Motivating the Unmotivated

Getting past defenses, disinterest, and disengagement Presentation by Dr. Jane Bluestein Of all the challenges teachers face, the one mentioned most consistently over the years has been, “How do I engage kids who aren’t motivated and just don’t care?” Few things are more frustrated that having your planning and enthusiasm met with groans, shrugs, or eye…

Increasing Success for ALL Students

Strategies for changing or maintaining the students’ level of alertness and attentiveness There will be times when your students are starting to drift off or glaze over but you need their attention for a few more minutes before the bell rings. Or they come in all wound up and you need them to settle down…

Fear, Stress, and Learning

Obstacles to the learning process Excerpt from “Learning and the Brain,” chapter 4 of Creating Emotionally Safe Schools by Dr. Jane Bluestein © 2001, Health Communications, Inc., Deerfield Beach, FL. This excerpt was extracted from the manuscript for this book and may be slightly different from the actual printed copy. The entire bibliography of Creating Emotionally Safe Schools is available on…

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act

Background and ESSA Context The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA—now also coined as the “Every Student Succeeds Act”—ESSA) was passed by Congress and signed by the President on December 10, 2015. It will be phased in over the next two years, and will not be fully in place until the 2017-18 school year when…

Presentation: The Perfection Deception

Why trying to be perfect is sabotaging our relationships, making us sick, and holding our happiness hostage Presentation by Dr. Jane Bluestein Perfectionism may sound like a good thing, but it’s entirely different from the more realistic and achievable healthy pursuit of excellence. Working diligently toward improvement, learning, and growth is also far less destructive (and…

Playing Well With Others

Not all it’s cracked up to be When I was in second grade, I got a minus next to “plays well with others.” In my family, this was a terrible thing, worse even than getting a bad grade in the content areas. (This also wasn’t allowed, but somehow getting a “B”— the equivalent of failure…

Presentation: The “Core” of the Matter

Creating a Community for Making Common Core State Standards Work Presentation for educators by Dr. Jane Bluestein Student engagement, achievement, and performance all start with classroom climate and the quality of the learning environment. As our educational system continues to evolve, we need to create a context to make new programs, policies, and requirements “work.”…

Your Personal Learning Preferences

A brief self-assessment As a part of many of my presentations (including nearly all full-day seminars and keynotes that address different ways people learn), I poll the audience to give participants a sense of differences that exist within the group. Even with small groups, the responses tend to be all over the map. Because I…