Teacher Advocate

A place for educators and parents to share ideas –

Reasons for Concern Regarding Boys and School!

Untitled-1 Hello!

My name is Linda Marie Gilliam, and this is my first attempt at blogging on my own website that I feel so passionate about!  I am not exactly “tech savy”, but with help from my partner, now this site http://www.teacheradvocate.com  is up and running! Yahooooo….

In addition, if you click on the above “SOS Save Our Students”, you will read more of my concerns and suggestions!

Soon I will have my book available in bookstores, libraries and online in many countries called , “The 7 Steps to Help Boys Love School:  Teaching to their Passion for Less Frustration!”  My book will be published by Rowman & Littlefield Educational Department this spring, and I can hardly contain my excitement! Pre-ordering is available now!   http://www.roman.com  Also available all over the world at “WOW HD BOOKS”… Barnes & Noble and Amazon. You can also order from Target and Walmart.

Please watch for it around April 28TH, 2015.

In my wildest dreams I never thought I would write a book, but after seeing what was happening in our educational system year after year…the book evolved. Hopefully many teachers, parents, caregivers, principals, coaches, librarians, and administrators will read my book and pass it along to others. Over the course of my 40 years in the field of education, teaching children, helping teachers, counseling parents, and giving presentations at various workshops, my concern became larger and larger. In addition, by teaching as the Literacy Specialist, I learned many new strategies with struggling boys, and girls. Exceptional children benefit as well!

I’ve discovered that the most significant reason for children not liking school….boys in particular….is the lack of the Educational System finding a successful template. Secondly, boys learn differently than girls and develop slower when it comes to Literacy. Brain studies and so much research has been done over many years, showing that girls and boys learn at different rates and in different ways.  If our policy makers do not heed the warning that boys need more activity in their learning, and all children must have lessons presented at their developmental level….and not just presented to them according to their current age…we will lose more and more students who have the potential to succeed. These children need to be reached in their earliest years of schooling, before the lack of interest in coming to school, “snowballs” out of control.

Numerous studies have proven this fact over and over, yet classes and learning are taught the same way to all. Girls like sitting and listening for long periods of time; while many boys feel tortured. Boys need more “hands on activities”, with movement and exploration, for their learning to flourish. Medication may be necessary for some with ADHD, but it is not the answer for boys who are just “acting like boys.” Far too many boys are “labeled” early, if they cannot conform to a structured classroom.

In my opinion, we as educators and parents need to encourage children to discover their own strengths through finding a child’s true passion, or interest; no matter what it might be and early on. Those interests will change, but then so must our teaching My heart goes out to those children “lost” in the shuffle of so many schools trying to “shove children through the educational mill” of reading, writing, and math, only hoping they will do well on an upcoming mandated test. “One Size Will NEVER Fit All”, and our currently crowded curriculum leaves little time for much creativity by teachers or students.

There is no time for learning foreign languages, or any other subject not directly tied to the Common Core Standards… or required tests given. It is obvious that little has changed over the century to solve so many problems prevalent in our schools today. To further substantiate this, we have heard of how a number of our best known Nobel Prize Winners and other well known men, truly hated school. Many of them even thought school was boring, confining, prison-like, and frustrating, at very best! Consequently, a large number of brilliant men dropped out of school, choosing home schooling and learning on their own.

The time is now, if we want to close the widening educational gap between boys and girls, as well as the increasing gap when compared to other countries in the areas of reading, writing, math and science. My theory is that if we do not change our “Antiquated School System” soon, children’s frustration will lead to the serious epidemic of aggressive behaviors and a general feeling of failure found mainly in boys. We may be doomed to the mediocrity our country will accomplish in the future, not to mention what it is doing to our society as a whole. School shootings and stabbings, bullying, fighting, gang activities, bomb threats, and even suicides are constantly in the news, much to our dismay. To even think so many schools are now eliminating RECESS, to give more time for “teaching” Common Core Standards is truly ludicrous! 

Please Contact me: lgilliam@teacheradvocate.com  if you believe as I do, or have a comment.

posted by lgilliam in "SOS" SAVE OUR STUDENTS!,Brain Study in Girls and Boys,Coaching,Concern for boys learning,Educational Frustrations,Head Start,labeling our children,Learning disability?,No MORE Recess???,Uncategorized and have No Comments

Teachers With Passion Do Matter!

Untitled-1 To explain this recent post from me…I need to let you know this is an e-mail response to Esther Cepeda, a very perceptive columnist with the Washington Post Writer’s Group. and I quote: “This adoration, this chest thumping awe for a subject is what creates lifelong learners.  This dynamism about a topic…really any topic..so enthusiastically passed on to a student is what makes education life-altering.

Its absence is often what can make learning so painfully boring.” Esther goes on to talk about the importance of technology, but by clarifying “But in addition to nifty tech tools for spreading worthwhile information, what education really needs more of are experts who are able to spread their zeal to those who aren’t aware that learning, when it’s hard work, can be such great fun!”  This was taken from her article, “An Ode to the Joy of Inspired, and Inspiring, Teaching.” Boy…does this wise lady “Get it”…. The following is what I wrote to Esther:

HAPPY SUNDAY, ESTHER!!!! My 93 year old sharp Mom E cut out an EXCELLENT article in our local paper near Portland, Oregon…because she knows over my teaching of 40 years at the elementary level…MY PROFESSION WAS MY PASSION!>>>>>LUCKY ME! i was fortunate to love each and every year, until toward the end OF MY CAREER, and when “NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND”…LEFT ALL OF US BEHIND!

Now, AGAIN, teachers are being “dictated to” as to what to teach, how to teach, how long to teach it and how to evaluate that teaching. This is ludicrous…to cut out the best parts of education AND TEACHER’S CREATIVITY…and in some districts cutting out the necessary recess….so the teachers can “bore” the children more! I call it “Torture Time” for many who do not have the background for what they are supposed to grasp in fast paced lessons!

My classes from K-5 all experienced LEARNING THROUGH PLAY and GAMES, POETRY AND SONGS FOR LEARNING INFORMATION, WRITING WITH CLASSICAL “THINKING MUSIC” playing in the background, (PROBABLY BEETHOVEN)…AND MAKING their education ACTIVE, ENGAGING, AND EXCITING FOR EACH AND EVERY STUDENT!  (I remembered that was how I learned best when I was in school.)  Plus it was more enjoyable to entertain the children, and the time flew by for all. They loved coming to school, and so did their “grateful teacher”! The parents loved to help in the classroom, and everyone there felt valued…the young and old alike.

My years of fun were from 1968-2008!!! When education changed again for the worse, in my estimation …with Common Core Standards, and no creativity time for teachers or the children, I was happy to be retired! The joy of teaching had been stripped away from us, I felt. However in my quest to SAVE OUR STUDENTS, SAVE OUR SCHOOLS, AND SAVE OUR SANITY… = SOS…I had to write MY book with the flyer attached… to bring attention to “what we are doing to children“, when years of brain research has shown over and over how wrong the antiquated educational system IS. Hopefully my book will be read by many, and validate what so many are finally noticing…. THAT many of our boys hate school by the tender age of 6… This is especially true, if they are not being taught at their DEVELOPMENTAL LEVEL, but at their chronological age!


BTW…MY BOOK WILL BE OUT ALL OVER THE WORLD APRIL 1ST….COOL?  HOPE THIS ATTACHMENT  OPENS FOR YOU… PLEASE FORWARD TO ANYONE WHO MIGHT BE INTERESTED… OR HAVE YOUNG CHILDREN NOW IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL? It is my belief, that over my 40 years of  teaching (and lucky for me my passion), our antiquated schools systems have changed very little. Education can spend all the money in the world… but WILL get the same “lack luster” results if we do not change HOW we are teaching. Reminding me of the definition of INSANITY: “Doing the same things over and over, and expecting a different result!”.

HOPING TO HEAR BACK FROM YOU, Linda Gilliam  http://www.teacheradvocate.com With appreciation for reading this, Linda M. Gilliam 🙂 Carlie Wall Associate Editor Rowman & Littlefield 4501 Forbes Blvd., Suite 200 Lanham, MD 20706 cwall@rowman.com 301-459-3366 ext. 5330 www.rowman.com

posted by lgilliam in "SOS" SAVE OUR STUDENTS!,Brain Study in Girls and Boys,Coaching,Concern for boys learning,Educational Frustrations,Head Start,labeling our children,Learning disability?,No MORE Recess???,Uncategorized and have No Comments