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
“Their success and their well-being became important to me personally. It had become less about me and my struggles, and more about them and theirs.”
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.”
Comments on: "“The Heart of Teaching Tour” with author John Fioravanti" (33)
Thank you Bette for introducing me to John Fioravanti. I love his philosophy on dealing with students.
John, I have never heard about you and so this interview was truly informative. I work with many young people, not in a classroom situation, but in different bands and other activities and agree with you wholeheartedly about taking a young person aside and asking what the problem is or just standing there with an open ear to listen.
Your books sound also interesting and I have you on my To Be Read list.
I really enjoyed the interview.
Great job to the both of you.
Hi, Patricia. Delighted to have you join our chat with John. Working with kids in a caring and compassionate way makes a difference and John’s book offers valuable insight into how we (teachers and all adults) can do just that. Delighted to hear that you’re reaching out to young people. Thanks for all you do, my friend. ❤ Bette
John, we need those fears and self doubts as a teacher. That is what makes you to continue to make it better. Thank you Bette for hosting.
What a great tour! Thanks for hosting, Bette. Your support is truly appreciated!
Hi, Beem. So glad you could stop by for a visit. Lots of goodies from John Fioravanti here and along the tour. Looking forward to more. Always a pleasure to host our fabulous Rave Reviews Book Club friends. Have a great day! 🙂
Thank you very much, Beem, I appreciate your support!
What an inspirational post! Many thanks for sharing your approach! 🙂
Thank you, Nick – I appreciate your kind words and your support!!
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John, what you do is so important, especially in today’s world. It makes a difference in the self-esteem and the future of our children. I enjoyed reading about your years as a teacher and hope to be able to follow your tour. I need a trail of breadcrumbs.
Thank you very much, Micki – I appreciate your comments and your support!
Hi, Micki. Here’s the trail of breadcrumbs… https://4willspublishing.wordpress.com/upcoming-events/blog-tour-author-john-fioravanti/ Thanks so much for the stop here! ❤
Hi John, just stopped by to lend my support. You look like you’re having fun. Have a good tour.
Thanks, Shirley – I always have fun talking to wonderful people!! You have a good tour as well!
As a teacher for over 40 years – post high school, I will admit – I wholeheartedly support your method of reaching out to students. Would there were enough hours in the day to work with all of them one on one. I’ve had drug addicts, streakers and tons of confrontational kids, but they make life interesting, don’t they?
Interesting for sure, Noelle! Teaching can be a wild ride and we learn a lot about life along the way. Thanks for joining the conversation! 🙂
Thank you for your comments, Noelle – I agree, all kinds of kids keep teachers’ lives interesting!!
I like your discussion on the use of power John. Too many times a win/lose situation develops through the misuse of power. Thanks Bette for hosting.
Thanks for joining us, John. Always great to hear from you! 🙂
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Hi, John, thanks for your comment. I agree, often such a confrontation between a student and a teacher results in a misuse of power. Thanks for your support, my friend!
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Good luck on the rest of the tour
Bette, thank you so much for hosting me on this gorgeous site – and I agree with Jennifer – Pretty Lady!
The pleasure is all mine, John. Wonderful to find out more about you and about your book. I’ve been following the tour and couldn’t agree more with your teaching philosophy. Kids count and they’ve taught me important lessons in teaching and in life during my own teaching career. Delighted to share your story and your wonderful book! 🙂
Late to the party as usual… >< Am here now so no excuses! John – I wish they'd had more teachers like you when I was in high school – incessant brow-beating only ever made things worse! 😦
As I was a student at the same time you were in Canada I expect we had similar experiences that were somewhat mitigated by being one of the 'bright' kids, so I was luckier than most. I'm so glad that there's been such a huge sea change with teaching methods and processes and that people like you have been in the vanguard for bringing out the best in pupils and helping them to go on to future achievements. 😀
Bette – I'm loving your summery look for the blog! 😉
Thank you, Jan – I appreciate your comments. Unfortunately, I had to learn these lessons the hard way!
Ditto, on learning the hard way, John. That’s what makes your book such a gift to teachers today.
Hi, Jan. Thanks for joining the conversation. I’m with John: conversation over conflict every time. 🙂
Thanks for your lovely compliment as well, Jan. 🙂
John, wish everyone saw your view on conflict! Great outlook!
Bette, Thanks for hosting pretty lady! 🙂
Thanks, Jennifer – I appreciate your constant support!!
Hi, Jennifer. I’m right with you and John and John’s excerpt offers golden nuggets for dealing with ‘kids’ of all ages. Thanks for stopping by for a visit! 🙂
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John, I am so enjoying your tour! What you say about power struggles and confrontation is so true. You continue to inspiring to us all. 🙂
Bette, thank you for hosting John today 🙂
Thank you, Harmony – I appreciate your kind words and your support!
Great tour, talented author, awesome book! 🙂