Larry Bell has both experience and a deep understanding of the challenges facing California schools and educators.
California teachers under a new governor and education commissioner will most likely face new challenges. We must give our teachers the support they need to continue to meet the many challenges of their ever-changing profession. Larry Bell can do just that.
For over two decades, Larry Bell has helped California educators meet and overcome tremendous challenges and obstacles by reminding them that they have the power through high expectations to meet any challenge straight on and succeed by focusing on what is important, the students. By inspiring, lifting spirits and providing strategies teachers can implement immediately, the schools Larry has worked with have gotten results that have been quite impressive. The key is that Larry Bell can bring the joy back to teaching!! Once he has done that – the teachers will do the rest.
California Legislature Adopts the Term "At-Promise!"
If you have ever been to a Larry Bell presentation you are familiar with the term “at-promise.” Larry adopted this term over 20 years ago to refer to students who were in danger of failing or dropping out. He selected this term over the phrase “at-risk” and began to encourage all educators to do the same. Larry felt that the way educators label students impacts the way they approach them. He believed that these students had much to offer and that educators needed to see and reinforce their promise not their deficits. It was an important paradigm shift that needed to be made by teachers and students alike.
Larry presented this concept at a SIATech conference in California several years ago. The conference organizers and participants wholeheartedly agreed and adopted the use of the term “at-promise.“ Larry returned recently to California to present again at another SIATech conference and they told him SIATech had encouraged the state legislature to ask California educators to begin using the term “at-promise.” The California legislature agreed and passed ACR 197 a resolution that would “encourage the people of the State of California to recognize the potential and possibilities of our children, instead of focusing on their deficits.” This resolution encourages people to refer to the students as at promise – not at risk. This is a remarkable accomplishment for educators in California! The people from SIATech also informed Larry that in the supportive literature for the resolution he was quoted on this issue describing it as a “paradigm shift ” that “encourages teachers to approach students from a positive place, one that keeps in mind the students’ promise not their failures.” (Assembly Committee on Public Safety, ACR197) Larry was so surprised and delighted to have heard this news. He is pleased to have been able to play a small role in this amazing paradigm shifting movement.
California schools face uncertainty.
"California teachers are some of the hardest working teachers in America. They also have some of the biggest obstacles to overcome such as the tremendous number of students in poverty, a language issue to overcome in many classrooms, a large number of students from diverse backgrounds and some often difficult messages that come from the state level. During times of uncertainty like these, it is critical to remind teachers why they became teachers in the first place. It is important that they are given ways to reconnect with their inner selves and their inner power. It is time for California administrators to help teachers regain the excitement, enthusiasm, optimism and passion these teachers possessed when they entered our profession. Larry Bell can bring out that passion and provide strategies to keep the fire hot throughout the year. Uncertainty at higher levels should not mean low student performance! Teachers have to be reminded that what they expect of their students is exactly what they will get it. These teachers can get a lot, especially if Larry Bell gets to “light their fire!!"
Educational Motivational Speaker, Consultant & Author
The following are just a few of the 50+ California schools/districts Larry Bell has worked with:
Arcata School District
Bakersfield City School District
Desert Knolls Elementary School
Kern High School District
Ontario Montclair School District
San Joaquin County Schools
Tahama County Department of Education
Larry has also presented several times to the California Teachers Association and SIA Tech.
This is what California educators say about Larry:
"Well, we were blown away by our results. Our African American students jumped 84 API points. Our Hispanic students jumped 92 API points. Our Socio-Economically Disadvantaged students rose 82 points and our English Learners rose 100 API points. Adelanto Elementary School jumped an incredible 87 API points on the state test! We also made our AYP targets for the first time and froze in Program Improvement. One more year of making progress and we can exit from Program Improvement!"
Principal, Adelanto Elementary School
"Our school made our AYP growth by 37 points and our third grade team was 2nd highest scoring in the district!!!! You said your program was 100% effective! I did believe you then, but now I have the results to backup my belief!!!”
Teacher, Thorner Elementary School, Bakersfield
“Thank you so much for your passion, courage and strength; you are truly an inspiration to me. This was one of the most fun professional development days I have had in a long time!"
Arroyo Valley High School
"You are motivating, inspiring, exacting, funny, frank, on message every minute. You teach and do it with excitement and surprise, and you challenge everyone in the room to be better at every turn. You involve people and you excite them, practicing everything you preach."
California Teachers Association