I’m grateful to Bette A. Stevens, my host of this fifth post of THE HEART OF TEACHING TOUR, and to Nonnie Jules of 4WillsPublishing who arranged it all! The full lineup for this tour can be found @ 4WillsPublishing Events Page
Excerpt from John Fioravanti: A Personal Journey To The Heart of Teaching.
At the very beginning of my career, my fear of failure set the priorities for my day-to-day work in the classroom. As my hard work began to reap dividends, it became easier to control the fear and the anxiety. That made it easier for me to focus more of my attention on my students—as individuals with unique personalities, gifts, and needs.
I had always been focused on their academic success. I realized that their success, or lack of it, was at least partially attributable to my teaching. As I became a father myself, I was able to see these students as something other than just students. They were sons and daughters and I began to look at them differently—in a more caring way.
Rightly or wrongly, I was not the kind of teacher who dealt with academic or behavioural issues in a confrontational way. I had tried that on more than one occasion, and found it to end in a lose-lose scenario. It was really a bad scene if I tried it in front of the class. At some point, it twigged on me to deal with the more serious issues privately with a student.
Since it is next to impossible to discuss something privately with a student inside the classroom, I would give the class some seatwork, take the student into the hallway, and close the door. I would smile, motion the student to the middle of the corridor, while I leaned my back against the wall. I arranged us this way so the student wouldn’t feel boxed in or threatened. I would then ask, in a kindly tone, what was causing the issue? I could tell by the surprised look I often got, that they were expecting a tongue-lashing. I discovered that my approach worked for me. Even if the student didn’t want to disclose the problem, they knew that I cared enough to ask, and that I was expecting an improved performance from them.
To me, confrontation between a teacher and student is all about power. A power struggle of this nature always ends badly. I’ve seen it too many times. I don’t think we should teach young people to solve issues of conflict by way of confrontation. Conflict is inevitable, and I believe that people can keep cool heads so that solutions can be found that turn a conflict situation into a “win-win” for everyone. This is what we need to teach young people.
John Fioravanti is a retired secondary school educator who completed his thirty-five year career in the classroom in June, 2008.
Throughout his career, John focused on developing research, analysis, and essay writing skills in his History Classroom. This led to the publication of his first non-fiction work for student use, Getting It Right in History Class. A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching is his second non-fiction work; it attempts to crystallize the struggles, accomplishments, and setbacks experienced in more than three decades of effort to achieve excellence in his chosen field.
John’s first work of fiction is Passion & Struggle, Book One of The Genesis Saga, and is set within Kenneth Tam’s Equations universe (Iceberg Publishing). He claims that, after two non-fiction books, he’s having the time of his life bringing new stories and characters to life!
At present, John lives in Waterloo, Ontario with Anne, his bride of forty-one years. They have three children and three grandchildren. In December of 2013, John and Anne founded Fiora Books for the express purpose of publishing John’s books.
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fiora-Books/516763875088924?ref=hl
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/FioraBooks
- Website: https://fiorabooks.com
Book Purchase Links:
- Amazon USA: http://dld.bz/dCm6v
- Amazon Canada: http://dld.bz/dCm64
- Amazon UK : http://dld.bz/dCm6P
- Amazon Australia: http://dld.bz/dCmBB
- Chapters/Indigo Canada: http://dld.bz/dCp5A
- Barnes & Noble: http://dld.bz/dCp5E
Today’s host: Bette A. Stevens at 4writersandreaders
“This tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.”