Posts Tagged Communities of Excellence
Below you can see a video of Kelli Myers’ Quantum Learning 5th grade class doing a “power whoosh.” A “Power Whoosh” is when on cue, everyone claps their hands three times in unison, then sends all of their positive energy to a designated person. It is a part of Quantum Learning’s “If It’s Worth Learning, It’s Worth Celebrating.” Celebration builds the desire for success. So celebrate often!
Teachers need techniques. There is no shame in a new teacher adopting a great lesson plan from a generous master teacher. The sharing of “best practices” is a common activity at staff meetings. As so many veteran teachers will admit, some of their best ideas were “borrowed” from colleagues. It’s what teachers do – brag about a great unit they just taught, helpfully hint at a classroom management strategy that a colleague might need, and refresh their dwindling enthusiasm at the pool of shared experience and creativity.
In San Diego County, educators, schools, and students have the good fortune to be located near the home office of a dynamic education company that offers its own well of energetic, inspired ideas: Quantum Learning. This is not an advertisement; this is a testimony. Quantum Learning uses brain research to inform its instructional methodology. They also offer brain-based methods for learners via summer camps. But that sounds so dry. Really, the impact of what Quantum Learning delivers in its teacher workshops and camps can best be conveyed by a description of a Quantum Learning-infused classroom.
Imagine a classroom filled with color and light – a cozy lamp, a bright tablecloth – and posters displaying positive messages such as “Today became great when YOU arrived.” Listen – there is music playing, upbeat as you enter the room and soothing as you work. There’s a teacher who gets the class up and moving at frequent intervals, using body motions, choral response, and visual cues to engage kids and help them remember concepts. Notes are taken in color with picture drawing encouraged, and students whose brains don’t work in a linear mode are taught mind-mapping instead of traditional notes. Life skills are imparted along with academics – keys such as “Failure leads to success” encourage kids to see their efforts as building blocks towards success when they struggle. Kids start class charged up and ready for learning and leave class with concrete knowledge about what they know and don’t know and how to move forward.
It is difficult to share the techniques with a colleague who has never “been to the well” – to outsiders, it seems gimmicky, perhaps even cultish. But teachers who have attended a Quantum Learning workshop and tried the strategies in their own classroom know how powerful they can be. These days, with tight budgets limiting the acquisition of expensive toys like smart boards and individual student laptops, our schools are more in need than ever of good strategies that help kids learn, make school a positive, energetic, attractive place, and infuse joy back into the teachers’ efforts.
Congratulations to Bob Callahan for being chosen as Region 16 Principal of the Year by the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP). Mr. Callahan is in his 20th year as principal of Dumas High School and his 33rd year with Dumas ISD. His prior positions with the district include five years as a biology teacher and assistant coach and eight years as the assistant principal all at DHS. He had six years of teaching experience before coming to Dumas. Mr. Callahan will be recognized at the upcoming TASSP State Conference.
Bob will present with Quantum Learning at a session entitled “Light the Fire of Loving Learning in EVERY Student!” at the Texas School Improvement Conference in October in Austin.
“Quantum Learning is the most powerful program for improving teacher effectiveness, enthusiasm and excitement for teaching that we’ve ever had in this district. It has become contagious! I remember hearing one of the QL instructors who is also a teacher talk about a new teacher who would come by his class every day because every student in the grade level he taught in wanted to be in his class, and the new teacher wanted to know why. The same thing has happened at my school. Students want to be in classes where teachers are using Quantum Learning methods to teach. They want to come to school and can’t wait to get there. You know, new teachers who step into a classroom and suddenly have to get everything done are just overwhelmed at first. There is so much more that they are responsible for than they ever imagined. And then they have a diverse classroom and all kinds of situations to deal with. That is where Quantum Learning comes in. It equips teachers to be the best they could ever want to be. If they are a parent, it equips them to be the kind of teacher they’d want their own children to have. I can see it in how my teachers carry themselves. They’re confident and their excited to be at school every morning. It’s been a real transformation in our school since we began Quantum Learning.”
McPherson USD 418 district staff took time out of their day to speak with Washington Elementary School students about the 8 Keys of Excellence Tuesday.
The 8 Keys are part of the district’s new Citizenship, College and Career Ready initiative. Elementary students across the district will learn a new key each month, with the keys incorporated into other classroom lesson.
Eight district employees took turns explaining the 8 Keys to students as Washington. Many of the key have a corresponding action to help the students better remember the key and what it means.
As part of the district’s new initiative, students will also be rewarded for demonstrating the use of one of the 8 Keys while at school.
The best part of our job is to see results. Below, we bring you an article reinforcing our techniques by a teacher, Kecia Burcham.
Thanks for the support Kecia!
I recently published an article on one of the concepts of Quantum Learning; living above or below the line. As I was preparing to teach this concept in my Franklin classroom, it occurred to me that although the model originated in the business world and moved to educators, the principles lend themselves beautifully to goal setting and achievement for all ages.
For example, many if not most of us are bound in some way by limiting beliefs about just what we can and can’t do. We often feel trapped by a lack of confidence, lack of resources, education or, perhaps most commonly – fear. We wear some labels that often define our lives and leave us stuck on the fence of familiarity. As many will agree, change is hard – way hard.
It can be said that whatever we are doing, saying, even wearing is sending a message of some kind about who we are. That being the case, the way we approach our life mission sends a message as well, to ourselves as well as others.
Revisiting the “below the line” ideas of laying blame, justifying, denying and quitting; let’s explore how those responses translate into roadblocks to our personal destinations.
- Laying blame – it’s someone or something else’s fault. “My family doesn’t have money or prestige.” “Society is prejudiced against my gender, race religion, etc.” In other words, “I don’t control my goals; others do.”
- Justifying – it’s okay because….”No one else is…”, “I’ve been too busy doing something else.” (raising families, working, going to school – which are all worthy in themselves, but can easily justify ignoring your own personal goals) In other words, “Outside circumstances dictate whether or not I pursue my goals.”
- Denial – lying to yourself; “I couldn’t have pulled that off anyway” “I didn’t really want that degree, that job, etc.” This sends the message “I can’t trust myself – I must believe what others say about my future.”
- Quitting – simply giving up. “I’m stuck with these labels and it’s too hard to change.” “I’m too tired, too old, too short, too fat, etc.” This is so common and so sad. We give up when things seem too difficult. We let go because the obstacles seem so great. This sends the message to ourselves and others that we simply don’t have what it takes. It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Most of us have far more than we realize. This is where we need motivation and to remember that good things are almost always difficult. Change is rarely if ever easy. Getting off the fence takes a whole lot of effort. Rome wasn’t built in a day, etc. etc.
Take a second look at “where you’re living” when it comes to what you want to get out of this life and what you want to leave behind. Watch where your kids are in the same context. Are you; Are they making the hard choices that result in the power to free yourselves and move forward? Are you finding it hard to rip off those old labels and get off the fence? I challenge you to identify where you really are and start rising above. As the saying goes, “Life ain’t no dress rehearsal!”
Is it really back-to-school time already?
Oceanside, California schools are preparing to open their doors on Thursday to a brand new school year with brand new students and – brace yourselves – a brand new framework for their classroom curriculum.
Yes, that’s right. Over 100 Oceanside School District educators attended the first annual Communities of Excellence – Living the 8 Keys teacher training event yesterday at our headquarters and it was a huge success! During the four-hour training session, teachers learned how to deliver “Key Lessons” to their students as well as how to integrate the 8 Keys of Excellence into their classroom curriculum using our new “one-stop shop” website, www.CommunitiesofExcellence.org.
We want to give a huge THANK YOU to teachers at the four introductory Communities of Excellence schools who came out yesterday:
Garrison Elementary School, Reynolds Elementary School, Coastal Academy, and Jefferson Middle School
We hope you had a great time and took away some strategies to implement the 8 Keys into your classroom.
Now a little bit about the program. CoE is open to schools across the nation and can be implemented in individual schools or at a district level. Participating teachers and school administrators receive training in the 8 Keys curriculum, which focuses on one Key per month from September through April and an 8 Keys celebration in May. Over the course of the program, students receive a set of 8 Keys keycards and a key ring.
One of the greatest features of this program is the all-inclusive Communities of Excellence website. There, teachers and students have separate, password-protected areas where they can access 8 Keys lessons, worksheets, and learning activities as well as share pictures, videos and stories from their classrooms. Supporters of the character development program also gain access to a private area of the website, which contains 8 Keys training material for use with company employees and corporate clients.
We are very excited about this new initiative and invite you to help us spread the good news to your friends and colleagues. Please click here if you’re interested in learning more about integrating CoE into your classroom/school/district.
Have a great start to your school year!
Learning Forum International, the non-profit side of our amazing organization, announced the launch of a national student character-building initiative, “Communities of Excellence – Living the 8 Keys,” at a celebration event held at our headquarters in Oceanside, California on Tuesday.
The event turned out beautifully!! It was attended by several local dignitaries and representatives from national, state and local government, including Oceanside Mayor, Jim Wood, as well as business and civic leaders who are supporting the program.
The “Communities of Excellence” program teaches students how to use the 8 Keys of Excellence to improve their learning and life skills both inside and outside the classroom and can be implemented at a district level or at individual schools. Participating teachers and school administrators receive training in the 8 Keys curriculum, which focuses on one Key per month from September through April and an 8 Keys celebration in May. Over the course of the program, students receive a set of 8 Keys keycards and a key ring.
Participating teachers and students also gain access to 8 Keys lessons, worksheets, and learning activities at the Communities of Excellence website, www.CommunitiesofExcellence.org.
“ ‘Communities of Excellence – Living the 8 Keys’ will take the 8 Keys of Excellence to a broader student base nationally by uniting community leaders, businesses, organizations, educators and parents in support of year-long school programs,” said QLN president Bobbi DePorter. “The purpose of this initiative is to inspire students to make positive choices and become productive members of their schools, their families, and society.”
In accepting a plaque for the City of Oceanside in recognition of the city’s support of Communities of Excellence, Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood said, “Supporting young people, who are our future, is what it’s all about. The Communities of Excellence program does just that and I’m pleased, on behalf of the City of Oceanside, to support this very worthwhile initiative.”
Want to find out more about this initiative or even get your classroom or school involved? Visit the Communities of Excellence website or call 760-305-7317.