In life, you don’t get what you want, you get what you expect. The key word is “Expectations”. You word choice (verbals), your nonverbals (body language) determines your expectations. What do want out of life, do you want to leave a legacy that you are proud of, a legacy that’s carried on by your children and grandchildren. What do expect from your children? What are the modeling behaviors are your children seeing? What are the words are speaking into your children life? There is life and death in words.
I’m reminded of my eight grade math class a few years ago (1972) in small school district in East Texas. This was the second year this small school district was integrated; blacks and whites attending school together. Myself, plus four other 13/14 year old African American boys where behaving inappropriately in our eight grade math class. Our math teacher needing to get our attention and he did get our attention in a very inappropriate way. I quote, “You boys are STUPID, you are never going to amount to anything and do not take algebra in the ninth grade”. Yes, the teacher’s word choice was totally inappropriate, wrong for him to speak those words to students or to anyone. Our teacher was operating from a low expectation paradigm of African Americans boys. His expectations of African American boys or your expectations of your children become your self-fulfilling prophecy. What are your expectations for those in your circle of influence, what are the expectations for yourself?
I agree with Madeline Hunter when she said, “Kids don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care!” All students can achieve at a high level. Caring, belief, encouragement and unconditional “Positive” regard are the keys that unlock the heart and mind; “Maslow before Blooms”. Hearts and minds are opened in the home, in the classroom, in your circle of influence when there is love and caring parents, guardians, and educators that model and teach with passion and manage with compassion.
My expectation of educators and my hope these are your expectations also. Educators are; (1) enthusiastic about their particular subject and see the connections to everyday life (2) have a commitment for continuous learning (3) believe all children can learn at a high level (4) values the many ways students communicate and encourage different combination models in the classroom (5) respect and develop a productive relationship with students, parents and guardians from different socio-economic backgrounds and diverse communities.
Myself, plus four other boys did not enroll in algebra in the ninth grade based on the low expectations of our teacher. I enrolled in algebra in the tenth grade, algebra was relatively easy. I skipped math in the eleventh grade and completed geometry in the 12th grade. Fast forward to 1995, college algebra was a prerequisite for obtaining an associate degree from the Community College of the Air Force. Because of the defeated language spoken to me by my 8th math teacher (you are stupid), college algebra was extremely difficult. I prevailed, after four attempts,
completed college algebra because I refused to allow the negative words spoken into my conscious to defeat me and dictate my future. Currently, I have three associate degrees, bachelor’s degree, master degree, graduate certificate in conflict mediation, and perusing my doctorate degree in educational leadership. I am College Professor, Internationally Certified Leadership Coach, Trainer, and Motivational Speaker. I’m also Certified Educational Trainer, Conflict Resolution Trainer with over 30 years in Conflict Mediation, and over 30 years of Training and Development. I’m an Honorary Colonel in the Arkansas State Police, Honorary Member of the Arkansas Highway Police, and a Certified Arkansas Law Enforcement Instructor in Rapid Response, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT). My wife and I have been married over 41 years, raised two highly successful beautiful daughters. Our oldest daughter is a Pediatrician and our youngest daughter is an Attorney.
Your past do not determine your future, you determine your future. Dream big, take action and put your dreams to the test.