Welcoming Teachers in Training and New Teachers!!

Hello Again!

Those of you starting studies or getting ready to enter the teaching arena – WELCOME!! I love this field – what is more fun than working with “kids” of whatever age and seeing those light bulbs of learning pop on knowing you facilitated it?? That is the best feeling and kept me in “the business” for more than 30 years.  The secret is, my embarking adventurers, have the skills and knowledge of classroom and behavior organization and management in our tool bag BEFORE you step into your first classroom.

Student teaching practicums usually do not start until after the students have arrived and the school year is underway, so many of the critical things the modeling master/supervising teacher put in place are not evident and almost all the time taken for granted by the trainee.  There is extensive planning and organization required to be done BEFORE the students will be arriving.  Many veteran master teachers do these things without thinking, but to the novice they look like this is simply how student behave. These specific strategies for the 7 areas on organization and management must be planned and well thought out so they will meet the needs of the new teacher and the soon to arrive students.

Can you tell I love this stuff??? I will always remember how I struggled through my first year of teaching; this keeps me energized and committed to sharing what I learned as I became a certified COMP trainer, as I mentored dozens of teachers, as I worked with Principals to support their teachers, and as I developed and presented classroom and behavior organization and management training over the last 25+ years. I do love this stuff!

While teachers in action right now are looking forward to the Summer break that is rapidly approaching, many aspiring teachers are about to begin some of their essential courses and even Fall practicum experiences in classrooms.

This is where I want to offer information, training, Q & A and discussions on planning in each of the 7 areas  of classroom and behavior organization and management.  I am happy to respond to individuals as well as work with groups to schedule customized trainings.  These groups can be in the format of courses as an adjunct professor, small study groups on specific topics, clinics or seminars.

This is also a time when first year teachers and veteran teachers struggling with management think towards the next school year because they know they want and need more tools in their tool bags to hone their skills, and to use the professional  jargon perform in the distinguished category for specifically on-stage and off-stage Domains (planning, managing behavior, organizing instruction and instructional activities, assessing student learning, etc.)

I hope to hear from you soon!



February 1, 2017 – Well, I’ve done it ….. I’m now officially retired! I’m thinking this newly found time will allow me to develop new ways to support teachers, parents and students to continually grow and teach their goals and dreams. I was going to add potential, but I think potential continually increases as we learn more and hone skills; success nourishes success.

I am also planning to complete a number of outlines for educational games, poems, curriculum, a series of children’s stories, and short novels.


Teaching Respect and Responsibility Doesn’t Happen by Accident.

March 8, 2017

There is no question the a parent feels disrespected when a child ignores them. It is frustrating, stressful and very common. Whether it is your calling them to dinner, starting homework, turning off devices, etc., being ignored for any such request  after the first, second or continued time does feel like distespect. But, think for a sec, it’s more than that – and most importantly it is a golden opportunity to teach responsibility, cause and effect, gratitude and respect.

It is not easy for many parents to take away things like cell phones, tablets/iPads, gaming devices, computer time, driving, etc. – but these are privileges not entitlements. They should be earned initially; but if that’s old news already – then you can structure by setting limits now.

These treasured gifts/privileges should be taken away for an amount of days that will cause enough inconvenience that it is noticed; more than  just 2 or 3 days generally is needed, more more may be appropriate depending on the problem behavior. Once you confiscate a device or privilege you can then set the standards for earning its return – this now changes the confiscation from a punishment to a new set of expectations for behaviors. You will need a clear list of necessary but age/developmentally appropriate and observable behaviors that YOU want/expect/need from your child. You will need to determine what exact behaviors they must do and for how long in order to earn bank the confiscated item. Share this with them in a calm, quiet and respectful manner – be committed, conveying that the goal is for all family members to cooperate, collaborate, consider, respect and appreciate one another.

Observable behaviors include;

Responding after a first request – but you take responsibility for getting their attention first – call their name to insure they hear you- then make the request

Completion of specific chores – listed – taking out trash, walking the dog, doing homework before playing, setting and or clearing the table, etc.

Performing specific social skills – saying please and thank you, asking for permission before touching things,

Following a set of daily routines (cuing may be needed based on age, ability) – bedtime prep, school morning prep, etc.

Yes, this requires thought, self-reflection and consistency of your parenting behavior, but it will pay off

Please let me know what I can help with



Hello again as we head into the next grading quarter. I would love to facilitate the establishment of a teacher help clinic with  real life opportunity to provide training as well as online Q and A. Please let me know who is interested.

Happy 2017 to everyone!  May this year bring you all good things.  Well, I am counting down the days to my official retirement from public school service! What a BIG adjustment in thinking this is – undoubtedly blog worthy in its own rite.  But one thing this adjustment phase is teaching me, is that my desire to support teachers is truly a part of what makes me tick.  With that being shared, I am now guessing I am going to be learning more about this blogging thing and how to reach out this way to help teachers and parents – and students too! Yes, students with and without IEPs and diagnosed or undiagnosed learning difficulties are encouraged to ask questions and share their ideas on how teachers can help them more effectively. I used to have my students in both general and special education classes make a wish list of how their teacher/s could talk, teach, behave so they would learn best. Then, from this list I worked with each one to build their advocacy skills.  I will be providing a student self advocacy curriculum soon, it is in print development now.  Student input on this will be very valuable to me and the product.

I hope to hear from parents, students, teachers, counselors, and administrators soon with questions, ideas, input, success stories and requests for assistance. And please remember that teaching is the only profession and behavior that enables ALL other professions, trades and skills! If someone learned how to do a new behavior from you, then YOU were a teacher, and it probably felt great why you saw the person able to do that new behavior – tie shoes, use a knife and fork, tell time, and on and on.


Who I am….

I am a Maryland State certified and highly qualified General and Special Educator. I taught in a general education classroom for 5 years and in special education classrooms for over 16 years.  I’ve been a Special Education Specialist and Special Education Instructional Specialist over 15 years.

 I remain dedicated to supporting teachers so they can enjoy the joy and gratification of seeing students feel success.  I am particularly devoted to new teachers because of the extensive training and certifications I exercise when providing professional growth courses, models and advice, whether to an audience of 60 or 1.  The new teacher remains my most special audience because I struggled terribly and unnecessarily my first year teaching. Most Universities do not include a course at the undergraduate level within the teacher certification program on classroom and behavior management and organization.  I know from my personal experiences and from observing, coaching, mentoring and simply listening to new teachers that such a course will make all the difference in the world for new teacher success. 

I have always thought, what could be more fun than interacting with young learners to facilitate this “light bulbs” of awareness, learning and feelings of success? This, despite the regulations, qualifications, evaluations, budgetary constraints, ridiculously weak pay scales and ever increasing demands, is why I remain in the “biz”.


First blog post

This blog and related resources originates from a challenging and less than brilliant first year of teaching in a large diverse public school system.  Many years later, I remain committed to supporting those who enter the single profession that all others depend on – teaching. While the teaching profession continues to become more quantifiable and research based, there is no denying that to shine a ray of light for a learner or find some light in the challenges a new teacher faces teaching is an art of the heart.

Here are a few guiding thoughts to get us started –

How can I ever compete with the technology games the students now play?

My lesson was really great, if I could get them to pay attention.

I did not expect to spend more time with misbehavior than with instruction.

I wonder if I chose the wrong profession, the students just don’t seem to care about what I teach, and I’ve tried everything I can think of.

If you’ve ever said or entertained any of the thoughts above, you will find support here. Just ask. 

As well as new teacher supports, questions about providing accommodations and strategies for student with special needs including talented and gifted, IEPs, behavior plans, 504 Accessibility Plans will be happily addressed.

Parents – I am happy to address questions to support advocating successfully for your child and their educational success.