Wednesday, June 16, 2010

“If You Really Want to Live, Be Extraordinary”

I have moved “Thought Provoking Perspectives” to The John T. Wills Chronicles information portal @ I want to share a profound message taken from a novel Chapter Excerpt FROM “If You Really Want to Live, Be Extraordinary” written by Jo Lena Johnson & Dr. Lee Roy Jefferson. I encourage you to read the featured article on the The John T. Wills Chronicles in its entirety.


Whether you are a student, parent, teacher, church leader, business owner, or simply a concerned citizen, Mrs. Raglin demonstrates honor, commitment, leadership, integrity, love of teaching and learning. A few pages of her wisdom are worth their weight in gold!

Six Things I Really Want Teachers to Know

1. As a teacher, you are always a learner.

2. You can’t teach kids you don’t take opportunity to know—and for whom you don’t allow opportunity to know you.

3. Because people and actions are always connected, there is no way for you to mistreat a child and not have it come back to you.

4. Students should be prepared to take care of the world one day, just as you and I as children were taught to do our part in taking care of the world. Teaching should be a revered position. It’s not to be taken lightly when you are training a mind for optimal results in knowing, being, and doing.

5. Students have the right to learn how to think. If you don’t teach them how to think, they won’t know how to live. Thinking is what is going to save them—and all of us. It’s not always all about teaching subject matter at the start. What is ultimately important for your students is that they master the ability to process information: to know through understanding. Once exposed to information, knowledge comes as a result of analyzing, synthesizing, and never failing to evaluate what one hears, sees, and even thinks.

Students can’t learn how to think by simply memorizing someone else’s ideas. If you teach them how to think and imagine they will be able to choose what information will be useful for their own future…livelihood, well-being, career, citizenship, humanity. Students need to have a point of reference in the things taught and required to learn, to be able to relate those things to something they already know, care about—have already “studied”—or can use. What they read and learn—and the way it is presented—should be something that will forever help students make good decisions. And, believe me; that is your grave responsibility.

6. Low self-esteem leads to rebellion. There is probably nothing worse in school for a child than sitting in a room where everyone else knows “stuff” he/she doesn’t know. When children don’t know such things as decorum and are doubly embarrassed by not having academic skills, it makes them unable to think logically in the moment. Yes, they act out in the classroom, but they will act out even more so in life without mastery of big and little things. You are creating a monster when you don’t teach a child. There is joy for children in learning, and there is a joy for real teachers in watching children learn—watching them become able to understand and explore…observe someone else’s creativity and, in doing so, gain access to their own. To teach is to help a child discover self, personal talents, goals—along with connections to others and the use of the gift of life only for good.”

Mrs. Raglin explains in detail in the feature. It is a must read.

Chapter Excerpt FROM “If You Really Want to Live, Be Extraordinary”
Jo Lena Johnson & Dr. Lee Roy Jefferson

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