Saturday, December 6, 2014

Should K12 Schools Prepare Students for College

Many K12 school principals and teachers think that high school is the best time to prepare a student for college. A child's elementary school education experience is actually laying the foundation for success while enrolled as a college student. Parent's play a key role too. They create the expectation that their child will go to college. That's why I wrote the Parent's Ultimate Education Guide. The right elementary school experience will plant the seed of enthusiasm for learning in a child. That enthusiasm will sprout again and again in middle school and high school. Students that read with great comprehension are on a pathway that can lead to good preparation for college.
Here are 10 creative things the K12 school administrators and teacher's can do to prepare students for college:

1. Start a chess club. It teaches problem solving.

2. Create a 100 book reading challenge. Children build their vocabulary by reading.

3.  Teach kids underwater robotics. Consider the MATE competition

4.  Design student projects that focus on the environment. It can create an enthusiasm for science.

5. Create an entrepreneurship club for students who want to start businesses.

6.  Invite college students to regularly talk about their major and to do fun things with the students.

7.  Arrange for students to visit a college campus.

8. Get local college students involved in tutoring.

9. Form a science club and enter the student's into a competition.

10.  Encourage students to play music. These students have very high rates of graduating from college.

The middle school years should not be ignored with regard to college preparation. A middle school student should pursue any honors classes that are available. Teachers should talk to students about their college experience. Students enjoy having conversations about their teacher's college experience. Let your middle school student select a college that they want would like to research and give a presentation about. All of the students in a classroom can benefit from their research paper or powerPoint.

College focused high schools should encourage students to speak with a college counselor during the 9th grade. The students should not wait until the last minute to develop a plan. It is amazing how four years of high school ends so fast. A ninth grader can take a career test to get some ideas regarding their job interest. It is also important to inform ninth graders about summer programs that are held on a college campus. Encourage all students to take advanced placement (AP) classes and explain their value to parents and students. Students should also understand that they must maintain good grades throughout their high school experience. Encourage all seniors to complete the common application for admission to college.

Get your elementary, middle or high school geared up for college. Have college displays and banners throughout the school. Invite a fun professor to do experiments at an assembly. Promote a positive expectation that students will do well in your school. Put famous motivational quotes on display in your hallways. 

Yes your student should go to college or a trade school to receive a post secondary education. A child's education determines their occupation and their occupation determines income. It is important to get children ready for 21st century careers early. Our current K12students are the leaders of tomorrow.

Dr. Stephen Jones is the author, worship presenter and consultant. Get his books which are the Parent's Ultimate Education Guide, the Seven Secrets of How to Study and the Ultimate Scholarship Guide. Get my books at  Send your questions to or to order call 610-842-3843.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

How Principals Can Change Failing Schools

One of the critical aspects of transforming a school is selecting the right leadership.  The expectation that there will be new  leadership that will result in a successful school must be in the hearts and minds of the principal, staff and teachers who see students every day.  Why do some schools turn around while others flounder?  It is because some principals and teachers continue to lead the same way they did last year.  They expect different results but they keep doing the same things that caused the school to fail.  Successful principals and teachers see change as a good aspect of their schools success.  There must be leadership with a positive vision and measurable outcomes that inspire students to be successful. There must be a commitment to moving forward with new ideas and actions.
     The principals, staff and teachers in a school that’s progressing has very good communication and cooperation among the entire professionals who are running the school.  There is an expectation that all communication has a purpose and motivates everyone to raise the level of energy that is invested in student instruction. A better school will come from everyone knowing how to carry out the vision of the principal.  Teachers in this school should feel free to talk to each other and to develop some of their own strategies to improve student motivation. This includes reviewing the way that they communicate their lessons to students.  The teachers must also feel confident that the principal understands them and takes time to teach students too.  A principal who takes time to teach will have a better sense of what students are learning in their classrooms.
     The students must understand that everyone at the school expects them to do well.  There must be a strategy to totally abolish the culture of low expectation.  Students must be applauded and recognized for their accomplishments in the classroom.  A whole school culture can change if the students who maintain a “C” average are challenged and rewarded for raising their performance to a “B” average or higher. Success is evident in a school when the principal and teachers make learning fun and engaging.  The school not only celebrates their success of its athletes but has a bigger celebration over students who excel in the classroom.  A school atmosphere can change so that athletes want to become a scholar athlete.  Better grades and academic performance will get all students excited about coming to school.
     There must be a level of compassion by the principal and teachers.  A school must be a welcoming place that is aware of the neighborhoods and cultures that influence the students.  Schools administrators that ignore the child’s problems are ignoring that they are affected by a number of struggles.  The challenges that a student can face when there is one parent in the home are tremendous.  Even if the student has two parents it does not guarantee that they will focus their energy on the student’s academic success. The principal and teachers must understand these challenges and work on some solutions that help each student to position themselves to learn when they are in school.  There are some very bright students whose home situation is not good.  It is better to meet the challenge head on than to hope that it will go away.
    It is important to lead from the front and not from the back. What is meant by this statement? It is better to have a plan that the school is following than to constantly respond to conflict and problems that were never fixed.  When the principals, staff and teachers lead from the front schools become better.  The teachers are excited to come to school because they feel supported. The students get the benefit of the teacher’s enthusiasm.  The principals and teachers can be role models of what good leadership looks like.  They also inspire students to become leaders at the school and in their community. 
     Positive changes can come from principals, staff and teachers who know how to get parents involved in the daily life of the school.  Parents often do not know how they play a positive role because their own parents were not involved in their school.  The school staff and several parents should come together to discuss how other parents can be involved.  These meetings can be held in the school, at a community center or at a church.   An effective parent involvement program includes meeting the parents where they live.  It’s great when a principal can find a pre-existing group of parents that meet and find a way to get on their agenda.  This saves the parent’s time but the principal can share important information with them. Persistence and a significant improvement in the students success is the key to improving parent involvement.
    Finally an inspired principal and staff can change a failing school by promoting career awareness to all at all K12 levels. Too many students are drifting in schools where they have no idea what their future could look like.  I firmly believe that career exploration should occur all year.  The K12 students need to explore careers to sustain their enthusiasm and the vision to explore how they can work in professions such as medicine, engineering, government, business and other professions.  The principals and teachers are the catalyst that motivates students can educate students about some of to pursue the top careers.  It is time to try something different at the failing schools. It is time to take action and to fight for successful schools.

Dr. Stephen Jones is an education expert who you should consider for your school.  He is the author of the Seven Secrets of How to Study, the Parent’s Ultimate Education Guide and the Ultimate scholarship guide at Contact him right away at 610-842-3843.

Monday, September 15, 2014

7 Unique Student Motivation tips for High School Principals

Do you want to see an abundance of student's coming to your school motivated to learn? Change what you are doing year after year. That's right the principal has the power to make school an exciting place. It can be a place where the students feel empowered to be innovative as they think about how they are learning. The students need to see passionate teachers who are altering the curriculum to keep them engaged. I suggest finding ways the get the students involved in local community and city wide projects to improve the city for everyone. Here are 7 things you can do:

1. Teach your students to play chess

2.  Get a back door tour of jobs at an airport, public transportation and other businesses.

3. Start a entrepreneurship class for students

4. Student professional development class for internships

5.  Teach students how to earn A+ grades

6. Visit companies in the area

7. Start an energy careers course

It is important for students to see how learning more information can lead to a career opportunity. Students need to know that there is a benefit to indepth conversations with teachers who care about their success. The school environment must be a place where students can explore and ask questions to the principal and counselors. 

Today is a good time to try something different at your school. You might find out that the changes that you make gets students to view their school differently. Dr. Stephen Jones is the author of the "Seven Secrets of how to Study" at

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

How to Motivate Teachers and Inspire Students

What do teachers want most? They want students who are inspired and curious to learn. Teachers who excel in the classroom use innovative methods to engage students. These teachers understand that traditional instruction must change. In this classroom current events and technology is a continuous part of the child's instruction. It is great when there's hands on instruction across the entire school curriculum. Motivated teacher's need freedom to involve student's in demonstrations, projects or experiments that help students to learn their subject better. The overflow of a motivated teacher is an inspired student. It's easy for a student to remember a teacher who regularly showed them something new and raised their curiosity.  Here are seven tips to keeping teacher's motivated:

1.  Flexible classroom instruction options

2. Let teachers create motivational quotes for the class 

3.  Connect with other teachers who are using innovative instruction methods

4. There are Instruction opportunities outside in nature

5.  Teachers are free to encourage students to use homework apps and websites

6.  Freedom to talk to students about  their career and their future

7.  Go on a field trip to a company

The time that a teacher invests in a student know will yield great results later. Your students need time to mature and to appreciate all of the instruction and activities that have led to their success. Students can tell when a teacher is motivated and caring. If you focus on a teacher success your students will yield the benefit.  Dr. Stephen Jones is educator, author, professional development trainer and workshop presenter. Visit his website at You can call 610-942-3843 or email

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Back to School Success tips for Principals

It's important for a principal to have a back to school plan that gets the entire school and neighborhood involved. Remember to begin the school year with the end in mind. Know what you want to accomplish by the end of spring 2015? Then identify partners who will help you to take your school to higher levels of academic performance. Clearly outline your goals and the steps to get there with your staff, teachers, parents and students. You are the leader and people want to hear from you. Here are some other tips.

1. Get parents involved in the school during August start up.

2. Appoint a parent liaison for the year. This liaison will contact parents and get them involved in the school.

3. Get staff and faculty to talk about their vision for the new school year.

4. If you are a high school principal establish a 9th grade transition program where students get two credits.

5. Make career exploration a fall and spring monthly effort.

6. Be flexible get school change insights from your staff, faculty, students and parents.

7. Make more tutoring available for students. (College students, retired teachers, corporate representatives).

8. Plan trips to visit companies at all levels of the K12 experience.

9. Have a stress reduction plan for the school year. (Healthy eating, exercise, yoga, walk, run, occasionally a long weekend.

10. Create student academic success plan and get staff, faculty, students and parents involved.

One of the biggest positive changes in a school occurs when the students know that you care. The principal should be the biggest cheerleader that students see every day. Visiting classes and acknowledging student accomplishments, getting students to have a school pledge, special shirt, art gallery, school song or having students highlights each week. The principal can raise the level of enthusiasm throughout their building. A dedicated principal can be the difference that leads students to a brighter future. Dr. Stephen Jones is a professional development and student presenter, author and
Educator at or call 610-842-3843.

Monday, July 28, 2014

10 Strategies for Principals who Want a Better School

Principals are under a lot of pressure to produce more knowledgeable students.  It takes a lot of effort and planning.  I do believe that it takes a whole village to raise each student’s academic performance. The best principals don't operate a school in isolation they get everyone involved. Here are a few more tips

1. Have a strong desire to help student by having a annual welcome week where students can earn credits.

2. Practice communication skills daily with students, staff and teachers

3. Lead by example at school and in the community

4. Have a personal mission statement that you follow

5. Be willing to change the way that things are done in the school. Get suggestions.

6. Work on you leadership skills 

7. Get mentors for student classes 

8. Put students in leadership roles such as student government and other projects

9. Don't procrastinate do first things first

10. Always focus on and expect positive outcomes for your school. Read and listen to motivational books and records.

The road map for a principal’s success is paved with strategic step by step activities. Identify weaknesses in your school and work real hard to eliminate them. Look for partners who can help you like parent groups, local small businesses and national companies. Sometimes you just need more people to change the dynamics of your school. For more insights or a professional development contact Dr. Stephen Jones at 610-842-3843 or visit his website at

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

How to Retool your School for Greatness

Gearing up for innovation in your school is one best ways to retool what you are doing. You must find a way to get everyone in the school involved. Everyone must be a leader the staff,teachers, students and parents must take ownership in making the school a better place to learn. Everyone can make a difference just by adjusting their expectations of what can happen at the school. Focus on helping more students to get better grades. Send home certificates of academic excellence during the school year rather than waiting until the end. Your school building may be old but find ways to brighten the walls with student pictures, positive quotes, poems and college banners. Here are other things you can do:

1. Get everyone involved
2.  Embrace new ideas
3.  Hire new people for strategic roles
4.  Change the classrooms
5.  Focus on student leadership
6. Make tutoring available with local college students
7.  Have fun and competitive events
8.  Students and staff volunteer on projects in the community
9.  Work with police to make it safe to come to school
10.  Visit other schools and community organizations to get new ideas 

You can retool your school just by showing students that you care.  Find ways to show up at community events where your students perform. Start a chess or robotics club. Find your teachers passion and capitalize on it. The teachers can share their passion by forming a club for students who are interested. Every new and innovative step you take is bringing you closer to a successful school. Dr. Stephen Jones is a professional development and workshop presenter. He is the author of three academic success and college preparation books at or call 610-842-3843

Friday, May 30, 2014

10 Tips for Planning a Successful New School Year

Have you ever wondered why so many school district's student achievement results remain the same each year? In some districts it is too easy to remain the same. If no one is willing to change then the same staff and the same teachers equals the same results. If you want different results you must do something radically different. The change must be powerful enough to shake things up. In some cases it must move old mountains out of the way.  Students in your school district should experience the difference and express joy about it new instruction and innovative learning strategies.  For some students school is the only stable time of their day.  The new year must be so engaging and rewarding that students are running to school. Here are ten things that your school can do to have an exciting new year in your school district.

1. Throw away the box that you operated in last year and cast a new vision. Make your vision measurable.

2.  Take a vacation during the summer to relax your mind and clear your thinking. Get ready to bring new ideas and activities into your school.

3.  Ask your staff and teachers for five things the school can do differently and new during the new school year.

4.  Line up your professional development presenters for the school year

5.  Make a newsletter to highlight staff and faculty accomplishments inside and outside of school.

6.  Turn over new responsibilities to the vice-principal and take some away.

7.  Take a class that you've been wanting to take over the summer.

8.  Brainstorm with friends a new way for parents to help you to assist their students.

9.  Read a book or listen to a CD that will raise your motivation 

10.  Ask your students to write a note on what went well last year and do more of it. Also ask what did not go well and change it.

When you realize that change will help your school to succeed in the 21st century then change will be easy. Good school principals always want to be better and they are not afraid to be taught something  new. Everyone will know that you are an excited principal because your students know who you are. Spend time with your students and you will know what is going on in your school. You can create a student counsel to get suggestions and discuss solutions. It's time to take the plunge to do something different.

Principals must operate with a new paradigm in mind in order to make an amazing difference in the lives of students. You cannot afford to miss out on your students contribution to  society. The future is know. Let's make this the best academic success year our students have ever experienced.  Hire Dr. Stephen Jones he is a professional development presenter, author and education consultant. He can be contacted at 610-842-3843 and website

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

How an effective Professional Development helps your School to Prosper

Did you get all that you wanted from your last professional development?  An effective professional development must involve more than a one day seminar at your school. You want a professional development experience that will help your staff, teachers and students to prosper throughout the year. All change takes time. Sometimes it's important to have a professional development theme for the year. In other words there are some consistent things that you want to develop over the entire school year.  Invite a presenter to come more than once or have several presenters focus on the same theme.   You want to maximize everyone's chances that they will grow as an outcome of the professional development sessions. You and the professional development person can come up with some themes that will be introduced during each session. When staff and teachers feel supported they will respond and the entire school can change. Here are ten things that will change your school.

1. Show staff your goal for the year and how you all can measure progress. 

2.  Be a visible leader with students, staff and teachers.

3. Change starts with you

4. Visit another school to see how they implement a good professional development 

5. Have a monthly conference call with your professional development presenter

6.  Don't give up change takes time

7. Ask the presenter what resources will help your school to become better

8. Expect great things for your school. Your energy will spill over to everyone.

9.  Ask your teachers and staff for suggestions. Express appreciation and let them know when you are implementing their suggestion.

10. Try a new professional development presenter 

You should select the professional development that fits your school.  Find ways to move the items that are in the way of your student's progress.  Seek to strengthen the resources that teachers will need to help students to achieve. Don't look at change as work. Look at it as an opportunity to make your school function better. Move forward with purpose there is nothing you can do about the past. Dr. Stephen Jones is a professional development presenter and author. To reach him email
 or 610-842-3943. Visit his website at

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How can Your School Prosper

A successful school has a plan and everyone is invested in following it. Your school can prosper the 2014-2015 school year by making the decision to get the services of the right professional development expert at the right time. You must have a plan that you willing to consistently follow and support. Your plan must be measurable. You will become a witness that your students are achieving better scores on their tests.  It’s important to identify the people who are invested in the success of your school. As a leader of your school you must have the right combination of staff, teachers and other resources that will put your K12 school students into an excellent academic environment. Schools that prosper find ways to engage parents in their child’s total K12 experience. Please let me know how I can help you with your goals.   

Who am I? I am Dr. Stephen Jones and I am a problem solving education driven strategist.

What can I do for you? I work with your k12 school to improve the academic success and career readiness of your students. 


I conduct workshops for principals and teachers
I conduct workshops for students
I conduct workshops for parents
I offer three college preparation books to schools (Seven Secrets of How to Study, Parents Ultimate Education Guide, Ultimate Scholarship Guide)

Why contact me?

Schools invite me because I make my focus about their success and I am passionate about student achievement. Schools contact me because they want to do something new and innovative. Schools want their problems solved and staff and students motivated. I make you my focus.

My objective is to meet your need as a resource and educator. If you are interested in making your school the best that it can be contact me. 

Dr. Stephen Jones

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How to Create Inspired and Effective New Principal

The ability to become an effective new principal is not the end it is only the beginning of a fantastic journey.  The need for professional development for new principals is critical to a schools success. There are more demands on principals than ever before.  Putting a new principal into a school without preparation is dooming them for failure.  Superintendents of schools must have a plan that incorporates training and mentoring for more than one year. A new principal needs to know that he/she is supported by an administration that cares about a new principal’s success.
For the new principal it is time to get ready to change the lives of thousands of students.  The new principal is a catalyst for innovation where school staff, teachers and students adapts a new culture.  Here are a few things that new principals can do remain inspired and to excite their entire school about academic excellence:
1. Have a career day every month to expose students and staff to new possibilities
2.  Write down your goals and make them measurable
3.  Join Pinterest and get information from Pins on education, STEM, student activities and other topics
4.  Read inspirational leadership books each month and purchase them for staff too
5. Partner with a seasoned mentor who can offer you good advice
6.  Involve your students in STEM activities throughout the school year
7.  Pursue additional education. Consider an executive MBA or a Ph.D
8.  Join an association of secondary education leaders and attend conferences
9. Join Linkedin leadership group for K12 administrators
10.  Make it a goal to highlight the success stories of your staff, teachers and students
The key to effective organizational leadership is having clear goals that you are following. These goals can influence your teachers, students and parents to take action. They can improve the academic engagement and foster a positive relationship with the local community. Also, since you are the leader you will need to stay on top of new technology and trends that affect your schools performance. You can share articles and other information with your staff and faculty that help them to do their job.
One great assessment tool that you can use is called SWOT analysis.  This analysis will reveal your schools strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Use the SWOT analysis to map out a plan regarding how to address challenges that your school is facing and highlight your successes too.  You should get everyone involved to get your best picture of how you can move forward with new goals. Involvement will help everyone feel happy that they have contributed to your plan.  Focus on opportunities to make your school the best that it can be.

If you are a new principal the best is yet to come for you.  Every successful leader understands that good things happen over time.  Don’t be afraid to ask people questions. You can influence young people to become future leaders by your own leadership style.  Often people may not remember what you said but they will remember what you did to make a difference in their life.  Pursue excellence and you will find that being a principal is not a job it is the rewarding experience that you always expected.  Dr. Stephen jones is a professional development presenter and the author of the Seven Secrets of how to Study, the Ultimate Parent’s Guide and the Ultimate Scholarship Guide at

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

First Year Teachers who Defeat Discouragement

The National Education Association, “estimates that one-third of all new teachers leave after three years, and 46 percent are gone within five years.”  This is a startling number when one considers that number of teachers who will retire within the next ten years.  It’s time to have a serious discussion about the factors that cause teachers to be discouraged.  Let’s address some of the issues by spending more time on solutions and understanding how to make educating students a national priority.  Too often teachers feel stuck and defeated because they are not totally prepared for working in a real school environment. 

So here are some solutions.  During the first year school districts must surround new teachers with master teachers who can encourage them. Very often new teachers are thrown into schools without a full understanding of the culture of the school.  The key to a teachers success is letting them know that they are not alone.  It is great for a new teacher to have someone who they can have a conversation with throughout the week.  There should be a special time when the new teacher can ask questions without the fear of being judged.  It is also great to have a college professor that a new teacher can call on from time to time too. 
First year teachers need more tools, mentors and ongoing preparation to support reminders:

1.  Let them know that teaching gets better over time. Don't give up.

2.  A mentor who can help them to brainstorm and identify alternative responses to different classroom situations

3. Surround themselves with supportive staff

4. Spend time having a general conversation with students outside of the classroom to encourage enthusiasm for learning

5.  Read books and listen to MP3 recordings that help you to stay motivated to teach

6. Focus on your fitness to endure the stress

7. Work to incorporate different learning styles in your instruction.

Your enthusiasm as a teacher is one of the greatest ways to move your class toward success. They will only receive information when they know that you are making investments in their success. Keep searching for different interactive activities that you can implement each day. Your students will benefit from the different learning styles that you are incorporating into your instruction.  There is a lot that you can find out about yourself and your students by trying different teaching methods.

It is important to identify teachers who will support you.  The best teachers are the ones who tell you what you can do rather than what you cannot do. You should align yourself with teachers who value seeing new teachers grow into their position.  These are the teachers who know how to communicate with students.  They realize that each school can have its own culture.  Don’t place limits on opportunities to learn see your students in different community locations.  Go to a community event or to a sporting event to observe what raises their enthusiasm.  You can also help out in an after school program where you can provide additional support in a fun environment.

There are some great internet resources that can be an aid to your instruction.  You can join several teachers and education groups on the social network named Linkedin.  You can use other resources such as Youtube, Khan Academy and TedX. These websites offer educational videos on a variety of topics.  Some of the videos can serve as a great motivation to teach at a high level. You may also find ways to incorporate videos into your instruction. It is a great way to engage students.

Don’t forget to continue to work on your teaching skills.  The first year teaching is just a stepping stone to a career that can be filled with exciting experiences.  Every day you will have an opportunity to witness your students as they grow intellectually, emotionally and socially. Each K12 grade level offers different challenges and you must continue to research to maximize your students learning potential.  Ask you student questions that will get them to think about the future and how things will be different.  Get your students to regularly use their imagination. Stay focused on your goal to teach and you will have success.  There is a wonderful reward for the time that you invest in helping students to reach their full potential.  Dr. Stephen Jones is a professional development presenter and author of the Seven Secrets of How to Study at or email

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Radical Ways to Spark K12 Student's College Interest

The best way to prepare a student for college is starting at the beginning of their education.  Too many school systems wait until high school to start a college conversation. During the early years students are like sponges that are waiting to absorb knowledge.  The discussions about college must start early.  That is why I decided to create the Ultimate College Preparation Kit at  Students who inspired to read and compute math in a fun way while they are in elementary school thrive as they move from elementary school to middle school and from middle school to high school.  Parents should be included in the college conversation.  Schools can help parents to understand what they can be doing in their homes for example no television in the students room.  The parent can set a limited television viewing time during the week.  Instead parents should encourage their child to read and read with them.  The school that is preparing students for college must have a parent partnership.

Students not only need to memorize words at their K12 schools they need to have conversations where words are used at a higher volume. This is beneficial especially during the early years when students are learning math and science terms and words.  Teachers and parents should talk about college regularly to raise the student’s expectation that they can attend college. A teacher spends the majority of time with the students during the day.  Every teacher who is teaching at an elementary school, middle school and high school should have the banner of the college they attended outside of their room.  You will be amazed how many student conversations can result from having a banner outside of your door.  The students may not even be in the teacher’s class the banner is creating a college going culture.  The catalyst for a student to attend college is the teacher’s inspiration. It is the fact that everyone that comes in contact with them talks about college.  Tell your students that they are special and that you are expecting great things from them.  Here are a few tips:

1.  Measure and calculate everything so that your student develops good math skills
2. Read for an hour and a half every day
3.  Respond to questions that your students ask to help them to develop a vocabulary
4.  Take your student on cultural trips on the weekend
5.  Find reasons to be on a college campus for a play, sporting event or presentation
6. Plan a college visit every K12 year
7.  Get a college mentor for your student’s class
8.  Use the common application to apply to college
9. Teach you students to manage their time early. It has great benefits
10.  There are over 6000 colleges there is one for your student

Helping children to believe in themselves is half of the battle in terms of encouraging them to attend college.  They may be the first person I their family to attend college and they feel overwhelmed.  You should reassure them of what they can accomplish.  Teachers can talk about people who are living today who've graduated from college too.  A lot of students need to see living examples of college graduates.  You can invite them to your classroom to talk about their career experiences.  You can work with your students to create questions that they can ask to your speaker.  Sometimes that quite student who never makes a noise will have a question.  You never know the profession that I child will pursue.  The television and other media should not be the only way that students are able to identify a career. Every student has great potential.  Find creative ways to involve them in the learning process and they will have a thirst for knowledge and college. Dr Stephen Jones is a college preparation expert, author, consultant and educator.  He recently released the Ultimate College Preparation Kit at . You can reach him at or 610-842-3843.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Keys to Maximizing Your Student's Motivation

One of the biggest challenges for any school is how to keep students motivated.  It's challenging to create a school environment where everyone wants to show up every day. There are some key things that you want to keep in mind. Students are not always clear on their goals. School should be a place where they can find their purpose. Students need an opportunity to express themselves and school is a great place to do it.  If all classes find a way to incorporate interactive projects and group efforts and friendly competition you will get better results. Allow students to offer suggestions. Here are more tips: 

1.  Offer tutoring throughout the day and encourage students to earn better grades

2.  Hire teachers who believe that the students are going to be success

3. Incorporate current events into all classes

4. Have a school wide community project

5.  Visit cultural locations with students in another city

6. Have a council of student leaders that represent each grade

7.  Give students an opportunity to teach a part of your lesson.

8.  Develop an exchange of idea program with another school

9. Get your local college's small business office to help your students with starting their own small businesses

10.  Create many ways for parents to participate in the school with conference calls and meetings at the school and in the community.

Don''t stay stuck in the way that you've done things with your students. They are waiting for you to be innovative and engaging. There is a lot that you can do differently and it won't cost money. Always ask your students questions. They want a good school environment too. Seek to uncover your leaders.  Some disruptive students are leaders who have not found the right way to express themselves.  Ask them to help organize the right thing and this student will change.  Every student needs a spark to ignite their enthusiasm for learning. Take time to listen to your students and you can uncover all that's necessary to raise your students motivation.  Dr. Stephen Jones is an professional development/workshop presenter and author of the Seven Secrets of How to Study at

Monday, January 20, 2014

Unique Time Management Ideas for Busy k12 Professionals

One of the greatest crisis for a k12 principal, vice-principal or teacher is time management. As a professional you are constantly planning but still feeling like there is insufficient time to get things done. Use the power of your words to remind yourself that all things are possible when you follow your plan. You must also be willing to reduce the time of your meetings. Give people more responsibility as a part of their professional development. Ask your staff to send you brief emails to keep you updated. Here are other things you can do:

1.  Make a list of things you can do to save time and follow it.

2.  Organize your office for 15 minutes twice a week

3. Get fit and you will have more energy to accomplish a task

4. Create shorter meetings with an agenda that you follow

5.  Have a things to do list that you check off when something is accomplished 

6.  Make family time a priority by knowing when to leave work

7.  Get connected with families in the community to establish a relationship with parents of children who attend your school

8.  Say no to things that distract you.

9.  Identify an accountability partner who can help you with time management 

10.  Send someone to represent you at events that you cannot attend. Ask them to take notes and email them to you.

If you have a plan, you can find ways get control of your time. Occasionally consider taking a Friday off to reduce your stress. Each Saturday or Sunday take a few minutes to work on your time management plan. You are in control of your destiny. You can have more time by organizing and believing that your plan will be successful. Dr Stephen Jones is a professional development presenter and author of the Seven Secrets of How to Study, the Parent's Ultimate Education Guide and the Ultimate Scholarship Guide at To review free copies of his books for your school in the US send your address to You can contact Dr. Jones at 610-842-3843.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Vice Principals the Aspiring Leaders of Tomorrow

The leaders that we need for tomorrow are the vice-principals that we see in schools today.  There is a fertile group of administrators who are often one step away from the principal’s role.  The experiences that will lead to a successful role as a principal must be a daily task.   There are decisions about the administration of the school, teachers and the academic success of students. These all combine into a tangles web of decisions that require forethought and immediate responses.  Some vice- principals serve as the Dean of Students while others manage the academic affairs of their school. All leadership opportunities add up to experience s that help’s the vice-principal to grow into a future leadership role. There are ten things that you can do to develop your skills as a leader:
1.  Identify a mentor who has plenty of principal experience
2.  Pursue a master’s degree in management with an emphasis on leadership
3.  Attend leadership seminars whenever you attend a conference
4.  Take on a project that’s important to your school district and do a good job
5. Have a plan for your physical fitness
6. Meet and connect with people who attend district wide training sessions for principals
7.  Participate on a panel during a workshop discussing school management
8.  Write an article concerning your role in your K12 school and distribute it
9.  Create a plan of action concerning your timeline for becoming a principal.
10. Take a technology course to enhance your skills

You are on a journey that requires an open mind to everything that will lead to your success. Never allow yourself to be isolated. You will need people to help you to succeed.  While you are a vice principal you have a good amount of time getting people to know you.  You can often listen to concerns that the principal does not hear from staff and students. Effective communication starts with listening.  Listen to the concerns of your staff and parents.  Always seek to find a solution to problems and don’t let carry on for weeks and weeks.  You are the captain of your goal to become principal.

Dr Stephen Jones is education consultant, author of three books the Seven Secrets of How to Study, the Parent's Ultimate Education Guide and the Ultimate Scholarship Guide available at