Brown Mother’s Believe in Being Great by Choice

I had a splendid day on October the 12th! Filling my educators cup once again at Teachers College 85th Saturday Reunion. I crossed paths with educators from Connecticut, Florida, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and of course New York City! Our “hearts & souls” were anxious to be gratified by educators who believe in being Great by Choice.

Lucy was talking when I rushed into Riverside Church. She said, “You can not create what you can not imagine.” Lucy Calkins walked down the aisle reading a report from US News & World Reports which stated that teachers were 65% excited about being a teacher but after the plethora of changes these past three years that number is now 34%. The room sighed. Posing the question to the packed church, “How do you stay alive?” We stay alive by improving our school – building conversation, planning curriculums together, sharing lesson plans, and having regular kid talk. Teachers studying together is essential. Either you change or die.

We then hustled into Zankel Hall looking for inspiration from a well known children author Kate DiCamillo. Someone posed a question, “What inspires Kate DiCamillo?” She replied, “The world, starring, imagining, always walking with a notebook, always traveling, and never giving up after more than 200 rejection letters.” Kate wrote the books “Because of Winn-Dixie”, “The Tale of Despereaux”, and “Flora & Ulysses”. She stated that her books are written with flawed characters. This connection is for the students who live in a real world.

I returned to another session with Lucy. This time I had to sit on the floor. No room! No chairs! Lucy quoted Jim Collins, “We are free to become great by choice”. She then paused and showed a clip by Motivating Success titled: Stuck on An Escalator! We had to “turn and talk” our thoughts about the message. You can not control what happens to you? BUT, you can control your response! This eased the conversation into our personalities as educators. Are you the Dominance – Influence – Steadiness – Compliance type? Take the test –

Lucy ended with encouraging us to continue being Great by Choice as well as a quote by Douglas B. Reeves, author of Leading Change in Your School: How to Conquer Myths, Build Commitment, and Get Results…A Brown Mother Cynthia

“Deep and sustainable change…requires changes in behavior among those who do not welcome the change.” ― Douglas B. Reeves

(Photo with Me & Kate DiCamillo)


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