Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Google Helpouts a Fantastic Way to Learn

Google has created another fantastic tool that just may be a wonderful tool for principals, teachers, parents and students.  The Google Helpout will help you to access professionals who are skilled and available to answer your questions.  The fantastic thing about Google Helpouts is that you are live by way of video and in real time.  You can also schedule a meeting where you can get your questions answered or access the coaching that you require.  This tool became available on November 5, 2013. The Helpout is a great way to get the solution that you need or to hear a different perspective on a problem that you are trying to solve.

What is Helpout about?

Google helpout offers live video that will give the user a one on one expert to help and offer advice anytime of the day. The expert can be an educator, businessperson, consultant or electrician.  That fact that this person is live is a relief for the person who needs help right away. This is a service that is not provided by other social media websites.  Google staff believe that people from all walks of life will appreciate the opportunity to get help any time of the day.

The Google Helpout can reach people who are too busy to attend a conference to get a unique perspective on their problem.  A principal or teacher could get advice on how to improve student learning or to discuss a professional development opportunities.  School districts that have a limited number of college counselors could get help for students.  A school could get information about ideas to improve parent participation. 

How can it benefit schools and colleges?

There are several unique ways that schools can benefit from the one-on-one support that a Google Helpout expert can offer. Here are some of the benefits
1.  Superintendents can get advice on how to manage multiple problems at a school district
2.  Principals will benefit from an adviser who can help with teacher training ideas
3.  Teachers can learn how to help students to learn students with
4.  Parents can learn how to help their student to earn better grades
5.  Students will learn how to get better grades and to prepare for college/trade school.

If you think Google Helpouts could help your school, Dr. Stephen Jones is honored to be one of the experts who were selected. You can get the help you need.  If you are interested in giving it a try go to http://bit.ly/16ZISPe. Don’t miss out on this great chance to get your critical questions answered.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Is Professional Development Still Worth the Investment?

Recently school district administrators are look ways to cut their budgets due to declines in local state funding.  Some administrators are asking whether professional development workshops are worth the investment.  I’ve found professional development workshops to be very valuable for the teachers and staff who have been involved.  The teachers benefit from learning new information and gaining a different teaching perspective. Also, teachers who have been working at a school for a long time can benefit from a fresh perspective.  During some professional development sessions we have talked about how to improve communication with students, academic success strategies and how to manage stress.  It is amazing how many teachers do not take time off of work to re-energize.  

A presentation by someone who is an expert in their field can get the attention of staff who have worked for long time. The presenter may have worked in different kinds of school environments so that he/she is sensitive to your schools challenges in terms of resources to effectively teach your students. Your school does not need to be stuck in the ways that things were done in the past.  A professional development workshop can help the participants to catch on to the new vision that you are implementing in your school district. There are several benefits that professional developments can provide.

1.  A better response to change
2.  Improved communication among teachers and students
3.  The ability to engage in meaningful problem solving
4.  Inspire teachers to pursue additional education
5.  Learn how to handle conflicts so that you create a winning response
6.  Improve communication with the parents
7. Learn how to implement a college going culture
8. How to manage stress

It is important for teachers, principals and superintendents to take care of the whole person which includes their physical, intellectual, emotional and social development.   A good professional development can help the staff to improve their own stress management.  Healthy teachers contribute to a healthy school environment.  Sometimes it only takes a half hour of walking a few days a week to get results. Walking helps educators and other professionals to live a longer life. 

The key to a successful professional development is awareness of he needs of faculty and administration.  A survey may be one way to uncover the needs of the administration, staff and students.  Give the participant ample opportunities to comment and to make suggestions.  You will get greater investment in the professional development when it is based on the participant’s suggestions.  Most teachers want to do a better job and they can benefit the students when they are included in the professional development discussion. If you are looking for a professional development or want to discuss this topic further contact Dr. Stephen Jones at stephenjoness@rcn.com.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Why #DrsCorner Twitter Chat

I am starting a Twitter chat at #DrsCorner and I will answer your education, career and college questions every Monday evening from 7:00 - 8:00 pm est. Please join the conversation by submitting your questions, sharing information and comments. 

There are many questions that I have received over the years regarding, public and charter K12 schools, which college to select, how to find a job etc. This is my opportunity to give back by answering questions. I am using #DrsCorner as a way to reach out to students of all ages, parents, school districts, colleges, teachers and professors. This will also be an opportunity for other persons to share their expertise. I look forward to hearing your questions and comments. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Stay Focused on your Dream

When others tell you that you can't reach your goal stay focused because your answer is near. Don't give up after you've tried several times the solution may be in the attempts. The only limitation on your success is your own thoughts about what you are capable of doing. Quitters don't win focused people do.

Friday, May 3, 2013

10 Ways Teachers Can Ignite Excitement About School

Did you know that a teacher’s excitement about school plays a great role in a child’s enthusiasm for school?  Students can tell when their teacher really cares about their success.  A teacher can ignite a student’s fire and passion for learning just by saying the right words.  One way to encourage a student is by brainstorming a list of 25 positive words that you can use to encourage your students daily.  You should think of ways that you can get each student to have great expectations for their future.  It is important to keep your classroom moving in a positive direction. Use words of encouragement whenever you can. Highlight the students accomplishments as a class and individually.  You can compete to be the best class in your school.  Always consider ways that you can implement innovative teaching techniques.  Your students will benefit from periodically seeing change in your approach to instruction.  View student test results as feedback regarding your student’s knowledge of your subject.  Make your review of past tests or quizzes fun and engaging and your students will remember the right answers.

There are some things that you can do and say to make this school year a success.  There are limitless learning possibilities during the school year and summer.  Consider how you can also coordinate your activities with parents.  Here are some other ways that you can create excitement about current and new school year:

1.  Plan an exciting trip to explore nature

2.  Get involved in a physical activity that will require you and your students to do it using math or science experiments.

3.  Plan a visit to library when they are having a special guest speaker.

4.  Purchase and use several board games that require your students to use a strategy to win.

5. Work together on a fun project where they can earn points to win.  Let your student select the project.

6.  Ensure that your students have breakfast in the morning and encourage them to have a great day.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Some students come to school hungry. 

7.  Visit the local community center, YMCA or YWCA to find out about their summer activities. Help your students to participate in projects where they will learn something new.

8.  Visit the local book store to find a list of age appropriate books that your students can read during the school year. 

9.  Make sure that you take time to talk to your child about what they are learning in school.  You can both search the internet for additional points to discuss.

10.  Allow your student to teach you something that they have learned during the school year.  Ask your student to share their knowledge with others.

Getting the off to a good start in any class is an important way to lay a good foundation for learning. One way to keep the child active is using the student’s prior knowledge as a chance to build their confidence. Build your foundation on the positive aspects of learning. You can have an exciting school year just by investing time to use innovative classroom techniques to encourage your student’s success.

Dr. Stephen Jones is an outstanding educator and consultant he is the author of “Seven Secrets of How to Study, the Parent’s Ultimate Education Guide and the Ultimate Scholarship Guide. Get these books for your students right away at http://bit.ly/OOmCA0. He can be contacted at 610-842-3843

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Secrets to a Successful Principal and Teacher Relationship

In order to establish a successful principal and teacher relationship it’s important to begin with the end in mind.  The start of a successful principal and teacher relationship begins with ones expectations.  Great relationships are founded on good communication and trust. When there is a positive relationship both the principal and teacher have major enthusiasm regarding each student’s success.  Today is an important day in the history of the principal and teacher relationship.  Schools have been an easy target for budget starved governments.  It’s time to be proactive in working together toward innovative leadership and instruction.

During the past few years, I witnessed the total reorganization of entire school districts.  The principals and teacher who were committed to a school for two or three years are changed with no warning.  Many principals and teachers must change in order to receive the same level of success that they experienced in past schools.  Starting in a new environment can be positive when the new principal and teachers work together.  A book that I suggest is “Who Moved my Cheese.”  It’s important to look at life from an opportunity perspective.  Each day is a chance to do better than you did yesterday.  When principals and teachers seek common areas of agreement much more can be accomplished throughout the school year.  The important thing to recognize is the value of making changes to lead your school in a new direction.

One key priority for the principal is establishing a sense of confidence in the school staff.  Each principal serves as a role model for teachers who aspire to become principals.  Good relationships are established when there is ongoing concern for the resources that will help teachers to be successful. The principal should find ways to interact with teachers throughout a week.  It may be convenient to work until the next meeting but addressing issues as they arise will make staff meetings less cumbersome.

The principal must have the same heart for the children as the teachers.  A principal who teaches a class during the year has a better awareness of the students needs.  This principal can collaborate with teachers who are providing similar interactions.  For example, a principal who is teaching one of the sections of Algebra I can get ideas from other teachers.  This will foster a greater sense of collaboration.
It’s important to have goals and objectives for the entire school.  The principal and teachers should come together to create goals and share ideas.  The summer should not be the last time that the principal, his staff and teachers meet.  Everyone in the school should be aware of the goals and objectives.  There should be some visible ways in which everyone knows that the school is making progress toward these goals.   During regular staff meetings the goals can be part of the ongoing discussion.

Finally, it is important to expect the best for your school.  When the principals and teachers are working together and they have high expectations for the student great things can be accomplished. The principal and teacher relationship is a key element of each school’s success.  Today students need schools where they can learn how their knowledge applies in their homes and communities. If you are interested in your students success starts with building a solid principal and teacher relationship.   Stephen Jones is an author, professional development presenter and national speaker. Invite Dr. Jones to speak at your conference or to present a workshop. You can reach him at 610-842-3843.

Monday, February 4, 2013

How to Become a Scholar Athlete

Succeeding as a scholar athlete requires devotion to academic excellence in the classroom.  The value of having scholar athletes on a team is often missed.  There is a conflict that can occur when the coach’s agenda and the student’s academic goals are not on the same page.  A scholar athlete must be able to make wise decisions that involve their future.  A scholar athlete can have the better of two worlds because they are smart on the field and off the field.  These students are also a success because they have invested in their academic dreams.  It is interesting to note that colleges reap the benefit of having scholar athletes on their team.  They can motivate their team mates and help them to excel in the classroom too. 

The NCAA is taking the academic performance of students seriously and they now evaluate how many athletes are graduating from college across the nation.  The academic success of an athlete starts during their K12 years. Colleges can help by setting high academic standards for the athletes that they plan on accepting.  Each K12 school could benefit by following the NCAA’s push for students who are top athletes and scholars.  Some colleges like to boast that they have the highest graduation rate in the region and they can play a role in changing the perception of the athlete’s intellectual ability too.

Becoming a scholar athlete is something that all college students should strive to attain.  Students should ask their potential college coach about their support programs and graduation rates.  The student should ask the coach about their philosophy regarding winning.  A coach should be honest about the number of students who actually become professionals.  When students hear this number it can reveal how much of a chance that the student will have an opportunity to earn the big money that professional’s make. A scholars athlete should look for a coach who places value on the academic development of each student.

A student who is a scholar athlete can have a great career working in all types of industries.  The leadership and organization skills that students develop while they are in college are priceless.  It is important that the scholar athlete continuously assesses what they are learning from their coach and teammates.  There are numerous lessons that can be learned from winning and losing and these can be incorporated as part of a scholar athlete’s professional development.  The college experience will only last for four years and having clear goals will help each athlete to stay focused. 

Each student is the captain of their academic destiny and it should be taken seriously. You will need the best education possible to graduate from high school and college.  Take time to write down your goals and maximize all that you can learn.  The scholar athlete must remain inquisitive and seek every new learning experience possible.  Learning can occur inside the classroom and outside of the classroom.  The scholar athlete can benefit from listening to guest lecturers who come to the campus to discuss their specialty. Use your high school and college experiences as a chance to uncover skills that open doors to new careers.  You should enjoy being a scholar athlete while also making your education a priority too. Dr. Stephen Jones is an educator, keynote speaker and author. He has written the Seven Secrets of How to Study, The Parent’s Ultimate Education Guide and the Ultimate Scholarship Guide.  Visit him at http://www.studyskills2u.com.