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9: How to Connect with Your Students

The Cult of Pedagogy Podcast podcast.

July 11

How important is the relationship you build with your students, and how can you make that relationship better? James Sturtevant, author of the book You've Gotta Connect, joins me to talk about why the teacher-student relationship is more significant to student learning than even socioeconomic status, the specific things teachers can do to build a strong, trusting relationship with students, and why sarcasm will always bite you in the butt. A must-listen for teachers interested in improving classroom management.

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This is Jennifer Gonzalez welcoming you to Episode nine of the Cult of Pedagogy podcast. In this episode, I talked to James Sturdevant, author of the book You've Got to Connect, Building relationships that lead to engage students, productive classrooms and higher achievement. We talk about how important it is to build relationships with your students, what gets in the way of the process from many teachers and some really useful tips for exactly how to do it. Before we get into the interview, I'd like to ask that if you've been listening to the podcast for a few episodes and you're enjoying it, take a moment to go over to iTunes and give us a rating, a review or both. That will really help this show move up in the iTunes rankings, and it will bring us more listeners who can benefit from the really interesting conversations. I'm getting tohave with people about teaching and learning. Also, if you have questions about teaching,

parenting or learning in general, go to cult of pedagogy dot com slash ask and send me your question. You can send a regular email or do a voice recording, which I prefer, and if the topic is something other listeners would relate to, and I think a lot of things would I'll answer in a future podcast. Okay, one last thing. Here's your teaching tip for this episode. Physically rehearsed classroom procedures. If there is something physical in your room that students do, and it's something that is not going well, it takes a lot of time. For example, the way they turn papers in maybe, Ah,

it always ends up getting very messy. Or for me personally. One thing that consumed a lot of time was getting students from sitting in their normal seats to getting arranged into groups for cooperative activities. So I got this tip, uh, in general from Harry Wong's book the first days of school. But I didn't really believe fervently in until I tried it myself. So the tip is, have the students physically rehearsed these types of procedures, and this is how you do it? I'm going to use the example of getting into groups, I told students, We're gonna take the next 15 minutes in this class period today to practice something I want you to. We're going to decide right now where the tables are going to go where the desks are gonna go when we go from Rose two groups. And so the first time we do it, it's gonna probably take us forever,

because I'm going to show you exactly where to move your desk and were you to move your desk and it's gonna take us a while to get him in place, and then we'll move them back into Rose and we'll time and see how long echoes. But once everybody's clear, then we're going to try it again. So the first time we did it, it took about three or four minutes to get all the desks arranged in the right way and a sort of choreograph how that was going to go. Then I said, Okay, let's put them back into Rose. This time I'm gonna We're gonna time ourselves. I think maybe the first time I didn't even time them at a time. You how long it takes. And so the first time I really time them. It took about maybe a minute, okay? And they all thought that was terrible.

They talk. They thought it took way too long, and some kids were yelling at each other and you know, I said the next time we were her sister could be no yelling. I want you to do it silently. You're gonna have to use hand gestures or whatever. And the next time they did it, it took maybe 25 seconds, and then we would also time them getting back into Rose. How quickly could they move the desks into the groups? And then how quickly could they move them back into Rose? So anyway, every time we did this, they got more and more motivated, and I got really proud of themselves for how quickly they could do this and how seamlessly they could do it. And so every time they said,

we can beat our time, we can beat our time. This was middle schoolers. We got it down to about 12 seconds from sitting in rows to standing up, moving the desk and sitting back into those desks. It was amazing. It was really fun. They were so excited by it. And I realized you could do this with pretty much anything in class. Anything that involves physical movement of things. You can time it, and we got to the point where if we had to do something that was group work. I would say to them, Okay, let's see how quickly you can do it and we would start the timer and they would they would do it and there were always little kinks here and there, but it turned something that was kind of mundane and kind of a big time waster into something that was really fun and ended up being really fast.

So keep that in mind. If there is some sort of logistical issue in your class that you think could be smoother, figure out a way to rehearse that with your students. So we're done with that. Let's go. Here is my interview with a teacher who is definitely worth your time. James started on Welcome. James Sturdevant James is my guest. He has written a book that was just published this year, and it is called You've gotta Connect building relationships that lead to engage students, productive classrooms and higher achievement. And I have read his book and I love it. I think that it would make such a good subject for a group study, and really, I'm guessing that there probably are books about this somewhere out there, but I don't know what they are,

and I haven't seen them. Uh, so my my take on the book is that it is about how important it is to build relationships with your student and how that really is the basis of pretty much everything else that you can do with them. So I'm gonna pass it over to James. First of all, thank you for coming on the podcast.

What is the overall message of the book "Are You Really Connecting with Your Students" ?

This book is focused on helping teachers connect with their students. By connecting more deeply, teachers enable their students to do well on standardized tests, succeed at the college level, compete with other young people around the world, and find happiness.

Oh, Jennifer, My pleasure. Love

What is the overall message of the book "Are You Really Connecting with Your Students" ?

This book is focused on helping teachers connect with their students. By connecting more deeply, teachers enable their students to do well on standardized tests, succeed at the college level, compete with other young people around the world, and find happiness.

it. And I would like if we could just start If you could just sort of give for the sake of our listeners. What is your overall message with this book?


Okay. Very good. Um, it's funny. I think that every educated probably wants the same thing for their students. Hopefully, they do at least want Thio do well on standardized tests, succeeded the college level, compete with young people around the world and find happiness. But here's what I believe. I believe that all those things are so much more possible, so much more likely if there's a strong bond between teachers and students. And that's why I wrote this book. And, you know, I have sat all day in professional development, so that might be totally primed for this question. We focus so much on the manufacturing process of learning so much on content in pedagogy, and those things are really important. But ultimately this is a people business, and we can't lose sight of that


fantastic. That was really well put. And and you're right. There is a lot of attention on the mechanics of this and howto sort of refined the teaching. And when you don't have the relationships, you kind of a lot of that doesn't even matter.


Hey, I want to add one thing to that I wrote this book. It was published in March, and a local superintendent read the book and he was very enthusiastic about it. So he calls me up and he says, I want you to become familiar with a man called John Hattie who wrote a landmark book called Professional Learning, which came out in 2008 which many of your audience is probably familiar with. And the hardest book is a list of 138 influences on student learning and number one on the list was students being allowed to evaluate their own work in other words. Students do really well when you give him the rubric and you say Go through your assignment, see how you did and I've seen this at work number 1 38 is student mobility kids that move from school to school. I've seen that, too. Child moves into my class in October, and she's gone in November. That's devastating for a child's education. Yeah, student teacher relationships is number 11 out of 138 and it's far ahead of a lot of things that we might think of more important professional development scores number 19 which which is high.

It's what I did all day today that many people would be shocked to learn that student teacher relationships is in front of that. I think socioeconomic status, a socioeconomic status. That child is a 32nd place. That's a long


way, Dia, Let's yeah,


so there's just that was a role. I happened to me and it was an affirmation of what I did. And it's kind of one of those things, like, you have a conversation with someone and you wish you would add it something, but you forgot to I would have known about John had his work before he wrote


the book. Well, you know, I'll I'm going to be linking people to your book on my show notes for the podcast, and I will find that book and I'll link them to that also so that


I could give you a little website.


Okay, that would be great. I'm sure he would love to be to be added to this conversation. Uh, the thing is it, I think it's it's good that somebody is finally kind of bringing this out into the open, because I'm not sure how much research has actually been done on the importance of these relationships.


Well, if I could have one more thing, that's kind of interesting. I think it's becoming more prevalent. I'm from the state of Ohio. I know has a pretty typical state. I like to tell people from outside the state that I live in the most average


state in the United States. That's how I think of Ohio to


It's a wonderful place to come if you want to do a focus group. I think I've been in four of them, and the state of Ohio has determined that this is very important, which I give our state a lot of credit for. We have a program for young teachers called the Resident Education Program, which I'm sure a lot of states have. But quote here, let's see if I could find it. Red image Kids have to go through a pretty lengthy process to demonstrate their abilities in the classroom, which is important. But one of the areas of focus is, and I'm quoting right in the Ohio Department of Education website Um, there'll be teachers will be required to show that they build relationships with students by establishing maintaining report, evaluate students an individual while avoiding the use of bias, stereotypes and generalizations. I was so impressed with that State of Ohio saying that this is very important in a Ohio's to guarantee what people are as well.


Yeah, that's that's nice that that's actually written into the language now.


Yeah, prove it, prove it. They do it. And I've worked some of the resident educators and a lot of doing intuitively, but they don't realize what they're doing. A lot of needs. Some work


there. Yes. So that actually leads me right into this next piece. I've underlined so many things in your book that I thought one good way to frame a part of our conversation would be for me to just tell you what some of those were. And have you elaborate on some of those points that you may. So the 1st 1 that really stood out to me was this one on Page 43 it says identify nostalgic ideas that keep you from accepting students. And it was the first time I've ever seen anybody called teachers out on the nostalgia problem and name it that I have never even thought of it that way. But, gosh, it's a huge problem. So you can talk about that.

Why is the acceptance of students important ?

This is sometimes difficult to do as acceptance and endorsement become synonymous when they are not. Acceptance is simply a firm grip on reality and understanding where a student is at.

Sure, a big part of my messages. You have to just learn to accept your students. And that's really hard to do, man, because a lot of times people equate acceptance with endorsement, which is really unfortunate. If you accept your kids, you just have a firm grasp on reality, which is always the same way to go. It doesn't mean that you have to get something pierced or where yoga pay. It's all day long, which I think would be pretty comfortable. Yeah, but, uh, you know one of the big barriers is people tend to kindly good old days.

And I'm not talking about just old people like me. I was walking out of school one day and I was walking with a colleague who was in her late twenties and she was complaining about student behavior in the parking lot. I thought to myself, Wait a minute, I had you in class just about 10 years ago. Everybody in your class act sitting way. So you know, I have Thio. I have something here that's just that's just wonderful. I hope I can find it real quick. It's a quote. Oh, here it is, Jennifer, you're gonna love this. I see no hope for the future of our people.

If they're dependent on the frivolous youth of today for certainly all you the reckless beyond words When I was a boy, we're taught to be discreet and respectful of elders. But the present you are exceedingly wise and impatient of restraint. I think your ideas could probably send some irony coming. That's this was heresy of the poet of ancient Greece in 700 BC, This that's ah, that's 200 years prior to Athens Golden Age. So if you recognize that generation gaps always there and they could just be this huge barrier between you and your kids and they happened really fast. I've heard student teachers complain about the way kids are acting, and it's just let you aren't that much older than these folks. It's funny when I do some presenting when I work with groups. When the things I haven't do is I have them make a list of everything about the present generation that they find distasteful. Now I love kids. I love my job. I love connecting with kids. I had no problem compiling that list filling up immediately.

Yeah, and then I challenged the obviously getting through. And you need to eliminate everything that you probably don't have a lot of control over. And what I find is that their list just just dwindles down to almost nothing. And often these things that we eliminate are the things that we complain about the most. So if you can recognize those things like generation gaps that you have no control over, you could eliminate those from your aggravation list. Do a lotto connect with kids.

How does a teacher's background impact their ability to relate to students ?

Many people who go into teaching were good students themselves. Thus, they may have not gotten to know others who were academically un-inclined. Teachers focused solely on nostalgia and their past experiences are now faced with dealing with all types of students.

Yeah, I think There was something else in that section that I didn't write down the page number. But you were talking about how a lot of people who go into teaching were good students themselves on. And so we don't necessarily understand. We make. We didn't hang out with the academically un inclined. We may not have run in the same circles of them, may not have shared classes with them. So it could be that a lot of these teachers who have this nostalgia really don't know what it was like back then because those weren't the kids they hung out with. And now they have to deal with everybody.


You're you're a good reader. You well know retention. That's outstanding. Yes, uh, one of the biggest benefits I had with I was kind of a slacker in high school.


It's a


bonus. It's finally paying off. But one thing, that one thing that another thing that I do when I present is I Germans have this word called Bell Tang Show, which means worldview. And a typical German word is really long. These take a bunch of English words and slamming, And so, you know, I asked the ideas you put your hand. If you graduated from high school with over a three point, almost everybody puts their hand up. Put your hand up. If you played a varsity sport, a lot of people put their hands up. Put up your hand if you were in the National Honor Society. Remarkably, there's a lot of people that put up their hands three different on through all three occasions. And that, unfortunately, could be a real barrier between them and the students that are not motivated because they just don't understand their that worldview there built in show,

How can teachers work to understand their students who might be unmotivated?

Relaxing more, approaching interactions with students differently, and removing one's ego are all pivotal. A teacher cannot take things too personally.

right? Right. So how can I? How could a teacher like that, which describes a lot of teachers How can they understand these kids?


You know, that's a great question. And here's the way I'm gonna answer that. I taught in a class back in the dawn of my teaching career. That was nothing like me. I'm a white dude. Almost all of them were African American. They were mostly poor. They had very little interest in when I was teaching, which was ninth grade civics, which most people going out much, and, uh, you know, I really struggled with them. I struggled connecting with everything I tried with kids before wasn't working with them. And I had a eureka moment.

One day I was just over. I was I was listening in on a conversation, a couple of kids talking about their home lives, which were just chaotic. And, uh, you know, I finally came to conclusions a rational action on those kids part to be standoffish towards me, because here I am another adult trying to work my way into their lives. And may the dogs have been pretty irresponsible. No, and from that moment on it and this is a great piece of advice I could give anyone. I just relax more. And I took each one of these interactions with these kids kind of like this interesting game in which I was this kind of removed observer. And once you pull your ego out of things like that,




the interactions between people become this interesting game and fun. And I'm not saying it. I don't have an ego. I mean, I probably have one that would lay waste to Tokyo, but I've learned that it could be a real obstacle in in terms of connection. I have to learn that over and over again. But I would say for those for those teachers like that, if they could recognize that that's a barrier, remove their ego and they just kind of watch as an objective observer. They're interesting interactions with kids, though. Don't go years.


Yeah, that's wonderful. That's that.


It's fun. It's


fun to do that. If you could just pull away just a little bit and I must go outside the situation as an observer. Ideo I think taking things personally can wreak havoc on a classroom if the teacher is in that mind space so


and I don't want to come off. It's too Zen like I have to do this on a daily basis. I have to remind myself that this all the time I mean, I am not above allowing my ego to mess things up


right. But see that I think part of it is knowing that that's what's going on. It can help you snap yourself out of it, maybe a little faster than if you didn't understand the mechanism behind it through that. So Okay, so here's another one. Here's another quote. This is just a few pages down this is one of the questions where you're asking the teacher to sort of do a little self study of their attitudes towards students. And I thought this was such an interesting question. You said, how often do you show approval of a certain student in a way that clearly suggests disapproval toward other students that dynamic? I don't know if many people ever have that pointed out to them how damaging that can be.


Yeah. And you know, I again, some of this was some of rain. This book was therapy because you have to guard against this to yourself all the time. Uh, I'll tell you, a lot of things I learned in connecting with kids were obviously mistakes I've made. I want to tell him I won't tell you about success. And this was going along with what you're just talking about right now. Uh, I actually enjoy working with student teachers, and I had a really good when a few years back, and he was a kid. I live in Central Ohio, auto buying university, small liberal arts college.

Just right down the road, they sent up a guy. Hey, he was this really good looking dude Hey, football player. He comes walking in the first day and automatically the girls are like, Whoa, this is a massive upgrade from Mr Sterling. It's available on board, and I have a lot of athletes in class and they were drawn to this guy. But there was a handful of kids not more than five. But, you know, that's a significant minority. And they were thinking about what? We got another jock,

social studies teacher. You know? Why do they keep doing this to us? Yeah, and so I pulled him aside pretty early on. Actually, I think the first day, and I said, You know, I can teach you the content We can talk about lesson plans and all that stuff. It's easy. The hard part is going in relationship with those kids in there stand offish. And so we went to work on that very thing that you said, And you know, there are all kinds of ways in which you can reach out to those kids in which you can show approval to those kids, and you're probably gonna meet with some resistance,

which might be resistance for some time. And you just have to be patient and keep working at a point where you go out, look at things as an observer. And over time, when you know what? Those kids will be a great accomplishment for you. But more importantly, wonderful for those young people.


Yeah. Now, was he Was he doing that? Was he doing some of this sort of show complimenting certain kids for certain qualities? And then


I think it is that Yes, yes. And I think like a 22 year old guy coming up here is used to a lot of affirmation. You're gonna be drawn to the people who seem receptive to you, right? So I You know, the good news for everyone concerned? It's Charlie teaches. Run across the hall from me is a perceptive individual. Enlighten. When I told him this stuff, he thought Game on, man, that sounds like a lot of fun. Let's see if we can win him over. So he was a lot more mature than I was when I was 22 years old. I probably wouldn't I've had my ego screw that situation


up. So one of that, one of the other messages in here we're getting a little closer to the end of the book is, um you say embrace the class clown.

How can teachers embrace the "class clown" personality?

Sarcasm has to be foiled as it can be poison in a classroom. When disciplining or redirecting a class clown, a teacher must make it their mission to develop a relationship with that student.

Oh, yeah,

How can teachers embrace the "class clown" personality?

Sarcasm has to be foiled as it can be poison in a classroom. When disciplining or redirecting a class clown, a teacher must make it their mission to develop a relationship with that student.

a little bit about


that. Sure. I mean, you know, I like to think that I was the class clown. Well, I was the class clown, and I enjoyed class clowns and, uh, thinking, but they can be very disruptive, and they could be How did they could just throw you off your game and just poison the well and just undermine everything? And there's a couple things that you have to do with class clowns. You have to be careful that they don't abuse of the other students. You have toe quill, the sarcasm, which is poison in a classroom.

You have to do this things. But whenever you reprimanded class clown or redirected class clown or discipline a class clown, you have to make it your mission to develop a relationship with Bath kid. And if you could do that, you will be amazed at how their humor becomes less destructive and actually adds to the atmosphere in your classroom. And, boy, does that take you, taking your ego out of it and just chilling out just just being patient and just going with things, but But you needed, You know, you need to be, uh, persistent in Hey, how you doing? What's going on?

Would you have for dinner last night? What's the last movie you saw? You have to make an effort to develop a relationship with that kid. And they might not allow that to happen very quickly. They might give you a rough road to go for a long time, but you'll be adult. Come on, man.


Right. Boy, I think that that lot you're the adult. So you're it. Sounds like you're saying you developed a relationship with a class clown at times when they are not attempting to disrupt the class. That you?


Yeah. Yes, definitely. I mean, you know, you have to you have to maintain order, and there's times you have to come down on kids. And you have to because you have the teaching is an important job. But, um, whenever that happens, you that that's what the work begins. That's when the work begins. Okay. You know, I got on him when I got on her today. Now I need to,

you know, pat him on the back. So now I need to develop that relationship. And I'll tell you what I've been through. This is your number 30 for me. I've been through a lot of kids. Uh, there's I mean, there's just a handful I'd say tonight. I mean, I'm sure. Come on. There's thousands of kids have come through this door. I'm sure that some of them didn't care for me, but I can think of a lot of students who were standoffish like Charlie's, my student teachers situation that I went over.

And you can if you just keep your ego out of it. Be persistent, friendly, be friendly, be a friendly person, and things will work out. Just be


interested in kids. Yeah, that's really good. And that I was gonna ask you about some of the actual how two's in terms of the contract would be interested in them. Yeah, go

How can a teacher become familiar to their students vs. their students becoming familiar to them ?

A teacher can tell stories about themselves. This opens up channels of communication and makes the teacher more approachable to their students.

ahead. I'll give you great how to This is This is interesting. Teachers are often lecture to get to know your student. Yes, that's not easy to D'oh. Ah, lot of them could be pretty close down. And if you try to get to know them before you're ready


before they're ready, that


could be kind of productive. So I propose reverse engineering problem. I'm gonna become familiar to my students and one of the ways I do that as I tell stories about myself. So when I say this to people, I immediately get this response. Well, you're gonna take away instructional time, or that would be ridiculous. My kids would look at me like I'm an idiot, but you understand that in this bond line, that generation, they informed the appears constantly about trivial things. You tell everybody when they're attracted to what television shows they watch, they post massive photo albums of themselves constantly online. So if you walk in and, uh, put up in image of what you made for dinner last night on your smart board or if you come in and put up a kn image of your dog getting a toenail trim where you put up a new image of a before and after picture of your what has two very good or where you like to work out,

or a great restaurant you went to you will have students come up to you after that that had never spoken to you and say, Guess what? I had for dinner. Let me show you a picture of my dog. Guess where we went to eat last night and all of a sudden you become approachable. Oh, you're interesting. And then you can start to learn about them. So So if you're having a hard time with kids, one thing you can do is just become were approachable. You could tell some stories about yourself. Now you have to be prepared because when you do this, you might have a student in the front row say this is stupid. Uh, what's this have to do with social stuff? They don't speak for everybody.

There's a lot of kids that were in the back thinking, Wow, this is pretty interesting. So just because that one child voices that, um, I don't know that negative comment doesn't mean that they speak for everyone, Nelson. And also you've just identified the person that you probably need to work a purple,


right? So what do you What do you say in that moment, though, to that one kid?


Well, that's that's where you just have thio, baby. A dog. You have to say, Well, I'm just trying to share a little bit about my life and maybe I could learn some more about you in the process. And that's just a pretty non threatening way to defuse the situation. And then you move on. I've had that happen to me. It doesn't prevent me from doing it in the future. And and I'll tell you what when that's happened. A lot of times that kid complains, The women's up there telling, you


know, because it's probably making the strongest impression on them. You know, that answer surprised me, though. When I asked you what you would say to them. I was really expecting that you would say something about humor because you emphasized humor a lot. And I think it's interesting that you went with a more sort of sincere approach, which sincerity can be very disarming to a kid who's trying to get a rise out of you.


Oh, whoa, there's a reason for that is because that is a is a classic setup for a sarcastic statement right there. Yeah, and boy, I'll tell you what, if you talk about of ice that a lot of educators have it sarcastic and like most vice, is that the time it feels really good the aftereffects, unsavory man and, uh, something else you have to understand. Let's say that I have witnessed this one time. The college class kid didn't have their homework assignment, and the teacher made of flippant, sarcastic remark which the kid immediately responded in kind. And I thought to myself I wasn't smart, all man,

because number one you created this confrontational atmosphere in your class yet And number two, you probably reinforced a lot of the insecurities this kid already had about himself. And, you know, granted, he gave some cocky, flippant response back. Yeah, but underneath that, he might be going on. My gosh, maybe it's true. I'm not. I am stupid or I am irresponsible. Yeah. Oh, so, uh, in your response to that kid may be saying that about my little story. I'll be very careful not to respond back with humor in that circumstance,


right? That's see, I assume I'm learning even more than I learned from your book now. And I think that you did. That's That's fantastic. Sarcasm, Really. It comes up quite a bit, actually, in your book, so


it's really it's really and I'm not saying I haven't done it right is never ended. Well,


yeah. No, it's true. It's true. It's tempting. And it did. Yeah. Um okay, so I got another. I've got another question, because you you do You talk a lot about smiling in the book about using humor and telling stories, and I'm thinking that if anybody has an objection to this book, it's gonna be somebody who reads it and says, No way that that's weak. That shows weakness, that kids are gonna run all over you if you're smiling all the time. That's not my personality. So what would you say to those objections?


Uh, that's a good question. Um, let me let me answer that in a couple of pieces here, Okay? One of the push backs I get with this book when you talk about personality is with Jim. You're an extroverted guy. You know, you're one of those back slappers high five can't shakers finger pointers. You're one of those guys, and I am one of those guys. But there's a lot of teachers who are introverted who are incredibly successful at connecting with students. So when people say well, you know, you're either born with us, you're not one of my big Montrose is true. I mean,

personality is important, but a lot of connecting is what you do, not who you are. We have a lady in the Guides office I teach at a place called Big One in high school. 10 years ago, this woman came to our school and she's the opposite of me. She's an introvert. She's a quiet person. She's very calm. It's not a great big person. And I remember when she first came to our school, I thought What? I wonder if she's gonna struggle corralling these high school kids, and she did that first. But what I witnessed with her over the 10 years is she started to do the right things with kids, and she was a very genuine person.

She was a very available person in a very encouraging person and a very thorough person, a very serious about her curriculum and what I saw. She just went in the guidance office last year. Her name's Jenny Colette. By the time she went to go and she was the most popular person and I talked about her wherever I go because she's a total opposite of me, So it's not. You know, connecting with students is not contingent on being a game show star. A walmart greeter. You could be a very serious, calm, quiet person and really connect with kids. And boy, that's important. As far as getting walked all over, You know, just because, you know, there's an old saying Don't let him see you smile for Thanksgiving,


right? Right. Oh, yeah.


Really? I heard something funny. I said people who don't smile much. Still Thanksgiving? Probably don't sweat


after. Thanks. No kidding? Yeah.


I mean, really. So, you know, when I was in high school, back in the 19 seventies, I mean, they whacked you with boards. I mean, that was barbaric, you know? I'm telling you right now, in my evolution as a teacher, students are not very easily intimidated these days. Yeah. When I first started teaching back in the 19 eighties, you know,

you some of the male teacher act acted like, you know, borrowing bouncers, and they got away with it. Yeah. You can't get away with that anymore. I mean, if you come in and try to be a tough guy and all over some kid, some kid calls you on it. Then what? You're kinda Then you're stuck, right? So So I think that, you know, as long as you have firm boundaries and expectations, you can be a friendly person and a numerous person. I don't think that's an issue at all.


So Well, let's talk about that, cause you later on in the book used I wrote this down. I have no problem confronting students in these circumstances because such behaviors are totally inappropriate in the book, you do come across very humorous and very relaxed. Very friendly. So what does it look like when you are confronting a kid for a real problematic behavior? What does that actually looks like?


That actually looks like you have to stop this right now. And, uh, if you don't, I have to go get administrator. If that doesn't work, we got to get the police, okay? And there's not there's not a conversation. There are times when a student is being dangerous, and that's just point a pointy man. That's that's Pat. Yeah, we can work on the roof. Just chip quick. I gotta make sure you're not hurt somebody. So yeah, I could be a very direct person.




and and I'll be honest with you on that. There was a little more directness in my manuscript, and my editor was tone down some of that down, so Huh, So that's kind of interesting that you brought that up because there were some there was like, for instance, in the use of the word warm demand.


Er, do you remember that? Absolutely. Yep.


The editor did not like the word to meander much, which I didn't think was a knish you. But


the editor made you say warrant that you didn't like it, though. Yeah, I know.


I was forced to include,


huh. Oh, well, so


we had a little disagreement on that, but she she's awesome with extra pulled my manuscript down the stack of hay stack. Who might


have complained that? Well, that that's a good It's a good phrase. I mean, it's a real juxtaposition.


It is. It is your right. And, uh, my wife is one.


This is a warm demand, er big time. That's a skill, man. You have to either have an excellent role model is already doing


it or, you know, it's kind of interesting that you say that because when I do go to present. One of things that I have the audience do is I have them describe their warm commander from their past. And I get a lot of fourth grade teachers. I give one of green teachers. That must be a real formative


time. The kids. Yeah. I


like things like the angel in the devil on your shoulder. You get your you got your warm angel on your demanding devil sent up on both shoulders.


Yeah. So? So remembering that person for the people in these groups Does that sort of help them create a role model in their mind?


Sure. And then I always challenge him to go contact that person if they're still alive. Yeah, it could be just some really good, really good dialogues, man. But yeah, I think it puts in the right mindset that, uh, heck, yeah, there are role models in my past I'd like to emulate. Now, that doesn't mean you have to become now,


but right.


I certainly had I remember some football coaches and I thought really inspired me, but But, uh, we're, uh, demanding. I had some college professors like that. I think I have 1/4


grade teacher like that. So? So if you have one hope or sort of like a final message, something that you really hope that everyone comes away from this book with what would be the one big, big final message?


Sure, man, I'm telling you what would the whole accountability craze and education and there's some. There's some good at the whole testing, I don't know. Mania is going on, You know, Teaching, like I said before, is a people business should also be a lot of fun. And when you're interacting with people that you like that you bond with, you hold each other accountable. You enjoyed being around him on a daily basis. That's what makes life worth living. And this is a wonderful job, and it should be a lot of fun. I saw something that about half the teachers get out of the profession within five years and commit without


Oh, yeah,


it's hard for me to believe that those 50% have wonderful relationships with their students. Yeah, I believe that there I think if you have great relationships with your kid, you'll be inclined to stay. So So I think that this is darn important. I mean, obviously, I wrote the book wasn't on my bucket list. It just kind of happened. I said, actually, write a book on this. That's it. That's what happened. And, uh, I wish we would focus more on it in the profession.

And not that we shouldn't focus on pedagogy and content. I mean, listen, I love that I love the title of your podcast, by the way, but, uh, it needs to be considered as important. How's that?


Oh, yeah. I agree that


students needs to be considered as important because you might have fabulous ideas on on what to do, but that relationship isn't there. You're not going to succeed.


And you could You could ruin all the best ideas by having a bad fashion ship with your kids. Yeah,


I mean, I mean, didn't you have some some teachers back in school that you just love that maybe not worth the greatest teacher, But you just wanted them to succeed so badly? Well, think of somebody who really has her act together, uh, from a curriculum standpoint and succeed on top of that boy. That's that's an outstanding


combination. Yeah, absolutely. So, uh, Jim, tell tell us, where can people find you if they're looking on social media or online?


Well, my name is is is problematic for many. So So it's James Allen. That's a l A n stirred a minute S tur t as in Thomas E. V as in Victor A and T. James kallstrom dot com. Or you know, my books available on Amazon Kindle and all that. And I do have a website, which is kind of strange. That's my thing. But you know, I really enjoy interacting with people and anybody that sends me an email. It's PJ starting that gmail dot com Okay, he isn't paying. That's my wife name. James and James P. J Stirred Event and gmail dot com All I'll get back to you.


Thank you so much for for giving me this time. I know you're in school, so I appreciate it so much.


And, uh, I got your lock


people Booth, I am so grateful to James for sharing his insights with us. For more information on his book, Go to the Resource is menu on cult of pedagogy dot com QuickBooks and you'll find it.

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