www.johngile.com • 2017 by John Gile
johngile.com

What now? And what then?
Questions for graduates at commencement

    Martin Luther King, Jr., told the story of “a wise old preacher who went to a college to deliver a baccalaureate sermon. After finishing his message, he lingered on campus to talk with members of the graduating class.

    “He spoke with a brilliant young graduate named Robert. His first question to Robert was, ‘What are your plans for the future?’

    “'I plan to go immediately to law school,’ Robert answered. ‘What then, Robert?’ asked the preacher. ‘Well,’ responded Robert, ‘I plan to get married and start a family and then get myself securely established in my law practice.’

    “'What then, Robert?’ continued the preacher. Robert answered, ‘I must frankly say that I plan to make lots of money from my law practice and thereby I hope to retire rather early and spend a great deal of time traveling to various parts of the world — something that I have always wanted to do.’

    “‘And what then, Robert?’ inquired the preacher with an almost annoying inquisitiveness. ‘Well,’ said Robert, ‘those are all my plans.’

    “Looking at Robert with a countenance expressing pity and fatherly concern, the preacher said, ‘Young man, your plans are far too small. They can extend only The goal of education75 or 100 years at the most. You need a plan that is so large and broad that it cannot be bound by the chains of time or the manacles of space.’

    “Life has three dimensions — length, breadth, and height, and life at its very best is like a balanced, equilateral triangle.

    “The length of life is the inward drive to achieve your personal ends and ambitions, an inward concern for your own welfare and achievements.

    “The breadth of life is outward concern for the well-being of others.

    “The height of life is the upward reach for God.

    “Achieving a balanced life starts with loving yourself, if that means rational and healthy self-interest. Set yourself earnestly to discover what you are made to do, and then give yourself passionately to the doing of it. This clear, onward drive toward self-fulfillment is the length dimension of your life.

    “But we have not learned to live well until we can rise above the narrow confines of our individual concerns. We need to care for the broader concerns of others, of all humanity. In order to live creatively and meaningfully, your self-concern must be wedded to concern for others. That is loving your neighbor as you love yourself, and is the breadth dimension of life.

    “The height dimension of life is giving priority to God. Without God, all our efforts turn to ashes and our sunrises into darkest nights. Without God, life is a meaningless drama in which the decisive scenes are missing. But with God we are able to rise from tension-packed valleys to the sublime heights of inner peace and are able to find radiant stars of hope to light our way through the most depressing nights.

    “Only by paying painstaking attention to developing and balancing the length, breadth, and height dimensions of your life can you expect to live a full and complete life. Make your plans large and broad. Give your life — all you have and are — to the God of the universe whose plans include eternity.”

(Based on excerpts from Strength to Love)

First impressions can be misleading.
Just ask this first grade teacher
and the student’s mother.

     When first grade students were told to draw a picture showing what they wanted to be when they grew up, one of the girls told her teacher, "I want to be like Mommy," and handed in this drawing. Her teacher gasped when she saw the drawing, but praised the little girl for her work and then put the drawing into the child’s packet of papers to take home.

www.johngile.com     The next day the little girl returned to school with the drawing and a note for the teacher from her very embarrassed mother — who had instructed her daughter to make certain the teacher read Mommy’s note.

     The note said, “I want to explain my daughter’s drawing. My friends say it looks like a drawing of me at a dance pole on a stage surrounded by male customers handing over cash, but it’s not. I work in a hardware store and told my daughter how much money we made during the snowstorm last week. Her drawing is a picture of me selling snow shovels.”


Helen Keller


Helping students write well
is helping students to excel.


Motivation and foundational skill development in my programs and books provide students with enrichment that pays dividends for a lifetime. -- John Gile
 
Here's what educators say:


“He is about the best author that I've seen as far as teaching and speaking on what we teach. I'd like to see him here next year.” — Carolyn F., Vestavia Central, Birmingham, AL

“Thanks for spending time with the children — my writing center was full as a result of your presentation.” — Ann V., Bannes School, Tinley Park, IL

“Mr. Gile talked to the kids in a way they could understand. He answered all of their questions and was very patient . . . Great presentation!” — Kathryn P., and Phyllis K., Teachers, Harrisburg, PA

“One of the best I've had the opportunity to be a part of . . . made every student feel that he could become a writer, too.” — Roberta P., Wilder-Waite, Peoria, IL

“John knew exactly what worked with kids . . . The students, as well as I myself, were eager to read and write. It excited them.” — Ann C., Teacher, Cascade, IA

“I felt very inspired after your presentation and many students vocalized similar feelings after the presentation . . . One of my students was talking and you moved him in front of you. After the presentation that student kept talking about how wonderful the presentation was. You really impacted his attitude about writing along with other students' attitudes.” — Nicole N., Banner Elementary, Dunlap, IL

“Children are more interested in spending the time and effort to do quality writing now.” — Dorothy D., Teacher, Perham, MN

“...The ability to motivate the students who are typically reluctant to write . . . It's a great program. I've recommended it to teachers in other districts. I'd like to see it recycle through our schools every two or three years.” — Carl S.,Lincoln, West Chicago, IL

“My students came back to the room very excited about writing.” — Cathy R., VHEC, Germany

"I was especially pleased to hear our high schoolers state how interesting you were."— IL

“Wonderful program! Several children left the presentation and sat down to write a book! We really appreciated his reinforcement of things we teach — reading, rewriting. Thank you for a wonderful presentation!” — Gail M., Teacher, Austin Elementary, Odessa, TX

“The presentation made me want to do more writing!” — Larry H., Middle School Teacher, LaGrange, IL

“It was great the way he varied what he said to his audience's age level. . . . I feel his presentation touched the lives of all who heard him. It was very well organized — points clear with excellent examples.” — Rita P., Teacher, Cleveland Elementary, Elkhart, IN

“Kids were writing books during recess after they saw your presentation . . . Good student involvement” — Kelly S., Ellsworth Elementary, Naperville, IL

“Students gained a new perspective on writing, and so did I!” — NY

“He made the presentation so interesting that it piqued the children's interest. As a result, the students asked terrific questions! . . . Warm, caring, honest demeanor. We loved meeting him. Outstanding presentation — well organized — interesting materials — I love the way he truly cares about children and what he's trying to do for all of us.” — Taylor Park Teacher, Freeport, IL

“A great workshop! Children were interested, excited and couldn't wait to make their own book.” Kathy C., Jackson Heights Elementary, Glens Falls, NY

“Very enjoyable — the kids were very excited and eager to start writing!” — K. M., Galloway School, Channahon, IL

“. . . Involved the kids and got them to draw on their own experiences and identify with the author. . . Wonderful for letting the kids know they are writers. . . John gave us ideas to reinforce with the students. . . I thought it was grade appropriate and kept the children thinking! . . . Motivation!” — Cindy N., Richards School, Whitefish Bay, WI

“What a wonderful presentation. The children were spellbound . . . For many of them this day will be a memory that lasts forever.” — Cathy G., Cultural Resources Coordinator, Normal, IL

“Excellent rapport with students . . . The students came away feeling good about their efforts to write. I think this was due to the warm, caring atmosphere that was created.” — Deborah S., Teacher, Hightower Elementary, Conyers, GA

     I'm an author and publisher (http://www.jgcunited.com/bio.html) in Illinois and I often present writing workshops for students, for teachers, for professionals who write for publication (http://www.jgcunited.com/enrichment.html), and for groups fostering personal growth and professional enrichment. I also do one-on-one coaching and counseling for individual writers on Skype or by phone and email. Click here to contact me.

WRITERS WANTED:
Click here to see where strong writing skills are needed.

Top of PageEmail me
share
Whole person education
         creates healthy communities . . .

Whole person education is more than literacy.


     I write books and present programs that foster literacy — reading, writing, listening, thinking, and speaking skills — because I believe those are our highest gifts and our primary survival skills for the 21st century. But whole person education, not simply fostering literacy, is my primary goal.

Literacy alone is not enough.

     Literacy is fundamental, the most basic learning tool, the key to lifelong-learning and achievement. Because virtually every social problem in America has a literacy connection, it is correctly identified as our most pressing social need. Fostering literacy in children and adults is one of the most effective and enduring ways we can feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, and give hope to the hopeless. But literacy alone is not enough. Some of the worst atrocities and crimes against humanity have been committed by persons who can read. Our nation's corporate scandals in recent years have been perpetrated by men and women who could read.

We need more than literacy. We need character.

     Literacy is essential, but literacy alone may simply give us smarter thugs, more clever thieves and liars, more resourceful destroyers of human dignity. We need more than literacy. We need character — instruction in and commitment to ethical, honorable behavior. But character, too, falls short of what we need for a truly civilized society and world at peace where all have the opportunity to develop their full potential. Character is merely strong adherence to a moral code. If the moral code is wrong, strength of character merely increases the potential for causing human suffering and misery.

     Leaders of the Socialist Workers' Party in Germany, for example, had strength of character, and so did the people who flew planes into the World Trade Center. The problem is their moral codes were wrong. Their moral codes included some people and excluded others. Because their flawed moral codes failed to include everyone, their strength of character merely increased their capacity to do horrendous evil and commit despicable acts against innocent people.

We need more than character.

     The only moral code that assures human progress in peace and justice for all is love. Another word for that love is respect — respect for every man, woman, and child, without exception, and respect for ourselves and the human dignity with which each one of us is endowed.

    Literacy is important. Character is important. But it is love, manifest in respect for ourselves and others, which is the highest level of human achievement. When our common goal is to be persons of love, persons of compassion and cooperation, then literacy and character will help us work for and thrive in communities where "the strong are just, the weak secure, and the peace preserved." —John Gile

"I never looked at it that way before!"

     Does your organization need an entertaining speaker who can evoke “I never looked at it that way before!” responses while conveying tips and tools to strengthen  critical thinking, expand creative thinking, enhance coping skills, and increase problem-solving ability?

Communicators have more fun

     "Well developed communication skills provide greater satisfaction and fulfillment in living:
     "• They give us clarity of thought and vision to see beyond what is to what can be.
     "• They fill our lives with richness, and purpose. 
     "• They give us power to achieve goals of every sort and to reach our full potential.
     "• They help us deal with and overcome setbacks and failures and even disasters that come into our lives and the lives of those we love.
     "• They foster greater understanding of ourselves and others.
     "• They enable individuals and groups of people work to together smoothly. They help us know, accept, and be ourselves." -- John Gile, "Write For Your Life"

     For a good time while you strengthen your communication skills and those of your associates and/or students, contact JGC/United Publishing by email (mailbox@jgcunited.com) or by phone (815.968.6601).
www.jgcunited.comwww.johngile.com
mailbox@jgcunited.com • JGC/United Publishing Corps
1717
Harlem Boulevard Rockford, Illinois  61103 • 815.968.6601
Top of PageEmail me
share
Here's a fast and easy test
to see whether your child is developing
the
most important skill
for future success . . .


www.johngile.com
www.johngile.com
Home page . . . Contact me . . . 
Programs . . . Books . . .
It's teachers, not technology . . . "I am an Internet addict..."
Language arts for teachers and students