J. Lynn Jones is a VitalSmarts veteran. An elementary school principal for sixteen years, he became a certified trainer in Crucial Conversations and used those tools to help his school boost achievement. When he was promoted to director at the Nebo School District in central Utah, he added a certification in Crucial Confrontations. He taught both courses to most of his 600-person staff and also offered them to other administrators, teachers, and support staff in his district.
But his biggest challenge in his expanded role was a persistent one. He was responsible for special education in the district and focused particularly on the special education teachers in its twenty-seven elementary schools. These are the instructors who give extra help to mainstreamed students with learning disabilities. And they didn’t have a history or culture of being accountable to progress their students.
“We had a number of veteran teachers who never had high expectations, and the kids never performed well. The teachers used the excuse that ‘these kids have disabilities’,” he said. “In the end, we weren’t seeing good instruction and we weren’t seeing good results.”
Of about sixty teachers, Jones was comfortable with only five or six of their results. But because he was not a career special educator, he lacked immediate credibility to shake things up by himself.
About the same time he came to this realization, he added another VitalSmarts certification to his credentials: Influencer Training.
The Results: Read our case study to learn how J. Lynn used Influencer Training to boost literacy rates and double the number of special education students released into the regular school system.