Why You’re Here. Why I’m Here.
Hi, I'm Dr. Dee.
I believe that teachers are superheroes. I’ll say that again later so that you don’t forget. Teachers are superheroes.
Everyday, we lead as champions for student’s futures. Yet so many teachers are frustrated, hopeless and on the brink of leaving the profession. Teacher shortages are rising, and there is a national teacher retention crisis because educators like you and I face several fears and classroom challenges including:
• Being emotionally fed-up with constant disrespect from difficult students
• The fear of wasting years in a profession we hate (because the frustration grows more each day)
• The fear of not helping students (even though we went into the profession to make a difference)
• Lack of support from parents and administrators for what’s happening in our classrooms even when we write referrals or request conferences
But student discipline issues hurt us outside of the classroom too. Are you one of many teachers experiencing any of these symptoms?
• Classroom Burnout
• Educator Stress and Exhaustion
• Lack of Time for Outside Relationships and Life Goals
• Emotional and Mental Health Problems Due to Constant Stress
One recent report found that panic attacks and anxiety contribute to teachers leaving the profession. A recent report suggests that 61% of the teachers feel like they are always faced with high-stress situations.
I get it.
The truth is, you might have graduated your traditional or alternative education training program being unknowingly set up for failure.
Because most teachers receive a tiny amount of training in effective classroom management compared to the time we spent learning about curriculum and student instruction techniques.
But here’s the good news. Classroom stress can disappear. You can learn to create a cooperative classroom culture that works for you. You do NOT have to be a “super teacher.” You don’t even need to have years of “hard-knocks” or experience in the classroom.
Don’t believe me? See for yourself by signing up for our Calmer Classroom in 7 Days email course. You’ll discover how any teacher can use simple classroom management secrets to turn student misbehavior around quickly.
Some people are interested in the backstory of how Culture-Focused Teaching came to be. Here it is in under a minute:
The year was 2008. I quit teaching for good. I officially became an educational fugitive.
I know what it feels like to want to give up.
Early in my career, I began to feel like teaching was not the career for me anymore. I walked out of the classroom after only 3 and ½ years. I was tired. Just like you, I felt overwhelmed, unsupported and hopeless regarding my career and it affected my perspective on life.
Back then, I loved learning about curriculum innovation like: backwards design unit plans, Bloom’s Taxonomy Lessons, and lots of other curriculum oriented information. However, we didn’t spend as much time on classroom management strategies.
Some days went well, other days I bombed. Education was too dramatic and never steady. I was tired of all the trial and error.
Students seemed to have no accountability, parents were absent, and administration always seemed torn between suspension statistics and offering solutions to the teacher whose classroom was...chaotic to say the least.
Then I mustered up the strength to return to the classroom…in China. I couldn’t deny my calling.
Two years later, after much consideration, I took a teaching assignment in Zeijiang Province of China. I taught Chinese teachers in Jaixing and English language learners in Quzhou. This revolutionized everything that I felt about teaching.
The biggest difference my mindset. I knew for the very first time in my life, what I wanted to do in the profession. I wanted to truly impact the lives of students, families, educators and communities through teaching.
In February 2015, I faced a tragic test that made me quit teaching…again.
Fired up and ready, I started working for an alternative school.
I have always worked in either rural, marginalized communities or urban school zones with high poverty statistics to be a positive influence. As an educator in an alternative environment, we dealt with discipline issues often.
One student, James P. changed my life that year. James was a troubled kid, always getting caught with his cell phone, skipping class and not submitting his classwork. It was tough at first, but I finally started to feel like I was getting through to him.
James confided in me that he wanted to graduate from high school and enlist in the military. I was very proud of his decision.
However in February 2015, tragedy struck. After a verbal argument with a student at school, James was murdered only 300 yards away from his driveway.
I was completely devastated.
I wondered, “Why didn’t it work? Why didn’t I do more?” And in the summer of 2015, after several weeks of counseling...I quit teaching, again!
James changed my entire perspective regarding discipline and classroom management.
Although I understood the high-poverty environment that I worked in, I was oblivious to the culture that my students were being raised in. I was so focused on the way that I was brought up (to avoid) trouble, so that is what I implemented in my discipline policies.
I hadn’t given much thought to the fact that these students were bringing in their own cultures, each of them. James showed me that only teaching content and expecting students to behave is not enough.
You may not be teaching students like James, or maybe you are...and you are simply tired of dealing with behaviors that are disruptive. Sometimes, it seems like the easiest thing to do is to give up, write multiple behavior referrals, kick ‘em out of school, or simple write them off as bad students.
However, the key to creating lasting change is acknowledging all the other invisible and influential factors your students are entering into the classroom with.
When I took a big-picture approach to managing the classroom, students changed dramatically.
In 2017, I entered the classroom once again and decided that I would do things differently. I had traveled extensively throughout the US and Abroad to discover what others in my field were doing regarding discipline issues. I researched what worked for the community that I served. And along the way, I earned my Doctorate in Educational Leadership.
I made a promise to myself that I would teach more effectively. I decided to become a difference-maker for all the students in my classroom – regardless of their background or initial classroom behavior.
I found one common thread among students: culture.
I realized that if I could connect with students where they already are, we could work together to create a unique classroom culture that worked for us both.
So much of typical classroom training focuses on the student alone or the teacher alone. Why not get both working together in a natural way?
Think about it.
Humans have naturally passed down culture for thousands of years. It’s an unconscious process that continues to run on its own.
As they say: the rest is history.
This is how the Culture-Focused Teaching (CFT) method was born.
CFT is a breakthrough classroom management system that puts both the teacher and students at the center of the class. CFT gives you the classroom management strategies to build your own unique cooperative classroom culture that students naturally uphold.
I implemented Culture-Focused Teaching in my classroom.
And what do you know, it actually worked.
So I made Culture-Focused Teaching into a comprehensive step-by-step classroom management system, including all the elements I experienced in global classrooms, and all the simple strategies I wish I had when I started so long ago.
Some teachers get one or two tactics on classroom management. But they’re never shown how to create a cooperative classroom culture that runs on it own.
Teachers who have been trained on this method are stunned and how simple and easy it is to implement.
I continued teaching and I am still teaching to this day. As a nationally certified teacher training, I’ve also had the privilege of training teachers in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America.
You might not ever know just how thankful I am for this opportunity.
Through it all I’ve come to truly believe one thing:
You can create a cooperative classroom culture that runs like clockwork.
I want to help you become a difference-maker for all the students in your classroom. I want to help you avoid the career pitfalls that I faced by giving you the playbook for creating a cooperative classroom with Culture-Focused Teaching.
CFT is more than a dream. It feels more like a calling. And it’s extremely humbling.
And so when I say that I’m grateful for you…you can be assured that I really mean it.
Dr. Dee Bell Williams
Click here if you’d like to learn more about me, or read my professional bio.
HOW TO GET STARTED WITH CULTURE-FOCUSED TEACHING
Are You A Teacher?
- Sign up for the free - Calmer Classroom in 7 Days Email Course
2. Ready to Master Classroom Management and Build A Classroom Culture You Love? Join our premium 5- Week Classroom Management Mastery Course. Click here to learn more.
3. Short on time? Sign up for the Creative Classroom Management Crash Course (to get one weekly bit-sized classroom management tip (5-minutes or less) for an entire year. Click here to learn more.
4. Get the Book on Amazon to learn how to implement Culture-Focused teaching in your classroom.