A Framework for Understanding Poverty
Jim Littlejohn Bio
Jim Littlejohn of Columbia, South Carolina, has been a professional educator since 1976. He has taught at the middle school, high school, and graduate school level and has served as department chair, athletic director, and coach. He served two years as a teacher in residence for the South Carolina Center for Teacher Recruitment where he served as professional development specialist.
Jim spent four years as a plant supervisor for Rachlin Furniture before returning to college to complete his degrees. He is currently the President of P.E.A.C.E. Skills, Inc. and has been providing training and consulting in the areas of conflict and anger management, classroom management, peer mediation, interpersonal relations, team building, brain-based learning, and school crisis management.
Jim was Lexington/Richland District 5 (South Carolina) Teacher of the Year and was identified as an "Outstanding Young Educator" by the local and South Carolina Jaycees. He has been a ski coach for Team USA Special Olympics and the South Carolina Special Olympics. The South Carolina governor has named him a "Hero for Children."
Through aha! Process Jim provides training and consulting services for Bridges Out of Poverty, Boys in Crisis, Understanding and Engaging Under-Resourced College Students, A Framework for Understanding Poverty, Research-Based Strategies, Motivation, Dropout Prevention, 9 Systemic Processes, Coaching for Social Studies Curriculum, Classroom Discipline, and Working with Parents. Jim has been with aha! Process since 2001.
Jim's aha! moment
My aha! moment occurred after I heard Ruby speak about family structure at a conference I attended. I had to find out how she knew so much about my family even though she never mentioned them by name. After my conversation with her, I knew working for aha! Process was going to be my calling. I wanted to be able to get inside participants' hearts and minds in the same profound way Ruby's message touched me. I make this my personal goal every time I make a presentation.
My passion is helping participants understand the impact that economic diversity can have on an individual, family, and/or community. I want to provide a set of tools and skills so that everyone, regardless of economic background, can have an opportunity for success. I want participants to help develop or refine a future story for the people they work with in their schools, organizations, and/or communities.
Jim's best training
The most rewarding moments for me are when participants share a personal story about how the training has impacted them. How an example I shared either clarified, or even more importantly reframed, their thinking about someone's behavior or choices.
A young lady who was in an abusive relationship shared her story with me at lunch. She had been moved by one of the video clip examples I shared with the audience. She told me I had basically described her situation, and that my explanation of the clip had provided her with the willpower to make a change. I received a call from her a few weeks later, and she told me she had moved out of the abusive relationship and was doing just fine.
What does Jim do for fun?
Playing with grandchildren is the most fun you can have. Getting them all excited by running, jumping, playing, providing them with lots of sweets, not requiring them to take a nap, and then sending them home with their parents is priceless. The most challenging fun I can have as an individual is to put on a pair of snow skies, find a mountain trail with a steep and groomed run, and go as fast as humanly possible (while, of course, obeying all the safety rules).