The Bloom Living Podcast

Keeping the Love of Learning Alive | Lee Jenkins S05 - EP04

July 31, 2020 Thomas DeSchutter / Lee Jenkins Season 5 Episode 4
The Bloom Living Podcast
Keeping the Love of Learning Alive | Lee Jenkins S05 - EP04
Show Notes Transcript

Lee Jenkins details 3 major problems today's educators inherited and their replacements. He calls this "How to Derail Education's Pain Train" and "Climb Hope Slopes." He is a recognized thought leader in education whose most recent book, "How to Create a Perfect School" describes the details.

1. If every teacher did their very best 95% of our education problems would continue.
2. Parent's number 1 education job is to keep alive in their kids, the love of learning their children brought with them into kindergarten.
3. Learning is the goal; the method for learning is secondary. Homework is one example where the two are confused.
4. Remember the triplets: Skill, Will & Thrill. Schools are to impart skill, but the students control the will. When no thrill occurs with learning the skill, then the will disappears. It is downhill from there.
5. Data is very often used for discouragement in schools -- not on purpose, but true. Data can be the most powerful encouragement tool available to parents and teachers.
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Thomas:

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Unknown:

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Thomas:

Welcome to the podcast I am your host, Thomas DeSchutter today. Joining me is thought leader Lee Jenkins. His most recent book, how to create a perfect school. Please get to talk to us about what education could look like, how we can shift our education system so that the same joy of learning that our kids brought with them into kindergarten, can be alive for them throughout all

Unknown:

of their schooling.

Thomas:

He talks about parents number one education job is to keep that love of learning alive in their children learning is the goal the method for learning is secondary. And homework is one example where the two are confused. In this day and age where homeschooling has become the norm, and where we don't know what school is going to look like down the road. It would be nice to know that we have a basis and understanding of how to keep learning and education alive and healthy for our children, not only as homeschoolers but when they go back to school, when they enter back into the system. Please welcome to the show with me. Lee Jenkins.

Unknown:

Thank you. It is exciting to be here.

Thomas:

Yeah, here we made it. We made it yeah I think we met in New York,

Unknown:

we did in October. Yes. Wow, it seems like

Thomas:

that seems like 8. billion years ago, doesn't it.

Unknown:

It does, and then they did the same event again but it was virtual, I'm sure glad I didn't have a virtual expense experience that I got to meet you in person.

Thomas:

Yeah, yeah, it's always you know I prefer that let's you know do lol I don't even know if we can handshake anymore I don't know what all the rules are going to look like. As we unfold from this. And, and I think it's perfect timing to have you on here, because of your depth of knowledge, your leadership thought leadership in the world of education. And I'm just going to have a little preamble here I know yesterday we had, you know, somebody we know reached out to us that's down in one of the US states down in California. And they're saying that they don't even know what's going to happen with school. And so I'm curious. Before we dive into the stuff around your book, and what you previously knew about the education system. How has that now shifted, or what has risen to the top of importance in your mind.

Unknown:

You know, it really hasn't shifted. Okay. The most important thing is that kids start school with this incredible desire to learn. And we gradually lose that. So it's the same whatever we do, with whatever happens whether schools are open, or whether their parents have choices and some are there and some aren't there. Still the same way they have to maintain that level of learning because that's what propels them on all the way through.

Thomas:

Right, yeah and you know and when you say that the love of learning. And maybe we could talk a little bit more about this about excitement and energy I know that when you know I was not a very good student, I wanted to play drums and be in a rock band that's really all I wanted to do. So everything about school was the like the antithesis of that it was like this is the, it was the absolute anti what I wanted to do. So, with the idea of love of learning. What are things that you see in our current system and our current way of doing school that just seems to rip that out of kids. Okay, well there's

Unknown:

three things I can share with you one is, we use data for discouragement, instead of encouragement. I can put on the screen show you, but it just imagine a huge Bolton board a teacher made, and it's designed like a football field. And she spent a lot of time making a really nice helmet for every student in the class. And she falsely thought that she's going to motivate them because all the kids are going to want to do well and move their helmet towards the goal. Well, it works for all the girl but about five of the kids, so 20 of the kids are moving their helmet and five are still not to the one yard line yet. So every time those five kids walk in the classroom. They see more that says I'm a loser. It happens over and over and over. I was in Wyoming speaking I got to speak to a live audience. Earlier this month, and teacher and a principal came up and said, yeah, that happens in my middle school with the keyboarding skills. There's a chart there and how many words per minute you can type. Then we see who the winners and the losers are. And so we need to use data for encouragement not data for discouraged. Another a second one is that starting out in first grade we're spelling. Kids can get really good grades by cramming on Thursday night, answering the questions correctly on Friday, and forgetting all the information on Saturday. And there's a whole lot of kids who are unwilling to play that game. They realize it's not real learning. It's just to get the grade. And we it's crap and forgive, but there's just a lot that aren't, whether they see it is not real learning, and they won't play the game. So that's another reason they lose out they see it as not worthwhile I wouldn't ever say that. But me, as a student when I was in high school, I was a middle class dropout. In other words, my body was still there because I was going to college, but it was. I didn't want to play that game. Then if you come from a poverty background. You're not only the drop out but you drop your body drops out to. And then it harms you for a long time, but part of that game that cram forget a game, and they learn in about five weeks of first grade is a grandmother had her a granddaughter, for the weekend. So on Friday afternoon. This little girl's dropped off at grandma's house she's been in first grade for five weeks, and grandma is going to do the backpack. and she gets a honey here's a spelling test. Good job, sweetheart. You only Miss two words let's look on those two words. And the first grader said after five weeks in first grade. No Grandma, I don't need those words anymore, we're done with them. You're from Canada so I need to tell you a Canadian story. When you come into Canada and you're sitting on the plane on the way there, and they give us a little paper to fill out, and you check whether it's for business or whether they're tourist. Well I took business because I was going to give a speech to educators. And so when you go in then to immigration and customs, they say, huh business you need to go over this little room over here. And then they ask you. Other questions. Well, the first time I wasn't that prepared and they gave too many details, and it was not going well, it did not go well. And so I wasted a half an hour 40 minutes if I they kind of gave up, understand what I was saying they just let me go. So, next time going in to speak in Canada. Then I gotta do better. So, they said, what do you do well I'm gonna give a presentation to teachers and principals. What are you going to tell them I'm going to tell them how to make crabbing impossible. You just have to learn. They said, right off. This is what we need. Come on in.

Thomas:

Okay, so you gave less lesson.

Unknown:

Yes. And they didn't even ask how are you going to do that, if you said we need that come on in. I four times I've given that same answer at customs and coming to Canada, and they always say the same thing we did that come on in. Alright so that's another reason why kids those interests, it's just a, just a game. And then I've asked teachers, and others in the audience to say, okay, write down it, give it a couple two or three people around you say, Well, how many times a day do the kids in your school, how many times a day, are they bribed or incentivized to do something. And the most common number I guess five times is higher but but that's okay most days of the school year. I mean eight years old. Then multiply that by 13 years from kindergarten to 12th grade. You get over 10,000 little bribes. So I said, Well, if the bribes were working, you and I wouldn't be in this workshop, we wouldn't need it. We do because we just give, we put, we just give them more stuff and what's not working.

Thomas:

Right. Well also sounds like the kids are learning that bribery, is how you function in society that there are actually learning skills that we that maybe we don't want to emphasize that. Absolutely, but how to how to get what you want without really doing anything. How to bribe your way through something how to manipulate the system, etc

Unknown:

etc. and and so for each of these things I've mentioned to you. I said I teach how to use data for encouragement. How do we make cram it impossible. And what do we replace the bribes and incentives with we replace them with, with thank yous and celebrations. It's a genuine Thank you. So, in, in the system I teach instead of when kids get a paper bag has been scored by the teacher. They don't think. How many did I miss. But I think is that I do better than ever before. because it's so exciting to be able to tell your friends I did the best I've ever done. Your throw. And then, again, the most powerful data tool we have is addition, we have all these statistics out there and some are good and some are crazy but addition is the most powerful to an athletic event, the scoreboard. All it is is addition, you just add a contribution to all these different players you get a total put it up on the scoreboard. When we do that in the classroom, we add up the total items correct from all the students in the room we added up and this is what's on the wall, we don't put things up there and individual kids do embarrass them. We put up there how the whole classes. Right. And then, and then there's this joy from I did better than I've ever done before. or I helped the class habits all time best record. It was me and have been for me, the class wouldn't have had their best better all time best.

Thomas:

I did, and they're learning, they're learning contribution unity oneness, you know, collaborating. I don't want to go back to something oh that data, the data piece so. So talk to me a little bit about like that like, what is, what is it that is that the way something is being presented that, in the world of data that just you know crushes a kid like is it, is it just that it's like information overload or is it that there's no association to what this actually means. I think it actually is used to dis to discourage the kids who most need encouragement, the foreword of my book that will mentioned earlier was written by jack Canfield who did the chicken soup consultants. And he said, when I was an elementary school, my parents sent me to a military school.

Unknown:

And after every test, they put the name of the student with the top score up on the wall, and the score. And then the second place in the score, their places score all the way down to the last place, the name of the store. He said, it may have discouraged, it may have encouraged the top couple of students, maybe the top three, but for the rest of us, it didn't do it. It didn't encourage us at all. And so, it's, we have, we don't do it exactly that way now, but we have, but it's the same thing, the kids are discouraged, they know I'm not a good student. I give up. Instead of, no matter where you are, you can do better than you've done before then you can do better again and you can do better again. JOHN Maxwell has a quote patient I love it says, I'm only in competition with my former self. Well, but you can't get kids to believe that if it's a competition in the classroom. If the classroom is set up so that everybody is honored for doing better than they've ever done before. Then the kids internalize that. Yeah, I'm in competition with my former self.

Thomas:

Yeah, because I definitely heard that, at times from my own kids and from some of their friends you know I can't learn or, you know, I'm dumb. You know like I don't get it. And then that just reinforces that right that that just becomes the perpetual story in the hiss.

Unknown:

Yes, I've walked into classrooms in October. And I've said, Is there anybody in this room who hasn't had a personal best yet. No hands go up, they've all had at least one personal best and. And we do this. 28 times a year. So out of that 28 times the typical kid has their personal best seven to 12 times where they are honored for doing better than they've ever done before. That probably the biggest fans of my work are in special education where they got the kids that are struggling the most. And those kids are honored along with everybody else, because they can do better than done before. Right. Everybody can, yeah so

Thomas:

slowly it sounds like what you're really what you're really telling me here is that, and I want to differentiate something but it sounds like what you're really telling me here is that the the road to victory in education is by honoring wherever somebody is at. And whenever they improve on where they're at, we honor them, and we assure them, we show them joy and celebration for, for, you know, even if it's one Mark better than before. It's an improvement and let's celebrate that and for just. And I want to differentiate because you know in sport. Now, when I think of when my, when my daughters were playing ice hockey, as we do up here in Canada, they're, you know, we would go to these tournaments, and there would be no winner. And everybody would get a participation ribbon. And there's, and I don't know if, in the world of sport if that's healthy or not healthy that everybody just gets a participation ribbon, instead of honoring people that excel at or instead of picking the best team. I don't know where that should shift or if there is a time where we you know should transition to where being recognized for your particular gift is important.

Unknown:

I would say that athletics and games is a good place to learn how to be a good winner, and how to be a good loser. I would say that's a good place. Right. And so when parents sit, when you go to a hockey game to watch. And there's just two teams out there. I you no one's gonna win and we're gonna lose you know that walk in. But when, but when you send your kids to school, you don't think there's a 5050 chance my kid is going to be a loser winner. And if it's percent chance Mike is going to be a winner. Now, the parents expect other kids to be winners, with them to learn. So I would say. But school is not a game.

Thomas:

Yeah. You know what I know from my own experiences, is that I actually became a better learner. When I was older as my assumption is is that when I focused on the things I guess this would be maybe this is it for everybody because even when I was playing, when I when I was a musician I was a student of being a musician. So whenever I'm excited about something. And I want to learn it. I will learn it.

Unknown:

Yes. So let me connect the, the drums and your, your desire to record a school learning. I learned this from a history teacher in West Virginia. But here's what he said every time you gave him an assignment, he said, here's what I want you to learn. I want you to prove to me you learn this, they spell it out. It's like you're approved, you're gonna learn. Here's three ways you can prove to me you've learned it, and it gives them three ways. But then he says, If you got another idea on how you can prove to me You learned it come talk to me. Okay, so I had a teacher say to me recently. When I was in high school, all I cared about was theater. If I'd had been given that choice for my by my teachers, every assignment I would have worked my hardest to figure out how to connect theatre, to what the teacher was teaching. And I would prove through my theater interest that I've learned. So it's not an, it should not be an either or. It shouldn't be. Well I'd care about guns but the school didn't care about it so therefore, then count, we can connect it, we can connect their interest. And in the history teacher who told me this said that he had a student who was there so into art. So, almost every assignment in history for the whole year, she proved that she learned the history through political cartoons. Look how much more time to spend on political cartoon that you would have spent just doing, and then to say I've learned it

Thomas:

right but the the enjoyment for that, like, I see it like it propels the learning because you're putting your own stamp on it, you're putting your own creativity into the fire. Right.

Unknown:

Yes. So whether we're online or whether in person. That part's the same, right. It hasn't changed. Right.

Thomas:

So now let's let's shift this a little because I have a feeling you know with COVID, there was a lot of homeschool teachers that were suddenly born. Yes. Suddenly, suddenly we had parents that were teaching that, you know, never ever considered that they would ever need to do this or even want to do this. And so how can we, how can we help those parents that are because I'm sure that some of them are going to remain in this in this world now of learning at home. How can we help them to find the joy in teaching their kids.

Unknown:

Okay. But, no need to stare with you. When I'm working with a group of teachers and this will be the same for the teachers, the mom and dad at home, whether the teachers from the school. What we give the kids, the first week of school is a list of what they're going to learn for the year. The whole year. 12345 we spell it out. And the kids like that they like knowing where we're going. The teacher can say well I gave you a list of 100 concepts of my teacher this year we're on number 32 today. So, the parents should be the same. Like we thought we mentioned spelling earlier, when, when I work with teachers and they say we want to improve improve our spelling. Okay, what are the spelling words for the year. grade one they write down by 150 Oh, here they are 12345. Now I mentioned we take out cramming. So on Friday when assigned for that Friday test and spelling. They know they're going to get 12 words on their spelling test in first grade, but they don't know which tober coming, they come out of bucket at random right in front of the teacher. So we always assess their long term memory to know what they really know, not their short term memory, to know which parents beat them sit down and learn on 39. So, so, so for your mama mom and dad at home. Whatever the exception is write down what you want them to know at the end of the year. And I would say make sure it's essential, don't put trivia on the list. Now, in the States. It's very common for teachers to ask kids to memorize states and capitals. Well, from my perspective that's trivial. I've worked a lot in Nebraska. And if you ask most kids United States. What's the capital of Nebraska, they'll tell you is Lincoln. And then if you say well, where is the rest of July, I don't know. It neighbors we focus on the trivia.

Thomas:

Isn't that the home of the Cornhuskers

Unknown:

right right okay but where's that give him a blank map of the United States. Okay. And they'll know. Okay. And by the way, the Canadians know our snakes better than we know their greatest darkest days better than we know the 13 provinces and territories in Canada. Right. It's true, but nevertheless. So, what would you, what would you do. You'd say what do you want to know the capital you'd have to look it up. But you shouldn't have to look at where it is. You should know. Right. I can get into some trivia. Recently I got there I don't have any way lined it up on an order but we my wife and I went out to lunch. One winter a couple years ago and there were four cars in a row all lined up in a row and there was British Columbia. There was Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba weisenthal Ford road. I don't know if they parked it or represent not but that's Arizona where I live in the winter.

Thomas:

Yes. Yeah, that would be the, the snowbirds right as they're as they're finally known. Yeah. That's great. So, so for parents if I was to summarize this one of the things they could do is to set out a plan of, here's what we're going to here's what we're attempting to tackle. Over the course of this semester or the next month or the next two months. And the whole year okay right that's the whole year. Yeah. Yeah, you can divide it and say this is what we're gonna do the first quarter second quarter third quarter fourth quarter. But here's the list for the year. Yes. Right. And now I'm curious about this. What about. What about the parent if you're going to homeschool working on, you know, when we homeschool their kids for when I say we, I really mean Leslie homeschooled our kids for a number of years. One of the goals was to always do things that they enjoyed, but then interject the lesson into what they enjoy doing.

Unknown:

Yes. Yes, of course. Right, so how,

Thomas:

how could somebody do that or begin to learn to do that like what are they, what are they going to be looking for in order to start really magnifying that for their kids like. It's kind of like the chicken in the egg where do they start in terms of developing a program that would benefit the child with their interests.

Unknown:

Well, I can give you the brainstorming, to take a sheet of paper. And in the middle of that paper draw a circle and write down right in that circle, this their child's interest and major interest. Okay. And then from that circle draw lines out to the edge of the paper. So you're creating a bunch of space around it. And then label those spaces, this is, this is, arithmetic, this is geometry. This is history, this is, this is geography. This is science and label each of the art, and all the say all the subjects all around and each of those spaces that you've made by from that circle in the beginning, and then a line out to the edge. And then it's all there. It's all better no matter what they put whatever their interest is in the middle. Then you will be able to make a connection. If you did that with drums. And then you could make a connection to every subject there is to be taught. Now, teacher can't do that with a class of 25 to 30 kids, but they can do that with some of the kids that most need that assistance. And when my boys were in kindergarten, first second grade. One of the activities that the teacher did for them. Not every day but out of 100 out of 180 school days maybe 60 to 80 of them. She's saying to each kid individually what word you want to read today. Well, there's only 26 letters. A few more sounds beyond that. So no matter what words that kids ask for all the phonics you want them to know is built into those words. Right. So you can you do want to keep their interest in there, and it's going to be easier for the homeschool parent to do that than for a teacher with multiple classes. Right. However, my what I shared with my high school history teacher. The teachers not trying to connect the connections. The kids are making. Here's three ways you can prove to me you're limited but if you've got another idea come talk to me. Right.

Thomas:

Right. So we actually encourage them to think outside the box. Yes courage them to bring their imagination their skill set their desire what interests them into the program.

Unknown:

Yes. And by the way, there were six teachers that I was working with they were doing that had the practice of asking first graders but where do you want to learn to read today. And so, 6080 words per kid hundred 80 kids, we got all the words, and we classified their number one interest. Nothing comes close to their interest in science. That was their number one interest. And then, that was about 40 of the say close to 50% of the words. Then, then 25% of words approximately was what we call social studies. It was names of friends holiday words and places they visited. And then half again and about 12% was sassy. Hmm. And the adults think because number one interest is fancy it's not science is four times more interesting to them than benefit. And then they were just various sundry things, you know, just a culture thing well

Thomas:

science can be biology, it can be going to the ocean and looking at, well living creatures on the ocean, it could be any any of the plants, it could be a flower that's, you know, yes, there's your science right so that makes sense. Yeah. Yeah. And so I want to go back to this. So, when you're building up this pie chart of interest. I would imagine that one of the great things to do would be to include the kit. Yes, of course right like like let

Unknown:

me think through this Yeah,

Thomas:

let's let's design your school year. Yes, right like let's let's be, let's do this together, it's a, it's, it's for your benefit. And, you know, my benefit as well so that's easy to do. Yes, it'd be a struggle and include the child and then that interest and I can totally see like when you said drums for example, Well first of all math is huge. Yes, in rhythm, right, the science of making drums easily could, you know you could go there, the history of drums in civilization, like, all of a sudden, I could see how taking that one core piece and branching out from there would feed, so many things geometry all the drums are different sizes like it's

Unknown:

that so. Have you been to Phoenix recently. I have not. When you come, there is the music Instrument Museum. They have built their music instruments from all over the world. You would love it. Mm hmm. And then one of the some trivia but one of the interesting things they hired to anthropologist, because these are real instruments that come from around the world mess them up in wood. And they found insects buried into these instruments so they have two people that are classifying all the insects, from all these instruments from, but when you go they give you headsets, that are Bluetooth enabled. And so when you walk up next to the, the big display of that instrument. And then you hear the song. And they walk away it's silent and you go to the next one and standing next to you here.

Thomas:

That's awesome. Yeah, that's awesome. You know one of the other things I want to touch on is. And this just came to me is a memory is that what's something I noticed with my own kids was their love of history. Mm hmm. Their love to know where we came from. Mm hmm. And so I'm curious how much have you found in, in the world of education, where you can tie things back to our history to kids get excited.

Unknown:

They do, but it's it's again about them feeling successful, and we don't destroy that they think they come in naturally interested in, but we can destroy it. Right, so on my website, which is L Bell j.com. The letter L, the word Bell, j.com, the first video that's there is from a seventh grade history class, and Alan cope. It's just, it's an amazing classroom, we cut it down to three minutes we film for a day, it's got down to three minutes, but it's the seventh grade history class they're just eager to to prove that they've learned more history than it just, it keeps that love that they came in with. Yeah, right.

Thomas:

Yeah, well I got a sense I know even for me, you know, knowing where we came from and knowing how we've gotten to this place that we are is, is something that you know even inspires me still today. Mm hmm. Yeah. A few years ago, we took our kids, when we were homeschooling we took them to Europe. And we, they, we asked them what do they want to do. And they, they wanted to go to the Anne Frank museum. Because my, my wife had read the Anne Frank story to them there and and so they were just captivated by that and we ended up turning it into sort of a history of the world wars and that you know that area of the world and what happened and how it went around the globe and the thing is is that I don't think it ever felt like school to them.

Unknown:

Of course not. Of course not.

Thomas:

You know, we were just in it, talking about this stuff.

Unknown:

So, my work has been greatly influenced by W. Edwards Deming who lived from 1900 to 1993, best known for having taken Japanese management to Japan. Under Douglas MacArthur in the 50s and then be on his own. After that, but he said that 95 96% of our problems in any organization with US government education or business are caused by the system. So since we know the longer kids are in school, the more they become discouraged, not all but two thirds of them. It's not the teachers, writing in their lesson plans who they want to discourage. It's the system that that they inherited that we're not analyzing is great. And so you have to think about, well, what could we do, what are we doing in schools, that's causing this despair. JOHN had is Australia that I learned a lot from, and he gave us the triplets skill will improve. They really good to for everybody to keep in mind and think about education, now we know schools are in charge, responsible for imparting skill. The issue is that the kids, control the will. They're going to control how they ever actually work. Right. Yeah. So, if they get no thrill from learning the skill. They lose their will and. And so everything they do home school or in school, if we can keep the, the, the wheel high, they can learn. Right. And if we don't, and when people hear the word thrill they think well the kids just want parties No they don't. The thrill comes from knowing more than I've ever known before. You didn't bribe your kids in breakouts. You didn't do any of those things as soon as it was they were just thrilled learning. And it gives get the thrill of learning. It keeps their will. And then the skills from a societal thing.

Thomas:

Yeah, there's you know it's, it's, it's, you know, just the way you're sharing this just brings up so many memories for me of you know my kids are teenagers now but when they were little of me wanting to tell them stories of me you know them wanting me to indulge on ideas and make up stories whatever it was and if you could, if you could take that excitement and that energy that they have, and turn it into a learning without them even knowing it's learning. Yeah, that's, that's really the goal that you're talking about, isn't it that's really what we want to try to do,

Unknown:

if we replace the things that damage that joy, replace things that enhance that joy. And the kids are as excited in high school are learning as they once were in kindergarten, nothing to hold us back. Nothing Right. Right.

Thomas:

And I'm kissing, where does something like Waldorf education fit in this model, because they have a very distinct process that seems to be much more in line with how you're explaining things is that accurate.

Unknown:

I'm not the one to ask. I've read some things I'm all the horrified. But I cannot is knowledgeable knowledgeable enough to answer that question. What I've heard matches what you're saying, but I don't know that.

Thomas:

Okay, Well thank you for your honesty I appreciate that. I want to draw I just want to jump to your book now so how to create a perfect school. Is there anything in there that I know we've touched on a lot of different things. What else is somebody going to be able to take away from diving into your book, and really, you know, taking some ideas out of there to begin to create this perfect school. Okay,

Unknown:

first of all, they may tell you where the title came from. It comes from really the books I've read on tour that they start their planning with what would perfect be, then they say Where are we now. And then, and then their planning is to work in that space between where they are now and what perfect repeat. They say will never be perfect, but if we don't know what it is we're certainly not going to get closer. So the book, how to create a perfect school starts with what would a perfect school be, and we've already talked on it. That, that this is the joy of learning and kids bring with them to kindergarten is maintained for the 12 more years. That would be a perfect school. So then, then we talk about well what if what isn't that joy that intrinsic motivation that kids come with. And it's actually a combination of willing thrill. So we measure that they tell us how hard they're working and they tell us how much they're enjoying it. So we're able to know. Along the way, how we're doing I maintaining that will improve. That's the first part, what is perfect, how do we measure it. How can we find out for sure. The second part of the book is what we've already talked about what is it we are doing is discouraging kids unintentionally. Right. When by speech to Wyoming. Earlier this month, I talked about that we needed to get a new garage door opener and. And so we got a new garage door opener. And, unbeknownst to us. The frequency was the same as our neighbors. So every time we left the house, our garage, our neighbor's garage door went up. And they were very frustrated. Okay. They said, We'd love to go out to eat and we're sure that garage doors delicate back it was open, and couldn't figure it out. Well, what I said was, it was unintentional. Nobody intended to do that, because if somebody could have stolen things or broken in the house. Who knows, is unintentional, and I'd like to say that about the second part of the book, what are schools doing that are causing kids to lose that enthusiasm for learning. It's unintentional. The third part is, what do we replace those activities with. We've talked about that, what do you replace data for discouragement with, how do you make data for encouragement. And one of the chapter titles in that third part is titled The chapter is if you behave after lunch I'll let you have another quiz. Well, why would that be. Well that is for joy. They want more quizzes. Right. And but but mostly When have you ever heard of a kid asking for more quizzes, they don't, because it's not a joy click. So, actually, and. And the teacher had the classroom I was in. She had great control of the kids she knew they're gonna leave after lunch. It was not a bribe. In that sense, it was a smart mouth way of saying yes, you can have another quiz. Right. So, so you, so each of those things that are causing harm we replace them. Unfortunately, in the field of education, there's some very talented people that describe the problems, but no solutions. There's another group of people that describe solutions but they don't get to do the problems. And what we need, people need an education is the problem and the solutions, you know, doesn't mean is the only solution, but a solution. Right. And then the fourth part of the book is called polishing perfect. And it's ideas for better instruction, and the idea of shared with you from the history teacher West Virginia. Here's three ways to learn it. If you're another idea come talk to me that's in the fourth part. There are five chapters in there specifically designed for parents, and the rest of them that are 20 chapters are designed for educators. Right.

Thomas:

Right. Thank you. You know it sounds to me like a lot a lot of the work is there just recreate a different order an order, you know reorder how school is being done.

Unknown:

Yes, it does do that right let's do that. In fact connected to the virus exclusive antenna where I've been working quite a bit, where every teacher from pre K through grade 12 gave the kids the list of what they're going to learn for the year. Yeah, when they all of a sudden when schools are shut down. You Joe Carroll, Superintendent she said, our teachers had so much easier time than the teachers in the surrounding communities, because the kids will have the list. They knew how far they gone so far. Now they're home and it just, just finished it just kept on going. Right. They weren't struck they weren't climbing What do I do now what do I do, well they already knew. Kids already know. So

Thomas:

that's, you know, you just brought up something that's like the idea of so many kids, people going to college or university without really knowing what they want to do.

Unknown:

Yes, like is

Thomas:

that is that systemic of the way school is done in your opinion is that how that happens.

Unknown:

I don't know that's a really good question. Me, you know, it might be, is that you haven't been about this before but but it might be that the college counselors, need to find out what the kids really really interested in before they ask what do you want to major

Thomas:

right but maybe, So I guess where my question comes from is maybe because the first 12 years we've never focused on a child's interest. We've all. We've almost pushed that out the door to like it doesn't matter that by the time they get faced with that they don't even know what they're interested anymore because that you know that data that you've talked about has driven out of them. Any idea of who or what they want to be.

Unknown:

Yes, that's true. And if they do have a major interest is from outside school. Right, or sometimes a favorite teacher. Yeah. Yeah. And and we because it's been in the book, it shows a graph of what percent of the kids loves school at his grade level, it gets worse and worse and worse and worse you've seen it you've seen that Thomas gets worse and worse. But it doesn't get to zero. You know, there's still some kids that hang on and keep that level learning they once said in kindergarten. And so, those kids may know what it is they want to major in college. Yeah, that that that minority of them. Yeah. Yeah.

Thomas:

Wow. Fascinating. leezar. Is there anything we haven't touched on that you think is vital.

Unknown:

No, I just had mentioned two things I'd like people to visit my website, there's a lot there. llj.com there's so much there for people to look at if they go under the free resources. There's lists that teachers have put together from various different subjects or what they want their kids to learn. You don't ever clone somebody's exact list but when you start with what somebody else has done you can, much less time to fix it the way you want it. Yeah. So there's, there's just a lot of things there. So with with the book, and what's on the website, people can set to. But as homeschool or in the classroom to really change how school is how its focus is, it's not it's not better teaching I'm talking about. It's better learning. Right. And because the system is supporting the learning. We evaluate teachers on their teaching lesson, but it's not. It's, it's not what's going to really make the big impact. We want her to. I'm not saying we don't. But good teaching by itself won't solve our problem.

Thomas:

Yeah, you know, for me and, You know I don't know that I'm right or wrong on this and it doesn't matter but what's coming up for me. And what I'm seeing as a father, is that it's not about me. It's not about the school. It's about the kids, and if I actually focus the attention on the kids, instead of what my, you know, here's what I want them to know. But if you actually take a step back and start saying well what are the kids interested in, and then how can we, how can we, you know envelope into that stuff that we kind of think they need to know like they need to have some certain skills they need to have good basics they need to know how to read, you know, in order to really propel their life forward so how can we take what they're interested in, and put that stuff into it versus the other way around if we're going to cram this into you. And we're not going to make it interesting at all.

Unknown:

Yeah. So, given the senior they had the teacher, important workbook, but where do I learn to read. Same idea, every kid had a personal math book. It was a blank paper, a cover, and said my personal map book by and their name. And so one of the assignments was. I grabbed photographs of the work but his teacher said, Go get the centimeter tape measure 10 things in the room and write down how long they are well they're connecting their interest, but they're learning to measure with a centimeter tape. It's, it's, there was a place in the room with. Take it was cardboard about the size of a computer screen with a notch on aegeon and yarn wrapped around it. And then, so when the kids have that assignment, what do you what are you interested in how big something is, and a kid said, I'm interested in Python, we'll find out how long the longest Python is in the world. And the kid found out it was 30 feet long. So there's a bucket of rulers, that kick up 30 routers and put them in a line. Cross the room, and then got your arm inflated out that link and cut it off at that length wrapped it on that cardboard. Okay, and wrote on Python 30 feet and then go down how many meters, it was nine meters on there also. So, it's not like it's their interest versus what we booked. I mean, the teacher would have been the know how to measure in centimeters and inches and feet and yards and meters, it before the year was over. But you can connect that to but they want to measure. Yeah. Does it matter. Yeah.

Thomas:

Yeah, that's beautiful Well said. All right, so the website is L Bell j.com.

Unknown:

Yes, l Bell j calm.

Thomas:

Awesome. That'll be in our show notes for people to easily link to. And then, are you on social media at all, sir.

Unknown:

Yes, I'm on Twitter. I'm on LinkedIn, and just recently opened up a Facebook business a business for business, as opposed to the personal. Right. Well I'm on there all three and I do post on all three of them. And then also on my website if they want to be on my email list, they can, they'll get some emails from time to time that may be helpful to go along with what we're talking about. And it also gives them access to a ton more PDFs, one is on just reading ideas I mentioned in the math and the measuring. There's a deck of 250 pictures of classrooms, implementing those kinds of ideas. And that's when they sign up for my email list immediately get a list of come some with the links to all these PDFs that we might be interested in.

Thomas:

Fantastic.

Unknown:

We thank you so much for joining me. Well thank you, Thomas this has been a joy, I'd appreciate it, hope this is helpful to you and helpful to your audience.

Thomas:

Yeah, I think, with where we are in the world now with schooling and how that's shaping up to be. And if any tools we can give parents and and kids and students to look at whole new approach to education, I think, I think it's very valuable so thank you for your time. I appreciate it. You're welcome. A huge shout out to today's guests, and to you, our listeners for joining us here today on the bloom living podcast. If you have any comments or questions or ideas for shows things that you want to dive into please send us an email to media at bloom strategies, calm that's a media at bloom strategies.com, if you're so inclined, you can give us a thumbs up or share the episode on social media, we'd certainly appreciate that. And

Unknown:

until next time, be well.

Thomas:

Stay safe, and have an amazing day. Transcribed by https://otter.ai