Posts tagged #educational leadership

Persist. Never Quit.

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As educators, we have goals for our schools, students and ourselves. Having a goal costs us nothing, but seeing the goal to completion will always cost something. How then do we accomplish our goal knowing there is a price we must pay for wanting to accomplish something worthwhile? Persistence.

Persistence is determination that refuses to be sidetracked.
 
Persistence is constant endurance.
 
Persist. Endure. Two verbs that are essential for every educator who wants to positively impact their students. Teaching is not easy. Low pay. Unruly students. Countless hours of grading and planning. Incompetent supervisors. Indifferent parents. All these and more challenges are to be expected in education. So, if this is what the game entails, how can you ensure that you come out victorious in the end? Again, persistence.

You have to be determined to accomplish your goals even in the midst of trials.
 
You have to endure the weariness and sometimes mundane tasks that come with being an educator.
 
You must persist even if your work does not seem to be making a difference.

Truth is, your work can make a great impact. Every day that you give a 100% effort to your school and students makes a difference. Every time that you shake off negativity, remember why you chose the field of education, and plow forward will help you in leaving a positive imprint. You may not always see the end result of your work, but just because you don’t see it, that doesn’t mean what you do is insignificant.

If a teacher wouldn’t have told a student, who only saw himself as “educable mentally retarded,” that someone else’s opinion of him did not have to become his reality, the world may have never had one of its most preeminent motivational speakers in Les Brown.
 
If a teacher wouldn’t have helped a young girl, who experienced physical and emotional abuse, find her own voice, the world might have never known the powerful poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou.
 
If a teacher wouldn’t have helped a shy, nerdy boy, named Bill Gates, find his own strengths and encourage his curiosity for learning, we may have not been able to experience Microsoft and all its benefits.

Being an educator can be tough, but my hope is that your mission to positively impact the lives of those you serve be stronger than any obstacle you face.

Persist. Never quit. Your school needs your gifts, ideas and talents. Your school needs you.

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Posted on October 24, 2018 and filed under Blogs, Education.

You Have The Power!

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Poverty stricken homes.
Violent neighborhoods
Teenage pregnancies.
High dropout rates.
A community without hope.

Do any of the above descriptors resonate with you in relation to the students you teach? As educators embark, or in some cases, continue with the first weeks of a new school year, two types of emotions are usually invoked. One is of excitement, while the other is that of indifference.

Excitement because a brand-new school year brings new opportunities for teachers to make a difference in the lives of students. Additionally, for some, there’s the thrill of implementing that new classroom decorating theme found on Pinterest. You know who you are!

However, for others, there’s indifference. A lack of interest and concern. Simply, an “I don’t care” attitude. There are myriad reasons for this feeling, some of which may include; heavy workloads and demands that seem to increase each academic year, lack of parent involvement, and challenging student behavior.

I don’t know where you stand. My guess because you are reading this is that you want what’s best for students, and although you know the school year will have its shares of ups and downs, you are committed to a cause that’s bigger than you. For you, the statement, “It’s about doing what’s best for the kids,” really is genuine.

Recently, I watched a video which highlighted the impact made by Dr. Tiffany Anderson in the Jennings School District. You can watch the 6-minute clip below. I want to emphasize on this statement from Dr. Anderson:

“Zip code should not determine the quality of education.”

Your students may not be raised in safe and loving homes that assert the importance of education, both inside and outside of school. Their reality could be going home to grim and dreary neighborhoods. Therefore, some of them will enter your schools with anxiety, anger, and apathy. You can’t control that.

What you can control is the quality of education that you provide them during the hours of the day that they are with you.

What you can do is exalt their minds and open them up to endless opportunities.

What you can take charge of is raising the expectations you have for them.  

Their social class, parents’ level of education, or race/ethnicity should not determine the level of expectations you have for them.

All students are capable of excelling in life. Some students just need that person who is willing to help them discover their hidden potential and show them the strength that lies within them.

You have the power to make a positive impact. Regardless of trials and challenges that you will face this school year, you can make a difference!

Believing in you,
A.C.

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Win Their Trust

Some of you are a couple of weeks into another school year. Has the excitement of a new school year already vanished? Are you counting down the days to Thanksgiving break?

Perhaps the answer to the above questions is a resounding “Yes.” If that’s the case, is it fair for me to assume that the reason why you may be feeling a bit dejected is because the students have switched gears on you?

No longer are they the sweet, quiet kids. Now, they are testing you and your limits. Now, the lesson you worked hours and hours on during the weekend creates little to zero engagement with them. To top that off, maybe your calendar is filled with deadlines from administration of paperwork that must be completed ASAP. It’s no wonder, right about now you’re probably feeling down.

I feel your pain. I’ve been there.

Maybe you don’t work in a school environment at all, but you’re experiencing discouragement because your business isn’t taking off the way you envisioned it to.

Trust me. I understand.

Regardless of where you find yourself, allow me to offer you two pieces of advice.

1.     Don’t quit.  Yes, it sounds elementary, but perseverance is a quality we love to claim we have until we find ourselves facing a huge obstacle that reveals to us otherwise. However, any successful person succeeded not because he or she always did the right thing. Rather, it was because he or she stayed committed to their purpose. Countless times they failed, but they always rose back up.
2.     Win Their Trust.  Realize that the people you are trying to influence will not listen to you or give you the time of day, until they are able to trust you. The relationship you have with the people you are serving matters. It matters because it influences the results you are getting and will continue to receive.

In a study conducted by Mensah and Atta (2015), teachers expressed that a supportive relationship with students was one key factor that inspired the students to succeed.  So, continue to get to know your students. Value them. Not just when it’s convenient either.

For those in business, the relationships you build are also vital to your success. Get to know your potential clients. Treat them with respect. Provide them value. Build trust.

Remember, any person will work with you and for you when they trust you, and that the strongest of all relationships is always built on trust.

3 Ways to Win Trust

1.     Do what you say you are going to do.
2.    Your communication both verbal and nonverbal matter.  Choose both words and actions carefully.
3.     Value every single person you are serving, whether they treat you fairly, do the right, or not.

Here’s to you staying Mission Driven and creating a legacy that makes an impact!

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