Everyone has heard the oft repeated statement: We become what we think about, and that our life is what our thoughts make it. An interesting statement by the psychologist Charles Cooley is: “I am not what I think I am. I am not what you think I am. I am what I think you think I am.” Is this why a great coach is such a critical factor for a winning team?
Wow… we might become what other people around us think about us! Perhaps you’ve heard of the prank that’s played upon an unfortunate victim where several of his friends conspire to individually come up to him at separate times and say something like how are you feeling? You look kind of pale. Are you sure you feel OK? Later another “friend “comes up and makes a similar comment. Very soon, this person doesn’t feel so good.
There’s been a long and widespread concern about the huge gap in educational test scoring between white and non-white youngsters. There are way too many of our society’s most vulnerable children who are being left behind.
The wonderful news is this learning gap can and has already been closed as demonstrated by the Success Academy charter school network in New York City. Their students pass tests in mathematics and English at a higher rate than any school district in all of New York State! …and their student body is 94% black and Hispanic kids!
How do they do this? Charles Kettering has observed that: High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation.
Let me read the mission statement from the Success Academy website: While we celebrate our scholars’ academic achievements on these exams, Success Academy does not consider test scores the only measure of a child’s education. Our focus is on developing the whole child. From chess and debate tournament wins, art shows and dance performances, to the look of joy on the face of a child who finally understands how to divide fractions, or makes a new friend, we celebrate the many scholar accomplishments throughout each year. We strive to make our schools joyful places of learning, where the pace is fast, the bar is high, and boredom is banished.
What an inspiring statement describing this amazing learning environment they’ve created. High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation. The bar is set high, and boredom is replaced with fast-paced and joyful learning…
“Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be.” – Stephen R. Covey
It would seem that “I am not what I think I am. I am not what you think I am. I am what I think you think I am.” What if you are in a position of authority, and your expectations of others are set low? This then becomes a most troubling statement in this new age of microaggressions and safe spaces. You can either be a victor or a victim…but you cannot be both! Americans are becoming experts in victimhood and entitlement. Teaching students how to be victims and coddling them could be just about the worst thing you can do for them.
Education can dramatically change how you think about yourself and how you view the world. John Maxwell said the inside influences the outside. When you’re better on the inside than the outside, and when you’re bigger on the inside than the outside, over time, you will become greater on the outside. Great leadership is an inside job. HBM comes to mind. Let’s all go for total wellness, inside and out!
We are thankful that you are a part of our team that can make such a positive difference!
Dave & Ben
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