C.I.C.: What is the Best Advice for Teaching, or Your Chosen Profession, You Have Ever Received?

When I started writing back in February, it was to document some of my experiences during the pandemic times as an educator living and working in China.  As I have continued to write, I find myself drawn to helping others.  It is one of the areas that is a gift and strength for me.  I enjoy helping others and seek out others who are doing the same.

During this time, I have tried to share thoughts about education that have helped me over my career in the hopes that my experience would help others.  While my experience may not help everyone, there are those who have responded stating that it has helped them.  That not only makes me happy, it is a privilege to share what I have learned with others.

Which brings me to today.  One of the people I have started following on Linkedin is Karl Milsom.  Karl is an educator who is coaching other educators to break free of the mold of typical education.  He is pushing educators to truly think outside the box and radically change their teaching style to meet the needs of students today and in the future.  He is also building the #RebelTeachers network, a group of like minded educators who are striving to make education a better place and enact real change, if only at the classroom level know that it has positive impacts long-term.

Today, he posted a short post titled #RebelTip today.  Just a few moments ago actually.  Reading it, the idea is simple and good advice.  His post was simply, “never record the first grade”.  Simple, easy to follow advice for educators who want to provide the best opportunity for the students to succeed.  As I thought about this, I remember some amazing advice, like this, from wise educators from my past.

One of the pieces of advice that sticks with me was in a conversation with a principal and an experienced teacher in my first full time job.  Bob, my principal, and Sam, a classroom teacher, were talking with me about classroom management.  Bob simply asked Sam to give me some advice about how to best manage students in the classroom.  Sam simply said, “Shoot the first child that gets out of line, leave them lying on the floor all day, and the rest of the year will be easy.”

My jaw hit the floor and I didn’t know whether to laugh or gasp in horror.  I had just met Sam recently and barely spoke with him before this.  Bob, being a sage leader simply said, “Uh, Sam, I don’t think that is the best option for our school.  Maybe some other advice.”  We chuckled and it was at that point that Sam started to talk about Michael Grinder’s work on classroom management through ENVoY and Bob Gardner’s Cognitive Coaching.  This very off hand conversation set me on a path to continue to learn about non-verbal classroom management and teach others about it in whatever way I can.

Another piece of advice that has stuck with me came from a physical restraint training course I took as an educator to safely manage students who were overtly aggressive and dangerous.  The course focused on two areas of training, the first being de-escalation strategies and the second being physical restraint.  The educational leader who taught us the de-escalation strategies emphasized the importance of physical restraint as a last resort.  The first time she taught us she made a statement, “You always have to look beneath the behavior for the trigger.  What happened right before the behavior you had to deal with happened?  That is the issue.”  When I deal with students who are struggling with issues, I ask, what happened before this?  What is causing this behavior?  If I can identify that behavior, it is likely to reduce the behavior that is causing the issues.

Of course, I have written about my father and his lessons from the past.  I will always remember his simply advice of, “stick to the basics.  Do a few things better than anyone else.”  That advice has been repeated to many people I work with when they ask for advice.  We make life too difficult whether we are living, teaching, coaching, or trying to become great.  If we do what we can do well, better than anyone else, we will excel in the field.

What I am curious about now is, what advice do you remember and consider the best advice you ever got?  This is focused on educators, but I do wonder what others might say as well.

Please feel free to respond in the comments and provide you insights and wisdom so that we might all learn from it.

C.I.C.:  What is the Best Teaching Advice You Have Ever Received?

When I started writing back in February, it was to document some of my experiences during the pandemic times as an educator living and working in China.  As I have continued to write, I find myself drawn to helping others.  It is one of the areas that is a gift and strength for me.  I enjoy helping others and seek out others who are doing the same.

During this time, I have tried to share thoughts about education that have helped me over my career in the hopes that my experience would help others.  While my experience may not help everyone, there are those who have responded stating that it has helped them.  That not only makes me happy, it is a privilege to share what I have learned with others.

Which brings me to today.  One of the people I have started following on Linkedin is Karl Milsom.  Karl is an educator who is coaching other educators to break free of the mold of typical education.  He is pushing educators to truly think outside the box and radically change their teaching style to meet the needs of students today and in the future.  He is also building the #RebelTeachers network, a group of like minded educators who are striving to make education a better place and enact real change, if only at the classroom level know that it has positive impacts long-term.

Today, he posted a short post titled #RebelTip today.  Just a few moments ago actually.  Reading it, the idea is simple and good advice.  His post was simply, “never record the first grade”.  Simple, easy to follow advice for educators who want to provide the best opportunity for the students to succeed.  As I thought about this, I remember some amazing advice, like this, from wise educators from my past.

One of the pieces of advice that sticks with me was in a conversation with a principal and an experienced teacher in my first full time job.  Bob, my principal, and Sam, a classroom teacher, were talking with me about classroom management.  Bob simply asked Sam to give me some advice about how to best manage students in the classroom.  Sam simply said, “Shoot the first child that gets out of line, leave them lying on the floor all day, and the rest of the year will be easy.”

My jaw hit the floor and I didn’t know whether to laugh or gasp in horror.  I had just met Sam recently and barely spoke with him before this.  Bob, being a sage leader simply said, “Uh, Sam, I don’t think that is the best option for our school.  Maybe some other advice.”  We chuckled and it was at that point that Sam started to talk about Michael Grinder’s work on classroom management through ENVoY and Bob Gardner’s Cognitive Coaching.  This very off hand conversation set me on a path to continue to learn about non-verbal classroom management and teach others about it in whatever way I can.

Another piece of advice that has stuck with me came from a physical restraint training course I took as an educator to safely manage students who were overtly aggressive and dangerous.  The course focused on two areas of training, the first being de-escalation strategies and the second being physical restraint.  The educational leader who taught us the de-escalation strategies emphasized the importance of physical restraint as a last resort.  The first time she taught us she made a statement, “You always have to look beneath the behavior for the trigger.  What happened right before the behavior you had to deal with happened?  That is the issue.”  When I deal with students who are struggling with issues, I ask, what happened before this?  What is causing this behavior?  If I can identify that behavior, it is likely to reduce the behavior that is causing the issues.

Of course, I have written about my father and his lessons from the past.  I will always remember his simply advice of, “stick to the basics.  Do a few things better than anyone else.”  That advice has been repeated to many people I work with when they ask for advice.  We make life too difficult whether we are living, teaching, coaching, or trying to become great.  If we do what we can do well, better than anyone else, we will excel in the field.

What I am curious about now is, what advice do you remember and consider the best advice you ever got?  This is focused on educators, but I do wonder what others might say as well.

Please feel free to respond in the comments and provide you insights and wisdom so that we might all learn from it.

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