Teaching Champions

Thriving School Culture and being a BOSS Educator with Dr. LaQuanta Nelson

March 12, 2023 Brian Martin Season 1 Episode 168
Teaching Champions
Thriving School Culture and being a BOSS Educator with Dr. LaQuanta Nelson
Show Notes Transcript

Today I am joined by Dr. LaQuanta Nelson. Over the last 20 years she has served in education as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, mentor, district level New Teacher Coordinator, motivational speaker, and consultant.  She currently serves  scholars and all educators on their journey to become Bold, Optimistic, Spontaneous, and Substantial.  Over the years, Dr. Nelson’s background and experience in leadership has helped her to transform underperforming schools in her state, support culture transformations in schools across the United States, and help curate thriving cultures in organizations across multiple spectrums of business.

As the product of a single mother living in poverty, Dr. Nelson completely understands the dire importance of the work that must be done in schools that directly support children from underserved backgrounds and that of black and brown students.  

Topics covered in this episode:
1. It’s important that we cultivate cultures that are thriving so that every single person that walks through the door they feel seen, valued, and heard.
2. All of us need to feel seen
3. Research shows that we can be extremely stressed and extremely grateful at the same time
4. Creating positive cultures is all about helping others know who they are and helping them understand the amazing limitless possibilities that are there for them.
5. Building relationships are created through micro interactions at a time.
6. Small things have an amazing impact on the culture of the building.
7. Do you know who you’re in the building with.
8. We can’t affirm others if we don’t see them. 
9. We should have collective efficacy
10. Game day is every day and we are all on the same team to win.
11. You have the courage to be vulnerable
12.  How are you intentionally make opportunities for your students
13. You have to be present to appreciate the moment
14.  You have to be very specific about your goals
15. What are you celebrating.
16. Make sure that you are celebrate academic effort.
17. Be Bold - show up as your truest most authentic self. 
18. Advocate for your students. 
19. If you help people feel value, seen, and heard they will be willing to share what they see.
20. Be optimistic - negativity is dead weight.
21. When we train our brains to be more positive we can become 31 percent more productive and  creative.
22. Be spontaneous - the brain responds to novelty.
23. Substantial - fill your days. Be intentional with how I move, what I do.
24. How well do you know your students? 
25. The more of a person you truly see the more authentic connections you truly can hove.
26. If you are only leaning into the bad and leading into the negative that all we will see. 
27. Celebrate failing forward - what are we learning around the way.
28. Life is too long and too short to do anything that doesn’t make your heart smile. 
29. Book recommendations - Principal Kafele - Equilty Social Justice - Jon Gordon - The Power of a Positive Team
30. Energy is contagious. What is the energy that you are giving others today. 

Connect with Dr. Nelson:
Twitter: @DrLMNelson
Facebook: The BOSS Educator


What's going on everybody? I hope this finds you striving and thriving and doing absolutely amazing. My name is Brian Martin. I'm a second grade teacher and host of the teaching champions podcast, and today's a fantastic conversation. And after listening to him if you think someone would benefit from it, please share, and be sure to subscribe to the podcast so the new episodes come directly to you. And today I'm joined by Dr. Luke quantum Nelson. And over the last 20 years, Dr. Nelson has served in education as a teacher and assistant principal, a principal, a mentor, a district level new teacher, Coordinator, Dr. Nelson's also a motivational speaker and consultant. And she currently serves scholars and educators on their journey to become bold, optimistic, spontaneous and substantial. And over the years, Dr. Nelson's background and experience in leadership has helped her transform underperforming schools and her state support culture transformations in schools across the United States, and also help curate thriving cultures and organizations across multiple spectrums of business. And in this episode, listen to what Dr. Nelson says about creating a thriving school culture. Listen, as Dr. Nelson talks about the power of vulnerability, and the power of gratitude, listen, as Dr. Nelson talks about what it means to be a boss educator, there are so many gems in this conversation. And I hope you enjoyed as much as I did. I am super excited for this episode. Sometimes you go on social media, and you see people and just like that is my person, right that this is, this is someone right here that I saw on social media, and she just brings so much wisdom, so much positive energy, and I can't wait for all of you to get a little piece of that today. I want to welcome Dr. Le Clopton. Nelson to the teaching champions podcast. Hello, hello. Dr. Nelson, I am fired up for this one. For those of the listeners that haven't had the opportunity to connect with you, could you give a little bit about who you are in your journey? Listen, I am a teacher all day every day, you know, I've had the privilege of, you know, being an education for 20 years, I was one of those people that ran from education, right? You know, in high school, they say don't be your teacher do something else. I try to go around that so many times. But I knew from second grade that I was supposed to be an educator. So look, I want to Nelson here in Mississippi, Mississippi, born and raised. I reside here on the Gulf Coast, always ready for some sun and some sand. But you know, I am one of those people who I don't take it for granted that I have the energy to sit here today and talk with you. All statistics show that I shouldn't be here, right? I should not be Doctor No. I should not be in the position to empower people from all over the world. But yet here I stand and education did that for me. All right. And so people asked like, why do you do what you do now? It's because education did it for me. And it's my duty to make sure that education will do it for some other cuantas. Again, I've had the opportunity to do so little everything from being a teacher math people are my people. math teacher, right. I'm a math assistant principal principal, worked at the district office level working with new teachers. So I didn't do teacher training for a district. And now I have the opportunity to speak all over to train all over to coach all over in education. And so just a little bit about me Oh contract girl loves people who love life and I try to spread as much love and light as I possibly can. That is phenomenal. And you do such a wonderful job of that through your videos that you put out on social media and through your speaking. Now. One of your big pieces is you talk a lot about creating that positive school environment. What are some of the things that you've seen out there were some of the things that you know are super important to bring that to a school So you know, every school has its own personality. You know, every school has its vibe. So when we think culture, we think vibe, what's your vibe at your school? Right? There are some places that you walk in. And you It's so heavy, that you feel it like you go on your shoulders when you walk in. And then there are some schools that you walk in, and you feel like you are floating on air, culture, right culture. And so we know that COVID-19 did a number on all of us school. So during COVID-19, I think it became radically clear, and I am intentional, radically clear to the world that educators are necessary that they're needed that were important. But in that process, I don't think the world realized how beat up a caters. And so this trying to recoup and recover process, it's just been really difficult for a lot of people. And it's because education is we aren't dealing with, we have a product, but it's people, right? Absolutely. And we had so much trauma, individual trauma that happened. And then you come into the school and you have all this collective drama, and collective trauma that is dropped off sometimes. Especially for my middle school people, like you totally understand that it's so drama. But that's just what the students, that's not even getting to the adults, right? We as adults, we just took on so much, right? And so what's happened even for high performing schools, because I'm I am blessed, and privileged and humbled to be able to go into high performing schools, and those that are in extreme turnaround, almost state takeover mode, right? Right. I don't care either one, like people have struggled, people have struggled too, like do I want to keep doing education. Do I want to keep going in this building? Do I? And so now more than ever, we've got to be even more intentional with creating these cultures, that everyone not only is surviving through, because we survived COVID We've got to get to thrive. Gotta get back to thriving. And so when I think positive cultures, that's what I'm thinking, how do we cultivate these thriving cultures with everyone that walks through the door? Be it a parent, a student, a teacher, the cafeteria manager, the bus driver, the principal, everybody feels valued seen her? Right? When people feel those things, we then can almost take it takes a little weight off, right? Absolutely want to like, oh, wait a minute, they saw me they, they get me a movie buff. I like old movies. One of the newer ones that I like, is avatar. You know, the newest one? I haven't seen the newest one. Don't tell anybody. I've been so busy. I haven't seen it like, but the first one that came out, you know, my favorite part of the movie, which I see you. That's my favorite part. Like everyone has this desire, and I was a psychology major. So I have psychology background. It's like one on one, we all have these innate needs that must be fulfilled if we're going to go to our next level of self actualization, right? We all need to feel seen, we all need to. And so how do we do that? And I was in school 2023. March, everybody's tired. They were prepping for state assessments. It's like you want me to do what you want me to run around here and whistle while I work? Yes, you know, it's possible. And one of the things that I say, you know, oh, oh, habits die hard. That is so true. Nobody's getting the change was easy. Nobody said it. But I'm a Brene Brown fan. And she always tells us that we can do hard things. So it's one of those hard things that we must do is changing culture and making sure that we're positive. How do we do that? You know, research shows that we can't remain extremely stressed and extremely grateful at the same time. So how do you cultivate this culture of kindness? And this culture of gratitude, right, those are two things that is we can intentionally work on those things every day, whether it be in your individual classroom, your team, your grade level, how do we point those things out? And how do we celebrate those things in a way that people start to? Okay. Everyone wants to pat on the back. Everyone wants to be a farm. And even if you don't want it, you need it. It's one of those sight one, like you need the feedback, right? You need the feedback. And so, again, creating positive cultures, it's all about helping everyone realized who they are and helping them to understand the amazing, limitless possibilities there. are there for them in their future? Right? Again, it's not easy work, but it's necessary work. It's hard to work. Right? As it is hard work. That again, now more than ever is necessary for us. Yes, I 100% agree with all of that one of my favorite authors, John Gordon. I don't know if you're familiar with John Gordon. You know, I always keep my stash. So you gotta right there. Yes. One of his quotes that always live by is like, he talks about culture. And he said, you know, you can walk in and see the culture of a place by what they celebrate and what they tolerate. And, and you're so right, when you talk about like, people just want to be seen. And we, we do such a good job. I think, if you're an education, new love students, that we make sure that we praise those students. It's the other adults in the building. Like you said, that favorite scene where you just say, I see you. And I think part of that, you know, creating that culture is walking by and letting the other employees know your teachers or even, it doesn't have to be just the teachers letting the aides the paraprofessionals, the bus drivers, the lunch ladies, the administration, I see when you see him doing a great job pointing that out. So we think building relationship is rocket science. And it kinda sorta is, but it's, but it's not right? Because even rocket science can be reduced to simple time so that everyone can understand, right? Yes, relationship. Relationship building can be complex. And it can be even more so now after COVID-19. But we must understand that relationships are built through these micro interactions at a time, three to five seconds, like, Did you legit walk in the building and pass by someone and you just act like you didn't see them? Like, were you so busy on your phone? Right in the lounge that three other people are in the Lair, getting coax out of the machine? And you didn't need to look up to say today? Or how was your day? Like? It's those small things that sounds we negate their amazing impact that they have on the overall culture in the building? And so is that? Does everybody know everybody in the building? Like one of the activities I love Twitter, like Twitter is a May Zane, connected like you, like we, we respond to each other all the time, like you. I am your sister, okay. And today is the first day that we are legit connected this way. But Twitter is so amazing that we connect with both. You can build these relationships with people. One of the things that we learned, right, I learned a lot. One of the activities that are seen like a couple of years ago, and it was something that when I was in the booth and we tried to print out students pictures, can your staff in a staff meeting go up and everybody? At some point, we can identify every single child and say something about them? Oh, that's good. Or do we have good 1000 children? And you know, I ran a building that had almost 1100 kids? Or is it that we're running? Like these building of faceless humans? How scary is that? They're like the JIT. Some of us are essence in essence, are in buildings that you don't know who you're in the building. Yes, there's no way to have great culture if you don't know who's in the boat with you. Write so good. Making sure that you're doing those like how small is it to x your administrative assistant or the counselor or somebody hey, print off all the pictures in the system. Oh, small, right. But it's those small things that we like sometimes we feel and I get it. Okay. Working in a turnaround school setting you are done. You are under the pressure to produce alright. This time of year it's spring. And this is so incorrect. But you know, we stayed in educate Spring has sprung, right? It's getting hot. Crazy, like it's a full moon is that that that it can be completely chaos. It it. Yes. So in the process of that we get tired. We get fired. And so it's like, do I have the energy to do these small things, but we must find the energy because if we don't like you're draining your own battery when you don't, right. It's you reveal the cup of the scope, the collective cup when we are apart and celebrating and seeing, but we can't affirm if we don't see, I can't give you a pat on the back if I don't know what your name is, or how you even performed, I can't do that. So, you know, it first start with starts there that I've got to see you. And I've got to get to know who you are to be able to build out those strong relationships, for sure. Yeah, so that's so good. I love what you said about First off, throwing or printing out all the students in the school, and then being able to say something kind with them. Because sometimes that you know, I'm in a primary building, it's a small school. But I still don't know, you know, I say hi to all the kids in the hallway, but only the students that I have this year and the students that I had last year, am I really familiar with, but those every student in that school should be almost viewed as my student, so and for that's important, the collective efficacy. And so in that collective efficacy, is this simply stated? Does the team believe the team has what it takes to win the game? I 100%. And a part of that is my kids are your kids, your students are mine. Those scholars are all of our scholars taken on that family in one school room, right? You know, old days, yes, one room schoolhouse approach to loving kids, holding kids accountable, and empowering them to actually be who their best selves. And so absolutely too many times we become territorial, and I'm good with that. Competition is good. Competition is good. It's, it's good for dogs, right? It's good for us when we keep it healthy. But even in that same team, same team. So I remember so many years ago, when my baby first started playing sports, right? So he plays soccer, he plays basketball, he plays, you know, baseball, football all live, I remember those first couple started off with stuck high, it's a want to take the ball from each other, like it will be game days, like no. Saying team St. No, don't take it from them. And so in a school, it's that concept, while we are have different positions. We're on the same team, we're trying to win this game of education. So making sure that you know, that's what positive culture feels like. Like, yeah, we can, we can compete, you know, practice. But at the end of the day, Game Day is every day, and we're all on the same team to win. So 100%. And, you know, part of building that like same team is like what you were saying with it like that three to five second interactions. And it's not just with the students, it's with our peers, you know, I read a book called The Art of noticing a couple of months ago, and I had a little tip in there that ever since I read it, I've been trying to do it. And it was about building relationships, and noticing the people around you. And it said, the rule of five. So every single day, I make it a point that I offer five authentic compliments, to really be on that lookout for five authentic compliments. But it also said, which is really good is asking five questions, go around and asking questions that I've had conversations with my custodians and the custodians, you know, awesome people. And it's super important job. They're in the school building. We have two custodians at night. They're all by themselves. And sometimes they don't get to reap the rewards of interacting with the students. And so just recognizing them real quick, like I had a quick conversation and the one lady, she's super quiet, but we were talking and I learned, like she does work with stained glass, which is super awesome. And then my other custodian he's ginormous. And he was talking about lifting competition that he just won the other day. So but so my classmate him, we took a picture, we're all flexing, I bought him a protein bar, and we all signed it and gave it to him. And there's just like you said, making people feel seen and heard. And I was out for a little bit of time just had to take care of something. And a couple people at the school sent me just a text know, how are you doing? We miss you. And it's just little things like that, that really mean the world to you. You know, we struggle with rejection. We struggle with rejection, and so a lot of times where we would reach out to people and try to we don't want to kind of be sued out for like, but you Gotta have the courage to be vulnerable. Mm hmm. Yeah, to have the courage to be vulnerable with people that you're with are going to truly build and sustain authentic relationships. And and so then it just made me smile. And he will never forget that neither will your students, right? Yeah, it was just something fun, something fun. And that's something else with culture that I think that kind of speaks into the boss brand that is speaks to spontaneous. How are you being made moments? Like, how are you intentionally looking for these opportunities that my babies will never forget that I won't ever forget that. But that requires us to be in the moment. Present? Yes, right here. Not thinking about last week's lesson plan didn't turn in, right, or next week's, you know, big tournament, but you got to be right there in the moment to catch the mass present, right. And so that's amazing. Just again, that three to five seconds, but you gotta be there. Because you'll miss you know, that commercial with what commercial with that the old guy has the the money on the string, he said you got to be cricket in it. Haha. Fortunately, this is one of those insurance commercial time is that way. And the man, the moment is that way, if you aren't quick, you'll miss it. Right bear with it. So that's pretty cool. Ya know, and I think you know, that that present piece, it's easy to get caught up where you're thinking about, Oh, I gotta get so much more done. Or, you know, sometimes we forget that and we can get back into that positive school culture piece. We get forget to celebrate those small wins, because we're so focused on the big win. But that small win it you know, little by little, a little becomes a lot fade all the time, you can't lose all of the battles. And then when the war Yes, you, you win the battles. Or right and so you gotta tensional even you know, I do a lot of training on how to be systemic goals and work backwards, if you will. You got to be very specific about even as to what are you working on? Very clear about making sure that everyone is aware. What is the goal that we're working on specifically, and then celebrating along the way? something extra, right? So we're in the age where you're competing with tick tock? What grade do you have, like, you got kindergarten, first grade, second grade, right? You got babies, but they love Tiktok? Four year old niece. She facetimes me and she is showing me the newest tic tock. Yep, you're competing with it. Right? So what are you doing in your classroom? That sucks, then. So it's about being, again makers of moments, and then making sure that you're celebrating effort, right? So I'm taking it back to school culture and transforming, especially those where you have years of underperforming like, you know, there's some school districts, okay, where you got a baby who came in kindergarten, they're now in a middle school, and they have been in a failing school their entire time. Think about that. That's, it's mind blown. But it happens. What happens in those systems is students get accustomed to lowered expectations, they get accustomed to not having to put forth a lot of effort. Right? Right. So how do you change that? How do you change it? You change it by celebrating academic effort, right? If I only am going to celebrate my honorable students, and I have a child who's sitting in front of me, who has traditionally been a D student, always celebrating and what does that do for him? Or her? We've got to make sure that as we're building these amazing positive culture, positive cultures about making people want to be in this space, about making you want to give your airport about making you want to go the extra 1% Right. How do you do suit it by celebrating the effort, right? We don't celebrate mediocrity is not overthink. You give it an out. You've got that extra 1% today. Good job. I see you. I see you. Yep. Yeah, yeah. And I think that's so true is noticing it pointing it out. And you know, we can get into this a little bit too. Sometimes you see that we celebrate these kids that you know, Hi, Andrew, but it came so naturally to them. Yes, yes. That's when they get older, like I'm a small districts. So I can have kids that shine and have very little competition. But then they go down to a big city or they show up a university. And they're surrounded by people that are equal to them. And they might not know how to handle that goes back to the academic effort piece. So that's another reason why it's important to not just celebrate, you made a 90 or what? We cannot stop there because you have some students who are academically inclined, that will sit and snore, your classmates still make the 100. But what have you done for their child? Right? What have you truly done for that child? If our goal, my goal was a classroom teacher, my goal was always to grow your two years, right? socially and emotionally. I want to grow up. What does that do? If I'm only celebrating the A? Yeah, it does nothing for that child. And so that's not the goal. And that's another reason why it's so important to celebrate that effort. You working just as hard to go to your next level as well. versus my baby who's who's a D student. Right? Everybody is grown. You know, Kevin Hart said, you don't learn today? Like, no, everybody is gonna grow today. Yes, the goalpost is moving for all myself included, we're all gonna go hungry percent. One of my favorite things that I do in my classroom, and I stole it from a local soccer coach. And so he used to hand out like these old school, WWE belts that to his players, and he put it up on Twitter. So I said, Oh, that is phenomenal. So I took that I took the WWE belt, I made a little cut out to put over the WWE. And it says, growth mindset. I love so growth mindset championship belt and everyone's day that we play a little we go in, I think it was Bruce Buffer. I mean, I don't know if you know, going into some WWE Dr. Nelson, we play some old WrestleMania where he goes, let's get ready to rumble. We bring that up on YouTube, play it for the kids, they go nuts. And we hand out like this championship belt for the day that they get to wear or carry around and love it. Yeah. And we just named you know, and it's all about like you just said name in that growth in that effort. So it gives me an opportunity to name some kid and just keep that at the forefront of everything that I'm going to share that I'm still in there and sharing it with some other people. I love it a lot. Who doesn't like like an old school WWE Championship? Oh god, they're amazing. Everybody wants to eat that's awesome. Dr. Nelson. So let's jump into a little bit about because the boss educator and what that stands for. So you know, when people think boss we always think about a position but it's not I am here I am on a mission to turn everybody into a boss educator. i That is my mission right? And I'm on a quest to help everyone the boss stands for bold showing up bold. Oh, Mystic s spontaneous and then the other s substantial. So the Be bold is all about bold is not loud. You know some people think I'm well aware that I am super bubbly and I wake up like this. This just I'm naturally that's the natural energy that you have on natural energy. Everybody that's not everybody should do right. That's okay. That's not what bold is bold is showing up your truest self, your most authentic So, I will go so far as to say your fiercely authentic self. I think too many times. We get caught up in what we think a teacher is supposed to look like what we think a principal is supposed to look like. Talk like think like, eat like we even think teachers have to eat a certain lunch it may crazy. Like social construct tells us kind of sometimes in a bind right with what we think people are supposed to load. But that's not what boat is boat is who are you? Who are you and giving you, you know the grace to show up perfectly imperfect. And to know, you can still make amazing impact as you are. And I always say I'm super goofy. I love to laugh. I love to have a good time. I am serious about aging. Because again, it changed my life. Do you hear me? I live in the way that my 10 year old looks looks nothing like it did when I was his age, education did that. Education is yes changed my life, the trajectory of mine and generations, I'm going that way because my babies back that way. So while it's a serious business, you can have an amazing time while we're doing this transformation work, right? So B stands for, for being an advocate. Right? So it's important that we advocate for what our students need, or what we need for what our needs are, what our community needs. And I really truly feel when we show up. And our most authentic self, and we are confident in that we have the ability to see things that possibly, because again, depending on where you're sitting, you see something different. If I asked you to look straight in front of you, what's in front of you, what would you say? So right now, straight in front of you above your camera? What's in front of you? Couple windows right out there? Right? So in front of me, I have TV over there, you know that? You can't see what I see. And I can't see what you see. Right? Right. If we would help people to see value seen and hurt, people will be willing to share what they see. And when we can all put together this 360 view of what we see, we can then come up with some amazing solutions for students success. I love that. Yes. For students success, because again, culture is about it's about every single person that grace is your school. Right. Grace is the presence of your school community. So that's being right. So it's about showing up your truest self, actually authentic, and advocate for that you're advocating that always optimistic, right? You know, there is so much research around the power, the positive, there are negative people and enough negative life things that are happening that we don't need to add to that. And we're really going to be able to operate in excellence in our schools right now. It is heavy. It will slow you down. We can't we don't need to be slowed down. Right. COVID-19 put us behind. We're trying to play catch up in this race. So we can all the dead weight negativities debt way, right? And people always say, Well, I'm just like, this is something that you hear when you hear legit people say, Well, I'm just I'm just No, it's okay. Give yourself grace to grow. And train yourself to become optimistic. You can train yourself to become positive. Will it happen overnight? No. But little by little, it can happen. Right? And again, research has shown that when we train our brains to be more positively focused, we can become up to 31% more productive, more creative. Who doesn't need that? I need it. I guess, extra 31%? What could 31% and creative look like inside of your classroom or inside of your school? Your school community? Right? So that's the Oh, spontaneous, the brain responds to novelty now than ever, you know, I said earlier, you we're competing against YouTube shorts. You know, I'm trying to think what is the other thing Roblox like all of this stuff? Where, When, and if you can't figure out how to add some spice into your classroom, into your school, are missing opportunities to connect with students. That's what it's about those ways to connect and pull them into the learning process, right? And even with your staff, like teaching and education is hard. So even as a leader, how can I keep in this environment fun again, it's serious business. But we can have fun in the process. We whistle while we work, right and still present. Yes. So that's what that's and then the last one is substantial. I want to leave this earth empty. I want to leave a legacy right? And so we all have the beginning date, and we all have an expiration date. It's that dash, what are you doing with your dash? People will talk about you especially if you're an educator, please. Name is going to come up 50 years from now 100 years from now, the question is what will be said yes. What will be said you are having impact type of impact. Are you having it? I think so many times we think you know, you could be on the fence. No, there really very few things in life that you really can be on the fence about and a school. I All day, every day, you are either part of the solution, or you are part of the problem. Right? All day, every day in a child's life, I am either impeding them from their greatness, or I am empowering them to it. One of the, there is no in between with that, you know, and so just being substantial is understanding that, like, I need to be intentional with how I move, you know what I do? Now, again, not putting the pressure of perfection on you at all. It's quite contrary. Because again, the more we show up real, the more our students can connect with us, the more they connect with us the greater impact I can have with them. And you know, again, bold, optimistic, spontaneous and substantial. I believe in my heart of hearts, that that's what we all need to be, we all need to show up as a boss, move us employees way through, I do. I love that. I love that. And I just have a couple of things that I love. You know, that bold, optimistic, spontaneous, substantial. And I heard Dave Chappelle talk about this when you talk about being an advocate with being bold. So I was listening to him. And you know, we know Dave Chappelle is this big comedian and everything. But he's also pretty deep, if you listen to some of the stuff that he has, and he was talking about, you know, he was 19 years old or such. And somebody heard this joke. And he asked him, if he could use them, they, you know, go ahead or whatever, but the guy basically stole his joke, and then took it. And then Dave som another night, and he was still more days materials. And they've said he was talking with his mom, because he was really young at the time. And his mom said something like, sometimes you have to be a lion, so that you can go back to being the sheep that you truly are. And the only reason why I say that is when we talked about being an advocate, you know, the schools are mixed with lots of different personalities, myself, I'm pretty laid back. But sometimes someone like me, has to step in and be that lion, so that they can go back into being their, you know, the more laid back person they are. But I also would I love when you talked about being bold, and being our authentic self, so that were seen and were valued and that were heard, is I read a quote, and I'm not gonna get the quote, right. But it was basically saying that if I accept Dr. Nelson, and if I accept you, for who you are, and not for who I think you should be, then that allows our relationship to grow substantially. It's like that, you know, the analogy, and I use it a lot of times, even today, you know, coaching in a math teacher, asking the question, how well do you know your students? How well do you know your students? First of all, more, so people than what meets the eye? Yes. And if we create these safety nets, people will lower that waterline so we can begin to see more of who they are, the more you can see more of who a person truly is, the more you can celebrate them, you can empower them, right? You can make those athletes the connections that really lead to excellence. You're so right about that. Yeah. And there's some everybody has has their own journey and so much to share. They've we just look at and you know, when we talk about those five questions, if I, you know, I would love to ask, you know, have coffee with you sometimes because I could hammer you with a bunch of different questions. And I would learn so much that we could be so connected. But that's like everybody in our building, even you know, someone that you don't work with, it works in a completely separate part of the building, but you run into him at the photocopier, and you have that three to five second window. One question, you can learn a whole bunch about people if you just, you know, start with one question. Absolutely. Absolutely. And then origin vulnerability for you to do that. And so, you know, that both it definitely speaks to to like, it's okay to be the first one to put out the Yes. Okay. Absolutely. Absolutely. And I love what you talked about that optimistic. And did you say it was 31% or 81%? Right? Yeah. Think about that. More productive, up to 31% more productive, if I will train my brain. And I look at it this way. Right. You know, the glass people say is half empty or half full? I view it as being refillable. 100% refillable. So that's the way I view optimism. And I think too many times, optimism and positivity has gotten a bear because people think oh, you just think in rainbows and unicorns and La Lay pops and everything is Kumbaya? No, it's quite contrary, it's acknowledging this is the real facts, this is the real deal. And in spite of this, we can find the silver lining, we can find solutions. And we can forward to it, we can learn from it, and we can forge ahead. So 100%, and that you know what I gave a talk a keynote this summer, and I talked about that too, with the cup, you know, being half empty, or half full, but that picture right beside it, and there's tools that we can use, and it doesn't necessarily mean, like, if I'm having a bad day, it doesn't mean that I'm gonna go from let's say, a one to five and one's terrible, and I'm just having a terrible day doesn't mean it's gonna go up to a five, but there's things that we can do. I can take it up more levels. And why do I want to spend my day looking for the bad things in education? Why do I want to spend the week can only speak so many words? Why do I want to use those words to put others down or talk bad about the email that the administrator set and all of that, and then after they're saying people like, but we're not getting the results? How can you love to say anatomy books, I've heard someone long years ago said, where your attention goes, your energy flows, right? And so it's not that the whatever you're focusing on, that's where you're gonna see the results. Only leaning into the bad, you only leaning into the negative, that's where your energy is going. And that's where you're gonna see the results. 100% results to be in the negative, I don't want them to be in the deficit. So I'm looking up. I'm not looking at them. I'm always looking at how can I go to them? How can I fail forward? Is one of the things that you know, I used to do in the building. We had our weekly piece, that was one of the questions. Did you fail forward this week? Tell me about it. Write it right. Because if we're going to be innovative in our practice, we're going to flop sometimes, you know, Flip or Flop up, right. Sometimes it just may be. And that's okay. Yes. Hey, what did you learn in the process? Right, we get up, we keep it moving. And so I think that, you know, that's also very important when you're talking bold and making impact. It's like in a building, if we want to have this amazing electric energy in the building. People have got to know that failure is not. It's not the finale, right? Failure finale, like, oh, they Oh, you're can be a part of us moving forward. So just making sure that, you know, in that process, we celebrate that, like we did was like you did? Yes. What did you learn from it? What will you do differently next time to auto correct. So, yes, I think you're gonna like this line there, Dr. Nelson, because I think when we talk about this, not just for the staff, like we should be failing, but we're modeling for the students, and we're sending the students a message. And I heard somebody speak about this, and I stole his line. But he said, so in my class, I go fail fast. And my students go learn fast. So sending that message. Value is all part of the process. We fail fast, and we learn it fast. I like that. Let's go still. Absolutely. And they're not you know, when when we talk about spontaneity, another thing with school culture, how much joy can we get when just being in the moment and celebrating, celebrating one another? Not being so because we can get caught up being serious that you know, just have a little joy days go by too fast? And too fast? too serious? Embrace it. Yeah, there's a saying, you know, life is both too long and too short to do it doing anything other than what makes your heart sing. I have a lady the potato, the sweet potato queen here in Mississippi. I can't think of her name. But it's one of her quotes that she has said before, like, you know, life is too long and too short to do anything other than what makes your heart smile makes us right. So make sure that you're saying or that that you're doing the things that bring you joy, right because, again, as a gift these days day as a gift. Yeah, horrible would that be to waste a gift 100% 100% And that just rolls right into that substantial, like leaving leaving that cop empty? And you know, one of the quotes I think it's like planting seeds under whose shade you will not rest. And it's just, you know, at the end of the day, leaving that cup empty, knowing that there's a lot a lot of trees is out there that you help plant and cultivate? Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, Dr. Nelson, two of my favorite questions, my friend that I love to ask everyone, do you have any favorite books or podcasts that you would recommend to everyone? Oh, I'm I'm a big Cafe fan. You know, it was no secret. One of the reasons that I am with a lot of his books, you know, the questions you were talking about. There's so many questions that just can spark such great conversations in any educational arena, right. So the latest one that I'm just in love with is the equity and social justice education. His newest is amazing. Grab it. Another one that I really like. I'm a John Gordon fan. So we I showed you one of the wooden fan, I always tried to make sure that I'm rotating out something in education. So I am an avid literacy leader, you know, doing turnaround work and middle school work. And people say kids won't read. Yes, they will. But the folks that are leading them need to lead them to reading lead them to reading and we aren't reading right there, they get what we get excited about. So Right. I love reading anyway. But I stay up on young adult literature because I can give these great commercials. commercials that kids like, Oh, I'm gonna go get that document, write something else. And then I love you know, some self help stuff, you know, so I always have those in rotation those three different stuff. Absolutely. And that's our principal kafele is a doctor could fill it in my pronouncing that. Right right. Yeah. Principle cafe. Yeah, I send if my listeners if you guys aren't familiar with him, I had heard of him very big name out there. I wanted to check out Dr. Nelson on his show. And this, this man, just he brings such powerful energy. It's just such a powerful message. So definitely check him out on YouTube. I know that I'll leave his book link in the show notes. But definitely check them out on YouTube as well. He's amazing. Awesome. And then do you got any podcasts on? I'm? So listen to a plethora of things right? I'm on the road a lot. You're coaching and speaking. So I love I love Brene browns, old stuff like stuff on rotation. There's a few that's called the power of joy, I think that I've listened to but you know, your thought, oh, like the mid like everybody's stuff like I'm constantly in rotation. And not even intentional. Can I tell you it's important that we allow ourselves to learn from people who have opposing views in us? Yeah. 100% Sometimes I'll find myself flipping something like, Oh, this isn't necessarily bad. But I'm in love evolving, and growing. I can't do that if I'm constantly staying in my same little circle. So I've got to expand and sometimes that's about you know, taking the time to listen and listen to someone's logic behind their thinking. Right. So there's just some amazing things out there. I've tried to make myself be audio book person. And I know crazy but I struggle with it. I struggle with audiobooks. I don't know why I call it this podcast all day. Was I'm old fashioned. So look, I'm like you like the real books, our cover books. There's nothing wrong with that. I'm old lady where? You're younger me Dr. Nelson. So you're a spring chicken in my boat. Okay. But yeah, so that's, that's one of those things I'm trying to grow through because I do know that there is beauty in hearing others voice right. So how amazing it is. I didn't listen to Michelle Obama's book and it was beautiful to listen to, you know, get to my preference. Yes and not I love those wonderful suggestions. Now if someone wanted to bring you in to talk to their school, or if they want to connect with you, what would be the best way? The easiest way is to connect with me through my website at WWW dot boss educator.com or send me an email at contact at boss educator.com Those are the easiest ways to get direct you know, responses for quotes of course on social media on Twitter. I am Dr. Ale M Nelson on Twitter, Facebook, I am at V boss educator. So those are excellent. And Dr. Nelson's always putting out some joy on Twitter with some some beautiful videos that help motivate and inspire and get you ready for the day. So I definitely appreciate those Dr. Nelson now, if you could have the listeners walk away with one thing. What would that be? Is the energy is contagious. Energy is contagious. So if we truly are talking about transforming schools or changing spaces and changing people and really changing our world, it starts with this. What is the energy that you are giving to others? Every day, it makes sure that you're taking good care of you so that you can uplift others through your energy. Beautiful Dr. Nelson, and the energy that you share is so contagious and so special and amazing. And we were talking, pre taping, and you talked about like, this is your first year away from the classroom, you know how your heart's still in the schools being because you do still go push into the schools and seeing those kids and working and just having that impact. And I think that your energy, what you give out, is so needed. It's such a blessing. So thank you so much, Dr. Nelson. Thank you, Brian. And you need to know to you are you I love you in the morning. Like, where's Brian's quote? Where is it? So, you know, it's very important that you find your tribe. And I thank you for being in my tribe right. Now. Thank you for being in my tribe. Dr. Nelson, you have a wonderful day, my friend. Yes. tagline. This conversation was so good. Dr. Nelson definitely brought the high vibe energy, and she shared so many gems on how we can create a positive school culture. Now this is the teaching champions take where I share three of my favorite gems from this conversation. And the first gem that I loved was when Dr. Nelson talked about creating a school culture that is thriving. And she talked about one of the biggest ways to do that is making sure that every single person that walks through the doors of the school is seen is heard and is valued. The second gem that I loved is how Dr. Nelson talked about energy being contagious. You see those positive vibes? They're contagious? Those negative vibes. They're contagious too. And something that we should all be asking ourselves is what energy are we bringing to each room that we enter. The third gem that I loved is how Dr. Nelson talked about being a boss educator. Every single day. Be bold, be optimistic, be spontaneous, be substantial. Now these are just a few of my favorite gems. Hit me up on social media at BU Martin real on Twitter, and teaching champions podcast on Instagram. And let me know what were a few of your favorite jabs. A big thank you to Dr. Nelson for dropping so much wisdom and bring some great energy. And thank you to all you for being here. For being part of the teaching champions community. We support we encourage we lift each other up. And always remember, it doesn't matter whether you're from rural America, to urban America, to Canada to Spain to Bahrain. We're all on that same team. We're all on that same mission. And we're always better together. Keep meeting amazing, my friends, and that you go out into the week may step into your strength may step into your shard and let's build our champions. Have a great weekend.