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Inspirational Quotes

As parents and teachers start to analyze what words work with students.  Here is a list of inspirational quotes to get you thinking.  Try to apply the specific quotes to something happening in your life.  Make it personal.

Inspirational quotes

Do one thing every day that scares you.

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt
Kurt Vonnegut

“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”
― Kurt VonnegutMother Night
Paulo Coelho

“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
― Paulo CoelhoThe Alchemist
Langston Hughes

“Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.”
― Langston Hughes
Trisha Yearwood

“What’s meant to be will always find a way”
― Trisha Yearwood
Walt Disney Company

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.”
― Walt Disney CompanyMulan
Neil Gaiman

“Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes, when you fall, you fly.”
― Neil GaimanThe Sandman, Vol. 6: Fables and Reflections
Maya Angelou

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
― Maya Angelou
Saul Bellow

“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.”
― Saul Bellow
Chad Sugg

“If you’re reading this…
Congratulations, you’re alive.
If that’s not something to smile about,
then I don’t know what is.”
― Chad SuggMonsters Under Your Head
Socrates

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”
― Socrates
Maya Angelou

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”
― Maya Angelou
Lou Holtz

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.”
― Lou Holtz
Lance Armstrong

“Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.”
― Lance ArmstrongEvery Second Counts
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Edgar Allan Poe

“I was never really insane except upon occasions when my heart was touched.”
― Edgar Allan Poe
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“The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.”
― Kalu Ndukwe Kalu
Vincent van Gogh

“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.”
― Vincent van Gogh
“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
Thomas Jefferson

“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.”
― Thomas Jefferson
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
― Antoine de Saint-ExupéryThe Little Prince
Elizabeth Gilbert

“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.”
― Elizabeth GilbertEat, Pray, Love
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Can Hollywood help?

What if all those in the arts including blockbuster movies spent just a little time making films on how to motivate students?  We could have hundreds of YouTube shorts that could address different problems that parents and teachers have to inspire students.  Help us contact those in the arts and ask for their help.hollywood

The arts market is large.  Look at just the movie income this year.

The Hollywood Reporter has crunched the numbers, and while August ticket sales have been impressive, the reality is that the summer box office as a whole is on track for a record drop. It was back in July that we learned that the season was on pace for a 20 percent drop from 2013, and while that number has since fallen to 15.3 percent, that’s still a troubling statistic. From May 2nd to August 17th of last year, a total of $4.367 billion in revenue was collected. This year, that number stands at only $3.699 billon. Right now the industry is on pace for an eight-year low, and there’s a chance that the $4 billion mark won’t be reached by Labor Day. Of course, none of these numbers factor in all of the business that is being done abroad. 

Successful Teachers

Successful teachers primarily inspire students to do their best in school.  The way that is done is with words and micro-actions.  Little things that show concern.  The same list could help parents inspire students to learn.

Here is a list of 25.

25 Things Successful Teachers Do Differentlyteacher chaulk board

1. Successful teachers have clear objectives

How do you know if you are driving the right way when you are traveling somewhere new? You use the road signs and a map (although nowadays it might be SIRI or a GPS). In the world of education, your objectives for your students act as road signs to your destination. Your plan is the map. Making a plan does not suggest a lack of creativity in your curriculum but rather, gives creativity a framework in which to flourish.

2. Successful teachers have a sense of purpose

We can’t all be blessed with “epic” workdays all the time. Sometimes, life is just mundane and tedious. Teachers with a sense of purpose that are able to see the big picture can ride above the hard and boring days because their eye is on something further down the road.

3. Successful teachers are able to live without immediate feedback

There is nothing worse than sweating over a lesson plan only to have your students walk out of class without so much as a smile or a, “Great job teach!” It’s hard to give 100% and not see immediate results. Teachers who rely on that instant gratification will get burned out and disillusioned. Learning, relationships, and education are a messy endeavor, much like nurturing a garden. It takes time, and some dirt, to grow.

4. Successful teachers know when to listen to students and when to ignore them

Right on the heels of the above tip is the concept of discernment with student feedback. A teacher who never listens to his/her students will ultimately fail. A teacher who always listens to his/her students will ultimately fail. It is no simple endeavor to know when to listen and adapt, and when to say, “No- we’re going this way because I am the teacher and I see the long term picture.”

5. Successful teachers have a positive attitude

Negative energy zaps creativity and it makes a nice breeding ground for fear of failure. Good teachers have an upbeat mood, a sense of vitality and energy, and see past momentary setbacks to the end goal. Positivity breeds creativity.

6. Successful teachers expect their students to succeed

This concept is similar for parents as well. Students need someone to believe in them. They need a wiser and older person to put stock in their abilities. Set the bar high and then create an environment where it’s okay to fail. This will motivate your students to keep trying until they reach the expectation you’ve set for them.

7. Successful teachers have a sense of humor

Humor and wit make a lasting impression. It reduces stress and frustration, and gives people a chance to look at their circumstances from another point of view. If you interviewed 1000 students about their favorite teacher, I’ll bet 95% of them were hysterical.

8. Successful teachers use praise authentically

Students need encouragement yes, but real encouragement. It does no good to praise their work when you know it is only 50% of what they are capable of. You don’t want to create an environment where there is no praise or recognition; you want to create one where the praise that you offer is valuable BECAUSE you use it judiciously.

9. Successful teachers know how to take risks

There is a wise saying that reads, “Those who go just a little bit too far are the ones who know just how far one can go.” Risk-taking is a part of the successful formula. Your students need to see you try new things in the classroom and they will watch closely how you handle failure in your risk-taking. This is as important as what you are teaching.

10. Successful teachers are consistent

Consistency is not to be confused with “stuck.” Consistency means that you do what you say you will do, you don’t change your rules based on your mood, and your students can rely on you when they are in need. Teachers who are stuck in their outdated methods may boast consistency, when in fact it is cleverly-masked stubbornness.

11. Successful teachers are reflective

In order to avoid becoming the stuck and stubborn teacher, successful educators take time to reflect on their methods, their delivery, and the way they connect with their students. Reflection is necessary to uncover those weaknesses that can be strengthened with a bit of resolve and understanding.

12. Successful teachers seek out mentors of their own

Reflective teachers can easily get disheartened if they don’t have someone a bit older and wiser offering support. You are never too old or wise for a mentor. Mentors can be that voice that says, “Yes your reflections are correct,” or “No, you are off because….” and provide you with a different perspective.

13. Successful teachers communicate with parents

Collaboration between parents and teachers is absolutely crucial to a student’s success. Create an open path of communication so parents can come to you with concerns and you can do the same. When a teacher and parents present a united front, there is a lower chance that your student will fall through the cracks.

14. Successful teachers enjoy their work

It is easy to spot a teacher who loves their work. They seem to emanate contagious energy. Even if it on a subject like advanced calculus, the subject comes alive. If you don’t love your work or your subject, it will come through in your teaching. Try to figure out why you feel so unmotivated and uninspired. It might have nothing to do with the subject, but your expectations. Adjust them a bit and you might find your love of teaching come flooding back.

15. Successful teachers adapt to student needs

Classrooms are like an ever-evolving dynamic organism. Depending on the day, the attendance roster, and the phase of the moon, you might have to change up your plans or your schedule to accommodate your students. As they grow and change, your methods might have to as well. If your goal is to promote a curriculum or method, it will feel like a personal insult when you have to modify it. Make connecting with your student your goal and you’ll have no trouble changing it up as time moves on.

16. Successful teachers welcome change in the classroom

This relates to the above tip, but in a slightly different way. Have you ever been so bored with your house or your bedroom, only to rearrange it and have it feel like a new room? Change ignites the brain with excitement and adventure. Change your classroom to keep your students on their toes. Simple changes like rearranging desks and routines can breathe new life in the middle of a long year.

17. Successful teachers take time to explore new tools

With the advance of technology, there are fresh new resources and tools that can add great functionality to your classroom and curriculum. There is no doubt that the students you are teaching (far younger than you) probably already use technologies you haven’t tapped into yet. Don’t be afraid to push for technology in the classroom. It is often an underfunded area but in this current world and climate, your students will be growing up in a world where technology is everywhere. Give them a headstart and use technology in your classroom.

18. Successful teachers give their students emotional support

There are days when your students will need your emotional support more than a piece of information. Connecting to your students on an emotional level makes it more likely that they will listen to your counsel and take your advice to heart. Students need mentors as much as they need teachers.

19. Successful teachers are comfortable with the unknown

It’s difficult to teach in an environment where you don’t know the future of your classroom budget, the involvement of your student’s parents, or the outcome of all your hard work. On a more philosophical level, educators who teach the higher grades are tasked with teaching students principles that have a lot of unknowns (i.e. physics). How comfortable are you with not having all the answers? Good teachers are able to function without everything tied up neatly in a bow.

20. Successful teachers are not threatened by parent advocacy

Unfortunately, parents and teachers are sometimes threatened by one another. A teacher who is insecure will see parent advocacy as a threat. While there are plenty of over-involved helicopter parents waiting to point out a teacher’s mistakes, most parents just want what’s best for their child. Successful educators are confident in their abilities and not threatened when parents want to get into the classroom and make their opinions known. Good teachers also know they don’t have to follow what the parent recommends!

21. Successful teachers bring fun into the classroom

Don’t be too serious. Some days, “fun” should be the goal. When students feel and see your humanness, it builds a foundation of trust and respect. Fun and educational aren’t mutually exclusive either. Using humor can make even the most mundane topic more interesting.

22. Successful teachers teach holistically

Learning does not happen in a vacuum. Depression, anxiety, and mental stress have a severe impact on the educational process. It’s crucial that educators (and the educational model) take the whole person into account. You can have the funniest and most innovative lesson on algebra, but if your student has just been told his parents are getting a divorce, you will not reach him.

23. Successful teachers never stop learning

Good teachers find time in their schedule to learn themselves. Not only does it help bolster your knowledge in a certain subject matter, it also puts you in the position of student. This gives you a perspective about the learning process that you can easily forget when you’re always in teaching mode.

24. Successful teachers break out of the box

It may be a self-made box. “Oh I could never do that,” you say to yourself. Perhaps you promised you’d never become the teacher who would let students grade each other (maybe you had a bad experience as a kid). Sometimes the biggest obstacle to growth is us. Have you built a box around your teaching methods? Good teachers know when it’s time to break out of it.

25. Successful teachers are masters of their subject

Success of Dr. King and Shakespeare

The US clergyman and civil rights leader Martin LuWords, words, words

That is the key to success of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and William Shakespeare.  Both changed the world as we know it.

Dr. King was able to move millions to help him pass civil rights legislaton with the strength of his words  The August 28, 1963 “I have a Dream speech” is one of the most important speeches in world history.

See some of Dr. King’s quotes here

William Shakespeare used 884,421 words in his 43 works.  He could motivate people in very moving ways.

See an analysis of Shakespeare’s words here

Just imagine if we focus on the words that motivate students.

William_Shakespeare_1609

Failing schools or just failing students

Even the worst high schools in America have a graduation rate of 50%.  That means half of the parents and students have learned what to  do to succeed in high school.  Why don’t we figure out what they are doing?  What are they saying?

Also talk to the teachers to see if we can find a pattern.  A pattern that can be tested with focus groups, random sampling, and other metrics to find what works.

See high school graduation rates here:

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Lee High School Graduation Ceremoney

High School Graduation Rates

Google’s founding and words

Google’s founding 10 years ago and words

This month marks the 10th anniversary of Google’s founding. The Wall Street Journal looked back a the words that were used then to start one of the most important companies in world history.Google Summer of Code

This is just another example of how important words are. Help us find the words to inspire students to work hard. Maybe Google will help. We are contacting them.

 

From the WSJ August 18, 2014.

 

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