CELEBRATING IMPROVEMENT With Larry Biddle
More authentic recognition... from the beginning
Larry Biddle is considered the founder of Jostens Renaissance. He has been a student of the impact of recognition on individual achievement for two decades. He served as vice-chairman of the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, as well as a member of the Coastal Education Foundation at CCU. Dr. Biddle currently serves on the Board of Trustees at Coastal Carolina University.
cademic coaches don’t know what athletic coaches don’t know they know — one of the most powerful recognition breakthroughs in our nation that was born on January 29, 1904! Historically it was about one year after the visionary Wright Brothers’ flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C.The impact of these two events has provided us with essential principles that revolutionized the world as we know it. At the end of the football season on that late January day, University of Chicago coach, Amos Alonzo Stagg, presented blankets to his players who had earned them, custom blankets with a Big “C” for Chicago … the beginning of The Athletic Letter Man’s Club was underway. Coach Stagg was an American football coach who had the longest coaching career — 71 years — in the history of the sport. In 1943, at the age of 81, he was named college coach of the year, and he remained active in coaching until the age of 98. WOW! Have we expanded the power of Coach Stagg’s blanket idea: varsity letters, letter sweaters and jackets, caps, uniforms,T-shirts, patches, pins, rings, watches, wristbands, shoes, and other items with every logo imaginable! At Jostens Renaissance we call this unique concept Visible,Tangible, Walkaround-able … or VTW! That acronym was my term for it from the beginning of our first program at Conway High in 1984. Jostens Renaissance has never been a program but rather a dynamic principle-based inside out initiative designed to get more results with more parents, students, faculty, administration and members of the community.These essential concepts continue to withstand the test of time and can be applied at the elementary level as well. From January 20, 1984 until today, we have clarified that what makes knowledge valuable is the USE of
FALL 2013 SouthEast Education Network
knowledge. Knowledge is not power, the use makes it powerful! Gravity is gravity whether is in kindergarten or at NASA … the application makes the vital difference! Once you learn the “Why Principles,” what to do and how to do it become a clear strategy for success and visibility for all students. Even at the early childhood and elementary school levels, these 10 Essential Elements will have a significant impact on teaching, learning, achievement and improvement that is so vital to achieve optimal school-wide results.These tenets can be actively incorporated into the everyday operation in each and every classroom:
Excellence for all Stakeholders Recognizing every student for achievement as well as continuous improvement, rather than focusing only on the top few achievers. Honor rolls for top students do continue but the recognition for students showing improvement day after day must receive professional encouragement and recognition for their progress. Athletic coaches have focused on the most improved for decades. It works.
The Guarantee Insuring that all teachers have the right to teach and all students have the right to learn, by focusing on talents, attitudes, skills, knowledge and style (TASKS). From early childhood on we must inspire our young students in each of these areas.These TASKS lay a foundation for successful citizens for a lifetime.
Accountability Tracking more frequent academic improvement, as well as attendance, grades and behavior. In academics we have a tendency to recognize events rather than daily progress — we break it down by grading periods, semesters and end of the year events. Consider recognizing the improvement and progress more often throughout the school and on the campus.
Southeast Education Network issue 15.2