The Teacher's Hook

Enjoy teaching and become the remarkable teacher students remember. Learn exactly what your principal expects out of you and your collaboration group. See the make-up work policy your principal secretly wants you to adopt that will eliminate failures and parent complaints. Learn the truth about the forbidden phrase, “teach to the test.” Discover the four words that get students to come to class the next day.

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 The eBook God, I'm Listening can be downloaded on most devices including: Kindle, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, and many others.

The eBook Goliath vs. David  can be downloaded on most devices including: Kindle, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble Nook, and many others.


Find the print version of God, I'm Listening   throughout the United States and Europe at

Find the print version of Goliath vs. David   throughout the United States and Europe at


Other published articles, written by Jim Kay, are below.

Quotes Jim Kay has said in his speaking engagements are also below.

Too many school absences

My son has missed so much school his grades are suffering. He has a serious back problem. It may require surgery. We often have to pull him out of school to visit doctors. How can we help his back, get him back to school, and bring his grades back up?

David L., Braselton, GA

 Prevent Unnecessary Absences Whenever possible, plan appointments for after school. Every class is important. Your child may indicate that "nothing" is going on in class, but teachers are teaching and students are learning in every class every day. Nothing can take the place of the teacher’s instruction during class time. Each time your student misses class, he is missing instruction intended to help him complete the homework, pass tests, and ace the final exam. If you plan your appointments far enough in advance, you can often get an appointment after school hours.

If the student does have to miss school for an appointment, check your child’s schedule. Find a time that would minimize the


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Dealing with Anxiety

My daughter hates getting in front of people and presenting projects. Many teachers are now assigning group projects that require her to talk in front of the class. She gets so nervous about it that she gets physically sick. Can she be excused from these projects? 

Susan W., Braselton, GA

It’s natural for anyone to have some anxiety before they have to get in front of a group of people and be the center of attention. Some people exhibit actual symptoms of illness like vomiting and headaches or hot flashes, due to this worry. 

Your daughter has a problem that she can overcome.

This type of overwhelming fear is often associated with negative thoughts about the outcome of being in front of people. For example, your daughter might think she will make a mistake and that everyone will laugh at her and she’ll never be able to live it down. Maybe she believes that people will be thinking about her in a negative way. She might fear the worst case scenario; she’ll blow the project for the entire group or her presentation will be disastrous. To work with your daughter, you need to uncover the root cause of her concerns and realize that she has a real fear.

No matter what the root cause, it is important that the parent never uses the following terms:


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Dealing with A Bully


I don’t go to your school but I have a problem. I’m being bullied. I haven’t told my Mom but this guy is really bothering me. I want to hurt him, like he’s hurt me. He’s never hurt me like punched me or anything, just in my head, you know.

                        Name withheld

Trey was my good friend all through school. He was big and goofy. I didn’t think that he was very strong but I soon learned that he was stronger than most. Trey’s family didn’t have a ton of money and he kind of smelled bad too but he was a good friend, so I didn’t mind.

Trey got picked on a lot. When I say a lot, I mean every day multiple times a day for years. I saw it and I even saw Trey try to play it off by joining in on the joke. Someone would make fun of his cheap clothes and he would respond with, “Yeah, my family is so poor that we go to Kentucky Fried Chicken to lick other people’s fingers.”

Don’t join in on the joke. That advice about poking fun at yourself to get the bully to stop doesn’t work. The logic behind it is letting the bully know that those words don’t bother you, but making fun of yourself is further humiliating and not good for your self-esteem.

One day after school, Trey confided in me that the bullying really bothered him. Looking back at the situation with adult eyes,  

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Cell Phone Addiction 

Both my 17-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son have cell phones. I initially got the phones because I wanted to be able to keep in touch with them when they’re not home and to give them a sense of security. But now their cell phone use is out of hand. Walking out the door without their cell phone in their pocket causes a complete meltdown. My daughter doesn’t seem to communicate anymore. She’s always texting instead of just talking. The part I can’t stand is when she messes with the phone while the two of us are talking – checking messages and even responding to texts, not paying a lick of attention to what I’m saying.

My son uses his smart phone to access Instagram and Twitter. He gets updates all the time, even at night. He’s obsessed with it and has gotten in trouble at school for using his cell phone during class.

Are my children addicted to their cell phones or is this just a passing fad teens go through?

Linda M – Braselton, GA

The good news is addiction to cell phones is not a recognized addiction . . . yet. The bad news is your children are probably addicted. Some typical signs of a person being addicted to something material in nature like this would be:

 Do they have feelings of withdrawal when they don’t have the phone?

 Do you notice irrational reactions to being without the phone?

 Do they compulsively check the phone?

 Do they feel anxiety when they can’t check the phone?

 Do they use the phone to make themselves feel good?

 Do arguments start between family members involving the use of the phone?

 Is the phone bill causing financial hardships?


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Possible Drug Problem

My son won’t listen to me. I try talking with him but he just gets irritated and angry with me. In middle school, he always had great grades, but now he’s failing some classes. He’s skipping school to hang out with his friends. The only thing that motivates him is video games and being with his group. I don’t care for his friends either, they seem like trouble makers. One of his buddies got in trouble with the law recently; I don’t know the details, but it worries me. I don’t know what to do.

Samantha W.

If you suspect a problem, find out for certain. Don’t ignore the situation and hope this is a phase or just "experimenting", or that it will go away on its own. Your son is probably in deeper trouble than you realize. You need to know what’s going on. Even if your son has been truthful with you every day of his life, you can’t take his word for it. It may be emotional issues, or it could be drugs or alcohol. You need to find out if he is using drugs or alcohol. Act now. Search his room, his car, pictures on his cell phone, the Internet sites he has visited. Copy down all of his contacts in his phone (If things get worse, you’ll wish you had these numbers) and look through his text messages and social media sites. If you find something, confront him with it. This invasion of privacy will probably alienate your relationship, but it provides you with two benefit


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Guide To High School Freshmen

I am about to start high school and I am stressed about it. I hear so many horror stories about all sorts of things. My dad even told me about swirlies, where they stick your head in a toilet and flush it. How do I survive high school? How do I get out of the swirly?


You really don’t have much to worry about. Swirlies are actually pretty uncommon. But here are some tips to help you start high school on the right foot.


There is one stressful situation many freshmen report. Lunch can be chaotic, so here’s the trick. The first week, go to lunch just a couple of minutes late. Look for your friends when you get there, and join their table. If you don’t take this advice, you might suffer long-term irreversible consequences; you might get stuck at a table where you have no friends. Once you choose a table, it’s surprisingly hard to switch. The people you’re leaving will feel like you’re abandoning them. They feel that you ‘now hate them’. And now they hate you back. Joining in on a table that is already formed is tough, too, because friends have jockeyed for positions next to


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Setting Goals

My child is in gifted classes. He’s smart, probably smarter than me. Most things come easy to him, but when he sets a goal, he thinks it will just happen, like magic. He gives up too soon and is discouraged easily. - Brandon W.

When I was a teenager, I was fat. I had more rolls than a bakery. My dad encouraged activity by lifting weights with me. My football coach just wanted me bigger. I had no self-motivation to lose weight.

You have to want it

The individual has to set goals, based on what they want out of life. Setting goals to please other people doesn't work. I wasn’t good enough to play football in college, so getting bigger didn’t fit my long-term goals. Plus, I was unhappy with my weight. So, I set a goal: don’t be so fat. I tried bicycling, but hit a “roadblock”.

Roadblocks don’t mean failure

I lost some weight, but didn’t know how to eat right. I grew up eating heavy carbs and high-calorie junk food. I kept eating that


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How to Encourage a Young Person to Read

My son doesn’t like to read. It’s not that he can’t read, he’s actually pretty smart but he would rather spend his time playing video games, watching movies, or playing sports. Over the years, I’ve bought him plenty of really good books, that I’ve enjoyed, but after the first chapter or two my nagging wears out and he won’t finish it. I know that reading is important and feel that he is missing out on a nice leisure activity. I need to know what is wrong with him and how to encourage him to read.

Bill F., Braselton, GA

I had a student named Seth. He was taking a multimedia class with me. How can I put this nicely? Seth was a spaz. His attention span was shorter than a typical commercial and he was continually looking for ways to fuel his desire to be entertained. Like your son, he loved video games. He was also pretty good on the computer. I had no problem keeping him engaged with the type of PowerPoints and videos I was asking him to produce, except when it came time to create a "book report" using PowerPoint. Seth told me he doesn’t read. Fortunately, I also had the opportunity to teach Seth Driver’s Ed around the same time as this book report project. Twelve additional hours with Seth


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Advantages of a schedule

My daughter’s had so much stress.  She comes home from school and tries to get everything done, but seems to get more frustrated each day. Is this what I can expect until graduation? - Peter M.

Young people appear to thrive on constant change and excitement, but most appreciate a set schedule more than even they realize. Anyone can make great progress toward goals by following a schedule. To start, have your daughter choose her three most important goals. Discuss how many hours per day or per week it would take for her to accomplish them. Figure out a time that fits the family’s schedule. When she’s working on that task, she needs to give 100% concentration to finishing it, without outside distractors. Think about how schools are set up. Bells tell students exactly what they are supposed to concentrate on at any given time. Then the bell rings again and they have time to move to the next event, socialize, or check their cell phones. Then another bell rings and they are supposed to give 100% effort on another task. You may not need bells ringing at your home, but a timer helps a violist know how long she needs to practice.


Stress Buster

 Too much stress? Try these techniques.

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Respect and Success

I want to be successful. Right now, I’m 15. I want a nice car, like the people in my neighborhood. They seem rich and respected. I want that life. How do I become successful?                                                                                                                                                                                            Jason B

Respect is important to everyone. Even people with more money than they can spend may be unhappy with their lives because they aren’t respected by their loved ones, friends, colleagues or community.

A few things that may help you achieve the life you want:

 1 Know that money can’t buy respect.

2 If you are dishonest, you won’t be respected by the people who think you’ve lied.

3 Specialize in a small aspect of the field you eventually choose.

My father was the best in the nation at his job. He was an attorney. But to be the best attorney in the nation would be pretty hard. We have a lot of lawyers. How do you determine which one is the best? He specialized in one small aspect of the law, large corporate taxes. His knowledge of big company taxes was so deep, his advice was sought after by other companies and even the federal government.  People respected his opinion. Congress listened to his advice. He was even in a movie. Now it was a movie about taxes and even his son wouldn’t watch it, but other people in the field listened to every word.

Picture yourself as a professional athlete. You need your hands to work perfectly, otherwise your team won’t win and you’ll lose your job. Now let’s imagine


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Is Your Child Missing School Pamphlet

How to Motivate Your Child to Attend School

If your child is refusing to attend school, there are things you can do at home to help.

The reason your child is missing school is most likely one of the following:

  1. Feeling general distress
  2. Avoiding social or performance situations
  3. Gaining attention (even negative)
  4. Having fun instead of going to school

First, answer the following questions:

From the list above, which is the most common reason your child misses school?

  1. Why do you believe your child doesn’t want to go to school?

Each reason for missing school can be overcome. The behavior can be modified. The table to the right provides strategies to help your child make better decisions. Different strategies work for different causes.


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Quotes Dr. Kay has said in his lectures or written in articles:


“It’s never too late to cut ties with friends you don’t like.” ~ Dr. Jim Kay


 “Your attendance in High School is not a goal achieved, but rather the first step to achieving your dreams.” ~ Dr. Jim Kay


“A teacher who engages students can turn a prune into a plum.” ~ Dr. Jim Kay 


“Students zone out when they are taught and learn when they are engaged.” ~ Dr. Jim Kay

“Just because you don’t get your way, doesn’t mean the other person is being rude.” ~ Dr. Jim Kay


“If you’re rough with people, expect to be bruised.” ~ Dr. Jim Kay


“The two most important things for a student to realize are: you don’t already know everything and pencils have erasers.” ~ Dr. Jim Kay


“Tolerance and compromise are the building blocks to friendship.” ~ Dr. Jim Kay


“What you feel within ultimately becomes your reality.” ~ Dr. Jim Kay


“A teacher must be a prophet - a prophet who knows what knowledge a student will need to be successful in their future.” ~ Dr. Jim Kay


“If character is defined by what we do and say, honesty in all aspects of your life would be most important.” ~ Dr. Jim Kay


“It is important to be honest, take time to do what’s important to you, and stay close to those people important to you. Doing these things will never fail you.” ~ Dr. Jim Kay


“‘Success follows education’ - that phrase has been misunderstood. Success and education continue throughout a person's life. Success follows those who continue their education during the course of their life, learning from experiences, observations, and relationships with others.” ~ Dr. Jim Kay

“Here, class attendance is expected. Your knowledge, learned while in class, must be proven to pass your courses. Come to school on time. Stay for all of your classes. At every opportunity, prove that you have learned what was being taught.” ~ Dr. Jim Kay


“The patterns of behavior that you begin in high school will continue into your career. Even though you might think that you are going to love your job and will show up every day because of that love, chances are you won’t love going to work every day. If you think that it’s alright to miss school, you’ll think that you can also miss work. People who miss too much work get fired. If the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons missed too many games, he would lose his job. If you miss work too often, you won’t have a job.” ~ Dr. Jim Kay


“You can set higher standards for yourself. When your standards are high, you will end up with better results. Today, make the promise to improve your work ethic, to commit to doing well in school, to showing up – even if you don’t feel like it. This change will produce more momentum for you to reach your goals. It’s like when you ride your bike up a steep hill, racing your friends. You’re dying to stop pedaling as soon as you reach the top and coast down the other side of the hill but if you just give those pedals a few more turns, you’ll keep your momentum going and beat the competition.” ~ Dr. Jim Kay