*I Am Not Tom Brady*

Why are urban teachers being trained to be robots?

By Amy Berard
*Give him a warning,* said the voice through the earpiece I was wearing. I did Tom Bradyas instructed, speaking in the emotionless monotone I’d been coached to use. But the student, a sixth grader with some impulsivity issues and whose trust I’d spent months working to gain, was excited and spoke out of turn again. *Tell him he has a detention,* my earpiece commanded. At which point the boy stood up and pointed to the back of the room, where the three classroom *coaches* huddled around a walkie talkie. *Miss: don’t listen to them! You be you. Talk to me! I’m a person! Be a person, Miss. Be you!*

Meet C3PO
Last year, my school contracted with the Center for Transformational Training or CT3 to train teachers using an approach called No Nonsense Nurturing. It c3powas supposed to make us more effective instructors by providing *immediate, non-distracting feedback to teachers using wireless technology.* In other words, earpieces and walkie talkies. I wore a bug in my ear. I didn’t have a mouthpiece. Meanwhile an official No Nonsense Nurturer, along with the school’s first year assistant principal and first year behavior intervention coach, controlled me remotely from the corner of the room where they shared a walkie talkie. I referred to the CT3 training as C-3PO after the Star Wars robot, but C-3PO actually had more personality than we were allowed. The robot also spoke his mind.

No Nonsense Nurturing
If you’re not familiar with No Nonsense Nurturing or NNN, let’s just say that there is more nonsense than nurturing. The approach starts from the view that no nonsenseurban students, like my Lawrence, MA middle schoolers, benefit from a robotic style of teaching that treats, and disciplines, all students the same. This translated into the specific instruction that forbade us from speaking to our students in full sentences. Instead, we were to communicate with them using precise directions. As my students entered the room, I was supposed to say: *In seats, zero talking, page 6, questions, 1-4.* But I don’t even talk to my dog like that. Constant narration of what the students are doing is also key to the NNN teaching style. *Noel is is finishing question 3. Marjorie is sitting silently. Alfredo is on page 6.*

Robot moves
My efforts to make the narration seem less robotic—*I see Victor is on page 6. I see Natalie is on question 3*—triggered flashbacks to Miss Jean and Romper Room. All that was missing was the magic mirror. But even this was too much for the NNN squad in the corner. *Drop the ‘I see’* came through my earpiece. All this narration was incredibly distracting for the students, by the way, to the point where they started narrating me. *Mrs. Berard is passing out the exit tickets.* *Mrs. Berard is helping Christian.* *Mrs. Berard is reviewing the answer to question 4*

*Tell them you are like Tom Brady*
The students were also perplexed by my new earpiece accessory. *Um, Miss, what’s that in your ear?* they asked. I looked over to the three adults in the far bill-belichickback corner of the room for my scripted answer. *Tell them you are like Tom Brady. Tom Brady wears an earpiece to be coached remotely and so do you,* was the response. I never would have said that, and mumbled instead: *But I’m not Tom Brady. No, I’m not Tom Brady.* The students, who could hear me, but not what I was hearing through my earpiece, were more confused than ever. At which point I explained to them that I was being trained by the people in the corner who were telling me what to say via their walkie talkie. I’m all for transparency and simple answers to simple questions.

What kind of message does this send to students? I wondered. That their teachers are so incompetent that they need an ear piece and 3 people sharing a walkie talkie in the corner to tell them what to say?

What kind of message does this send to students? I wondered. That their teachers are so incompetent that they need an ear piece and 3 people sharing a walkie talkie in the corner to tell them what to say?

Joyless joy
I struggled to adopt the emotionless monotone that NNN required. I was told that my tone was wrong, my voice was too high, and that I came across as too happy—I smile a lot; I celebrate a lot, including every two weeks when the flowers on my cactus bloom, again. When I asked the NNN trainer to elaborate on what she meant by my tone being off, a critique she delivered just hours after meeting me for the first time, her response included a full blown, and exaggerated, impersonation of me delivered in front of my behavior intervention coach and assistant principal. When her performance was done, the NNN trainer winked at me. *But don’t lose your joy,* she said.

Mountain pose
I was told to stand in mountain pose and not to favor one leg over another. I C-3PO-3was told not to cross my legs. My body language must be in no way casual (or human). And I needed to stop conveying so much excitement at the students’ accomplishments. After one session of C-3PO training, I was told that I was too happy that a student had legible writing. I shouldn’t praise basic things that should be expected. Another time I was chastised for pointing out to a child: *Woah, this is great. This is your best work so far this year!*

*Don’t turn*
I felt awful after that critique, like I had let my students down with my excessive enthusiasm. I went back and apologized to them. The student whose handwriting I’d praised said it had made him happy to be complimented. *I didn’t take what you said in a bad way.* *Just be yourself,* another student told me. *Don’t be who they want you to be. Don’t become like the rest.* You see, the students were old enough to see what the school and the trainers wanted the teachers to be and what their teachers were becoming.

They begged me not to turn.

Amy Berard grew up in Lawrence, a half a mile away from the Guilmette Middle School where she taught ELA last year. She was let go at the end of the school year after administrators determined that she was not the *right fit* for Lawrence.


  1. OMG, Edushyster, this is about the most horrifying thing you’ve published (and you’ve published a lot of horrifying things.

    I’m somewhere between speechless and “I could fill 20 volumes”, but I’ll limit myself to this for now: There is nothing nurturing about punishment, there is nothing nurturing about being a robot, and there is nothing nurturing about treating all students the same. But I’m sure they all know that, because they’d never treat their own flesh and blood that way.

    1. OMG is right. “Horrifying” came to my mind as well. Withholding teacher enthusiasm is in no way indicative of nurturing. This method is the opposite of the nomenclature, as typical in corporate reform bizarro world. KIPP turned Social Learning Theory’s positive approach into senseless tragedy.

    2. You embedded a video of KIPP Co-CEO & Co-Founder Dave Levin extolling NNN’s virtues to explain why KIPP schools employ NNN.

      Check out this KIPP SUMMIT Convention video of Dave and his fellow KIPP founder Mike Feinberg answering the question of why their own children will not attend a KIPP school (and miss out on NNN):


      CLICK (and expand to full-screen, if you wish) the second video from the top, titled “A CONVERSATION WITH CO-FOUNDERS DAVE AND MIKE”)

      … then go to about 48:30

      MIKE FEINBERG: “Gus and Abadit [Feinberg’s two children] are not going to go to a KIPP school…

      [begins rubbing his face],

      “… but at, with my parent hat, I want most for Gus and Abadit. I would put them in a bunch of our primary schools in a heartbeat, knowing what a great education they would get, how well they would get taken care of…

      [makes a strangling motion with his hands]

      “It would be unfair, I think, to Gus and Abadit, cuz’ in a KIPP school, they wouldn’t be Gus and Abadit, they would be Feinberg’s kids, and I don’t want them–I want them to grow up, and being in a school, being Gus and Abadit, and not be a fishbowl parent.

      “And I’ve seen this happen with other leaders’ kids, where, um, ah, within five minutes of being put in timeout, the school is talking about the kid being in timeout. I just want them to have a chance to be Gus and Abadit and, uh, as I said, Gus, you know, he wants to be…

      [begins scratching his face],

      “… to wear a KIPP shirt, with, with pride, and he wants to be a KIPPster [starts rubbing his hands together], he wants to come and tutor, and things like that, to find other ways to get him plugged in to Team and Family.”

      [looks over to Levin as to say, please, god, get me out of here!]

      Check out Jim Horn’s analysis of this awkward moment (at SCHOOLS MATTER):


      JIM HORN: “Fortunately for Feinberg, no one at the million dollar summit asked to see that mythical waiting list with 10,000 kids on it. If that were anywhere near the truth, we may wonder why KIPPs like Memphis are having to pay back money for enrollment overestimates based on projections that never matched reality?

      “Surely Feinberg could find one of those many under-enrolled KIPP schools where teachers are sent out regularly with their clipboards to beat the bushes like missionaries to find warm bodies to put in desks (or on the floor).

      “Notice, too, how Feinberg wants to protect the privacy of his children when they mess up at school, even if he is the co-designer of a system of KIPP paychecks that guarantee that every teacher of any KIPP child knows when he has been good or bad by checking the paycheck each KIPPster carries with him from class to class.

      “Remember, too, that public humiliation is standard operating procedure at KIPP, but protection from that is only important for Feinberg’s children and the children of the corporate whales the fund KIPP. I understand your quandary, Mikey.

      “Feinberg’s fumbling rhetoric and transparent body language cannot conceal the condescending corporate paternalism that is a defining characteristic of KIPP’s abusive corporate reform school testing camps.

      “Despite the lame effort, how that paternalism shows through: Feinberg has choices for his kids, but he wants to make sure that the children of the poor have a single option once the testing machine has closed most of the urban public schools. Poor children need KIPP, rich kids don’t.

      “What happened to the advertised concept of choice for the poor?? Pure malarkey. The new paternalism demands that elites like Feinberg and Levin should decide what the poor must learn and how they should learn it and how they should prove that they do learn it.

      “In the end, passing tests is less important for that distant abstraction called college than it is for the Feinbergs and Levins of the world to know that these kids and their parents are towing the line that has been drawn for them by the Fisher family and the other coroporate overseers who pump hundreds of millions into these chain gangs for the poor.

      “Feinberg’s child, Gus, will have to find another way to become part of ‘Team and Family.’ He can wear his KIPP shirt (while inside the auditorium, for god’s sake), and he can maybe come tutor the poor kids and perhaps tell them some of the neat things he is learning out there in the world where children have choices.

      “Nah, forget that last part–the KIPPsters can’t afford to have any distractions–they have to prove their sponsors and handlers intentions are noble ones.”

    3. At the end, you embedded a video of KIPP Co-Founder Dave Levin extolling the virtues of NNN as the rationale for employing it at 100-plus KIPP Schools across the nation.

      Well, check out this 2014 KIPP SUMMIT Convention video where Dave and KIPP Co-Founder Mike Feinberg answer a question about whether their own children will be attending KIPP schools (and experiencing NNN, of course):


      It’s the second video from the top, entitled, “A CONVERSATION WITH CO-FOUNDERS MIKE AND DAVE”. CLICK it (then expand to FULL-SCREEN, if you wish)…

      then go to about 49:05

      MIKE FEINBERG: “Gus and Abadit [Feinberg’s two children] are not going to go to a KIPP school…

      [begins rubbing his face],

      “… and that’s actually for–there are several reasons for that. I mean, you get into, for, you know, with a 10-thousand-kid waiting list, um, my kids have options, I don’t want to take away a seat from another …

      [more beard rubbing]

      ” … family that doesn’t have options, that’s, um, part of it, but at, with my parent hat, I want most for Gus and Abadit. I would put them in a bunch of our primary schools in a heartbeat, knowing what a great education they would get, how well they would get taken care of …

      [makes a strangling motion with his hands].

      “… It would be unfair, I think, to Gus and Abadit, cuz’ in a KIPP school, they wouldn’t be Gus and Abadit, they would be Feinberg’s kids, and I don’t want them–I want them to grow up, and being in a school, being Gus and Abadit, and not be a fishbowl parent.

      “And I’ve seen this happen with other leaders’ kids, where, um, ah, within five minutes of being put in timeout, the school is talking about the kid being in timeout. I just want them to have a chance to be Gus and Abadit and, uh, as I said, Gus, you know, he wants to be …

      [begins scratching his face],

      “… or wear a KIPP shirt, with, with pride, and he wants to be a KIPPster …

      [starts rubbing his hands together]

      “… he wants to come and tutor, and things like that, to find other ways to get him plugged in to the Team and Family… ”

      [looks over to Levin as to say, please, god, get me out of here!]


      Over at SCHOOLS MATTER, Jim Horn did an analysis of this awkward moment:


      JIM HORN: “Corporate cult leaders, Mike Feinberg and David Levin, are their own biggest fans, and to prove it, they gave themselves 80 minutes onstage at the recent million dollar summit in Houston to answer some puffball questions for the KIPPnotized KIPPsters in the auditorium.

      “Oops, someone got this embarrassing question through…

      ” … ”

      “Fortunately for Feinberg, no one at the million dollar summit asked to see that mythical waiting list with 10,000 kids on it. If that were anywhere near the truth, we may wonder why KIPPs like Memphis are having to pay back money for enrollment overestimates based on projections that never matched reality? Surely Feinberg could find one of those many under-enrolled KIPP schools where teachers are sent out regularly with their clipboards to beat the bushes like missionaries to find warm bodies to put in desks (or on the floor).

      “Notice, too, how Feinberg wants to protect the privacy of his children when they mess up at school, even if he is the co-designer of a system of KIPP paychecks that guarantee that every teacher of any KIPP child knows when he has been good or bad by checking the paycheck each KIPPster carries with him from class to class.

      “Remember, too, that public humiliation is standard operating procedure at KIPP, but protection from that is only important for Feinberg’s children and the children of the corporate whales the fund KIPP. I understand your quandary, Mikey.

      “Feinberg’s fumbling rhetoric and transparent body language cannot conceal the condescending corporate paternalism that is a defining characteristic of KIPP’s abusive corporate reform school testing camps. Despite the lame effort, how that paternalism shows through: Feinberg has choices for his kids, but he wants to make sure that the children of the poor have a single option once the testing machine has closed most of the urban public schools. Poor children need KIPP, rich kids don’t.

      “What happened to the advertised concept of choice for the poor?? Pure malarkey. The new paternalism demands that elites like Feinberg and Levin should decide what the poor must learn, and how they should learn it, and how they should prove that they do learn it.

      “In the end, passing tests is less important for that distant abstraction called college than it is for the Feinbergs and Levins of the world to know that these kids and their parents are towing the line that has been drawn for them by the Fisher family and the other coroporate overseers who pump hundreds of millions into these chain gangs for the poor.

      “Feinberg’s child, Gus, will have to find another way to become part of ‘Team and Family.’ He can wear his KIPP shirt (while inside the auditorium, for god’s sake), and he can maybe come tutor the poor kids and perhaps tell them some of the neat things he is learning out there in the world where children have choices.

      “Nah, forget that last part–the KIPPsters can’t afford to have any distractions–they have to prove their sponsors and handlers intentions are noble ones.”

      The first COMMENT to Horn’s piece nails it:

      Anonymous5:02 PM:
      “THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS! As a former KIPP teacher, the world needs to see this video that shows how hypocritical KIPP really is. They brag about how ‘great’ their school is, but yet their own supreme leaders would not even allow their children to attend.

      “KIPP is a cult of the greatest magnitude. They have their own language, rituals, chants, and an overbearing sense of fear and intimidation. (This mentality applies to both students and staff) Turnover is massive at KIPP schools and the majority of teachers that I know who worked in a KIPP school had a horrible experience as well.

      “Support your local school and keep big business charter chains like KIPP out of the picture.”

    4. This is bad.

      If the students decided to turn on the insane, abusive administrators, tie them down, and beat them to death with the desks, I would fully support the students.

      The administrators are committing child abuse.

  2. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Of all the absurd, corrupted, inane and just plain wrong things you have reported on, Edu, this just has to be the most awful (not to use stronger language like what got Ralphie’s mouth washed out with soap for in A Christmas Story).

    Let me guess, is this what my state taxpayer dollars are going for now that Lawrence has been put in receivership? It’s as racist, as classist and as colonist an attitude as I have ever seen. WHAT IS THE COST? God help Amy, she’s got three grown-ups kibbitzing in the corner – put them to work as paras doing small group instruction!

    In the video, Liz Gore, in singing its praises, says she would come into the classroom every day worried about how she was going to control everything. WRONG! Answer: being “controlled” is NOT what kids are supposed to get from education; they are supposed, in a democracy, to gain autonomy by mastering self-control – most particularly in middle school, because developmentally, that is where they are. This lack of knowledge about kids is evident because the kids KNOW the gambit. Amy’s kids try to rescue her because they like her.

    Selling newbies to the teaching profession, especially alt-certified ones (Here’s looking at you TFA!) this product completely undermines their relationship with their students and sabotages anything valuable in the classroom.

    I can imagine these bamboozled teachers “narrating” the rest of their lives outside school: Liz (to herself): I see Liz is in the store. I see Liz is replacing the milk carton on the shelf. I see Liz is taking down a winebox and putting it in her shopping cart. I see Liz is going to the check out counter. I see Liz is moving back to the shelf. I see Liz is loading another winebox into her shopping cart. I see Liz drinking in her car at home in the driveway because she is adlepated after listening to the narration of her own misery.

    1. The narration is a warped take on Bandura. I don’t think they are capable of grasping the dynamics of relationship-based teaching and learning, because they are so entrenched in punitive approaches.

      1. It’s child abuse. The administrators need to be arrested and thrown in prison. If school is mandatory in Lawrence (as I assume it is), I would fully support any direct action taken by the students against the adminstrators, because students have human rights and should not be forced to suffer through child abuse.

  3. As a local school board member (not in Lawrence or Massachusetts), this scares me deeply. The thought that any educator should ‘distance’ themselves from the students in their care is absurd and against any rationale thought. I for one would NOT permit this in my district, and I would fight against this in ANY school district.

  4. This is like bad science fiction brought to life. Yes, yes, and yes to all of the comments above. This is yet another reason I can’t see myself returning to the classroom, despite how much more I feel I’d have to offer after 15 years away.

  5. My first thoughts were of the Hitler Youth and Mao’s Little Red Guard that devastated China in every way possible during his Cultural Revolution. And many outside of China don’t realize that even Chiang Kai-shek, the guy the US supported for decades, had a movement called the Chinese Youth League that was modeled after the Nazi youth movement. I read about it in the book “The China Mirage” by James Bradley.


    Let’s turn children into psychopaths who will be totally obedient to the oligarchs and the state that they own—children who will turn on their own parents and spy on everyone else.

    1. Yep, Lloyd, it’s a slave mentality that is being driven into the minds and being of these unfortunate students.

  6. Anything really bad happening in education right now is less than 2 clicks away from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. They don’t even try to hide it.


    “As Director of Innovation, she was responsible for writing the curriculum and teaching a master’s program in conjunction with San Jose State University and for leading the development and the award of an $80M Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant”

  7. In case anyone needs a humor break, I tried googling “no nonsense nurturing” and here was the first hit I got: http://www.nnnlv.org/ (no nonsense *neutering*). Same thing really if you think about it.

  8. This looks like the step just before replacing human teachers with computers. They can instantly give the monotone feedback on the pace and correctness of the students’ work. All they’ll need is a robot to go around and slap them upside the head (or pass out purple warnings) every now and then and they’ll be all set.

  9. I went away, had a drink (no, too early for the wine box) and thought a bit more about why this is so horrifying: choice.

    Choosey parents choose choice in charters, right? So in theory, a parent might choose KIPP Obedience Schools for their children, which would be their choice. But this is the public school system, the one based on trained teachers with a degree in education, with courses in child development and psychology , back up by real research by real researchers. How is it lawful to impose this NNN on kids and parents who have not signed up for experimental indoctrination? Why are my tax dollars being spent by the state receiver for this?

    1. Simple: because this approach causes test scores to rise. One element that didn’t make it into Amy’s great post was the demographic split among teachers at her school over being coached via earpieces and walkie talkies. The brand new teachers and TFA corps members loved the instant feedback. Teachers with experience didn’t, and a number of them left midyear. Which helps to explain how in turnaround towns like Lawrence, now Holyoke and to some extent Salem, the wholesale replacement of teachers with experience by brand new teachers, many of whom have alternative certifications from programs like TFA. One of the most depressing things I heard on my New Orleans trip was about the consequences of relying so heavily on young “alt cert” teachers is that New Orleans’ charters are now filled with young teachers who have no idea that any other model of schooling besides no excuses is possible… Now I need a drink!

      1. Okay, accepting, in the state of Horace Mann, the DESE’s dogma that kids rising scores on badly designed expensive next generation tests are indicative of “success”, do we have any proof that this approach will raise test scores in the real public schools?

        This practice raises KIPP’s scores because KIPP gets to non-renew kids that aren’t a good fit (just like Amy) and ship them out to a real public school, described by Robert Frost as “… the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in”.

        So what’s the plan in Lawrence? Without a back up plan, what I see in my crystal ball is a rise in the number of suspensions and eventually, dropouts. Who’s going to take in the kids who are poor fits? Maybe they could bus them to the nearby Phillips Academy in Andover, where they’ll be treated like children instead of cogs.

        1. If you orient your whole school and your whole district to raising test scores, test scores will rise. But yes, lots of kids will fall through the cracks. Here’s how Amy put it in an observation that didn’t make it into the final post:

          “There is a big push to create uniformity in teaching, but I feel that a faculty should be like an orchestra. That way, kids have fewer cracks to fall through because they’ll meet different teachers. One of those teachers will be able to reach them.”

        2. Christine is right. Just a school culture that has a laser focus on raising test scores is not enough. If it was, every No Excuses school would have sky high scores, but they don’t, and not even all KIPP charters are successful, such as KIPP Philosophers Academy in Los Angeles, CA, with a rank of 1 on a 10 point scale:

          KIPP and other No Excuses schools have figured out the critical components to success, which include getting rid of the neediest and most challenging students AND attracting the most advantaged and motivated. That includes kids whose parents have higher educational levels, since both parent education and family income contribute greatly to school success.

          In California, they provide data on parent education levels and at the following link, you can see that KIPP schools with high test scores tend to have parents with more education compared to neighborhood schools in the same community. See the first and second entries here, KIPP Empower, with a parent education level of 3.39 and Raymond Ave, located on the same campus, with a parent education level of 1.91, on a 5 point scale, where 1 represents “Not a high school graduate” and “5” represents “Graduate school.” (Click “details” for each school to see the breakdown) http://school-ratings.com/ratingsDetails.php?cds=19647330125609

      2. Whipping children would improve test scores too. Let’s hope they don’t try that next.

        1. What really improves test scores is cheating on the tests. This has already been successfully tried in several Texas schools. :sigh:

  10. This is abject degradation of both teacher and student — not to mention an immense and utter waste of taxpayer money. This needs to be exposed as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. Ed reform grows sicker by the hour.

  11. So barking orders is considered “good” teaching? And merely giving an assignment is “teaching” too…

    *In seats, zero talking, page 6 questions 1-4.*

    Four adults in the room (1 up front and three in back) sounds expensive in more ways than one.

  12. “I know I’ve made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I’ve still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you.”

    “This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.”

    HAL 9000 to Dave
    With sincere apologies to Stanley Kubrick for applying science fiction to “education” nonfiction.

  13. I’m offering a gift certificate to the first teacher who posts a video of him/herself during instruction asking the three trainers in the back if they want fries with that.

  14. Oh Amy! What a horrible experience for you – and those students!
    Greeting students with a happy smile and genuine enthusiasm are the some of the best tools in my teaching toolbox!

  15. As a union rep I would like to give admin an earpiece and direct them all by Walkie talkie. Jeff Riley, if you are listening, I would like to send you my first WRA earpiece. I can come train your team in the “work rights audio” playbook. It’s part of my more structured TNT framework – Teachers nurturing teachers. I hope you’ll get back!

  16. This is both sickening and ridiculous. What an easy job for the coaches! All they have to do is sit back and criticize. They don’t have to form relationships with the students, plan lessons, grade papers, call parents, etc. If I weren’t so disgusted, I’d want this easy-peasy job myself. Wonder how they would do if they actually tried to teach a class on their own? They are probably clueless. Why are there three of them? What a huge waste of money! I don’t need coaches like this. I have earned multiple degrees, taught for 8 years, and raised my own children into adulthood. Can the same be said of the coaches?

    1. You could perhaps apply here:

      Leadership Coach – Boston Public Schools
      Boston, MA

      Seeking passionate school leaders!

      TNTP seeks a full-time Leadership Coach to support school improvement efforts in Boston, MA. This position is available immediately and is based in Boston.


      But you’re probably over-qualified; requirements don’t list multiple degrees or teaching experience.

    2. “What an easy job for the coaches!”

      Yes, it boils down to “give him a warning” and “give him a detention”. Threaten. Punish. Lather, rinse, repeat.

  17. Check this out from a TFA newbie (got prejudice?):
    “However, this assumption that students should give the respect a teacher deserves is what CTTT [Center for Transformative Teacher Training] calls the “middle-class bias”, which I clearly hold. In other words, teachers who come from middle-class backgrounds, like myself, have developed a mindset that the middle-class expectations on how to interact with students is the normal and right way to do so for students from low-income backgrounds. This, according to CTTT, puts a stumbling block on effective teaching such as not being strict or mean. But having a strict and firm teacher voice is exactly what students from low-income backgrounds need in order to succeed.”

      1. What’s even scarier is the TFA newbie’s conclusion:

        “This online course has really helped to highlight my assumptions and biases that I may bring into the classroom as as teacher due to my upbringing and socioeconomic background. As I proceed with the course I do worry about my assumptions coming through in my lessons and teaching or that I may not relate to some of the daily struggles that my students face because I never experienced them. But I am glad that TFA is providing this course early for me to reflect on how I can change in order to become a no-nonsense nurturer.”

    1. As this NNN blogger’s first teaching experience looms closer, she has this to say: “I could sense amongst my corps members feelings of frustration with forgetting to “positively narrate” student behavior….But I believe that these feelings are all part of the “normalization” process for us to become great teachers. I am glad that I’m handling my emotions and feelings now during the summer than during the fall when I’m actually teaching.” Yeah, get those emotions out of the way now, and for God’s sake, don’t forget to be positive! I would like to be a fly on her wall during her first month of teaching.

    1. From a principal at this site: ““The No-Nonsense Nurturer Program has transformed my teachers’ classroom management… When you walk into their classrooms you now see learning taking place 100% of the time!” Stepford Teachers for sure. Congratulations to them!

  18. What I find most troublesome is that many teachers are actually doing this without question. I understand being intimidated and all that, but come on…this is beyond ridiculous.

  19. Maybe US corporate reformers see themselves as being in a race to create robotic teachers, since people in Asia have been experimenting with it, such as at this school in Japan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bE4DnQ5GlTc

    Robotic technology, however advanced, is not very likely to be able to address classroom management issues that arise spontaneously though. Perhaps the creation of a large pool of real live humans who have already been conditioned to act as robots are seen as backup (and another cost-cutting measure).

  20. Is it the simultaneous nature of the coaching that is the concern here?

    If NNN was taught as “the” correct way to teach in Ms Beard’s ed school classes, before she began teaching the class or if the group at the back of the class told her the proper responses after the class was over, would it have been that much better?

    1. NO!

      Interesting that it won’t let me post that response, nor this response: NO! NO! NO! I get a message saying my response is too short. Now I know being full of Scheiße around here can be seen as a good thing-ha ha! but. . . .

      1. Duane,

        It seems pretty clear to me that the best way for a surgeon to learn how to do a new operation is for the surgeon to preform the operation with an experienced surgeon next to her giving instruction in real time. Perhaps you can explain why this would be a good way to train a surgeon but a terrible way to train a teacher?

        1. Good idea! It’s called STUDENT TEACHING.

          On the other hand, if the experienced surgeon were receiving instructions from three people in the back of the operating room who don’t know what they’re doing but think they do… Well, it would align with “NNN.”

          1. Student teachers and new teachers are often video taped, so that they and their mentors can review and discuss observations. Unless a teacher specifically asks for guidance or a child is in danger, mentors don’t typically intervene during class time because it’s disruptive, seen by students and undermines the teacher.

            TE has no problem telling others how to teach but if he had an earplug and observers were telling him how to teach his college courses, since he has no formal training in education whatsoever, he would probably ignore them because he thinks he already knows it all.

          2. I agree Reteach 4 America; when I work with student teachers, I do what you described. When pre-service teachers are able to observe themselves on video, I like for them to offer their own critiques before I say anything.

    2. If you pretend I am whispering in your ear, TE, will you hear me? Get a new moral compass, because yours broke years ago. Over and out.

      1. Reteach,

        You might look at my response to Duane.

        I certainly think that real time feedback is more appropriate for some situations than others, but I don’t think it is a matter of morality.

        Is providing real time feedback and suggestions inherently immoral while critiquing a class after the fact inherently moral?

        1. The problem with your analogy is that a surgeon is not having a conversation with the patient while performing surgery, while a teacher is having a multi-threaded conversation with students all the way through class. It’s just incredibly disruptive and makes the teacher look and feel like a puppet. I can’t imagine how I could do the things that make my classroom work if I was paying attention to an armchair teacher in the back of the room telling me what to do differently. That this was not immediately obvious to you makes me wonder if you’ve ever taught a class, or even thought carefully about what it entails.

      2. Reteach,

        You might look at my response to Duane.

        It does not seem to me that real time feedback during training is inherently immoral and training before or after the class is inherently moral. I would be interested in knowing how your approach to morality leads you to that conclusion.

    3. Criminey, TE, were you raised by a robot? If you don’t understand what’s appalling about this program (and the “coaches” are the least of it), then I don’t know where you misplaced your humanity.

      1. Dienne,

        Does having a more experienced surgeon talk a less experienced surgeon through an operation in real time make the less experienced surgeon a robot?

        I think you could argue that reviewing after the class might be a better way to train a teacher in a specific technique, but I do think that you have to make the argument.

        1. Sigh. I’ll type slowly this time. The “coaches” are the least of the problem. The problem is with the program itself. The in-ear “coaching” is only a symbol of the controlling nature of the program itself. Again, I find it alarming that you don’t understand this. It means that you are lacking something in your humanity, like Data the android.

          1. Dienne,

            So if the “coaches” were coaching some other approach to teaching you would be fine with real time feedback?

            It seems to me that all the comments about robots, Tom Brady, Stepford Teachers, replacing humans with computers, etc. had nothing at all to do with the specifics of the approach the teacher was being trained in and everything to do with the way the training was being done.

    4. The fact that you don’t understand the difference between surgery and teaching is especially frightened. Performing surgery is not really interacting with a human being, but rather the physical parts of him or her. It doesn’t involve being present for the person, listening to what s/he’s saying, paying attention to behavior and what’s going on that might be causing that behavior, much less dealing with multiple human beings, all of whom have behavior that needs to be paid attention to, not to mention the minor little detail of teaching the lesson itself. How is anyone supposed to do all of that and pay attention to a little voice in their ear?

      And, again, that’s all irrelevant because the program itself sucks. Any idiot can threaten, punish, lather, rinse, repeat. It’s just that that’s not education.

      1. Deinne,

        It seems to me that you are now suggesting that real time feedback will not be effective because it will overload the teacher in a classroom. That seems like a reasonable criticism, and has nothing to do with making teachers into a robot, claiming that this is immoral, horrifying, etc. Experience will show if it does overload the teacher and doing teacher training by retrospectively reviewing a class with a teacher works better.

        1. TE, you keep picking apart the pieces of the program. Look at the whole program. The whole thing is robotic. Something happens in the class. The “teacher” has to wait for instructions. She then does exactly what she’s told, being sure not to put any human inflection in her voice. She’s supposed to narrate, again, in a toneless voice and in minimal words, what she sees kids doing. How is any of this *not* robotic.

          Honestly, trying to explain this to you is like trying to explain the color red to a blind person. You must be missing some kind of fundamental capacity to not be able to see this for yourself.

      2. Dienne has the correct response: for the most part, a surgeon’s patient is not observing the coaching. These students are obviously more sophisticated and self-aware than the “coaches.” They’ve obviously been through the scenario several times before. They want their new teacher to succeed, and they clearly want her to be “herself.” They recognize that the control exerted on her is demeaning to both the teacher and themselves.

        Additionally, the reason there needs to be three coaches constantly haranguing the trainee teacher is probably because the entire scenario is so unnatural that it would be too exhausting for one person alone.

  21. this reminded me of the Ed Harris character in “The Truman Show”…. seems like Lawrence has some characters that are portrayed in that film. It makes me sad it is happening in MA where we had so much good progress over the years with MCAS and teacher /administrator participation in setting standards to be sold out to a private corporation that provides this!!!! Reminds me of the APA members who participated in advising on torture during the Iraq War. Ethics and morality seem to be in question here.

  22. I worked at a KIPP school. It was a living nightmare but thank God we did not have this “robotic walkie talkie” nonsense. KIPP schools are nothing more than training camps meant to break the spirit and natural curiosity that kids have. The KIPP mentality believes that parents can’t raise their kids and that kids can’t control themselves. Thus, only young, white missionaries can break these kids into a life of submission. KIPP claims that they want to send every kid to college but what they really want is to brainwash kids into being blind followers who will march to the orders of their corporate masters. KIPP schools never encourages students to think for themselves or to question anything. It is the antithesis of what American education is meant to be which is to prepare young people to engage in a democratic society. As for working in a KIPP school? Forget it. I never saw so many depressed, angry, and anxious teachers. 11 hour work days, week long trips with kids, mandatory home visits, all of which are never compensated for financially. Teachers quitting or getting fired in the middle of a school day happens on a regular basis at these schools. The saddest thing of all? KIPP does not care about the lives of it’s teachers. Attrition and a culture of fear is simply their business model. As the economy gets better and the word gets out due to blogs like this, KIPP will eventually self implode. They are a cult plain and simple but the curtain is finally being dragged open so the world can see the true horrors of how they operate.

    1. I agree with your characterization of KIPP. Some parents, in choosing a KIPP school, believe it is a good fit for their children.

      But this is NOT a KIPP charter. This is a regular public school, taken over by the state for poor performance and this is the remedy the state receiver has imposed on the PUBLIC schools. This is ideology based, state funded, institutionalized denigration of children and their teachers, lacking evidence that it works, and perpetrated without the consent of those affected.

  23. “I never thought I could be so effective!” that ends the video.

    How about: “I never thought I could be so programmed!”

  24. This flies in the face of what we know about all students, but especially students of color, being responsive to, and needing RELATIONSHIPS with the caring adults in their lives. Knowing their teacher is speaking for these other folks in the back of the room does nothing to build a relationship. What terrible administration to allow for this.

  25. I would have been fired in the first hour at that school. All kids, but especially those from urban areas, need teachers who are going to work hard to earn their trust. They also need endless amounts of positive reinforcement to build confidence in themselves. The No Nonsense nurturer program seems contrary to what we know makes effective teachers.

  26. So this nightmare programme is supported by the Bill Gates Foundation. It figures.
    In the early 20th century, Taylorism became in the norm in the industrialised West in large factories and offices. It was a prelude to mechanization and the replacement of workers by robots. Every gesture, every action of the line or office worker was measured and timed by scurrying, faceless little managers with stop watches in order to obtain maximum efficiency with minimum effort and increase throughput. Its effects were so devastating on workers and in the end so detrimental to the sought-after “efficiency” that it was abandoned.
    Today, thanks to the web and AI, Taylorism is back, this time in public services, health and education. The “managers” no longer wear ties and suits, but t-shirts and sandals and they only see the world through the lens of technology. Everything that cannot be measured and standardized, its performance minitored and enhanced, ie everything that makes us human, is to be discarded as “inefficient, non-standardised, non cost-effective”. The aim is to eliminate the unpredictable, spontaneous nature of human interaction.
    Creativity, imagination, associative thinking, intuition, interpersonal dynamics, empathy, joy, sorrow, desire, etc… none of this is either predictable, measurable or standardizable and therefore is to be eliminated in favour of a behaviourist stimulus-response approach.
    Of course, these techies would be a laughing stock if they tried to do this alone. But behind them is a vast corporate and financial nexus whose obssessive goal is to extra the maximum monetary value out of anything, regardless of the consequences. They employ armies of MBAs from the major consulting firms who try to calculate how to mine productivity out of any occupation using complex mathematical formulae and vast excel charts. The key is to eliminate “wastage”, ie: human cost and then to funnel the huge margins upwards for investors and managers.. You do this by a) standardising jobs so you can replace experienced, competent professionals by untrained, badly paid minders working in sweatshop conditions, who can be replaced at the drop of a hat because they are interchangeable, following standardised procedures and b) whenever possible, by replacing professionals with automated systems that are sold en masse as the solution to any problem.
    The same logic is at play in many areas: transport (Uber), hotels (airn’b), Edutech, prisons and security and public services (GS4 AND SERCO) etc.
    It is the main reason why inequality is escalating at an alarming rate today.
    Our society is becoming terminally psychotic. Time to push back.

  27. First, let me say that I am sincerely sorry that you lost your job. I really am, a person works a good portion of their life, and dedicates a lot of the time in preparation to achieve a certain place in their career.

    Let me however, push back a little. Guilmette Middle School is among the lowest 20% of schools in the state in terms of performance, a Level 3 of 9 and did not reach any of the academic targets for all students or any of its subgroups. I must first confess, that I am a Real Time Teacher Coach (management) and a Real Time Teacher Coach (instruction) (and not employed by CT3). I totally get how the process of becoming normed with NNN feels foreign and automated, and even a little messy. However, it is through this process that mindsets begin to shift. That is, Teachers begin to hone their practice from being Teacher centered, to Student centered, which is why we are here. At first it totally feels as though it takes ones “style” away, but I can promise you, that once you have the basis down, and the mindset shift, you can apply it and your style to all facets of your practice. I wonder, if we keep doing what we have always done, can we expect a different outcome? The obvious answer is no.
    CT3 is not the reason for high turnover rates in charter schools, it is a systemic issue at large. It is of utmost importance to remember that we as Educators, are here to serve the students, the schools are not here to provide us jobs. I realize that some places are toxic and this does not serve anyone (including the students), however, having the basis of NNN, can actually really help us serve our students and make the climate much more conducive to learning overall. I can tell you from my own classroom (as a teacher), that being well versed in NNN, and classroom management in general, I am able to push my students far beyond their perceived limits. If you are curious here is an example of what it looks like… and it really does. Tyler has his own personality, as does every teacher, its not a “CT3 Robot” personality.

    (this is day one of his class, so he is setting tone, but watch at least the first 10 minutes).

    I have coached teachers on the verge of quitting or nearly being committed, their classrooms were absolute zoo’s, and as the real time coaching occurred, the classrooms became, calm and a place of learning, and the Teacher could actually…TEACH… It is a sight to behold, almost electric, and I still get chills every time it happens. The teacher also begins to stop blaming the students for misbehavior, and starts to reflect on their own part in the problem (ie not giving specific directions, enabling students to be off task etc..). Classrooms do NOT have to be silent, but students DO need to know what they are supposed to be doing at any given time (including their voice levels). A good way to do this is give precise directions, then positively reinforce the students who ARE doing as the teacher directed, through narration. This benefits positivity in general, but also benefits the students who were zoned out… If you don’t think this is necessary, reflect back, and think about giving a direction, and how many times you had to repeat yourself… We’ve all been there.
    As far as consequences go, what happens when one student is not following directions? Not doing as the teacher, who is the “expert”, requested? What do the other students do?… just think about it. If this is well designed, with routine around it, the number of consequences given diminishes rapidly over time, but the key is to maintain relationships and consistency without exception. Consequences do not mean you hate the student, but that you actually expect them to do exactly what you directed them to do; be No Nonsense for the class at large, and Nurturing in small groups, one on one, in the hallways or in the lunchroom. I challenge anyone to come to my class and tell me that I was unable to form excellent relationships with my students, and in fact, probably some of the best in the school.
    Regarding the walkie talkies, would you rather know what is going on immediately, or would you rather have someone observe, leave, then talk to you about it later? Does drivers training happen like this? It is very effective and necessary to break through thinking as it occurs in that it may lead to lowering of the bar, which is what we are trying to avoid. The point is, that you, the human are executing a task (teaching), just like driving, flying a plane, shooting a basket, welding, or coaching another person, and as soon as you veer off a path, you need to be given immediate feedback on how to right yourself. Teaching is an art, but it is also EXTREMELY easy for it to get muddled with enabling mindsets, and for people to become complacent… EXTREMELY EASY, and the weird part is no one thinks its them! In further regard to the walkies; Picture this, you are shooting baskets over a brick wall, and you can’t see the basket, the only way you know if you are close to the mark is by feedback from the coach…As you are shooting, do you want the coach to tell you real time if you are close to the basket and what you need to do to make it, or would you rather he sit there in silence, watching you shoot, and talk to you about it the next day? In the meantime you have no idea what was or is going on…

    I end with this: When teachers do not strive (or don’t even know they infact aren’t) for 100% on task, from 100% of the students, 100% of the time, they are doing a disservice to their students and the bar is lowered. If they figure it’s ok for a student to sit around doing nothing, or act out of turn, where does it end? This is a structure that once set, allows you to raise engagement and rigor. I can assure you that without CT3, our entire district would probably be closed. I can also tell you that I am an extremely free thinking (and stubborn) individual, that is constantly trying to “poke holes in” or “de bug” systems, and this is one that is solid, if it was not, I would totally be whistling a different tune. We are here to serve the students and ensure that they are achieving to the highest level, when the data overwhelmingly shows that the students are not achieving, why not start with the place where they are the most (ie the classroom)? When nothing else seems to be effectively raising the bar, PD after PD, after college course, after workshop, after staff moral boosters (which I am an advocate for), after “silver bullet of the month”, why would you keep doing it? I have been in education for a decade now, and I can tell you that the previous model does NOT work. I am not so arrogant as to believe that I have “arrived” as an educator or that because I have a Masters degree that I should simply be trusted because, well, I earned it. The process that NNN is, has helped me exponentially, and actually freed me of stress, anxiety, and fear that I will be at constant battle with my students, just to get them to learn the most menial task. We as a building have almost 60% fewer office referrals and 80% fewer Out of School Suspensions as compared to when we didn’t have CT3 and NNN (on our 4th year now). This alone equates to less wasted time for the teacher writing referrals, fewer students out of the classroom (who then clog up administrative time and limits their daily task) and it creates a much more positive environment in general. Sometimes we must step outside of our comfort zones in order to grow, and right now, according to the data, many of our schools REALLY need to grow in their overall practice. CT3 is and has been a change agent for ours, and numerous other schools.

    1. How are we to take seriously the comments of a person who cannot write coherently? Commas inserted indiscriminately, or used simply to string along run-on sentences, cloud your meaning and defeat your claim to legitimacy. Words above are capitalized for no reason. “I really am, a person works…” What is that? “Let me however…” On what planet does “I must first confess, that I am…” require a comma? “That is, Teachers…” Since when did “Teachers” (or “Students” for that matter) become proper nouns? “At first it totally feels as though it takes ones ‘style’ away…” One’s style is no longer possessive? Apostrophes are now optional? A free-thinking individual needs a hyphen.

      Never mind the ignorance of someone who would boast that with a decade of experience “the previous model does NOT work.” There is, according to you, a single model? In education? Where have you been for those ten years? But I am even more troubled by a “leader” who could write, “The process that NNN is, has helped me…” No one as linguistically challenged as this should be called a leader of anyone but the linguistically challenged. Certainly this person should not be a teacher. If the NNN process has helped you, then write, “The NNN process has helped me” rather than “The process that NNN is, has helped me.” (A comma is not “cover” for poor writing and certainly does not improve it. I cannot imagine NNN has helped you, though, as evidenced by your endless linguistic entanglements, erroneous capitalizing, and ruthless use of inappropriate commas. Are “Out of Classroom Suspensions” all proper nouns for some mysterious reason, or did you mean “out-of-classroom suspensions”? If you meant the latter, get rid of the capitals and add the hyphens.

      “CT3 is and has been a change agent for ours..” That is not in evidence via your writing. If you truly have a “Masters degree” (as you write), then you may be interested to know you must remove the capital “m” and add an apostrophe to “master’s degree”. Then focus on coherent, rather than run-on, sentences. Commas have a proper use; they are not camouflage for poor writing. For this reason I just used an apostrophe rather than a comma you no doubt would have inserted in its place. An endless string of fundamental errors undermines you. Errors of this magnitude (and multitude) utterly defeat you.

    2. It’s absurd (not to mention obscene) to think that anyone, most especially young children, is ever 100% on task 100% of the time. Go to any place of employment and see if you see 100% engagement 100% of the time. You won’t. In fact, people need breaks and social interaction (non-task focused) in order to recharge and be *more* productive. The few truly innovative companies like Google (especially in its early days) recognize this and provide space and time specifically for people to be off task.

  28. I wanted to laugh, but I know this is for real! This is beyond ridiculous! School to prison pipeline for these kids. No joy? Oh my gosh!

  29. I was lucky to be a part of a district that signed up for this and it changed my ability to support and prepare teachers for students coming from different backgrounds. It is like weight watchers – some needed to count everything, some only needed the group meetings and vice versa. And the same with classes of students. Some needed 100% MVP and positive narration, while others didn’t need either, but more consistency with clear expectations and consequences. NNN is cored and focused on building real relationships with students and their families and for school leadership to support teachers in doing so. I believe in kids, and I believe in NNN.

  30. Wow…this blogger didn’t pay attention at all during training. I am in a NNN school and if you are doing it like a robot, you are doing it all wrong. The foundation of NNN is relationships and you absolutely infuse love in what you do. Your warnings are supposed to be calm and emotionless because you know what frustrated, ineffective teachers do? They yell, berate and become exasperated. And you know what that does? It creates a situation where a student feels compelled to save face. I am sad that your students had to endure your robotic year and that you couldn’t, as a professional, figure out how to meld your personal style and personality with the basic tenants of the program.

    1. Apparently you didn’t read very well. She was corrected for being too sympathetic, too human, not for yelling, berating or getting exasperated. Try again.

      1. Oh I read what she said. I also was coached. I am a 15 year veteran and I AM a highly effective and passionate teacher. My student testimonies, reputation in my community, respect of my colleagues, and formal evaluations speak to that expertise. I was trained and I assure you I have never been robotic. Not before or during NNN. It’s obvious that you don’t like the program and have spent the majority of your beautiful Saturday trying to create an alternate reality where this is all a scheme. I am paid by taxpayers of my district and am in no way affiliated with CTTT or NNN. I just don’t like when people blame others for their failure.

        The program works but like anything else, it’s not a quick fix or a substitute for good teaching. You have to be passionate and love what you do to be a teacher. But passion alone is not enough. Love for the kids is not enough. You have to have high standards, excellent preparation and you have to quarterback that classroom to encourage ALL students to be better than they were the day before. You have to nurture students WITHOUT pity or enabling. It’s not as simple as I make it look. This program is simply a toolkit. MVP helps me think about my directions and ensure I am being clear. The discipline steps are delivered with compassion. I take time to speak to students individually and monitor their emotional and academic progress. I use incentives to help students work as a group. My students know I care about them and love them too much to let them settle. And I know something else-there is no program that you introduce that I will in any way follow that requires me to change who I am at the core. I would never allow myself to be a “robot,” or do a disservice to my students. Their education is too precious for me to experiment in this way. I take risks in my lessons but there are some things not up for debate. I am sure the blogger loved her students but that’s just not enough. If she was as mis-coached as she says, then shame on her for following it to her students’ detriment. She should have written this blog before she was fired and should have raised hell. Seems fishy that it was awful AFTER she couldn’t do it.

        You have to put in the work every day to hold high expectations and support the personalities in your room. Blaming a program for your failure is much easier than admitting you are not cut out for the job. Teaching is not for everyone and I see wonderful people who love kids fail because it’s HARD. The hours suck, the pay is not commensurate with the experience, the rules are constantly changing and the real payoff is not immediately seen. We are abused by the public and have to constantly defend our profession against attacks by politicians and pundits. It is not a career for everyone and many trained teachers find success in other areas such as corporate training, administration, business and the like. There is no shame in that, but you have to be man or woman enough to say, “it’s not for me,” without blaming others for their ability to succeed.

        I will not be back on this site because I simply have too much to do to get ready for the school year because like Tom Brady, I recognize that to be at the top of your game, you have to train in the off season. I also have precious children of my own that deserve summer with mom.

        As far as my identity, I have a family and based on the fact that you have stalked every comment on this thread and sought to create a conspiracy, I don’t feel comfortable sharing. See, my time and focus on my own children and the kids in room 2904 is too precious to waste on someone who could create unnecessary drama in my life so take this as you will. You can choose not to believe me, but I know who I am, my family knows who I am, my students know who I am, my parents know who I am and my district knows who I am. I am not in this career for fame or recognition so your belief in me matters not.

        Have a beautiful life.

        1. I was also coached using this method but in a different state and at a time when it had a different name. I’m also I highly effective veteran teacher. The experience with NNN was horrifying, caused me to sweat through my clothes as it was happening I hated it so much. The only reason I didn’t leave my school mid year was so that I could say I did a full year and critique the methods with credibility and without fear of being accused of being a quitter by those I planned to critique. This program isn’t about relationships unless you’re talking about the really weird ones you’re supposed to form with kids when you aren’t narrating their every move or marking down behavior pluses and minuses to add to their paycheck at the end of everyday. It’s a culture of surveillance and control. The creator of NNN said he’d send his kids to
          KIPP in a heartbeat. Fortunate for him he’s an older man and his kids well past middle or high school.

        2. It sounds like you really valued your experience with NNN. Perhaps you had better coaching? Perhaps you were allowed to channel your own passion into your relationships with students? Perhaps you were trained by people who really *get* what teaching is about?

          As with so many movements that end up as acronyms, who implements the program is at least as important as its principles. With respect, you should consider that you may have had the best of all NNN worlds, and that in the hands of less sensitive and thoughtful coaches, being controlled by earpiece might be a disaster.

          Unfortunately, these trendy programs tend to push conformity to dogma much more than helping teachers develop intuition, especially in the hands of the average coach or trainer. The example above may be a worst-case scenario…but rather than blame the program for losing her job, the poster seems intent on pointing out the absurdity that following this program can produce.

        3. Like Tom Brady, the cheater?

          I never had problems with giving clear directions.

          I don’t understand this obsession about “enabling”. It sounds like this program doesn’t believe in kids.

          If there are good things about this program, it would make more sense to me to have one of the coaches teach a class, modeling, instead of having an earpiece and three coaches with a walkie-talkie.

  31. Not falling for the teacher coaches singing praises for the source of their paychecks. Authoritative discipline is more humane, respectful and effective than authoritarian discipline and no totalitarian promoting their dictatorial rule will ever be able to convince me otherwise

  32. Teachers need to have the consistency and precision of Tom Brady to be effective. Students need structure and predictability from adults that work in their schools in order to thrive. NNN provides this. Everybody uses the same playbook and kids “win” because the environment is conducive to teaching and learning. I supervise 9 schools in a large urban district that are implementing NNN and we have experienced reduced student suspensions and improved teacher culture. I attribute this to partnership with CT3. They have been gamechangers in our work to ensure our students have a quality learning experience.

    1. What, you all got an email to pile on? Hope you’re getting well paid for your shillery.

    2. Students need authenticity. Without it. your consistency, precision, structure, predictability, game-changing wins,
      will become nothing more than stumbling blocks in your
      effort to develop an authentic student/teacher relationship.

    3. If the model is so great, why do few of the educational or societal elite choose it for their children? Duncan? Gates? Rhee? I don’t know any of the upper level admins in Denver or Chicago who have chosen this model for their own children.

      So, what is being left out is the disclaimer that this is a great model ‘for those kids.’ What kind of kids are those? Not the kids of the people pushing the reform. Why don’t wealthy suburban or private schools use this model? Because ‘those kids’ don’t attend there.

      Obviously, the message doesn’t sound as good when you tack on ‘those kids,’ because everyone really knows what you are talking about: Poor, mostly black and brown kids. I don’t expect anything convincing, but I want, just once, one of these NNN supporters to explain to me why the kind of education that our elite expect isn’t the right kind for my kids?

  33. Expecting 100% compliance, 100% of the time, for 100% of children is an adult dictatorship, indicative of authoritarian discipline. Spinning with the titular “nurturing” does not make it so. This is a very controlling and negative approach. People promoting this often assume that the only alternative to authoritarian discipline is permissive discipline, which is untrue. Research indicates the most effective discipline style is authoritative. A lot of veteran classroom teachers have insights on this matter: http://dianeravitch.net/2015/07/23/edushyster-can-a-teacher-learn-to-act-like-a-robot/comment-page-1/#comments

    No wonder so many charter schools with such restrictive programs counsel out students who don’t conform, including Special Ed kids. They do not understand that in education, ‘fair does not mean that everyone gets the same thing. It means everyone gets what they need.’ People really ought to inform parents of their rights because, when public schools start copying charters and kicking these kids to the streets, lawsuits should follow.

  34. It has been in the twilight of my 30-year teaching career that I have received authentic coaching. CT3 and NNN is designed NOT to deprogram my instructional instincts but to hone them. I have three decades of documented high-quality instruction. I have offered professional development to educators in multiple states regarding classroom management. I am the union president in my district of 400+ teachers. I have the distinction of “master teacher.” I say all of that to paint for you a picture of this educator that has had a pretty great track record of success. Combine all of that with the security of a continuing contract (tenure), and there is nothing or no one that could force me to engage in the real time coaching CT3 and NNN offers. So why do I agree to participate? Because I AM TOM BRADY! I am one of the veterans that has a reputation of excellent performance. I have spent years developing the art and craft of teaching. I have a 130 underserved 8th graders that count me me to get them ready for high school. I am tired, and if not challenged to keep getting better, I may fall back on poor pedagogical tendencies. With each passing year of hard-hitting, challenging work in an urban school many speculate if I will have what it takes to bring my students to success yet another year. So, I put the bug in my ear and take the coaching that is necessary to challenge me. The voice in my ear tells me to avoid throwing the ball out of bounds…be willing to take the hit so the ball can go downfield to the player waiting to score that no one else sees. Tom Brady is still out performing his younger counterparts because he continues to train, receive coaching, and listen to the voice in his head in order to become better every year. I am grateful for the coaching that is available for teachers who want to embrace the research-proven practices for the sake of their students. Please consider yourself as a learner first—your instructional practices have to evolve with the culture in order to authentically lead your students to success. Every institution evolves to meet the needs of their clients. Not everyone can be a Tom Brady. Take it from this Bears fan….some quarterbacks NEED to listen to the voice in their ear for the good of the team. Go back and read about the negative controller. Good luck and strive to get better every day! I’m a better instructor because of the transformational training that I received from Dr. Borrero’s team, and my students are more engaged. I am saddened to read about those unwilling to transform their craft and receive the coaching that will take their students from good to great.

    1. Pretty darn sad that you never learned to manage your class in 30 years until you learned authoritarian dog-training techniques. Actually, I love my dog too much to use such methods on him either.

      1. Reading is fundamental. You should go back and reread. You missed the point.

        1. So you’re old and stale and you want to be told what to do. Thank goodness there are many other experienced teachers and professionals in other fields out there who seek out ways to improve their skills that go far beyond resorting to following a script, with someone giving directions in their ears on how to implement it with fidelity while they are working.

          When I first became a teacher coach, I pondered which sport might be the most effective model. I decided on tennis. That’s because tennis players get training, guidance and feedback before and after they play matches, but they have to use their own brain and brawn on the court during major championships, since no coaching is allowed during that time. This is consistent with teachers in the real world, because they’re also on their own when working in their classrooms. Many tennis champions have improved significantly, as well as raised the level of the game, without being told what to do each step of the way during their matches, and a lot of teachers and other professionals have managed to do so over the ages as well.

          1. Sorry, my post was actually in response to Mr. Ed and I put it in the wrong place.

        2. And apparently you missed my second comment. Still waiting for this “research” you claim.

    2. By the way, if you’re going to make this claim: “…research-proven practices…”, then you might want to have said research available for those interested. I’m assuming you do, no? Could you post a link? Thanks.

    3. We provide coaching in restorative practices- which is about building strong relationships and repairing them after harm has occurred. This approach also dramatically reduces push-out, interrupts the school to prison pipeline, and creates happier, more collaborative and cooperative spaces. Narrating is about control. NNN is about control. What is the matter with you, veteran educator? You’re not part of a revolution. You’re going backwards with both this rhetoric that others aren’t interested in improving their craft and this terrible terrible football analogy that is pretty much meaningless to anyone who doesn’t care about football.

    4. I have to say that your football analogy worries me a lot. Getting students to score well on standardized tests may be a lot like football, but educating students so that they can engage problems from the real world (including problems we haven’t even anticipated) is most certainly not.

      As a fellow teacher, real-time coaching would completely compromise the dynamic I have going in my classroom. Observations and/or video with review afterward? Sure; I have no illusions of perfection. Of course, the suitability and effectiveness of feedback depends on who is giving it. Perhaps you have had great coaches! It sounds like Amy Berard did not.

      Finally, I’m struck by how many of the voices supporting NNN are administrators describing how great it has made the teachers under their supervision, and it’s hard not to see that as self-serving. At the college level, we get lots of deans who like to say the same thing about their pet programs, even when the “results” they quote turn out to be rather empty. But they tend to be off to their next 3-year position before anybody knows better. And yes, that’s dangerously close to an ad hominem…but still, administrators who implement a program most definitely have a stake in whether it’s perceived to work.

  35. As an administrator with the charge to manage a building as well as a culture leader hired to lead instructional progress and ultimately student success, CTTT/NNN gave me the systems to support teachers. CTTT/NNN is not creating robots- actually just the opposite. Colleges put teacher candidates through the same curriculum and the same programs. And how many teachers quit year after year? How many teachers are teaching in low income communities and while some may genuine love their students, are just not finding success? Are kids deserve better, as do our teachers. CTTT/NNN gives teachers and administrators coaches, to observe them in application of what they know and do, and then provides real time feedback to get better. I saw my teachers build confidence in their management ability, so they could focus on building relationships and student learning. I saw my students trust the adults, to truly care about their progress, and not numbers, not power or control, but truly care about them. Making it a priority to contact homes, to restore relationships after mistakes have been made and to be so aware of the young people in your classroom- Tom Brady? Every kid deserves a teacher with the amount of supports Tom Brady has. #myteachersarerockstarstoo

    Mother, Student Advocate & Educational Leader

    1. If all of you cheerleaders really do think this program is the best thing since sliced bread, why aren’t you putting your names on your comments? Clearly you need not fear retaliation. Or is it because you’re all a bunch of paid shills? Or, maybe, the same paid shill posting multiple comments?

    2. Review of SA from Glassdoor

      ““Everyone here is a ROBOT. ”

      Former Employee – Associate Teacher in New York, NY
      I worked at Success Academy Charter Schools full-time (Less than a year)

      Doesn’t Recommend
      Negative Outlook
      Disapproves of CEO

      -Fairly good pay (although you can be fired at any moment, without reason) -Very good health benefits (gotta admit, these are what originally attracted me to the job) – Success matches your retirement account 100% (up to 3% of your salary). ^^Notice how all of my pros are monetary?

      Wow. Buckle your seat belts, kids. This is going to be a wild ride and I have a lot to say. Firstly, Success seems to hire the most bratty, idealistic employees I have ever seen (there are, of course, exceptions – I met some fantastic people and made a few good friends). However, the great majority of them look like they just stepped out of a J-Crew catalog and are looking to “change the world.” Most hail from wealthy Connecticut, New Jersey or Long Island towns, move to the Upper East Side wearing pressed polos or pearls and then treat Success schools in impoverished areas as a day at the circus. Students (or should I say “scholars”) are viewed as miniature forms of entertainment – teachers swap stories of how little “scholars” get into fights and how these fights “must stem from home.” Teachers nod their heads in a robotic, condescending fashion when talking to parents and say things like “we just don’t feel as though Rayquan is pushing himself as hard as he could be,” while thinking about how ridiculous Rayquan is as a name (side note: I’ve seen teachers have competitions with each other to determine who has the most “ridiculously-named scholar.”) Thus far, you may have noticed the word “robot” or “robotic” a few times. There is clearly a pattern here. All employees here are completely and utterly brainwashed. This is why, I think, Success hires young, clueless, recent college grads – these people clearly don’t know any better and think that this kind of management is “normal.” All of the teachers are forced to watch Success Academy videos that train them to talk and behave a certain way. Teachers are also trained to use this CREEPY hand signal system to communicate with “scholars” and teachers who have clearly been there too long begin to use it with EACH OTHER. It’s like working in a frightening alternate universe and, when I left, I had to detox for a few days to rid myself of the Success culture. I felt dirty. I’d NEVER want anything I learned at Success to infiltrate my next classroom experience. As you may have read, the days are insanely, incredibly long. This leads to incredible burn out and most people get extremely frustrated. In winter, employees get to work when it’s dark and remain imprisoned until 6 pm when it’s dark again. Thus, there are periods when employees never see daytime except for a few frigid minutes during “recess.” This, on top of extreme condescension and micro-management from immature, young “leaders” can lead to depression. It’s a vicious cycle. As another commenter said, Success employees are programed to think that the DOE is hell on Earth. The clueless, pearl-wearing robots talk about the DOE as if it were run by Satan. Meanwhile, I’d estimate at least half of the Success staff I spoke to planned to transition to the DOE ASAP. Clearly, Success isn’t as “successful” as it thinks it is – sorry for the bad pun. Finally, the element that REALLY made me pack my bags was, surprisingly, not the robotic nature of the workplace. It was Eva Moskowitz herself. As seen from the abundant amount of recent articles, Eva plans to run for mayor of NYC and is really using Success as a means to an end. She knows that if she has high test scores to back her up, she can get a high number of votes. The more I realized that Success was a SCHEME instead of an organization to help children, the more angry I felt. This on top of Eva’s insane $475,000 salary that she pays herself really made me feel sick. So, my advice? My advice should be obvious. Think extremely hard when you look over the enticing, shiny brochures Success sends you when you’re offered a job. The kids’ smiles on the covers are manufactured. Most everything is manufactured here. The ONLY thing that matters are test scores and if you believe in an environment where numbers trump happiness, then by all means, welcome aboard.”


    3. NNN is the opposite of restorative communities. I know. I’ve been trained in both and now teach principals and teachers about restorative practices. NNN is about teacher control. Things are being done TO students by those in positions of authority. RP is about doing things with those you teach. Under NNN restoring a relationship is demanding a student apologize to the class. It’s not about asking about needs, involving all stakeholders, and co-constructing solutions that make things right.

  36. A lot of us have seen the video here, as well as other videos, and are familiar with the origins of this approach. We also know that people are paid to troll pro public education blogs to promote reformster policies, including military style tactics from No Excuses charters, so all of the posts recently added supporting this nonsense should be taken with a very heavy dose of salt.

  37. As a leader in a large urban district, I have seen the power of real-time coaching and the NNN approach. Traditional programs of study have long since fallen behind in their ability to effectively support teachers in the establishment of a positive classroom culture. With so many competing priorities and complexities present in our schools, we do our teachers an disservice when we don’t provide them with the resources and environment needed to be successful. CT3 and the NNN approach is one way we support our teachers and the energy and excitement surrounding this work has been powerful. It is the perfect collection of practices highly effective teachers use on a daily basis.

  38. I hold a master’s degree in Psychology, and these techniques are vintage behavior modification. remind me of the old Milgram experiments where subjects were directed to administer electric shock to another person in response to incorrect answers to a quiz. People thought that no one would do that. The findings were that few people would stop if they were blandly prompted by the experimenters who’s stock comment was a monotone “The study requires that you continue.” To the defenders of this abuse, it is unethical. I do not want to control children, they will learn to control themselves. On task 100 percent of the time? That is not healthy and leads to a loss of creativity. My students and I know each other, I visit their families socially, we have a relationship. The classroom is not a Transactional Analysis center, it is where we live and work together.

  39. Just a note to let everyone know that I’m going to do a follow up post that includes some of the pro No Nonsense Nurturing/real-time coaching perspectives. If you’d like to weigh in, email me at tips@haveyouheardblog.com.


    1. Like there’s not enough of that garbage here now, you have to give them a separate platform to spout more of this draconian dogma? A lot of us are very familiar with Behavior Modification and implemented it ourselves back when environmental engineering was the IN thing. I for one thank God we have since realized the serious lack of ethics involved in manipulating children like this and that there are humane alternatives to treating children like they are all wild animals in serious need of taming. I certainly won’t be reading any more of what defenders of Operant Conditioning have to say.

      1. Knowing EduShyster, she’ll give them enough rope to hang themselves. Ought to be a good show. Just give me enough time to pop the popcorn.

        1. The show is over on WaPo, where they’ve got even more propaganda posts in the comments: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/07/25/teacher-blasts-popular-classroom-training-program-it-is-turning-us-into-robots/

          BTW, Dienne, I think the video above might have been recently edited (which is possible to do on youtube), because I no longer see the teacher on there who said that methods for middle class kids won’t work for kids in poverty. I believe it was a younger Asian woman who said it. Do you recall seeing that?

  40. Upon reading the information shared by Amy Berard, I started to reflect on my journey over the past three years with The Center for Transformative Teacher Training, Real Time Teacher Coaching and the implementation of the No Nonsense Nurturing techniques. Like Amy, I too was an unintended enabler struggling with this process, so I will direct my comments to her personally in my response.
    Dear Amy,
    There are three types of instructors in any educational situation. The negative controller, the unintended enabler, and the no nonsense nurturer. A negative controller walks away knowing their students mastered the material and it makes them feel good. An unintended enabler walks away knowing their students feel valued and it makes them feel good. As you reflect on the educators in your past, you may find your favorites to have fallen into the coveted spot of no nonsense nurturer. They pushed you harder than you ever imagined, learning more that you anticipated, while simultaneously making you feel as though your success and failures were theirs as well. They may have had more faith in you than you did and you succeeded together.
    As a special education teacher I felt very accomplished in my efforts to educate my students. Once inclusion was introduced, I was asked to join my students in regular education classes. I thought it was a great idea until I saw how frustrated my students became with the content, which in turn escalated negative behaviors. My gut reaction was to advocate for them and keep them in my resource room. They couldn’t handle this, nor could the teachers that didn’t know them as well as I did. I was forced to continue with inclusion and a funny thing happened. My students became interested in the content, started asking questions and eventually started answering them! I started learning to be a true team teacher and started to become aware of what I had done. I cared so much, I was letting them settle for low expectations to ensure they weren’t experiencing frustration. What they needed to grow was higher expectations with my support. This is the essence of no nonsense nurturing and even deeper, good parenting for youth. The lesson of no nonsense nurturing has humbled me as a parent as well. When my son is on that ledge my instinct is to hold on, but it’s guidance and wings that he needs. You cannot teach someone to care about children. Amy, you have a gift of truly caring about the well being of students, you can be even more effective for your students if you trust this process.
    The team in the back of the room is helping you to be aware of your actions, be consistent and relay high expectations because we need our colleagues to push us, just as students need us to do the same. The training made me realize thanking students for behaviors that are expected was watering down my ultimate goal for them, which was increased student achievement. Time is an issue and I had to choose how to spend the valuable time. Instead of “catching students being good”, the goal was to “catch students being smart.” Students were more proud when they were recognized for raising their own assessment score as compared to being on time, in their seats and prepared. Of course it is appropriate to tell them they are doing good work, that is the nurturing part. However, you focused on reporting out the one element that you know would make any adult, including me, bash a program that would eliminate praising children. The blog responders are right, based on your comments…they just aren’t truly informed about the process because you weren’t ready to accept the critical feedback.
    Prior to the adults entering, you needed to talk with your students about the importance of everyone in the room growing and learning together. They have a team of educators and so do you. Your goal is to ensure you give them the best possible instructional strategies so they reach their goals. It takes maturity, self awareness and humility to benefit from this process and we trust it because our kids deserve it. I remember driving home from work furious! Talking out loud, trying to mask the anger with music, thinking how I was going to phrase my frustration with the feedback to a trusted friend because obviously that coach was not my friend! Sound familiar Amy? After my evening rants I would drive back into work and realize they had a point but it didn’t feel good. It didn’t feel good until I had results with the tools.
    Once you commit to positive narration, students start reminding you that you missed them being on task. Once you commit to MVP directions (movement, volume and participation), they start asking for clarification, which they never did before. How many times do you feel you get reprimanded for not completing a task correctly only to find out the directions were not clear? Precise directions relay intended expectations. Can we talk during this transition? How long do we have and what is the intended outcome? When I say go, you have 60 seconds to speak to your table partner at a level 1 voice about how you feel about the Bill of Rights. Go! These techniques are there so that time is not wasted and student participation is the norm because they are motivated to own their learning process.
    In my extensive career in education I find that when you know better, you do better. Like all educators, I am critical of what I spend time implementing because we have seen “fix it” programs come and go. This is not a program, this is a way of thinking with teachable techniques, to ensure the intended outcomes stay the priority. I have always worked with underprivileged, at-risk students because education is a civil rights issue and I want to help ensure equality. Unfortunately students who are in challenging situations have been told too many times, in different ways about the low expectations others hold for them. They need someone to tell them the intent is for them to be competitive graduates armed with grit and academic excellence so that they are afforded ample opportunities in their future. We need to be consistent in this message, ensuring kids know we will not waiver because their success is too important to us. Master educators understand it’s not either or, it’s BOTH. No Nonsense Nurturing techniques, Real Time Coaching and ultimately the guidance from the Center of Transformative Teacher Training taught me how to push and support, not empathize. Amy, I know you are being validated by those that are agreeing and even consoling you right now. My hope is that you look beyond your immediate needs and realize what you are doing to a extraordinary resource for educators that has the ability to cement high quality instruction as the norm in our schools. I think your action in sharing this information in the manner you did was of pure, good intention in your mind. Accepting critical feedback implies that you were doing something wrong. We all teach like the best teacher we had so understand it’s not your “fault”, just always be open to improvement. You made a vital mistake in critiquing something you didn’t fully understand.
    Tom Brady didn’t reach his goals alone and neither can you.

    Critical feedback worked for me,
    Marni Durham

    1. Gibberish, unfortunately. Which does not address the main point of this essay, which is that as applied this constituted child abuse. The children knew it.

      Sounds like you didn’t know basic principles of education to start with. Everything you “learned” I knew before I was out of elementary school.

    2. You realize you have been brainwashed, right? That there are only “3 kinds of teachers”? How does that feel? To have lost your ability to think critically about what you are doing to children? That you’ve let a for-profit COMPANY tell you what’s best for kids? It’s sick, it really is. Lee Canter is, was and should forever remain a CHARLATAN. You want to see transformational teaching? Head over to Oakland, CA from SF. Check out http://www.rosesinconcrete.org/ – this veteran urban educator, thought leader, and authentic critical educator is worth reading about. He presents widely- he’s probably been hired to speak at your reform minded school or district.

  41. You speak for your own ignorance. We are veteran educators with decades of experience who know all too well how to manage our classrooms and reach diverse populations without being programmed to follow what someone has deigned to decide is the one right method. Stop putting programmed labels on Amy, robot.

  42. @Veteran Educator: Completely agree that this is the case for many. For others, data says otherwise.

    1. This is what you get when you hire bright young “teachers” with 5 weeks of training (or the occasional dimwit who needs 30 years to figure out how to manage his classroom) and tell them that poor children of color need a different kind of discipline than everyone else. It’s racist and it’s wrong.

  43. Amy’s comments are from her perspective being coached. Other positive comments are from the perspectives of those who have worked with the program in various roles. The majority of negative comments appear to be from folks who have no experience with the program beyond Amy’s comments. Unfortunate.

    1. You have no idea what educators here have seen and done in their careers. This is a dis on professional judgement and a poorly crafted “get with the program” commercial.

      1. As a librarian, I’d tell any of my Research 101 students that anything coming from an author with a monetary stake in the outcomes of the information that they’re propagating is an unreliable source, and couldn’t be cited for research purposes.

        Or: Hi Shillbot 9000, I see you. I see you very well.

    2. I have first hand experience with Lee Canter’s voice in my ear. It was a horrible, horrible experience. I was an award winning teacher, with a record of success raising achievement for my students in my prior public high school- non-charter. Inside this school where I was being “coached” by Canter, I also had the highest test scores across the network in my subject. When I wasn’t being “encouraged” to do test prep, my students worked collaboratively on projects where they wrote authentically about both themselves and texts. My colleague, with whom I shared a room, so she saw me teach more than anyone else inside the charter network, told me I was the finest teacher she’d seen pass through that school in that subject area. I currently teach inside a graduate school of education and consult across a major urban district, specifically teaching teachers how to authentically build relationships with kids and you know what this training is ALL about- it’s about doing things WITH kids, not to them. It’s about giving them lots and lots of structured opportunities to talk in a safe environment. It’s not about walking silently in lines between classes and it’s definitely NOT about narrating student behavior, providing immediate public consequences, and it’s not about control. What are we doing if we aren’t empowering our kids?

      Lee Canter is a fraud. He didn’t build a relationship with me, at all. He didn’t know anything about me, my approach to teaching and working with kids, that we’d listen to music together and dance as a celebration after weeks of hard work. That we’d eat together, daily, and not silently. That their parents brought both support and need to my classroom as well- mothers who needed help getting out an abusive relationship, mothers who needed help reading a note sent home in English to their Spanish speaking home- to embarrassed to explain she couldn’t read, she just asked me to translate, even though the note had been written in Spanish.

      Canter didn’t know a thing about me. But he put a fucking speaker in my ear and told me how to teach. It was truly horrible.

  44. Utterly ridiculous.

    There is no greater proof that these NNN idiots don’t actually understand children than this from the blog post: “All this narration was incredibly distracting for the students, by the way, to the point where they started narrating me. *Mrs. Berard is passing out the exit tickets.* *Mrs. Berard is helping Christian.* *Mrs. Berard is reviewing the answer to question 4*”

    That’s EXACTLY what kids would start doing! Anybody who knows children would know that is the utterly predictable reaction they would have to an adult strangely deciding to narrate all their actions.

  45. I have the pleasure of leading an urban school in one of the countries largest urban districts. NNN has been a game changer for our staff and students. The structure provides a common language for all staff. The foundation of building strong relationships, knowing your students, and making decisions based on their needs is the heart of the work. CT3 has impacted my practice as a school leader by developing my leadership skills in building a positive school culture. Our entire community (staff, scholars, parents, and business stakeholders) are invested in NNN and love the results!

    1. i wonder why if it is so popular, it isn’t mentioned at all on your district’s website? i couldn’t find reference to it searching for any of the keywords of this organization. and i wonder what these kids will do when they get to college and are expected to carry on an intelligent conversation with a professor or classmate. is it preparing them for college or for standardized testing success? i get that scores are important as i teach in an urban district as well, but how many suburban districts who have no issues with scores are putting this into place?

    2. “Game changer” is right — it’ll make your students very cynical and build an extremely negative school culture. I know how this works.

  46. Let’s stick with this Brady analogy. From what I know, his earpiece is there so they can call in a play at a time. One play. Maybe a suggestion from the booth for something he can’t see (cornerback turns slow when the receiver takes it outside).

    And then, he plays…without kibitzing and interference from the sidelines. Because the coaches are savvy enough to stay out of his head when it ain’t gonna work.

    Perhaps, now, we need to acknowledge the real world brilliance of the Lego Movie… “Release the micro-managers” which seek to destroy the world…

    1. To extend the football analogy, I’m constantly “calling audibles”, changing, and improvising as I go… and making those decisions on my own. The longer I’ve been on the job, the more second-nature I become in deciding what “audible” I should execute in any given situation… and that comes from… experience, and trial and error on the job.

  47. This is just plain stupid. This is the kind of insane garbage that adults dream up when they forget their own childhoods and attempt a purely “intellectual” approach to teaching.

    I have an idea though. How about reforming tenure and using job performance as a reason to fire teachers?
    What about altering benefits to have teachers in traditional calender schools take vacation during downtime?
    Maybe teachers should work more than a tiny fraction of the year? In my city, by the time a tenured teacher has 8 years experience, a full year can mean 48 days of work. Even if they slave away and work 2 hours of overtime every one of those days, a teacher can still work less than 25% of what a many private market employee works every year.
    Maybe union reps should not tell teachers to stop working late because it makes everyone look bad.
    Teaching is not an easy career if you want to teach.
    Tenured teachers do have an easy time if they decide to game the system by putting up with working hard until tenure is acheived.
    Alright, everyone unload on me.

  48. A different experience from a teacher who received real time teacher coaching:

    I am a first year teacher. This was my first time getting trained with an earbud, and although it seemed intimidating at first, it wasn’t at all. It didn’t confuse me or hinder my abilities to respond to the students. I was still able to maintain a constant communication with the students.

    The coaching experiences were overwhelming at first since it is my first year teaching, but the coaching sessions were supportive since there was much to learn from. The meetings did take a lot of time during the whole coaching cycles, but it was worth it! I am seeing all of the benefits now after months of implementing NNN in the classroom. I was timid and weak with my MVPs at first, but after some tweaks and consistent constructive feedbacks, my MVPs are effective and stronger.

    My Learning Environment scores have been averaging 5s and my observers have complemented on my NNN methods. NNN has changed my instructional methods and classroom managements for the better. I have noticed more engagement/focused time and less time wasted on trying to maintain and redirect the class’ attention. I encourage all teachers, new or experienced, to become more familiar and trained with NNN in the class. I have experienced the befores and afters with NNN. Not only are my relationship with students and families more positive and personal, but I also spend less time disciplining students and more time instructing them.

    Fairview Elementary

  49.  I’m a Math secondary education college student and I know for my early adolescent development class our professor showed us a video of one of the teachers in the No-Nonsense Nurturer classroom video you linked above. My professor wanted to show the class what a great way the teacher was able to control the room but I remember feeling uneasy about the video. I didn’t think it was a class management strategy I would ever use and now I understand why that video bothered me so much. I may not know what type of teacher I want to be but I know having to restricted myself to a emotionless robot is not who I want to be.

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