Jacqueline L. Frierson
National Trainer and Former Principal
“We can whenever and wherever we choose, successfully teach all children. …we already know more than we need to know in order to do that. Whether or not we do it must finally depend on how we feel about the fact that we haven’t so far.” This quote by the late Dr. Ronald Edmonds, leader of the Effective Schools movement is the favorite education quote of Dr. Jacqueline L. Frierson. She believes this quote supports the notion that all students are able to learn if the teacher believes they can and are worth the effort. If the students know you value and believe in them, they will learn to master any required skills and will attain and exceed all expectations. Research supports this. Now, add this strong belief system to the successful strategies an effective classroom teacher already has to a few additional research based, practical, teachable and duplicable tools that can be implemented immediately and then imagine the results.
Today’s students enter the classroom with different languages, customs, habits, learning styles, expectations, history, reputations and home and community issues. Teachers are on the front line of instruction. Life would be relatively easy for the teacher if each child entered the classroom with a mind to learn, needed materials, social skills, supportive parents/guardians, the ability to speak and write Standard English, reading at or above grade level as well as being well behaved and focused. For many teachers, this is not the case. Perhaps there was a time when a teacher entered the classroom ready to teach and the students were ready, willing and able to learn. If that time did exist, that is not necessarily what today’s classroom looks and feels like. Today, a teacher has much more to do than instruct a particular academic subject. The teacher of the 21st century monitors attendance, completes student learning objectives, may be mom or dad, nurse, counselor, mentor, judge, jury, entertainer, hall monitor, secretary, CPR instructor and teacher of non-academic subjects as dictated by local, state and national politicians. Even though everyone feels they know more about teaching and learning than the certified teachers and feel very comfortable criticizing the work educators do, those of us on the front lines know what a daunting task teaching can be. Many students today enter the classroom with no clear idea of expected behaviors. There are many more electronic influences available than ever before. While we only have a small window of time with our students, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., there is much we can do. Dr. Frierson is dedicated to helping educators achieve success through motivation, inspiration and humor as well as a good judgment approach to managing teacher stress. She also leaves educators with as many proven and practical strategies as possible. In her own life, Jacqueline fondly recalls the teachers who believed in her abilities, that she was worth teaching and expected her to achieve at the highest levels possible. “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
― William Arthur Ward
Do you want to be a teacher who inspires?