Take Notes with Jen Rafferty

Feeling unappreciated in your profession? How to take ownership and create lasting impact as an educator with Stephanie Haynes

July 20, 2023 Jen Rafferty Season 2 Episode 46
Feeling unappreciated in your profession? How to take ownership and create lasting impact as an educator with Stephanie Haynes
Take Notes with Jen Rafferty
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Take Notes with Jen Rafferty
Feeling unappreciated in your profession? How to take ownership and create lasting impact as an educator with Stephanie Haynes
Jul 20, 2023 Season 2 Episode 46
Jen Rafferty

Are you feeling a bit disconnected from your love for teaching?


Today is the day to reignite the lost spark! 


In this episode, I had the pleasure of chatting with Stephanie Haynes, an education consultant who specializes in helping educators reignite their love for teaching. We discussed how educators' feelings about their jobs directly impact their performance and the importance of addressing these feelings head-on.


We explored the concept of learned helplessness and how it can affect educators' sense of making a difference in the classroom.


Ready to reconnect with your love for teaching and reignite that passion within you?


Let's do this!



Stay empowered,


Jen


Let’s keep the conversation going! Find me at:
Jen Rafferty | Instagram, YouTube, Facebook | Linktree
Instagram: @jenrafferty_
Facebook: Empowered Educator Faculty Room


About Stephanie:

Stephanie Haynes, ACC is an Education Coach and Consultant providing custom educational consulting and coaching for schools, educators, parents, and students that equips all stakeholders to empower teens to build a pathway to a future teens are excited to pursue. Specializing in classroom and school culture development and post-high school pathway planning, Stephanie’s vision is to break the mold of the one-size-fits-all post-high school planning process and revolutionize how schools, parents, and the community at large defines success for today's teens. Her decades of working with teens, educators, and parents has shown her how devastating the college-for-all mindset has been on today's youth. With only two culturally acceptable options: go to college and become successful or don't and limit your potential, Stephanie believes too many teens have been caught up in extreme anxiety and fear of not fitting into the mold, and apathy and withdrawal when they believe they can't. As a result, the potential and purpose of so many young people has been limited to the detriment of our communities. She is a veteran educator, speaker, coach, and author who is on mission to equip all stakeholders to empower today's teens to build a pathway to a successful future on their own terms they are excited to pursue. When she's not reimagining a culture of success with today's high schools, she balances her consulting career with her husband, two children, two rescue dogs, and spending time outdoors in all the nature South Carolina has to offer. 

Connect with Stephanie:

Website: stephaniehaynes.net
Facebook: Stephanie Haynes
Instagram: @EdCoachStephHaynes

Show Notes Transcript

Are you feeling a bit disconnected from your love for teaching?


Today is the day to reignite the lost spark! 


In this episode, I had the pleasure of chatting with Stephanie Haynes, an education consultant who specializes in helping educators reignite their love for teaching. We discussed how educators' feelings about their jobs directly impact their performance and the importance of addressing these feelings head-on.


We explored the concept of learned helplessness and how it can affect educators' sense of making a difference in the classroom.


Ready to reconnect with your love for teaching and reignite that passion within you?


Let's do this!



Stay empowered,


Jen


Let’s keep the conversation going! Find me at:
Jen Rafferty | Instagram, YouTube, Facebook | Linktree
Instagram: @jenrafferty_
Facebook: Empowered Educator Faculty Room


About Stephanie:

Stephanie Haynes, ACC is an Education Coach and Consultant providing custom educational consulting and coaching for schools, educators, parents, and students that equips all stakeholders to empower teens to build a pathway to a future teens are excited to pursue. Specializing in classroom and school culture development and post-high school pathway planning, Stephanie’s vision is to break the mold of the one-size-fits-all post-high school planning process and revolutionize how schools, parents, and the community at large defines success for today's teens. Her decades of working with teens, educators, and parents has shown her how devastating the college-for-all mindset has been on today's youth. With only two culturally acceptable options: go to college and become successful or don't and limit your potential, Stephanie believes too many teens have been caught up in extreme anxiety and fear of not fitting into the mold, and apathy and withdrawal when they believe they can't. As a result, the potential and purpose of so many young people has been limited to the detriment of our communities. She is a veteran educator, speaker, coach, and author who is on mission to equip all stakeholders to empower today's teens to build a pathway to a successful future on their own terms they are excited to pursue. When she's not reimagining a culture of success with today's high schools, she balances her consulting career with her husband, two children, two rescue dogs, and spending time outdoors in all the nature South Carolina has to offer. 

Connect with Stephanie:

Website: stephaniehaynes.net
Facebook: Stephanie Haynes
Instagram: @EdCoachStephHaynes

Jen Rafferty:

Remember all the passion and vision you had when you first went into teaching. Feeling like building young minds and creating community through your work would make a lasting impact on this world. Well, those days may feel like they're behind you now, because you're exhausted, stressed and overwhelmed and frustrated. But I'm here to tell you, it doesn't have to be like this. In fact, the love of teaching never really went away. But it absolutely needs transformation. Welcome to The Take Notes Podcast. I'm Jen Rafferty, former music teacher, mom of two, and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, and I'm here to light the way for you. In order to create a generational change for our kids, we need to shift the paradigm away from the perpetual stress and overwhelm and into a life of joy, and fulfillment. This is education 2.0, where you become the priority, shift how you live your life, and how you show up both at work, and at home. So take a sip of steamy morning coffee, and grab your notebook. It's time to take notes. Hi, Stephanie. Welcome to the show. And I am so glad that we have an opportunity to talk to each other again, thank you so much for being here.

Stephanie Haynes:

Well, I really appreciate getting a chance to chat with you again, I so enjoy our conversation.

Jen Rafferty:

Yes, yes same. So I just really want to dive in because you are also a consultant in the education space. And I want to talk a little bit about how you feel that the way that we feel about our jobs directly impacts our jobs and why that's so important to talk about, particularly with educators.

Stephanie Haynes:

Well, yeah, if we are showing up every day to the classroom, feeling drained, feeling as if we're not appreciated, feeling overwhelmed, or feeling stressed dealing with any other kinds of things. It affects our performance in the classroom, as much as we try really hard to make sure it doesn't, it still does. And that I think is a disservice to us professionals. And it's not about whether or not we are doing a great job for the students, because we always will. We are professionals, we will show up. But it's how are we taking care of ourselves in the process that impacts everything else that we do, including our love of the profession, and we don't love what we do this job is extremely difficult. And so that's why I think it's important that we address all of those things about how we show up in the classroom.

Jen Rafferty:

Yeah, and so I think that's something that's really important in my work. So many people have shared that they feel like they lost that love, they've lost that connection. And it's not something that you can just flip on a switch and be like, "Oh, I'm loving this job again", you know, this is a process. So how do you work with educators about reconnecting with their love for this profession? Because you're right, it gets very difficult if we don't have that there.

Stephanie Haynes:

It does, it really does. You know, when an educator realizes that he or she is like, you know, I'm not sure if I want to stay in this profession. I don't know if this is even good for me anymore. This is causing stress, whatever that is, there are thousands of educators that are facing those same questions with themselves this summer, when they reach out, I really have a conversation about why they started getting into teaching in the first place. Because all of us had at one point, and we started out thinking in some way shape or form, we were going to impact others in a positive way that hopefully would cause the world to change in some other dramatic way that would be beneficial, right? That's really at the heart of what we wanted to do. We may have got into teaching because we love working with high school students, or elementary students or middle school students, because we thought it was so fun, we may have gotten into it because the schedule is great for our families. And we had this vision about how amazing it would be to be able to be with our own families and be able to serve other people's families. Those are all great reasons. But we often forget that in the day to day grind of everything that comes with this job. So let's talk about that why we really discuss why that why is still relevant, is that still an important thing to you. Because if it's not, then there's no reason to stay in the profession. And that is a disservice if you say and it's a disservice to you as a human being in a professional to your family, because it impacts everything, but also to those students in that school. And a lot of teachers I think struggle with why don't want to let my school down. I don't want to let my students down. Well, that's a very admirable thought process, except that if your heart isn't in it, no matter how hard you work, to just make things come together, your students are going to pick up on it, and it's going to create more dramatic results in the classroom than you really want. And so we start with that process first. Is that vision still valid for you? And if not, do you want to continue developing the vision that keeps you in the classroom or not? And I don't think often that teachers take the time to ask themselves that question. I think when you take the time to really address that, things become very clear. But there's a lot of fear around that. What happens if I don't what kind of job could I do? How would I support my family? What happens to all those students if I leave? You know, there's all kind of questions around that. So that's kind of where we start is first, just to kind of address that, did that make sense to you?

Jen Rafferty:

100%. That's how I actually address it also, from our last conversation doesn't surprise me that we have the same kind of process. Because you're right, if we don't have a reason to get up in the morning to do the thing, that every piece of everything else that we might share, or teach these educators doesn't have any grounding, right? That your your why really creates the roots in the ground that then you can grow, you know, and I can go on forever with that plant analogy or that I love the tree analogy. But it's true. And there's two things that I want to just touch on about that. The first one is, I think one of the reasons why people don't like to initially talk about this is because it can be very confronting, because it can be all of a sudden a realization of, oh, I don't know that I want to do this anymore. And what does that mean about me? Because that is a huge identity shift, right? I mean, so many of us wanted to do this, for whatever reason, when we were younger, having nothing to do with fame or fortune having to do with really changing the world. And if now, all of a sudden, I'm in my mid career, and I don't want to do this anymore. What does that mean about me? And who am I now? And I think those are really important questions. So can you talk a little bit about how that comes up for you?

Stephanie Haynes:

Yeah, absolutely. Because that's such an important point, Jen. I mean, we do invest so much of ourselves in this profession, that it does become our identity. That in itself is its own catch 22. Because your job should never define you, you are a human being you have amazing qualities, gifts and talents, however you choose to use them. It doesn't mean that you are a failure, if you decide you want to walk away from teaching, nor does it mean you are not who you are. That's the important part. And so it's a hard thing to walk away from. And I've had to do that. I don't know who you and I talked about in one of our previous conversations. But there was a point in time when I had to ask myself those very questions. Who am I if I'm not a teacher, am I a failure? My kids were young, we had just moved out of the state of California into the state of South Carolina, my credential wasn't going to transfer easily I would have to do all these things. My kids were little did I really want to go back into the classroom, he didn't start over again, really is what that was going to be. But I kept thinking, well, if I'm not a teacher, who am I, I have never done anything else. All I ever wanted to do was a teacher. And those are really scary questions. And so I often shared that story, obviously, with anybody who's looking for help with that, so that they know they're not alone. But what I do ask them Are those open questions that say, Well, who do you want to be? What does that look like for you? And does walking away from being in the classroom mean, you walk away from education, and that opens up a lot of doors that will say nobody, when we're in the classroom, we are so hyper focused on being in the classroom that we forget, there's this amazing world around us that we're even preparing our students to go into, for example, right? Or that we ourselves can fit into support and still change the world? Those questions we don't tend to think about. So I asked those questions. And I help my clients kind of think about what what would that really look like? And if you do choose to walk away? How will that impact your family positively or negatively? What do you need to do to prepare to offset some of those maybe negative consequences? What does that look like for you? And even working with a client who says, Well, you know what, I think I need a year to figure this out. Great. Then we address how do you want to focus on your job performance this year? What does that mean? And even just having the hope of I'm developing something new, directly impacts that educators performance in the classroom, even if they're planning on going, because they have this renewed vigor and energy like this is not the end of me, I can do something different. And that in itself is empowering. And when you're empowered as an educator, you empower your students in a different way.

Jen Rafferty:

Oh, you are preaching to the choir? Stephanie. Yes, and I love every single word you just said. And now I want to switch gears for a second and talk about the teachers who now decide, do this work, decide that staying is aligned, but are also in that place of I really through the research I've been doing on my PhD. And outside of it, I realized a lot of the feelings come from this sense of like learned helplessness, right? Where you're in the classroom, and you're sitting on the hamster wheel. And it just seems like no matter what you do, you're not able to make a difference. And I've seen educators in this space and they come and they're just like, I feel irrelevant. That's some of the things that people say to me, and that doesn't feel good. And this idea of remember your why has become sort of this way to kind of placate people like this because when it's used inappropriately, it becomes very condescending, and it doesn't actually help anything. And this is coming from somebody who who used to just tout remember your why. But for me now, I've kind of shifted this a little bit, because it's not enough to just remember it, we need to embody it, we need to activate it in a way that we can create those roots. So we can grow. And I know you can't see me if you're listening, but I'm kind of making roots in my one hand and growing with my other hand, kind of like the tree I was talking about earlier. So how do you address that too, because it's so much more than just remembering it remembering it sometimes makes it feel like resentful, almost right?

Stephanie Haynes:

Absolutely. And sometimes it can make it feel incredibly heavy. When we go, let's like get into it. But I have not done that. And there's a lot of guilt that comes in sometimes or even shame where I'm like, this is not where we're going with it. This was just to kind of see where you started. And now you take a look at where you are, where do you want to go? So let's say we have that teacher who decides that they want to stay in the classroom, but they don't like how it is now? Well, then that comes down to what do you really want it to look like in your classroom? What do you want to be able to say at the end of the year that you experienced as a teacher, not what your kid did? Not what your kids achieved? But what did you experience as an educator, as a professional as a human being? And I think you're right, that learned helplessness, we tend to think it's all about the kids, and we can't get any of it. But I want to argue that when you flip that script, I know that's a trite phrase. But still, when you flip that script, and you say, Listen, what do I need to get out of my experience? Well, then your students get way more than you ever could have wanted them to have. And that's how I asked my teachers who are staying in the profession to approach it. What do you want to get out of this year, and they have a hard time? Because they really haven't had to think about this, or have not given themselves permission to think about it this way. And it feels very selfish. Well, it's not really about me, is it? Yes, it is about you. You're the professional. And yes, our culture does not treat you as a professional. But you are a professional. How do you want to show up as a professional every day? And what do you want to get out of that experience? And that lends itself to a whole host of different discussion topics everywhere from well, I don't want my kids to treat me this way. Great. Let's talk about classroom management strategies and procedures and what that looks like, too, I want to make sure I have more leadership development opportunities in my school. Okay, how do you need to ask for those? What needs to be done? And how do you want to step into those two? Well, I want to be able to go back to school and get a different degree. All right, how do you do that this coming year with what you're doing? And what does that really look like for you to create that balance for yourself? And the fact that you are going to have to spend time in school plus with your students, but maybe with your family and yourself? Let's map that out and see what that looks like. So it often starts with that conversation of how do you want to show up in June? What really do you want to say your life is like in June, and then we work backwards from there. And you know, the whole backwards model and education works for us as human beings too. How do we need to start to get there.

Jen Rafferty:

Amazing, because that is also my next step to you. It's figuring out what do you want, right? How do you want to feel? And what's so interesting to me is when I asked teachers this you're, right, it's at first very much about the kids. It's about the kids achievements. It's about everything else outside of themselves. And I think part of this is a bigger picture, phenomenon of people, particularly women not asking themselves, what do I want? What do I desire? What do I need right now in this moment, because of the way that it's just in the air that we breathe, of being givers, and constantly giving himself and this idea that even just wanting something like going to the bathroom during the day can be seen as the selfish act. It's just not a functional way to operate. And it's not sustainable, especially if you want to have any kind of satisfaction in the work that you're doing. So this all ties beautifully together. Because once you know what you want, then you're 100%. Right? Well, then what does that mean for me today? And that's really where your power lies. That's what being empowered actually feels like.

Stephanie Haynes:

Right. And it's a scary place. And you're probably experienced this with your clients as well as when you realize what you want. It's like, "Oh, wait, can I do it? Am

Jen Rafferty:

Oh, 100%. Because, again, we are done pointing I worth it? Is this asking too much?" And then the negative comes out? Well, my school will never go with this, or these students will never be changing or always not. These parents have to deal with all of this negative thought processes come in. Not that they're not baby grounded in reality. Let's let's be clear, there have been a lot of attacks on educators in the last several years, more so than I've ever thought possible. I mean, I don't know. I started teaching in 1992. And at that point, the mentality was still teachers knew what they were doing. And parents made sure their students knew that teachers knew what they were doing. The dynamic is very different today. I think we would agree that it's not that way at all. School districts don't necessarily support teachers who might have threats by parents. I mean, there's all kinds of ugly things, students aren't showing up respectful. Students aren't showing up willing to learn. There's a lot of negative against any of this. So that's not let's make sure we're not glossing over that, right? Because that's what you're facing when you step back into the classroom. And that's a reality. So how do you want to view that reality? How do you want to embrace that reality? And that in itself feels odd? How am I going to embrace that parents are going to be a nightmare? All right, well, let's talk about that. How do you want to counteract that? What do you think your parents need? What are your parents really looking for when they're trying to come at you at some way? Generally, it comes from a place where they love those kids, and they just want to make sure their kids are okay. And they're terrified that they're going to be judged as poor parents. They're so afraid that somehow they're going to fail their kid that they've learned that they have to manipulate, manage and overwhelm everything about their children's life. Now, like I said, I work with parents, too. So I hear this a lot. So when I tell my educators as well, what do your parents need to hear from you to know they can trust you that they can back off that they know that you've got their child? What does that look like with your population? What does that look like? And often it's very different, right? You have demographics where parents are not responding to emails, having a face to face conversation is not going to happen. Making a phone call, you could do that and leave a voicemail, but it's not always going to be received. Okay, that's get it, you can't fix everything. But what can you start? And how is that going to help you become the educator you want. And that just becomes that beginning process, whether it's a weekly email you send out to your parents and your students that says, hey, here's what we did this week. Here's the amazing things we were up to this week. Here's what's coming next week, here's what you need to prepare for. Versus Well, I haven't talked to you all year, but I'm calling you because your student has been messing up for the past six weeks, well, those are kinds of habits that we don't want to use, you want to maybe have that personal positive interaction right off the bat. And this is just one thing, right? Just with parents. And that does come down to your own personality and how you do things. But the reality is, parent communication is essential to what we do. So if you want to show but then at the end, like you did a fantastic job. And for you, that means you don't have parents breathing down your neck. Alright, what do you need to do to keep parents from breathing down your neck? You can't change them? Only you can do something different? That's going to address that. And how do you want to address that? So that's, I think one of those things that we're talking about, right? fingers at everyone and everything else for the reasons that we're feeling the way we're feeling right now, that's not working. And that is a complete abdication of power, what we're doing here and the work that you do, and the work that I do is shifting the paradigm, shifting the perspective understanding that you are actually 100% responsible for how you show up in every given space. And so what can you do to meet the moment and that's truly where your power lies. But I want to go back to something that you said too, about all of those thoughts that come in to play when you're making a decision that is different from what you've been doing in the past, and that inner monologue of all of the things that can go wrong and questioning your worthiness, all of that. So how do you address those thoughts with your educators that you work with?

Stephanie Haynes:

I think the first part is helping them to identify that that's actually what they're thinking. Often those thoughts are so ingrained in our brains that we're not even aware of them. You've done enough brain science research, I'm sure you know, when you building neural pathways, sometimes those happen to us. And we don't stop them because we don't recognize they're going on. But they become those automatic habitual thoughts. I can't do this, therefore, I'm not going to do this. And that I think the biggest awakening part with working with clients is helping them recognize what do you think about this right now? And really, what are your thoughts? And I term it? What's the committee in your head saying to you, and often when teachers and even anybody else, they work with parents, and students and so on, when they start to pay attention, they realize that a lot of it is negative? And a lot of his voices that they don't even know whose words It really is? And if it was any of that true? And then that becomes a bigger question, they realize 90% of it most likely not true. So what do you want to hold on to with the 10%? It is and how do you want to get rid of the rest. And that's a really empowering piece of the work. Because if you are constantly listening to those voices that say you're not worthy enough to have the classroom that you really want, you're not worthy enough to have the position at the school that you think you're capable of having. You're not worthy enough of having students who actually like being in your classroom, whatever that might be. Well, no matter what efforts you put into changing, you're not going to believe it's going to work and you're going to self sabotage. This is just part of how we are. So if I can help you identify that and help you address that and decide what the truth really is, and then help you build those new neural pathways about The truth now we have something. And that's usually where that accountability piece comes in. You continue working with clients who remind you or not I remind them by the way, how was that negative thought? Is it still taking over for you? What does it look like when you're replacing it with the truth? How does that look for you? What impact does that have for you? Because in the middle of it, we're not really paying attention. We're just trying to remember to do it. But so we step back and say, so you did do that this week? How did that change your perception of your students? Or if that changed your perceptions of yourself? Then that's when the realization comes like, oh, wow, wait, I'm not totally drained. On Friday afternoon, I didn't need to just run out of school because my hair was on fire, because I was freaking out and stressed out and just done. Oh, what was different? And that's usually where that stuff comes in.

Jen Rafferty:

Yeah. And the idea that your thoughts are in facts, I think is really novel for a lot of people. Our brain makes thoughts just like our heartbeats and our eyes, blink, our brain produces thoughts, and they're not real, necessarily. They're not factual, they are options for you. And what's also so empowering is you get to pick and choose what thoughts feel good, and what thoughts align with the person who you want to be. Because if you're attaching to a thought over and over again, I don't deserve this, I'm not worthy of this, I can do this, that then becomes your reality. Because then your thoughts inform your feelings and form your actions. And then there you go, right. So it's this interesting cycle that happens over and over again, most of it subconsciously. And so exercises you're sharing right now is really about raising your conscious awareness. So then you can make active choices of what's serving you and what's not.

Stephanie Haynes:

Well, that's true. And that's the same as how we think about our students, how we think about our administration, how we think about our parents, all of that has to be exhibited, in order for us to really be able to move forward in a healthy way to continue building our profession. We choose to stay we need to pay attention, how am I really thinking about students? Is that really true? And if it is true, how am I want to approach that if I'm shooting this day in the classroom, we can get that one or two students in each year that are just the bane of our existence, right? And we can kind of branch out their behavior on to everybody else like, hey, oh, my gosh, students are so crazy these days, or every student is cheating. And I know that cheating is rampant, but not every student is cheating. All these things are so unmotivated. Really, is that really the case? Or are there two or three squeaking wheels that are causing you something different than what is really true? Who are you paying attention in the classroom, and usually, it's the ones that are acting out, because whatever is going on for them, but we allow that to dictate how we see our classrooms. So it's about identifying that as well as not just the thought process about ourselves, but about the work that we do about the students that we serve about the parents that are part of our world. Because if we're harboring negative assumptions, in any one of those areas, then it's going to impact all of the areas you can't show up energize the, I'm going to have a great day, but still think but these kids are going to really suck today. That doesn't work. So you've got to address all of those assumptions. And again, whatever is fact is fact. But is it all facts? And is it always that? Or if that's the case, how do you want to dress that sense? Because you can't change it, but you can deal with it differently? And what does that look like for you and the classroom you're stepping into?

Jen Rafferty:

Yeah, and I want to just take a moment here and just advocate for coaching in general, because it happens internally, in your internal monologue, and most of it subconsciously, one of the best ways to recognize this is through your language. And so when you're talking with a coach, you are able to express yourself in a way where somebody can actually hold a mirror up and say, this is actually what just came out of your mouth. And you're telling me this, but you're saying this. And let's just talk for a second about how these two things don't align? How do you want to get them aligned, so you can actually do the things that you just told me that you wanted to do, because this isn't going to be it? And we can't do that by ourselves. And it's a really important piece of this puzzle that I think now especially educational coaching in general is becoming more and more popular. Can you talk a little bit about that journey for you and talk about those schools that you're building? Because I think that's the perfect example of how you can build schools from the ground up using this kind of model from the beginning, because I think that's super cool. What you're doing right now.

Stephanie Haynes:

Oh, thank you. I appreciate that. Yeah. I've got this amazing opportunity to work with a principal of a school. It's opening up this fall, and I was hired originally to just kind of coach him through that process. What does it look like to build the school that you want to build? What kind of culture do you have in mind that you want to embody in your school? What is your vision for this school when it comes to your teachers when it comes to your leadership team when it comes to your students and your parents, what is all of that really look like? And to take the time with the principal, and ask these questions and have them respond like, oh, wait, I think I want this. And then like you said, to mirror it back. This is not about me judging or evaluating the effectiveness of that culture or that vision. It's all about me replying back, well, this is what you said, Did I hear this correctly? Or is this what you want? Is this a clear picture? Let's talk about what that looks like. And so we get that narrowed down, then walking backwards, that backwards model is so important, say, Okay, what do you need to do to do this anywhere from curriculum to how do you want your leadership team to be developed? To what language are you going to use with your teachers, and with your parents, and with anybody else that is going to come into your building? What does that language need to be so that this culture that you want gets developed? And those have been enlightening questions for this principle, as well as now I get to work with his staff, the teachers that he's hired, I'm getting to work with them and say, Well, here's the culture you stepped into? How are you going to make that culture come to life? This is what we've hired you to be a part of, yes, you're an English teacher, or a Math teacher or a Science teacher, but you have a role in developing the foundation of this school, that is going to change the environment of the community, we're in no ifs, ands, or buts, do you want to be part of a positive change or negative change? And what does that really look like for you and empowering them individually and collectively, to support that vision? Or to question that vision to and have those healthy discussions about, okay, this is where we say we're gonna go, but are we making that right decision here. And even what we're doing to which has been amazing is that I'm working with a friend of mine through Clemson Youth and Leadership program. And we have designed a professional development opportunity for this staff, and the students of the school to do together, I don't know has ever been done before, usually, staff gets the professional development, and they kind of Cascade it to the students. We're doing this together. And this school is going to create goals for themselves with each other. So the staff and the students, we're going to narrow it down to five specific goals we want to achieve in this first year, and then how that's going to impact the next five years of the school. That's the discussion that we're having. And I think that can happen at any point in a school anytime you want to change the culture of the school, revamp the culture of the school, it can be harder with your established school, but it's not impossible. There's a way forward. And I think that's what we're talking about is how do we create a culture of a school that is going to be empowering to its staff. Because if the staff is empowered to do what they've been hired to do, everything is impacted positively, all of it shifts, it's when the staff doesn't believe they've been empowered, because they have to meet some benchmark or some test score or something. And not that those aren't necessarily important, because I get they show up on the scorecards. But if that's what we're focusing on, that's on empowering for folks, and empowering teachers to take their subject matter and bring it to life in the way that they have been designed to do. Well, we can't help but have great test scores, you don't work to get great test scores, and then have fun teaching. You have fun teaching, and then you get great test scores. So that's kind of the dynamic, especially this printable really wants to do that. I'm starting to see specifically for this, that these educators are so excited, they're meeting with me after the end of their current school year of their current schools to build next fall already, like they're like, let's go, let's get this started. Let's keep going. That's an empowered staff. And they haven't even stepped foot in a classroom one day yet.

Jen Rafferty:

It's amazing. And you are just lit up talking about this, sign me up, because that's really my vision also, that all schools have this moment of clarity of what does this culture look like? What do we want here? And you're right, it's when we start talking about things like test scores and graduation rates. Yes, of course, that's important. But we're focused on outputs. And when we focus on outputs, we ignore the inputs. And we need to focus on the inputs for better outputs. And that's the thing, it's not always immediately gratifying when you're talking about inputs, because I'm gonna go back to this garden analogy, when you're playing around in the dirt, it's dirty, it's messy, and we don't actually see the fruits of the labor for months, sometimes years, sometimes never. And this is the place that where the magic happens, because that's where the growth is. And I think as a societal norm shift to this place of the fertile ground. That's really when we're going to be making some big changes in this world.

Stephanie Haynes:

I weighed 100% agree and it is messy. It is uncomfortable when you're disrupting the you're going to cause problems. That's just part of the point. But that's why we do disruption you because we don't want the status quo to stay. And so think of it like when you step into a river that has sandy bottom and you walk around and all that sand starts rising to the surface and clouding out the water. That's okay. It's as long as you don't leave it there and you let it settle, say, where's it settling? What are we need to do to create that vision we really want. And you hold firm to that. But I think you're probably know this too, with either the schools you work with their clients you work with, it's not about telling teachers what they need to do. It's about empowering them to choose to develop the culture they want, and that they very different dynamic. And if you saw me light up earliest, because this principal has said that this is what they want this staff to do, he has verbally empowered them. And so if we're working with school leaders, for example, that's kind of the language that if a school leader wants the culture of the school to change, it's about how are you going to empower those who work in the school setting to bring about that culture change. That's where the magic really happens, like even saying, and that's like, where that administrator kind of gets all muddy, because they're going to have to let go of control. They're going to have to trust their staff, they're going to have to empower their staff, they're going to have to inspire their staff. And that's all messy, right? There's no rulebook for that, because every step is different. But what does that look like to do that? And how do you continue to build that for them and support them throughout the year as they do it? And how do you encourage them that things don't work the way they thought, and so on? How do you let go and say, Listen, we're going to do something because this is what's best for the students, not what's best for a district or a school event at school report card. And when you shift your language and your perspective on that, you end up with better than you thought you were going to have. Because you're focusing on the true reason we're there. It's what did the students need? And if they need stricter classroom management, okay, why are we doing that? How do we want to do that and what happens as a result? Or if they need teachers who can be much more innovative rather than following a script? Okay, why are we doing that? What does that mean? How do we want to empower teachers to do that? It's not about just willy nilly throwing it out there. It's having benchmarks and guardrails, if you will, and all of that. But if we can do that, then I think we changed the profession, and we change the profession, we really do change the world.

Jen Rafferty:

100% I knew we were connected. Stephanie, when we when we first talked, we're like, okay, we need to be in each other's worlds more. And I'm so glad that we're having this conversation right now. Because this is exactly what needs to happen right now. And it's not about willy nilly, well, what will feel good today, everything that we're talking about right now comes with so much intention, and conscious awareness and conscious choice. And that's the thing that's the empowering piece is that you are in the driver's seat, not tradition, not expectations, not politics, you and when you get to be in the driver's seat, you get to start to make new decisions, and collectively align your decisions with everyone around you to build the culture of the school. And like you said, at the end of the day, this is really about students, because empowered teachers, empower students. And that's the type of kid that we want to send out into the world that we don't even know what it possibly could look like yet. We want empower kids to know that they too, have conscious choices to live their lives.

Stephanie Haynes:

Absolutely. And oh my gosh, you just hit it, I'm gonna get all excited and happy. Well, we empower kids. And the only way you can empower kids, if you're empowered person, you can't demonstrate something that you're not yourself believing in modeling and walking in. And so when we're gonna get all emotional hammer, when we're empowered as educators, that's when we empower our kids. And we tell our kids that yes, we can figure out how to help you be successful in this world after you're done with us here. That's the perspective we really want. But if we're not walking in that same power ourselves, how can we inspire them? And that's when we start having all those problems. And so if we're helping our kids, whoever they are, from that Johnny, who says, I can't read, I don't know, math, or whatever the blocks are and say, no, no, no, I got you. We can work through this to the other students other in the spectrum of that kid says, I know exactly where I'm going, I got this figured out, but I need to have straight A's and I'm panicking or whatever. Okay, I got you. Here's how we can help you figure that out. And if you're an educator today, that pie feels really exhausting to think about. I have 25-35 different kids in my classroom, how am I going to help them all be successful? Because oh my gosh, that can be different. You're right. But if you're trying to figure out how to be successful for yourself, it's the same process with them. And you can do it collectively and have individual responses and then you have great discussions. And then you can start with who are my kids who are these little creatures that are in my room they're gonna be my world every single day. If you take that time at the beginning of your school year to really get to know your kid and let them get to know you. Now you have fuel to rocket fuel to take any lessons. You want and make it relevant? Because now I can say, Oh, I know that this kid over here has been talking about how he doesn't think he liked school at all. You think he's smart enough? But I know he is. And now I can call him out and say this is how would you do this kind of problem? And where do you think this problem might show up in the world? Well, this kid has a completely different perspective than another one. Well, now you get two different opposing viewpoints. Great. Let's have a discussion about it. Well, let's get them going. And no, this is not something you show up and do day one, and it takes a while to train your kids. They're not going to just jump into this and I get it. But we say to our student athletes, if you will, you listen, I'm going to use the analogy of English because I'm a trained English teacher, and I'm working through a particular novel. And I know that student athletes that don't even care well, okay, how can I take what they're doing in their sport or sports analogies in general, and relate it to the topics, even if it's just a theme? That's okay, how can we make that relevant for that child, so they understand that this particular character is struggling just like this kid does when he sets up to the plate, or tries to catch a ball or whatever that might be? There are similarities across everything. Well, if I can connect through that child sport, now I've got them paying attention, the fact that I actually care about them, and I see them. And when I care and see, then they feel inspired to want to do something different. It's just human nature. When we know someone cares about us, we want to do something different, rather than we think we're ignored, because it just have to get through the lesson.

Jen Rafferty:

Yeah. And the way to do that effectively, kind of bringing it back around is that you need to care and love yourself.

Stephanie Haynes:

Yes. You can't do that. Without that first, you are absolutely correct.

Jen Rafferty:

Yes. So good. So good. Stephanie. So I have to ask you the same question I ask everyone who's on the show, what is your dream for the future of education?

Stephanie Haynes:

It's such a big question. You think so many dreams, but I think at the root of all of them? Is that the profession of teaching, that the members of the profession of teaching would treat themselves as professional and act as empowered professionals that they actually have? Because once they do that, then everything changes?

Jen Rafferty:

Yes. Oh, I love that. More, please. So how can people learn more about you, and the work that you do?

Stephanie Haynes:

The best place is to go to my website, it's stephaniehaynes.net, you can see all the different tabs about parents and educators, schools and the whole thing. But if you want to learn more you can reach out for I think, on the educator page, I have a set up a discovery call, that's a free thing, you and I can have a conversation about what's going on in your world, you're not gonna bug me. And if we just have a conversation, like I don't even know if I want to stick into this. Alright, we'll talk through that for about 30 minutes. If at the end of that you're like, this is valuable, I kind of think I want to continue, then we'll discuss all that and do it. But I don't mind just sitting with an educator for 30 minutes and saying, Hey, listen, how can I help you today? So that's the best way if you really want to get in touch with me just do that because it takes you right to my calendar, your schedule your call, we're all good to go. And I would love to help any of our educators, and any of our administrators, guidance counselors, anybody worked in a school setting this thinking about how do I do things differently to reach out and do that? And then at that point, if we decide to move forward, and you can say to me, Hey, listen, I heard you on the Jen Rafferty podcast, I heard you on this, and I really want to reach out well, great, then we can talk about how you get a package deal, because I think that's important. When you are supporting somebody out there like you that's doing a whole bunch of things to change the world education and I'm going to support you in that too. So we can send me we'll definitely set up a package for you that's going to be affordable for an educator, I promise you because I know y'all struggle. I'm we're all in that same boat financially.

Jen Rafferty:

Yeah. Well, thank you so much. And Stephanie is a huge resource. So please take advantage of all the things that she has to offer. And thank you so much for your time and your talents. I so enjoyed speaking with you.

Stephanie Haynes:

I really have enjoyed this conversation. I hope we get to do it again. So thank you.

Jen Rafferty:

We definitely well. So if you love today's episode, be sure to write a five star review. And we'll see you next time on Take Notes. Incredible, right? Together, we can revolutionize the face of education. It's all possible. And it's all here for you right now. Let's keep the conversation going at Empowered Educator Faculty Room on Facebook.