Tuesday, July 29, 2014

When You Believe

The topic of this post has been on my mind for a while, but I think I can finally put it into words.  Or at least attempt to!

I believe in dreaming big.  I believe in what others may think is "impossible".

Last night I was invited to be a part of a #USedchat group doing a Google Hangout to talk about "change".  It was an honor to even be asked but it was also just great conversation.  I left that conversation feeling even more excited about the path I've chosen to take.

As I jump into this new role, and as I enter a district who is struggling, I've continually heard people tell me...

- They're so low, you don't need that your first year!
- Are you sure you're ready for this?
- I hope you have 5 years of your life ready becuase that's how long it's going to take to do anything!
- Why would you want to jump into that mess?
- You're not ready for this.
and my "favorite"??
- Don't try to do that, those kids can't handle it.

I hear the words come out of their mouths.  I see the looks on their faces.  But their concern and their statements don't make sense to me.

I have seen the lowest kids rise about the "smartest".  I have seen the downtrodden, find their hearts again.  Why?  Becasue someone believed in them.  Because someone told them they could.  Because someone set high expectations.

I think of two of my friends.  I think of my friend Ron Clark, and how his passion for believing in and working with kids has changed the lives of some of the most challenging kids.  I remember him telling me just a few weeks ago, "Todd, what you're getting into is so exciting.  Imagine the change that you can bring about."  And that's exactly right.  Why would I want to be anywhere else?  I want to be where there is a need, like in Navasota.

Then I think about the conversation I had with my good friend Angela Maiers, just last night.  I must say though, you can NOT talk to Angela Maiers, and not leave changed.  She just has that effect every single time I talk to her.  Angela and I both have the same mindset with people.  Let them know that they matter.  Let them know that you care.  Let them know that they have a voice.  And just watch how much it changes things.

The road in front of me is not going to be an easy one.  I know that.  But as a man of faith, I know that God has placed me here for a reason.  I have seen piece after piece fall perfectly into place as I've made my transition over to Navasota.  I've watched the perfect team fall together.  I've seen passions reignited in teachers, admin, and parents alike.  I've seen a rumbling within the community begin to take hold.  And it's exciting.  It's invigorating.

We're going to do someting extraordinary down here in Navastoa, Texas.  Why?  Because I believe.  I believe in the power that lies within a dedicated group who are passionatly concerned with reaching every child's heart.  I believe in hard work.  I believe in what same claim as the "impossible".  Because you see, in my personal dictionary, the word impossible doesn't exist.

25 comments:

  1. This was perfect timing! I'm trying to start a new project here in Chautauqua, New York and my insecurities were getting the best of me. Not anymore! Thanks!

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  2. Nice post Todd! I had the pleasure of listening to you and Angela at ISTE! I left changed and plan to make a difference in my district! Hope to drive up to see what's going on at your school in Navasota some day soon!

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    1. Thanks Karen, and you are welcome to come visit any time!

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  3. Thanks for the positive and motivational message! Sometimes it is hard to keep that upbeat feeling going. This was just what I needed to hear!

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    1. Thanks Debbie! Yep, positivity is something I have to continually work at!

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  5. Walt Disney once said, "It's kind of fun to do the impossible." Thanks for the post, great motivation to fight the uphill battle that others place in front of us.

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  6. You continue to inspire us all. You fan the flames around you and that ability will heat up the entire district in Navasota. You are the right man, in the right place, at the right time to provide the lift.

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  7. Thanks SO much for this inspiring post, Todd! Can't wait to see what's in store for Navastoa!

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    1. Thanks Kimberly! I can't wait to see what unfolds either! It's so exciting.

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  8. Believe. Yes. Believe in the student who is hungry; who is struggling; who is uncertain; who is curious; who is passionate ... . Believe in the educator who is new; who is doubtful; who is determined; who is passionate; who is connected ... . Believe in you.

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  9. As an educator who left Navasota ISD because of the refusal of admin/central office to let their teachers teach...I wish you good luck. I hope they allow you and your staff to not be limited to a certain "program" or "magic bullet". Those kids deserve more than the crap they get year after year...they are a fantastic group of students that I miss so much.

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    1. Thanks for leaving a comment! You're so right about those kids. I can't wait to serve on a team to help reach each and every one of them!

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  10. Todd I would bet on you 99 times out of 98. You are a ray of light that shines on us all and makes each one of us brighter. I can't imagine how tiring it is for you to continually share your light with others the way that you do. But, I know that the more you share the more light there is in the world each and every day. Know that we all support you and if there's anything I could ever do to help please let me know. And remember I still have those two guys with pipes on standby! :)

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    1. Jon, I can't express enough how great it is to have you in my corner. Thanks for being such a great friend!

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  11. That was beautiful Mr.Nesloney

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  12. Awesome Post, Todd! Your honesty is inspiring and encouraging. Keep striving to be the best and to ensure your students and staff are acquiring the best. Setting high expectations means a high success rate. Setting low expectations just invites mediocrity and we don't want that. We want Passion and Excitement and Learning and Engagement and Motivation and Joy and so much more. We have to Yearn to Learn and Never Give Up. Keep it up, Todd. I'm blessed to be a part of your journey...or, at least witness a part of it through social media!

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    1. Aw thanks Maggie!! You're such a ray of sunshine!

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