1. Be surrounded by like-minded individuals.
Everyone I spoke to or received instruction from in a session had a passion for Advocating, Educating and Motivating Children (you could just see it in their faces). At a time when you wonder who’s going to hang in there for the long haul with our nations kids, these folks are doing it, taking names and have the tee shirt! I am inspired!!
2. Teach kids with the future in mind.
Mark Anthony Garrett, one of the keynote speakers for the conference reminded educators to teach kids while looking at the potential of what they will be in the future. Imagine what they could be if we believe in them while they’re young and encourage them to believe in themselves despite all else.
3. People are not typical; everyone’s different.
Dr. Mike Marcela asked us “Are you typical?” Turns out that if you are a male and not 5’9” weighing 195 pounds with a 39 inch waist in the US, you are not typical. The typical lady is 5’4”, 165 w/37” waist (hmmm, not many people I know,). Take away, respect the differences in children and teach to those differences.
4. ADHD, not just ‘difficulty sitting still and paying attention.”
As the educator you must provide “behavioral interventions and education techniques to meet the student’s needs”. Though this term, ADHD is used and sometimes overused, it is a real condition, not an excuse and children need so much more that ‘a pill’.
5. SED (Seriously Emotionally Disturbed) is used to often.
When educators overuse this term, we’ll have children who won’t qualify for jobs because they don’t have the necessary skills, can’t apply for the military to protect our country, and cannot become government officials to lead our nation. All in all, it leads to a whole host of ‘cannots’. It is up to us to learn and implement behavioral and educational interventions that build relationships with ALL students and families to reverse these negative trends.