ISBN 10: 0321049128 / ISBN 13: 9780321049124
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Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Introduction.1. Discipline, Teaching, and the Mysterious Synergetic Relationship.2. Your Ethical Self: How Your Virtue Leads to Trust.3. Charisma: How to Cast Your Magic Spell.4. Communication: Where Words Are Worth More than a Thousand Pictures.5. Let's Make School Interesting for Students.6. Class Agreements That Help Everyone Learn, Have Fun, and Get Along.7. Coopetition: Combining the Best of Cooperation and Competition.8. Human Relations Skills: What All of us Need but Few Ever Learn.9. Resolving Nondisciplinary Problems and Conflicts.10. Gentle Discipline in the Synergetic Classroom.11. Getting Started in Synergetic Teaching and Discipline.References.Index. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: Whether this is your first year or your twentieth in the classroom - even if your student teaching is still ahead of you - this book will show you how to make every day of teaching a celebration!

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The quality of public education in the United States and other countries of the West seems to be in slow but steady decline. Despite the vigorous efforts of educators, students now complete secondary school having learned less, on average, than they did decades ago. Universities regularly provide remedial courses to bring high school graduates up to standards formerly expected. Discipline problems at all levels of school have increased progressively, as has student apathy toward learning. Students still say they believe education is important but almost 50 percent of secondary students complain that school offers them little. They criticize lessons as boring and irrelevant to their lives. They say teachers are uninspiring and the curriculum out of touch with real life. Many of them say that, all in all, they get so little out of school they don't see any point in trying to learn.

Millions upon millions of dollars have been plowed into education in an attempt to reverse the decline. Teacher training has been overhauled. Magnet schools have been established in the performing arts, science and mathematics, physical education, and other specialties in hopes of motivating students. Early education programs have been put in place everywhere to give students a better start. Mentor teacher programs and in-service education intended to improve teaching have become standard in all school systems. But the results of these efforts have been disappointing. While pockets of true excellence shine here and there, the overall picture is dim.

As education worsens, fingers of blame are pointed in all directions. Choose your target: Societal values are in disarray. The family has broken down. Parents no longer support teachers and education. TV and home computers are more interesting than school. Violence rather than humane behavior is the major focus of the media. Drugs are making students mindless. Intimidating others has become the way to establish one's place in the world. Teacher training doesn't prepare teachers realistically. Tenure has removed teacher motivation to excel. Classes are too large. There are too many administrators. The curriculum is too watered down. The books students read, if they read at all, are insipid. There aren't enough computers in classrooms. Students' lives are too easy, too pampered. Students' lives are too difficult in this complex and demanding world. Too little money is spent on education. Too much money is spent on education. And so on.

All of these factors may be playing a part in dragging education down. Certainly some of them are. Teachers feel powerless. They don't see how they can do anything to correct a hedonistic society, the disintegrating family, the rampage of drugs, the appalling apathy of students, or the lack of support from parents. They can't make students behave or try to learn, but when students fail their classes and show disdain for education, teachers get the blame. It makes them want to throw in the towel.

Yet some teachers are notably successful. Their students learn, enjoy school, and appreciate education. Some of the graduates from public schools are among the most astute we have ever produced. What is going right for those teachers and students that is going wrong else where? Do their schools have more money? Do they have better facilities? Do those teachers know something the rest of us don't?

Money and facilities don't have much to do with their good fortune, but yes, the teachers do seem to know something important about making teaching effective and learning enjoyable. They know they do the most good at the point where they interface personally with individual students. They know how to rally students to them. They know how to build trust. They know how to strengthen student dignity and capitalize on it, rather than inadvertently saying or doing things that damage relations. They know how to communicate. They know how to help students resolve conflicts and maintain positive feelings. They know how to make lessons consistently interesting. They know how to use their personal charisma. By doing these things, they energize students, help them find enjoyment in school, and teach them skills and information of value. Students in turn respect those teachers, involve themselves in learning, and behave responsibly. In these classes, discipline problems are few and far between. Learning is busy and satisfying. Camaraderie is evident. Students and teacher feed energy to each other, producing the exhilaration in learning that most people experience only rarely.

That kind of teaching, herein called synergetic teaching, can extricate education from the quagmire in which it is bogged. More money is not the answer, nor are fancier schools or glitzier equipment. Supportive parents would be nice, but we can manage in their absence. Less media enthrallment with the worst in society would be helpful, but we can supply humaneness to offset it. It would be easier if we had students whose psyches were less damaged, but we can work with their strengths. It is a rare student, regardless of background, who cannot or will not respond to teachers who are trustworthy, kind, caring, and helpful, and who take a personal interest in them and make learning fun rather than dull.

Most of us can retool ourselves to teach in this way. But first we must recognize that our curriculum, activities, and discipline too often run contrary to students' needs and natures. We expect students, even when bored silly, to pay attention, show interest, and do as told. When they don't, we try to force them, seemingly not realizing that force produces emotions that shut off learning. We defeat ourselves by always telling students what to do while not allowing them to make decisions about their life in school. We miss the mark worst of all when we damage their dignity and trust.

This book is intended to help all teachers work in the ways that have brought success to a fortunate few. It reveals no deep secrets but does point out serious errors commonly made in teaching and to how to remedy them. It explains how to work intentionally with students rather than inadvertently against them. It tells how to reduce student resistance by providing interesting activities and allowing students to learn in ways they enjoy. It tells how to communicate effectively, solve problems, and resolve conflicts. It tells how to earn students' trust so they will want to follow your lead. And finally, it she how to reduce discipline problems to a minimum and deal easily h the few that occur.

Teachers have two great dreams–to work with students who to learn, and to escape from the constant struggle against misbehavior. Synergetic teaching and discipline can help deliver those dreams. It can cause your students to learn, behave themselves, and give you respect. They will behave themselves because they want to. You will enjoy them, and they you. You can accomplish this by putting in place elements of teaching that lead to synergy–that exhilarating state where everyone is involved and creativity abounds. Synergetic teaching and discipline remove most causes of misbehavior. When occasional misbehavior occurs, gentle intervention brings satisfactory resolution and leaves feelings intact.

With synergetic teaching and discipline in place, you can look forward to each day and go home at night pleasantly tired rather than raggedly frustrated. You may not attain these results all the time, but this much can be promised: If you conscientiously apply what is advocated in this book, your relations with students will improve markedly. Students will become more cooperative. Their misbehavior will decline, and you will have to expend only a fraction of your former effort on discipline. Teaching will become what you always hoped it might be.

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