Dude and Hurry: The Turtle and the Doodle ©

Finding What You Are Good At

by Alan Haskvitz
(I am looking for a publisher for this story. reacheverychild@yahoo)


Sometimes you aren’t really good at things. Dude the Doodle was that way. He was a good looking dude with a lot of energy that got him into a lot of trouble.

One day he decided to see how big a hole he could dig in the back yard. He was quite pleased with his efforts, but the family thought otherwise.

He thought he would be a watchdog, but feel asleep on the soft bed and the raccoons got into the garbage and he was embarrassed.

The family tried to teach him tricks, but he had trouble concentrating and so when they told him to sit he showed them all his tricks. He gave them a handshake, rolled over, and sat in the hopes that one of those tricks might be the right one.

He loved walks, but walking on the leash was so slow. There were things to sniff and animals to chase. So he pulled, a lot.

When the sprinklers were on he loved the feel of the water on his skin and so he rolled, romped, and ran through them until he was soaked. He was happy, but the family wasn’t.

Dude was told to stay off the family’s beds, but they were the best and so he got caught napping. He was told to stay out of the garbage, but it smelled interesting. He was told to keep his paws off the table and counter, but that is where the family put the good stuff.

Now Dude the Doodle was a good looking dude. He liked to explore and be with his family. He had to share his home with an older dog. A really big dog. An English Mastiff that liked nothing better then to do nothing. Sometimes they would play together, but the older dog felt old and didn’t like to romp and roam as much as Dude.

The two dogs belonged to a family that loved animals. In fact, the Mastiff was a rescue. That meant that no one wanted him and he was left at an animal shelter in a small cage. He was unhappy until the family came and brought him into their home. He loved them and he really loved being the only dog.

Dude was an accident. One day he just appeared at the Mastiff’s home and, as usual, was taken in and given a good meal and a lot of love.

Dude enjoyed knowing that the Mastiff was there when a stranger was in the neighborhood. Dude would bark and the stranger would look in the yard and see a fuzzy, furry, yappy dog and smile. Dude would see the stranger’s strange look and wait for the Mastiff to arrive. When the Masttiff arrived the stranger quickly moved away. Dude knew he wasn’t much of a guard dog.

Dude was a fast Doodle. He loved to run and retrieve. Except Dude was more of a triver. That meant he would get the ball, but returning it to the thrower wasn’t his idea of fun. It was now his ball and he wasn’t sharing. So Dude was a dud when it came to retrieving.

Everything that Dude thought he was good at he wasn’t. It bothered him, but he never gave up trying.

One day Dude and the family were out walking when they saw a rock traveling down the street. As they moved closer they saw it was a desert tortoise. They moved it out of the street and went to all the houses and asked if it was their turtle. No one said it was.

Dude’s family called the experts and they all said don’t put it back in the wild. So there was a new member of the family, Hurry, a mature, female tortoise.

The Mastiff wasn’t too interested in Hurry. He would watch it and bark if the tortoise was in trouble, but mainly they just shared the back yard.

Hurry was only fast when she in was in a hurry, which was usually when she saw the family put out her vegetables to eat. Hurry slept in a special box that the family made. It was dark and dry and safe.

One day the family lost Hurry. They spread out and searched for her, but she had escaped. They were heartbroken. They had registered her, stocked up with fresh food, made her a special water bowl and enjoyed her visits. Now, nothing.

The family got an idea. They called Dude and he came sliding to a stop on the tile floor. He sat their perfectly still waiting for a treat. Instead the family said, “Find Hurry.” Dude wasn’t the smartest Doodle, but he had heard the family call the turtle Hurry a number of times and so he took a chance.

Off he went. He ran in a zigzag pattern through the bushes, across the lawn. Suddenly, Dude stopped and went back and stuck his nose under a big rose bush. He sat down and looked at the family. They looked at him. Dude went back to the family and ran to the bush again. The family got the message. There, almost hidden, was Hurry munching on rose leaves.

From that day forward the family relied on Dude to find Hurry and he never disappointed.

Sometimes Hurry would be taken into the front yard and allowed to graze on the bluegrass and dandelions the family let grow just for him. The family would set in the shade and read while Dude watched his friend very carefully. Dude was always very protective of Hurry. No one could come to look at Hurry without being inspected by Dude. And it was a very thorough inspection. Hurry always looked for Dude, too, because under his hard shell he had a caring heart.

So Dude had found something he was very good and he was proud. Finding something you are good at sometimes takes a long time, but it is worth the wait. And sometimes it just takes helping others. Just ask Hurry, who is never in a hurry.

Now turtles can live a long time. Some people say 100 years. Dogs don’t live nearly as long. But over the years Dude and Hurry never let this bother them. They were very different, one wild, one tame, but they didn’t let differences matter. They just enjoyed what they had together, whether it be the love of a good meal, a walk, or a nap in the sun. And the family was very happy. The Mastiff, not so much.

This story is copyrighted

Tips on How to Use Pinterest
by Alan Haskvitz

for more free resources go to


Whether for school or home, these links can assist you in making your site easier to navigate and more interesting to view. If you have not used Pinterest, the links below are an excellent place to start learning about the process. It is also a great place for veteran users to see what is new. One caveat that should be noted is that Pinterest can be addicting and a teacher needs to keep the end in sight when placing pins. It is easy to drift off topic because a site has some interesting materials. Thus I would limit my posting to those that directly relate to the lesson and remove older ones to keep the site clean. However, keep track of the ones you are removing by placing them on your own teacher site for use in coming years. Use that site as a warehouse of inventory to abeyance for future utilization.

A step-by-step guide to starting


Using Pinterest to add zest to lessons is easy and appeals to students who sometimes are turned off by the rigors of textbook. It does not replace the text, but is a way to make the lessons come alive.

The Teacher’s Guide


A list of teachers by grade level and their sites. A great way to get fresh ideas.


A Beginners Video Guide to Pinterest in Two Parts


30 Ways for Teachers to Use Pinterest
An excellent section on lessons.


16 Additional Uses


Best Times to Pin


26 Best Pinterest Tools
Includes Pinstamatic


37 Things Teachers Should Know About Pinterest


NEA’s Take on Pinterest
Lots of links to specific subjects and uses


Classroom Management Tricks

A length list of YouTube videos that provide insight into Pinterest


Do Students or You Know about Their Digital Footprints?
By National Hall of Fame Teacher Alan Haskvitz
for more free resources go to http://reacheverychild.com/search results.aspx?searchtext=haskvitz

Do students know about their digital footprints or do you? The answer is most cases is no. Those caught up in the excitement of seeing their name or image on the screen forget that this isn’t just a passing fad, but forever. With technology altering the way we teach and the way students learn it is mandatory that educators take a look at what a digital footprint is and how students can limit it.
Even the term, digital footprint, means very little to some students. So the best place to start is to explain how people learned to track as a way of finding animals. Thus the term footprint means that they are, in fact, the animal being tracked. The digital term is easier for students to understand as it means anything that they do that requires the use of technology. In other words a digital footprint is the traces that they leave on the Internet.

The biggest mistake is that students and others don’t understand that hitting the delete button does not remove the image one it has been placed online. It remains there forever, including in their own computer. Just as the history of where you have gone is traceable so can the images and comments that appear on everything from Facebook to Twitter to emails and beyond. This leads us to the first rule: Don’t put your name on anything. Use pseudonymous.
Next, have students make a list of all their accounts and all the people that they communicate. They should make sure that all setting when talking with these individuals is on privacy in their security settings. Having the students use


should help in this regard. This will also show them sites that they no longer use and these should be deleted.

The next step is to have them check their passwords for each account and make sure they are not using the same one. This avoids having all their accounts compromised. As well, there should be an absolute promise that the materials sent are only to those on a need to know basis. Don’t send out mass mailings. Having a good username that is different for each account is also a help.
When sending pictures don’t send the names of the people in the photo or where it was taken. Those people who don’t know who in is the picture can ask.
Next, have an email for each account. They are free, in most cases, and although they make it more of a burden to handle passwords and user names, they can also serve to help you control what is going out and make it far easier to handle incoming messages as they go to specific accounts. Limit the email accounts to five or six so it is easier to check your messages.

It is important that you understand what cookies are and how they are used by companies. First, they make loading faster, but they also provide a history of where you went and what you were looking for and this information is kept to build a picture of you. This happens regardless of whether or not you are using a privacy setting and is used by most everyone such as YouTube and Google. It is not used by ReachEveryChild, which does not use cookies. Here is a list of search engines that don’t track your use and may be of value as an alternative to the more popular ones.


Indeed, the use of major tracking search engines can also impact your searches as they seek to provide you the information you may want first. It is almost impossible to limit this. This link explains that concept:


It is difficult to avoid this especially as some eduction sites require a log-in. Again, that is why http://www.reacheverychild.com is so unique as no log-in is required. To avoid cookies you can check out this site:


You may also want to download https://www.ghostery.com/ and others such sites to avoid such tracking.
Ultimately, it comes down to self control and making sure the student knows that the Internet can be used as a tool for good and evil. Even the IP address on the computer used can be tracked

http://www.wikihow.com/Block-Your-IP-Address and so it is valuable that it is made clear that the simple act of placing a message and/or photo on the worldwide web could be used by potential employers and others to get a profile that may not be flattering and those who have ulterior motives may also be lurking.
The bottom line is make sure that all sites that are used and all messages are sent with caution and if you are using the Internet for searches.
Videos that explains the concept

Student/Parent education sites



Places where you can check some of your leavings
Don’t be surprised.




A lesson on digital footprints
Very complete


Statistics on digital footprints
Very important to show how few people actually check.


A large link site


Student’s willpower and its Impact on Student Learning: The Greeks had a Name for it
By Alan Haskvitz

National Teachers Hall of Fame

for more free resources go to


Perhaps nothing is as frustrating for a teacher than to have to write, “Not working to potential” on a student’s report card based as much on the teachers’ inability to motivate the child as the student’s lack of willpower. To that end, there are methods that can help both parties once common values have been found and parents encouraged to develop the power of will.

This is not a modern phenomenon. The Greeks had a word for students who displayed such symptoms. They called it akrasia, which essentially means the weakness of will or the wasting of time. In fact, akrasia was called the Goddess of Distraction. The Greeks believed that it occurred when someone consciously make a choice that was considered wrong by society. Thus akraisa is the bases for the English word, crazy.

Basically, the factors that contribute to akrasia, such as the inability to visualize long term goals, not being able to delay gratification, impulsiveness, and emotional instability are also those that reflect a child’s home life. Thus the first step is for the teacher to work with the parent. The second step is to seek common values. The third step is to construct a reward structure to help inculcate the new values. The next episode is to take the elements of the curriculum and look for ways to make them more emotionally meaningful to the student. Next, the teacher needs to use small steps to build up willpower. Finally, the teacher must be prepared to accept failure.

One persistent falsity that remains in the education field is that the teacher is responsible when a student does not learn. This is simply not true and cannot be backed up by any research. Even the frequently quoted Piaget indicated that a child learns when they are ready to learn. As such, a teacher can only make the subject matter attractive; the decision to learn comes from within the child. The teacher can only hope to make it relevant. Thus the failure to learn, as every teacher knows, falls at the feet of the student. A teacher who tries to motivate by giving inflated grades or dumbing down the curriculum is not encouraging learning, but encouraging the student to use these reduced standards as the bases for continued reinforcement of the willpower that was rewarded.

It must be reminded that lack of willpower is not lack of motivation. Being motivated is the first step towards creating willpower, but it stands alone as a prod to accomplishment. Motivation must always come from inside or be intrinsic to having a lasting impact, although some people believe short-term stimulus can be extrinsic. The problem with motivation is that it can be seen as an end in itself. This happens frequently in the classroom when a teacher works hard with a student and the child starts to respond only to have child fall back when the attention is reduced. The motivation for the child is in the form of attention and since the teacher did not push the child into being more self-reliance, the next step, building the power of will, was not achieved.


To build willpower requires a pre-commitment to doing what is right. In other words, it is an acceptance of change. Before the students enters the classroom they must know what is expected and thus what is right. However, it is easy to know what is right, but it is far more difficult to do what is right, which is why obesity, illegal drugs, and cheating are prevalent despite overwhelming acknowledgment that they are wrong. So the first step for the teacher hoping to build willpower is to nourish a pre-commitment to a change in values in the student because they hopefully already know what is right. And, that is where the parent comes in.

Major elements of willpower are perseverance and self-control. This requires that the parent or guardian establish in their child the ability to not be distracted, the acquisition of a sense of purpose, the benefits of postponing rewards, and goal setting. Students who lack these basic life skills place the educator in the difficult position of having to teach both the mandated curriculum and promoting needed values. The results are usually less than satisfying for all concerned.

Meeting with parents is an essential part of building willpower in a student. To do so requires a portion of the interview to be set aside to learn about the family’s values. For example, How are rewards used, what goals do they have for the child and what goals does the child have, how much time does the child spent completing tasks, and how do they handle the child’s failure to finish tasks are vital questions for developing a willpower plan. Of course, as is the case many times, the parents who you would like to see most don’t show. Thus, a check list like the one below can be sent home or a phone interview arranged in an attempt to understand the child better and help develop a plan to build willpower in the child.

The teacher should have a checklist with them before they start the conversation.
Here are sample ideas to help structure such a list. The replies will provide insight into the expectations of the parents and values and should yield ideas on the extent of the student’s coachability and willpower.


The response to each of these questions reveals the values the parents have because everything listed here is a learned activity or value. When you are done with the interview you can get a much clearer portrait of what the child values, what they feel emotional about, and their level of willpower.

Let me provide an example. If a parent is not home when the child returns after school the teacher needs to find work assignments that can be completed in class. This is obvious, but by slowly requiring the student to do more and more work at home the teacher is helping to build willpower. On the top of the homework paper the teacher should ask the child to write down the time the lesson started and when the child completed it. This provides insights into the child’s pace, but more importantly, it is building time management skills in the child and this, again, helps with willpower development.

The real problem with willpower is that everybody has it, the problem is motivating its use in the right direction. The pain for educators is that some students use it to maintain goals that are not acceptable. It takes as much willpower not to do something as to do something. To ignore doing a homework assignment, knowing full well you are going to fail the class and have to repeat it during summer school, is a classic study of what akrasis is, and requires vast amounts of willpower. So teachers need to add something to the building of willpower and that it identifying shared values. Without this, there can’t be any progress towards the standards society has placed on the school system.

Since humans have the ability to choose their values and beliefs they are reluctant to leave this solid ground to pursue a different course because they feel have created a system that leaves them comfortable, if not satisfied. Indeed, the older, the more entrenched the values the more difficult they are to alter. It takes a notable shock to the system to reassess one’s habits because people are compelled to support those behaviors that are consistent with their beliefs. In fact, people have shown a williness to die for their most strongly held beliefs due to the strength of inculcated values. Just as strongly, people are unmotivated to support or validate the beliefs that they feel are contrary to their own. Thus a teacher must overcome two hurdles. First, that an established belief is not worth continuing, and secondly, that the new behavior is worthy of acquisition. The former is far more difficult, because it has been established and reaffirmed through the years. A teacher, at most, has less than 36 weeks to create change and even changing a habit takes more than 30 days of consistency. (1) So it is essential that those students who display a lack of willpower be motivated to change as soon as possible making early intervention, as usual, important.

It is to be remembered that one’s values were selected because they did not create harm or a feeling of imperfection. William James noted, “When the will and the emotions are in conflict, the emotions most often win.” So, unless a teacher can create an emotional appeal in the student the pressure to change may result in a feeling of distress as the student makes consistent efforts to change, but does so at the behest of others and not from the student’s values.

The Brain and willpower

Changing a student’s values and building willpower is further complicated by the way data is handled by the brain. Change comes from a conscious decision that is reinforced repeatedly and stored in the renin-angiotensin system or signaling protein. In other words, the more time a child hears something the more it becomes accepted and the more difficult it is for change to occur.

The Reticular Activating System, which is located near the top of the brain stem, compares incoming data with accepted values that have been stored in memory. The system notes what action is needed and sends an impulse to the amygdala, which is located near the center of the brain. Here, the information is dealt with in a friend or foe format. The amygdala produces the appropriate chemicals to initiate action. If the student’s values are significantly challenged, the data is blocked and cannot reach the conscious executive pre-frontal lobes. The result of such value-laden input could result in actions that have no logic and yet be in compliance with that individual’s strong belief about himself or herself. This manifests itself when a teacher confronts a student over an excuse. The child cannot accept the teacher’s values of good work ethics and perseverance since they have never been proven to be of value to the student in the past. This is why it is sometimes difficult for a well-meaning teacher to be successful with students from a different culture or social-economic background. There are simply not enough shared values. Telling a child whose role model may be a drug pusher that studying is the way to a better life finds the message shut-off by the student who makes $100 a day acting as a look out for police. A better way to improve willpower for this child would be to relate to their accepted values, which could be pride, the importance of identity, and peer acceptance.

Most evidence indicates that it requires at least one month of repetition for change to occur, but if the student’s held belief is strong and has been inculcated for years, it could take longer. A child who has failed several classes is going to take more repetition to promote the will to change. The more emotional a teacher can make the appeal, the quicker the change.

Let’s take for an example, the value altering strategies done on January 1st in the form of New Year resolutions. These resolutions take the form of trying to adopt new values and require willpower changes. Unless there is some emotional reason for the value change, the resolution simply will not be met. For example, losing weight and giving up smoking are standard resolutions. The problem is that even if both of these make sense for a longer, healthier life, they require the individual to change their values. This restructuring of their willpower will fail unless the emotion is enough to overpower the inculcated values. This usually involves the self-image which the brain strongly protects as it means the potential end of sugar and nicotine that provide it with good feelings without an undue expenditure of effort.


Of course, motivating a student to develop willpower requires positive emotional rewards. The difficult part is that a teacher cannot give these rewards without knowing the environment the student has experienced. To offer a good word to a child who has never had anything but kindness may not be as effective as offering a challenge as a reward. For example, “This is good work, but if you rewrite it your ideas will be more clear to others,” would be an appeal to strengthen willpower in such a child.

In the classroom, some teachers give out stars, post good work, and praise students to improve their willpower and change their work habits and values through emotion. Unfortunately, it is an often a failed strategy for those who need it most, the poor student. A star given to someone else is not seen as positive reinforcement for a child who did not get one. Posting good work is a good strategy for good students or for a teacher who wants to promote conformity. However, if a teacher wants to improve the willpower of all the students another method is necessary. The most positive one is for the teacher to ask all the students to look through their work and post their best effort. The pressure to produce something thus becomes emotional and the students strive harder to have a posting of significance. The teacher stays out of the selection process. Change must come from within the student if the process for willpower to become developed and the more meaningful the stronger the success rate.

A child’s identity, youthful as that student might be, is what he or she holds in the highest regard. Dr. Maxwell Maltz, stated that people would behave in accordance with their definition of themselves. A student who does not believe they are good at a subject simply avoids the subject or does not try. The reason why it takes remarkable willpower for a student to change this image is because a student’s values and identity are acquired unconsciously based on life experience. In other words, the student might not be aware of their behavior. A child who disrupts class probably does not have a clue as to why he or she does it, but they get satisfaction from the act and it makes them feel good. The fact that this acquired trait came from past experience at home where the loudest voice carried the argument is not part of the student’s conscious memory. To change it, thus means that the teacher must make the student feel uncomfortable when this loud behavior is exhibited. The program that rewards students when they do something right is valid, but it is nearly impossible for the teacher to know what caused the child’s value to manifest itself. So a standard reward is essentially spitting against the wind. It might work, and it might come back at you. Teachers need to individualize rewards based on the child.

Motivation and willpower

Consistency is the key to redeploying willpower. For unless this motivation is in place, there simply cannot be any positive student long-term improvement. Since the child spends just six hours a day in school, the majority of the consistency rests with the parents. That is why it is important to work with the interested parent in a partnership to promote and continue motivating the child.
Of course, the worst-case scenario is the child of a parent who has no willpower. These parents usually show up the last two weeks before the end of a term and challenge the teacher’s grades of their offspring. This is also reflected in the child who suddenly gets the message that for the majority of the school year numerous assignments have not been done and decides to hand in a couple assignments and expects to be passed. Such short-term “sudden” motivation indicates that the child may have mistaken the end as the means and that a brief burst of willpower can offset any negatives. It probably worked in the past, especially if previous teachers have allowed late work or extra-credit work to off-set deficiencies. What the teacher needs to ask is what I am trying to teach the child by allowing these changes to requirements?

Thus, it is important to note the difference between goal setting and willpower development. It is not the setting of the goal that counts; it is the process of setting the goal that a student needs to learn before changes in willpower can occur. However, that goal setting process must be a continuous betterment or improvement, which the Japanese call kaizen, before it becomes more than a series of dead end accomplishments. For example, a student is given a spelling list to learn. The student sets a goal of getting them all right by applying so many minutes a day to study. In the end, the goal is reached, the student feels good, the process is in place, but so what? There must be continuous improvement which means that the student must learn how to use these spelling words in their own life’s for there to be real learning. This goal of continuous improvement is essential to the deployment of willpower. This changing of goals fine tunes willpower.
Frequently there is confusion between self-control and willpower. A person displays self-control by foregoing immediate pleasure for long-term betterment. It requires a rational decision of the type Aristotle would approve. It is a type of willpower, but lacks a basic element and that is that self-control requires you to stop something, whereas willpower may include doing something as well. What this indicates to a teacher is that a student must preclude doing nothing as an ingredient in building willpower, and replace it with a goal of acceptable value.

To redevelop willpower in a student, you must start small, not necessarily young. The teacher needs to set objectives that stymie the child’s ego and compulsions until the deeds are accomplished. Remember that these assignments cannot be dead-ended. They must be going towards an elongation of willpower and the accumulation of an independent process of the extension of gratification. To make the goals realistic, there must be consistent motivation offered along the way. This is perhaps the most difficult task for a busy teacher because it has to tie in with the values the child cherishes and be fair to the others in the classroom. However, generally the best motivator is a comment from the teacher. These are especially motivating if the teacher makes such comments only when appropriate. Too frequently using terms like, “good job,” or “that’s wonderful” take the pride away from students who have to work much harder than others. Thus personalizing the message makes it more motivating.” Bill, you did this work much better than your paper on the canals. What was the most important thing you learned?” provides the student with stimuli and the motivating factor belongs strictly to that child.

Motivation can overcome laziness that feeds on discouragement and often arises from dwelling too much on the enormity of the task. The solution is to break down the task into manageable parts for the student to promote persistence. Once this is online, he or she can more easily develop self-reliance. Once these are present willpower evolves as it builds on the smaller achievements.

Contracts can help direct the persistence process. Giving a student a checklist requires them to redefine time management and provides a basis for developing stronger willpower. Students who do not meet the contractual obligation are difficult to motivate because they know they are not going to get a reward and a bad grade is meaningless when it is one of six on their report card. Having a student design his or her own contract is equally inadequate because it does not realistically challenge the student whose goal is to not be challenged. Parental involvement in such matters is essential? In some cases it is done for legal reasons, since the lack of parental intervention is probably what caused the continuation of the problem through the years. However, for the best results a contract is best written by a group of students for that student and with that student. Peer pressure is very good in these matters, and the student is much more likely to fulfill a contract and develop the willpower to do accomplish that by having to answer to his classmates rather than another adult.
Using Negative Reinforcement
Some students develop willpower more effectively when told they cannot do something especially if it creates passion in the student. Using this negative method can produce exceptional accomplishments that clearly require significant will. For example, Roger Bannister broke the 4-minute barrier. It was widely believed prior to this that it was physically impossible for man to run that far that fast. Thus Bannister was told that it was a physical impossibility. He worked against this belief, using his willpower to generate superb conditioning and prove that it was a mental barrier, not a physical one.
A negative challenge can help to motivate those students who are competitive. I tell students that I don’t think they can do a task in the time limit and they work harder to prove I am wrong. Why does this work? Most likely it is successful because students are not empowered in society. Adults make the rules and run the place. Giving an opportunity to prove themselves builds student acceptance of change and thus promotes the willpower needed to overcome other barriers. Some might call it reverse psychology, but regardless, it can prove to be a powerful tool when used correctly.
Although it is difficult to be mutually exclusive when discussing a topic such as the power of will, one element emerges clearly and that is that willpower is not wish power. Wishing is beyond one’s power. Willpower is something that an individual is capable of obtaining, albeit at a cost greater than a wish. Wishing to do well in school depends on external chance. It, by definition, relies on luck and waiting. Nothing can be done to encourage a wish to come true. As soon as there something that can be done by the individual, the wish flops over to the power of will column. However, a teacher can capitalize on student wishes by using them as a motivating initial step towards helping that student convert their wish into reality with willpower.
Conclusion: Restructuring a student’s power of will by working with the youth to change their values and promoting self-discipline is difficult to achieve in the classroom without significant parental help. It is most important that teachers make an attempt to improve a student’s ability to understand willpower and the advantage of being able to use it to reach a positive goal and to motivate them appropriately. Since each child is different, it would behoove the teacher to ask the parents for suggestions on what motivates their child and to see what values are encouraged in the home. Little by little, every student can be exposed to steps on how to reapply their willpower to obtain more viable goals and a more global self-image. The pre-commitment stage is the most important for without this acceptance the brain will simply dispatch any attempts at change to the discard pile. The good news is that when willpower becomes a habit new goals can be reached and maintained. The bad news is that the demands to prepare students for state testing based on the curriculum leaves little time to kindle student motivation to improve their power of will.

Where to Find Teaching Jobs
by National Hall of Fame teacher Alan Haskvitz


Finding a job isn’t easy. It took me two years of being a substitute until something came along and even that proved to be a deadend. Even when I was teaching I was constantly applying for jobs that I felt were more to my strengths. I taught in ten school districts before finding one with good administration and support. I went from Newfoundland to Ontario, Canada, to several districts in Southern California before I found a school where I felt at home. And even there I had to endure some of the worst administration imaginable. So never give up if you think you are in the right position.

If I would have had this list of resources when I started out I could have shortened my job hunting experience a great deal, but nothing really prepares you for a new job outside of asking others about the school and doing your homework.

Timing is very important. Most districts have hired by the start of the new year, but some find themselves in a great need for help due to staffing shortages, teachers moving away, or transfers. Don’t give up because the school year has started. I have also listed overseas teaching sites that might be of interest to those willing to travel and work under different conditions.

Be cautioned to look before you leap. There is no free lunch. For example, if you are teaching overseas and the job you get is not as planned you may not have recourse.

Due to the nature of job listing and the uneven quality and quantity of positions it is essential that you go through the process slowly and don’t deal with those that charge a fee unless you feel it is worth it. Some sites may ask you to register first and that information may be used by others so I suggest you have a separate email account for job searches in case spam comes a calling. Above all, your first choice should be to use the career center at the university where you completed your educational training program. This service is sometimes available online.

Jobs by state
A massive collection of links to every state


Government Link site


Job listing by state and subject


Jobs by subject, area, and more


More jobs listed by grade, subject


This site also offers you an opportunity to upload your resume’. Check details closely or you can just do a job search.


You can sign-up for job alerts and more


Education Week listings


Teaching overseas jobs

From US Government
Information and contact data.


Information on teaching overseas




Great Britain



Jaguar XJL Review
by The Car Family

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When is a Jaguar not a Jaguar? Trick question and the Jaguar XJL Portfolio has the answer. Simply put, Jaguar has drastically change the traditional Jag’s appearance and running gear. No longer is there wood trim everywhere and the sometimes reluctant engine has been replaced by a let’s play, supercharged V6 engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission that is willing and able to straighten your spine whenever the need arises. This Jaguar rocks.

The refined six-cylinder powerplant is a model of nobility, with just a touch of aggression when you call on the big cat’s 340 horsepower. Driving in a civil manner the fuel economy has a 16/24 mpg city/highway rating. We averaged 22 mpg in mixed driving in very hot weather. However, it is very difficult not to fall in love with the acceleration of this big cat and so your mileage will probably vary based on your mood. This is an agile vehicle that claws the road as few other sedans can. The brakes are excellent and you get the feeling that there is really nothing this vehicle can’t handle. The price starts around $85,000 for the five inch longer XJL Portfolio edition we tested, but if you can live without the cool rear seat and extra leg room you can save several thousand. Options can drive the price over $100,000 but once inside you are going to know what you paid for. It is elegant and as close to Architecture Digest as a car can be.


Mom’s view: In appearance, it is simple gorgeous. It makes one swoon and is definitely eye candy for the masses. Its price is competitive with any sophisticated luxury sedan and lease deals are attractive. The interior is sporty, clean, and a bit flashy. Some instrumentation is quite novel such as the round, chrome gear selector that pops out of the center console. Very novel and easy to master, but it can get very hot in the sun. Safety wise the Jaguar is loaded with intelligent airbags most everywhere, seats that have active whiplash protection, blind spot monitoring, electronic brake distribution, rear view camera, and more as befitting its price. Be warned that the large touch screen monitor runs the show so don’t leave the dealership without a run through. The trunk was large, but the opening was limited. The XJL has a panoramic, heat reflective glass roof that extends the length of the car. The night lighting was first rate with adaptive headlights that even illuminate corners. Bottom line for me was the workmanship, pride of ownership and, of course, the attention.


Dad’s view: Slovenly, hardly. This is a tidy, dynamic sedan with a back seat fit for the Queen. Driving at all times is lively and secure. We tested the supercharged, six cylinder version, which is the only engine you can get with the optional all-wheel drive, and it was plenty powerful. A 510 horsepower V8 version is available for those wanting to toast the tires with five second 0 to 60 times. The performance goes with the XJL’s contemporary styling and make it very appealing to those who want to stand apart from the ubiquitous German competition. The XJL version offers a plethora of features that include front seats that are heated, cooled and massage you. The use of aluminum and aircraft style materials and bonding techniques are just part of what you are paying for, but don’t forget the many unseen features such Cornering Brake Control, which helps in taking sharp corners, the automatic leveling control, or the stop-start feature that saves gas. The brake pedal feel was a little soft and the option list a little dear. My advise is do your homework so you know what features you want before you go to the dealer. I highly recommend the illumination and the entertainment packages. The Jaguar is unique in that incorporates class and performance and certainly a wonderful reward for a job well done.

Young working woman’s view: Portfolio is an appropriate name for this luxury convenience as it may require a look at your investments before you buy. On the other hand, you truly get what you pay for and this Jaguar is both distinct and heavily laden with features that coddle you. For example, you can get an 825 watt audio system and those in the back seats can be entertained with eight inch monitors and wireless headphones. This Jaguar is worth it and there is always the inner glow you get from driving a Jag.

Young son’s view: I’m still looking for work in the computer field, but still have time to assess a truly great technology systems, and this Jaguar has them. The GPS has traffic alerts and the optional Meridian is prime. There are also satellite radio, interactive voice control, Bluetooth, and a Media Hub with inputs for iPod and MP3 players. The sound quality is dynamic, thanks to 20 speakers, including two subwoofers. Some of the features require time to learn so don’t leave the showroom without a thorough tutorial. The XJL is class.

Family conference: In a world where luxury sedans are designed to show one’s appreciation for the better things in life as well as having the means to pay for it (most luxury cars are leased due to tax code attributes, the Jaguar stands alone as a bargain and a beauty.

Seven Vital Tips for the First Day of School
by National Hall of Fame Teacher Alan Haskvitz
for more free resources


You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.
— Will Rogers

That quote might not be accurate, but it won’t hurt to be prepared and let the students know you are prepared. To enable this to happen there are seven important steps that should be taken to get the most of this first impression.

First, be prepared. Have your first day well planned out including a seating chart for the students. It is important to have good discipline from the first day, but that does not mean you have to be mean. Raising a hand to ask a question, asking permission to leave the room, even where to pick-up or hand-in work should be explained as well as the late work policy. Above all spend time reviewing school safety rules. Where are the exits, the fire extinguisher and the emergency routes? You don’t have to make the students afraid of you, but they need to know what your expectations are and when they can get extra help.

Secondly, take control. This is their first day in your class. They need to know the rules and the expect ions. Posting them in the classroom is always a good idea. I recommend having a handout for each student with the discipline code, your contact numbers, materials that they may need to bring, and any other school information. You may not have time to go over the school handbook, but make sure that every student has one as well as any textbooks that are required.

Thirdly, take a long look at your classroom. The first code in your community, if it is like other towns, usually limits the number of flammable items to about 20 percent of the wall space. There cannot be anything hanging from the ceiling or blocking the doors. Sofas and other upholstered items may also be deemed a violation of the rules regardless of how good an idea it might be. I recommend you dedicate at least one board to posting of school related items. As for the other space, I recommend you have students design them based on what is being covered in class.

Fourth, Some of the students may not know each other and so an ice breaker may be of value. I don’t use them, but some teachers find them of value. One idea I sometimes use is to bring in a wolf or other stuffed animal and have the students submit names to name our classroom mascot.

Fifth, Get personal information. I give the students a card asking them for their home contact numbers as well as their interests and favorite hobbies. I even ask them to bring a paper that they did in previous years that they are proud of so they can show it to me later in the week as I get to know them better. And, I always try to contact the parents within the first couple weeks of school or at a Back to School night. Sometimes messages from a student’s get changed by the time they get home, if you know what I mean.

Sixth, be open to new ideas. I have posted a great many links here. Spend some time and maybe you can discover fresh ideas. Consider having the students write a short autobiography to get to know them.

Finally, be yourself. Whether your first day of class or your 40th, the most important message to leave with your students is that you are a caring teacher. Yes, you have rules, but that does not mean you or without compassion and understanding. Remember, you don’t want to mark Will Rodgers wrong.
Read up on classroom management


A list of great ideas for new and experience teachers.


Ice Breakers and Checklists from Education World



Planning for your first day of school


Establishing rules
Ten Ideas


Ideas for preparing to work with parents


Huge selection of ideas and links on everything.


Activities and sample handout forms


Middle and elementary school ideas including school tour


Back to school bulletin boards
Remember that decorating a door may be a fire code violation.
Mainly for elementary


Interesting collection


Lots of lesson planning sites
A good place to look for new ideas


Set up your classroom seating arrangement virtually


Bulletin Boards by Month



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