the Bentley Monk agrees that “children have never been good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them” (James Baldwin). Sometimes the subject matter in our classrooms can’t compete with the “drama” in students’ lives. The main ingredient missing in a lot of classrooms today is the “connection with the kids.” Bentley believes that research is clear, when students know you value them as a human being, not just another student; they will work harder for you and challenge you less.
Bentley believes teachers don’t need any more theory and new, trendy programs with catchy names. Bentley believes teachers need to be given research based, proven, practical strategies and applications that teachers can implement immediately – without having to throw out what is working in their classroom. He also believes educators have the toughest job in America as they are asked every day to wear many different hats – mom, dad, nurse, counselor, teacher, advisor, judge, jury, lawyer, just to name a few. Why make it harder?
Bentley understands that students come into our schools and classrooms with different backgrounds, cultures, cognitive abilities, assets and experiences that are as wide ranging as the geography of the United States. Sometimes the only thing students have in common is their age or grade level! The “one size fits all” approach does not work anymore.
Bentley also knows the biggest unchallenged assumption by many today (especially politicians) about education is that kids are coming to school willing and ready to learn. As educators, we know this is not true. We have a generation of kids coming to our schools mostly un-socialized. Many students are learning behavior from TV shows, video games, social media and a myriad of other influences that affect how we as educators can assist their learning.
Bentley knows there’s not much we can do from 4:00 PM until 8:00 AM, but there is a lot we can do from 8:00 AM until 4:00 PM. Bentley is dedicated to helping educators be successful through motivation, inspiration, humor and a common-sense approach to stress management. Most importantly, he leaves educators with as many proven, practical strategies as he can.
After all, it was a teacher who helped Bentley overcome the anxiety of stage fright. One that would cripple Bentley before speaking in class or singing a note in front of an audience. It was a caring, enthusiastic, thoughtful, encouraging, well prepared teacher that helped Bentley see his true potential. Now he is helping educators see the same potential in themselves to change students’ lives all over the United States and beyond.