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Archive for December, 2008

Make a Profound Impact New School Employees

A lot of school buses

Photo Credit wheany

“Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.”  Will Durant

My first guest teaching assignment was something out of a storybook.   After thirty years of searching for a purpose driven life, my reason for being on earth seemed clear that day.  Finally, I got it right with God.  It was my birthday and I had prayed the night before for a picture of the class to document that moment in time.

A young girl approached me, as I sat writing a note to the primary teacher explaining my day with her art students from Indianapolis School #44.  A Polaroid Instamatic camera hanging from her neck contained two slides of film.  She asked to take my picture for her scrapbook. I responded, “Only if the one I take of the class is a good one, because if not, I need the second shot as well.”  And to my surprise she simply said, “OK.”  I remember thinking, “This teaching thing is going to work.  You tell them what you want and they just do it.  Psych. 

What followed in the days to come often resembled a good dream gone bad.  What could have possibly gone wrong?  The best way to explain it may be to look for what went right in my earlier classroom experience.  I managed to tap into a positive vibe the morning of my first teaching assignment.  My expectations were so high that even my words aligned with the very thing I wanted to happen.  I confessed, “

Today I will take all of my life experiences with me and produce a great first day of school.  My mood, thoughts and actions create the weather of my classroom. 

I understand that everyone comes into the building with their own set of issues, so I’ll greet each child with a warm smile and comforting handshake to ease fears of separation.  I believe in my ability to be sensitive when needed.  My response in all situations determines whether I am in control of a crisis.  A child’s dignity will always be in my forefront.  My confidence to lead these young people has been crafted from years of living life, learning from the master leaders who have gone before me, and if all else fails – I am a Marine.”

You may not have a military background that precedes your first day as a schoolteacher but if you take on the challenge of earning the title of “Teacher” you will without a doubt go to war long before entering your classroom.  One thing I realized from the start was that our battles in education are more spiritual that anything else.  Maybe that’s the revelation churches had in the beginning of American education. 

Understanding the source of your children’s academic challenges is the beginning of improved classroom management and living with less stress as a teacher.  Progress in the development of humanity as we know it is depending on your ability to teach young people how to become better problem solvers for themselves.  But, how can we teach problem solving skills if we ourselves are limited to managing minute-by-minute classroom situations.  Pointing the finger at parents, students and administration won’t solve the problem, trust me. 

When you are given the key to your classroom you are symbolically grasping the cornerstone key to unlocking the minds of decision making far greater than those you will be held accountable for on your school’s AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress). 

Coach John Wooden wrote, “Success is a peace of mind, in knowing you’ve done your best, to become the very best that you are capable of becoming.”

This quote, jumpstarted change in my thinking process.  Helping students and myself to gain understanding of this wise knowledge over the years has made a profound impact on the hearts and minds of those I teach. 

None of it could have been accomplished had I not learned to eliminate stress of the unknown by monitoring the words I spoke.  Creating a confession of the thing I wanted to happen instead of what I was seeing.  Recognizing each child to be an individual being of thoughts, emotions and physical makeup made teaching personal.  Then redefining what I thought to be success by the renewing of my mind, to know that I know I am in a constant state of being the very best I can be.  And best of all is confidence of knowing my students are modeling their teacher.  Who said you can have whatever you like?

Copyright © 2009 | LaRon A. Carter “The Guest Teacher

P.S. If you have been inspired from this article please consider leaving a comment and subscribing to the RSS feed (just below this article) to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Then encourage family and friends by sharing this blog address and invite others to subscribe so we get a chance to connect as well. Just send them to https://laroncarter.wordpress.com where they can bookmark or subscribe to the page. Feel free to direct message me on Twitter @laroncarter or connect on http://laroncarter.com.

Are You Talking Pink or Blue People?

Photo credits by Rodrigo Valladares

Photo credits by Rodrigo Valladares

“[Marriage is] like signing a 356-page contract without knowing what’s in it.”  Kenneth Blanchard

Are you giving the answer he or she wants to hear?

I waited until later in life to get married.  That time alone in singleness allowed space to gain understanding about self and how I would exist in the world.  Where I wanted to go in life and what path I’d choose to get there.  My attitude early in the maturation process was to grow self in order to be the best I could be for my wife – to be.  Early on I thought such a course would create leverage against divorce.  So many couples growing up around me were divorcing.  That motivated me to stay as far away from divorce as possible, to the point of fearing marriage for many years. 

I married now and I still seek continual improvement of self in order to avoid divorce.  So my beautiful wife asks me yesterday, “What are five things you think we have in common?”  Now I should be better at decoding my wife’s “pink” audible microphone questions than I am, but it to is a life long learning process.  With my “blue” headphones I heard, “What are five things you think we have in common?”  So with the tender warrior in me I responded from the top of my four pillars with something like:

1.     We both love the Lord with all our heart. 

2.     We both believe in His word to the point of results.

3.     We both are passionate about using our gifts and talents to inspire others.

4.     We both believe that there is always more to give.

5.     And we both are committed to loving and respecting each other better tomorrow than we did today (A little hope as icing on the cake).

“I could go on with a much longer list, but what are five things you think we have in common,” I asked?  Now at the time she chose not to respond and that’s ok, some cakes need a little longer bake time.  But ladies don’t come back later belittling your man because his response wasn’t what you wanted to hear, claiming whatever he responds with as superficial.  Men have been created to be men.  We are designed to be providers, protectors, and priest for our families.  As mature men we think that way.  And as you know to a fault we behave that way. 

Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, author of Love and Respect: The love she most desires and the respect he desperately needs, says we listen with blue headphones, therefore we hear in blue.  You have been designed in a way that hears through pink headphones. 

Trust me, even though my wife and I both have pink as a favorite color, I’m not thinking pink from my frontal lobe when asked for things in common.  I’m going to tell you right now that my first instinct is to think alpha.  And you, my best friend, may be thinking omega.  The point of focus for our marriages should always be blue and pink coming together, as one, in the beginning and staying together to the end. 

Four .  .  . (Being shouted through the rough). 

Copyright © 2009 | LaRon A. Carter “The Guest Teacher

P.S. If you have been inspired from this article please consider leaving a comment and subscribing to the RSS feed (just below this article) to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Then encourage family and friends by sharing this blog address and invite others to subscribe so we get a chance to connect as well. Just send them to https://laroncarter.wordpress.com where they can bookmark or subscribe to the page. Feel free to direct message me on Twitter @laroncarter or connect on http://laroncarter.com.

Bodybuilding: Time, Fatigue, Plenty Rest and Lots of Supplements

 

Photo Credit by a.drian

Photo Credit a.drian

Do you sometimes find yourself trying to get results that just aren’t happening?

Years ago in the prime of my youth a buddy and I had decided to start bodybuilding.  Neither of us was starting from scratch.  We had both been active athletes from early elementary school age to adulthood but were a far cry from those freakishly large guys on the covers of muscle magazines.  We did our homework and designed a rigorous workout schedule to conquer our goals. Turned out to be an unfulfilled experience for the both of us. 

We curled and pressed and squatted day after day never really achieving the results we desired after 18 months of sweat and tears.  I moved from the city that second year returning a few years later to visit my old workout buddy.  We laughed and joked about those earlier days we dreamed of sculpting bodies like Adonis.  But I had learned some additional things about serious bodybuilding over time. 

One thing I realize is that its going to take a lot longer than a few months to create what those magazine gods and goddesses had achieved over years of consistently working out.  I told my friend, “I learned that we only needed to keep working out to reach our goals.”  It takes a few years and a coach to obtain muscle maturity, super sized growth and a lot of supplements. 

One also needs to add sufficient amounts of protein to his closely monitored meal plan.  More importantly releasing protein and other vital supplements into the body at the right time is critical for professional results.  There are even certain combinations of exercise sequences that are extremely valuable for speeding up growth development from your gym workouts. 

Then even after small layoffs of working out for years in the gym you’ll bounce back right were you left off once you return.  Many of the same concepts can be applied to other areas of life as well.  Like riding a bike, or whitening your teeth, or rediscovering the joy of a once loved hobby set aside all desires can be revived once the process has been established and anchored over time. 

But the question is how long does it take to establish maturity before getting desired results?  Are you willing to endure the challenge or will you give up if you don’t see immediate results?  You make the call. 

 

P.S. If you have been inspired from this article please consider leaving a comment and subscribing to the RSS feed (just below this article) to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. 

Then encourage family and friends by sharing this blog address and invite others to subscribe so we get a chance to connect as well.  Just send them to www.laroncarter.wordpress.com where they can bookmark or subscribe to the page. And by the way I’m on www.twitter.com/laroncarter and  www.profile.to/laroncarter socially speaking.

Rethinking Care: How We Connect With People

 

Peace Not Apartheid.

U.S. President Jimmy Carter speaks with Russert about peace in the Middle East and his new book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. (Photo Credit Time.com)

Do you genuinely care about the people in your life?

If you are interested, concerned, or connected with the people in your life, even moderately care about them, there might be cause to look closer at the idea of who’s in your life.  Some of them may be getting over looked. 

I have several degrees, a diverse workforce background, traveled the world at least twice as a US Marine, and have no challenges feeling comfortable around highly influential people.  But, due to complicated circumstances not long ago I took a job as a janitor in a highly respected law school. 

Fortunately for me it was at a time in my life that I was extremely focused on my goals and possessed a healthy dose of self-esteem.  I went about changing trashcan plastic liners that flanked bustling hallways full of International law students waiting for their classes to begin. 

It became a game for me to see who would make eye contact as we passed by each other, momentarily, though briefly, entering in and out of each other’s life.  Will he recognize I’m standing here?  Will she acknowledge me cleaning up her spilled latte?  All done while making a diligent effort to connect eyes before I shared a caring hello, “How are you?” or one of my favorites, “What’s good with you today?”  I was on the other end this time. 

How many times had I missed an opportunity to bring someone unnoticed into my world?  How often had I over looked a chance to engage the forgotten in the course of my selfish journey?  Would I ever learn to ask a subordinate what he dreamed about at night or what gifts he was trying to share with the world? 

Now I can truly understand the caring spirit of political journalist Tim Russert and what the giant in this man meant to the people in his life.  Not just those who could influence his life.  Not just those he loved unconditionally.  Tim cared about the otherwise unnoticed people placed in his life. 

As I researched the many articles and podcast reporting the life he lived I learned that no one went untouched by his kind and encouraging character.  All of the people in our life can be affected by the life we live.  I think I get it. 

 

P.S. If you have been inspired from this article please consider leaving a comment and subscribing to the RSS feed (just below this article) to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. 

Then encourage family and friends by sharing this blog address and invite others to subscribe so we get a chance to connect as well.  Just send them to www.laroncarter.wordpress.com where they can bookmark or subscribe to the page. And by the way I’m on www.twitter.com/laroncarter and  www.profile.to/laroncarter socially speaking.

Love: What’s in it for you?


knowledge-first-flower-bee5

So I’ve been studying the concept of love for quite sometime now, decades actually.  Most of the time I feel as if there are so many twist and turns on the path to understanding it that I wonder if I will ever become as good at it as I want to be. 

I seem to learn the most about love when it pushes me to the limits of giving love to someone, as I know it, even when I don’t want to.  Imagine that idea. 

Giving even when you don’t want to.  It sounds almost childish to discuss in that way but, that’s what love will do to you once you have surrendered to the point of growing past you old way thinking about love. 

Honestly, there are times when I try to ration how to not give it fully and still receive full benefit of giving partially.  That never works out the way I intended, but the act of not totally giving love and not fully receiving the benefit causes me to think deeper. 

And as I investigate what it will take for me to fully give of this unconditional act, I find myself wondering if I will be taken advantage of or worst yet publicly ridiculed for being stupid.  Then I’m reminded that love is the most powerful tool in my box for building a purposeful life. 

Maybe later on today or even tomorrow I’ll be able to gain the confidence needed to venture a little further into art of loving those who hardly deserve it.  Besides, what’s in it for you?  

P.S. If you have been inspired from this article please consider leaving a comment and subscribing to the RSS feed (just below this article) to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. 

Then encourage family and friends by sharing this blog address and invite others to subscribe so we get a chance to connect as well.  Just send them to www.laroncarter.wordpress.com where they can bookmark or subscribe on the home page.  And by the way I’m on www.twitter.com/laroncarter and www.profile.to/laroncarter socially speaking.