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Who Will Teach The Children? Recruiting, Retaining and Refreshing Highly Effective Educators

Who Will Teach The Children book cover
Teachers and school administrators are leaving the field of education almost as quickly as Schools of Education are preparing them. According to research, 44% of educators leave the profession within five years raising the question of
Who Will Teach The Children?

The book will not only pose the question but also supply the answers to:

  • Why are educators leaving? (It’s not mainly about salary)
  • What, if anything, can be done to retain them?
  • How do we slow the educational exodus?
  • What states are most affected?
  • What subject areas face the greatest shortages?
  • What are schools and states doing to fill the void?
  • How do we create a globally competitive school system?

 

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How Old is Your School?

How old is the school you work in? How old is the school that your children or grandchildren attend?

In 1989, the Education Writers Association reported that nearly half of the public schools in America were obsolete or contained environmental hazards. (Lewis, 1989) – and they have only grown older om the past 30 years. I have been in “temporary buildings” that were over 25 years. They were unheated in the winter and not cooled in the heat of the summer. I recently was in a “temporary building” housing pre-school children without a bathroom. I do not know of any business people who would be willing to work in those conditions. President Clinton remarked in the 1997 State of the Union Address, “We cannot expect our children to raise themselves in schools that are literately falling down… This has become a serious national concern.”

In 1998, the average public-school building in the United States was 42 years old. The mean age ranged from 46 years in the Northeast and Central states. About ¼ of all public schools were built before 1950.

America’s oldest schools house a higher proportion of children in poverty. Of schools with less than 20 percent of children eligible for free or reduced-price school lunches, 20 percent were built before 1950. In contrast, of schools with 20 to 49 percent free or reduced lunch recipients, 29 to 34 percent of schools were built before 1950.

When will state, local and the federal government do something about this? Hopefully before any of these schools collapses and kills or maims children and teachers.

Source: National Center for Educational Statistics,(NCES)

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It’s National Friendship Week

One day, when I was a freshman in high school,

I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school.

His name was Kyle.

It looked like he was carrying all of his books.

I thought to myself, ‘Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday?

He must really be a nerd.’

I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.

As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him.

They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt.

His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him…

He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes.

My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye.

As I handed him his glasses, I said, ‘Those guys are jerks.’

They really should get lives.

He looked at me and said, ‘Hey thanks!’

There was a big smile on his face.

It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude.

I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived.

As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before.

He said he had gone to private school before now.

I would have never hung out with a private school kid before.

We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books.

He turned out to be a pretty cool kid.

I asked him if he wanted to play a little football    
with my friends  

He said yes.

We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him.

Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again.

I stopped him and said, ‘Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books every day!

He just laughed and handed me half the books.

Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends.

When we were seniors we began to think about college.

Kyle decided on Georgetown and I was going to Duke.

I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem.

He was going to be a doctor and I was going for business on a football scholarship.

Kyle turned out to be the valedictorian of our class.

I teased him all the time about being a nerd.

He had to prepare a speech for graduation.

I was so glad it wasn’t me having to get up there and speak.

Graduation day, I saw Kyle.

He looked great.

He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school.

He filled out and actually looked good in glasses.   

He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him.

Boy, sometimes I was jealous!   

Today was one of those days.

I could see that he was nervous about his speech.

So, I smacked him on the back and said, ‘Hey, big guy, you’ll be great!’

He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled…

‘ Thanks,’ he said.

As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began    

‘Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years.

Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach…but mostly your friends….

I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them.

I am going to tell you a story.’

I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the first day we met.

He had planned to kill himself over the weekend.

He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn’t have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home.

He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile.

‘Thankfully, I was saved.

My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable.’

I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment.

I saw his Mom and Dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile.

Not until that moment did I realize its depth.

Never underestimate the power of your actions.

With one small gesture you can change a person’s life.

For better or for worse.

God puts us all in each other’s lives to impact one another in some way.

Look for God in others.

You now have two choices, you can:

1) Pass this on to your friends or

2) Delete it and act like it didn’t touch your heart.

As you can see, I took choice number 1.

‘Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.’

There is no beginning or end. Yesterday is history.

Tomorrow is a mystery.

Today is a gift.

It’s National Friendship Week. Show your friends how much you care. Send this to everyone you consider a FRIEND.

If it comes back to you, then you’ll know you have a circle of friends

WHEN YOU RECEIVE THIS LETTER, IT IS SUGGESTED YOU SEND IT TO AT LEAST 10 PEOPLE, INCLUDING THE PERSON WHO   
SENT IT TO YOU.

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School Bullying On The Rise

I have been honored by The Akribos Group by reposting my posting of School Bullying on The Rise. Go to http://www.akribosgroup.com to see the article .

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School Shootings

 

 

 

I started writing Creating Safe Schools in 2014, the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school had already taken place. But the school shooting in Parkland Florida had not.  According to Time Magazine, (February 22, 2018) there have been 17 school shootings in 2018 and 290 since Sandy Hook. In 2014, teachers weren’t being trained and armed with guns. Children weren’t having to deal with active school shooting training. Imagine the trauma of a 5 or 6-year-old having to seek shelter in order to prevent their being shot in a place where they have come to learn and be safe. Parents didn’t have to deal with the daily fears that their children would not be coming home from school.

Most school buildings were built in safer era. I have worked in two high schools where students were shot. In one high-performing high school, a student was shot and killed in order to steal his leather jacket. In another school, a student was shot and paralyzed by an intruder even though there was a metal detector at the front door. Schools weren’t built or designed with safety in mind. They have too many entrances and unmanned exits. It is possible in many schools, for intruders to walk up a flight of concealed stairs without every entering the building proper.

CNN has released a report after reviewing hundreds of reported shootings at K-12 schools from 2009-2018. And while there isn’t single definition of what qualifies as a school shooting, CNN defined a school shooting as involving at least one person being shot and the shooting occurred on school property. According to the report, “since 2009 there have been at least 177 schools which have experienced shootings with 356 victims…. School shootings are increasing, and no type of community is immune.” They have occurred in urban environments, suburban communities, eight have occurred in private schools, or rural locations and even on a Native American reservation.

The report also cites the following data:

  • Shootings at predominately white schools have an average of 3 casualties. Twice the number of shooting victims than at predominately black and Hispanic students.
  • School shooting have occurred in 46 states (not in Hawaii, New Hampshire, or North Dakota)
  • More shootings happen on Fridays and during the afternoon.
  • Nearly 200,000 students attended schools where shootings have taken place.
  • Shootings at mostly white schools have more casualties
  • While black students make up about 15% of all students, they account for about 1/3 of all students who experienced a school shooting since 2009.
  • Shootings at suburban schools tend to have more casualties.
  • Shootings in rural areas tend to happen at white-majority schools.
  • Shootings in urban areas have killed 114 people and injured 242.
  • In 2009, there were 5 killed and 14 injured. In 2018, there were 37 killed and 68 injured.
  • Some incidents are caused by events taking place in the school – bullying, poor grades, relationship-breakups, denial of graduation.
  • Others have nothing to do with school – depression, family illness or death, dissolving of the family,
  • Students may feel isolated and have not been taught problem-solving or conflict resolution skills.
  • The number of shootings and deaths have increased every year.
  • Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida had a superior reputation as an A-rated school in an affluent, tranquil community will now be listed in books as the scene of a tragic school shooting.

Public schools have been tasked with the responsibility of educating ALL children. But according to the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, Nikolas Cruz, the alleged shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School “was searched every morning for weapons.” No weapons were ever found on him during the searches.” But the school found  out he drank bleach and tried to hurt himself. one year after being thrown out of school, , he walked into the school and fatally shot 14 students and three educators with an assault-style weapon. He is facing the death penalty. The school obviously recognized the extreme danger the gun-obsessed, mentally disturbed young man posed.

What can schools do to protect students? Guns in school is not a school problem. It is a societal problem. School shootings need to be prevented not merely mourned. Children cannot be sent into buildings where they, their parents and the community believe they are unsafe.

 

School Shootings, Mass violence in Dayton, Ohio & El Paso, Texas – America is better than this!

More information can be found in my book, Creating Safe Schools: A Guide for School Leaders. which is sold on Amazon.

 

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School Shootings Are Increasing

CNN released a report after reviewing hundreds of reported shootings at K-12 schools from 2009-2018. Since there isn’t single definition of what qualifies as a school shooting, they defined a school shooting as involving at least one person being shot and the shooting occurred on school property.

According to the report, “since 2009 there have been at least 177 schools which have experienced shootings with 356 victims…. School shooting are increasing, and no type of community is immune.” They have occurred in urban environments, suburban communities, eight have occurred at private schools, rural locations and on Native on a Native American reservation.

The report also cites the following data:

  • Shootings at predominately white schools have an average of 3 casualties. Twice the number of shooting victims than at predominately black and Hispanic students.
  • School shooting have occurred in 46 states (not in Hawaii, New Hampshire, or North Dakota)
  • More shootings happen on Fridays and during the afternoon.
  • Nearly 200,000 students attended schools where shootings have taken place.
  • Shootings at mostly white schools have more casualties
  • While black students make up about 15% of all students, they account for about 1/3 of all students who experienced a school shooting since 2009.
  • Shootings at suburban schools tend to have more casualties.
  • Shootings in rural areas tend to happen at white-majority schools.
  • Shootings in urban areas have killed 114 people and injured 242.
  • In 2009, there were 5 killed and 14 injured. In 2018, there were 37 killed and 68 injured.
  • Some incidents are caused by events taking place in the school – bullying, poor grades, relationship-breakups, denial of graduation.
  • Others have nothing to do with school – depression, family illness or death, dissolving of the family,
  • Students may feel isolated and have not been taught problem-solving or conflict resolution skills.

More information can be found in my book, Creating Safe Schools: A Guide for School Leaders.

 

 

 

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Bullying on the Rise

Bullying on the Rise

The beginning of the school year brings lots of new things – new clothes, new friends, new schools to attend and new incidents of bullying.

The Washington Post reported (July 16, 2019) that a report filed by the National Center for Education Statistics, that online bullying and texting is the rise among middle and high school students. So, even though incidents of bullying remained steady, in the 2016-2017 school year, there was a 3.5 percent jump in those who were bullied or by text or on line. That was a jump of 15 percent from the 2014-2015 school year.

How do researchers account for the increase in bullying? According to  techcrunch.com, the average age for a child getting their first smartphone is now 10.3 years. Tablets have surged from 26% to 55% usage as kids’ device of choice during car rides. Smartphones trail at 45% (up from 39% in 2012).I have been in restaurants, like many of you, where children, some very young, were using their cellphones and not engaged in any conversation with the adults at the table. Eighty-eight percent (88) of 13-17-year-olds have access to cellphones. Ninety-one (91) percent have access to computers, tablets or cellphones.

More parents are sending their young children to elementary school with a smartphone. The Washington Post reported (October 8, 2019)  that the percentage of third-graders who had their own cellphones had “more than doubled from 19 percent in 2013 to 45 percent in 2017 About 50 percent of fourth-graders and 70 percent of fifth graders went to school with a phone in 2017.” Parents believe that giving a child a phone is a safety issue. But research indicates that a child with a phone increases the likelihood that the child will either become a victim of bullying or a bully themselves. As the number of children obtaining a cellphone at earlier and earlier ages, the likelihood of bullying increases unless parents and schools take a responsibility to teach young children the responsibility of having a cellphone.

Who gets bullied?  Anyone perceived as being different – too tall, too short, too poor, too rich, too good looking, not good looking enough, too fat, too skinny, being the wrong gender, race or grade level, Bullying leads to depression (the leading cause of suicide) and lower academic achievement. The Washington Post reported that high school campuses in Virginia with more reports of bullying reported lower passing scores on Virginia’s standardized tests. Boys are more bullied in person, while girls are more frequently bullied by text or online. More white students, 17 percent reported being bullied on line, compared with 12 percent of other races.

Where in a school does bullying take place? Forty-two percent say it happens in classrooms. Forty-three percent say it happens in a hallway or stairwell.

What can parents do?

  • Your children do not own their cellphone. You do. You always have a right to look at the cellphone. If your child says you don’t explain who pays the bill and stop paying for it. Develop a cellphone use contract with the child outlining their responsibilities. Have them do chores in order to reimburse you for the privilege of having a phone. Include the right to check the phone to check for bullying, cyberbullying, or sexting.
  • Ban the use of cellphones at dinnertime. Dinnertime should be family time. Establish a “no electronics policy” at dinnertime including for adults. Discuss the events of the day, politics anything to reestablish family discussions.
  • Take away the cellphone at night. Encourage your child to read. Bedtime should not be the time for texting or calling.
  • Limit use while doing homework. After homework, is completed to your satisfaction, your child can make phone calls.

What can schools do?

Schools have a responsibility to children and parents but have a larger responsibility to educate. And while parents cite “safety” as a reason for giving their child a phone, there are sufficient phones in school that can be used in cases of emergency.  Develop with parents and faculty a phone use contract. Based on the age appropriateness of the children allow their input. After the contract is developed, uniform enforcement by staff, teachers and the administration, is essential. Violation of the contract voids the contract with the abuser. Carrying a cellphone isn’t a right – it’s a responsibility. Part of the educational process is the teaching of responsibility.

 

 

 

 

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Results of Workshop for Southern Regional Education Board

I delivered a new workshop based on my new book,Who Will Teach The Children? Recruiting, Retaining and Refreshing Highly Effective Educators at the SREB Conference in Baltimore. Here are a few of the attendees comments:

Franklin brings experience and years of wisdom to the session. Superintendent, Demopolis,AL

I want to buy your new book. Assistant Principal, Cabot, AR

Outstanding, Superintendent, Ft. Cobb, OK

I loved Franklin’s honesty and passion.  Assistant Principal, Duncan SC

Gave a perspective on the reasons for teacher dropouts. Assistant Principal, Columbia, SC

Opened my eyes to REAL numbers that are currently happening in 2019. Assistant Principal, Mt. Pleasant, SC

I loved the way he engaged the group. Very informative and thought provoking, J. Wilmoth, , Durant High School, Durant IA

Love the data presented. Asst. Principal, Reidgeland, SC

The concept of exit and stay in interviews was very interested. This is data we need to build very effective supports. Lead Coordinator, WVDE, Charleston, WV

Ideas about how to keep teachers in classroom. Very informative session from a proven practitioner. He needs more time. Charles D. Gregory Sr. Principal, Anniston, Al

Franklin’s program provided additional insight to why teachers leave the profession for my research. Teacher, Kingstree SC

Eye opening statistics with realistic solutions. It’s critical that we recruit, retain and refresh teachers today for our tomorrow. DR. J. Pesinski, Assistant Principal, Rock Hill SC

You provided my voice to all the administrators in the room. H.Newton, Teacher, Willard, OH

Presentation style was enjoyable. Assistant Director, Perrysburg, OH

Franklin’s engaging and is very knowledgeable! I enjoyed listening to him. L. Prye, CTE Coordinator, Mexico,NY

Very informative,. Keep being honest and open. M. Broxton, Assistant Principal, Sandersville, GA

Provided great statistics/facts. Middle School, Assistant Principal, India Land, SC

I liked the data shared. Assistant Principal, North Charleston, SC

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Switzerland joins the list of countries looking for teachers

According to the 2018 Swiss Education Report, Switzerland joins the list of growing numbers of industrialized nations looking for teachers. The report indicates that Switzerland is in need of 10,000 additional teachers a year. The shortage includes 7,000 teachers at the primary level and more than 3,000 at the secondary level. The teacher shortage is severe in the cantons of Bern, Fribourg, Aargau, and Valais.

What has caused the shortage?

It isn’t salaries. According to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, (OECD) Switzerland’s primary teachers’ salaries are double the average salaries of USD. The picture is similar at the upper secondary level. That is the highest salary in the OECD countries.

Teacher retirements. Teachers who work part-time so that they can take care of their own children. Women who work are doing so three days a week. Switzerland has a high rate of teachers working part time compared to other countries. Around 70% teachers in Switzerland work part time as compared to 22% in the United Kingdom and 38% in Germany.

The shortage of teachers in the world and what can be done to slow the educational exodus is discussed in much greater detail in my soon-to-be released book, Who Will Teach the Children? Recruiting, Retaining & Refreshing Highly Effective Educators.

 

 

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Understanding the Causes of Teenage Suicide

My article, Understanding the Causes of Teenage Suicide has been published by the Learning Counsel.

  • Suicide is now the second leading cause of death among 10-24 year olds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • In the next 24 hours, 1,439 will attempt suicide.
  • As many as 1/2 millions adolescents made a serious, yet unsuccessful attempt to kill themselves last year.
  • The fastest-growing group completing suicide is children between the ages of 10 and 14.
  • This is the first of two articles to be published by the Learning Counsel on the topic.

The rest of the article can be found at https://thelearningcounsel.com/article/understanding-causes-teenage-suicide

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