What people are saying...
'Children who struggle with learning often develop doubts about how smart they are, especially when they compare themselves with classmates. These doubts frequently generate worries and sadness, which make learning even more challenging. In this wonderful book, Jim Dillon not only captures the thoughts and emotions of students who struggle to learn, but as importantly, he portrays what adults can say and do to help these children become more hopeful, confident, and successful. Helpful illustrations of specific, practical interventions are offered not only in the story but also in the guide for parents and educators. This book will serve as an impressive resource for both children with learning problems and the adults in their lives.'
- Robert Brooks, Ph.D., psychologist and co-author of Raising Resilient Children
'Lively and colorful illustrations along with a sharp and enduring story take our main character, Kevin from "not okay" to performing like a "high speed computer"! Read this to your class or with one student to boost every young learner's sense of belonging, growing, and happiness.'
- Debra Wing (Hoffmann), author, Welcome to Kindergarten, Teacher Instructor, Coach and Presenter
A Story to Help Children Discover How Everyone Learns Differently
by James Dillon, illustrated by Kara McHale
Kevin never smiles at school, but he is different at home. He jumps up and down when his favorite football team scores a touchdown, and screams "CANNONBALL!" when he jumps into the swimming pool. But at school he feels that he isn't 'okay.' Other kids in his class are much quicker at putting their hands up and answering the teacher's questions, and Kevin feels that he will never catch up. One day, his reading teacher asks him to help out with the school store, and Kevin slowly begins to realise that he had really been 'a okay' all along.
Through providing an insight into Kevin's thoughts, feelings and coping strategies, this picture book for ages 5-8 is a source of support for children who, like Kevin, find school difficult and feel that they are 'behind' their peers. The book, which draws on the author's experiences as the principal of an elementary school, is also the perfect springboard for discussion around difficulties at school, academic ability, self-esteem, confidence and recognising strengths.
Jim's New Book!
Jim's new book Okay Kevin published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers is available now.
According to the publisher, Through providing an insight into Kevin's thoughts, feelings and coping strategies, this picture book for ages 5-8 is a source of support for children who, like Kevin, find school difficult and feel that they are 'behind' their peers. The book, which draws on the author's experiences as the principal of an elementary school, is also the perfect springboard for discussion around difficulties at school, academic ability, self-esteem, confidence and recognising strengths.
Published Articles and Events
February 2017: SmartBrief
Article published - "New shifts in behavior management"
December 2016: TEDxSchenectady
Winter 2017: SAANYS Vanguard Magazine
Article published - "Embracing Parental Complaints: Practice TEA Time".
December 2016: SmartBrief
Article published - "Learning to Vote"
November 2016: SmartBrief
Article published - "Tips for creating a desire to learn"
Other Books by Jim Dillon
Reframing Bullying Prevention to Build Stronger School Communities
by James Dillon
Jim's new book, published by Corwin, is now available for purchase.
Tackle underlying issues to get to the root of bullying. By reframing bullying prevention, you can make significant progress in addressing the underlying issues causing bullying and aggression in your school. In this resource, James Dillon digs into the work that busy educators often have little time for: translating rich and insightful research on the dynamics of change into practical terms. He probes deeply into the issues and why they persist in our schools to promote meaningful conversation among school staff and parents. Inside you’ll find:
Vignettes, analogies, and real-life examples along with tools that illustrate the benefits of using alternative methods to prevent bullying
Discussion on transforming the role of discipline to reframe bullying among teachers, administrators, and students
Key ideas and concepts summarized in easy-to-understand bullet points and charts
Guidance on how to establish a school climate that promotes empathy and compassion instead of fear
Reframing bullying prevention will allow competent and caring educators, students, and parents to not just stop bullying, but to improve the learning environment for all students.
No Place for Bullying: Leadership for Schools That Care for Every Student
by James Dillon
Discover the keys to successful bullying prevention!
No Place for Bullying describes the paradigm shifts a school administrator needs to create in order to develop and lead a schoolwide bully prevention program. Preventing and counteracting bullying should be a top priority for every school leader, but anti-bullying efforts often fail because they do not have full support from all stakeholders, including parents.
This accessible book makes it easy to implement the three critical components of effective leadership for bullying prevention:
The WILL to address the problem
The SKILL to lead others to help reduce and prevent bullying
The FOLLOW THROUGH to ensure that anti-bullying policies are
established and sustained
Filled with activities and examples, No Place for Bullying provides the tools to inspire the cultural shift necessary to combat bullying in schools. Ensure that bullying prevention becomes an ongoing and established part of your school’s culture and climate by becoming an instrument of change!
In his own words...
Listen to Jim's interview about his book, "No Place for Bullying".
The Peaceful School Bus Book and Program
Watch a video about the Peaceful School Bus program in Midlothian, VA above.
Jim Dillon has been an educator for over 35 years, including 20 years as a school administrator. While he was the principal of Lynnwood Elementary in New York, he developed the Peaceful School Bus Program, designed to prevent and reduce bullying, and subsequently published The Peaceful School Bus (Hazelden). The program is now being implemented in schools across the country. Jim was named Principal of the Year in 2007 by the Greater Capital Region Principal Center. He received recognition for administrative leadership for character education. In 2010, Lynnwood Elementary was recognized by NYS ASCD for Educating the Whole Child for the 21st Century. Jim was an invited participant and presenter at the first National Summit on Bullying Prevention sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education in 2010 and is a certified Olweus Bullying Prevention Program trainer.
Jim is currently an educational consultant for Measurement Incorporated. He makes presentations and conducts workshops on a variety of educational topics, including instruction, classroom
management, leadership, and supervision. Jim has presented at many local, state and national conferences.
He has four grown children, Ernie, Tim, Brian and Hannah. He and his wife, Louisa, a school social worker, live in Niskayuna, NY.