Teaching to Capture and Inspire All Learners: Bringing Your Best Stuff Every Day!
Publication Year: 2008
“This book continually comes back to the relationships formed between students and staff. Using an array of statistics and personal observations, Peters calls upon the heart and the conscience of the educator when asking you to ‘bring your best’ every day into the classroom.”
—From the Foreword by Alan M. Blankstein
Motivate educators in a collaborative endeavor to bring about real change in schools and classrooms!
Reflecting Stephen G. Peters' motivational workshops, this resource provides practical guidelines for influencing school culture and inspiring higher student performance based on understanding today's learners. The book provides strategies and tested techniques that have transformed struggling schools into national and state blue-ribbon winners. The author, well-known for creating the “Gentleman's Club,” invites students who are considered at risk to participate in the ...
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: Appreciating Today's Students
- Chapter 2: The Expanded Role of School Leaders
- Chapter 3: The Expanded Role of Teachers
- Chapter 4: If “All Children Can Learn,” Then Why Aren't They Learning?
- Chapter 5: Measuring Results That Count
- Chapter 6: Creating #1 Classrooms
- Chapter 7: Capture, Inspire, Teach
- Chapter 8: Survival Tips for Today's Teachers and Leaders
[Page ii]Dedicated to Amari Through your eyes, I see the world
Copyright © 2008 by Corwin Press
All rights reserved. When forms and sample documents are included, their use is authorized only by educators, local school sites, and/or noncommercial or nonprofit entities that have purchased the book. Except for that usage, no part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
A SAGE Company
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, California 91320
1 Oliver's Yard
55 City Road
London EC1Y ISP
SAGE India Pvt. Ltd.
B 1/I1 Mohan Cooperative Industrial Area
Mathura Road, New Delhi 110 044
SAGE Asia-Pacific Pte. Ltd.
33 Pekin Street #02-01
Far East Square
Printed in the United States of America.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Peters, Stephen G.
Teaching to capture and inspire all learners: bringing your best stuff every day!/Stephen G. Peters.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-4129-5873-8 (cloth)
ISBN 978-1-4129-5874-5 (pbk.)
1. Effective teaching—United States. 2. Motivation in education—United States. 3. School improvement programs—United States. 4. Teacher-student relationships—United States. I. Title.
This book is printed on acid-free paper.
08 09 10 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
Acquisitions Editor: Allyson P. Sharp
Editorial Assistant: David Andrew Gray
Production Editor: Cassandra Margaret Seibel
Copy Editor: Barbara Ray
Typesetter: C&M Digitals (P) Ltd.
Proofreader: Doris Hus
Indexer: Holly Day
Cover Designer: Karine Hovsepian
Special List of Figures[Page vii]
- Figure 2.1 A Sunday Evening Letter 21
- Figure 3.1 How the Roles of Teachers Have Changed 34
- Figure 3.2 School System Delivery 39
- Figure 3.3 Knowledge Work 44
- Figure 4.1 An Example of a High School Mission Statement 49
- Figure 4.2 How All Children Can Learn 56
- Figure 5.1 Tips for Rewarding Students and Faculty 64
- Figure 6.1 Goals for Creating a #1 Classroom 72
- Figure 6.2 Characteristics of a #1 Classroom Teacher 80
- Figure 6.3 #1 Classroom Culture 81
- Figure 8.1 Tips for Capturing, Inspiring, and Teaching Students 98
The passion that comes through when hearing Stephen Peters speak is echoed in this call to capture the students who are most often marginalized. Using an array of statistics and personal observations, Stephen calls on the heart and the conscience of the educator when asking you to “bring your best stuff every day” into the classroom. The most essential elements for success in Teaching to Capture and Inspire All Learners: Bringing Your Best Stuff Every Day! are the relationships formed between student and staff, and to this end, Stephen provides a continuous drumbeat of advice.
Unfettered by a prescriptive set of “how-to's,” this book focuses more on the underlying values that drive behavior, as well as some of the “what does good teaching look like?” Many of these observations are drawn from Stephen's successes as a former school administrator. As such, this can serve as an excellent primer for discussion around the individual as well as collective values and commitments of the school staff. Addressing core questions such as “If all students can learn, why aren't they learning?” can engage staff for some time in important issues that all schools need to address to be their very best.
In addition, Teaching to Capture and Inspire All Learners: Bringing Your Best Stuff Every Day! provides numerous “to-do” or “to-consider” lists that may be considered in such a dialogue.
There are helpful tips for the new teacher who may be struggling with the real challenges of reaching today's students, and insights for veteran educators to consider in [Page x]better understanding these same students. Overall, the “underdog” in our society is well represented and advocated for in this passionate plea for ALL students’ success!September 2007
It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.Teddy Roosevelt, April 23,1910
Public education is facing its most critical times and one would find it difficult to argue with current statistical findings. However, in my travels, I have come face-to-face with teachers and leaders who actually are in the arena, whose faces are marred by dust and sweat and blood. I stand boldly with you as we continue to find answers to many of the complex questions facing us. I am confident that as we face some defeat, we will in the end know VICTORY for our students, ALL of them.
Teaching to Capture and Inspire All Learners evolved out of numerous experiences of being involved with schools that were first in categories one would want to be last in and last [Page xii]in categories one would want to be first in. Through a collaborative effort, effective teaming, and courageous leadership, we were able to transform these schools into national and state blue-ribbon schools in short periods of time.
Many years ago, researchers stressed the need for schools and school districts to understand that the change process takes on average three to five years to take shape. This book is written primarily to offer its readers a refreshing look into creating schools of passion and purpose filled with educators who finally realized our students don't have three to five years to wait for positive change. It has to happen now.
Chapters 1–3 lay the foundation for understanding the need for immediate change in our schools and the expanded roles of those responsible for cultivating this change process. Chapters 4–6 offer readers an in-depth look at the apparent reasons many of our students fall short of others sitting in the same classrooms of schools struggling to survive and meet the needs of this generation of learners. Chapters 7 and 8 introduce practical and specific strategies to principals, teachers, and schools that turn vision into operational strategies.
Throughout this book, each chapter opens with a main concept, statistic, or quote, and ends with a motivational summary. There are numerous reflection questions to assist in examining your own educational practices. By helping you carefully analyze your own philosophy about teaching, this resource will give you the opportunity to bring your best stuff every day.
This book offers hope to those in the field of education who may have lost hope and is dedicated to every student waiting to be captured, inspired, and taught in ways like never before. Teaching to Capture and Inspire All Learners will help even mediocre teachers become inspired to deliver quality at a higher level and will help leaders develop a deeper understanding of the importance of creating win-win experiences for ALL learners.
I thank God for another opportunity to capture and inspire educators, our true heroes. Thank you so much for everything you do for our students. A special thanks to my wife, Angela, and our children, Jillian, Jourdan, Xavier, and Maya, for allowing me to do what I do each day. Because of you, I am able to take my rightful place in this world. To Visionary Leaders Institute in Columbus, Ohio, The HOPE Foundation in Bloomington, Indiana, CaseNEX in Charlottesville, Virginia, and The Peters Group staff, may we continue to make much more than a difference in this world. To Dr. Ulysses Van Spiva, Dr. Robert Hahne, and the late Dr. J. Frank Sellew, thank you for everything you taught me about school leadership and life. To my dad, who continues to teach me through action, not words. How I wish the world were full of fathers like you. To Edward, welcome home.
Last, I wish to thank my editor, Allyson Sharp, and assistant editor, David Gray, for their wonderful ability to see beyond words, for turning my manuscript into a meaningful contribution to education.
This book is dedicated to my grandson, Amari Seldon. Through your eyes I clearly see that we can never quit or give up on the foundation of the most important gift in life—a quality education.
In loving memory of my mother, Charity Smalls Peters; brother, Lewis Clinton Peters; and father-in-law, Dr. William Waymer.[Page xiv]
About the Author
References[Page 103][Page 106]1997). Curriculum integration: Designing the core of democratic education. New York: Teachers College Press.(1976). Use both sides of your brain. New York: Dutton.(1994). Different kinds of smart. The Executive Educator, 16(1), 24–27.(1999). Cognitive psychology and instruction (, , & (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.1995). Handbook of research on improving student achievement. Arlington, VA: Educational Research Service.(The Center for Reclaiming America. (1997). Issues Tearing Our Nation's Fabric: Breakdown of the Family. Retrieved July 18, 2007, from http://www.leaderu.com/issues/fabric/chap03.html2005). Links between parents’ and girls’ television viewing behaviors: A longitudinal examination. The Journal of Pediatrics, 147(4), 436–442. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2005.05.002, , & (1993). World-class schools: A time for change. In Advancing the national education goals: The role of collective bargaining. Washington, DC: National Education Association.(1987). Dispelling outmoded beliefs about student learning. Educational Leadership, 44(6), 55–62., & (1978). Teaching students through their individual learning styles: A practical approach. Reston, VA: Prentice Hall., & (2000). Building a new structure for school leadership. Washington, D.C.: Albert Shanker Institute.(1992). Opportunities to learn: Effects on eighth graders of curriculum offerings and instructional approaches (Report #34). Baltimore: Center for Research on Effective Schooling for Disadvantaged Students. Office of Educational Research and Improvement, Washington, D.C., & (2001). Trying to stay ahead of the game: Superintendents and principals talk about school leadership. New York: Public Agenda., , , & ([Page 104]1983). Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences. New York: Basic Books.(2000). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research, and practice. New York: Teachers College Press.(1998). The power of self-connections: Transforming adults to reclaim the children. In J. T.Gibson (Ed.), Educating the throw-away children: What we can do to help students at risk. New directions for school leadership #6. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.(1997). Teacher turnover and teacher quality. Teachers College Record, 99(1), 45–56., & (2001). Teacher turnover and teacher shortages: An organizational analysis. American Educational Research Journal, 38(3), 499–534. http://dx.doi.org/10.3102/00028312038003499(2003). The wrong solution to the teacher shortage. Educational Leadership, 60(8), 30–33., & (1986). The practice of teaching. New York: Teachers College Press.(1998). A comparison of portfolio, performance and traditional assessment in the middle school. Research in Middle Level Educational Quarterly, 21(92), 21–37., & (Literary reading in dramatic decline, according to National Endowment for the Arts Survey. (2004, July 8). Retrieved August 17, 2007 from http://www.nea.gov/news/news04/readingatrisk.html2000). Barely breaking even: Incentives, rewards, and the high costs of choosing to teach. Retrieved August 13, 2007 from http://www.gse.harvard.edu, , , , & (1995). Professionalism and community: Perspectives on reforming urban schools. Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press., & (2003). Improving teaching and learning by improving school leadership. Issue Brief, September 12, 2003. Washington, DC: National Governors Association Center for Best Practices.(2003). Urban youth: An elusive, but lucrative, population to target for consumer goods marketers. Packaged Facts. Retrieved August 13, 2007 from http://www.packagedfacts.com/editor/viewcontent.asp?prid=244(America's public schools: Crisis and cure. Grand Rapids, MI: Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty. Retrieved August 17, 2007 from http://www.acton.org/ppolicy/education/ppolicy_education_school_crisis_crisis.php(n.d.).2001). Instructional program coherence: What is it and why it should guide school improvement. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 23(4), 297–304. http://dx.doi.org/10.3102/01623737023004297([Page 105]1994). Organizing schools into small units: Alternatives to homogeneous grouping. Phi Delta Kappan, 75, 521–526.(2001). Inspired to learn: Why we must give children hope. Marietta, GA: Rising Sun Publishing.(2006). Do you know enough about me to teach me? ((2nd ed., expanded version). Orangeburg, SC: The Peters Group Foundation.2003). Making sense of leading schools: A study of the school principalship. Seattle: Center for Reinventing Public Education, Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington., , , & (2007). Hip hop hypocrisy: When lies sound like the truth. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse.(1971). Teaching behaviours and student achievement. London: National Foundation for Educational Research in England and Wales.(1997). Relationships between the implementation of middle-level program concepts and student achievement. Journal of Curriculum and Supervision, 12, 152–168.(2002). Principals’ readiness for reform: A comprehensive approach. Retrieved August 13, 2007 from http://mff.org/newsroom/news.taf?page=312(2000). School leadership and the bottom line in Chicago. Phi Delta Kappan, 81(6), 440–443., & (1998, April). Teachers’ thinking about home-school relations in low-income urban communities. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA., & (2002). Assessment for learning. Education Week, 21(26), 30–33.(1999). The differentiated classroom: Responding the needs of all learners. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.(2006, April 9). Dropout nation. Time [Electronic version]. Retrieved July 18, 2007 from http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1181646,00.html(2002). Preparing culturally responsive teachers. Journal of Teacher Education, 53(1), 20–32. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022487102053001003, & (2003). Teamwork and empowerment. Columbus, OH: Performance Consulting, Inc.(1998). Understanding by design. Alexandria, VA: ASCD., & (
Corwin Press[Page 111]
The Corwin Press logo—a raven striding across an open book—represents the union of courage and learning. Corwin Press is committed to improving education for all learners by publishing books and other professional development resources for those serving the field of PreK-12 education. By providing practical, hands-on materials, Corwin Press continues to carry out the promise of its motto: “Helping Educators Do Their Work Better.”