Dare to Connect addresses the whole teacher and how to create success in school, outside of school, and in retirement through connections with stakeholders utilizing the 6 P’s of the professional teacher: present, prepared, part of the team, positive, proactive, and patient. It concludes with the future of education: leading changes from the classroom: teachers as respected professional leaders and collaborators with their stakeholders.
Belle O’Neill retired in 2019 after 32 years as a public-school teacher in California and Nevada. A 2016 Fulbright Fellow for Teachers for Global Classrooms, she guest lectures at colleges and universities on topics including teacher rights, teacher credibility, communicating with parents and global education.
Part 1: Creating Success at School
Chapter 1: Present and Joyful Connections
Chapter 2: Prepared with Calm Transitions
Chapter 3: Part of the Team Benefits You
Chapter 4: Positive Investments Make a Meaningful Career
Chapter 5: Proactive Leader and Creating a Positive Classroom Climate
Chapter 6: Patience and Humor in the Classroom
Part 2: Creating Success Outside of the Classroom
Chapter 7: Present for You First and Then for Others
Chapter 8: Prepared and not Frazzled
Chapter 9: Part of the Team and Knowing Your Colleagues Outside of School
Chapter 10: Positive: An Identity Outside of School
Chapter 11: Proactive Leader: Standing Up for Your Teacher Rights
Chapter 12: Patient: Growing from Experiences
Part 3: Creating Success after Retiring from Teaching
Chapter 13: Present to the End of Your Career and Retiring on Your Terms
Chapter 14: Prepared Financially and Emotionally for Retirement
Chapter 15: Part of a New Team and New Interests
Chapter 16: Positive: Retirement is an Attitude and not an Event
Chapter 17: Proactive Leader: Create What You Want to Happen in Retirement
Chapter 18: Patient in Your Transition to Retirement
Conclusion: The Future of Education. Leading Changes from the Classroom: Teachers as Respected
About the Author
Every teacher should get their hands on this book. Whether they are beginning their career, ten years in, or approaching retirement, this book has something for all. The authentic and human approach to teaching will inspire all educators.
The section on communicating with parents is exactly what every prospective teacher needs to read. As a beginning teacher educator at the University of Nevada, Reno, I know my students often feel extreme anxiety about the idea of calling students’ parents. The ideas listed here not only provide students with valuable talking points but empower them to take ownership and guide some of the more difficult communications in the right direction. My family engagement course dedicates multiple weeks to learning the craft of making effective phone calls to parents. The students were so grateful for Belle O’Neill’s expertise as a guest speaker and author because they felt both relieved and reassured to make their first phone calls home.
WCSD retired teacher Belle O’Neill has written a structural guideline for teachers about how to create their own winning environment and create a positive learning approach for the teacher, the student, and the parent. This book allows the teacher to envision and achieve success in and out of the classroom by setting acceptable and reasonable parameters in all areas of one’s life. For example, setting a time frame to grade papers and sticking to it can help even the most veteran teachers remember to make time for themselves and their lives outside the classroom. Allowing students to see that you have a sense of humor creates an environment where students feel comfortable laughing with you and at themselves, even in the most serious of times.… Whether you are a new or veteran teacher, or if you know someone who could use structurally sound guidance, you will find this book to be a positive and useful tool to help guide you through your career. Kudos to Belle O’Neill for her insightful words.