Teaching Between The Lines:
All The Little Things Teachers Say and Do, but Never Learned in College
This March I'm participating with another teacher in the CAIS conference. We are asking teachers and parents to answer the following question(s) to
help us with our presentation.
We appreciate your time and would love it if you would make this question a part of your next faculty meeting. Please send us your responses as soon as
Kelly Townsend - Director of Miles To Go Drug Prevention
The Event (for teachers): CAIS Southern Regional Meeting
Please join us for the Workshop Session Two March 5, 2012 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
The Questions: (please cut and paste your answer and return it in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Poll Questions For Teachers:
· What are the challenges you have to deal with that you were never trained for or thought you would be expected to do or teach?
· Do you have any resolutions for these issues? Do you have any suggestions that could help new teachers?
· Do you remember when you were a new teacher? What problems really threw you off balance? Have you learned a tip that can help a new teacher?
· What grade do you teach?
· Are you also a parent?
Poll Question For Parents:
Name one basic life skill that you wish all parents would teach their children that would eliminate the time that their teacher spends on it instead of
taking up academic time in the classroom.
· What grade is your child in?
· Are you also a teacher?
Teaching Between The Lines:
All The Little Things Teachers Say and Do, but Never Learned in College
As teachers, we deal with everything from runny noses to families going through divorce. A huge percentage of what schools deal with actually starts in
the home, but often teachers are left to deal with these issues by default. This workshop will build a checklist of positive proactive language
concerning the sensitive but important subject of training parents so they can create academically, behaviorally and emotionally successful students. An
experienced team of teaching professionals will guide the discussion as we explore the things teachers do that aren't in their job description, and how
they can engage and train parents to be more successful and effective in their efforts.
1. Divorced parents: we need rules for how they should interact with us, their children and school.
2. Teaching kids to blow their nose.
3. Don't send kids to school sick.
4. How do I get my parents to open emails, respond to information or know that I need them to take action?
a. How can I become a more effective communicator - what are the teacher tricks?
5. Wiping their hands on their clothes as a napkin.
6. Being kind, Manners, friendship.
8. How to eat appropriately.
9. Dressing children suitably for the current weather.
10. Basic school prep and organization, being responsible for your school supplies & gear.
11. Administrative tasks that you never thought you'd be doing.
12. How do I manage all the emails I'm getting during the teaching day?
How The Idea Developed For This Presentation:
As a teacher, I regularly found myself stopping in the middle of my class to watch my fourth, fifth and sixth graders blow or wipe their noses on their
sleeves, shirt-tails or hands. I couldn't understand the disconnect between the home, where parents would normally teach their children to blow their
noses into a tissue, and the classroom, where the contents of their noses end up all over them, their desks and their gear. In short, I was horrified.
Why couldn't parents teach their kids to blow their noses properly, and why, as a teacher, was that job left to me? I also wondered how to
differentiate between when a kid is just being a kid and when a child lacks basic skills because parents expect the school to do that job.
This curiosity continued when I became friends with several divorcing parents at my child's school. Many of these parents' children began to
experience new problems in school, and most of these problems were left to the teachers to deal with. Many of the difficulties were the result of poor
communication between the parents-homework assignments went missing, necessary sports gear was in the other parent's car, and mixed messages
flew back and forth like carrier pigeons. Every teacher I spoke to had a story to tell about how much of their time went into the children of divorce
that had nothing to do with the teacher's real job of academic instruction.
I started to wonder how many other things teachers find themselves doing that don't have anything to do with academics. I also started to wonder how
much of the tuition I pay the school each year is spent teaching other children the skills their parents should have taught them at home years ago. Then
a very unsettling thought hit me-what was my child missing from her skill set that ended up wasting the teacher's time!
I first turned to Nancy Larimer, my friend, a mom, and the best kindergarten teacher in the whole world. Nancy has been with the Pegasus School for
the past 22 years, and we both think kindergarten is a critical stage where our children start down the path to a lifetime passion for learning. For
many, it is also the first time they put their skill sets up on public display. Our discussion led to the realization that while we are both teachers, I am a
visiting specialist and she is a homeroom/primary teacher, which meant she has a completely different set of issues to deal with on a daily basis. We
each began conversations with other teachers and discovered that there is a set of skills that all teachers need that they were never taught in college.
We found in our discussions that we each had a different perspective based on our different jobs. Nancy felt it was extremely important that
teachers be given a set of tools to get through the daily classroom activity. I felt like so much begins in the home, and that we need to give teachers
additional tools to aid them in their efforts to engage parents. We each had very interesting challenges that were similar, but different. Between us,
it always came back to what we never thought we'd be dealing with when we started our teaching careers. As we talked about how many little things
parents could teach their children that would in turn free up huge chunks of time for the teacher to pursue academic goals, we realized the
developmental issues would vary for each grade level.
As we progressed with this discussion, we started a list of the problems that we encounter, and explored tips and resolutions for each of these issues.
We thought this would be especially helpful to new teachers entering the workforce. We didn't want to create a complaint session; we wanted to
create something tangible so teachers could go back to their schools and say, "Here is how teachers and parents can be proactive to enable us to do the
job we are employed to do."
Many of you reading this today know that my new book, The Mother's Checklist of Drug Prevention: All the Little Things We Say and Do, is mostly about
parenting, not drugs. The team we have assembled for this presentation has created a new version of this concept-Teaching Between the Lines: All the
Little Things Teachers Say and Do, but Never Learned in College. This will not be a "why am I so overworked" session, but an opportunity to be
proactive in your school to help teachers and parents be the best they can be by sending you children who are ready to learn and display a strong
foundation of life-skills and behaviors to match. We need to help our parent's parent, so we'll work as a group to problem solve together.
Can we solve the problems, issues and situations that teachers face in this one session? Of course, we can't, but this is the beginning of a
problem-solving mission to build a community of teachers trying to help each other. At the session, we will create a continuing conversation that can go
on for years. You'll have the opportunity to join an email list, and we'll send you the results of what we've accomplished. We've made a private Facebook
page for teachers to join so that we can continue the conversation, list problems to be solved, discuss resolutions, and post the results of polls.
We'd love to have you join us at the CAIS conference as we work to find solutions to Teaching Between The Lines: All The Little Things Teachers Say
and Do, but Never Learned in College.
|Simplifying a Complex Subject
We encourage all teachers to integrate drug
education into their classrooms. No matter
what you teach, we will help you find a
teachable moment that can incorporate drug
We've seen wonderful examples of math,
social studies, PE, government, life skills,
literature, library, environmental studies,
technology, advisors and mentors that we
will share with you on this page.
|From The Disney Cruise To The Homeschool Conference
Click on audio player to listen
This summer we had the pleasure of attending a home school conference in California. Here’s how two public school kids
who have made a career teaching private school kids ended up a home school conference: Three years ago we went on a
long Disney cruise to Europe in May (when the prices are low and the crowds are smaller!) We got to know many of the
families and quickly learned how many of them were homeschoolers taking advantage of the lower prices and lower
demand for cabins on the ship. The more we got to know each other, the more they talked to us about their frustration
in finding the right way to teach drug prevention within their health and science lessons.
Human development is a subject that is usually only covered in private schools and home schools. It encompasses so
many life skills, and all the information needed is rarely found in one handy manual. Private schools tend to bring in a
series of speakers to adequately cover all the pertinent subjects. They also have counselors, a nurse, health teachers,
and advisors all working together to plan the curriculum. Public schools rarely have human development programming,
and what they do have is all over the map because of their budget limitations and strict rules about how and what they
can teach. I have reviewed many programs over the years and have found many of them to be out of date by the time
they are published. (You should know that I am incredibly picky.)
Since we only teach in California, I promised several of the moms from the cruise (who lived all over the country) that I
would find a way for them to teach drug education that I had read and approved. As the year passed, I started learning
more and more about webinars and Podcasts as teaching tools. The more I learned, the more I discovered that our
programs could be available all over the world by re-thinking the way we taught our “live” lectures. We soon figured out
that the same programs we had been teaching in private schools for the past 15 years could be presented as webinars
or on-demand presentations on the internet. We have spent the past year planning and organizing how to make these
programs available to families, schools, and home schools anywhere in the world via the internet. We have created
webinars for far-flung students so they can experience our entire program the same way an entire classroom of
students would in a brick and mortar school. Also, we have created Podcasts that are available for free to utilize as a
homework assignment or as a seed for discussion or further research efforts.
How to use this website:
|Hello to all the parents, teachers and home school teachers
looking to supplement their knowledge or curriculum with drug
education topics, ideas and projects.
Please scroll down for videos of us from Kidsinthehouse.com
|Lessons of a |
|Kelly on Media's|
|Kelly on No safe|
|Kelly on Giving|