academically and socially.
At this point in my life, seven years after retirement, I feel compelled to share as much as I can of the concepts, principles and resources that can stem the tide of mediocrity. So instead of sitting on a beach, playing golf, going fishing and the like, I have developed this website as a platform for passing on what I have discovered that can make better homes and schools, better parents, teachers and children and better workers and bosses. In turn, this leads to better workplaces and communities.
My teaching career in primary (elementary) schools commenced in 1969 and spanned some 24 years. I had practical experience in all grades from kindergarten to year 7. I served for a time as a primary school principal and as a Regional Primary and Infants Mathematics Consultant. As a consultant, I sat on state and local curriculum committees and provided many professional development seminars.
The Need for Additional Teaching Resources
During my teaching and consulting years, I designed a unique range of primary teaching resources that were motivating and that would lay a better educational foundation for students. Some of these resources are available on this site under Resources / More Resources. I was born with a creative bent. Some people say it is more bent than creative.
A Career Change
After completing our Advanced Diplomas in Counselling and Family Therapy, my wife and I worked in our private counselling and family therapy practice from 2004 to 2010. Since that time I have continued to provide seminars on personal growth and relationships and to develop teaching resources.
Why Behaviour Management?
I had already recognised, early in my teaching career, that good behaviour management was critical to effective teaching, so I researched and trialled various behaviour management models. More recently I was led to arrive at some eye-opening and challenging conclusions. These I will share with you in SnapShot, my monthly eZine.
A Model That Worked
As a result of my research, I designed a simple classroom management model the 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. I have named this classroom behaviour management model, Becoming Responsible Citizens (BRC).
"The best class of all the schools I visit!"
During the time I taught this challenging class, a visiting teacher taught them, French. At the end of the first term, the teacher came to me and said, 'Richard, this is the best class I have of all the schools I visit.' I was very pleased and encouraged to hear that, considering I was not present in the classroom while she was teaching. Not long afterwards I received confirmation of the change of attitude in the class. I attended a two-day professional development seminar, and a relief teacher took my class. She had been called in on other occasions to take the class the previous year. At our next meeting, she said, 'What have you done to the kids? They are so different! They were happier and cooperative. I didn't have trouble with anyone!'
Over 130 One-Liners For Behaviour Management
For many years now I have been making a list of One-Liners that point to the principles of behaviour management. For example, 'Will a child respect an adult who they can manipulate?' Or, 'Provide children with positive recognition, and they will be more likely to make better choices.' Character and behaviour are inseparably linked; the many Categories and Factors have an impact on both. A holistic approach is necessary. SnapShot will contain a comprehensive coverage of One-Liners, Categories and Factors.
Go to Twenty One-liners For Behaviour Management to review the first twenty One-Liners.
The Need for Ongoing Personal and Professional Growth
The better we are as teachers and parents, the better off the children will be. The better our characters and the characters of the students, the happier and more productive the learning environment. There is always room for personal and professional development, so this site presents information and resources that will affect maturity in these areas.
Take a Bi-Monthly Dose of SnapShot Supplements
The information necessary to advance in managing behaviour and to mature personally and professionally is in articles within our bi-monthly, online magazine, SnapShot. This publication will not contain a lot of theory and big words; rather it will be more like a fireside chat. The articles will be as succinct as possible, and practical. Most of us are very busy and would prefer the content to be readable, logical, sensible and do-able.
To learn more about SnapShot click here.
A Very Valuable Resource
Just a quick glance at the first Issue of SnapShot will give you some indication of how valuable a resource this site will be. After being published in issues of SnapShot, all articles are archived in topics and will be accessible to all logged in, registered members. Within twelve months 132 articles will be available.
A Genuine Concern for Others - Likes & Shares
Other people out there who are unaware of this site, may desperately need the information presented in SnapShot. In 'sharing', 'liking' and 'following' in the social media, you may be the catalyst for turning lives around and making homes and schools better places for parents, teachers and children. Have you ever been desperate for help? I have. Have you been down or depressed, thinking there was no hope of recovery? I have. We're all in the same boat, let's row together to make this world a better place for us being here.
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.