I am convicted to improving the test scores of all students. What I have learned over the years is that there is a formula to this success. Though children are not identical in terms of ability, the characteristics of helping students grow and develop to reach their potential (generally speaking) are the same. One interesting detail about this book is that there isn't any ground breaking new discoveries or creative rhetoric. Potential buyers of this book should understand that I took a different approach. Basically, I took basic concepts that teachers should already be employing and teach them how to be much better. Therefore, instead of wondering whether teachers do the things that are in the book, think about the scale to which these vital issues are employed. Looking through that lens changes everything. For example, one of my topics involves classroom management. Instead of thinking, "do the teachers manage their classrooms," think about how well they manage their classrooms versus peers, county wide, state wide, and nationally. When I worked with students; employing the formula outlined in the book at the highest level was critical to their success. Beyond the Lesson Plans lays out what is needed inside and outside of the classroom to help children reach their potential. The formula is laid out in the book under the following chapters.
- Classroom management
- Understanding the troubled student
- Bringing in the right volunteers
Before reading this book, please understand one thing. I do not embrace excuses. I embrace solutions. When excuses are embraced; it gives a teacher a reason to quit or to direct their time to other students who are not experiencing the same issues. Common excuses from teachers are a lack of student intelligence, motivation, or parental involvement. What I am looking to do in the book is to show teachers how to cut through excuses and solve problems in order to help a child reach their potential. One of the major themes of the book is to do the simplest things at the highest levels. This is not a book filled with fancy language or showing where to find the latest educational gadget. Instead, I take "tried and true" concepts which I learned from St. Joseph's Children's Home and help teachers apply them in their classrooms in the exact same way that I did it. This book is especially effective for teachers who do not have a lot of experience with children. Instilling good habits early will provide a career filled with success.
Here is an example of doing the simplest thing at the highest level discussed in the book. Most (if not all) teachers would agree that motivating students is important. Quite a few educators would probably agree that motivating students is important for them to do their best. But, how that concept is applied on a daily basis varies wildly from district to district and even teacher to teacher. What Beyond the Lesson Plans does is to help elementary educators become exceptional at this skill. This book gives teachers seven different motivational strategies, demonstrates why so many strategies are needed, and gives examples as to how to implement each of them. Internal versus external motivation is also delved into deeply. Strategies on how to help a child be internally motivated are given. From personal experience, students who were internally motivated were the absolute easiest to teach. Maximizing student achievement is similar to working on a puzzle. Some of these “puzzles” are easier to put together than others but all of them have a solution.
Students have different needs and Beyond the Lesson Plans does an exceptional job of addressing those needs. Beyond the Lesson Plans can be utilized by classroom teachers, substitute teachers, special education professionals, professional learning communities (PLC’s), professional development instructors, collaborative teams, or people involved in a book study. For questions involving Beyond the Lesson Plans or to inquire about speaking to your school; I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Best wishes to you and your staff on a successful school year!