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"E Notes"

Our Schools, Our Kids, Our Future

Success from Challenging our Potential . . . The 2014-2015 school year has begun and we are off to a great start.   The first day back for instructional staff, PISD hosted a speaker, Garrison Wynn for one portion of professional development.  Mr. Wynn is a motivating and humorous person and is very successful in the business world.  He shared with us personal stories about how he was able to achieve in school even though he has Attention Deficit Disorder with hyperactivity.  Other than his parents, the major reason he has been able to achieve greatness was because a teacher saw his potential and challenged him to reach his dreams while still being his active self.

Jon Stigliano from Strategic Solutions Group writes that many of us dream of greatness but only a few of us take the first steps to developing a detailed plan to get there. Even fewer of us are willing to endure the difficult voyage that is usually involved.   Our own perceptions lead to mediocrity.   We may believe we can do anything we put our mind to while at the same time there are subtle warnings that tell us not to set our goals too high so we don’t experience disappointment and failure.  To be safe we often settle for far less than giving our best. Instead we can accomplish real greatness if we pursue a goal of challenging our own personal potential. As educators and parents, we can help students to develop plans to be successful.  Plans that can be broken down into steps demonstrate to students that lofty goals are possible, but it may not be immediately.  When a step is failed, students must see failure is acceptable but quitting is not.  Children need to be taught to continue to revise their blueprints until they can reach success.  

For example, our English teachers guide students in making plans when a research project or paper has been assigned.  They teach students the steps to complete and then guide them along the way so they may be successful.  Students are taught how to research, how to decipher what is important and factual, then how to compile gathered information into a meaningful written project, how to list sites and documents that were utilized, etc.  Some students fail at a few of the steps, but they are guided to continue rather than quit.  Just to assign a student a project or assignment without guiding them how to break it down into smaller parts, would devastate a majority of students.  We can learn to use these same processes of breaking down goals into smaller parts to reach our own potential.
We are all capable of doing significantly more than we think we are capable of doing, but that doesn’t mean it will just happen by magic.  If we are not willing to be flexible with our goals and how we can achieve them, make difficult choices, exchanges and sacrifices, take risky chances and persevere long enough to make our dreams come true, then they won’t. This is competition against our own self at its best.
As parents and educators, we need to teach children to understand that sometimes things will not go as planned and we will fail once in a while. For those who find school is not challenging or for students who do not experience failure, they oftentimes struggle outside the environment of the school or while trying to obtain goals.  We do our young people no favors by trying to make sure that life or school is all smooth sailing.  Thinking we are building up their self-esteem by taking away all trials and difficulties paves the road for an unhappy adulthood.   Not allowing children to be disappointed and not teaching them how to revise plans after failures, leads to the inability to break down goals into achievable parts.  Living a successful lifestyle does not mean that our lives will be perfect, but that life is about constantly improving in all aspects. It’s about fulfilling as much of our own personal potential as we can!
Challenge your own potential.  Success is not as much about achievement as it is about how we got there and our own development!          

(portions taken from Jon Stigliano)

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