National Quality in Education Conference Feedback

Success Through a Systems Model:  A Tool for Every Category   (4 Hour Pre-Conference Session)


  • Cindy McClung (Coordinator of Quality – The School District of Lee County, FL)
  • Don Bryant (Principal – Fort Myers Middle Academy – Fort Myers, FL)
  • Bob Hoglund  (President – Bob Hoglund, Inc.)

Workshop Ratings

Presentation Skills:                 9.1

Knolwedge of Subject:            9.6

Session Management:            9.4

Overall Rating:                 9.2

We have been very fortunate to be accepted to present at this great educational conference for the past four years!  This was the second consecutive Pre-Conference.

Kindergarten Teacher’s Amazing Results with a Plus/Delta!

Here is a perfect example that children are often smarter than they are given credit for.  The principal sent out a question/topic about the use of Quality Tools in the school.  Here is Ms. Emerson’s response.

Responses to the topic:  “Our Learning”….what is the teacher doing well/what are we enjoying & what do we need or what can the teacher do to better help us?”


  • Discussed staff meeting and how we all talked about ways we can help students better and how it is important for teachers to ask their classes that question.
  • Brought up the question to my class: “1.  what are ways that I teach you that you like or that is really working for you, and 2. what are ways I could help you better?”
  • Grouped students in Think-Pair-Share…(made sure to place students that are more verbal and had high levels of understanding with students who might have a difficult time with the concept). Gave students 5 minutes to discuss with their partner. (For some reason they whispered to each other! I thought that was pretty funny.)
  • Regrouped and told students that all answers were safe and that it was ok to say what they really felt. I wanted them to be sure they understood that since they had initially been whispering.
  • Discussed meaning of plus and delta.
  • Took responses
  • Reread plus/delta to class once it was finished. Whole class discussed.
  • Students wrote in their journals the most important points to them and used the symbols for plus and delta as well.

Tomorrow we will discuss one of the points and address the concern as well as celebrate the +. Each day we will select a delta and discuss and address. My class was amazing during this activity.  Ms. Assad was there and we both were pretty floored! It was truly enjoyable to do and really was an eye-opener for me.  It also brought on a whole new level of trust with my class…truly changing the mood in the room and there was an energy that was just so positive afterwards. The students realized they had ‘voice’- for them, having that at age 5 is a pretty big deal.


Annie Emerson
Pinewoods Elementary

Teacher Recites Her Own Mission Statement

I received this e-mail last month from a teacher in Lee County, FL…

My students have been reciting their mission statement daily after the pledge so I have been reciting my mission statement as well.  It seems to have an interesting effect on the students.  They really like hearing what I strive to do and they hear daily how much I really try to give them.

“To create a safe, creative environment with high expectations, positive relationships with students, staff and families.” 

Bob’s Comments:

This sounds like a great idea!  I do not know of many other teachers that do this.

  1. Do you have a personal Mission Statement?
  2. Do you recite it?
  3. What do you think of the practice of writing and reciting your personal mission?

Please share your thoughts…

Teachers as Students

Many years ago when my middle son Daniel was in about 3rd grade, he went with me on a summer trip to Minnesota. He attended the whole 3-day Educating for Responsibility and Quality workshop that I was teaching.

On the first day we went to lunch at Wendy’s. While the following dialogue is not 100% accurate, it is pretty close.

“Dad, those teachers were doing everything they tell us not to!”

“I know”

“They were talking while you were talking.”

“I know.”

“Why didn’t you yell at him?”

“Because most of the time, while I could tell they were talking, they were not loud enough that they were disrupting the people around them.”

“But some of them were chewing gum!”

“I know.”

“And some of them were passing notes! Why didn’t you take it away and read it to the whole class?”

“Think about it Dan. If I took away the note and read it out loud, do you think the teachers would be embarrassed?”


“How would it help me keep a good learning environment if I embarrassed people in front of the group? Do you think those teachers would listen to me after I embarrassed them?”

“Probably not. Then why do my teachers read notes out loud?”

“Some teachers think that is a good form of discipline. I just don’t agree.  I wouldn’t want to be embarrassed in front of the whole group, so I wouldn’t do that to them.”

In almost every workshop that I present, some teachers demonstrate the behaviors of talking while instructors are talking, texting, writing notes to each other, etc.

My comment to the group is always, “Just don’t be a hypocrite.  Please remember your behavior here when you intervene with your students.”

No Wonder Teaching is Difficult!

World renowned quality guru, W. Edwards Deming used to ask the question, “Who receives directly the product or service that you provide?”  In education, the answer is the student.  He would then reply, “That is your customer“.

What are the implications of “students as customers?”

Dr. Glasser, in his book The Quality School, also identified students as workers because they are given assignments and activities and are expected to “work on them” and produce learning results.

While this is a common view of most educators, what are the implications of focusing on students as workers?

About 10 years ago, I realized that the student is also the primary product of the school or educational system.

What, if any, impact does looking at the student as the product have for educators?

The complication increases because all three labels are correct.  I have challenged thousands of educators to come up with any other group of people that are the customer, the worker and the product in the same system.  No one can identify the three roles anywhere, other than education.

It seems that it would serve educators to remind themselves to answer these questions:

  1. When is the student the customer?
  2. What does that mean to the instructional process?
  3. How should student workers be instructed, evaluated, and provided feedback?
  4. How do you measure and/or what is the measure of student/product success?
  5. What value is there in answering these questions and  keeping all three of these roles in mind?

Please post your comments!

Closing The Achievement Gap: “But, the Lowest 25% Get All the Attention”

The School District of Lee County Florida received a Closing the Achievement Gap Grant from the National Education Association Foundation.  When we show reading and math achievement gap information in our Choosing Excellence training, we get comments from teachers such as, “Now the lower 25% will get all of the attention.  What about the other 75%?”

A family analogy best explains the expectations.  If there are four children in the family and one is struggling, yes the parent should devote more time and support to that child to help him catch up.   At the same time, few parents would say that the other three children are no longer important.  They deserve time and attention as well.

The struggling child may need more time, they may also just need different time and attention, or they may need some differentiated instruction..  Continuing to teach a student that has shown they are not learning it the way many others do is a waste of time.

Time is a precious resource.  Different teaching and assessment strategies must be employed.  It is also imperative to include the student in any discussions and plans about his success.  Without some buy-in for the student, there is little chance of success.  Within a supportive environment, data can also play an important role in helping the student understand his strengths and weaknesses and develop strategies to address those weaknesses.

Contrary to what some believe, there are very few students that do not want to be successful.  There are quite a few that need more knowledge and skill to catch up.  There are also many that are afraid to work and find out that they may not learn as much as you and they would like.  They are battling insecurities about their ability to succeed.

Like in a family, the teacher needs to look for ways to help the child succeed and let that success feed on itself.

*****Choosing Excellence is a blending of the Glasser Quality School and the Malcolm Baldrige (Sterling) Quality Models.  It was designed by Bob Hoglund and Cindy McClung.

Grant Partners:

National Education Association Foundation

The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools

Teachers Association of Lee County

The School District of Lee County

Bob Hoglund, Inc.


I was in Costco on Saturday and watched as a parent encouraged her toddler to explore the aisle.  As the little girl neared some boxes the mother said, “Don’t touch them O.K.?”

Is the parent asking permission?  If the child says that they want to touch it anyway is it O.K.?

I also hear teachers say to their class, “Today we are going to learn about __________ O.K.?

If the students say “No” will the teacher change the entire lesson or content?

I am very in tune with language and its many, and sometimes unintended, meanings.  O.K., as used in these descriptions, is NOT asking approval.  It sets up a potential discussion or argument when one isn’t necessary.

Education Tip #2: A Conversation and a Picture = Changed Behavior!

Monica Baker, a 2nd Grade Teacher, had a student that could be easily distracted and disruptive.   She decided it was important to have conference with him.

Ms. Baker:  Do you like to do well in school?

Student:  Yes.

Ms. Baker:  Can you tell me why it’s important to do well?

Student:  Because my mom is proud of me.

Ms. Baker:  Is that important to you?

Student:  Yes, I like it when she’s proud of me.

Ms. Baker:  How could you remember that you AND your mom want you to do well?

Student:  I could put a picture of her on my desk.

Ms. Baker:  How would that help you?

Student:  I could look at her and remember.

The simple plan has worked.   Sometimes Ms. Baker just walks past and taps the picture to remind him to refocus.

The strategy worked so well that approximately 8 other students have done the same thing.

“Behavior has decreased and learning increased.”  Ms. Baker


Education Tip #1: Class Self-Evaluation (Reflection) = NO Referrals All Year!

This year, towards the end of each quarter, I had the students in three of my classes complete a quick exit slip on what they thought their behavior code should be on their report card.

First, we went over what the different behaviors look like (satisfactory, needs improvement, or unsatisfactory). Then, they did their reflection. It was amazing to see how reflective and honest students can be. I was also shocked at how critical and harsh they were on themselves. It also was proof that self-evaluation and asking students to be responsible, can have a purpose and be meaningful without taking a lot of time.

Behavior improved and when students would become disruptive, all I had to do was ask, “Are your choices reflecting your behavior and comment codes?”

With less than 10 days of school to go, I haven’t written any referrals this year.

– Mrs. Gumm 7th Grade Reading, The School District of Lee County (FL)

Congratulations to the 2014 Golden Apple Recipients AND Finalists!

The School District of Lee County (FL) is the 34th largest school district in the U.S.  Each summer I have the privilege and honor of co-leading a week-long CHOOSING EXCELLENCE™ training for the Golden Apples and Teachers of Distinction.  Choosing Excellence is a blending of the Glasser Quality School and the Baldrige Quality Models.  It is a week of HARD WORK and PLAY!  Marshall Bower, President of the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools ALWAYS recognizes the importance of teachers and of education!  WE provide the learning and Marshall provides the pampering and fun at South Seas Resort on Captiva.


2014 Golden Apple Recepients