Teacher Success Stories


Below you'll find some of the many emails and letters I have received from teachers around the world using my program.

Click here to read succes stories from parents

 


 

"Nothing was working and I was frustrated . . . "

This book had a tremendous impact on both my sanity and a particular third-grade student. It was my first year teaching, and I was given a young man who would throw huge tantrums where he would lay on the floor screaming and yelling. Anything could set him off. I had tried everything in my knowledge to deal with the problem: behavior chart, positive reinforcement, intervention from the principal and counselor; I even timed with a stopwatch how long he could go without whining or throwing a fit.

Nothing was working and I was frustrated, so I ran across your book on the Internet. It seemed to have all the answers, but I was skeptical. I ordered it because I had reached the last straw.

The first part I read was about walking and talking with the student, but not forcing them to talk. At first, he was not very responsive, but I continued to talk with him before and after school.

Eventually, he started to open up and I began to see a little boy who had already been through more than I could even imagine. As a mutual respect began to develop, he truly wanted to make my day better and I wanted to help this struggling student whom I had grown attached to.

I am still spending extra time with this student, not out of desperation, but because I truly enjoy his company.  Thanks for the help!

– Suzanne Vaira, 3rd grade teacher, Las Vegas, Nevada

 


 

"I am ecstatic with what I have read so far"

I am an Orton-Gillingham Trained Tutor here in Waunakee, Wisconsin and have recently ordered your video and book for teachers.  I am ecstatic with what I have read so far.  I am presently tutoring a young 7-year-old girl diagnosed with ADHD.  I was at my wit's end as to how to handle my tutoring her, because nothing worked.  The school here had her repeat kindergarten twice and at present she is no way ready for first grade.  Thank God I got the idea to check the Internet and there you were — you wonderful person.  Thank you.  Thank you.  I understand so much more and hope I can pass this on to her parents, who also are trying hard to teach her reading, counting and printing at home.

– Sincerely, Georgia Smieja, Waunakee, Wisconsin


 

"Your book turned my long term sub assignment from the dept. of hell into a walk in the park"

I just had to tell you what a difference your program has made in my life! Your book turned my long term sub assignment from the dept. of hell into a walk in the park.

This 15-student special ed classroom was transformed from a war zone, with desks tossed at each other, into a real learning environment.

I have had a specialist walk into this classroom just to observe the changes being made and to study the transformation of these students.

One month ago, I was contacted and offered a permanent classroom at a charter school in the inner city. I love this job and they, too, are impressed with your results.

For every one student I help directly, there are at least three other students I get hooked on learning and being productive just because of their interactions with my students.  I love this program and quite frankly can not even imagine teaching any other way!

—Charlene Guss, Winnetka, California


 

"I find it to be a remarkable work and would like to use the material with our staff"

Good Morning,

I am a Jr./Sr. High School Principal at Freeman Public Schools in Freeman South Dakota.  In our building we have a total student population of approximately 160 students.  District–wide K-12 we have about 435 students.  We have a high percentage of either professionally diagnosed ADHD students or non-diagnosed ADHD students.  Recently I ordered your book and DVD:  "How To Turn Any Disruptive Child Into Your Best Student."  I find it to be a remarkable work and would like to use the material with our staff.  My question to you is how can I best accomplish this.  I would like to use some of your materials as in-service topics. We are a school with limited financial resources; yet in spite of our ADHD situation up until this point our students have done very well on standardized achievement tests.  I can only imagine if we get a handle on our ADHD situation what our achievement results could be.  Currently I have your work on my desk.  Do you have any suggestion as to how I might most effectively implement it at our school?


 

"I was able to reach a few students that no one else could"
 

I purchased your book "The ADHD Solution for Teachers: "How To Turn Any Disruptive Child Into Your Best Student." last year and love it.  I was able to reach a few students that no one else could.  I shared it with colleagues and now my copy is gone.  I believe they loved it so much they wanted it for themselves.  How can I get my copy replaced?
Thanks!

– Gwen Sasiene, Columbia, South Carolina


 

"Your book was a miracle in my classroom!"

I had a student that came into my classroom already labeled from the year before that had no self confidence or self-esteem in completing and understanding school in general. After reading your book, I was able to reach this child and I believe he reached his full potential in my classroom as he went from failing to the highest student in my class. He went from being a loner to everyone wanted to be his friend. He also went from not wanting to be touched or called upon to hugging me everyday, giving me positive comments about myself/himself and the classroom activities, and raising his hand and wanting to be called upon when asked for volunteers. The child use to never smile and after implementing your strategies, he always had a smile on his face and came into the classroom ready to learn. Your book was a miracle in my classroom!

– Marie L., Apalichicola, Florida


 

From spit balls to mutual respect: a journey of success!

My first year of teaching was a real struggle. The first day, they made comments like, "You are our third teacher, how long do you think you will last?" They proceeded to throw paper airplanes and spit balls while I was not looking.

This was all very shocking to me. Having attended an all-girls academy for high school, I had a really difficult time relating to troublesome students (many of them boys).  I wondered why they were acting this way, and I began to doubt my abilities as their teacher. I thought, "Maybe I am the problem."

I tried to get feedback from some of my colleagues, but I find teachers are often not willing to share negative experiences with one another and offer ways of coping.

I needed help from an outside source, so I began looking for information about classroom management on the Internet. That is when I found your site. I was intrigued by the ideas presented there.

Everything you were talking about was affecting me not only professionally but also emotionally. I was wondering why I became a teacher, and thinking of other career opportunities to pursue. I ordered your book and DVD online and it has really helped change my perspective of my students.

I love the concept of Walk and Talk. It is really essential to reach out to our most behaviorally challenged students. I realize that I have to try and relate to where they are coming from and not try to rule over them.

I was so shocked the first day of class that I went into defensive mode. I became a very angry person and I thought that I had to be really strict in order to get control. It didn't work. The kids quickly began to see my weakness. I had to start implementing some of your ideas. I am so glad that I did.

By the end of the semester things were running much smoother. There was a mutual respect that was being built. I realize that although I am a teacher, I still have a lot to learn about myself and my students.

I am really looking forward to the journey, and I know that I can always turn to your book for guidance. It has been a great help!

– Samantha Way, high school teacher, Sudbury, Ontario


 

"Thanks again for your refreshingly to-the-point material"

Thanks again for your refreshingly to-the-point material — a nice change after years of trying to mine useful information out my university courses!

Dave Moran, Hamilton, New Zealand


 

"Thank you for writing such a wonderful book"

Thank you for writing such a wonderful book. Your information will help me make the changes in my teaching style for the betterment of my students.  It will also help me have a wonderful, less stressful year.  Keep up the excellent work.

– Christine Boisvert, Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada


 

"…seems to make all the difference in the world with the ADHD students"

Your book helped me to prioritize face to face time with individual students, via the walk and talk sessions. I pick a different student to walk with each time we go to another part of the campus and get to know them. Everyone benefits generally, but it seems to make all the difference in the world with the ADHD students. It is amazing how much more engaged they are once they realize I am interested in them and want them in the class. Unfortunately, they often get too much attention about their behavior in the classroom, and having a personal relationship with them reminds them that it's not about them being a bad person, it's about keeping the class focused and rolling.  Thanks again so much.

Lisa S., Hayward, California


 

"My most difficult students didn't know what hit them!"

Hi,

I followed your focus on the "90-10" Rule. I discovered that one or two kids instigate all the problems in the classroom. I focused on helping the "10%".

They truly appreciated the attention and after a semester the other teachers and administrators asked what had happened to the "idiots" I used to have.

When I told them I had used "Verbal Kung Fu" on them, they were amazed! The truth is that the most 'difficult' kids didn't know what hit them–and have become totally different young adults! I will truly miss them!  Thanks for the information!

Kathy Gann, teacher, 6th, 7th, 8th grades, Wichita, Kansas


 

"…you have provided me with some very powerful ways to elevate my awareness."

Thank you for your personal response… and for the fabulous strategies for effectively intervening with some of our problematic children. I already knew that the primary problem resided in the way our teachers failed to deal with the kids needs… you have provided me with some very powerful ways to elevate my teachers' awareness of simple ways to de-escalate problems before they become huge (and irreversible) issues.  Thanks again.

– Julie Davidson, Chattanooga, Tennessee


 

"This truly does work!"

Hi, you wrote about taking walks and talking with your students and how this creates a different rapport between teacher and student. This truly does work!  My students beg to walk with me. They open up and share what is on their hearts. It works like magic! Our relationship deepens and student behavior is positively affected.

– (Name witheld by request)


 

"It was my own fault for never teaching him how to listen. DUH!!"

I have already used some of the techniques on my son Blake. They really work!!  We went over your material on "listening." It was my own fault for never teaching him how to listen. DUH!!  I never intended to "take on" Blake's teacher or school with your material. I have found that I get overly "fascinated" when I try to help his teacher or school.  But if questioned, I will most certainly recommend this to others.  Thanks again.

– Christine LaPorte, Indiana


 

"Your book justifies my nearly 40 years working with public school children…"
  
Your book justifies my nearly 40 years working with public school children and college students that each child is responsible for his or her own behavior and needs to develop strategies in dealing with meeting their own unique needs whatever the label placed on them: oppositional defiant, ADD, ADHD, etc.  Your materials are specific to ADHD but with a lot of overlapping to effective individual behavior in general. I am excited about using your materials in this upcoming college term.

– John R., Grover, Missouri


 

"For me, it doesn't get any better than that!"

I used many of the ideas in my classroom, but the ones about one-on-one time with your troubled students really helped me.  I would ask one student to walk places with me and would give him special jobs so that he felt important. At the beginning of the year he was flipping desks over because he did not get his way and was and throwing tantrums every day.

At the end of the year, he was one of my best-behaved students.   All he wanted was attention, and I taught him positive ways to get it instead of the negative ways he used to use.  He even wrote in his autobiography that he loved his teachers because we taught him he couldn't always get his way.  For me, it doesn't get any better than that!

– Shawna Stoltenborg, 5th grade teacher, Glen Dale, Maryland


 

"I already wish that California required every teacher to train under you"

I'm absolutely amazed — I just ordered the parent course at 1:00 a.m. on the weekend and it arrived in the mail on Tuesday!  I truly appreciate your promptness. I am digging into the material this evening. I wish this school knew about your teacher courses. And I hope I can work with them after finishing the parent materials. I'm sure you've heard these stories before, but I need to vent a bit to a sympathetic ear. . . . I already wish that California required every teacher to train under you.  Looking forward to a solving the problem.

– Bob Flora


 

'From a thorn in my side to a child who is very dear to my heart!'

Sometimes it is difficult to create relationships with the children that cause you the most grief.

"The" child in my class prevented me from teaching, prevented the other children from learning, and transformed my organized, scheduled classroom into chaos. It was hard not to resent this child.

The one thing that helped most with him was to develop a personal, close relationship with him. I found out his interests (hunting for a five-year-old, imagine that, and riding four-wheelers).

I turned my focus from controlling him to just living with his presence in my classroom! After about a month, I found that we were actually getting work done, and he would begin to focus on small tasks, simply to please me.

"Do it!" failed miserably, where "Hey, let's work on this, because I really need you to help me by finishing this activity" succeeded.

He and I had a connection. He actually cared, since I cared. This child was not going to be considered for first grade at our private school, and thanks to this one technique I learned from your book, he is on our roll for this fall.

He has also changed from a thorn in my side to a child who is very dear to my heart.  I actually get defensive when other teachers "discuss" his behavior… Thank you!

– Julie W., Canton, Texas


 

"I applaud you in making it so readable, user-friendly, down-to-earth, and practical"

I have already read the entire book, and parts of it twice.  I applaud you in making it so readable, user-friendly, down-to-earth, and practical.  That kind of material is difficult to find.  Nice job!!

– Janet Jackson, Resource Room Teacher, Hepburn, Saskatchewan, Canada


 

"I was amazed at the practical solutions to my problem …"

I was amazed at the practical solutions to my problem with one particular student. Even though his mother refused to believe he has an ADHD and would not have him tested, the solutions given in your book gave me the tools necessary to control him while being able to teach to the whole class again.

– (Name withheld by request)


 

"…making a big difference…"
 
I shared your book with teachers to use as a resource to better understand and help students in their classes. The suggested strategies were helpful in making a big difference in not only helping the student but also it was a confidence builder for the classroom teacher.

– Steve P., Hamilton, Ontario


 

" . . . has given me even more ammunition in helping students . . ."

I've always tried to make it a point to learn what it is that students are interested in. It is far easier for a student to develop ideas for artwork if they incorporate something that interests them into their art. It gives them something that they can instantly have a vested interest in and provides them with more of an incentive to give their very best efforts all the way to completion.

Building on this and using an Interest Inventory has given me even more ammunition in helping students come up with ideas and artwork that they can be proud of.

I also have begun to implement the Walk and Talk strategy with some of the students and have seen great results.

Just to give a specific example of how both of these strategies have worked for me in one case: I had a student who was a major disruption in my 7th grade class. This student was constantly using unsuitable language, jumping on tables, and removing his shirt. He was defiant in every possible way no matter what I did.

Thing was, he was actually my most artistically gifted student. I gave him advanced projects and was always encouraging, but his behavior seemed to get worse as the course went on.

Finally, I began using the Walk and Talk to really find out more about this student. I found out that he was interested in skating and that he had this skateboard that he wanted to decorate. I managed to check out some skate magazines from the library and one day, I sat down with him and we started going over some ideas that he thought would be cool on his board.

I had him come up with some designs and each day I would catch him on the way down to my room before class. We talked about how his day was going and if he had any new ideas for his board.

Long story short, my active interest in his skateboarding and endorsement of his design project gave him the attention he was seeking and I didn't need to spend class time catering to his every whim, because I had addressed things before he even arrived for class.

– Jon B, Wisconsin


 

"I never dreamed I would be able to use it with pre-K children.  However …"

I especially appreciated that you validated watching a movie, as long as you are teaching within the movie. This is not a great story, but when I first saw that you had sent me movie notes I never dreamed that I would be able to use it with pre-k children. However, the questions for "Finding Nemo" were great! My students really had to think and recalling details is one of our goals before they move on to kindergarten, so it is an excellent way to get them to recall facts! Thank you very much!

– Becky, Salon, Iowa


 

"His grades improved . . . all the blurting out and silliness ended"

"Sid" started the 2004-2005 school year in my eighth grade English class demanding constant attention from both me and the other students.

I tried all my old "favorites" beginning with speaking to Sid after class, speaking to other teachers, and calling home. His grades were average.

As the year continued Sid's attention-getting behaviors waned a bit, but his appearance began to change. He grew his hair long and combed it so he could literally hide behind it; he became thin and pale.

Both his mother and Sid said nothing had changed at home. No one had an answer, least of all Sid. His grades became abysmal.

After reading this book, I decided to try "Walk and Talk" just with Sid. Time for this action was limited and I couldn't find time to implement it with several other students who could have used it.

Sid came in before school and we walked the back of the campus. At first nothing happened. Then, after two or three weeks, Sid confided that he thought he was gay. He was devastated, as would be most middle school students.

Just saying it out loud must have eased Sid; his grades improved by June. All the blurting out and silliness ended. The hairdo stayed, but he did begin looking healthier.

No, I didn't fix Sid's problem. I did refer him and his mother to the school counselor and psychologist. I'm pretty sure Sid is gay, but hopefully he will learn to accept this and come out from behind his "wall" of hair.

– Marcia Giudice, Grade 8, Riverside, California


 

"The many forms included in your book will save me many hours of work"

I just received your book today and after reading it from cover to cover, I have to say that it not only easily summarized the key points I have been learning about in a four-month graduate college course on the subject of classroom management, but it has also provided me with many practical ideas of things I can do right away to improve management in my classes. 

In fact when I began to read it, I found that I could not put it down.  I was also able to pick up right away on a few things I am doing that are counter-productive to effective management in my classroom and this will help me as well.

I teach sixth and seventh-grade math in an inner-city school in Providence, Rhode Island, and the kids are great, but sometimes challenging.  I am trying to balance my desire for having my class remain a fun and exciting place to learn with the need to have fair and firm discipline as well.  Your ideas on parental partnering are right on target.  Your time-tested techniques will be put to use right away!  The many forms and student interest surveys you included in your book will save me many hours of work.  I am making teacher binders for each of my six sections tomorrow using your ideas and I'm going to start using the student reflection papers for student misbehavior immediately.

– Rick Williams, Providence, Rhode Island


 

"The book helped me understand it wasn't me …"

The book helped me understand it wasn't me or my way of teaching but that I must add a few extra tactics so we all can cope throughout the day.

– R. Hogan, Columbus Ohio


 

"Your book helped me to help him make and maintain friendships and improve his classroom behavior…"

Last year I had a student who had difficulty in social as well as academic situations. Your book helped me to help him make and maintain friendships and improve his classsroom behavior in order to increase his learning.  Thanks so much.

– Barbara R., Buffalo, West Virginia


"I expect to refer to it often"

I refuse to "write off" children who experience behavioural difficulties,and strive to find means of supporting those pupils and their teachers. Your book provides a different perspective on handling ADHD children. I expect to refer to it often.

– Mrs. McKinstray, Billingham, United Kingdom


 

"It opened up a host of 'ways-in' for me"

After teaching (or rather enduring) a particularly horrible year with a class that made me feel like I couldn't teach and which led to me crying in frustration in the staff toilet, I used your Interest Inventory. I took them out of the "free" drama space and into a classroom where they sat and silently filled in the questionnaires.  It opened up a host of "ways-in" for me. We like each other a lot now.

– Jeanne Stacey, Secondary School teacher, Hertfordshire, England


 

". . . I have found a friend for life!"

Jake was a boy in my Year 8 History/Geography/Civics class who was forever off-task, disrupting the class and calling out. He is a friendly young man and loved to talk. He was a disruption in most classes and was verging on suspension.  I started asking him to remain behind to help me straighten the room, then I walked with him to his next class. On playground duty, it wasn't hard to find him and have a chat as I walked around supervising. After the recent winter holidays on the first day back, Jake landed at my staff room door with a huge bag full of photographs, pamphlets and other items, collected during his holiday.  Smiling he said, "I thought I'd beat you to it, Miss." I asked what he meant by this. Very matter of fact he replied,"This should be plenty to talk about for all of this term. What do you think?" Needless to say, his behaviour has improved in my class, as well as others,and I firmly believe I have a friend for life!

– Judy C., Casino High School, Australia


 

How a skateboard forged a bond between teacher and student

I had a student who was placed in our school by his parents against his own will. Of course, he naturally had a chip on his shoulder for this reason. He seemed to always be depressed and would rarely open up or talk to anyone.

He was never a discipline problem; however, he refused to do any of his work. He was more of the HYPOactive rather than the HYPERactive.

I figured I needed to gain his interest or, quite simply, his respect. With either one of these he was more likely to do his work. Through "Interest Inventories" and simple "Walk and Talks" I found out he was into skateboarding.

So naturally I filled him in how I used to be a skateboarder as well. We discussed a few types of tricks and whether either of us could do them. I told him I could "ollie" which is the basic skateboarding trick to jump the board off the ground.

A few days later he brought in his skateboard for whatever reason.  Later that day, I was sitting at my desk grading papers when I happened to notice this student pacing back and forth in front of my desk.

I knew he was up to something but what I wasn't sure. After about 10 paces he finally stopped, looked straight at me and said, "Mr. Spears, I want to see you "ollie"!

This was great! I could tell he wanted to say something. He was building up the courage to do so—and he did!  I said, "Well, I'll tell you what, you're lucky.  I wore my tennis shoes today!"

So I "ollied" for him. He was blown away—you should have seen his jaw hit the ground. He couldn't believe it! A teacher that could "ollie"!

From that day on he began to slowly build trust in me and began to open up. After that he would do things like pull his chair up to my desk and ask to chat, or most of the time he would have his own topic—usually politics! The point being that once I made that connection he was eager to do what he needed to do and would initiate activities on his own rather than being withdrawn and isolating himself.

He passed with flying colors this year and I vividly remember him leaving the school with a smile!

– Shawn S, Ohio


 

"It was indeed everything you promised it would be"

I ordered the ADHD book when it first came out.  It was indeed everything you promised it to be.  I use strategies from it nearly every single day.  

I teach seventh-grade science and have about 150 students each day.  Building personal relationships is very difficult with so many students, and I have most of the same problems you have described in your book.  As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure the teacher you are describing on your website was me when I started.  

I was eager, but I was eagerly doing all the wrong things.  What I liked best about "ADHD Solution" was that there is nothing “added” that I have to do . . . it’s not something that takes hours each night to prepare to use the next day.  

And even more importantly, they can be put to use immediately.  I sure didn’t have to wait around to use the majority of your methods — they are usable that quickly.

I will be completely honest . . . I saw this advertised on the web, and it sounded like something I might be interested in, but I wasn’t sure.  

As a teacher, I have seen programs and strategies come and go, and as I’m sure you well know, more go out the door than actually stay in place in the classroom.  

So I kept reading on your website and was enticed.  Well, that was a couple of years ago — I use your strategies in the classroom on a daily basis and make it a habit to re-read the "ADHD Solution" at the beginning AND at the end of every school year — and often refer to it many times in between.  It’s a great book — but more importantly — it works.
 
Mr. Daly, I know this probably sounds cheesy and is probably a counter-effective advertisement (haha), but I just wanted you to know that I believe in your book . . . I use it and believe in it . . . and in this day of so many different methods and ways of dealing with kids, your strategies WORK.  

Some ideas from many of the other "popular" books work, but none work for ALL of the students regardless of race, age, or economic status.  Your's make sense and they work.  And as a teacher, I appreciate it and wanted to tell you as much.  
 
Please keep up the good work.  There are good teachers out there who are still struggling and don’t have to be.  I was one of them.

– Clint Lucy, Waldron, Arkansas


 

". . . your book really does work!  Not only on your mindset, but on those around you, too."

I just wanted to say "Thank You" a million times . . . and I've only finished Chapter 6 in your book. I have found a new way to channel my anger from using frustrating words into using whimsical and comical words.

OK, now I sound like a commercial, but your book really does work!  Not only on your mindset, but on those around you, too.

I know that I am going to be a better teacher (and mom) after having read your book. Thanks again.

—Mollie McKee, Josephine Texas


 

". . . creates a different rapport between teacher and student"

You wrote about taking walks and talking with your students and how this creates a different rapport between teacher and student. This truly does work! My students beg to walk with me. They open up and share what is in their hearts.  It works like magic!  Our relationship deepens and student behavior is positively affected.

– Carolanne Z., St. Charles, Missouri