Individual Presentation

First Presenter's Institution

K-12 Education

Second Presenter's Institution


Third Presenter's Institution


Fourth Presenter's Institution


Fifth Presenter's Institution


Strand #1

Heart: Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Home: Family & Community Engagement


The presentation is relevant to Heart: Social & Emotional Skills because we will discuss sustainable relationship building and the importance of the scholar and teacher relationship. The presentation will address key strategies that are effective with diverse learners and the larger impact they make in the life of the whole child.

As it relates to Home: Family & Community Engagement this presentation will address effective parent communication and involvement in the personal life of scholars and how that involvement can transfer into positive outcomes in the classroom. The presentation also addresses how home life can positively or negatively impact scholar performance in school.

Brief Program Description

"Kids don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care!" This well known cliche in education is actually the cornerstone of being an effective educator with diverse scholars. Building strong relationships in classrooms, specifically classrooms of "at-risk" scholars is the foundation of ensuring an effective. While many educators hear this and theoretically may understand this, some are not sure what it looks like in practice. The Art of Giving a $#!T provides an opportunity for learners to learn strategies and tools for building strong relationships and see how they are executed in a real world setting, through heart felt, funny and interesting stories of a former teacher.



“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops” –Henry B. Adams

Did she just say what I think she said? Yes, and I hope I got your attention. I hope I made you stop in your tracks. I hope I made you slightly uncomfortable. I hope I made you clutch your pearls. If you plan on being an educator and especially an urban educator, you must burn the box of your comfort zone and be ready to do something different to make a difference in classrooms today. This book is not your typical education book and the title makes that immediately clear. Teaching is not a skill like most education books may dictate. Teaching is an art. An art that is complex and layered with skill, will, style, flavor, vision, purpose, content and creativity. In this book, I will share with you my own art style as a Spanish teacher of urban scholars. In this book, I will attempt to paint a picture and help the reader understand that the most critical component of being an educator today is CARING ABOUT CHILDREN. Not just caring about their academic success but caring about them as humans first and scholars second. The original title of this book was More Than My Content, but it took too much work to explain it if you hadn’t actually read the book or didn’t understand what was meant by content. I struggled to find a title that would express the importance of caring about children. I remember talking to a dear friend about an experience her child was having with a teacher in an urban school district, and she was so frustrated that the teacher only cared about her child's grade and final class product. She tried to explain that her son was going through some tough changes and was not faring well emotionally or physically. She ranted about trying to reason with the teacher and advocate for her child. Her advocacy was to no avail. The teacher showed no empathy, no flexibility, and no concern. My friend stated… “it’s like the teacher just doesn’t give a shit about him, the boy/human, not just the scholar.” This saddened me and I immediately thought that if someone only read one sentence of my book, I would want them to take away that we must give a shit about children. Hence “The Art of Giving a $#!T !”

So, here is a reality that more than half of the teachers in the educational system do not want to face or simply will ignore the existence of, until forced to address it…. “SCHOLARS DON’T CARE ABOUT THE CONTENT THAT WE TEACH”. For some this reality causes discomfort and will raise heated debates and strong disagreements among practitioners of education. For others, this reality is embraced and is used as a baseline in which to build the structure of their classrooms and position themselves to make a difference.

In schools across the nation, scholars are going into classrooms that will, by the end of the school year, have minimal impact on their lives and leave them with nothing to take as they journey through this thing we call life. Teachers have a misconception that the content or the curriculum they have been charged with delivering to scholars is their main purpose and goal as an educator. This is so far from the actual truth. Teachers have forgotten or not adequately understood the amount of power, influence, and impact they have on the lives of the scholars in which they educate. Our main goal and purpose as educators is to help guide, develop, and nurture the inner giants in the scholars that we are privileged to teach. Our purpose is to educate which is defined by Webster’s dictionary to develop the faculties and powers of (a person) by teaching, instruction, or schooling. This feat is not, cannot, and will not be reached by delivering mere content. The intent of this book however is not to discredit the importance of educators being strong and knowledgeable in the content they teach and the pedagogy that supports that content. This book is not all an attempt to not acknowledge the importance of rigorous content that pushes scholars’ thinking and prepares them for college, careers, and life. The intent of this book is to simply surface the idea that when making a difference in the lives of scholars that is positive and lasting, content alone isn’t enough and teachers must care in a deeper way.

In 1976, Haim Ginot wrote one of the most profound statements that continues to hold true. He wrote,

“I have come to a frightening conclusion. I am the decisive element in the classroom. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated, and a child humanized or dehumanized.”

Teachers are charged with much more than sharing the content of a subject matter. We are charged with shaping lives, inspiring greatness, motivating movements, building leaders, among a host of other things. Don’t misunderstand what I am saying, content is an important piece in the broad spectrum of education, yet it is not as grand as some think or better said, doesn’t pack as much punch as one may believe. I am sure that I am not alone when I say, I vaguely remember any specific content in which I was taught in school, and I was in school for more than 20 years from primary to post-secondary. The only content that I remember was content that was delivered from a teacher who was more than his or her content. What I mean by this, is a teacher who utilized their content as a mere vehicle to educate their scholars on topics or subjects that were relevant to each student and that engaged us in thinking past the parameters of school.

In this book, my goal is to help all teachers, no matter the grade or content you teach, understand the importance of becoming and embodying more than the content in which they teach. I hope to help teachers understand that while scholars do need the knowledge of certain math, science, history, and language arts concepts, they also come to our classrooms needing much more knowledge that will impact their everyday life when they leave our classrooms. We should be preparing scholars for careers, college, and life. Teachers have the tools, education, and training to fully educate scholars on our content, we equally have age and life experiences to educate them on subjects that are important to them as young developing minds. To effectively do this we must step out of our “content” boxes!! While this book will focus in on my experience as a high school teacher in an urban school district, I have evidence as a former elementary (2nd, 3rd, & 5th grade) teacher and middle school assistant principal, that this mindset and approach to teaching can work at any level, with any content, in any environment.

In this book, I will take you through a school year in Mrs. Miller’s Spanish class. I will share with you how I became more than the content in which I taught, and how it impacted the lives of the scholars in which I was privileged to teach. I’ll share not only my experience in the classroom, but also some questions from those in the field who want to learn to implement new strategies. Look for the Teacher Confidential ,Teacher Toolbox, TEACHER Q&A designations, and resource blocks at the end of each chapter, because this book too is more than just content, it is designed to get you into the right mindset AND right actions!


“Culturally Responsive Caring

In addition to the tenets presented in the above research on culturally responsive teaching, Gay (2010) discusses the importance and power of culturally responsive caring. She posits that it is the cornerstone and foundation that drives the ability to create and perform culturally responsive teaching environments. Gay (2010) along with a host of other researchers propose that caring is an ethical value and moral imperative when attempting to move others in the direction of the social responsibility of acting in the best interest of others (Gilligan, 1982; Obidah et al, 2004; Webb et al., 1993).

Gay (2010) exclaimed that most educators would agree that caring is one of the most important elements needed to be effective with students and culturally responsive teaching is an essential part of the educational process specifically when attempting to create a culturally responsive environment. Culturally responsive caring is “caring for instead of about the personal well-being and academic success of ethnically diverse students, with a clear understanding that the two are interrelated…caring for is active engagement in doing something to positively affect…” (p.48) the lives of students. “This kind of caring is one of the major pillars of culturally responsive teaching for ethnically diverse students. It is manifested in the form of teacher attitudes, expectations, and behaviors about students’ human value, intellectual capability, and performance responsibilities” (Gay, 2010, p. 48). Teachers who genuinely care for students honor them as humans, have natural positive thoughts concerning them as people, and set high expectations for them, knowing and believing they are reachable and will use any strategies necessary to ensure their success. Unfortunately, not all teachers share these expectations or positive attitudes toward CLED students.

These “racial biases, ethnic stereotyping, cultural ethnocentrism, and personal rejections cause teachers who don’t care to devalue, demean, and even fear…” culturally diverse students (Gay, 2010, p. 48). Gay discussed that,

Teachers who genuinely care for students generate higher levels of all kinds of success than those who do not. They have high performance expectations and will settle for nothing less than high achievement. Failure is simply unacceptable to them so that work tenaciously to see that success for students happens (p. 49).

Gay continues to explain the characteristics of caring and what a functional profile of a culturally responsive caring teacher looks like. She argued that caring is attending to a person and his or her performance, caring is action-provoking, caring prompts effort and achievement, caring is multidimensional responsiveness, and caring directly impacts and influences the level of expectations set forth for students. Gay posits that “caring is an essential to instructional effectiveness….and when combined with pedagogical competence, caring becomes a powerful ideological and praxis pillar of culturally responsive pedagogy for students” (p. 75).

Nel Noddings (1999), a leading expert in education, posits that caring indeed is an essential foundational requirement needed to achieve success in education (Noddings, 1999). Noddings (1992) explains how schools have expunged too much energy focusing on academics and have neglected the personal needs, interest, passions, growth, and experiences of students. Teachers play a crucial role in the necessary element of students feeling as if they are cared for. According to Noddings, “kids listen to people who matter to them and to whom they matter” (p.36). Caring is relational and exists when there is a connection or encounter between two contributing human beings (Noddings, 1992).

The first step for teachers in exhibiting caring for students is to establish and develop a trusting relationship with students individually and in groups (Gibson, 2002; Noddings, 1997). The second step in this process is for teacher to listen to what students want to learn and allow their instructional planning to mirror the interest and desires of the students. Noddings believes that the question is not if students want to learn, “all students want to learn,” it is what students want to learn that is questionable (1997). Third, teachers must learn to engage students in authentic dialogue in which knowledge about the student is learned such as needs, interests, working habits, and talents. Finally, it is imperative for teachers to build and increase competence in connecting what knowledge is gained about the students and knowledge of content and creating an learning environment that is meaning and effective for students (Noddings, 2011).”

Book Bibliography

Collins, M., & Tamarkin, C. (1982). Marva Collins’ way: Returning to excellence in education. New York, NY: Penguin Putnam.

Dweck, Carol S. (2008) Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York : Ballantine Books.

Gay, G. (2002). Preparing for culturally responsive teaching. Journal of Teacher Education, 53(2), 106-116.

Gilligan, C. (1982). In a different voice: Psychological theory and women’s development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Gay, G. (2010). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research, and practice (2nd ed.). New York, NY, NY: Teachers’ College Press.

Glenn, C. (2003). Motivate to Educate. Navasota, Texas: Glenn Educational Consulting.

Ginott, H. G. (1972). Teacher and child: A book for parents and teachers. New York: Macmillan.

Miller, Q. (2011). Educator Cultural Proficiency Insight Tool: Construction and Validation of the Measurement of Cultural Proficiency. Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Tx.

Noddings, N. (1992). The challenge to care in schools: An alternative approach to education. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Noddings, N. (1997). A morally defensible mission for schools in the 21st century. Retrieved April 28, 2011 from

Noddings, N. (2011). Caring in education. Retrieved May 1, 2011 from

Obidah, J. E., Jackson-Minot, M., Monroe, C. R., and Williams, B. (2004). Crime and punishment: Moral dilemmas in the inner-city classroom. In V.Siddle Walker and J. R. Snarey (Eds.), Race-ing moral formation: African American perspectives on care and justice (pp. 111-129). New York, NY: Teacher College Press.

Palmer, P. J., Jackson, M., & Tucker, E. (2007). The courage to teach: Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher's life.

"Jim Rohn Quotes." STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 9 Jun 2020.

Saakvitne, Pearlman & Staff of TSI/CAAP. The Wellness Wheel or Self Care Wheel

Sporleder, J., & Forbes, H. T. (2016). The trauma-informed school: A step-by-step implementation guide for administrators and school personnel. Boulder, CO: Beyond Consequences Institute, LLC.

Tanner, T. (2010). Culturally Responsive Theories and Practices. Houston, Texas: Educational Concepts Publishing.

Webb, J., Wilson, B., Corbett, D., and Mordecai, R. (1993). Understanding caring in context: Negotiating borders and barriers. The Urban Review, 25(1), 25-45.

Learning Objectives

1. The learner will understand the concept of culturally responsive caring and its implications on scholar academic and social performance and success.

2. The learner will understand the power of meaningful relationships with diverse scholars.

3. The learner will learn strategies to utilize in the classroom to support daily classroom management.

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Queinnise Miller, an educator with a passion for teaching and leading who believes everything begins and ends with leadership. Her motivation for this work is ensuring that all scholars receive a world class educational experience despite cultural or economic backgrounds. She holds a PhD and a M.A. in Educational Leadership from Prairie View A&M University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from the University of Houston. Dr. Miller has served as a K-12 educator and higher education guest lecture. Her background is in English as a Second Language, Bilingual Education, and Foreign Language Instruction. Dr. Miller has served as a school administrator (assistant principal & principal), Senior Manager for Leadership Development and as a Director in the Office of School Leadership in Houston ISD, the 7th largest in the nation serving over 235,000 scholars. She has trained and supported thousands of leaders at all levels with understanding the meaning of instructional leadership and its impact on developing exceptional teachers. Dr. Miller has been published and highlighted in The Chronicle of Higher Learning and National Forum of Applied Educational Research Journal and presented research at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Conference. Dr. Miller is also a devoted wife and mother!

Keyword Descriptors

Relationships, Culture, Discipline management, LOTE, Social Emotional Learning, New Teachers, Alternative Certified Teachers

Presentation Year


Start Date

3-10-2021 1:40 PM

End Date

3-10-2021 2:40 PM


Mar 10th, 1:40 PM Mar 10th, 2:40 PM

The Art of Giving a $#!T: A Memoir & Guidebook for Urban Educators

"Kids don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care!" This well known cliche in education is actually the cornerstone of being an effective educator with diverse scholars. Building strong relationships in classrooms, specifically classrooms of "at-risk" scholars is the foundation of ensuring an effective. While many educators hear this and theoretically may understand this, some are not sure what it looks like in practice. The Art of Giving a $#!T provides an opportunity for learners to learn strategies and tools for building strong relationships and see how they are executed in a real world setting, through heart felt, funny and interesting stories of a former teacher.