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Day 5- So, You Want to Be a Teacher?

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

Teacher and Student Art Work
Teacher and Student

Welcome to Teaching the Greatest Profession Ever

One of my many challenges is how to get those in need to look at a SMART WAY to Learn. Everyone wants someone else to go first. Courage is waning. Bullies are winning. People with little or no training are in schools because of teacher shortages. We know why there are shortages, but no one seems to be doing anything about it. Until now.

New ideas can always use academic scrutiny - student teachers, learning and playing the WAY Game, creating Digital Lesson Plans and planning possible classroom projects while you are in school make a perfect staging ground for a SMART WAY to Learn. Student Teachers have the time, motivation and resources to bring much-needed improvements to education.

Let's be proactive - motivate students with the WAY Game, value the benefits of Digital Lesson Planning and teach students how to earn through Entrepreneurial Project-based Learning. You have a new game plan ready to go. There is value here, and it's time teachers got a raise.

Start with the WAY Game, follow my Blog, and bring the Game to your class - be a leader. Why not put together a team and play other schools online? Or play in class as one of the many tools you'll bring on your teaching adventures. Armed with great Tools and Techniques, you will thrive in the classroom.


Focus Questions

1. Do you want to be a good teacher?

Outcome - Improved Tools and Techniques for the Classroom.

2. How to use AI to transform text in order to differentiate instruction.

Outcome - Transform text into learning formats: questions, activities, summaries, evaluations etc.

3. Why use a SMART WAY to Learn?

Outcomes - Be able to list the value and benefits of a SMART WAY in point form.


  1. Create a Brainstorm Web as to why teaching is the greatest profession ever.

  2. Watch and Listen to the two videos. Discuss the ideas presented here. Do you agree? Why or why not?

An Invitation for Teachers to Return to the Classroom

A Case Study for Teachers in Training

Adventures in AI

Ask CHAT GPT to summarize the main ideas following Transcripts in point form.

Transcript Don't Quit Teaching

To teach or not to teach, that is the question. There are teacher shortages, burnout, and resignations everywhere. It's been a really tough year, and summer will be a time of contemplation for many teachers. What will teachers have to look forward to in September? More importantly, what will students be looking forward to?

You see nothing bright on the horizon, no path forward. You're second-guessing your decisions. Welcome to teaching. It's not for sissies; you will be tested by students, parents, colleagues, administrators, and maybe even the media. And why not? We have under our influence the hearts and minds of society's most precious gifts: our children.

Teachers are leaving the classroom like never before. I get it; I've been there and done that. It took me to the end of my career to finally feel good about how I was teaching. I could never find what I was looking for in teacher professional development, so I created it. It took years of research and development to be able to simplify the tools and techniques of a smart way to learn and bring them to a mass audience.

It came down to understanding what was important to my students, their parents, and my sanity. Welcome to a learning experience like no other. Welcome to teaching.

All these teachers you are seeing in the background made videos about why they quit teaching. My video is about why I stayed. To be honest, I quit, too, back in 1999. I packed a small box and walked right out of the class in the middle of a lesson. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision, so you could say I've been there and done that. Stress is real, and it builds as much as you try to ignore it.

In my long teaching career, there have been both tragedies and triumphs. I've had a number of students die tragically. The captain of my girls' basketball team died at center court as the teams shook hands. I saw the ravages of disease as one of my students had to have his limbs amputated. I attended to a little girl after she was run over by a car. These tragedies come out of the blue. How are you, as a teacher, going to help your students through these difficult times?

Doing the WAY raised arms
Celebrate Learning

It's not always life-threatening. The moments of triumph far outweigh the tragedies. I have pockets full of memories and stories of lessons given, of teams coached, of plays performed. You can become close to students, and then you may never see them again, and sometimes that's a good thing.

So, why did I stay in teaching? I'm driven; it's my calling, which is ironic since I was such a poor student. I like teaching; I just didn't like the attitude of some students and parents. The long hours and paperwork didn't help, but don't dwell on the negative; you can't get away from it, but you can learn to manage it.

In theory, as a teacher, you'll have more time off to spend with your family, but I know many teachers have to take on a second job to make ends meet. It's time we show the public what teachers really do, but roadblocks must be removed. We need to trust our teachers more, with less micromanagement.

But it's the relationships teachers form with students, their parents, and colleagues that make a difference. It's the things you create, the hearts and minds you reach that make learning and teaching worthwhile. That's why I stayed.

And while I'm sharing with you my teaching experiences, we need great teachers now more than ever. If you're thinking of quitting, consider the ideas found here. If you are thinking of becoming a teacher, have a look inside a working classroom.

Are you teaching now and want some tools that will make a real difference in every class? Are you an administrator looking for a plan to move your staff forward? Parents could benefit from my stories as well; they'll learn that relationship-building, self-discovery, information-processing techniques, and fun and games are the keys to successful learning.

This site is a work in progress, evolving as new relationships are made. This is an invitation to grow with us, to once again feel the joy of teaching, the greatest profession in the world.

A smart way to learn has three pillars: the WAY Game, digital lesson planning, and project-based learning. All three are student-focused. This is what this project, this journey, is all about - encouraging the teaching of independent lifelong learning processes designed to take responsibility off of a teacher's plate and share them with students and parents.

There's a bit of martyrdom when it comes to teaching. Teachers tend to take on all the responsibility for everything and more. But no more. Moving forward, we are going to have to rely on each other to help bring many voices to the classroom. One of those voices will be a teacher's parent volunteer.

Our webinars are one of a kind because we recognize the need for teamwork. Your parent volunteer will have specific tasks for the production of the weigh game materials and to help monitor play throughout the year. Parent volunteers are asked to accompany the homeroom teacher for a day of learning via webinar.

So, I invite you to use this site not only to survive teaching but to thrive in teaching. Teaching is a marathon, not a sprint. Find ways to make every day count; your students are depending on you.


Summarize the main ideas of the following Transcripts in point form for student teachers who are considering the teaching profession.

Main Ideas from the "Don't Quit Teaching" Transcript for Student Teachers:

  1. Challenges in Teaching:

    • Teaching can be challenging, with teacher shortages, burnout, and resignations being common issues.

    • Stress and difficult moments are part of the teaching profession.

  2. Teaching Is Rewarding:

    • Despite challenges, teaching is a rewarding profession with moments of triumph, meaningful relationships with students and parents, and valuable memories.

  3. Reasons to Stay in Teaching:

    • Some of the reasons to stay in teaching include a strong sense of calling, a passion for teaching, and the opportunity to make a positive impact on students' lives.

  4. Public Perception and Support:

    • Teachers need more support and trust from the public and less micromanagement to be effective in their roles.

  5. Importance of Relationships:

    • Building relationships with students, parents, and colleagues is crucial for success in teaching.

  6. Empowering Students:

    • Encouraging independent lifelong learning processes and sharing responsibilities with students and parents are essential for effective teaching.

  7. Webinars and Parent Volunteers:

    • Collaboration and teamwork, including involving parent volunteers, are key to enhancing the teaching experience.

    • A project called the "WAY Game" and other student-focused methods are introduced to improve teaching and learning.

  8. Teaching as a Marathon:

    • Teaching is a long-term commitment, and educators should focus on making every day count for the benefit of their students.

CHAT GPT is pretty good, I would say. Make up a prompt for the next Transcript.


Teachers in Training Transcript taken from YouTube Chat GPT Response - Certainly, here's the text formatted into paragraphs with the timestamps removed:

Who are the primary stakeholders in education that should take a leadership role in evaluating and introducing a SMART WAY to Learn to the world? Student teachers for whom this site was designed should lead. Because they have the time, motivation, and setting to test this collection of teaching and learning resources.

Welcome to a SMART WAY to Learn. My name is Brian McCarthy, your virtual classroom assistant. My role is to assist others who choose to plan and play the SMART WAY. In one of the most popular TED talks of all time, Simon Sinek says, "In order to inspire, begin with why." Why? Because attitude is everything. The most important question teachers get from students on a daily basis is, "Why?" Why do we have to know this stuff? Because that's what's in the curriculum isn't a great answer. Every lesson needs to start with why; every lesson needs to be inspirational.

Note in hand
Be an Expert

Why? Because our world needs better decision-makers. Decisions influence the very fabric of our society in either positive, negative, or neutral ways. That's the first reason why. Why? Let's begin with student discipline, which is best managed through engaging lessons. Teachers achieve student engagement through the lessons they present or how they teach. You don't control the "what," you do control the "how."

A SMART WAY is all about how to teach and learn in relation to our three primary projects: the WAY Game, digital lesson planning, and a proposal for entrepreneurial project-based learning. We need great teachers now more than ever because public education is under attack, teachers are under attack, students are afraid to come to class, parents are frustrated, and teachers are leaving the profession in record numbers. People are choosing not to become teachers.

So why do student teachers need a SMART WAY to Learn? To begin, for a leg up on the competition when it comes time to look for a job. It's nice to have choices and be in demand. In your interview, you will describe your philosophy of teaching and learning, as well as the tools and techniques you'll use to make that administrator look good for hiring you. Why use a SMART WAY to Learn? Because it's a holistically integrated Learning System that is technology-based, satisfying the real and practical needs of teachers, students, and parents. The SMART WAY recognizes that learning requires teamwork; it is a shared experience that needs to be enjoyed, not feared.

Continuing with why we plan and play the SMART WAY so teachers can be naturally inspirational, students will eventually know that your class is a great class to be in because it is a caring, creative, patient, safe environment in which to learn. You can't lead with a million fists.

So why play? To strengthen family bonds, to provide a routine to end the homework battle, transform homework time into a WAY Game prep time to reinforce and preserve the learning of the day. Why play? Because play is a great way for students to learn. It's non-threatening, inclusive, challenging, fun, rewarding, and develops valuable attitudes, skills, and knowledge.

Why? What about for the greater good, leaving a mark, making a difference, pushing the boundaries of traditional learning, contributing your knowledge and talents to a lesson plan bank, and other repositories for teaching and learning resources is a good idea. What didn't exist now will exist if you make it so. Why? Because the WAY Game makes learning fun. The way game opens a window into your class so others may share your joy and your students' successes.

Why? Because we have their children behind closed doors. A SMART WAY includes four improved ways to welcome parents into the learning process and make your classroom more transparent through annual Pathfinder reports, weekly game cards, daily cap notes, and board note reports. Why? So teachers aren't reinventing the wheel every year. You don't have to start from scratch when you teach with digital lesson plans. You don't have to work alone.

That's some of the big picture "why." On a more personal level, you, as a student teacher, must survive the classroom. It's not easy; it requires a special type of person who dedicates their life to the service of others. The demands for many of the resources are few; you must learn to make do with what you have and put up with people you may not agree with. It must be clear to you who you are and what you stand for and, at the same time, leave personal bias for sensitive issues in class at the door.

7 Symbols for the WAY Game
7 Symbols of the WAY Game

Why? A SMART WAY offers improved methods of accountability. Accountability is not just for teachers but students and parents as well. Learning in education is a shared responsibility; we must define our roles and work as a team. A SMART WAY offers ways for students and parents to become more involved in their education.

Why? Show me another learning model that does as much as a SMART WAY to Learn has to offer. A SMART WAY offers ways to generate much-needed revenues for schools while at the same time teaching valuable real-world skills of running a small business or putting on a show. With a SMART WAY, students learn to earn and don't attempt projects until the WAY Game and digital lesson plans are in place. Look at the SMART WAY as a three-year growth plan.

So why? Peace of mind. Peace in class, peace in the world. Well, two out of three ain't bad, but we're working on the third. Why peace of mind? The teacher has to be the stable one in the group. If not, fake it till you make it.

In conclusion, peace in the classroom is possible when an atmosphere of trust and respect is built when consistent, logical, practical lessons are in place and well communicated when teachers open their doors and let others in. Courage is needed, and when you facilitate learning and not preach, then there's no indoctrination. We're not preachers; we're teachers. We see many sides, many ways, so enjoy the greatest profession in the world: teaching.

The plan is to introduce a SMART WAY to teacher training programs and school districts on a first-come, first-serve basis. I will post Virtual Office hours if requested. If no professors adopt a SMART WAY, then learn on your own. Everything you need is here, free and available 24/7. So please learn to play, get classmates together, and form a team. Play in class and play with other teams virtually. The ball is in your court.


Teacher Stories

My first day of student teaching in the east end of Montreal. What a blast.

When I think of how far I've come as a teacher from those early days, just the changes in technology over thirty-three years in the classroom are amazing. And now, we take another quantum leap in learning as AI enters the classroom.

Teachers in Training - Early Daze

I never dreamt about being a teacher, and it was no wonder when you consider my learning challenges. I kind of fell into the profession. I took a crack at Science at Concordia University in Montreal after my BA and after a year of working as a nursing assistant in a rehab ward for Paraplegics at St. Michaels in Toronto.

The downtown campus of Concordia reminded me of a Borg ship from Star Trek, very impersonal, large theatre classrooms. I remember sitting in a Physics class, thinking how lost I was. I was attempting to follow in my father's footsteps into medicine. It's when you come to the realization of something that hurts not only me but also my parents.

My father spent many of his formative years in an orphanage, which doubled as the last leper colony in Canada. I can't imagine what life was like. Not good. He told me stories of his summer jobs shovelling coal, his hands a mass of blister. He became a prominent Oral Surgeon In Montreal, the fourth of his kind in Canada. He taught at McGill and was a giant of a man in my eyes; his Catholic faith was very important to him. I could never measure up in my mind. So, it was difficult to tell him I was dropping out of Science and taking a shot at medicine. Realistically, I never had the brains to make it. I did have hospital

author the WAY Game
Brian your Virtual Teacher

experience as an orderly in the operating room and several other wards at St. Mary's in Montreal and St. Michael's in Toronto. Want to learn empathy? Work as an Orderly in a hospital.

Sometime later, I talked with an old friend, now also a retired teacher, who was in the after-degree program in Education at McGill. She suggested that I go into teaching; I had never considered the possibility until then; summers off sounded good to me.

This was a time of political upheaval in Quebec over Bill 101; a new language law was driving the English out of Quebec. It was not a good time to consider teaching; there were layoffs and no work in Quebec for English-speaking teachers. My timing was perfect; McGill's enrolment must have been down because I got in.

Winston Emery was one of my professors, a progressive thinker, but remember, this was before tech entered the classroom. Teaching was pretty basic with a one-size-fits-all approach, except in his class, where we were free to try new things. I remember asking my Social Studies professor what the 'ticks of the trade' were. He seemed taken aback and didn't have an answer. That's when my journey really started - what did good teachers do?

My first practicum was at Switch Blade High, or so it was known. I honestly can't remember the school's name or my practicum teacher. My second practicum began with a real bang. My first day of class in the east end of Montreal, where my bearded students dressed in leather and rode motorcycles to school, was common. These kids must have been held back a few times; most were not interested in school. So am I about to start the lesson and I hear an explosion from the hallway; you could see the effects of a smoke bomb through the half-glass classroom door. No doubt, someone had set off the blast to welcome me to teaching. And make no mistake; your students will test you to see if you are tough enough for the job.

What a difference from then to now. If that happened in a high school today, there would be a lockdown; back then, we just continued with the lesson.

I taught at a time when technology evolved from chalk on the blackboard to Artificial Intelligence writing lesson plans. The only thing constant in my years of teaching was 'change.' As a result, I offer what I learned over time, a culmination of a lifetime of study, to answer a simple teacher - what makes for a good teacher?

What's Next

CAP Notes - Graphic Organizers to capture learning.

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