Learners Instead of Students

How, if in any way, would your classroom, school and/or district be different if the word “students” were replaced with the word “learners“?

In The School for Quality Learning: Managing the School and Classroom the Deming Way (1993), Crawford, Bodine and Hoglund consistently referred to the learners in the school.  From a Choice Theory® perceptions point of view, it seems that the word would help more adults and children focus more on the purpose of school being learning and less on grades and credits.  I started using learners a little more in the fall, but plan to commit to regular use in 2016!

Your thoughts and comments are welcomed!

Using the Questioning Process at Home – Part 4 – Goals/Action Steps

These are questions that I wrote for a colleague who was dealing with a specific member of her family, but I believe they are helpful as a reference point for any situation.  Please read s previous Using the Questions with Family Members for a more detailed explanation…

Life in general…(SMART Goals and Plans)

  • Do you have any goals?
  • If not, does not having goals help you move towards happiness?
  • Do you have action steps that will really help you accomplish your goal(s)?
  • How do you know if you are making progress?
  • S = Specific
    M = Measurable
    A = Aligned with Quality World Picture (What you want)
    R = Results Oriented (Success)
    T = Time-Bound and Transferable (Would it work at home and at school?)
  • Example:   By the end of the week I will spend at least three, 15 minute sessions of quality (fun) time with each of my children.  I will record each fun event in a notebook and review it on Sunday.
  • Alternate Way:  Involve the children and let them graph or record the times….

Obviously, if you are asking a family member these questions, you will want to make the questions sound like you – so work them into your own language.  Remember that you are just the questioner; it is not as effective if you just tell the person what you think.

Using the Questioning Process At Home – Part 3 – Parenting

These are questions that I wrote for a colleague who was dealing with a specific member of her family (by phone), but I believe they are helpful as a reference point for any situation.

The questioning process, when used with family members, is a little different than in a counseling or teaching setting.   We, as family members, are their relatives, not their counselor.   Having said that, using the questioning process can at least plant seeds and help a family member look at their life a little differently.  Also, remember to ask the questions in a way that the family member realizes that the questions are only for him/her to answer – you don’t need the answer.  If they want to share, that’s fine.  If not, realize that they can’t not answer the question in their head before getting defensive or rationalizing.

Parenting

  • What kind of a parent do you want to be?
  • What parts of that picture are you matching or close to matching?
  • What parts are you not matching?
  • What are some of your happiest moments as a parent?
  • What is happening when you don’t like parenting?
  • What can you do to re-frame your thinking or change an action when that happens?

Let me know your thoughts…

Tomorrow’s Topic – Goals and Plans

Suggested Reading:  Nancy Buck’s Peaceful Parenting.

Using the Questioning Process at Home – Part 2 – Relationships

The questioning process, when used with family members, is a little different than in a counseling or teaching setting.   We, as family members, are their relative, not their counselor.   Having said that, using the questioning process can at least plant seeds and help a family member look at their life a little differently.  Also, remember to ask the questions in a way that the family member realizes that the questions are only for him/her to answer – you don’t need the answer.  If they want to share, that’s fine.  If not, realize that they can’t not answer the question in their head before getting defensive or rationalizing.

These are questions that I wrote for a colleague who was dealing with a specific member of her family (by phone), but I believe they are helpful as a reference point for any situation.

Relationships/Marriage/Partners

  • How do you want to spend your time with your partner?
  • What type of a relationship do you want to have or create?
  • What is keeping you from accomplishing the relationship you want?
  • Does (Or, how does) your complaining about _______________ help you?
  • What are some of your happiest moments with your partner?

Obviously, you will want to make the questions sound like you – so work them into your own language.  Remember that you are just the questioner, it is not as effective if you just tell the person what you think.

Let me know what you think!

Tomorrow = Questions about parenting

 

Using the Questioning Process at Home! – Part 1

The questioning process, when used with family members, is a little different than in a counseling or teaching setting.   We, as family members, are their relative, not their counselor.   Having said that, using the questioning process can at least plant seeds and help a family member look at their life a little differently.  Also, remember to ask the questions in a way that the family member realizes that the questions are only for him/her to answer – you don’t need the answer.  If they want to share, that’s fine.  If not, realize that they can’t not answer the question in their head before getting defensive or rationalizing.

These are questions that I wrote for a colleague who was dealing with a specific member of her family, but I believe they are helpful as a reference point for any situation.

Life in general….

  • So, if it’s up to you, how do you want to handle it?
  • Are you satisfied with the way you are handling it?
  • You keep telling me what your therapist says, what do you say?  (Think?)

Let me know how they work!

Tomorrow…Marriage Questions…

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?”

“Yes.”

“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.”

O.K.?

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.