The atmosphere in the classroom was toxic. It was a mixture of regular students, special needs students and a couple of ‘professional troublemakers’ that wore ankle bracelets but it wasn’t these that were causing the problem. There were only three specific students in the ‘center of the storm’. But, when problem students meet a teacher with a plan everyone can have a happy outcome…
Today I’m catching up with Diane Hunt, an experienced teacher who has used her classroom experiences to create new strategies for teachers to implement in the classroom to give students the best chances for success.
Diane, thank you very much for joining me today. Can you start off today’s interview by taking us through what lead to you writing this book?
My book began with the teaching strategies I used as a substitute teacher to take smart but “problematic” students from “failure” to success in one academic quarter.
During this academic quarter you have acknowledged the class had a mix of regular, special needs, troublemaking students, but only three students were the cause of the problems in the class?
Yes, these three kids were a problem since the beginning of the year, and it was suggested to me by the Vice Principal that they might need to go to summer school.
But you didn’t accept this idea that they needed to go to summer school?
This was not my first teaching position and I wasn’t going to let that happen.
So you started working on implementing methods that are now in your book ‘No Failing Students’. How did that work for you?
There were some objections at first, but as the weeks went by there was less fighting, fewer airplanes whizzing by. And less failing grades. But what made the biggest impact was that the atmosphere in the classroom changed completely. It wasn’t just these three kids that were ‘saved’, it was the entire class.
That is a very impressive turn around. What past experiences had made you so successful, and how did this assist when you wrote your book?
I drew on my 25 plus years as a teacher. I have a passion for helping teachers and schools to have No Failing Students one classroom at a time. I am an educational consultant, presenter, author, and have 25 plus years teaching experience. I have a Master of Science and a Master of Arts Degree in Education. I have presented at the annual conference of the Association for Middle Level Education, Common Core Saturdays, the National Conference on College and Career Readiness, Michigan Charter School Conference, and National High School Association Conferences. And I post my experiences on my website, http://www.nofailingstudents.com
What are the most important take-aways that you hope people take from the book?
The main things that I have included in the book are:
• Seven well organized proven steps for immediate implementation to bring out the best in all students.
• Detailed examples of how to identify vocabulary that is essential for students to learn and be successful in your classroom.
• An easy proven way to identify which students will struggle with your content so you can give assistance immediately to reach and meet the needs of every learner in your classroom?
• Clever Ideas for motivating students to want to learn without compromising academic rigor.
• A time-saving plan for redesigning practice work using higher order thinking skills in every content area on every level. There is no need to give up your personal life to have successful students.
• Assessment formats than can be adapted by any teacher to increase a student’s confidence and success on assessments yet save you hours of time.
• Mistakes that you do not want to make that will cause students to fail. The most important benefit of this book is that in a short period of time you can move students from failure to involved, confident, successful, happy learners.
You had such a large body of experience before you wrote the book, so how long did it take for you to write this book after you first put pen to paper?
It took me about 6 months to write my book.
Did you complete the editing process yourself?
I hired an editor.
And who designed your book cover?
Sean O’Connor from OhSeeDesign.com designed my book cover.
Do you have any tips for self-publishing for other authors?
I type and use dictation. Dictation is an easy way to get started writing after you have an outline for a book.
And now we’re onto my favourite part of the interview, the Quick Fire Quiz, where the audience and I get a better insight into the minds of authors via some rapid question and answers.
Can you stand on your hands unassisted?
Absolutely not! :)
Can you curl your tongue?
No, I cannot curl my tongue.
Which are cooler? Dinosaurs or Dragons?
Dinosaurs because they seem friendlier.
Thank you Diane for spending some time with me today, I appreciate your generosity. Good luck with the promotion of your book and I hope that your tips for classroom control can be passed on to many other teachers.
Want to find out more about Diane? Contact her at the following locations: