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Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

classroom management education consultant educational leadership educational leadership programs efficiency keynote speaker leaders in education leadership coaching leadership for educational equity leadership styles in education motivational speaker professional development public speaking sel social emotional learning stand tall steve steve bollar within our ranks Feb 27, 2024

I’m 6’7”.  I am uncomfortable ALL the time! The general world is not physically designed for someone like me, from airplanes, doorways, restaurant chairs, and bathtubs.  It is physically uncomfortable and painful to do regular everyday things.  And this had me thinking… 

Imagine one of your students feeling that way about being in your classroom setting, let alone school in general.  One of the most challenging lessons we include daily in the growth mindset classroom is, “We can do hard things.” Productive struggle is where growth is shown and achieved with grit and effort and through the ah-ha moments! How are you working through grit, effort, and ah-ha moments as a teacher or administrator?

Do you see people blowing dust off their files before you head to the copy room? Are you teaching the same thing the same way every year? Do you recycle your lesson plans? How boring that must be! 

“Teacher” has a whole new definition!

Post-pandemic teaching is a new ballgame.  Teachers need to get ready to be uncomfortable. We knew it would be different, but not link this! Sure, seasoned teachers know their content, strategies, and expectations. But are they willing to adapt for student success?

Gang, every class is different! And this is a whole new generation of kids! Expert teachers must adapt to meet each class, changing every year.  EVERY year.  That does not even include the revolving doors of new district initiatives, administrative turnovers, and new standards and curricula falling in your lap! 

Beyond IEPs and 504s, student personalities and learning styles differ from the past.  I’ll say it: It is a mountainous task to constantly adapt and change your teaching style or lessons to meet the needs of the students. We may not have realized that when you signed up to be a teacher, that was NOT a part of the undergrad program. What are you doing with your lessons so students can learn effectively? 

Veteran teachers, you absolutely have earned your cool as a cucumber persona.  But if you aren’t sweating a lesson, meeting, observation, parent interaction- it’s time to get comfortable with being a little uncomfortable again. You deserve to learn and grow, too! 

Reflect.  Reduce.  Recognize.

Stand Tall Leaders know how impactful R words are for results! Let’s add some more to the conversation. Reflect. Reduce, not eliminate. Put progress over perfection. We have all had crash-and-burn lessons. How can you learn from the experience? Look for growth in your students and yourself! Reduce issues. Recognize improvement in yourself and also in your students. 

Authentic Administrators

Don’t be afraid to be uncomfortable.  Yes, you must consider the political landscape, climate, and culture.  Be real! Be authentic in your intentions, actions, and words.  Again, look for growth. Progress should always be encouraged professionally and personally! Even the smallest actions are a step in the right direction.

Take the guesswork out of the equation.  Say it.  Teachers are typically people pleasers by nature, and it will eat them alive trying to read between the lines with indirect or passive-aggressive feedback.  Start a conversation with a direct statement.  

“I am uncomfortable.  I am doing this, and I’m pushing my boundaries…”

“I’m trying to make you uncomfortable to help you grow.”

“I know it's uncomfortable, but I am trying to help you grow.”

Administrators aren’t perfect, either.  Everyone makes mistakes.  We are ALL human! Own the mistake.  But take it further and share your plan to make it right. Learn from the mistakes.  “Never let a crisis go to waste.” Check this out! How Crisis Becomes Opportunity: Success Factor | Stand Tall Statement

Give straightforward feedback eloquently.

I’m an Apple guy.  Bring me the phones, laptops, watches, and air tags; everything works together.  But did you know a part of their employee training is “Fearless Feedback?”  Before a new retail employee touches a new device or registers, there is a conversation about how to give and receive feedback from your team members without fear of any repercussions. Imagine your school with this lesson! Would it be different?

FEARLESS FEEDBACK - Read more about it!

Apple’s Five Steps of Service

Approach customers with a personalized, warm welcome.

Approach students with a personalized, warm welcome. Greet them at the door or in your own way at the start of class.

Probe politely to understand the customer’s needs (ask closed and open-ended questions).

Probe politely to understand the student’s needs (ask closed and open-ended questions).

Present a solution for the customer to take home today.

Present a solution for the student to take home (today).

Listen for and resolve any issues or concerns.

Listen for and resolve any issues or concerns. (within a reasonable time frame)

End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return.

End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return.

Within Our Ranks

Training for educators to speak professionally.

Do you have a wealth of educational knowledge and experience, but need to know how to turn it into speaking and consulting opportunities? 

For those of us in education, we value the voice of fellow educators when it comes to professional development sessions and trainings.  That’s exactly why Within Our Ranks is so unique: educators train, support, and support other educators! 

Unleash Your Potential as a Professional Speaker and Trainer

If you have ten or more years of experience in K-12 education, it’s time to learn about the world of educational speaking. Through this multi-step program, turn your knowledge into a profitable experience! 

  • Program Flexibility (perfect for those transitioning careers)
  • Educator Focused
  • Learn the business of the speaking industry
  • Constructive feedback to grow confidently 
  • Start your own full or part-time public speaking career!

Join me in the City of Brotherly Love this summer! The next Within Our Ranks Retreat will be June 28-30, 2024. 

Learn more today! and Transforming Education and Professional Development through Within Our Ranks

Schedule a time to speak with me about this program.

Stand Tall Leadership

Are you ready to elevate your leadership skills and inspire positive organizational change? Look no further than the Stand Tall Leadership. Packed with invaluable insights, practical strategies, and inspiring anecdotes, these programs guide you to becoming an exceptional leader. Whether you're a seasoned executive, a mid-level manager, or an aspiring leader, Stand Tall Leadership offers timeless principles that will help you navigate challenges, cultivate resilience, and foster a culture of success. From effective communication techniques to visionary decision-making, this program equips you with the tools to lead confidently and with integrity. Don't settle for mediocrity in leadership—embrace the "Stand Tall Leadership" principles and unlock your full potential. Order your copy today or contact me to discuss keynotes, professional development, and consulting.  Embark on a transformative journey toward leadership excellence.

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