Education Success Trait: You Have to Have Grit

“The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be outworked, period. You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, you might be sexier than me, you might be all of those things—you got it on me in nine categories. But if we get on the treadmill together, there’s two things: You’re getting off first, or I’m going to die. It’s really that simple. . . .”

– Oscar-nominated actor and Grammy award-winning musician, Will Smith

If you haven’t seen this video clip on YouTube, you are missing a powerful explanation of what it takes to make it. Grit is the part of your work ethic that refuses to give up. Its only purpose is to keep pushing you to higher levels and toward the goal you desire.

You have to have grit when things don’t go your way. The life of the successful isn’t created overnight like the life of a millionaire lottery winner is. You have to deal with the chance of losing it all in order to clear the way for something new to grow. All I know, through seeing with my own eyes, is that success comes to those who are too stubborn to realize when life is trying to keep them down, and they just keep getting up. They are the ones who find a way when someone says there is no way.

Many times, things won’t go your way because of something you did. You made a mistake and now you have to pay for it. I know no one likes paying for their mistakes because it is easier to blame someone else for the shortcomings of who we are. On the road to success, there is only you. You can’t control everything, but you can control if you are going to be responsible or not. Many people aren’t able to achieve success because they refuse to be responsible for what it takes to get there. I am fully aware of these mistakes as a coach. There were many years when the teams I coached enjoyed success, and then there were those two years when nothing I did worked, and I had to understand the players just didn’t want it bad enough. I get that everyone wants to win, but there is a price to pay. If you aren’t willing to pay that price, then you aren’t willing to win. At the end of my successful seasons, I could actually say we were beaten by the better team. Those other years, I wasn’t able to say that. My players just weren’t responsible enough for success.

You are 100% responsible for your actions, even when things don’t go your way. This reminds me of a classroom situation where the failing kid would say, “You must not like us since everyone is failing this class.” I would say, “First of all, not everyone is failing, and what does me liking you have to do with having the right answer on the test, or turning in your homework?” There are more options now for success than ever before, so why then do we not see a skyrocket in success? Success takes grit when the good turns bad and you have to keep pushing forward. As you move down the road to your successes, there will be plenty of people with plenty of reasons not to like you, but what does that have to do with your success? You may use is as a crutch to help explain your shortcomings, but honestly, are they really stopping you from having success?

The above information is from the book Work Ethic: The Right Actions to Create a Successful Lifestyle by Pierce Brunson https://www.createspace.com/4786986

It isn’t what you say, it’s what you do that will create the life you want. The high school years are a great time for students to build valuable and rewarding action characteristics to increase self-esteem and deliver results. While enjoying these years, students should be developing the right mindset to achieve the success they desire in the future. In order for success to happen, for students to have that lifestyle they often speak of wanting, they must become adults with a solid, results-based work ethic. Wasting these four years can’t be a part of the plan. By using their time in high school to build the right actions for a successful lifestyle, students can ensure themselves a bright future, no matter the obstacles they will encounter. Work Ethic is for the high school student expecting to live life successfully, and is willing to do the right growth actions to shape a lifestyle of fulfillment, fun, and results.

Pierce Brunson http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00I10A3XK , M.Ed., is a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia, and spends his time working as a mentor and speaker while developing businesses that help improve the high school experience for students and teachers. He has over a decade of experience teaching in the public school system as a high school Social Studies teacher, majoring in World History and Sociology. Pierce believes everyone can do more to help improve the education system in their local communities, which is part of the backbone of any society. Pierce’s advice is simple: stop complaining and do something to help improve the situation. Good people have to stop being afraid to fight for what they believe in. Get in the game, help others, share culture and move the world toward equality and justice. Connect with Pierce at http://www.piercebrunson.com, http://www.fireflyeventphotography.com, and http://www.piercebrunsonphotography.com.

My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/truthisnear17/videos

 

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Questions to Answer: Letting the Right People Help You

The Let the Right People Help You Lifestyle

  1. What are three areas you want to improve, and could use the wisdom of a coach or mentor?
  2. How can the right people influence your decisions for the success you desire?
  3. Name three people you can share your dreams with who would give you honest feedback. Set up a 15 minute meeting with them and share your dream.
  4. How will knowing the right people help you on your journey to the success you desire?

The above information is from the book Work Ethic: The Right Actions to Create a Successful Lifestyle by Pierce Brunson https://www.createspace.com/4786986

It isn’t what you say, it’s what you do that will create the life you want. The high school years are a great time for students to build valuable and rewarding action characteristics to increase self-esteem and deliver results. While enjoying these years, students should be developing the right mindset to achieve the success they desire in the future. In order for success to happen, for students to have that lifestyle they often speak of wanting, they must become adults with a solid, results-based work ethic. Wasting these four years can’t be a part of the plan. By using their time in high school to build the right actions for a successful lifestyle, students can ensure themselves a bright future, no matter the obstacles they will encounter. Work Ethic is for the high school student expecting to live life successfully, and is willing to do the right growth actions to shape a lifestyle of fulfillment, fun, and results.

Pierce Brunson http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00I10A3XK , M.Ed., is a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia, and spends his time working as a mentor and speaker while developing businesses that help improve the high school experience for students and teachers. He has over a decade of experience teaching in the public school system as a high school Social Studies teacher, majoring in World History and Sociology. Pierce believes everyone can do more to help improve the education system in their local communities, which is part of the backbone of any society. Pierce’s advice is simple: stop complaining and do something to help improve the situation. Good people have to stop being afraid to fight for what they believe in. Get in the game, help others, share culture and move the world toward equality and justice. Connect with Pierce at http://www.piercebrunson.com, http://www.fireflyeventphotography.com, and http://www.piercebrunsonphotography.com.

My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/truthisnear17/videos

 

My Urban League Experience: The Good, Bad, and Ugly!

Originally published on July 25th, 2014.

When you are asked to speak to kids you can forget that just as much as you are there to teach them something they will, in turn, teach you something.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak to 40+ kids that are involved in the Urban League summer enrichment program for high school kids in St. Petersburg, FL. To me, this was an exciting moment because I enjoy speaking with kids. Nothing helps me prepare more thoughtful presentations than knowing that my audience will be high school kids.

I was up late the night before, this time not watching YouTube videos, but preparing information for my talk. Of course I did a good job but this post is about the results of what I saw and my impression, so let’s get into it.

THE GOOD:

Mrs. P is a longtime friend of mine that leads the program in the classroom sessions. As I approached the open library area I didn’t hear any kids only her speaking with them about the importance of doing things the correct way. She was the ultimate momma bird. This was her flock and I could feel the love that she has for these students. When she spoke to me the other day about the kids I could tell she was proud of them but knew there was a lot of work to be done with each of them.

There was a good energy from the room. The kids flowed from place to place with as much respect as I have ever seen in high school kids.

As I went through my presentation there were many kids that were interested in the books that I had published. Multiple questions were asked in relation to the book and I wasn’t prepared with enough to disperse to the students.

There was a sense of hope with these students. As much as they hear the “Live your dreams” mantra, it seemed as these students believed that something good was going to happen in their lives. It was refreshing to be around that type of hope again.

I loved the opportunity to speak and I could have been there all day.

THE BAD:

If there is a good there has to be a bad. As I watched Mrs. P. work, teach, and love these students I wondered about the loss of momentum once the program was over. To me, it seems as if these kids need a Mrs. P., for longer than 6 weeks. Mrs. P., is good for them but her time is limited so her momentum with these students will be broken in a few short weeks.  I believe they will remember her teachings but we all need additional support to achieve great things in life.

I wondered if there was a follow-up program or session so that these students could see a familiar face when life got tough. The bad news was that those young kids wouldn’t have a lot of time with Mrs. P., but they need more time. Change happens with a consistent message. I believe that there is great message that will end in a few weeks and that is a bad thing.

THE UGLY:

Just as I was ready to leave one of Florida’s famous thunderstorms rolled through and I was forced to sit in the back of the room for a bit. This was one ugly storm on the radar so I decided to work on some emails.

While I was in the back Mrs. P. and Mr. Faulkner spoke from the heart to these kids. Mrs. P. led with Maya Angelou’s Phenomenal Women, a poem that has reminded her on how to carry herself.  Her voice, took me back to our church days when she would have a lead role in our plays. The power in Mrs. P’s voice had the room in silence.

She shared deep parts of her life and her path. She shared how she weathered terrible storms but was proud to say she was still standing. I was happy to see her still standing and doing wonderful things for her community.

I was hit with the thought that such an ugly storm caused me to witness such a powerful teaching lesson that I would have missed. I don’t always know what being blessed is but that moment helped me to understand what it may feel like.

PERSONAL THOUGHTS

  • Someone else’s hell is always hotter than yours.
  • Storms yield great results if you let them.
  • This Urban League program is powerful because of this team.
  • These kids have hope in a great future.
  • I miss being teaching and working with kids.
  • They actually wanted my book.
  • We need more Mrs. P’s.
  • I have to find a way to do more talks.
  • Our community is our responsibility.

Thank you Mr. P. and the Urban League kids for having me in to share my story and teaching me more than I ever expected to learn that day.

Follow Pierce Brunson on Twitter, IG and Google+.

Pierce Brunson http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00I10A3XK , M.Ed., is a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia, and spends his time working as a mentor and speaker while developing businesses that help improve the high school experience for students and teachers. He has over a decade of experience teaching in the public school system as a high school Social Studies teacher, majoring in World History and Sociology. Pierce believes everyone can do more to help improve the education system in their local communities, which is part of the backbone of any society. Pierce’s advice is simple: stop complaining and do something to help improve the situation. Good people have to stop being afraid to fight for what they believe in. Get in the game, help others, share culture and move the world toward equality and justice. Connect with Pierce at http://www.piercebrunson.com, http://www.fireflyeventphotography.com, and http://www.piercebrunsonphotography.com.

My Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/truthisnear17/videos

Educators Live and Love

They Live It

The cool teacher practices what they preach. The expectations they have for each student is what they have, and expect, from the people in their regular lives. Rules are hard to live by, especially when you are an adult and can do just about anything. The thing with these teachers is that they live by these rules. They are there for a reason of use, not just so they can be mean. There is nothing like having a rule in a class that everyone breaks, but the teacher enforces it one day out of the week, or month, or semester. (Insert anything related to dress code here). If you make the rule, you have to enforce it at the cost of losing your integrity, and mistreating a student.

The cool teachers are this way because they take the time to speak to any child that needs to have a moment of attention. They offer real world suggestions that help the student, not just the teacher. The student feels safe speaking to the teacher, knowing they may not like the results of the talk, but will get a consistent answer tailored to their needs.

The cool teacher lives it through their daily lessons.   The cool teacher is ready on a daily basis to give a lesson to their students. They are able to help their students believe that, even if we aren’t doing “work,” we are still learning. There are many days where your lesson and the plan you had just won’t work. Maybe something has happened in the world, and the students are more attentive to that. Maybe there is a major thing going on that is related to your school, and your students may be a bit distracted. I realize that world events are easier to make relevant connections for discussion in a social science class, but that doesn’t mean a few moments of your time to discuss and then redirect aren’t worth a go even in, say, a math class.

Daily lessons are very important. I do believe every individual should be pushed beyond their comfort zone in some way, daily. It could be reading a blog that is against your personal view, or just listening to an opinion to try something new; there is always a point in the day where we should get to see the world in a different way. Look for opportunities for you and your students to step outside the comfort zone of your class, even if just for a few moments. Those moments outside of your comfort zone are strange, but you really can learn a lot about yourself, your students, and how important your environment is to learning in different ways.

The popular teacher lives it through their hobbies. Students know that with the cool teacher, they come first when they are in the classroom, or in an extracurricular activity. They also know that the teacher they enjoy has a life outside of education. It would amaze me, in the beginning of my teaching career, how many students thought that I didn’t do anything but teach. They were surprised that I could throw a ball, laugh at pop culture, and was somewhat human. The interesting part was, as I took a moment to be interested in their hobbies, it was easier for me to share my ideas about how they could become more successful in those hobbies by relating my interests.

During my 8 years as a Sociology teacher, we ended each semester with a talent project. This was the time where the students could bring in the items and share their talent. This was my “way” of doing really cool stuff like playing drums, riding a unicycle, falling off a long board, dropping a shot put on my toe, hitting baseballs and softballs, being a goalie, wrestling a district champion, tasting a ton of cakes, eating traditional family dishes, tossing pizza dough, listening to keyboards, pianos, singers, playing guitars, learning about SCUBA diving, experiencing hunting, and all types of other fun stuff.

This is part of a chapter from my book Rock The Crowd: How The Cool Teachers Inspire More Students, Earn More Respect, and Become Lifelong Mentors. Every Wednesday and Friday (Starting April 8, 2014) I will share parts of every chapter. Don’t forget that the shares from my first book Learning Curve are on Monday and Thursday.

 

Is there anything better for students than being in the class of the cool teacher? When it comes to being a teenage student, and being forced to attend school, there is nothing better than a class where the teacher is passionate about education. How do these popular teachers continue to be the sparkle in the eyes of so many children, while there are others that can’t get them to pay attention? Rock the Crowd shares the methods of those teachers that are considered cool by students, while maintaining the best relationships for valuable learning to take place. For the “cool teacher,” the front of their classroom is their stage, and every day, for hours, they give the greatest performance their students have seen to date. The crowd-rocker teaches with passion and convictions that inspire real student connections and learning that last a lifetime. These teachers are popular, year after year, while others are still struggling to learn how to relate to the students. In Rock the Crowd, I share all the things cool teachers do that make them successful in working with, and producing, successful and long lasting, learning-centered relationships. Rock the Crowd is great for teachers who are struggling to find their teaching groove and to reenergize those that are already grooving.

http://www.createspace.com/4703109

Attributes to Successful Teaching

Core Attributes to Rock the Crowd

Cool teachers have substance to who they are, and why they are doing things. If you have some cool teachers in your school, then take this list and just observe what they do. Now, there are always those teachers that are fool’s gold and attract the students that want an easy “A” or to get one over on the system. This is a sample of short-term teacher-student relationship, and is based on a take-take rather than a give-take. The students are pumping that teacher up to use them for their weak discipline plan, below average teaching skills and neediness. In fact, you may already know of a few. You instantly see the difference in the teachers that are connecting and forming the right student-teacher relationships. Those teachers have a high percentage of the following qualities that help them connect, educate, and mentor better than others. These teachers are hardcore disciplinarians; they are passionate about their job and life. Their passion bleeds from them and they can’t be rattled in stressful situations. They know why they are a teacher, and they understand their role as an educator. They leave emotion at the door; they are fair. They have hobbies, and are interesting people, and when it comes to working with students, every day is a new day.

Take a few moments to look at your teaching routine and see if you have the majority of things on that list. I will go over each one so you can develop your own twist to becoming the cool teacher that makes great connections to improve the lives of your students.

The core attributes of cool teachers are the meat of this book. By reading these attributes you can see where you stand, and how you can use the info to unleash the cool teacher in you. If you have a problem with me using the terms “cool”, or “popular,” then you may want to stop here. These terms are used because they are true. Kids, even when we were that age, love to be connected to the words “cool” and “popular.” I am not talking about popularity at the cost of self-esteem, but a coolness where many students will open up to your confidence, and therefore, open up to learning. The core attributes are the basics of the teachers I have witnessed during my 13-year career as a classroom teacher. When I started teaching, I was liked, but according to my new definition, I wasn’t cool. I was enjoyed by students, but not popular. In my second year, I started to turn the corner as I thought about the teachers I enjoyed in high school. They were of all shapes, sizes, and colors, but they all had the cool and popular vibe going. Luckily, in the early part of my career, there were some good, experienced, teachers that would talk with me about being a teacher. They had decades of experience, and they were awesome. They would tell stories, and then pull me aside and remind me of what my main purpose was. Just having those lifers speak with me was very valuable, and it helped me shape my approach to teaching.

These attributes are directly related to those conversations, and moments of guidance. I was lucky to have such a great group of mentors during the first three years of my career. These attributes are from my observations, and if you are struggling as a teacher, you are in the right place. Take hold of the message, and make them your own. Your students await your coolness!

This is part of a chapter from my book Rock The Crowd: How The Cool Teachers Inspire More Students, Earn More Respect, and Become Lifelong Mentors. Every Wednesday and Friday (Starting April 8, 2014) I will share parts of every chapter. Don’t forget that the shares from my first book Learning Curve are on Monday and Thursday.

Is there anything better for students than being in the class of the cool teacher? When it comes to being a teenage student, and being forced to attend school, there is nothing better than a class where the teacher is passionate about education. How do these popular teachers continue to be the sparkle in the eyes of so many children, while there are others that can’t get them to pay attention? Rock the Crowd shares the methods of those teachers that are considered cool by students, while maintaining the best relationships for valuable learning to take place. For the “cool teacher,” the front of their classroom is their stage, and every day, for hours, they give the greatest performance their students have seen to date. The crowd-rocker teaches with passion and convictions that inspire real student connections and learning that last a lifetime. These teachers are popular, year after year, while others are still struggling to learn how to relate to the students. In Rock the Crowd, I share all the things cool teachers do that make them successful in working with, and producing, successful and long lasting, learning-centered relationships. Rock the Crowd is great for teachers who are struggling to find their teaching groove and to reenergize those that are already grooving.

http://www.createspace.com/4703109

Educator, Have Some Fun!

Enjoying Self

One of the ways cool and popular teachers become that way is because they know what it is like to be liked. They are operating from a knowing. Many times, especially in education, we operate from an unknowing. We want everyone to feel bad so they know how it feels when they hurt someone else. Popular teachers don’t operate like that. Their self-esteem is high enough that they rarely care if they are popular, so it is easier to be liked. Those teachers trying too hard to be liked, and I know it may shock you that they exist, are falling short. It’s kind of like dieting: if you try really hard, you usually fail, but if you just accept certain things, then all the fight against a force is removed.

Popular teachers enjoy themselves. No matter the size or shape, they enjoy who they are as people in the profession. One thing I always notice about the popular teachers is that they really like who they are, flaws and all. There are times when these people are almost shocked others don’t enjoy life more. The approach of these teachers is to be joyful, knowing that in the end, they could take their joy someplace else if things got too bad. They have a confidence that some of their peers dislike because they seem so happy all the time. Their students will ask why they are happy all the time. They come up with happy sayings that are corny, but memorable. Their happiness and self-enjoyment create a divide with their peers; they are either liked or not. Very few people are middle-of-the-road with these enjoyable individuals.

By enjoying yourself, you see education as a process. Enjoyment leads to smiles, and smiles lead to a better understanding of the wants and needs of your students. It is very hard to be aware of your students’ needs when you are not in a place where you are enjoying life. For those struggling, this is one of the first places to start. Ask yourself: do I enjoy being around me? If you say “no,” or pause to answer, then you may realize others also find it tough to be around you. Switch that around and take a few moments each day to look at yourself, and place yourself in a new light. Approach it with an understanding that you are a work in progress, but you can have some wins now.

This is part of a chapter from my book Rock The Crowd: How The Cool Teachers Inspire More Students, Earn More Respect, and Become Lifelong Mentors. Every Wednesday and Friday (Starting April 8, 2014) I will share parts of every chapter. Don’t forget that the shares from my first book Learning Curve are on Monday and Thursday.

Is there anything better for students than being in the class of the cool teacher? When it comes to being a teenage student, and being forced to attend school, there is nothing better than a class where the teacher is passionate about education. How do these popular teachers continue to be the sparkle in the eyes of so many children, while there are others that can’t get them to pay attention? Rock the Crowd shares the methods of those teachers that are considered cool by students, while maintaining the best relationships for valuable learning to take place. For the “cool teacher,” the front of their classroom is their stage, and every day, for hours, they give the greatest performance their students have seen to date. The crowd-rocker teaches with passion and convictions that inspire real student connections and learning that last a lifetime. These teachers are popular, year after year, while others are still struggling to learn how to relate to the students. In Rock the Crowd, I share all the things cool teachers do that make them successful in working with, and producing, successful and long lasting, learning-centered relationships. Rock the Crowd is great for teachers who are struggling to find their teaching groove and to reenergize those that are already grooving.

http://www.createspace.com/ 4703109