How Do I Use Tools for Teaching?
A Plan for Professional Development
Success One Step at a Time
Tools for Teaching focuses on the crucible of learning - the classroom. Tools for Teaching describes the fundamental skills of classroom management. Our sole objective is to help you to put this expertise into the hands of teachers. We will walk with you every step of the way.
Step 1: Tools for Teaching, The Book
Tools for Teaching is the fruit of over three decades of research and collaboration with teachers by Dr. Fredric H. Jones. Dr. Jones has studied the “natural” teachers - the ones who get the “good kids” every year and produce two years of learning in one. What do they do?
In answering this question, Dr. Jones has described the fundamental skills of classroom management in great detail. Teachers say, “This is the first time someone has told me exactly what to do rather than just giving me generalities.” Just as importantly, the book is both enjoyable and down to earth. When you give it to colleagues, they read it.
Step 2: A Tools for Teaching Workshop
In addition to learning from our book, you can attend one of our workshops and get trained in the skills or Tools of Teaching from an expert. Practice the skills of successful teachers in a collegial setting. Our workshops break down our program into sections and puts focus on the three major areas of classroom management: Discipline, Instruction, and Motivation.
Working the Crowd and Room Arrangement
Giving Corrective Feedback
Staying Calm and Staying Strong
Dealing with Backtalk
Meaning Business with Body Language
Establishing Rules and Routines
and much more!
Step 3: The Video Toolbox and The Study Group Activity Guide
The Video Toolbox and The Study Group Activity Guide provide a blueprint for successful professional development. The Study Guide structures twelve after school meetings in which teachers discuss and practice new skills until they experience comfort. The Video Toolbox provides the visual modality of learning for each of those twelve study group meetings. It's like having a front row seat at one of our workshops and it's the next best thing to having Patrick Jones, or any of our trainers, visit your school. Every practice exercise that Patrick uses in a workshop is described prompt by prompt so that colleagues can coach each other.
In addition, a Coaching Disc is provided which models each of the practice exercises described in the Study Group Activity Guide. The Coaching Disc helps trainers transform an after school meeting into a workshop in which teachers learn by doing.
When teachers work together to apply newly learned management tools, information becomes skill.
See how each meeting incorporates the book, the study guide, and the videos in our Resource Guide.
Levels of Training
While Tools for Teaching focuses on the skills of classroom management, it is helpful to think of professional development with Tools for Teaching as occurring on two levels:
What are the fundamental skills of classroom management?
The School Site
How can teachers best work together to master these skills?
Our objective is to help you produce not only a product, a group of trained teachers, but also a process of continuing professional growth and change. The Study Group Activity Guide structures the collaborative effort of the faculty as they master the skills described in Tools for Teaching.
Hopefully, Study Groups can become part of the social fabric of the school site. As such, they provide a permanent mechanism for implementing new programs and for integrating the old with the new.
We hear from teachers that their careers have been turned around just from reading Tools for Teaching. We also get emails telling us that the school site Study Groups really took off after they got The Video Toolbox. However, many districts and school sites begin training only after sending teams to one of our regional workshops. No matter which step provides your entrance to Tools for Teaching, you can master all the skills within.