Now was the first day of the Certification Process. Here I was with 10 other people and an amazing instructor, Jeanette McDaniel. Jeanette was an expert in helping us all be at ease in this process. She was to become a mentor, friend and role model to me.
I need to stop right now and explain a little about the training process that continues today only we are much better at it. When I entered my Basic Intensive Training, I did not know what to expect and I was extremely nervous. Dr. AveryMcCordick explained to us that he was doing the training following the principles of Schools Without Failure and that we would be evaluating our own work! Avery did the same thing in his University Courses for which he was ostracized by some other professors who thought he was too easy on us, but Avery knew we would be harder on ourselves than he could ever be.
Dr. Glasser taught about the difference between schooling, which most schools were involved in and a lot are still today and education. He said that we need to create a need satisfying environment, free from fear where we could learn easily and at our own pace. He later wrote about the Criteria for a Glasser Quality School:
- Relationships are based upon trust and respect, and all discipline problems, not incidents, have been eliminated.
- Total Learning Competency is stressed and an evaluation that is below competence or what is now a “B” has been eliminated. All schooling as defined by Dr. William Glasser has been replaced by useful education.
- All students do some Quality Work each year that is significantly beyond competence. All such work receives an “A” grade or higher, such as an “A+”.
- Students and staff are taught to use Choice Theory in their lives and in their work in school. Parents are encouraged to participate in study groups to become familiar with the ideas of Dr. William Glasser.
- Students do better on state proficiency tests and college entrance examinations. The importance of these tests is emphasized in the school.
Staff, students, parents and administrators view the school as a joyful place.
Learning in this environment was certainly a different experience for me and I had to really work on trusting the process. I have done some of my best professional development with this training program. I had gone through four levels of training and each one got better and better with learning in a stress free environment.
Still when I got to that first day at Certification I was a wreck. What I know and understand today is that this nervousness was programmed into my subconscious mind for many years during my mainstream schooling. Jeannette was very effective at creating an environment where we wanted to present our work and yes, continue to learn. Then it happened! It was my turn to present.
I had been a presenter for about four years and was used to speaking no less than an hour and often for a full day at a time. Now I was asked to speak for 15 minutes with five minutes for questions. I worked and worked, at getting my presentation to 15 minutes and, even the night before, I was to present, I was up late editing.
The moment had arrived. My Title: Sex and Total Behavior. When Jeanette saw the title and my notes, she looked at the group and said: ” Group this is such an important subject, do you think we could give Maureen some extra time? ” The group was on board and suggested an hour! Panic!! Old school thinking!! Then I self-evaluated and convinced myself that it was a safe environment.
I will share the story of my presentation, which was later published in the Journal of Reality Therapy, 1991 in my next blog article. In the meantime, if you have questions or comments, I would love to hear from you!