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5 Leadership Lessons: Think Like Amazon
Contents:


  1. Curbing Classroom Interruptions Before They Begin
  2. Taming the Terrible Too's of Training: How to improve workplace performance in the digital age
  3. Product details
  4. 10 Strategies for Teachers on How to Deal With a Disruptive Class | Owlcation

Listening gives others the chance to take ownership. Derivative works and other unauthorized copying or use of stills, video footage, text or graphics is expressly prohibited. Remove Friction Identify and remove friction. Think Broadly Think beyond your immediate area of expertise. Creating an Innovation Strategy A good strategy helps a company clarify the tradeoffs that will be needed to make between short-term improvements and long-term opportunities. Designing the Innovation System The next essential leadership task he covers is designing a system that will give you the capability to execute on the type of innovation you need.

Building the Culture We have all heard the characteristics of an innovative culture. Pisano modifies each this way: Tolerance for Failure but No Tolerance for Incompetence Competent people will fail, but performance standards should be high. People hold back when they feel it is not in their best interests to contribute—to say what they think.

As a result of this interpersonal fear, we miss the benefit of the very minds we are relying on to move us forward. Creating psychological safety is essential in a world where innovation, integrity, and renewal can make the difference between success and failure.

Curbing Classroom Interruptions Before They Begin

We all—most of us—manage our image. Some better than others. But… No one wakes up in the morning excited to go to work and look ignorant, incompetent, or disruptive. These are called interpersonal risks, and they are what nearly everyone seeks to avoid, bit always consciously. In fact, most of us want to look smart, capable, or helpful in the eyes of others.

No matter what our line of work, status, or gender, all of us learn how to manage interpersonal risk early in life. And it is this fear we have of looking bad or retribution that organizations must reduce or eliminate if we are to help people to bring their best to work. Psychological safety is not about taking all of the bumps and ruts out of the road which sadly is becoming more and more prevalent in leadership thought today. Psychological safety is like the oil in the machine. It is an enabler.

You need discipline. The is to make it easy for everyone to get everything out on the table so that you can proceed in a thoughtful, calculated way. People will learn where to draw the line with constructive feedback. Psychological safety is not about lowering performance standards. Psychological safety enables candor and openness and, as such, thrives in an environment of mutual respect. It means that people believe they can—and must—be forthcoming at work. In fact, psychological safety is conducive to setting ambitious goals and working toward them together.

Psychological safety sets the stage for a more honest, more challenging, more collaborative, and thus also more effective work environment. What keeps me up at night is the lower right-hand quadrant. One must build psychological safety to spur learning and avoid preventable failures, and they must set high standards and inspire and enable people to reach them. We owe each other our opinions and ideas, and it is the responsibility of leaders to create and reinforce an environment where people free to do that.

Psychological safety is about unleashing talent across your organization. Creating a psychologically safe workplace is an ongoing function of leadership. Edmondson divides the process into three steps which she covers in detail: Setting the Stage, Inviting Participation, and Responding Productively.

Setting the Stage This step is about framing the work to be done and how failure is to be dealt with. Humility is an obvious quality but not as easy to cultivate. Inclusiveness on the part of leaders helps in this regard. Proactive inquiry is actively asking questions designed to learn more about an issue, situation, or person. We benefit from a diversity of views. Implement structures designed to elicit employee input. There is a connection between psychological safety and learning.

In an ever-changing world, learning and adaptability is everything. Edmondson admits that this is not an easy process. Creating psychological safety is a constant process of smaller and larger corrections that add up to forward progress. Like tacking upwind, you must zig right and then zag left and then right again, never able to head exactly where you want to go and never quite knowing when the wind will change. I N AN IBM global survey of CEOs, the overwhelming consensus was that more than rigor, management discipline, integrity or even vision, successfully navigating an increasing complex world will require creativity.

In a world where we must adapt or die, we need creative solutions. In struggling to generate a sufficient number of creative ideas, we typically blame the number of creative individuals in our organization or hierarchy and bureaucracy. But in Unlocking Creativity , Michael Roberto takes a different perspective. He believes that we are getting in our own way by the way we think, decide, and act with regard to the development of original ideas. And there seems to be a stigma surrounding creative types. There often viewed as quirky, unfocused, strange, and nonconformist.

As a result, they are viewed as having less leadership potential. Even to speculate in public is rather worrisome. Roberto looks at six organizational mindsets or belief systems that stifle creativity. But realistically, creativity is not like that. The creative problem-solving process involves a healthy dose of trial and error.

We must learn by doing. Many companies have failed to make the shift from the traditional planning mindset to a learning-by-doing approach. Strategy formulation and implementation remain largely disconnected from one another. Firms continue to engage in annual strategic-planning rituals, pretending that they can predict the future from the confirms of the corner office. Even worse, they have treated design thinking as just another linear process that they can deploy.

Step two always follows step one. They march through the phases robotically, as if they have discovered a magic formula for innovation. But the five stages of design thinking are not always sequential as Roberto explains.

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Taming the Terrible Too's of Training: How to improve workplace performance in the digital age

Consequently, they adopt copycat approaches rather than creating distinctive strategies. You establish a distinctive competitive position by amplifying your strengths, rather than engaging in knee-jerk efforts to imitate your competition. We often fixate on what we know. Mental sets can facilitate problem-solving at times, but becoming fixated on an inappropriate solution from past experience can inhibit creativity.

The insatiable need to predict just how big ideas will become actually impedes creativity. The prediction mindset impedes creativity because of the way new ideas are treating in most organizations. We support and fund ideas that we think are going to be the next big thing—move the needle. And some great ideas need time to ripen and be modified as they are tested in the marketplace.

Focus not on the short-term return but on delighting customers. No such perfect solution exists. You cannot find a simple causal path that connects structure to performance. They fail to recognize that the best creative thinkers oscillate between states of focus and unfocus. Travel helps to spark creativity as does creating temporal distance. Andy Jassy, Senior Vice President of Amazon Web Services, explains that developers in his organization do not begin writing software code for a new project until they have drafted a hypothetical release for their new product offering.

Unfortunately, the failure to manage dissent and contrarian perspectives constructively causes many good ideas to wither on the vine. If the role is always played by one person, they begin to be ignored. So rotate the role. It must be constructive and respectful. Creating an environment that unlocks the creativity inherent in your organization is not easy nor can you expect immediate results.

It is the calling of leaders. Unlocking Creativity pulls together what we know about creativity and how that knowledge can be applied to our organizations and teams to foster innovation. Turning Observation into Innovation E. The Physics of Innovation A. Find the Fire Again T. What Kind of Innovator Are You? When it comes to the powerful ideas in our heads and the core values in our hearts, we censor ourselves. They are not that different from the rest of us, but in spite of inner doubts and a world geared toward uniformity, they press on and change the world. For most of us we are not like the conceptual innovators that formulate a big idea early on in life and act on it.

We are probably more like the experimental innovators that move through idea after idea, learning and evolving as they go. If you want to do original work, do more work. They simply produced a greater volume of work , which gave them more variation and a higher chance of originality. Our most brilliant work will be found in the mass of our less brilliant work. It is important to mention also that originals expose themselves to influences far outside their official arena of expertise.

The best judges of creative ideas are fellow creators. Fellow creators are more open to original ideas. No one wants to be sold. Next time try presenting a candid discussion of your ideas weaknesses. In trying to sell investors on his company Babble, Rufus Griscom described the hurdles he faced in his own business. He came across not only as knowledgeable, but also honest and modest. Our audience needs more exposure to accept them. Developing Original Ideas Procrastination can improve our creativity.

They move before the market can support their idea. They tend to take bigger risks and are prone to make impulsive decisions. When selling them you have to give people something to connect with. In this regard, nouns are better than verbs. It speaks to their identity. When what they need to do is look for advice that challenges them.

You need a loyal opposition. But when it is authentic, it stimulates thought; it clarifies and it emboldens. This provides a framework for new ideas. He concludes with 30 Actions for Impact for unleashing originality. A 15 question Originality Assessment can be found at adamgrant. Adam Grant demonstrates how originality, can and should be taught and nurtured. Anyone can innovate if given the opportunity and the support.

However, not just for ourselves but also to build cultures of originality both at home and at work. He particularly looked for people outside of the entertainment business. The goal was to learn something. Conversations like these get you out of your head and better connected to reality. They provide great insights into yourself and others. It would be a worthwhile goal for anyone to create similar conversations in their own life. And Grazer persuasively argues that you should. Give one to a graduate.

I put my son on to the project. Here are five leadership lessons from A Curious Mind. I particularly like the first point as it provides a starting point—a practical behavior—to develop the thinking and the creativity that drives innovation. A Beautiful Constraint Typically we look at a constraint as a negative.

A problem to be solved. But what if a constraint was the gift that opened up previously unimagined possibilities? What if a constraint was the gift that took you to the next level? We need white space to think more deeply and completely. Everything Connects Everything Connects. Creativity, Inc. Asking the right questions helps us figure out what matters, where opportunity lies, and how to achieve our goals. What we need today are good questions. In times of great change, doubt is the norm, so good questions, not answers, have the edge. The only way to accomplish that is to listen and pay attention.

This all becomes fuel for your intuition. Here are some ideas from Die Empty to reflect on: An ounce of preventative discipline today is worth a pound of corrective action later. The love of comfort is often the enemy of greatness. No one charts a course for mediocrity, yet it is still a destination of choice. To countermand ego, you must adopt a posture of adaptability. This means being in a state of continual learning and openness to correction.

People sell their souls by running away from the battles they know they should be fighting. How would you act differently tomorrow if you knew that your actions and attitude on that one day were going to be a permanent testament to your life? You must define how you want to grow, then establish a plan to get there.

You cannot pursue comfort and greatness at the same time. You want to choose attributes to emulate that they will help you become more of who you are, not more of who they are. Quote The key counterpoint to ego is adaptability. Control is all about my needs, my ego, and my desire to feel like the center of my environment. I wish to impose my will on everyone else around me, and expect them to fall in line with how I believe things should be. Discovering your voice is rarely a linear path, but instead is the culmination of a lifelong process of observation, course correction, and risk-taking that eventually leads to the recognition of a valuable contribution.

Over the next several decades, people who are especially adept at problem finding will define the world of work. Creating a culture of transparent trust requires that you be able to speak difficult truth to one another. Your brain needs boxes. We create and use mental boxes to organize and use what we know. The reality is, getting out of one box means getting into another. Thinking outside-the-box really means finding a new box. A new box with different assumptions, prejudices, beliefs and parameters.

A different box will give you different answers because it forces you to ask different questions. Why We Need Strangers. Phil Jackson's 11 Principle's of Mindful Leadership. Listening renews and refreshes. Without it we get stuck and tedious. Listening is the catalyst for making individuals a community.

Listening creates the space for leadership. Practically, it is about creativity. Think Like a Futurist by Cecily Sommers, is just such a book. What we can imagine or create or any manifestation of future thinking must link to something that already exists in our mind. The more points of connection we have, the more possibilities we have for discovery. This is the key idea. With a richer store of memories, we are able to imagine a vast range of possibilities, understand their nuances better, and make more of the associative links that produce our best predictions about the future.

Sommers claims that the four building blocks of all change are: resources, technology, demographics, and governance.

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Resources is the foundation of the system of forces and is the slowest moving. Technology is the next and gives us the power to leverage ourselves. Demographics, both in numbers and composition is next, followed by governance which is the rule of law. Understanding how these forces work together to drive change is helpful when trying to understand the world around you and how it might impact the future.

That these four forces will change is a given, the unpredictable part is how. To make the best and most informed decisions today for the future, Sommers introduces what she calls the Zone of Discovery. The answers to these questions will become a filter through which you create meaning from the information you collect and process into the best choices for you and your unique situation. The method is a way of thinking to pry you from thinking only in the present and removing you from the cycle of reactivity.

Not surprisingly, developing greater self-awareness is key. Start where you are. You must accept things as they are and shift your focus to your First Movable Piece. Our life experience is constantly about navigating the existential tensions between objective and subjective realities , Us and Them, male and female, right and wrong, known and unknown, questions and answers, and present and future. The duality even shows up in our biology, as the two separate hemispheres of the brain indicate.

Think Like a Futurist is a book about helping us to get unstuck—to free ourselves from ourselves. The consequences present a range of possibilities of course, but more importantly the method helps us to get to know ourselves better and create meaning. Leading Apple With Steve Jobs. Leadership as Provocative Competence J. Innovation at Bell Labs. Are You a Culturematic Maker? Leading Views: Ideas are Immortal. Inspiration is Perishable. Just do it. We all have ideas. Ideas are immortal. They last forever. Inspiration is like fresh fruit or milk: It has an expiration date.

Inspiration is a time machine in that way. Inspiration is a magical thing, a productivity multiplier, a motivator. Inspiration is a now thing. If it grabs you, grab it right back and put it to work. Why are Organizations Slow to Respond? Organizations are only human. Organizations share many characteristics with the people that populate them.

Organizations are born, they mature, they age, and they die. Creative People Must Be Stopped. We want innovation. We like creativity. So much of what a leader does cannot be objectively measured. To reduce leadership to a set of algorithms is to remove it from its context; to ignore the complexities, the contradictions, and the possibilities. Artists must deal with uncertainty, contradictions and diversity almost by definition. Leaders need to have this capacity. Julie Burstein has created a valuable achieve of thought about art and artistry in Spark: How Creativity Works.

Her book is drawn from hundreds of hours of conversations from the radio program Studio Painter Chuck Close reminds us that leadership is about results. You will be judged on your accomplishments. So, you have to get on with it. Inspiration is for amateurs, and the rest of us just show up and get to work.

If, however, you just get busy and things occur to you in the process, you make the rules and therefore you can break them. I would be going about some other business but then hear something interesting. I learned to keep my recorder nearby. Being a leader means stretching yourself and your team; getting out of your comfort zone; becoming more than is expected. Choreographer Elizabeth Streb knows the importance of taking a risk. Getting out and discovering new territory is how leaders define choices. We just have an appetite to dig into them and conquer them on some level.

And then the fear switches…. The late poet Stanley Kunitz reminds us that like most things in life, leadership requires pruning; eliminating those things that distract and detract. Creative destruction. As with the making of a poem, so much of the effort is to get rid of all the excess, and at the same time be certain you are not ridding the poem of its essence. The past is not all bad, and the future is not all better. The past can serve as an anchor, but it can also provide depth to the future. Director Alexander Payne points to the importance of our past. We forget our past do quickly, but we need it for a sense of identity.

For some idea of who we are. Photographer David Plowden would agree. I fear that we are eradicating the evidence of our past accomplishments so quickly that in time we may well lose the sense of who we are. We are made better by the teams we build and the people we associate with. Robert Plant speaks of his collaboration with Alison Krauss on the album Raising Sand : Something had to happen for me where I was going to learn something. I wanted to work with people who were going to push me, and not threaten me but challenge my whole capacity to be a really proper singer.

Not just a one-trick pony, but somebody who could actually modify and adapt and get into some kind of dreamscape. If our insecurities get in our way and we exclude those with differing opinions or those who might be critical of what we are doing, we attenuate our leadership potential.

10 Strategies for Teachers on How to Deal With a Disruptive Class | Owlcation

We narrow our perspective. Denise explains: We jump-start the design process by batting ideas around between us. Our ideas bounce back and forth…. This questioning intensifies the process and speeds it up. Self-criticism might eventually have led him to the same position, but my questions and suggestions push him and he gets there faster. Of course, he does the same for me. As in any creative endeavor—and each of us is a creative endeavor—we need to be who we really are and not a reflection of someone we admire. Our heroes should serve as a reference point, but not a straightjacket.

Reference to the historical past can enrich architecture; copying stultifies it. It was such an enormous undertaking to rewrite this book from the first person to a third-person novel. Took me nine months, all by hand. I hope I come to that conclusion sooner if it happens again. But when it is working, Chuck Close says you should celebrate! Every time I finish a painting, I play Aretha Franklin full blast, from start to finish, and I usually sing along with her as my celebratory end to each painting. Hacking the Creative Process While creativity is associated with artists, creativity is really part of life.

It is how we shape our work into something meaningful. Heritage and Innovation: Finding the Balance In times of change there is the tendency to either stick doggedly to what has always worked in the past or to throw it all out and start new. Neither extreme is the answer. Heritage and innovation is a tension that needs to be managed— thoughtfully. Our default thinking is to view the world in terms of what has worked before so we often fail to address the changes going on around us.

As a result we tend to lose our influence. At the same time, to overhaul everything without regard to our roots—our traditions, our heritage—can take us away from why we began doing what we are doing in the first place. Applying them to a changing world makes them relevant.

But how to go about this is not always self-evident. As we naturally view what we do through the lens of what has worked before, it is hard to envision a different world. Habits can be adapted. We need to learn to translate our heritage into a meaningful direction aligned to the present situation. Heritage either stands the test of time or it is a fad. Change for change sake, is faddish. Sustainable influence and growth is achieved when heritage and innovation overlap. Innovation should be informed by heritage which is in turn, made relevant by it. Change is essential to growth. More than anything else, fear keeps us from making necessary changes.

Fear of the unknown. It creates instability, yes, but the kind of instability needed for growth. Heritage and innovation is an ongoing tension that needs to be managed. There will never be enough rules—there are too many variables—especially when people begin to direct their creativity in dysfunctional ways. The challenge is to develop sound minds. As Kant determined, a person with a sound mind is one that can think for oneself, is able to place oneself in the place and viewpoint of others, and can think consistently and coherently. And we pay a price.

To be sure, I am not advocating anarchy—we absolutely must have rules—and some rules unquestionably make possible the learning process, but when the rules we have in place reflect our lack of engagement, they become disrespectful and de-motivating. From time to time, it is good to think about the rules we have created or have had handed down to us , that are impeding progress, relevance, imagination and growth both for ourselves and others.

What we have done may have served us well in a particular place and time, but may only be an irritation here and now. Rules can reveal a lack of trust. As leaders, we need to be aware of where we are blanketing people with rules and procedures that do nothing more than to serve us and not the people it is our intention to serve. We need to consider that perhaps we have implemented rules to create a comfort zone for ourselves. A world where people act and think like we do. A world of clones. A world on autopilot that requires less of us. Often our need for rules and procedures is just masking our fear of the unknown.

Our attempt to manage a world that is changing faster than we are learning. No leader can do it on their own and rules are no substitute for not trusting, growing and building relationships with people. Where are we hiding behind rules? Given the chance, people will surprise us with new, different, and better ways to push our agenda forward. Leadership: Artistry Unleashed The executive functions … are feeling, judgment, sense, proportion, balance, [and] appropriateness.

It is a matter of art rather than science, and is aesthetic rather than logical. The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs. Getting Ideas to Flow Charles Landry is the founder of Comedia , and works to help cities to be more "creative for the world" so that the energies of individuals and companies can be brought into alignment with their global responsibilities. Creating the right kind of movement and in the right direction begins with re-thinking our view of reality. If we keep applying the same patterns of thinking even after they have been shown to be counterproductive we skew our perception of even everyday life situations and block the flow of growth, ideas, and influence.

Here are some common areas we need to rethink to get ideas to flow: Re-think complexity. We create complexity by over-analyzing our situation; creating issues where there are none; forgetting our purpose. Complexity obscures the issues. Keep the issues as uncluttered as possible. Often an outsider can see the situation and the real issues more clearly than you can.

Complexity can lead to procrastination. Re-think systems. Trying to create a new vision without addressing old systems is at best counterproductive. Tenaciously grasping the old ways of doing things just because that is what you have always done, can stop the flow of ideas and innovative solutions and lead to hopelessness. A system should reward the behavior you want. What systems are getting in your way? Re-think ego. Our ego frequently keeps us from exploring new ideas.

Re-think boundaries. Think bigger. Think interdisciplinary. Growth often involves blurring boundaries to open your mind to new possibilities. What principles outside of your world of experience could expand the possibilities for your idea? Re-think reactions. Repetitive reactions are the result of ingrained patterns of thinking that we have hard-wired into our brains long ago. Take the time to reflect on why you think the way you do; why you do what you do.

Default patterns of thinking lead to more of the same. Re-think failure. Failure provides the nutrients for growth when we respond to them positively. Failures help you to raise the bar and reorient your thinking to possibilities and new ways of thinking. Re-think success. Know what success looks like. How will you know when you have arrived? Muddy expectations lead to exhaustion and defeat before you even get started. Praise short-term accomplishments to appeal to your heart and not just your head.

It will keep your ideas moving along. And understandably so. We want predictable outcomes. We want things to keep working as they have always been—perfectly. But that thinking ultimately limits our growth and quite possibly harbors the seeds of our own destruction. To remain relevant—to foster innovation—you need to incorporate into your thinking outcomes that are valid.

A perfectly valid solution is one that produces a result that is shown, through the passage of time, to have been correct. It is best to have a system that incorporates both—validity and reliability—into their approach.

Balancing and managing the two approaches—analytical and intuitive—is what design thinking is all about. Each stage represents a simplification and ordering of knowledge. At the beginning is a mystery ; a question. It is the observation of phenomena. The last stage is the development of an algorithm. Algorithms take the loose, unregimented heuristics—which take considerable thought and nuance to employ—and simplify, structuralize, and codify them to the degree that anyone with access to the algorithm can deploy it with more or less equal efficiency.

It did well, but by they began to lose business. Food was getting cold before it was delivered and families were put off by the hoards of teenagers they attracted. They had to develop a winning heuristic. They reduced and standardized the menu, and implemented their Speedee Service System. Ray Kroc saw an opportunity in it and bought them out. While the Speedee Service System was good, Kroc thought it left too much to chance. So he refined it and simplified it down to an exact science.

The new system left nothing to chance and it was repeatable. We tend to operate within a knowledge stage as opposed to moving across the knowledge stages. We need to explore and question, we need to exploit our solutions, even reducing them to a repeatable, efficient, formula where possible, but we need to be doing these things simultaneously. The vast majority of businesses follow a common path.

The company is birthed through a creative act that converts a mystery to a heuristic through intuitive thinking. It then hones and refines that heuristic through increasingly pervasive analytical thinking and enters a long phase in which the administration of business dominates. And in due course, a competitor stares at the mystery that provided the spark for this company, comes up with a more powerful heuristic and supplants the original business. McDonalds did well for decades, but eventually the heuristic Americans want a quick, convenient, tasty meal changed Americans want a healthier menu.

The solution for McDonalds is to go back and rethink the mystery and develop new rules of thumb to guide them. A trip back through the knowledge funnel. Are You Leading Creatively? The new economy brings with it new demands. New ways of thinking. New ways of communicating. They are open-minded and inventive in expanding their management and communication styles, particularly to engage with a new generation of employees, partners and customers. In what ways can you explore, reward and globally integrate diverse and unconventional points of view? What is your approach to challenge every element of your business model to get the most from currently untapped opportunities?

How will you leverage new communication styles, technologies and tools, both to lead a new generation of talent and encourage breakthrough thinking? Dreamers, Doers and Incrementalists. Which One Are You? Share Your Ideas Liberally. Where Does Innovation Begin? Get to the Why by Starting at the Epicenter When beginning or introducing anything—an idea, a project, or a new venture—you need to start with asking yourself why. In Rework , authors Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson write candidly about where to begin: When you start anything new, there are forces pulling you in a variety of directions.

The stuff you have to do is where you should begin. Start at the epicenter. But the first thing you should worry about is the hot dog. The hot dogs are the epicenter. Everything else is secondary. And while details are important, they can distract you, pulling you in the wrong direction or even derail your idea. You waste time on decisions that are going to change anyway. So ignore the details—for a while.

Nail the basics first and worry about the specifics later. The Right Fight. Leading Clever People. Do You Have a System for Thinking? Develop and discover great opportunities and learn to exploit them. It is an adaptive mentality as opposed to a fixed mentality. It means improving our perception as we tend to see and therefore learn things that fit our view of the world and the future.

Leadership and Innovation in a Commoditized World by Steven Spear, HBR: Now, New Next Blog When interviewees at Toyota were asked to describe the best leader they had ever encountered, no one mentioned the leader who was a visionary, the one who made a tough call, the one who out thought everyone else. Instead, there was always a story about some leader who took the time to teach someone else how to learn faster, better, and with more certainty, and to teach others to do the same.

One friend described an interaction with Fujio Cho, former head of Toyota, visiting a plant and gently chiding people for too much attention to accomplishments and too little on struggle points. If he didn't know what was difficult for them, he was reported to ask, how would he know where he could be of help? Then there was Norm Bafunno, who as part of his daily work running Toyota's Indiana plant, visited the many projects being conducted continuously. For all the discussion about what was tried and what was accomplished, he concludes with the quintessential Toyota leader question.

Not, "what did you accomplish? Not tell people what to do but constantly challenge them to identify challenges and obstacles, investigate their source, develop and test solutions, all the time asking: "So, what did you learn from the experience and how can we put that learning to good use? The How of Innovation. One of the fundamentals of the creative style is that you have a leader who can frame the task so that the led will be delighted to attack it and bring their imaginations with them as they do….

He cites the following example of the development of the Sony Walkman: The CEO goes down to the research labs where all the eggheads are working. He gathers them round and he pulls out of his shirt pocket a small block of wood. This is good constraint. It is concrete and specific. The guys can pick it up and start measuring. They can respond immediately and the challenge focuses them immediately in the right direction. He did not email them a set of specifications. How would they tell he cared about the outcome? He went there in person; he gave a controlled and gnomic performance in front of the people who would be doing the work.

He left plenty of space for them to imagine, invent and innovate but within concrete and specific boundaries that he personally communicated. He had a partial vision of the desired outcome, but he had no idea how it would finally turn out. He did not give them a target to hit; he gave them a field to play in. There are certain things that happen in the plot, and most actors will read the script and come prepared, but I don't say, 'This is the way to do it.

There are plenty of people [on a project] that keep track and see that we get through plot points, but if I'm just shooting to get that stuff in, then I'm looking for the wrong thing. What I really want to see from an actor is something I've never seen before, so, I can't tell them what it is. We normally shoot a few takes, even if the first one was terrific, because what I'm really hoping for is a 'mistake. They were things that occurred and we thought, 'Wow, look at that - that's something we want to keep! The idea is to learn to think gray while holding firmly to your core ideals.

Free thinking is more than just brainstorming. What would we do if we had no budgetary constraints, no time restrictions, no personnel problems, no legal restrictions and no fear of failure? He may by dint of circumstances remain in power, but his followers would almost certainly be better off without him. Integrative Thinking: The Opposable Mind. It may take a dose of humility to accept, but whatever problem you are faced with—whether personal of professional—someone else has faced the same problem and solved it.

Although it sometimes gives us comfort to think we are different, we are not totally unique in this way. You simply take something used somewhere else and adopt it for your own use. What they are saying is that we should find ideas that have worked for others and adapt them to our own life situations and to make them our own. By careful observation, you can start where others have finished and be the better for it. This is part of the thinking behind listening to others especially your elders , reading biographies and histories.

Armed with the knowledge of what others have done, you can jumpstart you problem solving capabilities. The Innovation Mindset. Now I'm not sure about this because some articles I've read suggested that if you punish everyone then some of the kids that you did have on side will hold it against you and find an excuse later on to play up as well? Not sure what you think. Part of me wished I'd 'cut my teeth' in a more challenging environment earlier on so I would have more strategies now.

Thank you, Al! Teachers have to bide their time and earn respect in the most patient way. Hi Susan. I enjoyed reading your article. I am glad you mentioned keeping your temper and not letting kids know they are getting to you. I think they are very important. Even when you are being driven to distraction you have to be calm and keep going. That is not an easy thing to do. I also agree with persistence.

It takes time to be in control of a difficult class. Well done. Lots of great advice. Hi Fred, thank you for commenting and sharing your experiences. Not all students care or seem to care. When we have classes like the one you describe, and most of us who have taught high school for several years probably has, we have to hang on for the ride and hope that we save those who want to be saved. A mistake I have made is thinking that some of the hardest cases don't care and that their parents don't care. I really stink at contacting parents, but this year I have started calling and e-mailing them.

I am amazed by the results and kick myself for neglecting this approach for so long. When parents call me, it is usually okay, but those parents who want to blame me are the ones who have dictated my lack of contacting other parents. For instance, this year I have this kid who is hateful and disrespectful and loves to make the others in the class laugh at my expense or disregards me altogether.

I contacted his grandmother and father. He is not the best academic student and he still shows disdain for me, but he is trying and he has stopped his worst antics in the classroom. Before, I had to send him to the office for several offenses. Quite frankly, I had had it with him and wasn't going to tolerate his behavior any longer. He could sit in class, but I was at the point that I didn't want to hear or see him do anything.

Because I had contacted home, he told the principal that he regretted his language and had been doing better, and he didn't want to mess that up because he was passing with a "D. Since the kid showed him regret, I agreed. It came down to the straw that broke the camel's back. I had had it, and the kid knew it. I never lost it with him, just sent him out and ignored him. After the last incident, the kid still disrupts but less and less and he is trying to do his work.

This opens the door for me to let him know I still care about his grade and want him to pass. He is just one of the many hard cases that I have and have had. Hang in there and hopefully something will happen and things will get better. One thing I have started trying is using brain breaks just Google them.

Some of them seem completely immature and ridiculous, but the students, even the "I am too cool for school" kids, love them. I think I forget how teens need to have a little fun. Since you teach math, I think there are brain breaks that are just for math skills. For those classes that are off-the-wall, brain breaks are great for letting them expend some energy. These strategies only work when you have a majority of students who care about learning or are easily embarrassed into modifying their disruptive behavior. I teach in a suburban school where they would laugh at a stare and will lie their butts off during a one-on-one about how they are going to change.

They don't. They cut up continually, use foul language, and look forward to going to the Dean because it gets them out of having to do any work. About the only thing they will respond to is highly sarcastic, targeted put-downs. These usually result in an immediate "Wow. Oh snap" and during that 2-second interval I can seize their attention and direct the focus back to the lesson for a little while.

Generally within 1 minute they are already back on their cellphones, goofing off and making noise again. I've had to send out as many as students at a time to get their attention. Appearing to "lose my cool" is in fact part of my shtick. They simply do not care and neither do their parents for the most part. Even referrals with multiple incidents rarely result in any kind of action We call them "frequent flyers.

Last week a student walked out of class to engage in conversation with one of the many others who use hall passes as an excuse to roam around the school or congregate near the bathrooms. I walked out and told her she needed to come back in. Of course not! I sent her to the Dean's office to cool out but I didn't write it up. Why bother? There's no point in writing it up because then the administration wants to then tell me I can't manage my classroom.

Not directly, mind you, but with insinuations and dings in my evaluations. The bully was suspended for a day and was right back in class. There was no apology required to the class, nor to me, nor to the victim of the verbal abuse. This is the real world of education today: Large-scale disrespect, an environment where the students run the classroom because they know they can get away with it, constant off-task behavior such as chatter and cellphone use, all while the administration focuses on sports, the band, the wonderful array of extracurricular activities Do I need a sense of humor?

Yes, a very dark one. Of course. Do we make any academic progress? Yes, but the state standards are a joke. These students can barely do 6th grade math let alone algebra. We'll be lucky to get through 3 chapters this year of a 10 chapter book. Then they'll go on to fail the mandated end of course test and will be stuck taking some made-up course like "liberal arts math" for kids that can't pass the end of course exam and can't do any geometry. And large numbers of them won't graduate. There's good news: I'm pursuing a transfer after I re-learn all the higher math I forgot by teaching such low-level students and the county plans to develop several vocational high schools.

And some more good news: I now know that not every student can learn. No, that's nonsense. Many can't, won't, and don't care. And at this point, neither do I. Zoe, I am sorry to hear you do not have the support you need to create a good classroom atmosphere. I feel very fortunate to have administrators who support me. First of all,in my school teachers are not allowed to send kids out of classroom during the lesson. I mean it-it is really prohibited. Secondly,not a single kid has ever been sent to the headmaster-he does not get involved into it,does not want it and is not going to.

Secondly, the administrators,even if they know about the disruptive class, are not eager or not able to do anything about it. Thanks so much, letstalkabouteduc! Sometimes it is so challenging, but the rewards outweigh the challenges in education. I do long for the days when "passing a note" was the worst thing I had to deal with!

Sound like a dinosaur Being patient is a must in teaching. The kids are great, but teachers do have to gauge what they say or do more than they used to, which includes how a kid will take a joke or a hug We are now advised not to hug students, but when one is hurting a hug is so tempting.

Cell phones are everywhere, and students take pictures and videos and record when teachers have no idea. Technology is great in some ways, but it can be scary, too. Thanks so much for volunteering! We do not have many volunteers at the high school level. I so admire teachers these days. It seems like a tough time to be in the profession with high stakes testing, Common Core, and disrespectful students. When I volunteer in my 7th grader's class, the cell phones alone are enough to make me crazy. I want to take them all and throw them out the window the phones, not the kids. I just think to myself: God bless these teachers who enjoy working with middle schoolers!

Great hub. Hi Relationshipc! I still remember being the student and the class clown. On the whole, most students understand what has to take place in the classroom to learn. It is up to the teacher to make it a comfortable, learning atmosphere without out taking the fun out of learning. I love teaching and having fun with the students. Once they figure out there is not much they can do to make me "dislike" them, they stop pushing the line. It is an adventure every day, and I love it. I am glad you had teachers who showed you respect. That is a life skill we should all practice.

I definitely have a lot of respect for teachers. I couldn't do it. Remembering myself as a student, I can see how useful your tips would be for controlling the class and your sanity. I still respect the teachers who treated me with respect, took control of their classroom, and never lost their temper in front of us. Hi Teaches! It is so difficult to start out being so rule oriented, but it has to be done. My least favorite days of a school year are the first two days. Those are the day I have to go over the rules and be stern about them. After those two days, though, it is so much easier.

I found these tips exceptional. A teacher must face these issues early in the year to effectively manage the entire school year. Hi Rebecca! Our administration is very supportive. On that rare occasion, a parent with a kid who should be in trouble at home, too, will step in and tie administrations hands. That is very rare, though.

Thanks for the votes!! Suzette, congratulations on retirement!! I am glad you enjoyed the hub and related to it. As a retired teacher I enjoyed this article immensely. I had to chuckle a few times. Number 1 - having a sense of humor is the most important. I have turned around a bad situation with that many times. And Number 3 is most important - I give the "evil eye" and they settle down immediately. I literally practiced that one in front of the mirror during student teaching.

A great set of coping strategies from a veteran teacher. Great hub! On the spot advice for teachers. I can tell you are an old pro. I hope you have more administrative support than I ever had. Votes up! Oh my gosh! Did he have Tourette Syndrome? I have had students with Tourettes, and students have been understanding. I speak softly to Tourettes students, and it seems to calm them. Tourettes students are usually highly intelligent; they just have no control. You sound like a wonderful student! I would have moved you the first time you voiced a concern.

Now, if the guy was a trouble maker, I would have used the strategies above. The veteran teacher should not have yelled at the student. Handling it calmly would have helped the teacher and the student. Doesn't sound like there was much support for the teacher or the student in your school. I hate that for you. Jack Harris, a.

Loudmouth, would sit in class, playing with his computer video games, irrelevant web-surfing, etc and YELLING at the top of his lungs at his buddy who sat next to him. He could go for two solid hours without stopping. Day after day after day, for two long semesters. The content wasn't merely irrelevant. Loudmouth was trying to get in to Whitireia's paramedic programme. I calmly asked him again to tone it down. So, I stopped doing the worksheet that we had been given, gathered up my stuff, and moved as far from him as possible, while remaining in the room.

He thought it was cute. The demoralised, burned-out Whitireia staff did nothing about this idiot. They didn't have the authority to tell the little scumbag to leave the room. When I complained to one of the teachers, her excuse was that Mr. Loudmouth had a learning disability. And she said that I needed to learn to tolerate it, because, and I quote, "This is how people act in professional workplaces". Near the end of the year, Whitireia hired a new teacher who was a hardened veteran of many years of high school.

She was stunned. She eventually flipped out, and would scream at the entire classroom full of paying adult students. In her last class of the year, she repeatedly went over to Mr. Loudmouth to lean down and scream at him, desperately trying get him to shut up. Whitireia managers Beth Derby, Mary Manderson, and Leanne Pool told me that I was a bad student and a bad person for daring to form any kind of negative opinion of their institution, including their lack of intake standards and lack of discipline.

Kelly, you hardly spent time in the principal's office, but you worked in the principal's office during your study hall? What a classic move on your school's part. LOL They had their eye on you. They loved you because you were so creative and funny and ornery, but they knew you were walkin' on the edge. LOL How do I know this? Because you just told my story!! When I started teaching in the school district I grew up in, I went around and apologized to each teacher. Students believe teachers hate them or dislike them, usually because of their [student's] behavior.

I found my teachers loved me, but I didn't know that. I was damned funny in school. LOL They loved my personality and spirit, and they looked out for me in ways I didn't know. I get it now that I am on the teaching side. It's about saving kids, not punishing them. Hi Ruchira! I hope your son has a great school year. Teachers can be pivotal in the lives of our kids.

Thanks so much for dropping by and voting! If you want to print this off and put it in your son's folder to take to school for his teacher, that would be all right. I bow to you! I have no problem, hereby, dubbing you "Saint Susan. Louis, MO. Well now that explains why I spent so much time in the hall and hardly any at all in the prinicpals office! Except 4th hour - I didn't get a study hall - they made me work in the prinicpals office: LOL I got suspended too because I was taking the hall pass from the office and going around getting all my friends out of class by telling the teacher "the principal would like to see "so and so" I made it work for me!

I was a pretty good student too - I was just real routy! Excellent piece of advise here, susan. My kid is already in awe of going back to school 'cause of the teacher. He is not worried of academics but the teacher Wish I could fwd this hub to his teacher Jenn, thanks for sharing your story. Your situation sounds like a challenge. I hope you write about it to help others become aware. My girlfriend taught in an inner-city school. She said she got into trouble by the administration for trying to break up a fight.

Then the next day the parents showed up and they, with the kids, fought. The administration disappeared. I wish I had an answer for that type of classroom, but I don't. Again, thanks for sharing, and I do encourage you to write about your experiences. You are absolutely right, we constantly need to learn new ways to teach. Each year brings something new. I think you give some practical information and agree with alot of what you say.

However, working in an urban school that is the worst in the state, literally the hall and office strategies do not work mainly because there is no follow through on the other end. Students have learned that there are inconsistencies in our school and they take advantage of that. It would almost appear as if they were the ones running the school. That being said, it is up to the individual teacher to establish a routine and protocol for those students that exhibit behavior problems.

As a special educator, I believe like you stated that establishing a tone on the first day is the most important thing you must do. I always establish my routines and then give the students some ability to help make the rules and consequences for when they are broken. Giving them ownership in their classroom will only help encourage them to hold others accountable when they act out. It is simply amazing to see who the leaders in the class become sometimes they are some of the worst students.

In addition, establishing a rapport with your students is very important. When they get to know you and you get to know them it is much easier to establish a learning environment. It is realistic to assume that this will depend on the classroom and the makeup of children in it, but as teachers we must be adaptable. I have learned over my 12 years of teaching in non traditional environments alternative schools, juvenile placements, aka jails, and failing schools that teaching is a constant process whereby we are also learning new ways to reach those we teach.

Thanks for sharing it, Linda! Wow, I admire your daughters teaching the little ones. I did 8 weeks of student teaching in 1st grade. I have great respect for elementary teachers because I could not do their job. Both of my daughters are teachers. One teaches kindergarten and the other teaches PreK.

I hear their stories of Kids Gone Wild! I'm going to share this hub with them for some lessons from a seasoned pro. Thank you for sharing these great tips:. Thanks, Lord de Cross! Nah, no ulcers from the kids for me. They are great once they understand the lines that can't be crossed. I appreciate your kind words.

I bet you were a great student! I was a quiet and good boy when I was a kid. But, teaching today for me is out of the question. You teachers go through so much that I wonder if you have to deal with ulcers and psychosomatic effects. This was very informative and I admire your work. Twenty years is a lifetime sentecne in other 'areas' of life. Hope you had a nice New Year and Thanks for being an excellent woman. Thanks, Kheyward! I love teaching. Kid are a joy, but you do have to be prepared to deal with those kids who try to be difficult. I have edited the part two segment of this hub, so it does not appear yet.

I have had good luck with these techniques at school and at home - lol. I admire anyone who has a passion for teaching our kids these days. I know it can be a hared profession especially given the lack of respect mnay children give teachers. Hats off to you and all teachers out there. Thanks, Manthy! Even when I get a class who tests me, I come in hard and lighten up as I go. It is a learning process for all of us. Yes, it is the teachers like you that have made an impact on my life - unfortunately where I come from, it's not always easy to be a teacher, and many aren't like you and your colleagues.

When a teacher is like you, the students will immediately notice and respond too Charlotte, you would be pleasantly surprised to find that many teachers are like me. If only we were left to just teach and nurture students rather than having legislators who have never set foot in the classroom dictating what they think education should be. Only the bad ones [teachers] make the news, but there are a barrage of caring people who teach.

We are sure not in it for the money. LOL Oh yeah, we aren't in it for summers off either. This is on our own time without pay, too. I can't imagine doing anything else. Thanks for reading, Munira. Yes, every class and student is different. These strategies work very well for classes that are disruptive. Each individual strategy can be used for several different situations. Thanks for reading!! The tips given are based on practice. Each class has different kinds of students with different circumstances hence a teacher is to adopt himself or herself according as to the situation in which he or she is confronted.

A teacher must read some elementary book on psychology so that the situation may be controlled on sound principles. Mere Hall or office strategies also fail in certain circumstances. The teacher is to learn more about own self as it is teachers behaviour that is going to be appreciated or mimicked. A cool, balanced, humourous and yet keeping all attentive to the lesson of the day is of course a good idea. Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners.

HubPages and Hubbers authors may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others. HubPages Inc, a part of Maven Inc. As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, owlcation. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so. Susan Holland more. What Is Classroom Management? Curbing Classroom Interruptions Before They Begin There are two key strategies that I have developed over the years to curb disorderly behaviors in the classroom before they begin.

Build a Meaningful Relationships With Your Students Teaching should not be treated as a popular contest, but there will always be value in getting to know your students on a personal level. Listen to your students. Be open to receiving feedback in class so that they feel that they have some sort of influence on their learning experience. Develop a genuine curiosity about their interests and what's on their minds. Find parallels in your own life to bridge the conversation. Identify their strengths and weaknesses as quickly as possible.

Arrive With a Plan Your classroom management plan should be well-thought-out and ready to go on the first day of class. How to Handle Disruptive Students in the Classroom Exercising good classroom management strategies can be the difference between having a great year or a miserable year with your students. This article will feature the following techniques for regaining control in your classroom: Have a sense of humor. Never raise your voice. Use the silent stare. Learn your students' names.

Send the first disruptor to the hall and the second to the office. Let your administrators know about your class. Have administrators visit your classroom Never let your class know they are getting under your skin. Treat your students with respect. Tell the disruptive student that you do not need his or her help. Remain Calm Before we begin, this is a friendly reminder that being overcome with frustration is natural.

Have a Sense of Humor You have to have a sense of humor in the classroom. Never Raise Your Voice A disruptive class is just waiting for you to raise your voice and yell at them—they love it. Use The Silent Stare When my classes are talking too much or out of their seats, I stand in front of the class and simple stare at the class. Learn Your Students' Names I have to admit, learning their names is the hardest part for me. Send the First Disrupter to the Hall and the Second to the Office In the beginning of the year, you must set the tone.

Let Your Administrators Know About Your Class This past year, I had a class full of boys who were childhood friends and loved to have fun and aggravate. Have Administrators Visit Your Classroom After I let my administrators know, they would periodically show up in the room either a couple of them or just one. Never Let Your Class Know They Are Getting Under Your Skin As soon as you let a disruptive class know that they have gotten under your skin, they have you right where they want you: angry, agitated, anxious, defensive.

Treat Students With Respect From the first day, always remember you are the adult and they are the student. There are times that you have to constantly work on that student-teacher relationship. A good teacher must know the rules; a good pupil, the exceptions. Classroom Management Mistakes Teachers Make Teaching is a learning experience like anything else in life. Failing to communicate expectations. Failing to triage an issue. Striking down too hard, too quickly.

Not following through. Here's expert advice on what to do when students act up and personalities clash. Members of our WeAreTeachers community share their 1 sanity-saving classroom procedure. Successful First Day of School Sets the Tone Whether you are a first-year teacher or a veteran teacher, the most important thing you must do on the first day of school is let students know your expectations through the class rules. Questions must be on-topic, written with proper grammar usage, and understandable to a wide audience.

Answer: Since they don't want to learn, sit at your desk and say nothing. Helpful Question: How do learners who are not paying attention affect learners who are paying attention? Answer: If they are sitting quietly, they are probably not affecting the other students. Answer: Noisy students distract other students from the entire learning process. Question: How do I handle a student who is a troublemaker but also very smart?

Answer: Try to engage that student with some type of common ground. Question: I am about to go into teaching, and I realize pupils are stubborn and difficult to control. Answer: Use the strategies given in the article, and use a strong voice that tells students you are the one in charge of the classroom. Question: How do you handle a student who does not want to enter the classroom? Answer: Tell the student that he or she will be unable to make up the work that day if they don't enter the classroom, and document it by emailing their parent and cc'ing the administration.

Question: How do I answer when a student asks "Can I go to the bathroom? Answer: Typically, if it is not during a test or a quiz, I allow kids to go. Helpful 9. Question: What can I do with a destructive child in class? Answer: It depends on the circumstances. Helpful 8. Question: When I enter the classroom in the morning, learners always appear to be out of control and somewhat disruptive. Answer: Since I let students know what to expect at the beginning of the year, I rarely have had this problem.

Helpful 6. Question: How do I tame students echoing my words and being noisy during the lesson? Answer: I would give them the silent treatment, go to my desk, and wait for one student to ask me what I am doing or just tell them if no one asks. Question: I am a new teacher. How should I handle my class? Answer: Make sure you have clear rules and procedures in your classroom. Helpful 5. Question: I have a few students who typically act out. Answer: I have had several students like the ones you are describing. Question: As a teacher, how should I handle finding an inappropriate note in class?

Answer: After determining that the note is inappropriate, call the student back and ask if parents would be interested in reading the note. Helpful 4. Question: Apart from drafting classroom rules, what is the role of an educator to prevent disruptive behaviour in the primary school classroom? Answer: Display the rules and consistently enforce them. Question: How do you deal with students with anger issues and students that fight every day?

Answer: My school had a zero tolerance rule for fighting. Question: One of my students frequently becomes upset over her grades and will ask for extra credit. Answer: Typically, there is more under the surface. Question: How should I go about handling a mischievous student in the class?

Answer: Other than what I have already stated in the article, identify the student as soon as possible.


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Question: How do I handle a student who does not want to enter the classroom? Answer: Let your administration know about the situation. Helpful 3. Question: I teach a private English course to young kids who are disruptive, especially the boys. Helpful 2. Question: Many of your learners come from different cultures with different ethnic and linguistic backgrounds.

Answer: I have assigned student buddies. Question: Why do you portray that there is help available? Answer: In my case, there is help available. Question: How do I deal with an orphan in the classroom and how do I encourage him? Answer: I would compliment his work and look for his interest to discuss with him. Helpful 1. Question: Do you have any suggestions for dealing with a child in pre-K who speaks no English, is disruptive, and won't listen to parents? Answer: Other than my own children, I have never worked with pre-K. Question: One student refuses to stay in the classroom. What activities can be created for him?

Answer: First, talk to the student and ask him why he is leaving the classroom. Answer: Call the administrators, call the parents, and have a meeting about the student. Question: Why shouldn't learners who are trouble have their own class?


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  • Answer: It is not dependent on students who cause trouble in class. Thanks so much for dropping by!! Good use of capital letter i like it keep up the good work Sincerly Joe. Hi Susan! Thanks for dropping by! Thnxx a lot your post has help me the most in my teaching profession. Best of Luck!!

    Hi Susan, I know this comment is a little late, but still would like to get your advice Good luck! I hope all goes well with you! Hi Susan, Great article. Thanks for dropping by and commenting! I wish you the best of luck, and I hope you stay in teaching. Excellent help God Bless you! Yes, sending them out puts them on stage so they get a kick out of it. Do you think most of them care? Unfortunately, that doesn't help in my case. Also, neither do kids' parents. Thanks for dropping by!! That's why all the teaches knew me by name immediately!

    Thanks for sharing your story. And the outcome of all this? Whitireia then accepted Mr. Loudmouth in to their paramedic programme. Thanks, Paula! I teach high school, and I truly love it. Keeps me on my toes. I'm sure your students totally love you! Thanks, MPoche! I appreciate you sharing it. I hope you saw part 2. I am going to forward this on to my teacher friends! Thanks for dropping by and reading! Wow 20 yrs is a long time. Kudos to you for your service to us. Indeed these are great strategies! If only more teachers were like you.

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