Cyndee’s philosophy about teaching is simple. For a student to thrive academically in a teacher’s classroom, a significant relationship between each student and the teacher must exist. More to the point, Dr. James Comer puts this well, “No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship”. He believes it is necessary to create a classroom where each person is valued, where all class members treat one another with respect. As also Cyndee believes (and research is clear) that when students know you value them as a human being, not just another student, they will work harder for you and challenge you less.
So what is a significant relationship? Foremost, every significant relationship has truth and honesty as a core characteristic. Therefore, for the student to be honest, true to themselves in this relationship, the teacher must also bring their true self into the classroom. To be able to do this, Cyndee believes teachers need to be given proven, practical researched based strategies and applications to put in their ‘tool box’, not more theory and new, trendy programs with catchy names. These ‘tools’ need to be such that teachers can start implementing them immediately, without throwing out what is currently working in their classroom. Cyndee understands that educators have the toughest , multi hat job in America as they are asked to constantly wear many of these different hats all at once: mom, dad, nurse, counselor, teacher, advisor, judge, jury, lawyer, just to name a few. So, having tools that work is everything.
Cyndee believes the ‘one size fits all’ approach for educating students does not work anymore. She feels this way because she understands that students come into our classrooms and schools with different backgrounds, cultures and cognitive abilities, and that their values and experiences are just as wide ranging. Sometimes the only thing students have in common with each other is their age!
Cyndee knows the biggest unchallenged assumption by many today about education (especially among politicians) is that kids are ‘coming to school willing and ready to learn’. As educators, we know this is more rare than norm. The reason for this is that we have a generation of kids coming into our schools today basically un-socialized. We are seeing this because many students have and are learning behavior from cable channels like MTV and E! Entertainment; shows like Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, and Game of Thrones; social media sites like Facebook, Tumblr, and YouTube; reality shows like the Kardashians, Jersey Shores, the Bachelor and a myriad of other influences.
Cyndee knows educators have very little time to be effective. There’s not much we can do from 4:00 PM until 8:00 AM and that we must do everything from 8:00 AM until 4:00 PM. To make a difference, Cyndee is dedicated to helping educators be successful through motivation, inspiration, humor and a common-sense approach to stress management. Most importantly, she leaves educators with as many proven, practical strategies as she can.