Steve Heisler

Teacher Author Speaker


"Every single child wants to be successful. The problem is, if they can't be successful at being successful, they'll be successful at screwing up. Our job as educators is to change the latter to the former."    

- from the The Missing Link by Steve Heisler


The Missing Link: Teaching and Learning Critical Success Skills 

A glance at successful people reveals a simple truth: successful people employ successful habits. Yet in schools, among all of the information and all of the skills that are taught, few concern how to employ and internalize these key habits of success. These skills are expected, even demanded, but are rarely taught, at least not with the attention of whatever else is deemed critical learning.

The Missing Link seeks to place learning such skills as persistence, self-regulation, decision making, organization, time management,  and even the skill of appropriate “work-place social skills” into the strata of critically important learning.

The Missing Link was written to help professional educators (as well as parents and others) employ straight-forward ways to teach success skills without adding to the enormous burdens they already shoulder. This book is a guide to teaching critical success skills in powerful ways by infusing them into the curriculum that is already in place. Teachers (and parents) just do what they usually do, but with a different focus to change outcomes and children’s lives for the better.

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The premise of Steve Heisler’s The Missing Link: Teaching and Learning Critical Success Skills is a deceptively simple one: A teacher’s job is to help all students be successful by teaching them the habits of mind and behavior that enable success in both school and life. To that end Heisler underscores the importance of "compassionate and empathic adults” working together as a “professional family” to empower students by intentionally teaching the skills related to social interactions, self-regulation, decision making, organization, time management, and persistence. The results, he says, will be "success habits that lead students to greater self-efficacy, greater personal empowerment and greater control over the short and long term choices they make in their lives.” Everyone who cares about student success will benefit from the framework and skills Heisler describes in The Missing Link. (Dennis Sparks, former executive director, Leaning Forward, and author of several educational leadership titles)

Heisler highlights how educators make a difference in the lives of their students in school and well beyond. Through examples, personal vignettes, and resources, he provides educators a guide for cultivating in their students the core skills and habits that contribute not only to their academic, but also life success. (Joellen Killion, deputy executive director, National Staff Development Council)

A Must Read For Teachers By Meshugineh on June 24, 2014

Steve is my amazing uncle. This is both a disclaimer and a declaration that I've got a unique perspective. He's been my uncle, my mentor, my friend throughout my life. He's one of the most inspirational people I've ever met and I know that he is that for many other people. He's naturally the first person people call for advice and to talk.

This book is the culmination of the thoughts, strategies, successes and failures - it's a must read for anyone looking to teach more than just what's in the curriculum and give students and others the tools to be successful in life.

Great book for teachers needed to be re-invigorated  By Beth C. Schwartz on June 16, 2014

I really enjoyed all of this book. It was great to see that someone else believes in what I do when it comes to teaching and what works and does not work. This is written in ways so that all teachers will get it and have some tools to go back to school with. Thank you for writing what I have been thinking as a teacher for the last 28 years. You make me feel like am doing the right thing and I am ready, will and able to continue helping students placed in my care.

A Veritable Gold Mine By Tamara Caruso on June 7, 2014

"The Missing Link" takes us on a journey beyond what is simply best practice for academic growth; really captures the essence of what makes us human; and guides us in practical and humorous ways in developing skills that, when mastered, complement and support a child's possibility for life-long success. A must for educators at all levels!

Great Book! Great Concepts! By Cynthia Wishkovsky on April 16, 2014

Important teaching tool for educators as well as parents. Very readable and accessible! Concepts presented can be used in the classroom and for teachable moments anywhere .

Five Stars By Andrea Gingrande on October 10, 2014

Outstanding, perceptive, humorous and practical. New and veteran teachers can read, learn, laugh and be inspired.